for more info about this microfilm set go to the upa pubs American studies collections at Lexis-Nexis
By Kenneth M. Stampp, Professor Emeritus, University of California at Berkeley
The impact of the ante-bellum southern plantations on the lives of their black and white inhabitants, as well as on the political, economic, and cultural life of the South as a whole, is one of the most fascinating and controversial problems of present-day American historical research. Depending upon the labor of slaves who constituted the great majority of the American black population, the plantations were both homes and business enterprises for a white, southern elite. They were the largest, the most commercialized, and on the whole, the most efficient and specialized agricultural enterprises of their day, producing the bulk of the South's staple crops of tobacco, cotton, sugar, rice, and hemp. Their proprietors were entrepreneurs who aspired to and sometimes, after a generation or two, achieved the status of a cultivated landed aristocracy. Many distinguished themselves not only in agriculture but in the professions, in the military, in government service, and in scientific and cultural endeavors.
Planters ambitious to augment their wealth, together with their black slaves, were an important driving force in the economic and political development of new territories and states in the Southwest. Their commodities accounted for more than half the nation's exports, and the plantations themselves were important markets for the products of northern industry. In short, they played a crucial role in the development of a national market economy.
The plantations of the Old South, the white families who owned, operated, and lived on them, and the blacks who toiled on them as slaves for more than two centuries have been the subjects of numerous historical studies since the pioneering work of Ulrich B. Phillips in the early twentieth century. The literature, highly controversial, has focused on questions such as the evolution and nature of the planter class and its role in shaping the white South's economy, culture, and values; the conditions experienced by American blacks in slavery; the impact of the "peculiar institution" on their personalities and the degree to which a distinct Afro-American culture developed among them; and, finally, the sources of the tension between the proslavery interests of the South and the "free labor" interests of the North that culminated in secession and civil war.
Research materials are plentiful. Census returns and other government documents, newspapers and periodicals, travelers' accounts, memoirs and autobiographies, and an abundance of polemical literature have much to tell historians about life on ante-bellum plantations. The autobiographies of former slaves, several twentieth-century oral history collections, and a rich record of songs and folklore are significant sources for the black experience in slavery. All the historical literature, however, from Phillips to the most recent studies, has relied heavily on the enormous collections of manuscript plantation records that survive in research libraries scattered throughout the South. These manuscripts consist of business records, account books, slave lists, overseers' reports, diaries, private letters exchanged among family members and friends, and even an occasional letter written by a literate slave. They come mostly from the larger tobacco, cotton, sugar, and rice plantations, but a significant number survive from the more modest estates and smaller slaveholdings whose economic operations tended to be less specialized.
Plantation records reveal nearly every aspect of plantation life. Not only business operations and day-to-day labor routines, but family affairs, the roles of women, racial attitudes, relations between masters and slaves, social and cultural life, the values shared by members of the planter class, and the tensions and anxieties that were inseparable from a slave society are all revealed with a fullness and candor unmatched by any of the other available sources. Moreover, these records are immensely valuable for studies of black slavery. Needless to say, since they were compiled by members of the white master class, they provide little direct evidence of the inner feelings and private lives of the slave population. But they are the best sources of information about the care and treatment of slaves, about problems in the management of slave labor, and about forms of slave resistance short of open rebellion. They also tell us much about the behavior of slaves, from which historians can at least draw inferences about the impact of slavery on the minds and personalities of its black victims.
Deposited in southern state archives and in the libraries of many southern universities and historical societies, the number of available plantation records has increased significantly in recent decades. Our publication is designed to assist scholars in their use by offering for the first time an ample selection of the most important materials in a single microfilm collection. Ultimately it will cover each geographical area in which the plantation flourished, with additions of approximately four new collections annually. A special effort is being made to offer the rarer records of the smaller slaveholders and to include the equally rare records of the plantations in the last quarter of the eighteenth century; however, the documentation is most abundant for the operations of the larger plantations in the period between the War of 1812 and the Civil War, and their records will constitute the bulk of our publication.
The collections microfilmed in this edition are holdings of the Southern Historical Collection, Manuscripts Department, Academic Affairs Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599. The descriptions of the collections provided in this user guide are adapted from inventories compiled by the Southern Historical Collection. The inventories are included among the introductory materials on the microfilm.
Historical maps, microfilmed among the introductory materials, are courtesy of the Map Collection of the Academic Affairs Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Maps consulted include:
Thomas G. Bradford, Comprehensive Atlas, 1835;
Thomas Cowperthwait & Co., "A New Map of California, the Territories of Oregon, Washington, Utah & New Mexico," 1851; and
S. Augustus Mitchell, "A New Map of Alabama," 1847.
The Reel Index for this edition provides the user with a précis of each collection. Each précis gives information on family history and many business and personal activities documented in the collection. Omissions from the microfilm edition are noted in the précis and on the microfilm. Descriptions of omitted materials are included in the introductory materials on the microfilm.
Following the précis, the Reel Index itemizes each file folder and manuscript volume. The four-digit number to the left of each entry indicates the frame number at which a particular document or series of documents begins.
Description of the Collection
This collection documents the life and work of Charles William Dabney (1855-1945) and provides considerable documentation for four generations of Dabney ancestors. There are letters, business papers, account books, and related papers for several Dabneys, especially William Dabney (1718-1776); Charles Dabney (1745-1829); Charles William Dabney (1786-1833); Charles William Dabney (1809-1895); Robert Lewis Dabney (1920-1898); Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney (1823-1905); James Morrison (fl.1817-1865); and Mary Chilton (Brent) Dabney (1861-1925).
The papers of Robert Lewis Dabney concern Presbyterian church matters (including correspondence with fellow clergyman Benjamin Mosby Smith); Hampden-Sydney College and the Union Theological Seminary near Farmville, Virginia; Civil War service with the staff of Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson; Dabney's materials and drafts of his Life and Campaigns of Lt. Gen'l T. J. Jackson ("Stonewall Jackson"); travel; and family affairs.
Papers of Robert Lewis Dabney's son, Charles William Dabney (1855-1945), include extensive correspondence concerned with work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the advancement of scientific, technical, agricultural and general education, his education in Virginia and Germany, and his presidencies of the University of Tennessee (1887-1904) and the University of Cincinnati (1904-1920); personal correspondence with family members; drafts of memoirs and addresses; genealogical information; and pictures.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence and Business Papers, 1715-1945 and undated--Subseries 1.1. 1716-1833, Subseries 1.2. 1834-1860, Subseries 1.3. 1861-1865, Subseries 1.4. 1866-1902 [not included], Subseries 1.5. 1903-1945 [not included], and Subseries 1.6. Undated (ca.1866-1945) [not included]; Series 2. Additional Family Letters, 1872-1945 and undated [not included]; Series 3. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson Research Materials [not included]; Series 4. Memoirs of Charles William Dabney (drafts) [not included]; Series 5. Other Loose Papers [not included]; Series 6. Volumes--Subseries 6.1. Volumes 1-20, 1744-1801, Subseries 6.2. Volumes 21-24, 1817-1850, and Subseries 6.3. Volumes 25-33, 1878-1940 and undated (post-1865) [not included]; and Series 7. Pictures [not included].
The following is a chronology of the life of Charles William Dabney (1855-1945):
1855 Born, son of Robert Lewis Dabney and Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney.
1873 B.A. from Hampden-Sydney College at Farmville, Virginia.
1874-1877 Attended the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.
1877-1878 Taught chemistry at Emory and Henry College, Emory, Virginia.
1877-1878 Earned Ph.D. at Berlin and Gottingen, Germany.
1880-1887 Director of North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station and state chemist of North Carolina.
1880-1881 Taught chemistry at the University of North Carolina.
1881 Married Mary Brent of Paris, Kentucky.
1883-1884 In charge of government and state exhibits at New Orleans exposition.
1887-1904 President of the University of Tennessee.
1887-1890 Director of Tennessee Experiment Station.
1893-1896 Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
1897 Special agent, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
1902-1904 Head of "Summer School of the South," at Knoxville, Tennessee.
1904-1920 President of the University of Cincinnati.
1920-1945 Retired educator and scientist, active writer. Universal Education in the South (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1936).
Robert Lewis Dabney (1820-1898) was a Presbyterian clergyman and teacher and was associated with Hampden-Sydney College and with the Union Seminary of Virginia at Farmville, Virginia, from 1836 to 1837, 1844, and from 1853 to 1883. He married Lavinia Morrison (1828-1908) in 1855, and together they had several children. During the Civil War he served with the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, first as a chaplain with the 18th Virginia Infantry Regiment in 1861, then as an officer on the staff of Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson in 1862. After Jackson's death in 1863, Dabney wrote a biography of the general entitled Life and Campaigns of Lt. Gen'l. T. J. Jackson ("Stonewall Jackson") (1866), and other works as well. A biographical essay on Robert Lewis Dabney can be found in the Dictionary of American Biography. He was the son of Charles William Dabney (1786-1833) and Elizabeth (Price) Dabney and the brother of Charles William Dabney (1809-1895), who served during the Civil War, in 1861 and 1862, as the captain of Company C, 15th Virginia Infantry Regiment.
Charles William Dabney (1786-1833) was the son of Samuel Dabney and Jane (Meriwether) Dabney. Samuel Dabney was the son of William Dabney (born before 1708, died ca. 1773) and Anne (Barret) Dabney. Anne (Barret) Dabney was the daughter of Charles Barret and Mary (Chiswell) Barret. William Dabney was the son of George Dabney, and the grandson of Cornelius Dabney who probably came to New Kent County, Virginia, about 1649. Charles Dabney (1745-1829), a son of William Dabney, served as an officer during the American Revolution in the 2nd Virginia State Regiment.
Related Morrison family members mentioned in these papers include clergyman James Morrison (fl.1817-1865), father of Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney and Henry Rutherford Morrison (who served during the Civil War in the 31st Virginia Militia until his death in 1864); Mary Anna (Morrison) Jackson (1831-1915), born near Charlotte, North Carolina, who married Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson in 1857; and Mary Moore (Morrison) Smith, who married clergyman Benjamin Mosby Smith (1811-1893) in 1839.
Series 1. Correspondence and Business Papers (1716-1945 and undated)
Subseries 1.1. (1716-1833 and undated) The earliest papers are deeds and wills of members of the Dabney family. Papers of William Dabney of Hanover County, Virginia, begin with 1745; they begin to overlap in the 1760s with the papers of his son Charles. The papers for the rest of the eighteenth century are those of Charles Dabney of Hanover, his brothers George, Robert, and Samuel and his sister Susanna, of Hanover and Louisa counties.
There is a deed of release, dated 11 October 1716, granted to George Dabney at King William County, from George Alves at New Kent County, with bond (fragment and photostat of missing part). There is George Dabney's patent to 400 acres in Hanover County, dated 9 July 1724. There is George Dabney's will, dated 24 October 1729, naming sons, daughters, grandchildren (William, Susannah, Sarah, Judith, and George Dabney, Mary Pettus, and Mrs. Anderson) and property. There is a memorandum, dated 3 December 1741, of the will of Mary Barret (grandmother of George and William Dabney?). There is a letter dated 26 April 1743 from a London shipper to Esther Chiswell at Robert Barrett's, York River, Virginia, discussing mostly business matters.
Papers for the years 1746 to 1750 are chiefly those related to William Dabney at Hanover County, Virginia, as executor of the estates of Mrs. Esther Chiswell, George Dabney, and Major Morris. There are numerous accounts and receipts. There are also receipts from George Anderson, grandson of George Dabney, and various scattered bills and memoranda. There are receipts for slaves dated 13 January and 27 November 1746. There is a letter dated 2 July 1749 from William Dabney to Esther Chiswell (location not given) about shipping her tobacco and sowing oats.
Items from the 1750s include miscellaneous business papers of William Dabney, including correspondence with Morgan, Thomas, & Co. of Bristol about tobacco and merchandise accounts. There are also various papers of William Dabney concerning the affairs of Esther Chiswell and Edward Ambler. There is additional correspondence with other Bristol shippers and also James Gildart of Liverpool, including itemized lists of general merchandise sent out to William Dabney and tobacco received from him. There are miscellaneous items involving Stephen Pettus, Peter Randolph, an unnamed blacksmith, William Dudley, Robert Jennings, John Wright, Charles Crenshaw, Peter Mason, William Winston, Jr., John Price, estates of William Morris and Henry Robinson, and others, referring mainly to business matters. There is a document, dated 6 March 1755, assigning William Dudley to be keeper of the Hanover County, Virginia, gaol under sheriff William Dabney. There is a list, dated 12 February 1755, of slaves and supplies "sent to Indian Creek" plantation. There is a letter, dated 16 April 1756, from William Winston, Jr. about paying a note (more about this in items dated April 1765). In a letter dated 28 November 1756 to William Dabney, Edward Ambler wrote mostly about hogs, tobacco, and other matters of business. In a letter dated 5 March 1759, Dudley Digges, Jr. at York County, Virginia, wrote to William Dabney about hogs, horses, and tobacco, and about supplies needed. In a letter dated 28 May 1759, Edward Ambler wrote to William Dabney about a shipment of salt for his plantation being imported by Ambler that he wanted Dabney to store for him.
Items from the 1760s consist mostly of business papers of William Dabney involving English firms, Virginia customers, and ships and their captains. There are numerous accounts, invoices, letters, bonds, notes, receipts, and memoranda.
There is an invoice, dated 31 March 1760, of a shipment from London consigned to Edward Ambler. In a letter dated 29 May 1760, Edward Ambler wrote to William Dabney mostly about plantation matters--the Mill Dam, summer work, Ambler's account with Dabney, ruined tobacco, and the purchase of a slave from a Guinea ship on the James River. In a letter dated 14 October 1760, Patrick Henry, Jr. wrote to William Dabney about transferring a note to Richard Ambler. Samuel Gildart at Liverpool wrote, in a letter dated 20 March 1761, to William Dabney about his shipping accounts and the dull tobacco market caused by Virginia vessels bound for London being diverted to France. There is a 1762 account of William Dabney with Johnson & Boswell, a detailed bill for merchandise showing amounts and prices. There is a letter dated 18 February 1762, from Edward Ambler to William Dabney discussing various business matters such as a land sale, an estate settlement, supplies, and tobacco. There is a bond, dated 20 February 1762, of William Dickenson to William Dabney and others to build a bridge over Taylors Creek for use of Hanover County residents. There are itemized accounts of William Dabney, 1763-1765, and correspondence with his English suppliers and Virginia customers. There are also a number of miscellaneous memoranda.
There are letters to William Dabney, dated 1765 to 1767, from Richard Ambler, James Buchanon & Co. of London, Edward Ambler (York and James Town, Virginia), and accounts, dealing mostly with business and merchandise. There are invoices of shipments of general merchandise from Farell & Jones of Bristol and James Gildart of Liverpool. There is an agreement of sale, dated 22 March 1766, of 800 acres in Louisa County, Virginia, by William Phillips to Edward Ambler of York County, through William Dabney of Hanover County.
In a letter dated 11 November 1766, Dudley Digges, Jr. at Williamsburg, Virginia, wrote to William Dabney about an unpaid debt to Dabney, offering young slaves in settlement. In letters dated 20 January and 3 October 1767, Robert Carter Nicholas (1728-1780) at Williamsburg, Virginia, treasurer of the Virginia Colony, wrote to William Dabney, enclosing Dabney's account and informing him of his duty to prosecute collections for all arrears. Edward Ambler, possibly to Charles Dabney, wrote about the melancholy prospects for his plantations, his overseer troubles, and related matters (14 July and 7 December 1767). There is a list of slaves (ca.1768) born 1765-1768 on Edward Ambler's estate at plantations in Hanover County "since I took possession."
There are numerous papers of William Dabney and also of his son Charles, who apparently assumed increasing responsibility for his father's affairs: these include accounts, deeds, and receipts, but mainly letters and papers relating to the plantation affairs of Edward Ambler at James Town. There is a letter dated 15 December 1768 from Ambler's widow, Mary, about her late husband's business. There are some items relating to William and Charles Dabney and their business transactions with George Bartlett and John Boswell. There are two letters, January and February 1769, from William Nelson at Yorktown, Virginia, to William Dabney about plantation matters being handled by Dabney and his son Charles.
In a letter dated 22 March 1769, Robert Carter Nicholas at Williamsburg, Virginia, requested William Dabney to appraise and inventory the Edward Ambler estate in Hanover and Louisa counties. There is a letter, dated 1 April 1769, from John Blair, Jr. and Mary Ambler to Charles Dabney at Taylor's Creek about the Ambler estate business in Dabney's hands and especially about a report from a slave of the cruelty of the present owner; there is also the draft of Dabney's reply in defense of the overseer. There are letters from April 1769 to William Dabney from George Dabney and Jane Dabney, mostly about health, weather, personal news, and business matters. There are also more miscellaneous accounts and receipts and memoranda on cash and crops. In a letter, dated 20 December 1769, Mary Ambler at James Town wrote to Charles Dabney about the business of transferring her hogs, beef, mutton, and slaves from Hanover to James Town.
Items from 1770 to 1775 include various business papers of Charles Dabney relating to plantation affairs, the Ambler estate, and the William Dabney estate; correspondence and accounts with British shippers; and miscellaneous accounts, receipts, and other scattered business papers.
In a letter dated 3 March 1770, William Morris wrote to Charles Dabney about the enclosed will of Esther Chiswell, by which Morris thought he had a claim to William Dabney's estate. There are other papers relating to the estate of William Dabney, including items of his widow Ann (Barret) Dabney, James Dabney, Joseph Dabney, and others, including accounts, receipts, and other business papers.
In a letter dated 4 February 1771, Mary Ambler wrote to Charles Dabney about sending the year's supply of baby clothes for slaves, and discussing other plantation matters. There are also letters from Thomas and Rowland Hunt of London and from Robert Carter Nicholas at Williamsburg, discussing mostly business matters.
There is a certificate, dated 17 June 1772, concerning the reward allowed for returning a runaway slave from the Ambler estate. There is an agreement, dated 21 August 1772, between Charles Dabney and Ancel Clarkson, that Clarkson would be overseer on a tobacco plantation of the Ambler estate on shares; there is another agreement, also dated 21 August 1772, with Charles Nicholls to be overseer on a different plantation. There are letters, dated 2 November and 27 December 1772, from Mrs. Ambler at Williamsburg to Charles Dabney, mostly about supplies for and the general welfare of her slaves.
For the year 1773 there are bills, receipts, and accounts for shoes, merchandise, blacksmith work, crops, and similar matters. There are bonds of Charles Dabney to Donald, Scot, & Co. of Glasgow, Scotland, and to William Nelson. In a letter dated 19 March 1773, Mary Ambler wrote to Charles Dabney mostly about her plantation. There is George Holland's physician's account for the years 1772 and 1773. In a letter of 25 August 1773, John Barret wrote to Charles Dabney, regretting he could not acquire a hammer for Dabney because of the scarcity of iron. In a letter dated 4 September 1773, Robert Carter Nicholas at Williamsburg, Virginia, asked Charles Dabney to investigate charges of cruelty which were brought against one of his overseers, noting that "few common overseers are to be trusted." In a letter dated 9 September 1773, George Clough at Rocky Mill, Virginia, wrote to Charles Dabney that he was taking in wheat. In a letter dated 16 September 1773, George Dabney, Jr. discussed how he was handling recently sawed lumber.
There are account statements, dated 1773 and 1774, for the Edward Ambler estate with John Syme at Rocky Mill. There are documents dated 19 January 1774, relating to the division of slaves from William Dabney's estate, agreed upon by the legitees: George, Charles, Susanna, Robert, and Samuel Dabney. There are various additional Dabney and Ambler estate papers such as receipts and business notes. There are business papers that were exchanged between the Dabneys and Charles Crenshaw and Robert Anderson in regard to the settling of the estate of William Dabney. In a letter dated 29 June 1774, Zachariah Stanley at Philadelphia wrote to a (Dabney?) friend; he mentioned smallpox in Yorktown, Virginia, a journey, and plans for farming. In a letter dated 1 November 1774, John Barrett at Richmond, Virginia, wrote to Charles Dabney mostly about merchandise and also his wife's illness. In notes dated 17 November 1774 and 20 December 1774, Thomas Hinds advised [the Dabneys?] about the ulcerated throat of "Ben." There are physicians accounts, 1774-1775, including Dr. George Holland's bill to Robert Dabney for treatment of the Ambler slaves. There is an account statement of Samuel Dabney with Spevis Bowman & Co., for dealing with Robert Burton.
For the years 1776 to 1783, there are military papers of Charles Dabney in his capacity as an officer in the 2nd Virginia State Regiment (infantry); also letters to him from his brother George Dabney; and miscellaneous business papers.
There are papers dated 1777 and 1778 relating to the 2nd Virginia, including notes about provisions and pay statements. In a letter dated 4 March 1776, Harry Tompkins requested from Charles Dabney a list of Dabney's men who took the oath of allegiance. There are payroll statements of Charles Dabney's company of minute men. [A number of these items are photoprints only, of originals which are apparently deposited in the Virginia Historical Society Library.]
