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Thomas Logan McGee


BIRTH ABT 1824 • Franklin, Williamson, Tennessee, USA

DEATH 19 SEP 1883 • New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Married:  3 April 1844 • Wilkinson County, Mississippi, USA

Medora Aurora Lyons


BIRTH 1828 • Natchez, Adams, Mississippi, USA

DEATH 1 FEB 1901 • New York, New York, New York, USA

Daughter of Joseph B. Lyons and Aurora Deborah Cox

Louisiana Division/City Archives | New Orleans Public Library


Medora Aurora Lyons McGee was a native of Mississippi who married Thomas L. McGee in Natchez on April 3, 1844. By 1850 they were living in the City of Lafayette, and three years later Mrs. McGee bought a sugar plantation on the Right Bank of the Mississippi (present-day Algiers) for $95,000. The act of sale noted that the purchase money, which included $20,000 in cash, was her separate property, inherited from her father’s estate. She named the property Aurora Plantation in honor of her mother, Aurora Lyons.

The Statement of Sugar made in Louisiana in 1855-1856 compiled by P. A. Champomier shows that Mrs. McGee produced 387 hogsheads of sugar during that period. Her crops in other years: 370 hogsheads (1853-1854), 247 hogsheads (1857-1858), and 350 hogsheads (1861-1862).

The McGees appear to have fallen on hard times after the Civil War. Thomas McGee emigrated to Brazil in 1867, and Medora McGee had to contend with at least two lawsuits. In one proceeding she was sued by the Police Jury of Orleans Parish, Right Bank, and in the other by Robert Patterson. The latter suit involved mortgages on the plantation property and led to the plantation’s sale by the U.S. Marshal.  Elements of the dispute with Patterson made it all the way up to the U. S. Supreme Court. The family lived in Washington, D. C. for a while thereafter, but came back to New Orleans where Mr. McGee died in 1883. Medora McGee had a private school in the city around 1886, but she died in New York City in 1901. Her legacy lives on, though, in the Aurora neighborhood of Algiers, built on the site of McGee’s Aurora Plantation.


(New Orleans Republican, December 28, 1867)

MCGEE 1861.jpg

AURORA PLANTATION, Algiers, Louisiana


About 1930

McGee Family.jpg


1.  Joseph Lyons McGee

2.  Annie Davis McGee

3.  Zuleika R. McGee

4.  Henry McGee

5.  Logan McGee

6.  John Clinton McGee

7.  Lourenca McGee


Joseph Lyons McGee


BIRTH SEP 1847 • New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA

DEATH 1878 • Brazil

Married 1st: 


Married 2nd:

Laura Jane "Jennie" Mendenhall


BIRTH 27 DEC 1845 • Westville, Simpson, Mississippi, USA

DEATH AUG 1906 • Dade City, Pasco, Florida, USA

Daughter Judge James Bogan Mendenhall and Winnifred "Wincey Anne Dunlap



Anna Davis McGee


BIRTH ABT 1848 • Lafayette, Jefferson, Louisiana, USA

DEATH 8 AUG 1938 • East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Married: Jun 1866 • Jefferson County, Arkansas, USA

George Kendall Smith


BIRTH 1824 • Chardon, Geauga, Ohio, USA

DEATH 1869 • Chardon, Geauga, Ohio, USA

Son of Samuel Smith and Sybil Metcalf



Elizabeth "Lizzie" Metcalf Smith


BIRTH 8 JUL 1869 • Jefferson County, Arkansas, USA

DEATH 14 MAY 1929 • Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA

Married:  1885

Peter M Bridges


BIRTH 4 DEC 1842 • Tennessee, USA

DEATH 6 AUG 1917 • Jefferson County, Arkansas, USA

Son of Horace Davis Bridges and Louisa G Johnson


Zuleika R McGee


BIRTH ABT 1853 • New York, New York, USA

DEATH 5 DEC 1918 • Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA


William A Broome



DEATH NOV 1903 • New York, New York, USA



William A. Broome


BIRTH 19 JUL 1885 • New York, New York, USA

DEATH 18 AUG 1913 • Bronx, New York City, New York, USA


James McGee Broome


BIRTH 10 AUGUST 1890 • New York, New York, USA

DEATH Unknown


Mary Magdalen Broome


BIRTH 30 JAN 1892 • Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

DEATH 11 AUG 1965 • New York, USA

Married 1st:

