Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Indian King Hotel

As part of the upcoming field season, we will be looking at several different Civil War related sites in and around Port Tobacco. The Indian King Hotel is on the list of possible excavation sites. Of course, finding it on the ground is the goal. What makes the hotel significant to the Civil War? Its owners, Peregrine Davis and his son-in-law John J. Hughes were southern sympathizers. It is well established that Port Tobacco was a politically active town with strong ties to the southern way of life and to secession. One of the things we want to do is to connect individuals with the events of the times. Peregrine Davis and John J. Hughes are two of those people. Peregrine Davis owned a farm outside of town and ran the Indian King Hotel in town. His name has come up in research showing him as an active hotel operator as early as 1847. Davis' association with the Civil War and the Lincoln Conspiracy is well known and even recounted in the book, "Blood on the Moon" by Edward Steers Jr.

The history of the hotel is limited at best. The lot research we have done has come up with some results, most of which is inconclusive at this time. We do know that the Indian King Hotel lot was owned by Peregrine Davis after the Civil War, he deeded it to his daughter Victorine R. Hughes (wife to John J. Hughes) in 1867. The last record involving the lot is from 1888 when John & Victorine Hughes sold part of the lot to James H. A. Schur[e]man. It could be part of the same lot owned by the Reverend Francis Neale in 1802 but there is no solid connection yet.

In 1885, John J. Hughes was preparing to enter claim against Government for occupancy by US Troops of the Indian King Hotel during the Civil War. I haven't looked into this too much other than a google search and in the resources we have on hand. No evidence of the case ever being brought about has come to light. That doesn't mean it didn't, I just haven't found it...yet. I am curious how many of these types of claims were made against the government and how many were settled in or out of court. Sounds like a good research topic, I'll follow up when I know more.

- Peter

1 comment:

peterson said...

Really interesting. I look forward to hearing more about your research and I am looking forward to reading the article.
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