There is a contract, dated 22 February 1778, between Charles Dabney and John Hogan, waggoner, for one year. There are letters, dated 22 July and 24 October 1778, from George Dabney at Hanover, Virginia, to Charles Dabney, lieutenant colonel, 2nd Virginia Battalion, discussing home news, health of family members, rumors of French aid, prospects for corn and other plantation matters.
There are additional military reports and papers from 1779 and more letters from George Dabney at Hanover to Charles Dabney, mentioning affairs at home, such as mounting prices and increasing scarcities, taxes, crops, and Anne Dabney's cancer. In a letter dated 21 April 1779, Samuel Dabney at Cub Creek, Louisa County, wrote to Charles Dabney mostly about family and personal matters. In a letter, dated 21 April 1779, Robert Morris wrote to Charles Dabney, mostly about the waggoning business they were mutually engaged in. In a letter, dated 4 August 1779, George Dabney wrote to Charles Dabney, mentioning the legislature's attempt to regulate inflationary prices. There is the will of Anne Dabney, dated 20 December 1779.
There is a land patent (photostat only) dated 3 March 1780, to Charles Dabney for a tract in Nelson County, Virginia. Additional material includes a blacksmith's bill and a deed. In a letter dated 22 February 1780, John Overton wrote to Charles Dabney about the organization of the two Virginia state regiments.
There is a photoprint of a letter dated 7 July 1781, from the Marquis de Lafayette, giving his account of recent action and directions for future action. There is a photoprint of a memorandum of the articles of capitulation of Charles Earl Cornwallis; also of a dinner invitation to Charles Dabney from George Washington. There are photoprints of other military papers relating to supplies and troops, as well.
For 1782, there are photoprints of military papers of Charles Dabney at Yorktown, Portsmouth, and Richmond, Virginia, chiefly relating to quartermaster business. There are communications with Alexander Dick, John Hudson, and others, mostly about business. There is Charles Dabney's financial account, 1775-1783, with John Barret, settled in 1791.
Materials from the period 1783 to 1800 include correspondence and business papers of Charles Dabney and, to some extent, of his brothers George, Robert, and Samuel Dabney, his sister Susanna Dabney, and his mother Anne Dabney. These are largely concerned with the acquisition and surveying of Kentucky lands granted as military bounties to Virginians serving in the Revolutionary army; general accounts with John Barret, Fenwick & Dabney, Puckett, Pollard & Johnston, and Micajah Crew; numerous notes and bonds and arrangements for exchanging them, paying them, and renewing them; the settling of estates; and miscellaneous deeds for lands and slaves, and bills and receipts.
There is a bond dated 22 July 1783 from Charles Dabney to John Syme at Hanover County, Virginia. In a letter (photostat) dated 21 October 1783, J. Hudson at Richmond wrote to an unidentified person about a business deal involving the disposition of a ship--timber and coals. There is a bill of sale, dated 6 December 1783, for a slave sold by William Phillips to Charles Dabney. There is an account dated 17 December 1783 of Charles Dabney with John Barret & Co. at Richmond.
There is a bond dated 1784 of George, Charles, Robert, and Samuel Dabney to Samuel Nicholas. There are true copies of certificates relating to certain tracts, and Charles Dabney's military warrants.
There are bonds dated 1785 involving Charles and George Dabney, with Benjamin Forsythe, Wilson Miles Carey, and George Potter. There are several letters to Charles Dabney from his surveyors at Louisville and Danville, Kentucky, reporting on their activities in connection with surveying lands on the Cumberland River.
There are also additional business papers dated 1786 and 1787, including receipts, memoranda, and general merchandise accounts. In a letter dated 11 January 1787, a Mr. Mitchell wrote to Samuel Dabney about beef and news of a recent destructive fire in Richmond. There is a receipt, dated 5 July 1787, of Charles Dabney, for taxes and other accounts with the sheriff.
In a letter dated 3 April 1788, Samuel Nuckols wrote to George Dabney transferring an obligation of six pounds. There is a copy of resolutions of U.S. Congress, dated 17 July 1788, concerning bounties for Virginia soldiers south of the Ohio River, which nullified claims north of that river. In a letter dated 23 July 1788, George Dabney explained the status of and interest on a bond to General Nelson. There are additional business papers, mostly concerned with debts and notes.
There are business papers dated 1789 involving George and Charles Dabney, executors of William Dabney, a debt to Robert Nelson, a bond to William Nelson, and signatures of John Barret & Co., and George Dabney. There is a receipt for expenses, dated 29 August 1789, from W. Croghan at Louisville, Kentucky; there is a letter to Charles Dabney largely concerning the validity of land entries for tracts north of the Ohio River, including efforts to prompt decisions from Congress and the courts. There are papers (1789?) regarding a settlement among the Dabney family in regard to a sale of slaves. In a note dated 16 July 1790, Charles Dabney stated his debt of ten pounds to William Morris for a horse.
There is an agreement dated 14 April 1791, for the division of lands of Charles and Edward Johnston by George and Charles Dabney. There are also additional accounts, deeds, receipts, and bills of sale for slaves and land.
Items for the years 1792 to 1797 include business papers of Charles and Samuel Dabney (accounts, receipts, bills), and correspondence about legal entanglements connected with land in Kentucky. There is an account of the estate of Benjamin Dickenson, to Thomas Grubbs, with expenses for board, schooling, and clothes for the Dickenson children.
There is a certificate dated 6 August 1795 stating that John Pendleton was justice of the peace in Henrico County, Virginia, signed by James Wood, lieutenant governor of Virginia, on a document in which Charles Dabney gave Benjamin Forsythe power of attorney.
In a letter dated 29 August 1795, John Lee of Kentucky, wrote to Charles Dabney about arrangements and taxes for Kentucky lands. For the year 1795, there are additional bills of sale, bonds, and receipts for taxes. There is an account of Charles Dabney with Fenwick & Dabney, 1793-1797, stating interest to 1808. In a letter dated 13 January 1796, Abraham Chapline at Kentucky wrote to Charles Dabney about military bounty lands; the obligations of the Commonwealths of Virginia and Kentucky; and how to handle individual tracts. In a letter dated 2 June 1796, John Lee at Woodford County, Kentucky, wrote to Charles Dabney about land affairs which Lee managed for Dabney in Kentucky. In a letter dated 16 July 1796, William Dabney at Richmond, Virginia, wrote to his uncle, Charles Dabney, about various business matters. There are accounts and an appraisement of the estate of Susanna Dabney with Charles Dabney, 1796-1797. In letters dated 5 August and 15 December 1797, Charles Johnston at Richmond, Virginia, wrote to Charles Dabney about investing the latter's funds on the market and selling him a slave.
In a letter dated 31 January 1798, Edward Johnston informed Charles Dabney that he was sending 16 volumes of an encyclopedia by wagon (purchased from Archibald Currie, agent of Thomas Dobson who published them in Philadelphia). In a letter dated 30 July 1798, Mathew Anderson wrote to Charles Dabney with instructions on the repair of a dwelling, fencing, and other matters of "Goldmine" plantation property. There is a two-year lease, dated 24 August 1798, of "Goldmine" to Zachariah Walden of Caroline, Virginia, drawn up by Charles Dabney as agent for Mathew Anderson. There is an agreement, dated 8 October 1798, of William Dabney, Jr. at Lexington, Kentucky, with George Bryant about Kentucky lands given to the former by Charles and George Dabney of Hanover, Virginia.
There are more accounts for 1799 of Charles Dabney with Micajah Crew and with Puckett, Pollard, & Johnston.
There is a letter dated 20 January 1800 from John Marshall, then in Congress, to Charles Dabney, commenting on the report of the secretary of war, the state of national finances, the notices for defense expenditures and unavoidable debt, and the infallibility of future resources of America. He argued that any reduction in the militia must be delayed as long as the French question was unresolved. There is a broadside, dated 26 May 1800, entitled "An Address to the Voters for Electors of President of the United States, in the State of Virginia," with a list of electors on the American Republican ticket. In a letter dated 31 May 1800, William Morris, Jr. wrote to James Henry, asking him to send on any passing wagon with whiskey for sale. There is a document, dated June 1800, relating to the estate of Benjamin Dickinson and Thomas Grubbs (who married Dickinson's widow). There are also miscellaneous bills and receipts of Charles and Samuel Dabney.
There is a letter dated 3 July 1801 from Charles Johnston at Richmond, to Charles Dabney about stock purchased for Dabney; there is a memorandum of Richard Morris dated 7 July 1826, about money left in George Dabney, Sr.'s desk. There are documents related to land, including leases, sales, claims; a promissory note, and a bond to William Morris, Sr.
There are letters dated 3 February and 19 August 1802 from James Dabney to Charles Dabney, describing in detail the financial plight. There are also miscellaneous receipts to Samuel Dabney. There are fire insurance policies, dated 24 February 1802, on plantation buildings of Charles Dabney at Hanover, Virginia.
In a letter, dated 14 September 1803, Thomas Price at Woodland, Virginia, wrote to Charles Dabney (?) about religion and his own disbelief.
There are items dated March 1804 relating to the court case Henry v. Joyce. There is a deed, dated 9 June 1804, of Samuel and wife Jane Dabney to Charles Dabney for some Hanover County land. In a letter dated 15 July 1804, J. Moore at Lexington, Kentucky, wrote to Charles Dabney about Morris's embarrassment arising from having gone on a note from William Dabney, Jr. In a letter dated 13 October 1804, Frank Dabney at Pittsylvania Court House, Virginia, wrote to his uncle, Charles Dabney, reporting on his progress in practicing law and expressing appreciation for the latter's help.
For the year 1805, there are mostly business papers of Charles Dabney, but also some of Samuel Dabney, including a deed for land, a receipt for bank shares, accounts for merchandise, bills, and receipts. John Dabney at Campbell County, Virginia, wrote to his uncle Charles Dabney about business and family matters. In a document dated 28 December 1805, Charles Dabney assigned power of attorney to Charles Dabney, Jr. for handling stocks and related business matters of the Bank of Virginia. There is a memorandum concerning an evaluation of property for the Mutual Insurance Company.
For the year 1806, in addition to miscellaneous business papers, there is a letter dated 23 March from E. Winston to Charles Dabney in regard to Patrick Henry manuscripts sent to Dabney for the use of Mr. Wirt--hoping that some parts would remain unpublished.
In a letter dated 14 March 1807, Jane Dabney wrote to Elizabeth Price at Woodland, Virginia, about the activities of young people. In an affidavit dated 24 July 1807, Samuel Richardson denied the unpatriotic pro-British sentiment which rumor said Charles Dabney expressed to Richardson and which Richardson had allegedly repeated to Charles Goodall. In a letter dated 8 August 1807, Charles Johnston at Richmond explained to Charles Dabney the present refunding of government bonds. An 1807(?) statement refuted the rumor that Charles Dabney had neglected his sick soldiers. There are items relating to Charles Dabney's withdrawal from the Mutual Assurance Society, both for buildings of the State of Virginia and for those in his own name.
There are letters, dated 1809, from Charles Dabney, Jr., at Richmond, to his uncle Charles Dabney about business he attended to there for the latter; he advised against investing in the James River Company, except for a return in the remote future. In a letter dated 1 October 1809, Richard Dabney at Louisa, Virginia, wrote to his uncle Charles Dabney about plans for his school course and for eventually studying natural science.
For 1813, there is a plat of a farm on Cub Creek, Virginia, and other property owned by Charles Dabney. There are a series of bills and receipts kept by John D. Andrews in account with Richmond merchants and other Virginians, apparently on behalf of Charles Dabney.
There is also Jane Dabney's account with Charles Dabney, for the years 1812 to 1814. In personal letters dated 20 and 24 February 1814, Charles Dabney, Jr., at Salem and Abingdon, Virginia, wrote to Betsy Dabney, describing his horseback trip westward through Virginia on his way to attend business in Nashville, Tennessee, and Lexington, Kentucky. In a letter dated 20 April 1814, William Dabney, Jr., at Richmond, wrote to his sister about a dress he purchased for her and other family matters. In a letter dated 20 June 1814, Elizabeth Dabney at Raleigh, North Carolina, wrote to Mrs. Elizabeth Dabney at Louisa County, Virginia, describing how happy she was in Raleigh, mentioning the Academy, students, and financial arrangements with her brothers. There is a letter (fragment) dated 5 September 1814, from Camp Fairfield about hardships of the soldiers, the writer's attempts to get a substitute for himself, and his needs.
In a letter dated 22 April 1815, Frank Dabney at Danville, Virginia, wrote to his mother, Jane Dabney, at Jacksonville, Louisa County, Virginia, of his brother Samuel Dabney's family, Samuel's wife Mildred Dabney dying of consumption, and his recent trip. There is a bond, dated 6 June 1815, of William, George, and Charles Dabney to William Morris, Sr. for 40 pounds. In a letter dated 1 July 1815, Frank Dabney at Danville to his sister Mildred M. Dabney at Jacksonville, Virginia, reporting the death of Mildred Dabney, and other family news. In a letter dated 23 August 1815, Elizabeth T. Dabney wrote to her brother (unnamed), mentioning members of the family and telling of her teaching situation under a Mr. Truehart. In a letter dated 29 October 1815, Alexander Balmain at Winchester, Virginia, aged 77, wrote to Charles Dabney at Hanover, Virginia, requesting Dabney to take his place at a meeting of the Society of the Cincinnati at Richmond in December, and advising Dabney of his (Balmain's) wishes in regard to the distribution of the Society's charitable funds. In a letter dated 23 November 1815, Samuel Dabney wrote to his mother Jane Dabney, telling of his plans to move his slaves to Tennessee along with himself and eventually, family, except Martha who would remain at school in Salem, Virginia.
There is a document dated 1817 that granted power of attorney from Charles Dabney to Frank Dabney at Richmond, to handle certificates of debt due from the U.S. Government. There is a letter dated 26 September 1817, from Frank Dabney at Richmond to Mildred Dabney, telling of the opening of the New Eagle Hotel, and family, and personal matters.
There are three letters dated 1818 from John T. Dabney at the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, to his mother Jane Dabney at Louisa County, Virginia, and to his sister Miss Elizabeth Dabney; mentioned is the death of a Dr. Wistar; the contrast between Philadelphians and Virginians; that William Minor was about to return to Virginia with his M.D., and other news. 23 July 1818, Robert Pollard at Richmond to Charles Dabney about investments and banking. In a letter dated 26 November 1818, Alexander Balmain at Winchester wrote to Charles Dabney at Richmond about the disposition of the Society of Cincinnati's funds, in order of preference: the Episcopal Seminary; the University of Virginia near Charlottesville; and Washington College at Lexington, Virginia. There is a deed dated 14 December 1818, for Kentucky land from Charles Dabney to his nephew Charles Dabney, Jr. There are miscellaneous business papers including bills and accounts of Jane Dabney.
Writing in a letter dated 3 January 1819, John T. Dabney at Port Royal, Montgomery County, Tennessee, described to his sister, Miss Mildred M. Dabney at Louisa County, Virginia, his stay with Dr. Hopson, the people in Tennessee, their easy manners, and other details. In a letter, dated 8 January 1819, Frank Dabney at Richmond wrote to Richard Dabney about business matters there. There is an account statement dated 1 February 1819 between Jane Dabney and Dabney & Price. In a letter dated 18 May 1819, Robert [son of Robin] Dabney at Fort Claiborne, Arkansas Territory, asked his uncle Charles Dabney to pay for the purchase of a place in Arkansas, as his leather had not yet come into market. There are forms for proxies for an annual meeting of the directors of the Bank of Virginia.
There is an agreement dated 3 May 1820 of William Dabney (?), Charles Dabney (?), and Richard Morris, Jr. in regard to the support of their sister Miss Catharine after the death of William Morris, Sr. (Charles Dabney was the agent for this arrangement.) There are more accounts of Jane Dabney with Charles Dabney, scattered deeds, and miscellaneous receipts. In a letter dated 14 June 1820, John T. Dabney at Port Royal, Tennessee, wrote to Charles Dabney, Jr. at Louisa County, Virginia, about purchasing the latter's claim to Kentucky lands, mentioning family news and inquiries. In a letter dated 26 December 1820, Frank Dabney at Meriville, Kentucky, to Charles Dabney, described the land and its yield--tobacco and corn; and the fortunate situation of brother Samuel Dabney seven miles from Clarksville.
In a letter dated 25 April 1822, Elizabeth Dabney described to a brother plans to take trips in Virginia when the school at which she was teaching was out of session. In a letter, dated 17 July 1822, W. F. Micou at Richmond inquired of Charles Dabney about the claim of his wife's grandfather, John Lee of Essex, to Kentucky lands. There is a letter dated 5 September 1822, an inquiry by Richmond Terrell concerning a land claim on the basis of his father William Terrill's service as a lieutenant during the American Revolution. There is a bill to Barbara W. Pettus for her son Samuel Pettus's board, books, and shoes for one year with Samuel Mosby.
In a letter dated 26 April 1824, John T. Dabney at Montgomery, Tennessee, wrote to his uncle Charles Dabney, Sr., giving his complete financial history since he came to Tennessee to practice medicine and asking for a loan; he mentioned other family members, including his wife, a daughter of Governor Willie Blount (1768-1835); there are also statements from John Dabney's brother Samuel Dabney and his relative Charles Meriwether that they would secure the loan.
In a letter dated 28 January 1825, Charles Dabney, Jr. wrote with advice to his son Charles William Dabney (usually addressed as William) at school at William Nelson's. There is an agreement of partnership of Woodruff (?) and Frank Dabney at St. Francisville, dated 10 April 1825. In a letter dated 11 July 1825, Dr. Carter Berkeley at Edgewood wrote to John D. Andrews, agent of Charles Dabney, Sr., about the latter's recent illness, present health, and account. In a letter dated 5 August 1825, nephew Dr. Charles Dabney sent Charles Dabney, Sr. detailed instructions for taking care of his ailments.
There is a typed copy of a letter dated 26 July 1826 from Judge John Marshall to Charles Dabney, stating that Congress's liberality included the Continental Line only and did not extend to the 1st and 2nd Virginia State Regiments. In a letter dated 22 September 1826, H. R. Lewis and Mildred Lewis suggested to their nephew Charles William Dabney that he should teach in their neighborhood the next year. There is an agreement, dated 22 September 1826, between William Richardson and John D. Andrews for Richardson's land to be worked on shares for 1827. (Andrews was apparently handling Charles Dabney, Sr.'s affairs.)
For the years 1827 to 1833, there are miscellaneous bills and accounts, chiefly of Barbara Pettus and John D. Andrews, for supplies, physician's services, drugs, and merchandise. In a letter, dated 25 August 1828, Will Broadus at Culpeper wrote to Charles Dabney, asking advice about the status of his claim as a state militia man in the Revolutionary War to land bounties granted to the Continental Line by the U.S. Government and to the state militia by the state legislature. In a document dated 15 November 1828, Charles Dabney, Jr. and Elizabeth Dabney, at Louisa County, Virginia, granted power of attorney to Charles William Dabney in regard to their Kentucky land claims. In a letter dated 30 September 1829, Mildred M. Lewis gave an account of her religious experience. There is an 1830 paper relating to the hiring of Barbara W. Pettus's slaves. There is an inventory and appraisement, dated 7 January 1830, of Charles Dabney's personal estate, by three commissioners, William Wingfield, Bellamy Vaughan, and John D. Andrews, under order of the Hanover Court. There are at least five letters from Charles Dabney at Louisa, Virginia, to his son Charles William Dabney at Hanover, Virginia, in which he advised the latter about plantation business and specific practical problems such as the care of saddles, slaves, and wheat crops. In a letter dated 20 August 1830, John D. Andrews wrote to Charles William Dabney at Hanover about supplying shoes and about his hope to marry Dabney's cousin Eugenia [Price?]. There is an agreement on rent, dated 16 August 1830, between Charles Barret and John M. Price.
For the years 1831 to 1833 there are occasional letters from Charles Dabney to Charles William Dabney, mostly about personal, family, and plantation matters. In a letter, dated 6 December 1831, Mrs. M. W. Morris wrote to Charles William Dabney, mostly about business matters.
There is a letter dated 20 January 1832 from Elizabeth Dabney to her brother, written from Washington, D.C., where she was stranded due to snow, on her way home from Baltimore, trying to make plans for Edmund Dabney, who was very ill. There is correspondence from February 1832 between Charles Dabney and Charles William Dabney mostly about plantation matters; the latter was admitted to the bar around this time. There are four letters dated May 1832 from Charles Dabney to Betsey, his wife, while he was in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington; he described his journey by stage to Richmond, by ship to Baltimore, and by ship and horse-car to Philadelphia for the Presbyterian Assembly; he also described Philadelphia, the business of the Assembly, and the trip home.
In a letter from 1833, Elizabeth Dabney wrote to her son, Charles William Dabney, chiefly about home news from Louisa County. In a letter dated 7 April 1833, Reuben Lewis wrote to Charles William Dabney for help in obtaining the pedigree of a mare he recently bought. In a letter dated 27 July 1833, Charles Dabney wrote to Charles William Dabney, mentioning a wheat harvester and a meeting of Goochland and Louisa Railroad stockholders. There is a notice, from September 1833, of the death of Charles Dabney of Louisa County, Virginia. There is the will, dated 11 November 1833, of Charles Dabney. In a letter dated 22 November 1833, Reuben Lewis wrote to Charles William Dabney, mentioning the funeral of Charles Dabney. There are papers, dated 26 December 1833, relating to the estate of Samuel Dabney (Frank Dabney, executor).