Selba Teranitis


BIRTH 1888 • Japan

DEATH Unknown

Married 2nd:

John H Johnson


Logan Mcgee


BIRTH ABT 1858 • Algiers, Orleans, Louisiana, USA

DEATH Unknown


John Clinton Mcgee


BIRTH 8 AUG 1862 • Algiers, Orleans, Louisiana, USA

1850 United States Federal Census


Name  J L McGee

Gender  Male

Age  5

Birth Year  1845

Birthplace  Mississippi

Home in 1850  Lafayette Ward 3, Jefferson, Louisiana, USA

Line Number  12

Dwelling Number  1814

Family Number  1898

Household Members

Name  Thos L McGee  Age  26

Name  Madora McGee  Age  22

Name  J L McGee  Age  5

Name  J D McGee  Age  2

1860 United States Federal Census


Name  Joseph McGee

Age  15

Birth Year  1845

Gender  Male

Birth Place  Mississippi

Home in 1860  Algiers, Orleans, Louisiana

Post Office  Algiers

Dwelling Number  922

Family Number  928

Attended School  Yes

Household Members  

Name  Thomas L McGee  Age  38

Name  Medora McGee  Age  32

Name  Joseph McGee  Age  15

Name  Anna McGee  Age  12

Name  Zulecka McGee  Age  7

Name  Henry McGee  Age  6

Name  Logan McGee  Age  2

The Times-Democrat (New Orleans, Louisiana)  Wed. Sep. 11, 1867  Page 2  

The Manners and Customs of our People- 

TheEnticements of Immigration. etc.
Para, Brazil, August 1, 1867.

     To the Editor of the N.O. Times -- For the "love I bear you," and the old readers of your paper, I am going to give you some account of the people, and other things I have seen in this country, together with an honest description of the climate, soil, and productions.  Since I saw you  I have "done" the coast of Brazil from Rio Grande de Sol to this place, and of course, have seen something.  I have been at this place for two months, and from what I have seen of the people and country here, and read about the people and political condition flare, I have determined to stay here always.

