The marriage of John Minor and Katherine (Kate) Surget joined two of the wealthiest families in the Natchez district, if not the whole antebellum south. John's father, Stephen, also known as Don Estevan, had come from Pennsylvania in 1780 and fought with the Spanish against the British at Mobile and Pensacola. In turn, the temporarily triumphant Spaniards gave him a large tract of land and awarded him the deputy governorship of Natchez. Stephen Minor's inherited his wealth and connections including John whose estimated worth in 1860 was $555,600. The Surget Family also had land and status inherited from the Spanish goverment
John and Katherine Minor lived at their estate, Oakland, near Natchez, Mississippi. Although the family was Unionist during the Civil War, they were necessarily affected by the turbulence of the early 1860s. The Minors lost much of their wealth, and had to mortgage their land holdings. The Leveriches, who had managed the Minors' financial affairs in flusher times, continued to do so during Reconstruction, when the fervent goal of both planters and agents was just to make enough money to plant the next year's crops.
The Leverich family managed a thriving mercantile and financial business, headquartered in New Orleans, and controlled by William S. and J. Henry Leverich. Around 1829, the company expanded its range, and Henry S. Leverich moved up to New York City to serve as the family's business agent in the north. He was joined by Charles P. Leverich around 1840. They acted as the New York financial agents for southern plantation owners, and conducted business with many of the city's great financial houses. Charles P. Leverich would go to become President of the Bank of New York. Members of the Leverich family, male and female, periodically visited the Minors.