Undated material prior to 1834 consists mostly of numerous miscellaneous business receipts.
Subseries 1.2. (1834-1860) Papers for the years 1834-1842 are chiefly those of Charles William Dabney at Montpelier, Hanover County, Virginia, his brother Robert Lewis Dabney, and their mother Elizabeth Dabney at Louisa County, Virginia.
In a letter dated 17 February 1834, Reuben Lewis wrote to Charles William Dabney, mostly about plantation matters and miscellaneous business. In a letter dated 28 March 1834, Andrew Stevenson (1784-1857) wrote to Charles William Dabney, acknowledging receipt of a pension case to be looked into and commenting on the coming elections and politics. In a letter dated 12 October 1834, John A. Morris wrote to Charles William Dabney about plantation and personal affairs. In a note, dated 19 October 1834, James Fontaine at Taylor's Creek, invited Charles William Dabney to his wedding. In a letter of 18 November 1834, Robert L. Dabney, aged 14, wrote to his older brother Charles William Dabney about plantation and family news.
For the years 1836 to 1837, there are six letters from Charles William Dabney to Robert Lewis Dabney at Hampden-Sydney College, Prince Edward County, in which he discussed social life, crops, the death of Samuel Pettus, family news, and much abstract and theoretical advice about life, society, and philosophy. In a letter dated 3 July 1837, Francis A. Williamson in Cincinnati, Ohio, wrote to Charles William Dabney, lecturing on phrenology, giving Dabney flattering opinions and asking for news of Elizabeth Wingfield with whom he had tried to elope. In a letter dated 13 September 1837, Mildred M. Lewis at Hardin's Tavern, Virginia, wrote to her sister Miss Elizabeth Dabney at Jackson, Louisa County, Virginia, chiefly about orphaned relatives who were turned over to Col. and Mrs. Johnson of Tennessee [John Dabney's children?]. In a letter dated 20 December 1837, Thomas Hord wrote to Charles William Dabney about Charles Dabney's Revolutionary War claims.
In a letter dated 27 June 1838, Lavinia Morrison at Blooming Green wrote to her sister Miss Mary Morrison at Charleston, [West] Virginia, about new songs, weddings, and other local events. In a letter dated 15 December 1838, from Mildred M. Lewis at Winchester, Tennessee (?), to her sister, Elizabeth T. Dabney at Louisa County, she described a trip through Kentucky and Tennessee and provided an account of the Meriwethers, Dabneys, and other relatives in that area.
For the years 1840 to 1842, there are 16 letters from Charles William Dabney at Louisa County, Virginia, to Robert Lewis Dabney at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, discussing plantation affairs, miscellaneous topics of current interest, and philosophical matters. There are two items relating to cousin J. Fontaine's personal bond to Charles William Dabney. In a letter, dated 10 July 1841, William B. Dabney at Richmond wrote to Charles William Dabney at Goochland, Virginia, about a law suit in connection with the Wharton estate. There is correspondence between Charles William Dabney, his cousin Harriet Richardson at Richmond, Virginia, and at Montrose, and cousin William L. King in the North, concerning the complicated legal and financial affairs of Harriet Richardson. Charles William Dabney apparently handled Harriet Richardson's business affairs for her and her family.
There are 1843 letters to Robert Lewis Dabney at Thompson's Cross Roads, Louisa County, Virginia, from Charles William Dabney and from Mildred Lewis at Hardin's Tavern, Virginia, with local news and descriptions of daily life. There are letters from William L. King to Charles William Dabney about law suits centering around the property of Harriet Richardson, and from Benjamin Watkins legatees, and E. F. Wickham, about business matters. There are also letters to Francis Dabney, mostly about business matters.
There are 1844 letters from Mildred M. Lewis at Valley Point, Virginia, to her sister Elizabeth T. Dabney at Thompson Cross Roads and to Robert L. Dabney about family and household news, visits, small trips, and illnesses. There are additional business items relating to the Benjamin Watkins estate and to Harriet Richardson's affairs. There are letters from Mildred Dabney, living with Mildred Lewis, to other members of the family, mostly about personal and family matters. There are also letters written by George Woodson Payne and Anne E. (Dabney) Payne about home and farm matters (Anne was a sister of Robert Lewis Dabney and Charles William Dabney). There are scattered items relating to Charles William Dabney's law practice. In a letter dated 1 December 1844, Charles William Dabney wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney at the Union Theological Seminary near Prince Edward Court House, Virginia, about personal matters.
There are, for the years 1845 to 1847, chiefly letters to Robert Lewis Dabney (at Seminary 1845-1846; at Thompsons Cross Roads, November 1846; at Barter Brook in Augusta County, Virginia, June 1847) from Charles William Dabney and from Mildred M. Lewis. Charles William Dabney's letters to his younger brother were a steady series through the years. They touched on every conceivable topic; besides being discursive they were verbose. There was also correspondence among other members of the family: Charles William Dabney at Montpelier, Virginia, Anne E. Payne, Mrs. Elizabeth Dabney, and George Woodson Payne at Thompsons Cross Roads, with mention of family news, neighborhood activity, crops and other farm matters, the death of Mildred Dabney in 1845, and miscellaneous family troubles. There are business letters to Charles William Dabney from: V. W. Southall at Charlottesville, Virginia, 5 October 1845; James A. Seddon at Washington, D.C., 27 January and 26 March 1846, about the claim of a constituent and also discussing national policy in regard to Oregon, etc.; William Seldon and Richard Randolph at Washington, D.C., February and March 1847, about the claim of Charles Dabney's heirs. Randolph explained that the claim could be honored only with the help of bribery and indirect methods; he discussed politics, the administration, the spoils system, and his own fees in cases.
In letters dated 27 April and 7 June 1847, Benjamin M. Smith at Staunton, Virginia, wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney, in regard to Dabney's being installed and ordained at Tinkling Springs (Presbyterian) Church and giving the text for Dabney's trial sermon. Robert Lewis Dabney at Augusta County, Virginia, in a letter to his sister Elizabeth Dabney, reported on his travels and visits with relatives. In a letter dated 3 August 1847, Charles William Dabney wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney at Barter Brook mostly about the wheat market. Other letters from Charles William Dabney to Robert Lewis Dabney and Mildred Lewis mention family, personal, and neighborhood matters. Charles William Dabney provided his brother with advice and personal philosophy.
Papers for 1848 are mostly of Robert Lewis Dabney at Barter Brook, Augusta County, Virginia, Charles William Dabney, and Mildred (Dabney) Lewis of Louisa County, Virginia. There are many letters from Charles William Dabney to Robert Lewis Dabney, and from Mildred (Dabney) Lewis to both brothers. These letters are concerned with Robert Lewis Dabney's marriage; Mildred Lewis's illness and the affairs and arrangements to which Charles William Dabney attended for her; the birth of a son to Charles William Dabney's wife on 11 May 1848; and Mildred (Dabney) Lewis's trip to Staunton in July 1848. There are also business letters to Charles William Dabney at Montpelier, Hanover County, Virginia, about legal cases and also about the Dabney claim against the U.S. Government for land due to Charles Dabney of the Revolutionary War. Among the correspondents were Dr. Thomas P. Shields at Cartersville, Virginia; Richard Randolph at Washington, D.C.; Philip H. Jones at Louisa Court House, Virginia; James A. Seddon at Richmond, Virginia; and Arthur A. Morson of Morson & Seddon, Richmond attorneys; and William L. King at New York, New York.
For 1849, there are several letters from Richard Randolph about the Dabney land claim, with comments about the spoils system and corruption in government. Among business correspondents were Thomas P. Shields, David Anderson, Jr., Lewis Webb, Philip H. Jones, and Frank Ballinger of Kentucky. They mentioned various aspects of plantation business and merchandising. In February 1849, Robert Lewis Dabney and Lavinia Dabney at Fisherville Post Office, Augusta County, Virginia, announced the birth of a son. In May 1849, Charles William Dabney wrote to other family members about a scandal involving his sister Ann's husband.
Items for the years 1850 to 1855 are mostly papers of Charles William Dabney at Hanover County, Virginia, and Robert Lewis Dabney at Augusta County, Virginia, including family correspondence; there are chiefly letters from Charles William Dabney to Robert Lewis Dabney, and also business letters to Charles William Dabney and other letters to Robert Lewis Dabney. A claim against the U.S. Government for pay due Charles Dabney from the Revolutionary War was settled. Mention is made of attempts to locate the heirs of Thomas Meriwether. Another child was born to Robert Lewis Dabney and Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney. There are a few letters from the Morrison family to Robert Lewis Dabney; also from Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney to him. These letters mention mostly personal and family matters. There are letters from James M. Winston, Thomas P. Shields, Richard Randolph, Philip H. Jones, and others, to the Dabneys, mostly about business matters.
In 1851, there are letters Charles William Dabney wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney about politics and his position in the sectional struggle. There are letters from Richard Randolph about the claim of James Meriwether's heirs. A letter dated 14 March 1851, from Charles William Dabney to Robert Lewis Dabney mentions a current Presbyterian church controversy (this is also mentioned in other letters) and also the Central Railroad's plans for his neighborhood. Subsequent letters discussed the advisability and possibility of publishing a pamphlet about relations between the North and the South. In a letter, dated 11 September 1851, James Morrison wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney about business of the Presbytery; he also wrote about family matters. There is a small broadside about the election in Hanover County, Virginia, of May 1852, with Charles William Dabney listed as the commonwealth's attorney. In a letter dated 14 November 1852, Charles William Dabney wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney, justifying slavery.
For 1854, there are letters to Robert Lewis Dabney at Hampden Sydney from Benjamin Mosby Smith, mostly at Philadelphia, about Presbyterian matters, and from James Morrison at "Bellevue," Rockbridge County, Virginia, about religious, personal, and family matters. In a letter dated 16 January 1855, John Samuels Caskie (1821-1869), U.S. House of Representatives, gave information about Texas land and about the state of politics.
In a letter, dated 26 February 1855, William L. King wrote to Charles William Dabney about family and personal affairs. Charles William Dabney commented, in a letter dated 1 April 1855, on the tendency of the age towards socialistic schemes for internal improvement. There are letters from James Morrison to Robert Lewis Dabney about church, family, and political matters, including his negative sentiments about Catholicism. A letter dated 25 June 1855 is the first of a series of California letters that continued intermittently to 1875, from Billy Thomas Pate, formerly of Hanover County, Virginia, at Rabbit Creek, Sierra County, California, described his voyage from New York; several weeks spent in San Francisco; the economic situation; his venture into the mining business, building a hotel and a seed store; his life and work in California; the climate; hazards; the Chinese, Indians, tax-collectors, and other matters. In a note of June 1855, there is mention of the birth of Charles William Dabney (1855-1945) to Robert Lewis Dabney and Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney; from November 1855, there is news of the death of Robert and Lavinia's son, James Dabney. In a letter dated 17 November 1855, Charles H. Shield described the terrible losses in Norfolk, Virginia, after three months of a yellow fever epidemic.
Papers from 1856 are primarily letters and business items of Robert Lewis Dabney and Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney and of Charles William Dabney, dealing chiefly with personal, family, religious, and business matters. There are letters dated March and April 1856 from John S. Reese at Baltimore, mostly about a new fertilizer he was experimenting with and selling. In a letter dated 2 June 1856, C. P. Higgason (or Higginson) at the General Land Office, Washington, wrote to Charles W. Dabney chiefly about business matters, with comments on Virginia and national politics. In a letter dated 3 December 1856, Billy Thomas Pate at San Francisco wrote about politics and the great excitement associated with it; the Vigilance Committee's activities, business conditions, and morals. There are also letters from James Morrison as he traveled in the Deep South for his health, mostly about the Presbyterian church and local matters.
Many letters of 1857 from James Morrison refer to a conflict with his congregation. In a letter, dated 18 April 1857, James Morrison provided a full explanation of his view of the controversy. In a letter dated 20 June 1857, Samuel Brown wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney about the same controversy. In a letter, dated 8 December 1857, James Morrison at Selma, Alabama, commented on the meeting of the Methodist Conference there. In a letter, dated 19 March 1857 at San Francisco, Billy Thomas Pate wrote of his large legal practice in connection with land titles and divorces. Charles P. Higgason, of the General Land Office, Washington, wrote about Virginia and national politics. St. George Gregg wrote to Charles William Dabney about the latter's political defeat. There are also letters from D. Graham, William L. King, and James G. Mapes. There is a letter dated 14 June 1857 from Thomas M. Howell at Canandaigua, New York, to Charles William Dabney, mostly about politics and sectionalism. There are also additional family letters.
There are numerous 1858 letters to Robert Lewis Dabney, Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney, and Charles William Dabney. These include items from Billy Thomas Pate at San Francisco, 4 January 1858, on general conditions in California, the new governor, and land business; 4 April 1858, about a fugitive slave case; 4 July 1858, about new gold at Frazer River taking Californians away; 5 September 1858, mostly about California politics. James Morrison wrote at Selma, Alabama, to Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney and Robert Lewis Dabney; also at Bellevue, Rockbridge County, in July, and at Christianburg in December. C. P. Higginson [there is an inconsistency in the papers as to the spelling of his name] wrote on politics, office-seeking, and land business; 22 March 1858, on matters before the Congress, and a discussion of the Kansas question. Charles William Dabney evidently was seeking appointment as a foreign consul. There are occasional letters from William L. King at New York, chiefly about business matters. J. A. Cowardin at Richmond, 7 July 1858, described Cobbs Island, Accomack County, Virginia, as a good place for manly men but not suitable for women. There are several letters from Charles William Dabney to Robert Lewis Dabney, mostly about personal and family matters. In a letter dated 27 December 1858, he mentioned plans for a meeting to design a new church.
Letters for the years 1859 and 1860 are mostly to Robert Lewis Dabney, Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney, and Charles William Dabney from friends and relatives; they discuss family, personal, and political matters. Charles William Dabney resided during this time at "Aldingham," Montpelier, Virginia; Robert Lewis Dabney at Hampden-Sydney; James Morrison at Christianburg, Montgomery County, Virginia; with occasional sojourns at "Bellevue," Virginia.
In a letter dated 19 September 1859, Billy Thomas Pate at San Francisco wrote about politics, the duel between Judge David S. Terry and senator David Colbreth Broderick (1820-1859), and Pate's own enterprises and political activities. 30 December 1859, E. Littell of the Living Age wrote to Charles William Dabney evidently in answer to Dabney's statement of pro-unionism, commenting on the sectional struggle, blaming it on the politicians, and doubting whether Governor Henry Wise (1806-1876) was "not insane."
In a letter, dated 13 January 1860, Billy Thomas Pate at Sacramento, California, then a member of the state legislature, described electing Milton Slocum Latham (1827-1882) to fill the senate vacancy caused by the death of David Colbreth Broderick and giving an account of Latham's career. There is a photostat of Charles William Dabney's commission as a captain in the Virginia militia, dated 22 January 1860. There are several letters relating to a possible call to a New York City pulpit for Robert Lewis Dabney. There is also mention of the death of Willie Dabney, son of Charles William Dabney, crushed by a log.
Subseries 1.3. (1861-1865) Papers for the Civil War period consist mostly of family letters, discussing the war, personal and family matters, from James Morrison to Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney and Robert Lewis Dabney; from Charles William Dabney to Robert Lewis Dabney; correspondence between Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney and Robert Lewis Dabney; business letters to Charles William Dabney from B. F. Watson and B. W. Richardson at Richmond, and from Henry C. Spicer, overseer, at one of Dabney's plantations; also letters, 1864-1865, to Robert Lewis Dabney relating to his manuscript biography of Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson.
Items for 1861 are mostly correspondence between Charles William Dabney, Robert Lewis Dabney, Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney, and James Morrison, with some military papers. In a letter dated 18 January 1861, Elizabeth ("Betty") Dabney wrote to her brother Robert Lewis Dabney about the household servants, domestic news, and the gloomy state of national affairs. In a letter dated 30 January 1861, James Morrison at Christianburg wrote to Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney about personal and family matters. In a letter dated 14 February 1861, B. W. Richardson at Richmond, Virginia, wrote to Charles Dabney about state politics, the safety of an unnamed bridge, and fashions. In a letter dated 14 March 1861, Charles William Dabney wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney about public affairs, divine providence, and the household servants. In a letter, dated 23 April 1861, Elizabeth Dabney wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney that Charles William Dabney's company, the "Patrick Henry Riflemen", had been ordered to Richmond; she also mentioned the States Rights Convention in Richmond and plans for the Dabney family in the event of a lengthy war. In a letter, dated 1 May 1861, Charles William Dabney at "Camp of Instruction" [near Richmond] wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney about family matters and mentioned camp life. Dated 6 June 1861, there are special orders to Robert Lewis Dabney, chaplain in the 18th Virginia Volunteer Regiment under Colonel Robert E. Withers, "by order of Maj. Genl. [Robert E.] Lee," signed by Richard Garnett (1817-1863); also special orders (a travel pass) dated 10 June 1861, "by order of Brigadier General [Pierre Gustave Toutant] Beauregard," signed by Thomas Jordan. There are letters from James Morrison at Christianburg, and "Bellevue," Virginia, to Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney at Hampden Sydney, Virginia, mostly about family matters. In a letter, dated 18 June 1861, James wrote that Rutherford Morrison had survived the engagement at Phillippi, [West] Virginia, unharmed, but had lost all his clothes except those he was wearing; in a letter, dated 25 September 1861, he mentioned a visit he made to Monterrey, Highland County, Virginia, also Rutherford Morrison, Colonel Robert Frederick Baldwin of the 31st Virginia Militia Regiment, and his desire to see his sons educated before he died; in a letter of 18 November 1861 he also mentioned that his son Samuel Morrison had joined the 58th Virginia Infantry Regiment as regimental surgeon; another son, Robert Morrison, had also joined the Confederate army. There are letters from Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney at Hampden-Sydney to Robert Lewis Dabney about her duty, the family, finding a servant for him, gardening, and agricultural work. There are also letters from Robert Lewis Dabney to Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney at Hampden Sydney: 1 July 1861, at Fairfax Court House, Virginia, about the situation in camp, and his health; 20 July 1861 at Manassas, Virginia, with details of the engagement at Blackburn's Ford on 18 July 1861; 5 September 1861 at Manassas, on his way home having resigned, about the pay of chaplains, and rampant illnesses in the 18th Virginia Regiment. There are also letters from Charles William Dabney at Aldingham, Montpelier, Virginia, to Robert Lewis Dabney, with plans to evacuate his family. There are letters from Charles William Dabney in the Virginia Peninsula as a captain in the 15th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment to Robert Lewis Dabney, serving with the 18th Virginia Volunteer Infantry, mentioning in a letter of 19 July 1861 the latter's friend, general Daniel Harvey Hill (1821-1889); in a letter of 24 August 1861, he discussed soldiering and a rumor that general John Bankhead Magruder (1810-1871) had requested a transfer which would leave Daniel Harvey Hill in charge; 20 October 1861, about the kindness of Magruder, his (Dabney's) desire for promotion to the rank of major, and the 15th Virginia Regiment being down to 280-300 effectives. 3 September and 2 October 1861, Garrett F. Watson at Richmond to Charles William Dabney about the latter's investments and his business account with Ludlow and Watson.
For 1862, items include family correspondence of Robert Lewis Dabney, Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney, James Morrison and his wife [name unstated], and Charles William Dabney near Yorktown, Virginia. There are 16 letters from Charles William Dabney to Robert Lewis Dabney, mostly about family matters, the war, and financial arrangements. In a letter, dated 22 April 1862, James Morrison at an unknown location to Robert Lewis Dabney at Hampden-Sydney requested the latter to use his influence with general Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson to secure Rutherford Morrison's transfer from infantry service to Turner Ashby's cavalry, with a mention of Mrs. Jackson. There are several letters, May-June 1862, from Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney at the Union Theological Seminary to Robert Lewis Dabney serving in the field on Jackson's staff, mostly about personal and family matters and the effects of the war. In a letter, dated 22 May 1862, she mention the arrival in Farmville, Virginia, of refugees from Fredericksburg and Richmond. There are several personal letters from James Morrison to Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney about family matters and the death of Tommy Dabney.
Items for the year 1863 include family letters and financial arrangements for the families in war time. There are nine letters from Charles William Dabney at Aldingham, Montpelier, Virginia, to Robert Lewis Dabney at Hampden-Sydney, Virginia, mostly about family matters, the war, and business matters. There are letters to Charles William Dabney at Aldingham from Henry C. Spicer, an overseer, and from B. W. Richardson and G. F. Watson, both at Richmond, about business affairs. In a letter, dated 23 October 1863, Robert Lewis Dabney wrote to an unidentified person about personal news from the Synod.
