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Mary Riggs Collins (August 9, 1829)
Josiah Collins III was born to a wealthy North Carolina family. He was sent to Harvard College and then to the Litchfield Law School. In 1826 he married and returned to North Carolina where his father built him a magnificent plantation mansion, "Somerset Place." Collins became one of the three largest slave holders in the state and by 1860 his 4,000 acres were worked by 328 slaves. Collins was an active Whig in local politics and served two terms in the state legislature. He was an ardent anti-abolitionist. His plantation was occupied and looted by the Northern troops during the Civil War. He died in 1863 and although his family attempted to keep the plantation, they were forced to sell it in 1870. "Somerset Place" has been restored and is now open as a historic site.
Years at LLS:
Studied at Harvard College.
Agriculture; Political Office
State Representative (NC)
The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.
Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
CITATION OF ATTENDANCE:
Woodruff, George Catlin. "LLS Notes." Litchfield Historical Society.; Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School (Hartford, CT: Press of Case, Tiffany and Company, 1848), 22.
Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Chapel Hill, U of NC Press, 1979.; Johnson, Guion Griffs. Ante-Bellum North Carolina: a social history. University of North Carolina Press, 1937.; Tarlton, W.S. Somerset Place and Its Restoration. 1954.; Wheeler, John H. Historical Sketches of North Carolina. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co., 1851.; Numaoka, Tsutomu. Josiah Collins III, A Successful Corn Planter: A Look at His Plantation Management Techniques.
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