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Eliza Adams Gunter was born May 4, 1816, and died October 10, 1860. She had auburn hair and blue eyes. The notes also say that this carte-de-viste was copied from an older photograph.

CHARLES GRANDISON GUNTER

BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY

(1806 NC – d. 1883 Brazil)

Montgomery County, Alabama

 

Charles Grandison Gunter was born in Chatham, County, North Carolina, February 28, 1806, and died in Brazil, in that village settled by him in which to promote his Colony—Linhares, Rio Doce Province, August 19, 1883. He was an extensive planter and a man of financial means. His father was a German who came to America when a young man and settled in Chatham County, N. C. where he spent the remainder of his life. His name was originally Gunther, but he changed it to Gunter on arriving in this country.

 

Mr. Gunter attended the country schools of Chatham County, N. C. and took up the study of law. He was admitted to practice, and came to Alabama in 1833 with his family, settling on a plantation ten miles west of Montgomery on the east side of Pintlala Creek He became a law partner of Mr. Chisholm in the law firm of Chisholm & Gunter, but abandoned the practice soon after, becoming a planter and a financier. He represented Montgomery County in the State Legislature in 1847 and 1849. He was a Whig. He assisted in building and maintaining the Baptist and Methodist Episcopalian churches, and the Episcopalian school, Hamner Hall. He was past master of Masonry, Montgomery Lodge No. 11.

Charles Grandison Gunter

Mr. Gunter’s most outstanding contribution to the history of his state was the securing of rights of property to married women in their own name. This Act was passed by the Legislature of 1847, of which he was a member, and was one of the first of its kind in the United States and known as Gunter’s law, and was the first and strongest step in Alabama in the emancipation of women.

Mr. Gunter was one of the organizers of the Montgomery True Blues, a military company in Montgomery which has been in existence since the Indian War of 1836. He was awarded a gold star as a mark of honor in 1851 by the company.

During the War of Secession, he was captain of Co. A. of old men. His portrait hangs at the Alabama Department of Archives and History

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Mr. Gunter was one of the first of that large group of Alabamians to go to Brazil at the close of the War in 1865, and of the number who went down as members of Gunter’s Colony on the Doce River, he and his son Basil Manly were the only ones to remain. He died there and are buried in Brazil. He bought slaves and had a plantation in Brazil. He had dark brown hair, black eyes, and a dark complexion.

Basil Manly Gunter was Consular Agent of the United States to Victoria in the Province of Espirito Santo, by appointment July 11, 1889. He was at one time connected with the leading Railway System in Brazil and there amassed a fortune.

Charles Grandison Gunter is buried in Brazil.

Eliza Adams Gunter – wife of Charles Grandison Gunter

 

He married in 1831 at Cheraw, S. C. Eliza Ann Adams, daughter of John and Isabella (McCrea) Adams of Richmond County, N. C. granddaughter of Mary (McLeod) McCrea. The McCrea, Adams and McLeod families all came from the Scotch settlement in Richmond County, NC.

His wife Eliza Adams Gunter was born May 4, 1816, and died October 10, 1860. She had auburn hair and blue eyes. 

 

Their children were:

  1. George Thomas Gunter (b. November 24, 1832) married Adella Smith, last residence Lowndesboro, Alabama

  2. William Adams Gunter, (b. Oct 7, 1834,) A. B. LL. B. University of VA 1856 – lawyer – married Ellen Florence Poellnitz, Montgomery – had a son Charles Poellnitz Gunter, A. B. dealer in real estate and insurance (b. Feb. 11, 1865 Montgomery, Alabama

  3.  Hattie Gunter married P. H. McEachin, captain in the C. S. Army

  4.  Harris Gunter, A. B. (b. April 27, 1847) lawyer married Kate Vassar, Montgomery, Alabama

  5.  Anna Gunter, married in Brazil A. J. Dozier, Madison, Florida

  6.   Basil Manly Gunter – died in Brazil at the age of thirty-nine years

  7.  Mary Ella Gunter – married Franklin Harper Elmore, Montgomery, Alabama.

 

SOURCES

  1. Notes on back of Eliza Adams Gunter portrait at Alabama State Archives – The notes also say that this carte-de-viste was copied from an older photograph. – 1850-1859 – photographer – Carneiro and Gaspar, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  2. Notes on back of Charles G. Gunter portrait at Alabama State Archives – photographer – Carneiro and Gaspar, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  3. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume III

  4. The Alabama Historical Quarterly, Vol. 01, No. 02, Summer Issue 1930

  5. Find A Grave Memorial# 91990990# 42737675# 91991011# 24049965# 42737851# 42737760# 55725652# 42738157# 42738054# 92599235

Charles Grandison Gunter of Alabama

From: A Confluence of Transatlantic Networks  Pages 187-191

By Laura Jarnigan

 

Charles Grandison Gunter, born in Chatham County, North Carolina, in 1803 or 1806, received the given name of a fictitious character in an 18th-century English novel, A Collection of the Moral and Instructive Sentiments..... Contained in Histories of Pamela, Clarissa, and Sir Charles Grandison (1775), by Samuel Richardson. Sir Charles represented the author’s ideal of a morally good gentleman. Oral tradition among Gunter’s descendants holds that he spent time in Brazil during the 1840s, (possibly in 1848) and made a great deal of money. Unfortunately, the details of this earlier residence and the means by which Gunter accumulated wealth there have been lost. But assuming the family lore is essentially accurate, a new light is cast on the choice of Brazil as a potential home for at least one set of frustrated migrants. In 1860, Gunter was a wealthy planter of  fifty-four  living in Montgomery County, Alabama, with real estate valued at $200,000, and a personal estate of $125,000, although this was not his total financial worth. Gunter, who banked with the Lehmans, did not keep all his assets in Alabama.