     There are many good and kind people and many who are opposed to emigrants coming to the country.  Of the former, I may mention the Hon. Mr. Delamare, President of the Province and Admiral of the Navy, is a gentleman in size, form, and color, and seems to be the peer of any statesman of any country.  He is a married man (by no means a common case in this country,) I and every family arriving here is sure to receive kindness and favor if they apply to him.  The two Campbells, natives of the country, are also married and live according to the custom of all civilized countries.  They are respect-able merchants of the place and own large cattle estates on the island of Marajo.  T them a gentleman stranger can apply with safety for information or hospitality and kindness.  There are but few others in this class who speak the English language.  Many respectable gentlemen here, and indeed the great majority of them, live with some lady o colored descent in concubinage, from whom they rear large numbers of citizens ready "sunburnt."  These same citizens, up to 12 years old, are always to be seen in the streets or in the doors and windows with the same clothing they were born with, except at night or soon in the morning, very disgusting to the sight of foreigners.   No ladies are ever seen promenading the streets, and whilst such is the custom "society" will be of a low order.  The inhabitants, generally speaking, are of a mixed breed--very difficult to find a pure negro, a pure Indian, or a pure white man.  Many, however, are well educated and are gentlemen in their bearing and conduct. and all are peaceable, friendly, and kind one to another, as well as to strangers.
     They all live working the soil; there are not ten acres under cultivation in this province, nor is there a vegetable garden in or near this town.  In some places, they plant a few kinds but don't cultivate any.  Well, they don't them, for the fruits of the country supply all their wants of this order.  Nearly every tree here bears a fruit, nut, or something else for the use, comfort, or pleasure of man.  A patch of cane planted will give always and without any cultivation.  Everything seems to grow well here that is or has been planted.
     The climate is warm, but never excessively hot; 86 deg. is the highest mercury has shown since I have been here, and 72 deg. the lowest.  There is always a breeze, and the nights are deliciously cool.
     In all this country there is pure and cool spring water, with an abundance of it.  The people seem to "suffer" with good health.  I know one young man that has been here 55 years, and he says he was 21 when he came.  He is a planter and has a wife and children, and 25 slaves, about five days in a canoe from here.  (There are no miles in Brazil.)  His name is Martin, (is a "bird" for sure), and came from Scotland.  There are here of the same leather, but not so worthy of mention.
     I have not seen or heard of any death or burial since I have been in this city, comprising 30,000 souls.  I believe that the salt fish and Farinha de manioca are positively healthy, though in flush in old times in the states, we would have scorned the idea of feeding a dog on it without other food.  There is plenty of good beef in the market at eleven cents per pound, chickens fifty cents, eggs thirty cents a dozen, and plenty of them.  Great country for chickens.  There are but few mosquitos or other insect pests.  Plenty of wild game, deer, para, possums, armadillo, and birds of the wild turkey and partridge species, some of which are of the most beautiful plumage.
     A "Fazenda" near this city, with a sugar mill, cachaca distillery, dwelling house, and a nice patch of sugar cane on it can be bought for about $1,000or $1,500. with, of course, plenty of fruit trees.  This is a good country to emigrate to but for a few las of the land.  If you buy lands or slaves you have to pay six percent taxes to the government, on account of purchase, and when you have produced any article of commerce, there are twelve percent export duties to be paid.  If a basket of oranges is brought to the city, before it is allowed to be landed, one cent duty must be paid-- the basket, oranges, and all worth but twenty-five cents.  The currency of the country is denominated in mil-reis (1000 reis;) 20 reis make one cent; patacas, (18 cents;) crusades, (20 cents;)  tostaos (5 cents;) and vintems, (one  cent.)  The greater portion of small currency is copper, in half-cent, one-cent, two-cent, and four-cent pieces.  There are some 200, 500, 1000, and 2000 reis pieces of silver, but they are generally hoarded and kept out of circulation by the Portuguese shop keepers, their names being legion in this country.   
     All kinds of clothing and dry goods are much lower here than there.  Every article of neccessity or luxury can be obtained here, from a grubbing hoe to a bottle f hair tonic.  Good Baltimore flour sells here for $10 a barrel, and hams at about 30 cents a pound.  Board and lodging per day in the best hotel are s $1.50.  A good tailor will make a suit of clothes for about eight dollars.  Servants hire at about thirty-two cents a day, but not many to be had.  At an auction of slaves a few days ago the best brought 1100 mill-reis and some for as low as 400 mill-reis.
     There are "plantations with slaves" for sale; one with good dwelling, sugar-house, steam engine, iron mill,  (rollers 18 inches long by 12 in. diameter,) and plenty of land, 5000 acres if you wish, with 5 working slaves on it, "three hours in a canoe" below the city, for $25,000, a part cash and balance on time.  The land is generally level and rich, never overflows, covered with a thick growth of underwood and tall timber trees.
     I have not seen any big snakes or alligators yet.  I anticipate that pleasure in a few days.  I leave here tomorrow by steamer for Crato, a frontier post of Brazil, on the Madeira River, to see the beautiful "Campos de Capeu," (Prarie of grass,) covered with fat cattle and deer.  The Government is kind enough to give me transportation there and back, and if I settle there to send us all free of cost.  There is a family which has been living there four years, all very healthy, and speak highly of the country.  We shall see for ourselves , and if you please, report to you for the information of those who are bent on going to someplace "outside,"  I know you are opposed to some things, but then you know there are some things that some men can't bear as the dream nowadays is "of all things free." 
     The trade of all this country is India rubber, Brazil nuts, sarsaparilla, and cocoa - from this last choc-olate is made.  All of these articles are obtained from the forest, with but little labor, and requires no capital for the outfit.  What a great country this would be for the freedmen of the "South," if he could only come here?  The law bars them.  There is really no necessity for one to labor here.  The fruits, roots, and nuts of the forest furnish a healthy abundance, and no clothing except a fig leaf is needed.  What a country for a lazy man!
     Slavery will be abolished soon, it is generally thought, and I think it is just as well, for in no part of Brazil is the slave of much value to his owner.
     I honestly believe the Valley of the Amazon is the best place for any man to emigrate to if he is determined to leave the United States.  There are no Gardens of Eden ready-made, nor are there any golden apples, "not as anybody knows of," though there are plenty dragons to guard them, in the form of spotted tigers, cobras, alligators, etc.; but if any man wants to settle down away from the politic's (Republican) bustle and hubbub of the word in a quiet, steady nook on a river bank, to fish, and nap, and while away the balance of his term of life, this is the place to come to.  The opening of the great river "to the public" and the rest of the world on the 7th of next September will, it is thought, be a big thing.
     I think of opening a hotel on the Madeira River, halfway to Bolivia, to accommodate a part of the immense travel through; would take a partner, and even another on the Ucayali, on the route to Peru, thus getting all.  No capital is required.  Seriously, this will be one of the greatest incidents in the history of this country and will bring this heretofore unknown region up for consideration by the emigrating populations of the world.  They will come to look at it and will be satisfied, especially those who wish to cultivate the soil.  The advantages of water transportation here are very great, the entire country being cut up into ordinary plantations by creeks and bayous, navigable for all crafts drawing not over six feet of water.  On the Madeira are large prairies of rich land, requiring no labor to clear a plantation, with plenty of labor to be hired-- the Bolivianos and civilized Indians.  There is plenty of good spring and well water, with an abundance of fruit, fish, and game.  Cabins to dwell in can be bought from the Portuguese and Indians for one hundred mill-reis or less, and in five years you pay the government for the land twenty-two cents an acre and take as much as you wish to.  To any good man with a family arriving here to cultivate the soil, the government will loan the cost of his passage here, payable in two or three years, or he can come as a Government steamer by going to Rio de Janeiro.
     The Catherine Whiting, from New Orleans, arrived here on the 14th last.  All on board, Many of the passengers stopped here.
T.L. McGee





