Conyers, Thomas W. (1795-1879), Papers, 1817-1903 (C755)

.2 linear feet, 1 oversize volume


The papers of a Monroe County, Missouri, landowner, merchant, soldier, and politician include diaries, an account book, genealogical materials on the Conyers family, and miscellany regarding the daily activities of the Conyers family and their slaves. Particular emphasis is given to everyday farming operations and accounts.


The Conyers Papers were donated to the University of Missouri by Robert and Joan Conyers on 3 August 1981 (Accession No. 4357). Additions were made to the papers on 25 August 1981 and 3 August 1994 (Accession No. 5458).


Thomas W. Conyers was born 17 October 1795, in Stafford County, near Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was both friend and comrade of James Callaway and Nathan Boone, serving with them in the War of 1812. He married Eliza Wall, a native of Scott County, Kentucky, on 17 April 1817. The couple returned to Virginia to make their home. Two years later, their son John Samuel was born.

In 1822 Conyers moved his family to Missouri, taking up residence in Boone County. Eliza bore Thomas two more sons—Richard Garrett and William Shelton—in the next four years. While both his family and farming interests grew, Conyers became interested in politics, serving two terms in the Missouri General Assembly.

When the Black Hawk War broke out in the early months of 1832, Conyers was commissioned a major and placed in command of two companies of Missouri volunteers. Accompanied by Major General Richard Gentry, Conyers marched his troops to Fort Pike, taking over command of the fort. His men were relieved in August, but Conyers remained at the fort until September when the war ended and the governor withdrew all troops stationed on the frontier.

Four years later Conyers moved his family to Monroe County, establishing a store at Paris and placing his son John in charge of it. Conyers divided his time between farming and merchandising until his death on 13 January 1879, at the age of eighty-four.


This collection gives an in-depth view of the day-to-day management of a large farm with its attendant slaves. Conyers’ interest in banking and merchandising, and his participation in local politics and community activities are also carefully recorded. A miscellaneous folder contains such items as correspondence between Conyers’ son, John Samuel, and his brother, William Shelton; various family land grants; and newspaper clippings of farming tips and recipes for home cures. The last folder contains a partial genealogy of Conyers’ family; a handwritten copy of the birth, death, and marriage entries taken from the family Bible; and a key to the abbreviations used in the diaries. There is also a scrapbook that includes additional genealogical material including family charts, photographs, family documents, and historical notes.


f. 1-3Diaries, 1844-1861
f. 4Account book, 1849-1863, 1866.
f. 5Miscellaneous, 1817-1903. Includes land grants (1817-1835), correspondence, home cures, and recipes.
f. 6Genealogical materials, n.d., entries from family Bible
v. 1Scrapbook


These index terms are the subjects, people, places, etc. under which this collection is listed in all available indexes at The State Historical Society of Missouri-Columbia. If you are interested in a specific index term, please contact the reference staff.