Leo Tarlton (b. August 5, 1794, Scott County, Kentucky, d. 1866, Louisiana) and Gabriella Augusta Hawkins (b. January 25, 1810, Bourbon County, Kentucky, d. after 1899, Alto Pass, Illinois), were originally from Lexington, Kentucky. These are my 2nd great-grandparents.
Gabriella's first husband was George Steptoe Washington, the great-nephew of the President (President Washington had no children), whom she married on May 2, 1827 at her parents home called “Mount Lebanon” near Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky. She was 17 years old when she married. She is described in the Cognets book, above page 77, as “a most beautiful and attractive woman.” She lived at “Belle Vue,” near Charleston, Virginia, until Mr. Washington died in 1831, only four years after their marriage. An internet correspondent tells me that Mr. Washington had a brother who was a doctor and caught cholera from the workers on a canal. George Steptoe contracted the disease and he and his brother died within one day of each other. After his death, Gabriella moved back to Kentucky.
Gabriella married Leo Tarlton on October 18, 1842 in Lexington, Kentucky. The Cognets book, above page 77, says that prior to the Civil War, “Col. Tarlton was an extensive sugar planter in St. Mary’s Parish, Louisiana, and also had large cotton plantations in Madison Parish, on the Mississippi River.” Other sources say that the plantation in St. Mary Parish was called “Shadyside.” I do not know the circumstances under which they came to Louisiana. However, in the 1830s and 1840s Louisiana was considered one of the richest southern states, and many immigrants came from Virginia, Kentucky and elsewhere to seek their fortunes, some bringing slaves with them. Leo and Gabriella were apparently among them. I have been able to confirm some, but not all, of the above. The 1840 census shows Leo living in Scott, Kentucky and owning 34 slaves. The 1850 census shows Leo, age 60 (approx. match), living in Madison Parish with Augustus, age 38 (presumably Gabriella Augusta, who was 40 in 1850), Elizabeth, age 6 (age matches), and several other children including another Leo, age 3. It shows Leo as owning 41 slaves. He is listed among the wealthiest planters in Madison Parish in 1850 on the Madison Parish website: his land was valued at $50,000 (copy in file). I have copied from the Madison Parish website a portion of La Tourrette’s 1853 map of Louisiana that shows Leo’s land. This confirms that Leo, Gabriella and Lizzie were living on a rather large plantation in Madison Parish in 1850. At that time, Gabriella may have lived the life of a Southern belle. Subsequent history is confusing. The 1860 census shows Leo living in St. Mary Parish (Berwick) with Elizabeth (age 16 – matches) but it shows Leo as age 50 and born about 1810 – does not match. It also shows a lot of household members that do not match the 1850 census, but no Gabriella or Augusta is shown. It appears that Leo moved to St. Mary Parish between 1850 and 1860 (perhaps selling his Madison Parish plantation). It makes me wonder if Leo and Gabriella divorced during that time. In any event, both Leo and Elizabeth are shown as living in Berwick (St. Mary Parish) in 1860. Leo died in 1866. Gabriella lived to about 90 and died in Illinois. I have Googled “Shadyside Plantation Louisiana” and confirmed that such a plantation did exist at one time in St. Mary parish, but I have found little information about it.
I would enjoy having any more information about Leo Tarlton or his wife Gabriella Hawkins.