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Benjamin Leonard Covington Wailes

naturalist , planter

Benjamin Leonard Covington Wailes, American naturalist, planter. member Mississippi Legislature, 1825, 26.


Wailes, Benjamin Leonard Covington was born on August 1, 1797 in Columbia County, Georgia, United States. Son of Levin and Eleanor (Davis) Wailes.


Attended Jefferson College, Washington, Mississippi Territory.


Surveyor and clerk, land offices in Mississippi Territory, 1814-1820. Assistant to Choctaw agent, attended treaty confs. of 1818 and 1820 with Choctaws. Register of land office, Washington, Mississippi, 1826-1835.

Managed small plantation at Washington, 2 others in Warren County. Collected specimans of soil, rocks, fossils, shells, plant and animal life. Helped build collections at Jefferson College, U. Mississippi and at Mississippi capitol.

Supplied information and specimans of natural history of region to other scientists and Smithsonian Institution. Assistant professor agriculture and geological science U. Mississippi. Performed field work for projected survey of Mississippi.

Founder, 1st president Mississippi History Society. Trustee Jefferson College, 40 years, president of the board at time of death. Member Mississippi Legislature, 1825, 26.

Author: Report on the Agriculture and Geology of Mississippi, 1854.


  • Author: Report on the Agriculture and Geology of Mississippi, 1854.


Member Mississippi Legislature, 1825, 26.


Married Rebecca Covington, March 30, 1820, 10 children.

Levin Wailes

Eleanor (Davis) Wailes

Rebecca Covington