Letter from the Southerner to the Brazilian Paper - Personally Interesting to the Home Friends of the Colonials.


The following letter we take from the Brazilian Reflector, a journal published in Rio Janeiro in the interests of the Confederate Colonists.  It could be found exceedingly interesting.




To the Editor of the Brazilian Reflector:


     Dear Sir – I take the liberty of writing to you, on the ground that your paper is benevolently inclined, and I believed it to be an act of charity to help us poor Southerners in giving publications to our appeals to brother exiles.  I supposed, too, that you would like yourself to know something of us, so far away on the banks of Amazon, outside, almost of the pale of civilization, buried in the deep recesses of the Amazonian wilds.  Our means of communication with Rio de Janeiro, and other parts of Brazil south of Rio are so devious and uncertain that we seldom endeavor to give our scattered countrymen in the south any news of ourselves. 

     Reports, too, from your part of Brazil to ours are so very unfavorable; that we fear almost, that you would consider us as exulting and triumphant should we inform you of our success.  True, this success has not been very great, still, to most of us, it must been sufficient, and we are satisfied.  We had succeeded in an humble way, and have barely supported ourselves as yet we have not had time to do more.  We have all done the work ourselves - none of us had the money to hire workmen. 

      As the matter of course, men who were never accustomed to hard bodily labor could not be expected to open large plantations in a new months, but as much as could have been rationally expected as been done.  Some are now being as well as they lived in the United States before the War.  Dr. Pitts, a Tennessean, for example, leaps a first-rate table, and buys nothing but carne secca. 

      Only last Sunday I visited him.  I found him well, and in high spirits, but his wife was not perfectly satisfied.  She told me, what I think explains her slight dissatisfaction, that it had been seven weeks since she had seen an American lady’s face.  The doctor had planted sweet potatoes, several varieties of beans, and peas, pumpkins, green corn, cucumber, (illegible), and a kind of squash that was very delicious. 

       He had also plenty of tomatoes and water melons. 

     The doctor’s garden is not an exception; others have better.  Mr. Rhome, at the place called “Taperinha,” can add to the doctor’s behalf far by giving real hot “syrup de batons” just taken from the kettle, and good battered (illegible – probably chicken), butter and milk, and all the different ripened fruits for dessert. 

     Messrs. Vaughn, [original spelling] Riker, and Weatherly are doing well, have good crops growing, and are very hopeful.  Mr. Vaughn has a great deal of tobacco growing, and is very busy just now in putting it up in salable shape. 

     Notwithstanding the stampede made by the large portion of Major Hasting’s colonies, we are welcoming, by almost every steamer, every new addition to our colony.  But a shot had been, the Rev. R. T Hennington and family, Mr. B. Spurlock and family, Dr. S. F. Stroope and family arrived here, accompanied by Messrs. P. Norman and John P. Massey. 

     Mr. Hennington is from Mississippi; Mr. Spurlock is lately from Texas, Dr. Stroope of Arkansas, and the two young men from Mississippi. 