Items from 1864 include Dabney family correspondence and letters regarding the manuscript biography of Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson written by Robert Lewis Dabney. (See also Series 3 for additional related materials.) In a letter dated 13 February 1864, Robert Lewis Dabney at Henry Court House, Virginia, wrote to Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney about details of plantation affairs. Letters dated July 1864 from Lavinia (Morrison) Dabney to Robert Lewis Dabney mention family and personal matters; Robert Lewis Dabney, in an August letter to Lavinia, described the bad road conditions on his way home. There are many references during this period to Robert Lewis Dabney's work on the life of Jackson. There is a letter, dated 7 April 1864, from William Brown at Richmond to Robert Lewis Dabney about the book. There are also letters from Henry C. Spicer, the overseer, and scattered family letters, with mention of plantation and personal matters. There is correspondence dating from May to August 1864 involving Robert Lewis Dabney as author; this includes exchanges between Robert Lewis Dabney and James Nisbet & Co., publishers, at London (who were then undertaking an English edition of Dabney's biography of Jackson); and involving Mathew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873), who was then attempting to make the best financial arrangements for Mary Anna (Morrison) Jackson, but who appears to have confused and delayed the issue; also William Chalmers, editor, at London, who was seeing the manuscript through the press for Nisbet; Dr. Hoge, who had the manuscript at one time in England; and A. Minis, a Richmond publisher.
Items from 1865 are mostly scattered letters to Robert Lewis Dabney regarding personal and business matters. In a letter dated 16 January 1865, Mary Anna (Morrison) Jackson at Cottage Home (Virginia or North Carolina?) wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney at Hampden-Sydney, Virginia, about her trip to Raleigh, North Carolina, and, with comments and suggestions, about Dabney's biography of Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson. Benjamin Mosby Smith at Hampden-Sydney, Virginia, wrote about the Session, in which he had been asked to supply Robert Lewis Dabney without compensation even while Dabney's salary continued. In a letter dated 14 September 1865, William Smith (1797-1887), ex-governor, ex-congressman, and ex-Confederate general, at Warrenton, Virginia, described the desolation of his home after the war, and his attempts at reconstruction.
Series 6. Volumes (1744-1940 and undated)
Subseries 6.1. (1744-1802) This subseries consists of account books, ledgers, daybooks, memoranda, and miscellaneous notes by William Dabney and Charles Dabney kept at various Virginia locations.
Volume 1 is an account book, 1744-1745, kept by William Dabney. This volume is chiefly an account of necessaries delivered to the poor of St. Martin's Parish, Virginia, during William Dabney's wardship. Volume 2 is an account book, 1745-1756, kept by William Dabney. This volume consists chiefly of accounts of profits and charges of the estate of William Morris, deceased, but also includes annual lists of tobacco crops. Volume 3 is an account book, 1760-1765, of the estate of Dudley Digges at Louisa County, Virginia. This volume consists of accounts of overseers, slave lists, and lists of share crops and supplies.
Volume 4 is an account book, 1760-1765, of the estate of Edward Ambler in Hanover and Louisa counties, Virginia. Volume 5 is an account book, 1767-1777, kept by Charles Dabney at Hanover County, Virginia. This volume includes accounts with Edward Ambler and his estate. Volume 6 is an account book, ca.1767, kept by Charles Dabney at Hanover County, Virginia. This volume includes accounts with Edward Ambler. Volume 7 is an account book, 1766-1769, kept by Charles Dabney at Hanover County, Virginia. This volume contains accounts with Edward Ambler's slaves, including lists of crops. Volume 8 is an account book, 1770-1777, kept by Charles Dabney at Hanover County, Virginia. This volume includes accounts with slaves of the estate of Edward Ambler. Volume 9 comprises slave, livestock and crop lists, 1772-1776, 1782-1784, 1789, from the estate of Edward Ambler.
Volume 10 is an account book, 1776-1777, kept by Charles Dabney at various Virginia locations. This volume contains miscellaneous accounts, but also includes lyric poetry about general Richard Montgomery (1738-1775) and his 1775 expedition to Canada, and quotations from Voltaire's "Age of Lewis [sic] XIV." Volume 11 is an account book, 1777-1791, kept by Charles Dabney. This volume also contains written music and a list of commissioned officers of the 2nd Virginia State Regiment and their counties of origin, ca. 1779. Volume 12 is a daybook, 1783-1787, kept by Charles Dabney at Hanover County, Virginia. This volume also contains a list of military certificates. Volume 13 is a daybook, 1784, kept for a blacksmith shop. Volume 14 is a daybook, 1785-1790, kept for a blacksmith shop of Charles Dabney. Volume 15 is a memorandum book, 1788-1791, kept by Charles Dabney for his plantation. Volume 16 is a ledger, 1789-1792, kept for a blacksmith shop of Charles Dabney at Hanover County, Virginia. This volume also contains an incomplete account of militia mobilization in 1775, mentioning Patrick Henry. Volume 17 is a daybook, 1791, kept for a blacksmith shop. Volume 18 is a daybook, 1792-1793, kept for a blacksmith shop. Volume 19 is a daybook, 1795-1797, kept for an unidentified blacksmith shop. Volume 20 is a daybook, 1797-1802, for a blacksmith shop.
Subseries 6.2. Volumes (1817-1850) This subseries contains sermon notes written by James Morrison, plantation notes by Charles William Dabney at Hanover County, Virginia, and extensive writings on Dabney and related family history.
Volume 21 contains sermons and sermon notes, 1817, 1820, 1822, 1825, and 1848, of James Morrison, pastor of New Providence Church, Rockbridge, Virginia. Volume 22 is a "Common place book," 1825-1831, kept by Charles William Dabney, Hanover County, Virginia. This volume comprises plantation notes, accounts, and diary-like entries about cures for ailments and weather conditions. Volume 23 is an account of family history. This volume is a photostat copy of James Morrison's 1850 copy of Joseph A. Logan's copy of clergyman William McPheeters's 1842 original, with notes added by each copyist. It contains only pages 34-68 of Morrison's copy. Volume 24 comprises typed transcriptions of a manuscript written by John Blair Dabney in 1850, with notes written by Charles William Dabney (1855-1945). This volume contains voluminous information concerning the Dabney and related families.
A list of omissions from the Charles W. Dabney Papers is provided on reel 5, frame 1032. Omissions include: Subseries 1.4-1.6. Correspondence and Business Papers, 1866-1945 and undated (ca. 1866-1945); Series 2. Additional Family Letters, 1872-1945 and undated; Series 3. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson Research Materials, 1819-1866 and undated (ca. 1945); Series 4. Memoirs of Charles William Dabney (manuscript); Series 5. Other Loose Papers, 1877-1941 and undated; Subseries 6.3. Volumes, 1878-1940 and undated (post-1865); and Series 7. Pictures, ca. 1861-1943 and undated. Descriptions of omitted materials are included with the introductory materials included with this collection.
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection is the Southern Education Board Papers. A related collection among the holdings of the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia, is the Dabney Family Papers.
Fredericks Hall Plantation Books, 1727-1863,
Hanover, Louisa, and York Counties, Virginia
Description of the Collection
This collection comprises account books (1727-1775) from Hanover and York counties, Virginia, and from Fredericks Hall Plantation (1849-1862) in Louisa County, Virginia. There is also a letter book (1757-1775) of Major John Snelson (fl. 1757-1775), probably a descendent of Elizabeth Snelson (fl. 1727-1728). He wrote chiefly to Edward Harford, Jr. (fl. 1757-1775) of England. Principal subjects include tobacco shipments--their prices, quantity and quality-- and imported merchandise. He also made occasional references to slavery and mining in Virginia.
Other colonial era merchants include Thomas Partridge (d. 1738), Colonel John Chisholm (d. 1766), A. Gordon (fl. 1750-1751), and Benjamin Anderson (fl. 1755-1756), all of Hanover County, Virginia. John Snelson and Charles Hudson served as executors of the estate of Thomas Partridge, merchant of Hanover County. Activities documented in the ledgers include tobacco export, mining and mineral export, the daily work of merchants, and import inventories. Many ledgers concern stores operated in Hanover and York Counties, Virginia, for William Montgomery & Son, merchants of London.
Antebellum ledgers are chiefly from Fredericks Hall Plantation. Activities documented include lumber production, manufacture and sale of shoes, tobacco production and trade, and merchants' accounts. There is also some information on wages for slave and/or free laborers. The connection between Overton B. Pettit's book of 1823 and the Fredericks Hall ledgers of 1849-1863 is unclear. Fredericks Hall, on the main railroad through Louisa County, appears to have been owned by Nathaniel W. Harris.
This collection was originally divided into parts A and B. The collection has been rearranged chronologically. Series 1 includes Colonial Era Books and Series 2 contains Antebellum and Civil War Plantation Records.
Series 1. Colonial Era Books (1727-1775 with Enclosures from
Subseries 1.1. Merchandise Ledgers (1727-1758) This subseries consists chiefly of merchandise ledgers, cash books, and inventories from Hanover and York counties, Virginia. Some accounts are for slaves and others reflect activities of slaves. Volumes include several inventories of shipments received with the name of the ship, its captain, and the date of arrival. Some inventories of individual stores are also included. Enclosures from these books are in Subseries 1.4.
Subseries 1.2. Col. John Chiswell's Day Book and Abstract (1751-1757 and 1981) This subseries consists of an eighteenth century ledger and a twentieth century abstract of the ledger. John Chiswell (d. October 1766), planter, merchant, and mine operator, was the son of Charles Chiswell (d. 1737). This ledger primarily documents Chiswell's activity as a merchant. It is Chiswell's only ledger in the Fredericks Hall collection. The abstract "John Chiswell's Day Book, an abstract of a Hanover County, Virginia, Merchandise Day Book, 1751-1757," was compiled by William W. Reynolds, December 1981. Enclosures from this book are in Subseries 1.4.
Subseries 1.3. Major John Snelson's Letter Book (1757-1775) This subseries consists of letters written from Virginia about tobacco shipments--their prices, quantity and quality--and imported merchandise. Many letters refer to the extension of credit to Virginia planters. There are occasional mentions of slavery and mining in Virginia. There are very limited references to politics and the imperial difficulties of the period (Great War for Empire, 1754-1763, and American Revolution, 1775-1781). The majority of letters are to Edward Harford, Jr., of England. There are also many letters to William Montgomery & Son, merchants of London, for whom Snelson bought tobacco and operated stores in Hanover and York Counties, Virginia. Enclosures from this book are in Subseries 1.4.
Subseries 1.4. Enclosures From Series 1 (1742-1854) Some of the enclosures included in this subseries are from the nineteenth century, including sheet music for the "Love Chase Polka" (by M. Strakosch, 1854) and a manuscript letter from David Bullock concerning slave trading (to Christopher Smith, 1801). Enclosures are arranged by the volume in which they were found, then chronologically.
Series 2. Antebellum and Civil War Plantation Records (1823, and 1849-1863
with Enclosures from 1738-1856)
This series consists chiefly of ledger books of Fredericks Hall Plantation.
Subseries 2.1. General Merchandise Ledgers (1823, 1849-1850) This subseries consists of three volumes: Overton B. Pettit's merchandise ledger for Waterloo Mills (8 March 1823-29 August 1823), and Fredericks Hall ledgers (1 January 1849-14 May 1850 and 31 December 1849-30 June 1850). Most entries are for common household goods: cloth, molasses, whiskey, bacon, nails, shoes, salt, paper, etc. Many pages are missing from the Fredericks Hall records. The connection between Overton B. Pettit of Waterloo Mills and Fredericks Hall is unclear.
Subseries 2.2. Lumber Account Ledgers (1850-1853) This subseries consists chiefly of lumber accounts from the 1850s. There are also a few pages of merchandise accounts.
Subseries 2.3. Shoe Shop Ledgers (1856-1858) This subseries consists of ledgers for the Fredericks Hall shoe shop. Other entries include labor accounts and cash accounts. Some meal and lime accounts are included.
Subseries 2.4. Tobacco Ledgers (1860-1863) This subseries consists of accounts with dealers or manufacturers of tobacco in various forms and brands. The second book is evidently an account book of laborers working in tobacco. It is unclear whether the workers were slave or free.
Subseries 2.5. Enclosures from Series 2 (1738-1856) This subseries consists of enclosures, arranged by the volume in which they were found, then chronologically. Some of the enclosures are from the colonial era.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia, include the Charles Hudson Papers and the Thomas Partridge Account Book.
Burwell Family Papers, 1750-1943,
Mecklenburg County, Virginia;
also Warren, Vance, and Granville Counties, North Carolina
Description of the Collection
This collection consists of correspondence, financial, legal, business, and personal papers of the Burwell family of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and Granville, Vance, and Warren counties, North Carolina, and of the Williams family of Warren County, North Carolina. Topics include family activities; tobacco and cotton farming; slave sales and purchases; family estates; a gold-mining venture in Burke County, North Carolina; and the purchase of a substitute during the Civil War. Financial and legal papers include receipts for taxes as well as household and farm expenditures; tobacco and cotton sales; insurance papers; papers of the superintendents of the common schools of Vance and Warren counties, North Carolina; and letters from agricultural agents in Virginia and North Carolina. Other material includes advertising circulars; report cards of the Burwell children; genealogical material; and thirty-eight volumes of church, school, and farm records and account books.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence, 1792-1923--Subseries 1.1. 1792-1860, Subseries 1.2. 1861-1923 [not included], and Subseries 1.3. undated; Series 2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1750-1923--Subseries 2.1. 1750-1860, Subseries 2.2. 1861-1923 [not included], and Subseries 2.3. undated; Series 3. Writings, 1816-ca. 1862 and undated; Series 4. Other Papers, 1812-1943 and undated; and Series 5. Volumes, 1805-1910--Subseries 5.1. 1805-1860 and Subseries 5.2. 1861-1910 [not included].
The Burwell family was prominent in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and Vance, Warren, and Granville counties, North Carolina, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Colonel Lewis Burwell, son of Armistead and Christina Blair Burwell, was born 26 September 1745, in Williamsburg. He moved to Mecklenburg County, Virginia, fought in the American Revolution, and served in the Virginia Assembly. With his first wife, Anne Spotswood Burwell, he had twelve children, including Armistead (d. 1819), Lewis (fl. 1792-1848), and Spotswood (1785-1855), all farmers in Mecklenburg County.
Spotswood Burwell married Mary ("Polly") Green Marshall (1792-1856), and had nine children, including William Armistead (1809-1887), Lewis D. (b. 1813), and Blair (1815-1848). Spotswood Burwell lived in both Granville County, North Carolina, and Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
Spotswood's son William Armistead Burwell moved to Burke County, North Carolina, in the 1830s to attempt a gold-mining venture, and later returned to Granville County to continue farming. He married Mary Graves Williams (1810-1896) and had one child, William Henry (1835-1917). William Henry attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, graduating in 1856, and then returned to Warren County, where his father had settled, to work on the farm. He was drafted into the Confederate army in 1861, but left the army upon purchasing a substitute in 1862, and moved to Alabama to marry Laura T. Pettway (1841-1871). He stayed in Alabama until the end of the war, when he returned to Warren County to resume farming. In later years, he continued to grow tobacco, cotton, and other crops, living at various times in Warren, Vance, and Granville counties in North Carolina and at his Berry Hill plantation in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. He married three times and had sixteen children.
Series 1. Correspondence (1792-1923 and undated)
This series comprises correspondence of the Burwell family of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and Granville and Warren counties, North Carolina, and of the Williams family of Warren County, North Carolina.
Subseries 1.1. (1792-1860) This subseries consists chiefly of personal and business correspondence of Armistead Burwell, his brothers Lewis Burwell and Spotswood Burwell, and Spotswood's son William Armistead Burwell of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, as well as some correspondence of the Williams family of Warren County, North Carolina.
From 1792 to 1819, the correspondence of Lewis and Armistead Burwell includes items concerning tobacco farming and sales, horses, slave purchases, agricultural concerns, and the disposition of the estate of their father, Col. Lewis Burwell, including two letters to Armistead from Patrick Henry (1736-1799) concerning beef and slave sales.
After Armistead's death in 1819, his wife Lucy (Crawley) Burwell assumed the running of their plantation. The papers for 1820-1831 include correspondence on the settlement of Armistead Burwell's estate, tobacco and cotton, relations with Lucy Burwell's tenants, and Spotswood Burwell's land grants in Tennessee. Correspondence for the Williams family in this period includes items describing family news and finances, the War of 1812, tobacco farming, and hiring of slaves. There are also letters regarding the establishment of local academies in North Carolina, and letters from the 1830s of a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, describing his everyday life and his friends.
From 1832 to 1835, Spotswood Burwell and his son William Armistead Burwell corresponded about the latter's attempts to establish a gold-mining concern in Burke County, North Carolina. Other subjects include growing corn and tobacco, hiring and selling slaves, the family's problems with a runaway slave named Tom, and the bloodlines of Spotswood's horses. There are also letters from agents and businesses regarding the sale of tobacco and other agricultural products, and letters to William Armistead Burwell from various friends and family members, including several discussing the Nullification Crisis in South Carolina and the building of a manufacturing mill on the Catawba River in that state.
In 1836, William Armistead Burwell abandoned the mining project in Burke County and returned to Granville County to resume farming. The letters of Spotswood Burwell and his sons Blair and William Armistead Burwell include business correspondence relating to tobacco weights and sales, cotton farming and household expenses, and personal correspondence describing family and neighborhood activities.
Sometime in the 1850s, William Armistead Burwell relocated to Warren County, North Carolina, where he grew tobacco. His correspondence includes a description of his escape from a steamboat explosion on the Mississippi River in 1848, letters from his brother Lewis Burwell in Rome, Georgia, a letter concerning the state common school system, letters regarding his son William Henry Burwell's school performance, and papers relating to the settling of Spotswood Burwell's estate, including the division of slaves and a survey of his property. There are also many business letters about tobacco and corn crops, household purchases, and the purchase and use of guano as fertilizer. There are several letters in 1856 to Laura Pettway, future wife of William Henry Burwell, in Camden, Alabama, from family and friends relating social news.
Subseries 1.3. (Undated) This subseries comprises undated correspondence of the Burwell and Williams families.
Series 2. Financial and Legal Material (1750-1923 and undated)
This series comprises financial and legal papers of the Burwell family of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and Warren, Vance, and Granville counties, North Carolina, and the Williams family of Warren County, North Carolina.
Subseries 2.1. (1750-1860) This subseries consists chiefly of financial and legal papers of Armistead, Lewis, and Spotswood Burwell of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and of William Armistead Burwell of Granville, Vance, and Warren counties, North Carolina, as well as some papers of the Williams family of Warren County, North Carolina.
For the period from 1750 to 1830, financial and legal papers include receipts for legal services, state and local taxes, household and farm expenses, farming equipment and supplies, and subscriptions; horse-breeding records; records of tobacco and other farm products sales; and documents relating to the settlement of the estates of Col. Lewis Burwell and Armistead Burwell.
From 1830 to 1845, documents include a horse pedigree, William Armistead Burwell's records of expenses for his gold-mining venture; records of slaves hired and purchased; doctor's bills; receipts for household and farm expenditures and sales; letters of agreement; and indentures.
There is a great deal of material for 1845-1860, including marriage licenses; tuition receipts; receipts for taxes, household, and farm expenses; sales records for tobacco, corn, and other crops; railway stock shares; drafts of various family members' wills; William Armistead Burwell's records of payments of teacher's salaries in his capacity as chairman of the Board of the Superintendents of Common Schools of Vance and Warren counties; records of slave sales and bequests; plans for the building of Dodson's Bridge over Nut Bush Creek in Warren County; and documents relating to the settlement of the estate of Spotswood Burwell. There are also several legal documents of the Pettway and Williams families for this period.
Subseries 2.3. (Undated) This subseries comprises undated financial and legal material of the Burwell and Williams families.
Series 3. Writings (1816-ca. 1862 and undated)
This series includes items from 1816-1817 written by Robert Williams, and undated papers probably written by William Henry Burwell, consisting of love letters, school compositions, poems, and essays.
Series 4. Other Papers (1812-1943 and undated)
This series comprises miscellaneous papers of the Burwell family. Genealogical information about the Burwell family includes a history of the family from Burwell, Spotswood, Dandridge, West and Allied Family Histories (Lawrence, 1943); Blair Burwell's family tree; a copy of the tombstone inscription of Lewis Burwell; and two memorial pamphlets about William Henry Burwell. There are also school records, 1874-1893, for William Henry Burwell's children from Randolph-Macon College, Greensboro Female College, and Peace College; lists of subscribers to a building fund for the Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church and a list of children in the Fishing Creek School District; and valentines dating from the 1850s belonging to William Henry Burwell and his soon-to-be wife, Laura Pettway.
Printed items include advertising circulars for tobacco and agricultural dealers; cut-out pictures of horses and other farm animals; advertisements for medicinal cures, household items, insurance, and other products; prices current newsletters; and clippings of the series, "Pen and Ink Sketches of the University of North Carolina, As It Has Been," from the Weekly Sentinel, 1869. Miscellaneous items include business cards; a playbill for 1819 performances of "Wanted a Wife!" and "Ella Rosenberg" at the Philadelphia Theatre; a medicinal recipe; cards; drawings; and party invitations.
