Stewart Photograph Collection PI/1992.0006
The collection consists of 258 black-and-white images from prints of glass plate negatives created by amateur photographers (and brothers) Robert Livingston Stewart and William Percy Stewart of Natchez, Mississippi, around 1890-1905. The photographs are primarily of the Natchez area and focus on the Stewart family and activities such as dedication ceremonies, winter storms, floods, steamboats and river scenes.
Collection Description General & Tech Data Catalog Record
Robert Livingston Stewart (October 24, 1854-July 28, 1912) and William Percy Stewart (May 20, 1858-April 25, 1928) were sons of Natchez furniture dealer Robert Hill and Caroline Heermans Stewart, grandsons of Natchez cabinetmaker Robert and Susanna Marschalk Stewart, and great-grandsons of early Mississippi printer Andrew Marschalk. Robert Livingston Stewart worked as an accountant in New York and as a bookkeeper in Natchez. He never married, but around the time of his death he was living with his sister, Mary, and a sister-in-law, Chrissie (married to his brother, Rev. Walter Lee Stewart), in Natchez. He was described on page three of the July 30, 1912, Daily Democrat as "a man of quiet demeanor, always gentle and kind, speaking in low, well modulated tones...." William Percy Stewart's front-page obituary in the April 26, 1928, Natchez Democrat proclaimed William "a man of magnetic personality" who "was Senior Member of oldest Firm in Mississippi—Was Widely Known And Esteemed in This Section." He was a cadet at Jefferson Military College in Washington, Mississippi, and a member of the Natchez Rifles. He married Catherine Schwartz and operated the hardware firm Schwartz and Stewart in Natchez (one of the largest south of Memphis from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries) with his brother-in-law, John Edward Schwartz, leaving the business to his son, Robert Percy Stewart. William's daughters, Catherine and Margaret, appear in several of the photographs.
All but one of the 145 5"x7" glass plate negatives, ca. 1890-1900, were attributed to Robert Livingston Stewart. William Percy Stewart generated the remaining 5"x7" negative, as well as 113 4"x5" negatives ca. 1895-1905. Use-copy prints were made from the negatives by MDAH staff.
Captions appearing in quotation marks were written by the Stewart family on the glass plate wraps and in an album of prints produced and owned by William E. Stewart, grandson of William Percy Stewart.
The Stewart Photograph collection was donated to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History June 22, 1992, by William Percy Stewart's grandson, William E. Stewart of Natchez, Mississippi.