“A Gentleman of Fine Talents and Extensive Experience”
Thomas Affleck of Washington, Mississippi
Nineteenth-century planter, scientist, inventor, nurseryman, agricultural writer, and entrepreneur of Washington, Mississippi, Thomas Affleck is the subject of a small exhibition in the lecture hall at Hill Memorial Library through August 31, 2006. Items on display are digital reproductions from the Thomas Affleck Papers, housed in LSU Libraries Special Collections.
Affleck enjoyed a national reputation as an expert in horticulture and agriculture, and among his correspondents were Edmund Ruffin, James Dunwoody Brownson DeBow, and John Deere. He established one of the first commercial nurseries in the South and advocated scientific agriculture to his fellow plantation owners. He wrote extensively and is most noted for his Southern Rural Almanac and Plantation and Garden Calendar and the Plantation Journal and Account Book, which provided a standardized method for recordkeeping on plantations. He creatively leveraged his influence to his own financial advantage, capitalizing on every entrepreneurial opportunity that presented itself. The Thomas Affleck Papers provide researchers with a unique perspective on Southern agriculture and business in the 19th century.