Series 5. Volumes (1805-1910)
This series comprises thirty-eight manuscript volumes belonging to Armistead Burwell and his wife Lucy Crawley Burwell, Spotswood Burwell, William Armistead Burwell, and William Henry Burwell of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and Warren, Granville, and Vance counties, North Carolina; and some volumes of the Williams family of Warren County, North Carolina.
Subseries 5.1. (1805-1860) This subseries includes account books, farm journals, and church books of Armistead Burwell, Lucy Crawley Burwell, Spotswood Burwell, William Armistead Burwell, and members of the Williams family. Volumes include: a "Horse Book" listing horse breeding records for 1805; the birthdates and names of slaves and horses belonging to the Burwell family for various years; slave purchases and sales; records of household and farm expenses; settlement of estates of the Burwell and Williams family; records of payments and visits of doctors and midwives; weather and farm work notes; a blacksmith shop book dated 1837; lists of both black and white members of the Tabernacle Society of the Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church for the 1830s through the 1850s; and an expense book of William Henry Burwell's travels to Alabama in the 1850s.
A list of omissions from the Burwell Family Papers is provided on reel 15, frame 0721. Omissions include: Subseries 1.2. Correspondence, 1861-1923; Subseries 2.2. Financial and Legal Material, 1861-1923; and Subseries 5.2. Volumes, 1861-1910. Descriptions of omitted materials are included in the introductory materials included with this collection.
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection is the George Burwell Papers.
Thomas Edward Cox Books, 1829-1854,
Henrico County, Virginia
Description of the Collection
This collection chiefly documents the farming activities of Thomas Edward Cox at his farm, Laurel Spring, Henrico County, Virginia in 1853 and 1854. Considerable information also appears on Cox's medical practice in Henrico County in the 1840s and early 1850s. Limited information on his family and personal life can be culled from Cox's daybook entries. Edward Cox's farming activities in the late 1820s receive some attention, but nothing appears on his life otherwise.
The seven volumes in the collection consist of two farm account books of Edward Cox and two physician's ledger/notebooks and three farm account/daybooks of Thomas Cox. The volumes are arranged chronologically by the earliest date appearing in them, except for Volume 7. This volume was dated by the original processor as 1854 but actually contains some entries for 1853 as well. The volume was not renumbered to avoid confusion for earlier users.
Volume 1 comprises an account book kept by Edward Cox between 3 January 1829 and 21 April 1830, also containing daybook entries by his son, Thomas Edward Cox between 1 July 1854 and 20 December 1854. Edward Cox's accounts (154 pages) are primarily for wheat and flour he sold, and for groceries, hardware items, stationery supplies, and miscellaneous items he purchased.
A few accounts (13 pages) appear for Thomas Cox in 1853. These accounts, dated between 27 December 1853 and 1 January 1854, list his stocks, cash, bills payable and receivable, personal property, savings, groceries, farming implements, and outstanding loans. Some of the accounts pertain to his purchase of Laurel Spring and to his father's estate.
Thomas Cox made almost daily entries in this volume during the summer and fall of 1854 concerning transactions at his farm, Laurel Spring. These entries continue a daybook Cox started in January 1854 (see Volume 6). He frequently discussed gardening, planting, harvesting, and livestock on the farm; described visits he made to sick patients; noted his financial transactions; and mentioned visits to and from friends and relatives, trips to church, and trips he made into town. Of note in the 55 pages of entries he made is one (p. 190) in which he mentions a balloon ascension he witnessed at the University of Virginia by a Mr. Elliot. One enclosure, a sheet bearing miscellaneous calculations, appears in the volume.
Volume 2 comprises a ledger and notebook of Thomas Cox, kept between 30 August 1844 and 29 January 1853. This 231-page volume contains accounts with patients for medicines and visits. Also appearing are a few notes Cox made on the symptoms of his patients, the treatments he administered, and the medicines he prescribed. An index to the accounts for 1849 to 1853 is on pages 108 and 109.
In the beginning of the volume, a list appears of servants at Laurel Spring in 1847 as well as accounts with them for Cox's medical services, and a record of vaccinations.
Volume 3 comprises a farm account book of Edward Cox, 1847-1853, containing accounts for wood, straw, and manure. The volume records over 1,200 trips made by wagoners, who would haul wood, straw, or other items from farms, probably to Richmond, and return with manure or other items. It is unclear whether Cox was buying or selling these items, or both. One entry near the end of the volume records shoes given to slaves. Accounts in this 223-page volume cover the period from 17 May 1847 to 16 June 1853.
Volume 4 comprises a physician's ledger of Thomas Cox kept between 1 January 1853 and 20 December 1854. The 92-page volume contains a one-page index and 82 pages of accounts with patients for medicines and visits (the remaining 10 pages are blank). Of interest are notes in the beginning of the volume concerning how to enter financial transactions in an account book (p. iv).
Volume 5 comprises fifty-three pages of farm and personal accounts kept by Thomas Cox between 9 December 1853 and 2 June 1854. Accounts are for sundries, groceries, farming implements, wood, furniture, livestock, clothes, dry goods, and miscellaneous items Cox purchased and for gardening and blacksmithing services he hired.
Volume 6 comprises a record book designed for use on farms and plantations, containing printed instructions (19 pages) about farm management, regulations, and crop cultivation and blank forms to be filled in (book published by J. W. Randolph, Richmond, Virginia, 1852). About 27 pages of this 131-page farm record contain daybook-type entries by Thomas Cox that pertain to affairs at his Laurel Spring farm. These entries are dated between 1 January 1854 and 26 June 1854 (see Volume 1 for a continuation of these entries). Cox recorded his farm activities, weather conditions, household matters, family and social occasions, church attendance, health, and frequent trips to town.
The volume also includes inventories of slaves on the farm and of stock and implements owned by Cox, and contains notes on Cox's purchase of Laurel Spring. Pages 51 to 64 give accounts of groceries and sundries bought, labor hired, and financial transactions made. These accounts are dated 31 January 1854 to 30 September 1854.
A record of cotton picked at Laurel Spring appears on page 123. Pages 128-131 contain miscellaneous notes on planting, livestock, and meat and meal allowances to slaves and white farm hands. About 30 pages of the volume are blank.
Volume 7 comprises a farm and personal account book of Thomas Cox, 1853-1854. This volume contains 137 pages of accounts of cash spent. Items purchased include furniture, books, groceries, medicines, farm implements, and livestock. Other entries relate to bills payable and receivable; loans; family expenses; and gardening costs. It includes accounts for labor. Accounts are for the period between 9 December 1853 and 9 November 1854.
At the front of the volume, a fourteen-page (i-xiv) index and an "Inventory of Effects, May 1st, 1854" appear. The inventory lists Thomas Cox's personal and real estate worth at $6,250.
Edward Cox (d. 1853), who married Elizabeth Adeline Harris, owned six farms in Henrico County, Virginia. Among these farms was Laurel Spring, which his son Thomas Edward Cox purchased upon his father's death. Thomas Edward Cox, a physician as well as a farmer in Henrico County, was born in 1815.
Thomas E. Cox was educated at William and Mary Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. He practiced medicine and farmed in Henrico County in the 1840s and 1850s until his death in 1855. Residing at Laurel Spring on Osborne's Turnpike Road along the James River below Richmond, he grew grains and some cotton on the farm and raised livestock.
Cox married Frances Eleanor Grant, probably in the 1840s, and had three children, two of whom died in infancy. One daughter, Martha Ellen, survived. She married Robert Simple Bosher.
Crenshaw and Miller Family Papers, 1751-1916,
Halifax, Hanover, and Pittsylvania Counties, Virginia
Description of the Collection
Consisting almost entirely of legal papers, this collection is especially useful for the study of early ninteenth-century Virginia estates. Receiving the most attention are the estates of Major Nathaniel Crenshaw of Pittsylvania County and Charles Crenshaw, Jr. of Hanover County. The papers are deeds, wills, bonds, writs of summons, legal correspondence, contracts, land plats, court orders, and articles of agreement. Only a few financial items, mostly household accounts and county tax receipts, appear.
Significant, though limited, information can be found in the papers on slaves and freedmen, including the locations of early revolts in Virginia and North Carolina; documentation of an extended celebration among slaves on a Hanover County plantation in 1812; several wills providing for the manumission of slaves; slave bills of sale; and a work contract with freedmen signed in 1865.
Limited information, contained in reports to constituents of acts passed in the Virginia legislature and a broadside, pertains to politics between 1802 and 1805.
The legal and public affairs of the Crenshaw family are best documented between 1751 and 1839. All the papers after that date pertain to their Miller relatives. Almost no details of family life emerge in the documents.
Legal papers are of the Crenshaw and Miller families of Hanover, Halifax, and Pittsylvania counties, Virginia. The collection includes estate papers of Major Nathaniel Crenshaw, Charles Crenshaw, Jr., and Sarah Bacon Crenshaw, miscellaneous legal and financial items belonging to William Miller and his family as well as a few broadsides and clippings.
The first folder, 1751-1794, consists mostly of the legal papers of Major Nathaniel Crenshaw of Pittsylvania County and of his father, Charles Crenshaw of Hanover County. Papers include plats and deeds for tracts of land in Pittsylvania and Halifax counties, bonds, indentures, and other legal items. Of note are Charles Crenshaw's will, dated 9 February 1790, and a bill of sale, dated 5 January 1789, for four slaves Nathaniel Crenshaw purchased from Charles Thompson.
The second folder, 1800-1819, consists principally of papers of Nathaniel Crenshaw; his mother, Sarah Bacon Crenshaw; and his brother, Charles Crenshaw, Jr. One item appears for his brother, John Crenshaw, and one for his nephew, Nathaniel C. Crenshaw of Hanover County.
Nathaniel Crenshaw's papers include his commission as a captain in the Virginia militia, dated 22 May 1800; three printed letters sent him in 1803 and 1805 by state legislators reporting acts passed; a broadside entitled "Fourth March" advertising an upcoming celebration over Thomas Jefferson's election and success as president (1802?); an 1810 call to militia duty from John Tyler to help suppress slave revolts in North Carolina and Virginia; and several items related to the settlement of his estate.
Copies of wills drawn up in 1803, 1805, and 1813 appear for Sarah Crenshaw. She expressed a desire in her will that her slaves be emancipated should it become legal in Virginia to do so. Charles Crenshaw, Jr.'s will, dated 23 February 1808, also stipulated that his slaves be freed upon it becoming legal. Only two other items appear for Charles. One of these is a broadside he had printed in July 1812 pertaining to his breaking up of a "[N]egro frolic" on a neighboring plantation and a fight that ensued between himself, his nephew Nathaniel C. Crenshaw, and the plantation owner's son, Chiswell Dabney. The final item is a deed of trust he signed with Micajah and Margaret Crew of Hanover County concerning money owed him as executor of Sarah Crenshaw's estate.
A broadside publicizing the theft of a horse from his stable, printed 6 April 1801, is the only item pertaining to John Crenshaw. A bill of sale for slaves he sold William Miller of Halifax County appears for Nathaniel C. Crenshaw.
The third folder, 1820-1839, consists primarily of estate papers of Nathaniel Crenshaw and his brother, Charles Crenshaw, Jr., and legal papers of William Miller. The papers include deeds, indentures, writs of summons, land plats, legal correspondence, bills and receipts, articles of agreement, and court orders. Of note are a draft of Charles Crenshaw's will, dated 1 May 1820, and a power of attorney that William Miller gave his son, George Y. M. Miller, on 19 May 1827, authorizing him to retrieve a runaway slave, Armistead, who belonged to Nathaniel Crenshaw's estate.
Items pertaining to William Miller's affairs include several deeds; Pittsylvania County tax receipts for 1837 and 1838; and accounts for 1830 with Weir & Smith and for 1838 with William Smith for dry goods, stationery supplies, groceries, and hardware items. Of interest is a contract MIller signed with Uriah Fisher on 20 September 1828, employing Fisher as an overseer.
Legal correspondence consists of a letter from C. Anthony of Lynchburg to Charles Crenshaw in Richmond, dated 12 February 1824, concerning a debt Anthony owed him; a letter, dated 15 April 1831, from Nathaniel C. Crenshaw in Hanover County to his uncle William Miller in Halifax County, concerning a case to be filed in the Court of Appeals, involving Robert C. Penn; and a letter, dated 12 November 1839, from attorney James Lyon in Richmond to attorney Lewis W. Minor in Washington City, concerning a case Dr. (William?) Miller was involved in in federal court in Richmond.
Three items, including an indenture and a Pittsylvania County tax receipt for 1828, appear for George Y. M. Miller. A final item for Miller is a copy of resolutions passed by a committee of the citizens of Hanover County on 26 August 1831 in regard to putting down possible slave revolts in the county. Fears of an insurrection had been sparked by the Nat Turner uprising in nearby Southampton County. Miller served on the committee in some capacity.
The fourth folder, 1851-1916, consists of papers of the Miller family of Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties, Virginia, and Calhoun County, Texas, including William Miller; his sons George and Nathaniel C. Miller; his grandson, Charles Edwin Miller; and other family members, including Charles E. Miller (d. 1851?), William B. Miller (fl. 1851) of Texas, and Crenshaw Miller (fl. 1826).
Items include deeds, court opinions, writs of summons, work contracts, and articles of agreement. Most of the papers are those of Nathaniel C. Miller.
Of interest are a plat for 1859 of Sharswood, Nathaniel C. Miller's Pittsylvania County estate; William B. Miller's will, made in Calhoun County, Texas, and dated 19 March 1856; contracts, dated 6 Sept 1859 and 12 February 1860, concerning the swapping of slaves; a work contract, dated 9 August 1865, between Nathaniel C. Miller and several freedmen on his plantation; and Charles E. Miller's commission in the Virginia militia, dated 15 August 1866.
One item, a clipping of a letter sent to The Metropolis of Jacksonville, Florida, in 1916 by William Miller's great-grandson, Theodore Frederick Davis, concerns Miller's close friendship with Patrick Henry and Davis's inheritance of a table that had belonged to Henry.
The fifth folder consists of undated papers including: an undated plat showing land owned by Major Nathaniel Crenshaw's heirs in Pittsylvania County; an undated plat showing land owned by Charles Crenshaw, Gent, Joseph Roberts, John Hawkins, and John Smith, probably in Pittsylvania County circa the mid 1700s; and a letter from George Y. M. Miller to his father concerning a plantation employee, Owin.
Charles and Sarah Crenshaw, their daughter Agnes, and her husband, William Miller, and their descendants lived on various plantations in Hanover, Pittsylvania, and Halifax counties, Virginia. They appear to have been planters, cultivating mostly tobacco.
Charles Crenshaw (fl. 1775-1794) married Sarah Bacon (d. 1818) and lived in Hanover County. Charles and Sarah had six children: Susanna (fl. 1790-1818), who never married; Agnes (d. 185?), who married William Miller of Halifax County; Temperance (d. 180?), who married William Rice; Nathaniel Crenshaw (d. 1818), who served as a major in the Virginia militia and lived on a plantation left him by his father in Pittsylvania County; John (fl. 1801); and Charles, Jr. (d. 1825). Charles and Sarah had at least eight grandchildren, including John Rice Miller and Nathaniel C. Miller (1816-1888), both children of Agnes and William Miller; Sarah B. Rice (m. Walter Crew), Samuel B. Rice, Mary B. Rice (m. Samuel P. Hargrave), and Izard Bacon Rice, all children of Temperance and William Rice; and Nathaniel C. Crenshaw (fl. 1812-1831) and Edmund B. Crenshaw (fl. 1826), brothers who probably were the children of John Crenshaw.
William Miller also had another son, George Y. M. Miller (fl. 1826-1863), by a previous marriage. Agnes and William's son, Nathaniel C. Miller, remained a bachelor, as did their grandson, Charles Edwin Miller (1839-1906). Nathaniel C. Miller left his Pittsylvania County estate, Sharswood, to Charles Edwin Miller.
There are other family members whose relationship to other family members is unclear. They include: Charles Edwin Miller (d. 1851?); William B. Miller of Calhoun County, Texas (fl. 185?); Crenshaw Miller (fl. 1826); and Charles Crenshaw, Gent, possibly an uncle or other relation of Charles Crenshaw.
Several individuals served as executors of wills for family members. John Crenshaw was the executor for the estate of his father, Charles Crenshaw; Charles Crenshaw, Jr. was executor for the estate of his mother, Sarah Bacon Crenshaw, and for the estate of his brother, Major Nathaniel Crenshaw; and William Miller was executor for the estate of Charles Crenshaw, Jr.
Thomas Baylie Cropper Papers, 1832-1879,
Accomack County, Virginia
Description of the Collection
This collection consists primarily of family and business letters, 1832-1848, received by Thomas Baylie Cropper. The bulk of the family letters document the personal, financial, economic, religious, and political affairs of Cropper's Accomack County, Virginia, relatives. Some information appears in the business letters on his activities as a ship's captain, but it offers only limited insight into his day-to-day routine, touching mostly on personal business ventures, such as importing cattle, favors he did for relatives and friends while abroad, and his role as a mentor and guardian for young sailors.
Nothing appears in the letters on Cropper's family life with his wife and children or on his Gold Rush days. There is only limited information on Rosina Mix (Mrs. Thomas) Cropper.
Though much of the information contained in his family's letters to him pertain to their personal affairs, discussion frequently appears on the political battles of Accomack County in the mid- to late-1840s between the Whigs and the Democrats and the religious controversies raging over northern versus southern control of the Methodist church. Only limited information appears on politics or religion after 1847.
Most of the financial items, principally bills and receipts for household improvements, and miscellaneous items, chiefly invitations, in Series 2 relate to Thomas Cropper's son, John Cropper of New York City. John Cropper owned several residences in the city. A few items appear for Thomas Cropper himself, his wife, Rosina, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. E. Mix.
Locations in Accomack County that figure in this collection include Berlin, Drummond Town, Gargotha, Metompkin Island, and Pungoteague.
The collection is arranged in two series: Series 1. Correspondence--Subseries 1.1. 1832-1839, Subseries 1.2. 1840-1848, Subseries 1.3. 1855, 1868, and undated; and Series 2. Financial and Miscellaneous Items--Subseries 2.1 Antebellum Financial and Miscellaneous Items. 1833, 1837, and 1846, Subseries 2.2. Post war Financial and Miscellaneous Items. 1868, 1877-1879, an undated.
Thomas Baylie Cropper (d. 1855), a sea captain and participant in the Gold Rush of the 1850s, was the son of Catherine West Cropper (d. 1855) of Accomack County, Virginia. Cropper commanded a number of transatlantic merchant ships. Between 1832 and 1838 he sailed out of Philadelphia on the Montezuma, the Algonquin, and the Susquehanna. From the spring of 1838 through 1848, he sailed out of New York on the Columbus, the New York, and the West Point. At least after 1838, and perhaps earlier, he was employed by Charles H. Marshall of New York.
In 1843, Cropper married Rosina Mix (fl. 1843-1878), and together they had three children: Catharine, called Kitty (b. 1844); Rose (b. 1846); and John (b. 1848).
Thomas Baylie Cropper had two sisters, Elizabeth (Eliza) and Ann. Eliza married a schoolteacher, Joseph Gibb, and lived with him in several Accomack County locations, including Drummond Town, Pungoteague, and Metompkin Island. The Gibbs had six children: Elizabeth (Lizzy), Ann, Catharine T., John J., William J., and Tom. Ann first married George Arbuckle, then, in 1838, Major John Savage. The Savages lived in Gargotha, in Accomack County, and had at least one daughter, Lizzie.
Cropper had two brothers, P. W. (fl. 1832) of Assawamaw, and Coventon (C. H.), who farmed on Thomas Baylie Cropper's farm, Edgehill, in Accomack County. Coventon, called Covey, married a woman named Leah, who died in 1838, soon after the birth of their daughter, Isabella. He then married a woman named Sarah. Coventon possibly had another daughter, Kate.
Thomas Henry Bayly, superior court judge between 1842 and 1844 and U.S. congressman from 1844 until his death in 1856, was a cousin to Thomas Cropper. U.S. Congressman Henry A. Wise was also a cousin.
Series 1. Correspondence (1832-1868 and undated)
Family and business letters received by Captain Thomas Baylie Cropper while commander of several merchant vessels between 1832 and 1848, and scattered family letters received by Rosina Mix Cropper in the 1850s. One item appears addressed to Mrs. Mix, Rosina's mother, in 1868.
Captain Cropper sailed out of Philadelphia between 1832 and early 1838, and early letters are addressed to him in care of Philadelphia merchants Robert Williams, Thomas Cope & Co., and H. & A. Cope, and in Liverpool at the Starr and Garter Inn. Beginning in the spring of 1838, he sailed out of New York, where he received mail at the Astor House, in care of his employer, Charles H. Marshall, and in care of Goodhue & Co. Beginning in 1846, he and his family took up residence on East 14th Street. He also received letters through Baring Bros. in Liverpool.
Subseries 1.1. (1832-1839) This subseries comprises about two-thirds business letters received by Capt. Thomas B. Cropper, while he commanded the merchant vessels Montezuma, Algonquin, and Susquehanna, sailing between Philadelphia and Liverpool, and during the first year of his command of the Columbus, sailing between New York and Liverpool. The remaining third are letters from Cropper's relatives in Accomack County, Virginia.