 

Gunter went alone to Brazil, arriving in December 1865. He lived in Butafogo, a neighborhood that was home to the Nathans, New Orleans merchants whose extended family had been in Rio for at least since the 1840s. Charles Nathan in particular has been credited with being very helpful to a broad range of Confederate immigrants, including Gunter.

 

Gunter’s son Will was a Montgomery attorney who reopen his practice by August 1865 with his partner, John Archer Elmore III. Will’s sister Mary Ella married John’s younger brother, Franklin Harper Elmore. The Elmores were yet another Broad River family with roots in the Edgefield, South Carolina, vicinity who had moved into Alabama by the mid-1830s. Their father, John Archer Elmore Jr. was a senior law partner in the firm that included the Alabama fire-eater William Lowndes Yancey. Elmore Jr. was one of Montgomery's leading fire-eaters, although he purportedly disliked politics. He worked with Yancey to try to bring about some cohesion among the various factions of southern rights movement in Alabama and South Carolina that were based to one degree or another in Calhoun's philosophies.

 

In Rio, Gunter was granted an audience with the minister of agriculture, Antonio Francisco de Paula e Sousa, who said, “he would do as much for us as for the most favored colonists ---and said if we bought land of the government the Letters would be undoubted and if we purchased of individuals they the government would see that the Letters were good.---and many gentlemen of property are interesting themselves to have us located to our satisfaction and say that we can buy as large a place with as many slaves as we want.” Gunter also visited Bahia province at government expense to examine some plantations belonging to Jose Antonio Saraiva, a rising young liberal Bahian politician who had just completed a stint as the minister of war. Obviously Gunter’s contacts in Brazil were men of notable standing: unknown foreigners simply did not arrive in Brazil and expect to be received by high-ranking government officials without the assistance of appropriate intermediaries.

 

Gunter’s motive for migrating are revealed through his letters back home urging others to join him. He vigorously recruited Duncan Colquhoun (D.C.) McIntyre, who migrated with his mother, his brother Daniel, and their families. The McIntyres accompanied Gunter to his short-lived community around Lake Juparana on the Rio Doce in Esparito Santo province, Just north of Rio. The McIntyre's had been extensive planters in eastern Montgomery County. By August 1866 Gunter had rented 6,000 acres of “good land” on the Rio Doce “forever” at approximately $40 per year and has spent $12,500 purchasing forty slaves. Gunter enthusiastically embraced his new home. “Sell, dispose of, giveaway and settle my affairs as if I were dead to the U.S.. I shall never go there again unless I go on business for this government.”

 

Gunter wanted Will to recruit “Porter and Judkins and all like them” but was especially insistent about McIntyre. “Tell D.C. McIntyre to quit his pills and bring his family here at once--- I will give him.....A farm or mill and start in a month after he arrives if he has not the money I will pay his expenses and he will be better off here Naked than he ever was in his life and here his Family will enjoy better health than in the States and if he wishes to plant I will get land and slaves as many as he wants and everyone of them will pay for himself in one year as I can manage it and I want Him.”

Gunter maintained business ties with C. & H. Wilson in Liverpool and planned on planting cotton, tobacco, and possibly sugar on the Rio Doce using a mix of slave and free labor. He hoped to bring a select few former slaves from Alabama, one of whom he intended to pay $200 a year. He also wanted “any working white man” and even posted “I can find employment for every working man in Alabama.”  Gunter was to be “chief engineer for the government” in the vicinity and stated that “one can buy public land only on my recommendation and there is five or 6,000,000 of acres all as good as the best river land in Marengo and will produce almost everything cultivated in the world.”

 

But by mid 1868, be remoteness, primitive living conditions (mud houses), a shifting sandbar, and illness had conspired against the viability of Gunter’s settlement, which he had envisioned would hold twenty thousand to thirty thousand families “and everything as convenient as a man would desire. Emperor Dom Pedro II himself had warned Gunter that the Rio Doce was an unhealthy place, and Gunter’s son Harris and wanted to locate in São Paulo. Gunter persisted in his belief that there was “no possibility of peace, comfort or a fixed government in the South for the next twenty years,” and that within a few years, his settlement would have enough Southerners.....to furnish good society and with this want supplied there's no reason why we should not have everything else that is conducive to comfort or happiness.”

 

Most families who first tried the Rio Doce colony later relocated to Rio and environs or to one of the São Paulo locales. After a brief stay in Rio, but Gunter’s finally settled in Espirito Santo, near Linhares. Gunter lived there the rest of his life and became a reasonably successful planter. Years later, his son Manly became a US counsel at Espirito Santo's capital city of Vitoria. D. C. McIntyre took up residence near Rio where he held 130 slaves and and raised  sugar, coffee, and oranges. John Christopher Jenkins, an Alabama legislator and cotton planter when he left for Brazil, purchased   30,000-acre Fazenda Bangu, near Rio, for the equivalent of thirty thousand dollars in gold.. His daughter Lucy's later marriage to John Wesley Durr Jr. suggests that Judkins had done business with Lehman Brothers, or Lehman, Durr & Company before migrating. Other Alabamians who had followed Gunter included the Keyes, Holt, Shackleford and McDade families.

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