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John Marshall Stone letter book collection

Identifier: CPRC-JMS

Scope and Content

Volumes consist of letters, speeches, and correspondence from the time when John Marshall Stone was Governor of Mississippi, and when he ran for Senator of Mississippi. The volumes give examples of speeches given by Stone, issues he faced as Governor, such as Bimetallism, and Special Warrants, and his service in the Civil War. Fonds also include several loose documents placed within the pages of the volumes dating from Stone’s time in office.


  • 1893 - 1899


Biographical Note

John Marshall Stone was born on April 30, 1830 in Milan, Tennessee; he was the son of Asher and Judith Stone, who were natives of Virginia. He did not attend college, but did educate himself enough to become a schoolteacher in Tennessee. In 1855 he moved to Eastport Mississippi, which is a small town near Iuka. Here he became the station agent for the Mississippi and Ohio Railroad at Iuka.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he signed on to the Army of the Confederate States of America in April of that year. He was the Commander of the Second Mississippi Infantry K Company, also known as the Iuka Rifles. The 2nd Mississippi was a part of the Davis Brigade, along with the 11th and 42nd Mississippi and the 55th North Carolina Infantry. The Davis Brigade was a part of Heth's Division
3rd Army Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. He fought in several major battle of the Civil War including Sharpsburg (Antietam) in Maryland, The Battle of Wilderness in Spotsylvania County Virginia, and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. He was elected colonel of the regiment and was placed in charge of another regiment after a reorganization in 1862. He was the commander of the Davis Brigade during the Battle of Wilderness and so impressed General Heth that he was offered the rank of Major General, which he refused since it meant leaving his regiment. In 1865 he was dispatched to Mississippi to round up absentees and deserters. He was captured during a fight in Salisbury, NC while trying to return to his command. He was sent to Johnson’s Island Ohio, and then released on July 25, 1865. After the war he returned to his position as station agent for the Mississippi and Ohio Railroad.

Upon his return he was elected mayor and treasurer of Tishomingo County and was eventually elected to serve on the Mississippi State Senate. Stone is the longest serving Governor in Mississippi History. He served as Governor from 1876 to 1882, and again from 1890 to 1892. When Governor Ames resigned in 1876, Stone was made President Pro Tempore, or acting Governor, of the Mississippi senate. He won the election in 1877 to stay Governor, but was defeated for re-election in 1881. He won the election again in 1889 and his term was extended to 1896 by a revision of the state constitution in 1890.

He and his wife Mary G. Coman, whom he married in 1872, had two children who both died young. However they adopted John’s brother’s three children and raised them as their own.

Stone was arrested in 1894 by the United States Secret Service on charges of counterfeiting, but the charges were unfounded - the state of Mississippi had issued a special state warrant that was similar in color, size, shape, and appearance to United States currency.

In 1899 Stone accepted the Position of President of Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College (now known as Mississippi State University) in Starkville Mississippi. He was the second president of the University and died holding the position in March 26, 1900 at the age of 69. He died in Holly Springs and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Iuka Mississippi. Stone County is named in his honor. He holds the record for shortest service as president of Mississippi State.


2 Linear Feet (2 clam shell boxes)

Language of Materials


John Marshall Stone collection
Christina Jurusik Ryan P. Semmes
August 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Mississippi Political Collections Repository