Most of the business letters pertain to Cropper's activities as a sea captain and include letters of introduction; inquiries concerning sailing schedules, passenger rates, and items shipped; letters of thanks from passengers; and requests from friends and associates for Cropper to procure English goods for them. Of particular interest among the letters is one, dated 29 May 1838, from Cropper's employer, Charles Marshall, which discusses Cropper's salary and his taking command of the Columbus. Also of note is a letter from Thomas T. Cropper in New York, dated 29 September 1838, pertaining to a vessel the writer was having built and requesting a recommendation for a Captain Coalbern. Thomas T. Cropper seems to have been in the shipping business. A final item of interest is a letter of 26 January 1839 from A. Graham of Easton, Virginia, concerning the possibility of his son, George, becoming an apprentice seaman aboard the Columbus.
Cropper also received letters concerning his personal financial ventures. Two associates, Edward Taylor Randolph of Philadelphia and Paschall Morris of Allentown, Pennsylvania, wrote him frequently in 1837 and 1838 concerning the importing and breeding of English cattle, an activity in which the three engaged together. They were particularly interested in the Durham Short Horned and Ayrshire breeds.
Family letters give mostly news of relatives and friends in Accomack County, noting courtships and marriages, illnesses and deaths, visits, local church news, and quarrels within the family and neighborhood. Frequent writers include Cropper's sisters, Eliza Gibb and Ann Arbuckle Savage; his niece, Catharine F. Gibb; his friend, S. Edwards; and his cousin, Catharine K. B. Joynes.
Of interest among the early letters is one, dated 14 August 1832, from Cropper's brother, P. W. Cropper in Assawamaw, Virginia, which mentions a recent promotion Capt. Cropper had received. This is the only letter appearing in the collection from P. W. Cropper, who may have died soon after. Also of interest is a letter, dated 21 September 1837, from a friend, William Joynes, at the University of Virginia, apologizing for his failure to repay a loan and describing both his travels in Virginia and, financial woes in detail.
Ann C. Arbuckle wrote from Mt. William's until October 1838, when she moved to Gargotha upon marrying Major John Savage. Of note among her letters is one of 19 January 1838 that mentioned an attempt by pirates to take the Susquehanna and another of 9 October 1838 that discussed her marriage, the death of their sister-in-law, Leah Cropper, and their mother's receiving a pension from Congress. She hoped that she would be able to raise Leah's daughter, Isabella. Eliza Gibb also wrote in December about Leah Cropper's death. She reported as well that she was moving to Pungoteague, and wrote again in April 1839 from there concerning who was to raise Isabella and giving neighborhood news. Of interest in her letter is mention of a local minister having been let go from his post. S. Edwards of Berlin, Virginia, wrote in April and July and gave additional details of the minister's discharge. He also described events in his church, which seems to have been Episcopalian, including the visit of a Bishop Doane.
Other items of interest are letters from Catharine Joynes in Eastville, dated 14 January and 18 September, in which she discussed her hope that Capt. Cropper would become a Christian, her approval of his forbidding alcohol aboard his ship, and her hopes for his eventual marriage despite her observations regarding its unpleasant aspects. A letter from Catharine F. Gibb on 20 December 1839 related neighborhood news and the plans she was making for attending school. Single letters appear from Cropper's mother, Catharine West Cropper, in 1832, and his cousin, Sally Bayly at Mt. Custis, a farm in Accomack County, in 1838.
Individuals frequently discussed in the family letters include Judge Thomas H. Bayly and his wife, Evelyn, cousin Jane Bayly, cousin Henry Wise, an Uncle Thomas, and Cropper's sister Ann and brother Coventon.
Subseries 1.2. (1840-1848) This subseries is two-thirds letters from relatives and friends in Accomack County and one-third business letters pertaining to Cropper's position as captain of the Columbus, the New York, and the West Point. Cropper's most frequent correspondents in this period were his brother, Coventon (C. H.); his sisters, Eliza Gibb and Ann Arbuckle Savage; and his niece, Catharine Gibb. His cousins, Thomas H. Bayly and T. T. Cropper, and his friend, Edmond Allen, also wrote on occasion.
Political disputes in Accomack County often dominated Coventon Cropper's, Edmond Allen's, and sometimes Eliza Gibb's letters. Allen wrote from Drummond Town on 21 August 1840 concerning elections and described the exciting battle between Whigs and Democrats. He mentioned the Whig "log cabin convention" in Pungoteague, speeches given, and a mob's opposition to Judge Thomas H. Bayly. Coventon Cropper wrote from Edgehill on 13 March and 24 April 1843 concerning the Democratic Convention, local candidates, and their cousin Henry Wise's nomination as minister to France. On 24 April, he mentioned a four-and-one-half-hour speech Wise had given in Drummond Town that had moved his listeners to tears. Religious and economic tensions also seem to have been running high in the county, as Cropper often mentioned hard times, and, on 7 July 1843, described a fist fight that had broken out over religious matters.
Both Coventon and Eliza wrote in the spring and fall of 1844 about the great excitement the election of that year evoked in the county, describing local upheavals over politics. On 1 December, Coventon expressed his unhappiness over the election, bemoaning the "ingratitude of the nation" in its failure to elect Henry Clay and resigning himself to the "second experiment of General Jackson," as he referred to Polk's upcoming presidency. Also of note is a letter of 5 March 1844, in which Eliza reported Henry Wise's departure to become minister to Brazil.
Politics and religion continued to occupy the thoughts of many of the Cropper family between 1845 and 1847. On 18 March 1845, Coventon wrote speculating on Thomas Bayly's chances of reelection to Congress; listing local legislative candidates; and musing over possible trouble between England and the United States. Catharine Gibb described, on 30 April 1845, the great excitement in the county over the election and Whigs losses. She indicated her own and her uncle Coventon's political leanings in her remark, "We Whigs laugh at Uncle Covey and tell him, he is `on the fence,' that is between the two parties." She also alluded to possible trouble between England, the United States, and Brazil.
Fervor over religion continued to grow as well. Eliza, on 28 July 1845, described a camp meeting just south of Drummond Town that drew over 1,000 participants. In a letter, dated 16 February 1846, to Cropper's wife, Rosina, Ann Savage discussed the conflict brewing between the county judge and the Methodist Episcopals in Accomack County. Religious conflicts reached within the family as well. In late 1846, Eliza and Ann quit communicating because of a religious disagreement (see letter of 27 December 1846). Eliza wrote in March blaming the illness of Ann Savage's daughter, Lizzie, on religious overexcitement.
On 26 April 1847, Eliza reported anger among local Methodists over the county court's having banned the Methodist Advocate because of its abolitionist leanings. She also reported that the debate over having Northern preachers in the church was sharply dividing the people. The "question everywhere," she wrote, "is are you North or South." The family's relationship with Ann Savage also worsened. Savage wrote on 2 May 1847 that she had little to do with her relations because of their implication of the church in Lizzie's illness and her brother Coventon's drinking.
As 1847 wore on, the situation in the county deteriorated. On 1 September 1847, Catharine Gibb described an armed mob in Drummond Town that had attempted to kill Judge Thomas H. Bayly on court day over the North versus South issue. He, his wife Evelyn, and their daughter, Nannie, had to be locked in the county jail to protect them. Little information appears on politics after 1847. One letter, dated 1 June 1848, from Coventon mentions the Tory party (in which he placed Thomas) and the Whig convention, and one letter, dated 10 August 1848, from Eliza concerns her husband's attendance at a meeting of the Sons of Temperance, which he had joined in 1847. Almost all the letters in 1848 are from Coventon and discuss improvements he was making to the house and mill at Edgehill.
In addition to politics and religion, Cropper family letters frequently discuss farming activities (especially Coventon Cropper's), family illnesses and deaths, marriages, visits, local events, and fears for Thomas's safety at sea. Several letters are of interest, including one of 5 July 1841, in which Catharine Gibb described a local 4th of July celebration. Ann Savage wrote from Gargotha on 8 March 1843 mentioning Thomas Cropper's engagement to Rosina Mix. Two letters appear, written on 3 and 5 March 1844, from friends congratulating Cropper on the birth of his daughter, Catharine (Kitty). News of note in other letters are Eliza's move to Metompkin Island in March 1845, where her husband opened a school; smallpox aboard the New York in 1845; local boat races; Thomas Cropper's taking command of the West Point (see 1 September 1847); and the running aground of a New Orleans bark, the Mauran of Providence, at Gargotha in December 1847.
A few letters appear from Judge Thomas H. Bayly in 1840 and 1843, written while he traveled to Norfolk and Petersburg, from his home, Mount Custis, in Accomack County. He said little of politics and focused instead on his wishes for Cropper to quit the sea, marry, and settle down in Accomack County. His letters give news of eligible women and farms for sale in the area. T. T. Cropper of Accomack County wrote on 10 April 1843 concerning the sale of Cropperville, a farm Thomas Cropper was considering buying.
Family members and friends frequently mentioned in the letters include Catharine Cropper, the Joynes family, the Bayly family, the Custis family, James Ailworth, and Kitty Bagwell.
Business letters concern mostly ship affairs, and include letters of introduction; notes concerning packages shipped; requests for recommendations; requests for the procurement of English goods; and inquiries about passengers and fares. Several individuals wrote concerning seamen under Cropper's employ. On 24 April 1840, A. Graham wrote seeking information on his son, George, a sailor on the Columbus. In a letter of 16 April 1847, Fred Kellam of Pungoteague sought information on his stepson, George Wise, who was a sailor on the New York. Two letters appear in 1844 from John Ker in Eastville asking Cropper to take on his son as a sailor. Another letter of note is from Bagwell Topping of Drummond Town, written 11 May 1848, concerning his son, David, who had left Cropper's employ.
Other items of particular note include a letter, dated 15 May 1843, from Charles H. Marshall, concerning Cropper's taking command of the New York; a letter of 4 August 1846, from Thomas T. Cropper, concerning a lawsuit between John and Catharine Wise and Augustus Bagwell of Accomack County; a letter, dated 18 May 1847, from Vespasian(?) Ellis of New York, seeking capitalization for trade among Venezuela, the United States, and England; and a letter, dated 26 June 1847, from Susan Moorhead of Ireland, requesting free passage to the United States for a destitute Irish girl.
Subseries 1.3. (1855, 1868, and undated) This subseries comprises letters to Thomas Cropper's wife, Rosina, in the mid-1850s. One item appears in 1868 for a Mrs. Mix, probably Rosina's mother.
One letter to Rosina, written 11 February 1855 by Ann Savage, describes the death of Catharine West Cropper and conflicts over the administration of her will. In an undated fragment from her cousin, John W. Burbidge of Charleston expressed his perceptions of the worthlessness of the "unhappy and miserable freed [N]egroes" as laborers and the belief that the eastern seaboard would someday be "cultivated by coolies."
The 1868 letter from Sarah T. Cropper, wife of Coventon Cropper, at Edgehill, to Mrs. Mix of New York concerns her family's attempts to identify a past ancestor whose fortune they stood to inherit. She also mentioned family members, including John, Isabella, Rosey, and Kate.
Series 2. Financial and Miscellaneous Items (1833-1879 and undated)
This series consists mostly of invitations, bills, and receipts of Thomas Cropper's son, John Cropper, of New York, with scattered bills and receipts for Thomas B. Cropper, his wife, Rosina Mix Cropper, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. E. Mix, and a few miscellaneous items. Only three antebellum items appear.
Subseries 2.1. Antebellum Financial and Miscellaneous Items (1833, 1837, and 1846) This subseries comprises various items including: a receipt, dated 25 May 1833, to Thomas B. Cropper from Walter Morris, cloth merchant of Liverpool, for broadcloth; a passenger list for the Susquehanna, dated August 1837; and a printed copy of a speech delivered to Congress on March 1846 by the Hon. T. H. Bayly of Virginia on "The Harbor Bill...and the Corn Trade of England."
Subseries 2.2. Postwar Financial and Miscellaneous Items (1868, 1877-1879, and undated) This subseries comprises mostly invitations, bills, and receipts of John Cropper. A few items also appear for Rosina Mix Cropper and Mrs. E. Mix. There are two miscellaneous items.
Thirty-four undated invitations and calling cards appear addressed to John Cropper and his daughters of 105 East 14th Street. Two invitations are addressed to John Cropper at "Lenox" and "Bennett's Cottage." The bills and receipts Cropper received in 1878 and 1879 almost all pertain to household improvements and furnishings for his own and for other residences he may have rented out. Items are from New York housewares manufacturers Mitchell, Vance & Co. and W. T. & J. Mersereau, chimney specialist William D. Grant, upholstery importers Johnson & Faulkner, retail merchants W. & J. Sloane, plasterer James Walsh, glass importers, Gilman Collamore & Co., and merchants Nicol, Cowlishaw & Co. The bills mention three addresses: 86 Nassau St., 3 E. 38th St., and 105 East 14th St.
Mrs. E. Mix appears to have lived at 3 East 38th St., where she received bills from Guille, Sarre, and Le Pelley, housepainters and decorators, in 1878, and from Thomas C. Townsend, a plumber and gas fitter, in 1879.
Rosina Mix Cropper received bills from William Dibblee a coiffeur and wig maker, in 1877, and John Snedecor an art dealer and framer, in 1878.
Two miscellaneous items are a program for the Charity Ball at the Academy of Music, probably in New York, dated 24 February 1868, and an undated program of music played at Fort Columbus on 28 May of an unknown year.
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection is the Rosina Mix Papers.
Howerton Family Papers, 1817-1858,
Halifax County, Virginia
Description of the Collection
This collection is composed of financial and legal papers of the Howerton family of Halifax County, Virginia. Papers from 1817 to 1858 pertain chiefly to Philip Howerton (ca. 1790-ca. 1870), planter and local government official. These early papers document Howerton's official activities, and consist primarily of receipts, tax lists of various kinds, and materials relating to the imprisonment of insolvent debtors.
Papers from 1870 to 1896 [not included] relate primarily to Rufus H. Owen (fl. 1870-1890) of South Boston, Halifax County, Virginia, son-in-law of Philip Howerton, and to Shepherd & Company, also of South Boston. These later papers consist of correspondence with commission merchants of Richmond, Virginia, and receipts documenting tobacco production.
Two volumes [not included] contain entries showing merchandise purchased from a dry goods store and accounts with freedmen showing payment for labor. While ownership of the first volume is unknown, entries in the second volume appear to have been made by William M. Howerton.
The collection contains no private family correspondence and only a few personal financial records of members of the Howerton family.
Series 1. Loose Papers (1817-1896 and undated)
Subseries 1.1. (1817-1858 and undated) This subseries consists of financial and legal papers related primarily to local government activities of Philip Howerton in Halifax County, Virginia. Materials related to tax collection include property tax lists (1839, 1841, 1843), tax receipts, a tax list of "ordinaries and private entertainments" (1838), and tax lists of merchants, including peddlers. In addition to tax information, there is also much material relating to the imprisonment of insolvent debtors, including lists of property sold to settle accounts, requests for release from jail, and a list of debtors between 1840 and 1843. The data on insolvent debtors reveals economic conditions in Halifax County at various times, indicating that insolvency was a cause for emigration elsewhere. Many items refer to slaves, including tax lists, mortgages on slaves, and references to individual slaves who came in contact with the criminal justice system. Although there is little information about Howerton's own plantation(s), of interest is an agreement (4 October 1837) describing a newly hired overseer's responsibilities on a plantation managed by Howerton.
A list of omissions from the Howerton Family Papers is provided on reel 18, frame 0682. Omissions include Subseries 1.2. Loose Papers, 1870-1896 and undated (postwar) and Series 2. Volumes, 1844-1881. Descriptions of omitted materials are included in the introductory materials included with this collection.
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection is the Philip Howerton Papers. Other related collections include the Philip H. Howerton Papers, Manuscripts Department, Duke University; the Howerton Papers, College of William and Mary; and the Southside Virginia Family Papers, Manuscripts Department, University of Virginia. The Southside Virginia Family Papers is included in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series E, Part 3.
Cornelius Dabney Diary, 1863-1869,
Albemarle and King William Counties, Virginia
Description of the Collection
This collection consists of two items, an original and a typescript copy of a diary, kept between 1863 and 1869. The diary was chiefly kept by Cornelius Dabney; there is one entry written by his father in April 1863, on the date of his birthday. Cornelius began his diary on 10 August 1863 while he was spending his summer at his parents' home in King William County, Virginia. He wrote about his daily activities and the activities of his family, including work on the farm as well as social activities. One of the Dabney's major crops was wheat, and Cornelius wrote about their taking the wheat to the mill. He and his brothers would occasionally help Mr. Harris, the miller, with his work. Other crops mentioned are corn, potatoes, and oats.
In addition to the farm work, the family engaged in many social activities with their relatives, friends, and neighbors. Cornelius's Uncle Bushrod and Aunt Jennie lived close by at Oakwood. Cornelius also occasionally mentioned his Uncle James White and other relatives. The families visited and dined with each other, and went on fishing expeditions together. A friend, Dr. Tucker, was also visiting during this period, and Cornelius played many games of chess with him. Dr. Tucker was later to become his brother-in-law.
Cornelius was a member of the Baptist Church, and he recorded his attendance at prayer meetings and Sunday school at churches in Beulah and Hebron, Virginia. On 19 September, he mentioned attending a meeting of the "Association" in Beulah, probably meaning the Baptist Association.
There are scattered references in the diary to the Civil War and its effects. On 15 August, Cornelius mentioned that a friend of his had been killed at Gettysburg. While on an expedition to Richmond, he noted the high prices of some articles he purchased. He also mentioned meeting with Lt. Roane and his squad, who were searching for deserters and conscripts.
On 30 September 1863, Cornelius left for the University of Virginia with his friend, Josie Gwathmey, who was perhaps a cousin. They boarded with two other young men, Luther Broaddus and Joe Clarke, at the home of Dr. William F. Broaddus, a Baptist preacher. Cornelius described matriculating at the University, attending lectures, and studying Latin and other subjects. He commented on his professors, including Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve (1831-1924) and Maximilian Schele De Vere (1820-1898), who taught Latin. The four young men visited socially in the town. Cornelius frequently mentioned visiting Kate Fife and other young ladies. He was involved with organizing a young men's Baptist prayer meeting and conducted one of the sessions.
On 31 October, Cornelius attended a meeting of the Albemarle Mutual Relief Association. This organization was formed to try to combat the high prices brought about by the war, by buying in bulk at good prices and selling the items to shareholders.
After December 1863, the diary entries are less frequent. In April 1864, Cornelius described some of the events of the previous months, including Christmas, which was pleasant in spite of the war and the absence of slaves, who had fled to the protection of the Northern troops. The next entry is dated 7 October 1864. In the preceding six months, his brother Alfred had been wounded and his Uncle Bushrod was taken prisoner.
On 19 January 1865, Cornelius was back at the University of Virginia boarding with Dr. Broaddus. The next entry is dated 7 April 1865. In it, Cornelius described his return to his home in February and being forced to walk back to the University of Virginia. He had just heard that Richmond had been evacuated and was debating whether to return home or remain where he was.
Cornelius did not write again until August 1868. His remaining three entries--dated 5 August 1868, 12 November 1868, and 9 February 1869--relate to his efforts after the war to support himself by teaching school. He taught for a time at his parent's home in King William County, and later went to teach in association with his brother-in-law, Dr. Tucker, in Magnolia, Mississippi.
Cornelius Dabney (1844-1874) was the son of William Winton Dabney (b. 1816) and Martha Ann Bosher Dabney (fl. 1863-1865) of Richmond, and later Enfield, King William County, Virginia. He married Mary Nicol of New Orleans, Louisiana, and had two children, Cornelius, Jr. and Katherine Nicol.
Cornelius Dabney attended the University of Virginia in 1863. He operated a school near his home in Enfield from 1866 to 1868, and later worked with his brother-in-law, Dr. Tucker, at a school in Magnolia, Mississippi.
T. L. Jones Journal, 1862-1869,
Albemarle County, Virginia
Description of the Collection
This collection comprises a journal, 1862-1869, for T. L. Jones's Albemarle County, Virginia, farm, Pear Point. Jones began the book on 1 January 1862 and continued it through 30 December 1869. Kept daily, the journal records mostly farm work done, crops, and the weather. During the war, Jones mentioned planting and harvesting wheat, oats, corn, fodder, timothy, and a variety of vegetables. He described as well tending bees, working in his apple orchard, and hauling timber from his land to a local sawmill. Starting in 1868, he also cultivated tobacco, which he sold through Tyler & Sons.
In addition to farm activities, Jones recorded his and his family's church attendance; trips to town on business; visits to friends and relatives and visitors received; his children's school arrangements; estate sales he attended; and local births, marriages, illnesses, and deaths. The Joneses most often attended services and Sunday School at Mt. Zion, Sharon, and Centenary churches. They also, on occasion, attended Mt. Alto, Wesley Chapel, Bledsoe Chapel, and B.M. Church. On occasion, the Mt. Zion church held baptisms in a pond on Jones's land. Preachers mentioned with some frequency include Anderson, Booker, Clarke, Crowder, Davis, Fortune, Wingfield, and Williams.