     Mr. Hennington has bought out Mr. xxxx,  an old settler, and is now living at his place. Dr. Stroope, too, has already settled within the colonial limits. 

     Judge J. B. Mendenhall from Alabama, with his family, are close neighbors to Mr. Hennington [original spelling] and are well satisfied.  The Judge has great faith in his tobacco crop, and I think has reason for it.  His little son George brought a cartload of vegetables to town some how days ago and sold them to the steamers. 

     Mr. E. S. Wallace came to town last Saturday with a large canoe load of corn for all, and made arrangements for selling some 2000 hands of corn he had still remaining from his first crop.  He sold it, I believe, for one Real, or sixteen cents a hand of fifty ears.  And American cotton grows well here, but none of us have the means to operate extensively in that article.  If some capitalist were to come here he could make money raising cotton.  Tobacco paid luxuriantly, and large proceeds will be realized from it even in this year. 

     General Dobbins, Col. Menefee, Dr. Jones and family, Dr. Carter and family, and Col. Charles M. Broome, are all settled up on the Tapajos, two or three days trip from Santarem.  Dr. Carter told me he had a stock of American cotton with 250 bolls on it.  Cotton (American) does not grow here any taller than in the States, but grows much more luxuriantly. They are comfortable settled and, I believe, determined to stay.  Mr. P. O. Chaffier has, they say, 16,000 tobacco plants, which he himself tends, and which bid fair to yield him good returns. 

     My father, Captain T. L. McGee, bought an Eugenio de assucar (sugar mill) near the city of Para.  I visited him but shortly since and found him busy in distilling cachaca.  My mother and sister were well satisfied and no course lecturing can induce them to return to their “Vaterland”. 

There are some Americans living in town.  Rev. Mr. Harvey has a school here and is teaching English.  He has thirty or forty scholars, and I believe, is an flourishing circumstances. 

     We are expecting a good many persons from the States here, Captain Mathews from Mobile is daily expected and many others.  Our colony (and we wish to be distinctly understood), is not “played out”.  On the contrary, it faded, but to bloom again with more enticing fairness.  So we think. 

     We are here and not in deplorable circumstances, and we will be glad to welcome here any brother in misfortune who may see fit to visit our shores. 

     And allow me, until another occasion to bid you “au revoir”.


                                                                                                            Yours, Respectfully,

                                                                                                            Jos. L. McGee


Name: Joseph Lions McGee

Arrival year:1870

Arrival Place: Brazil

Primary Immigrant: McGee, Joseph Lions

Source Publication Code:122.50

Annotation: Date and place of naturalization. The span of dates indicates an interim between naturalization and return to the United States. Extracted from sources in Rio de Janeiro, including Annual Reports of the Brazilian Emperor D. Pedro II (Library of the Instituto Historico e Geografico Brasileiro); National Archives; General Archives of Rio de Janeiro City; Official Daily of Impire; and Almanach Lammert. Indexers assumed children and wife were also foreign-born unless the source indicated birth in Brazil.

Source Bibliography:ANTUNES DE OLIVEIRA, BETTY. Some North Americans Naturalized as Brazilians, 1866-1889. In The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research (Columbia, SC), vol. 25:4 (Fall 1997), pp.183-190.

Household Members:


Joseph Lions McGee 

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Source Citation

Place: Brazil; Year: 1870; Page Number: 187

Source Information U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, the 1500s-1900s [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc, 2010.

Original data: Filby, P. William, ed. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, the 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2012.

Name: Thomaz Logan McGee

Arrival year:1867

Arrival Place: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Primary Immigrant: McGee, Thomaz Logan

Source Publication Code:122.50

Annotation: Date and place of naturalization. A span of dates indicates an interim between naturalization and return to the United States. Extracted from sources in Rio de Janeiro, including Annual Reports of the Brazilian Emperor D. Pedro II (Library of the Instituto Historico e Geografico Brasileiro); National Archives; General Archives of Rio de Janeiro City; Official Daily of Impire; and Almanach Laemert. Indexers assumed children and wife were also foreign-born unless the source indicated birth in Brazil.

Source Bibliography:ANTUNES DE OLIVEIRA, BETTY. Some North Americans Naturalized as Brazilians, 1866-1889. In The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research (Columbia, SC), vol. 25:4 (Fall 1997), pp.183-190.


Henry Mcgee


BIRTH ABT 1854 • Louisiana, USA

DEATH Unknown

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