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Randolph L. Mott Papers (MC 289)

Biographical Note

Randolph Lawler Mott was born on August 9, 1799 in Fauquier County, Virginia.  In his youth, he apprenticed as a tailor in North Carolina and was acquainted with Andrew Johnson, the future president, who was similarly employed.  Mott moved to Augusta, Georgia in 1819, then to Milledgeville where he met and married Mary Jeter in 1830 . Mary's sister Julia married John L. Mustain the next year.  The two brothers-in-law formed a business partnership that lasted many decades.

The Motts and the Mustains moved to Macon where the partners ran the Hotel Washington.  Mustain also owned the Macon Race Course. Both were sold and the partners went into the stagecoach business.  Mott moved to Columbus in 1843 and took over all the business operations when Mustain was elected to the state legislature in 1845.  Mott became involved in the railroad business first as a stockholder and then as a director of the Muscogee Railroad Company.  Mott also began buying real estate in and around Columbus at this time.

Mott's business interests were many and varied.  He purchased shares in the Winter's Palace Mills in 1857 and owned over 80% of it, becoming its president in 1859.  He owned a large plantation with slaves in Russell County, Alabama. The 1860 census listed him as a planter.

Although a slave owner, he was also a Unionist when the civil war broke out.  In April 1865, he welcomed Gen James H. Wilson into his home after Columbus was captured.

After the Civil War, Mott continued in business and civic affairs, becoming mayor pro tem of Columbus and a trustee of the Freedman's Bureau.  He also was a trustee of the insane asylum in Milledgeville. Because of this he was in Atlanta in July of 1881 for a trustee meeting where he fell in front of a train at the station and was killed.  He is buried in Linwood Cemetery.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of one box of 22 folders containing legal papers, receipts, bills of sale, mortgages from R.L. Mott's properties, legal and financial transactions and an inventory of his home at his death.

1852-1904                                                          1 box (.3 l.f.)


The items in this collection are part of a donation by Katherine Jordan Waddell in 2013.

Note to Researchers

Forl a layout of the the garden of the Mott House see the Joseph Mahan Papers (MC 32), Series 1, Box 6, Folder 26


Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the Randolph L. Mott Collection must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives.  Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required.

Randolph L. Mott Collection, MC 289
Columbus state University Archives
Columbus State University
Columbus, Georgia

Box and Folder List

Box 1

Holdings in this box contain papers, receipts and transactions of Randolph L. Mott.

Folder 1: Checks (4) to agent J.C. Plant and L.G. Bowers, 1862

Folder 2: Checks and papers paid by R. L. Mott for F. J Mott, 1881

Folder 3: Checks written on “Agency of the Marine Bank of Georgia” by R. L. Mott, J.E. Appler, agent, October, 1861-March, 1862

Folder 4: Checks written on Chattahoochee National Bank by R.L. Mott to various people, 1875-1881

Folder 5: Estate of James Chapman, Russell County, Alabama, 1873

Folder 6: H.H. Epping, Columbus, Georgia, Administrator of R.L. Mott's estate. Includes inventory of R. L. Mott's residence

Folder 7: H.H. Epping obituary, news article, August 1, 1904

Folder 8: Hargraves vs. R.L. Mott and Davis Mulford, 1856

Folder 9: Indemnity bond of R.J. Moses and Indenture between Mott and Clayton: both in same envelope

Folder 10: Indenture between R.L. Mott and Timothy Markham, 1852

Folder 11: Indian Spring, Georgia property and the Varner family correspondence, 1858-1867

Folder 12: Mobile and Girard Railroad

Folder 13: Mortgage deeds to R. L. Mott lot 373, May 1858 and Russell County, Alabama, 1864

Folder 14: Mrs. John Mott: receipts from dry goods store, 1873

Folder 15: Mulford genealogy- handwritten, from Davis Mulford marrying Louisa V. Mott

Folder 16: Probate Court of Lee County, Alabama settlement of estate R.L. Mott, 1883

Folder 17: Randolph L. Mott, contents of leather wallet; receipts, letters, bills of sale

Folder 18: Receipt for cotton stored in Savannah, Edward Padelford, Savannah, 1865

Folder 19: Rock Island Paper Mill mortgage

Folder 20: Sale of Cleghorn Range, R.L. Mott to Geo. W. Winter, July, 1858

Folder 21: Steamer River Bride and owners, 1862-1863

Folder 22: Winter's Palace Mills, Columbus, Georgia and R.L. Mott