Jones often went into Charlottesville by train to pay his taxes, fulfill jury duties, attend elections, and conduct business with merchants. Other towns he and his sons visited often were Howardsville, Lynchburg, Scottsville, Warren, and Rockfish Depot.
Neighbors, relatives, and friends appearing in the daybook with some frequency are R. M. Elsom, William G. Clarke, John M. and Meleena Pace, R. M. Childress, J. C. Childress, Sally Simper, W. Johnson, James Taylor, James A. Elliott, and Charles C. Huckstess.
Entries of special interest are those for 25 February 1863, mentioning the death of Jones's daughter, Millie; 16 May 1864, noting that he and his son Huckstess had reported for military service; 1 August and 8 September 1864, reporting his release from military obligation; 17 January 1865, mentioning his son Knox's leaving for the army; and 9 September 1867, telling of 80 conversions at the B.M. Church made by Brother Vanderslice. Information in the journal on the Civil War is limited to mentions of high prices, his sons' visits on furlough, and the presence of troops in the area.
Also appearing in the volume are a list of quantities of meal used per month for the period between 1862 and 1869 (at front of volume) and a list of crops, made in 1868 (page 198). One enclosure, dated January 1864, is a note from I. I. Hopkins of Howardsville, concerning the army foraging through the county and his having no work for his pressmen. Hopkins apparently was a printer. On the back of the note is an account for H. W. Jones with T. L. Jones for meal and flour, also dated 1864.
T. L. Jones, born 22 September 1814, was a farmer in southern Albemarle County, Virginia. He lived with his wife, C. Jones, and family on his farm, Pear Point, during and just after the Civil War. Jones had at least six children: Huckstess, George, Willie, Knox, Biddie, and Millie (d. 1863). He may also have had a daughter named Maria. Huckstess and Knox served briefly in the Civil War in late 1864 and early 1865. After June 1867, the Joneses raised Lizzie Coke, the daughter of Thomas Coke, following the death of her mother.
Jones cultivated mostly wheat, oats, corn, fodder, tobacco, and vegetables, and raised hogs and sheep. He also kept bees, had an apple orchard, and sold timber off his land. A frequent churchgoer, he most often attended Mt. Zion, Sharon, and Centenary churches in Albemarle County.
James McDowell Papers, 1770-1915,
Rockbridge County, Virginia; also Kentucky and Missouri
Description of the Collection
This collection comprises correspondence, speeches, essays, public addresses and notes, bills, legal papers, and other material of McDowell, chiefly during his terms as state legislator, governor, and congressman. Topics include slavery in Virginia and in the nation, but especially in the territories; internal improvements; temperance; nullification; Democratic party politics in Virginia; colonization societies; collegiate and literary societies; land speculation; currency and credit issues; and education, both public school and higher education in Virginia.
Some papers relate to other members of the McDowell family. These include correspondence and other items relating to James McDowell's father, Colonel James McDowell; mother, Sarah McDowell; wife, Susanna Preston McDowell; son-in-law, Charles Scott Venable; and brother-in-law, Virginia statesman Thomas Hart Benton. Many family letters, especially those from James McDowell to his wife, discuss agriculture and plantation management. Other materials include records pertaining to Washington College (later Washington and Lee University), a detailed emancipation contract between James McDowell and one of his slaves, and the childhood reminiscences of Francis Preston Venable, James McDowell's grandson and professor of chemistry and president of the University of North Carolina.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence, 1770-1896 and undated; Series 2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1728-1864 and undated; Series 3. Writings and Notes, ca. 1815-1850; Series 4. Genealogical Materials, 1810-1893; Series 5. Other Papers, 1800-1880 and undated; and Series 6. Volumes, 1815-1840 and undated.
A brief chronology of the life of James McDowell follows.
1795: Born, 13 October, Cherry Grove Plantation, Rockbridge County, Virginia, son of Colonel James McDowell and Sarah McDowell.
1805-1812: Attended William McPheeters's classical school in Greenville, Virginia, and a boarding school in Brownsburg, Virginia.
1812: Attended Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia.
1813: Attended Yale College, New Haven, Connecticut.
1814: Transferred to the College of New Jersey (Princeton University); graduated salutatorian, ca. 1818.
1818: Married cousin, Susanna Smith Preston, 7 September; moved to an estate called "The Military," near Lexington, Kentucky.
1823: Returned to Virginia; began construction on Colalto Plantation, near Lexington, Virginia.
1827: Served as justice of the peace for Rockbridge County, Virginia.
1831: Joined the Presbyterian Church; elected to Virginia House of Delegates, where he served until 1835.
1833: Defeated by John Tyler in U.S. senatorial election.
1837: Re-elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served until 1838.
1838: Delivered "West Augusta Speech" at Princeton, calling for reconciliation between the abolitionists and the proponents of slavery.
1842: Elected governor of Virginia; served until 1846.
1846: Seated as member of U.S. House of Representatives, 6 March, replacing William Taylor.
1847: Elected to U.S. House of Representatives, where he served until 1851; death of wife in October.
1848: Partially paralyzed as result of heart attack.
1851: Died, 24 August, at Colalto.
Additional biographical information can be found in James Glen Collier, "The Political Career of James McDowell, 1830-1851" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1963).
Series 1. Correspondence (1770-1896 and undated)
Subseries 1.1. (1770-September 1813) Early items in this subseries are chiefly correspondence of James McDowell's father, Colonel James McDowell in Rockbridge County, Virginia, with various individuals concerning land speculation and business affairs in Fayette County, Kentucky, and other places. Many letters relate to Colonel McDowell in his capacity as inspector of revenue. Also included is Colonel McDowell's personal correspondence with his wife, Sarah McDowell, especially in 1813 when he was serving in the U.S. army near Richmond.
Correspondents include: James Breckenridge (3 letters, 1796-1802); Edward C. Carrington (many letters from Colonel McDowell to Carrington, 1801-1810); John McDowell, Colonel McDowell's brother(?) (14 letters, 1792-1800); and Francis Preston (1 letter, 1796).
Subseries 1.2. (October 1813-1830) This subseries comprises correspondence of Colonel James McDowell and his son James McDowell. Correspondence of James McDowell begins around October 1813. Colonel McDowell's correspondence with his wife continues through 1832, and there are many letters between father and son. James McDowell's first letters are about his life as a student at Yale in 1813 and 1814. Later, there are many letters from James McDowell to his wife, Susanna Preston McDowell, before and after their marriage in 1818, as well as correspondence of James and Susanna with Susanna's sisters Eliza (Mrs. Edward C. Carrington) and Sally (Mrs. John B. Floyd), and with other members of the Preston and McDowell families, including James's brother-in-law, Thomas Hart Benton. In the 1820s, there are several letters reflecting James McDowell's involvement with colonization societies.
Correspondents include: Thomas Hart Benton (9 letters, 1821-1830); James Breckenridge (3 letters, 1817-1830); Ralph Gurley, secretary of the American Colonization Society (2 letters, 1828 and 1830); and Francis Preston (3 letters, 1818-1828).
Subseries 1.3. (1831-July 1851) In addition to the continued family correspondence in this subseries between Colonel McDowell and his wife and between the Colonel and James McDowell (until the Colonel's death in 1835), there are letters to James McDowell from friends, U.S. congressmen and other national figures, state legislators and other members of the Virginia elite, students, college presidents, and constituents in the 1830s and 1840s. Many letters concern McDowell's commitment to temperance and his belief in the value of college groups, especially collegiate literary societies. Other letters are concerned with such topics as internal improvements in Virginia, slavery in the territories, the Nullification Crisis, colonization societies, Virginia politics, currency and credit issues, public education, and colleges in Virginia. While there is surprisingly little about the political campaigns that McDowell must have mounted to win office, many letters relate to his responsibilities after those offices were attained (Virginia House of Delegates, 1831-1835 and 1837-1838; governor of Virginia, 1842-1846; U.S. House of Representatives, 1846-1851).
There are many letters written home by McDowell as he traveled either for the government or to check on lands he apparently held near Columbus, Mississippi. Until her death in October 1847, most of these letters were written to his wife, Susanna Preston McDowell, and deal chiefly with family matters. They also offer her instruction and advice on how to manage Colalto, the McDowell plantation near Lexington, Virginia, which, considering McDowell's heavy travel schedule, she seems to have handled on her own.
Correspondents include: Joseph Bell (3 letters, 1831-1834); Thomas Hart Benton (over 60 letters, 1830-1838 and 1843-1846); James Breckenridge (1 letter, 1831); Joseph Cabell (2 letters, 1843-1844); Charles Dimmock, Captain at the Richmond Armory (several dozen letters, 1844-1847); Lyman Copeland Draper (1 letter, 1847); Landon C. Garland (2 letters, 1847-1848); Samuel E. Goodson (9 letters, 1837-1838 and 1842-1847); Archibald Graham, a doctor of Lexington, Virginia (over 30 letters, scattered over this period); Reuben Grigsley of Rockbridge County, Virginia (9 letters, 1830-1835 and 1846); Ralph Randolph Gurley (1 letter, 1846); Thomas Henderson of Lexington, Virginia (2 letters, 1846); George Washington Hopkins, U.S. congressman of Abingdon, Virginia (over 20 letters, 1830s); John Letcher, Lexington, Kentucky, attorney and editor, later governor (numerous letters, 1830s and 1840s); Francis McFarland, Presbyterian minister (4 letters, 1848-1851); Francis McGavock of Nashville, Tennessee (1 letter, 1838); John Marsh, temperance reformer (12 letters, 1851); John Murray Mason (2 letters, 1844); Samuel McDowell Moore, U.S. congressman (1 letter, 1832); Francis Preston (2 letters, 1832-1833); Thomas Jefferson Randolph, grandson of Thomas Jefferson (7 letters, 1838-1846); Benjamin Wood Richards, classmate of McDowell and later mayor of Philadelphia (7 letters, 1842-1850); William H. Richardson, adjutant general of Virginia (over 50 letters, 1842-1850); William Taylor, U.S. congressman, and other members of the Taylor family (numerous letters, 1831-1846); John H. Wartmann of Harrisonburg, Virginia (over 20 letters, 1840s); and Thomas Willis White, founder of the Southern Literary Messenger (4 letters, 1834-1838).
Subseries 1.4. (August 1851-1896) This subseries comprises correspondence after James McDowell's death in August 1851 and consists largely of letters of condolence written to McDowell's daughter, Sally Campbell Preston Miller. There are also letters involving another McDowell daughter, Margaret Cantey McDowell Venable; her husband, Charles Scott Venable, a professor of mathematics at Hampden Sidney College; and their son, Francis Preston Venable, later professor of chemistry and president of the University of North Carolina. There are few letters during the Civil War period.
Series 2. Financial and Legal Materials (1728-1864 and undated)
This series comprises financial and legal papers of James McDowell and McDowell family members. The 1728 item is a fragment of a deed involving Alexander McDowell, an ancestor of James McDowell. Materials include sales receipts, statements of accounts, lists of expenditures, indentures, notes and briefs for legal cases, vote tallies, and court dockets. Of interest are the will of Colonel James McDowell; records of land transactions in Fayette County, Kentucky; inventories of James McDowell's slaves; and an emancipation contract, ca. 1831, between McDowell and his slave, Lewis James, requiring that Lewis both purchase his freedom and apply for emigration to Liberia. There are only a few items after James McDowell's death in 1851. The 1864 item is a series of Confederate bonds. (For other papers relating to colonization and emancipation, see Series 3.)
Series 3. Writings and Notes (ca. 1815-1850 and undated)
This series comprises drafts of speeches, addresses, essays, and reports that James McDowell presented to various groups, societies, and organizations, including the Virginia House of Delegates and the U.S. House of Representatives. McDowell's writings reflect his interests in the public affairs and intellectual life of Virginia and the nation, especially in the 1830s and 1840s. Many items are speeches to citizens, legislators, and members of collegiate societies on topics such as slavery in the territories, internal improvements, and constitutional government.
This series is re-arranged in subseries by topic including: Slavery; Economics; Politics and Government; and Other Writings and Notes. Within subseries, writings and notes are arranged by type (e.g., miscellaneous speeches and resolutions before the Virginia House of Delegates within the Politics and Government subseries).
Subseries 3.1. Slavery Items related to slavery in the territories include speeches and articles (some fragments) by James McDowell, 1847-1851, on the Wilmot Proviso, the Oregon Bill, territorial governments for Utah and New Mexico, the Compromise of 1850, and the Northwest Ordinance (1787). Included are portions of a book-length essay on the latter. Titles include: "First Oregon Bill," [1847?]; "Upon the formation of territorial governments upon grounds of mutual deference and concessions," 1850; and "Speech in the House on ... the boundary of Texas and the imposition of the Wilmot Proviso upon the territorial governments of Utah and New Mexico," 1850. Also included are three small volumes of speeches on slavery in the territories made by James McDowell in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1850 (formerly volumes 3, 4, and 8). There are printed copies of speeches on the Wilmot Proviso and on the formation of governments in New Mexico and California. (See also the section below on U.S. Politics and Government for essay on the Northwest Ordinance in relation to the Constitution.)
African-American colonization items include essays, speeches, and resolutions (some fragments) by James McDowell concerning efforts to form colonies for free blacks outside the United States.
Items pertaining to the "Great Slavery Debate," Virginia General Assembly, 1831-1832, include speeches and fragments of other writings by James McDowell on the question of the gradual emancipation of slaves in Virginia.
Miscellaneous notes on slavery include notes for speeches and other writings on various topics having to do with slavery.
Subseries 3.2. Economics Items concerning economic conditions in the United States include speeches, resolutions, and other writings (some fragments) by James McDowell about U.S. government policies on currency, credit, taxes, and tariffs. Titles include: "Remarks on the effects of banks in a agricultural community," 1825; "Resolution against the removal of the U.S. government deposits from the Second Bank of the United States," ca. 1833; and "Remarks on tea and coffee tax and the Walker Tariff," ca. 1847. There are also notes on currency and credit.
Internal improvements are discussed in speeches, essays, reports, and resolutions (some fragments) by James McDowell on canals, roads, turnpikes, and railroads for Virginia, particularly the James River and Kanawha Canal project. Titles include: "Baltimore & Ohio Railroad," 1828; "Internal improvement," ca. 1830s; "Remarks on road law and bill," ca. 1830; "Resolution supporting the joint stock principle of the Internal Improvement Fund and the Staunton and Potomac Railroad," ca. 1831; "James River and Kanawha Company," undated; and "Memorial supporting the Richmond and Cartersville Turnpike," undated. Also included is a small volume entitled "Remarks on the construction of a general system of internal improvements in Virginia," 1831 (formerly volume 7) and a notebook containing, in addition to a few scattered accounts, notes on internal improvement (formerly volume 10).
Subseries 3.3. Politics and Government Items related to the U.S. Constitution include speeches and fragments of writings by James McDowell on the federal system of government and the power of state governments. Titles include: "Our American federal union," 1851, and "Some hasty remarks on state sovereignty," undated. Also included are two small volumes, one containing an essay on the Northwest Ordinance in relation to the Constitution (formerly volume 6) and the other a speech on the concept of federal union (formerly volume 9). There is also a printed copy of the speech on federal union.
Speeches, resolutions, and essays (some fragments) by James McDowell appear on the 1832 Nullification Crisis. These writings were prepared for delivery before the Virginia House of Delegates and elsewhere. There are also a few notes on nullification.
Virginia politics and government are covered in speeches and essays by James McDowell on such topics as constitutional conventions, the rights of citizens, and the duties of a representative in the Virginia House of Delegates. Titles include: "Staunton convention: a few observations upon it," 1825; "James McDowell vs. unlimited convention," 1826; "Charlottesville convention," ca. 1830; and "On the right of instruction," ca. 1834.
Two articles and two fragments by James McDowell appear on party politics in Virginia and in the U.S. Congress in the late 1840s.
Campaign items include speeches and writings (some fragments) relating to various elections. Included are outlines and drafts of speeches by James McDowell supporting Democratic candidates in the presidential elections of 1824, 1828, 1836, 1840, and 1848, and a lengthy essay defending Andrew Jackson and questioning the constitutionality of congressional procedures in the disputed election of 1824. There are also speeches and essays that relate to McDowell's political campaigns, particularly in the 1830s, and a few that relate to candidates in non-presidential races. Included are an essay on McDowell's candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 1833 and a speech, ca. 1831, in support of Virginia Governor James Barbour. There are also notes on general campaign topics.
Miscellaneous speeches and resolutions before the Virginia House of Delegates include writings by James McDowell on points of law, legislative procedure, and public education, including "An outline of remarks on the creation of the court of appeals," 1831.
Miscellaneous speeches and resolutions before the U.S. House of Representatives include drafts and fragments of speeches and resolutions by James McDowell, 1847-1851, on various issues before the House, including the election of Howell Cobb as speaker.
Miscellaneous notes for speeches and other writings also appear on various topics having to do with politics.
Subseries 3.4. Other Writings and Notes Western Virginia writings and notes include three speeches, undated, by James McDowell on the historical problems of western Virginia, including an address entitled, "The historical division of counties in Virginia."
Miscellaneous presentations to collegiate and literary societies include drafts of and notes for addresses, ca. 1815-1843, given by James McDowell at Washington College, Virginia Military Institute, Amherst, Princeton, and other colleges. Some of the topics covered are temperance, Bible study, and general morality.
Miscellaneous writings on liberty and patriotism consist of addresses by James McDowell to various audiences.
Miscellaneous writings and notes include speeches, addresses, and articles (some fragments), ca. 1816-1850, by James McDowell on civic, humanistic, and other concerns. Included are addresses on the power of conversation, 1815; on the association of ideas, 1816; on Lafayette and James Madison, 1824 and 1836; and on the benefits of agricultural societies, undated. There are also notes on temperance and other topics.
Series 4. Genealogical Materials (ca. 1810-1893)
This series comprises genealogical notes, correspondence, and clippings, chiefly of James McDowell's daughter, Sally Campbell Preston Miller, ca. 1884-1891, relating to the life of her father and to other members of the McDowell family. Included is a list, ca. 1810, of the descendants of Andrew McDowell (b. 1710).
Series 5. Other Papers (ca. 1800-1879 and undated)
This series comprises a variety of miscellaneous papers relating to Washington College; printed memorials and circulars received by James McDowell, chiefly about internal improvements; and other materials, including draft constitutions for agricultural, collegiate, and debating societies.
Series 6. Volumes (1818-ca. 1840 and undated)
This series comprises four volumes. The first (formerly volume 2) is a travel journal, 1818, owner unknown (perhaps Mrs. H. P. Cochran) of a journey in France. The author mentions U.S. senator James Brown (1776-1835). The second (formerly volume 1) contains recollections and testimony of Senator William Campbell Preston relating to an 1840 law suit involving B. McIntosh and R. L. Edgeworth of Columbia, South Carolina. The third (formerly volume 5) is a small notebook, undated, owner unknown, containing lists of names by Virginia county of residence. The fourth volume (formerly volume 11) contains childhood reminiscences, undated, of Francis Preston Venable, James McDowell's grandson.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection include the Charles Scott Venable Papers and the Francis Preston Venable Papers. Another related collection is the Francis Preston Venable Papers, University Archives, University of North Carolina. Other related collections include the James McDowell II Papers, Manuscripts Department, Duke University; the McDowell Family Papers, University of Virginia; the McDowell Family Papers and Preston Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society; and the Thomas Hart Benton papers, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, Missouri. The James McDowell II Papers are included in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series F, Part 3.
Meriwether Family Papers, 1791-ca. 1880s,
Albemarle County, Virginia; also Kentucky and Tennessee
Description of the Collection
This collection consists of correspondence and financial and legal papers of the Meriwether family of Virginia and Tennessee.
Correspondence is chiefly letters to Charles N. Meriwether from family and friends. During the 1790s, there are several letters to him on the subject of tobacco sales and the settlement of his wife's and daughter's estates. Correspondence from family and friends includes letters giving family news and discussing the possibilities of moving west, slave and tobacco sales, land disputes, and the expense of land in Virginia. There are many letters from his brother, William D. Meriwether of Virginia, regarding family matters and estates, economic conditions in Virginia, farming, the War of 1812, and the murder of a professor at the University of Virginia by a student. William is the most frequent correspondent from 1809 through 1840. In a letter of 3 April 1818, he described the agricultural improvements adopted by Albemarle County planters, who were growing wheat instead of tobacco, applying plaster and clover to the soil, and facing devastating attacks by the Hessian fly. He also mentioned the founding of the Albemarle County Agricultural Society.
Other letters include one from a nephew describing his journey down the Mississippi River in 1818, several from relatives in the Arkansas Territory between 1818 and 1823, and several from his son, William D. Meriwether, a student at the University of Virginia in the late 1820s.
Other correspondence includes a letter to Charles N. Meriwether's wife Mary, detailing family news, and a letter from his son, Charles N. Meriwether, a student at Washington and Lee, describing the funeral of General Robert E. Lee in 1870.
Financial and legal materials, intermixed with the letters, include a certificate of admission to the freedom of the City of London to Francis Merriweather, ancestor of the Meriwether family in the United States, dated 12 January 1737; a letter of appointment to Charles N. Meriwether as surgeon to the 69th Regiment of the Virginia Militia in 1803; land grants for Montgomery and Todd Counties, Tennessee, and Christian County, Kentucky; indentures; federal land grants; a list of slaves given by Charles N. Meriwether to his son William D. Meriwether in 1830; survey maps; and a genealogical chart dating from the 1880s.
Charles N. Meriwether (fl. 1791-1843), son of Nicholas H. Meriwether of Virginia and Margaret Douglas Meriwether of Scotland, was born in or near what is now Albemarle County, Virginia. Member of a prominent Virginia family, Meriwether was a first cousin of Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809), one of the commanders of the Lewis and Clark expedition and governor of the Louisiana Territory.
In the 1780s, while studying medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland, Charles N. Meriwether married and had a daughter. His wife died before 1791, and his daughter died shortly after his return to Virginia around 1794. He remained in that state until 1809, serving as surgeon to the 69th Regiment of the Virginia Militia and farming in Halifax County. In 1809, he moved to Montgomery County, Tennessee, purchasing land in that county and in neighboring Christian County, Kentucky. He remained in those counties, marrying a second and third time. His second wife was Ann Minor, a native of Virginia, with whom he had two sons, Charles N. Meriwether and William D. Meriwether. His third wife was Mary Walton, with whom he had one son, James H. Meriwether.
E. H. Riggan Account Book, 1846-1870,
Mecklenburg County, Virginia; also North Carolina
Description of the Collection
This collection comprises an account book, with cash account entries chiefly dated 1854-1864, kept by an individual, presumably E. H. Riggan, who apparently lived in or near Mecklenburg County, Virginia. The most frequent references in the volume to locations are to Boydton, Mecklenburg County, and Lawrenceville, Brunswick County, Virginia, although there are references to other locations, such as Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, and Raleigh and Warrenton, North Carolina.
The book includes records of payments received for bacon, beef, sugar, oats, tobacco, wheat, and other products, and of payments made for items such as buttons, boots, butter, apples, coal, and confectioneries, and for labor, such as sewing and farm work. Some entries refer to slave hires and cash given to slaves for corn, tobacco, coal, and extra work. Entries in 1863 record work done by slaves on fortifications. There are occasional records of payments for dental procedures, and a few notes in the front of the volume on predicting weather, horse breeding, and growing fruit trees.
Edmund Ruffin, Jr. Plantation Diary, 1851-1873,
Amelia, Hanover, and Prince George Counties, Virginia
Description of the Collection
This collection chiefly documents affairs on Ruffin's plantation, Beechwood, between 1851 and 1862, and on his Hanover County plantation, Marlbourne, between 1866 and 1873. Occasional mentions of Evelynton's management in the antebellum period are brief and cryptic. Only a few entries, mostly retrospective, pertain to affairs at Redmoor. Entries for 1866 describe in detail damage done to Beechwood and Evelynton during the war, but later entries give only limited information on these plantations.
The journal provides detailed information on the weather, crop conditions, crop rotations, fertilizers used, plantation finances, and general farm tasks completed by slaves and hired hands at Beechwood and Marlbourne. The entries provide little insight into Ruffin's family or social life, with the exception of a few pages, dated 1866, which pertain to his family's experiences during the Union occupation of Virginia. In these and later entries, Ruffin freely discussed his feelings on the actions of Union forces during the war and the freedmen's postwar political activities in Hanover County.
Some information can be gleaned from the journal on slaves at Beechwood. Ruffin on occasion remarked on the health of slaves, mentioned births and deaths, and described their wholesale abandonment of his plantations once Union soldiers arrived.
Entries in the journal are fullest for the period January 1851 to May 1861. Later entries lessen considerably in frequency and somewhat in detail.
He described in detail the difficulties he encountered in planting, harvesting, storing, and marketing several varieties of wheat--including red, white, and blue stem--and corn, oats, peas, and tobacco. He began growing tobacco in 1859. Frequent mention appears of experiments Ruffin conducted in rotating and fertilizing his crops to maximize production and to control the growth of wiregrass in his fields. He also discussed the draining and grubbing of his land, the construction of farm buildings, planting in his orchards, and the performance of machinery, mostly reapers and thrashers that he purchased. Entries between 1866 and 1873 document similar activities at Marlbourne.
In addition to his regular entries, Ruffin included brief monthly and yearly summaries of work done, fertilizer used, crops produced, income received from crops, the health of slaves, and the condition of his crops and livestock.
Two entries of note are one for 20 July 1854, describing a fire at Beechwood, which destroyed Ruffin's barn and the wheat and corn stored in it, and another for 20 March 1858, mentioning the burning of the barn and stables at Marlbourne by an arsonist. Ruffin speculated that his own barn's burning may also have been arson.
Several entries appearing before the Civil War provide information on slaves at Beechwood. Included are those for 24 November 1855, 8 December 1856, 6 March 1857, 1 July 1858, and 11 March 1861. The 1856 entry mentions the death of "Aunt Polly," a woman who in 1836 had 51 descendants in Virginia and the Southwest. Also mentioned are overseers Ruffin hired at Beechwood, including "Booker" (1851), Mr. West (1852), Mr. Emory (1853), Mr. Biggleston (1855), Mr. Stiles (1858), and Mr. Allen (1861).
The journal was kept only sporadically from May 1861 to May 1862, when Ruffin was in the army. No entries appear in 1861 after May, except for a few in July and one for 23 September, which he made while home on furlough. The first entry for 1862 is 15 February, and no others appear from that date until 15 May 1862, when Ruffin was released from military duty. The 15 February entry includes an assessment of his property at Evelynton for war taxes. The entry for 15 May gives a detailed "State of the Farm," describing the condition of his crops and livestock at Beechwood. Scattered entries in May and June concern mostly the escape of a large portion of the slave forces at Beechwood, Evelynton, and Marlbourne. Of note are an entry for 26 May 1862, mentioning slaves being sent to help build fortifications at Richmond, and entries for 9, 24, and 25 June, documenting departures of slaves. On 24 June, he reported that he had sold 29 slaves in Petersburg to avoid having them escape.
Ruffin did not keep the journal after 25 June 1862, when his family left Beechwood and retreated to Marlbourne in Hanover County, or later between 1863 and 1865, when they took refuge at Redmoor in Amelia County. He resumed the book on 1 January 1866, when he wrote, while at Redmoor, a five-page summary of his family's trials during the war. He described the destruction of his plantations by Union soldiers, the death of his daughter Nancy in 1863, while the family was fleeing Marlbourne, the death of his brother Julian in May 1864, during a Confederate attack on General Butler's lines, the death of his father in June 1865, his financial situation, and his decision to rebuild at Marlbourne.
The entries made between January 1866 and December 1873 are less frequent and briefer than those for the earlier period, but contain similar information on crops and farm work. Those in 1866 discuss Ruffin's sale of Redmoor, his renting out of Beechwood and Evelynton to tenants, the construction of his new home at Marlbourne, and details of his finances. The journal indicates that he began growing cotton in 1866.
Ruffin frequently complained about the freedmen throughout the period 1866 to 1873, charging that they worked slowly, feigned illness, and took holidays without regard to his needs. He also bitterly resented their new political power. Of note are his references in October 1867 to the choosing of delegates to frame a new state constitution as the "nigger election," and his comments on 5 July 1868 concerning the "infamous Yankee regime" and the election of state officers. Other entries of note pertaining to the freedmen are 6 July 1868; 8 July 1872; 2, 5, and 22 July 1873; and 15 November 1873.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection include the Edmund Ruffin Papers and the Ruffin and Meade Family Papers. The Ruffin and Meade Papers are included in this edition. Other related collections include: the Bland-Ruffin Papers, University of Virginia; the Edmund Ruffin Papers, Virginia Historical Society; and the Edmund Ruffin Journal, Virginia State Library and Archives.
Edmund Ruffin, Jr. (fl. 1823-1873) was the son of agricultural reformer Edmund Ruffin (1794-1865) of Prince George and Hanover Counties, Virginia, and Susan Travis Ruffin (fl. 1813). He had at least three children, George, Thomas, and Nancy.
Between 1851 and 1862, Ruffin operated two plantations, Beechwood and Evelynton, located on the James River in Prince George County. He and his family lived at Beechwood, where Ruffin planted wheat, corn, oats, tobacco, and vegetables, and maintained a peach orchard and livestock, including hogs, cattle, and sheep. Like his father, he experimented freely with crop rotation and fertilizers, and he frequently invested in newly available farm machinery.
During the Civil War, Thomas and George both served as privates in the Confederate army. Ruffin also himself briefly served in the Confederate army at Camp Lookout between May 1861 and May 1862. Nancy Ruffin died during the war in 1863, while her family was fleeing the Union army.
When Beechwood and Evelynton were taken by Union forces early in 1862, Ruffin moved his family first to Petersburg, then to his father's estate, Marlbourne, in Hanover County, for safety. He also bought a small plantation, Redmoor, in Amelia County, where the family took refuge for the remainder of the war after Northern forces raided Marlbourne in 1863.
At the war's end, Ruffin inherited part of Marlbourne and returned there to plant. He sold Redmoor in 1866 and rented out most of Beechwood and Evelynton to help finance his Marlbourne planting efforts. Ruffin continued to cultivate wheat, corn, and oats at Marlbourne, and supplemented them with cotton in 1866.
Ruffin and Meade Family Papers, 1796-1906,
Hanover and Prince George Counties and the Independent City of Petersburg, Virginia; also Alabama and New Jersey
Description of the Collection
The collection, made up mostly of correspondence, is arranged into two series as follows: Series 1. Correspondence--Subseries 1.1. 1814-1830, Subseries 1.2. 1831-1847, Subseries 1.3. 1848-April 1861, Subseries 1.4. Undated antebellum letters, Subseries 1.5. May 1861-1865, and Subseries 1.6. 1866-1900 and undated, and Series 2. Miscellaneous Papers. 1796-1906 and undated.
Correspondence is mostly that of the women of the Meade family, with extensive correspondence for John E. Meade, Jr., and some letters for Julian Ruffin. The correspondence is fullest between 1848 and 1866, and provides extensive information on the social, school, and family lives of antebellum Virginia plantation families, including discussion of courtship, friendship, religious devotion, plantation affairs, and family relationships. Limited information appears on organized religious activities. Some information appears on the social and family life of Meade relatives in Greensborough, Alabama, and Elizabethtown, New Jersey.
Letters in 1860 and 1861 comment extensively on secession and the outbreak of war. Civil War correspondence includes letters from both civilians and soldiers, and gives detailed information on camp life and women's work to support the war effort. Letters frequently express opinions on events during the war and mention local instances of slave resistance.
Postwar letters concern mostly family and financial matters. The bulk of these letters are for 1866, with scattered items appearing between 1866 and 1869 and between 1897 and 1900.
The miscellaneous papers are dated between 1796 and 1906, and consist mostly of school materials for John E. Meade, Jr. in the 1850s and early 1860s. Only a few financial and legal items, mostly accounts and legal documents pertaining to the estate of Julian Ruffin and the division of his father's estate, Marlbourne, appear. Other items are poems, clippings, genealogical notes, a child's scrapbook, and advertising broadsides.
Rebecca Wormeley Beverley (d. 1867) of Williamsburg, Virginia, was the daughter of Robert Beverley. She had at least three sisters, Eleanor, Jane, and Ann, and at least one brother, William (d. 1846). Ann married cotton planter Robert(?) Randolph and lived at Oakley Plantation in Greensborough, Alabama. William married a woman named Harriette and lived in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, until his death in 1846. In 1860, Harriette married W. B. Cooper. She and Rebecca remained close friends.
In 1830, Rebecca married John Everard Meade (d. 1855), tobacco and wheat planter of Prince George County. They resided at Cedar Level, outside City Point, and had four children: Charlotte (fl. 1834-1900), who married planter Julian Calx Ruffin in 1852; Eleanor (d. 1866?), who married Rev. W. H. Platt in 1857; Bessie (b. 1832), who married cloth manufacturer David Callender in 1855; and John E. Meade, Jr. (1843-1862).
The Meade daughters were educated at Mrs. Eliason's in Alexandria, Virginia, and at Mrs. Minor's in Richmond, Virginia, between 1848 and 1850. John E. Meade, Jr. attended school in 1855 and 1856 at Mr. Minor's in Hanover County; in 1857 at the Episcopal High School of Virginia in Fairfax County; and between 1858 and April 1861 at the Brookland School in Albemarle County. In April, he volunteered for service in the Petersburg Riflemen stationed at Entrenched Camp outside Norfolk. He died in December 1862, probably from an illness contracted in the army.
Charlotte's husband, Julian C. Ruffin, served with the Confederate army at Entrenched Camp and later at Camp Ft. Clifton outside Petersburg. He died in service in May 1864. After his death, Charlotte Ruffin sold their Hanover County plantation, Ruthven, and moved to Marlbourne, her father-in-law's estate. She inherited half of Marlbourne upon the senior Ruffin's suicide in 1865. Julian and Charlotte Ruffin had at least four children: Julian Meade Ruffin (b. 1853); Edmund; Bessie; and Jane.
Bessie and David Callender resided in Petersburg, where Callender supplied cloth to the Confederate army during the war. They had at least three children: Tommy (b. 1856); Meg; and Nannie. Rev. W. H. and Eleanor Platt also resided in Petersburg until 1866, when they moved to Louisville, Kentucky. Eleanor died from tuberculosis in December 1866 or January 1867. Rev. Platt served in the Petersburg Dragoons early in the Civil War and later commanded the Cockade Cadets. The Platts had at least five children, some of whom were from his first marriage. They included Ella, Charles, Willie (b. 1858), Cornelia (b. 1861), and Johnnie.
Series 1. Correspondence (1814-1900)
This series consists of letters of the Meade and Ruffin families. Principal correspondents are Rebecca Beverley Meade; her son, John Everard Meade, Jr.; and her daughters, Charlotte Meade Ruffin; Eleanor Meade Platt; and Bessie Meade Callender. Correspondence also appears for Charlotte's husband, Julian C. Ruffin. The bulk of the letters were exhanged between immediate family members in Virginia, although a large number of letters appear from relatives in Elizabethtown, New Jersey; Greensborough, Alabama; Philadelphia; and New York.
Subseries 1.1. (1814, 1822-1823, 1829-1830) This subseries consists mostly of letters received by Rebecca Beverley in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Georgetown, D.C., and in Greensborough, Alabama, before her marriage, with a few letters addressed to her sisters, Eleanor and Jane. Principal correspondents are her cousin, Rebecca, at Blandfield Plantation, and her cousin, Beverley Kennon, a sailor with the U.S. Navy.
Two 1814 letters are from Eleanor Wormeley of Rossgill Plantation to her granddaughter Eleanor Beverley, discussing the death of the girl's mother and the raising of Eleanor and her sisters and brothers. The second letter, dated 7 May, describes the British seizure of ships near Rossgill and the exodus of many local slaves to the British.
A cousin, Rebecca, wrote Rebecca Beverley several times in 1822 concerning the separation of the latter's family, advising her on romantic affairs, and giving news of relatives. Beverley Kennon wrote Rebecca from aboard the U.S. Frigate Guerriere in 1822; at sea, aboard the U.S. Schooner Weasel, in 1823; and from Williamsburg in 1829. He discussed mostly his romantic interests, his family, and his travels. Kennon's mother, Elizabeth Kennon, wrote Rebecca from Norfolk in 1823 expressing fear for her son's safety at sea.
Of interest among the remaining letters is one in 1822 from Rebecca's sister, Jane, visiting at Blandfield, which discusses their brother William's studies in Georgetown and Rebecca's efforts to be economical while keeping house for her brothers. Her cousin Rebecca and her father, Robert Beverley, included notes in the letter. A letter Rebecca wrote to Jane a few days later discusses her worsening financial situation and gives news of the family. A letter of 1830 discusses Rebecca's marriage plans and her sister Eleanor B. Randolph's plans for attending the ceremony.
Subseries 1.2. (1831, 1835, 1837-1842, 1845-1847) This subseries consists primarily of letters received by Rebecca W. Meade at City Point and by Julian Ruffin at the University of Virginia in 1837; in Petersburg, Garysville, and Old Church, Virginia, between 1838 and the spring of 1847; and at his Hanover County plantation, Ruthven, beginning in the summer of 1847. A few items appear for Rebecca Meade's daughters, Charlotte (Lottie), Eleanor (Nell), and Bessie (also Bess). Harriette (Mrs. William) Beverley was the Meade family's most frequent correspondent, and Ruffin's brother Edmund, and sisters, Elizabeth, Agnes, Beck, and Jeanie, were his principal correspondents.
Harriette wrote Rebecca Meade from her home in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in 1846, and from Philadelphia and other locations in 1847 describing her travels in Virginia, Washington, D.C., South Carolina, and Georgia; discussing her reading, religion, and the Meade children; and giving news of mutual friends. Letters of note are one, dated 1 November 1846, informing Rebecca of William Beverley's death, and another, dated 3 September 1847, in which Harriette described her responses to Hiram Powers' statue, the "Greek Slave."
Rebecca Meade also received letters from her uncle, William Bolling, at Bollinghall Plantation, discussing crops, family news, and Episcopal church affairs. Other letters include one from a friend, Louisa Baker at Berkeley Plantation, Adams County, Mississippi, in 1831, one from Elizabeth Bryan at Eagle Point in 1842, and one in 1839 from Augusta Randolph in Mobile, Alabama. Mrs. Randolph described a voyage her family took aboard the Scotia from Baltimore to Mobile and their plans to visit Randolph relatives in Greensborough, Alabama.
Most of the letters Julian Ruffin received from his sisters in Hanover County discuss the health and activities of family members; describe neighbors, parties, visitors and farm affairs at Marlbourne, the family's estate; and give news of Julian's father, Edmund Ruffin, Sr. Of interest is a letter of 14 June 1845 from his sister Elizabeth, giving her opinion of Julian's affairs at Ruthven. Julian received one letter from his brother Edmund, who wrote in 1837 from Petersburg, discussing his plantation, Beechwood, and advising Julian on his education. Letters also appear from scattered cousins and friends, who wrote concerning family, romances, and school. An item of interest is from Julian's brother-in-law, E. K., who wrote from Warrenton in 1837 reminiscing about his college days at the University of Virginia, sharing his thoughts on Thomas Jefferson, and describing Monticello upon visits he had made there several years earlier.
Subseries 1.3. (1848-April 1861) This subseries consists primarily of correspondence of the Meade sisters at Cedar Level and at school in Alexandria and Richmond, and of John E. Meade, Jr. at school in Hanover, Fairfax, and Albemarle Counties. Included are letters they exchanged with their mother, Rebecca Meade; their aunt, Harriette Beverley; each other; and cousins, friends, and schoolmates. Items for Rebecca Meade are mostly from her children and from Harriette Beverley. Several items appear for Julian Ruffin.
Letters exchanged by the Meade children with their mother and each other discuss family and neighborhood news; servants; school activities; courtships; visits and visitors; news of the Randolphs at Oakley, where Bess visited frequently and went to teach in 1850; and reading, social events, church affairs, and family quarrels. Specific topics of interest are Charlotte's marriage in 1852, Bessie's in 1855, and Eleanor's in 1857, and John E. Meade, Sr.'s death in 1855. Letters of note are one, dated 10 January 1849, from Bessie to Eleanor, giving a detailed account of a stroke suffered by their "mammy" and the medical attention she received, and another, dated 14 April 1850, from Bessie to Eleanor, discussing her unhappiness that their father expected them to support themselves through teaching. John E. Meade, Jr.'s correpondence is fullest between 1857 and April 1861. The later letters often concern the country's political situation, secession, and the early events of the war.
Letters to the Meade children from friends focus primarily on school life, including news of their studies, teachers, daily routines, and other friends at school. Letters appear from students at Mrs. Eliason's and Mrs. Minor's schools, the Norfolk Female Institute, the Virginia Female Institute in Staunton, the Howard Theological Seminary, and the University of Virginia. The Meades also received letters from a number of Randolph and Dupuy cousins, which discuss mostly family news.
Harriette Beverley wrote while visiting Oakley Plantation (the home of Rebecca's sister Ann Randolph) in Greensborough, Alabama, in early 1848 to discuss the family and social life of the Randolphs and news of society in nearby Greensborough and Tuscaloosa. She wrote later from Elizabethtown, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn, concerning the Episcopal church, the Meade childrens' marriage prospects, her friends and family, and her reading. Of note is her description on 31 December 1848 of a visit to the Philadelphia Academy of Arts and Sciences. Also of interest is a letter, dated 10 March 1857, to Rebecca Meade, in which she described a lecture she attended by Lucy Stone. She also frequently described her travels and popular entertainments. There are also letters, 29 July-15 December 1860, describing her marriage and travels in Europe with her second husband, W. B. Cooper.
A few letters to Julian C. Ruffin appear, mostly in 1848, from his sisters at Marlbourne, and discuss their father; friends and relatives, including members of the Harrison, Stockdell, Randolph, and Cocke families; visits and visitors; weddings; Christmas celebrations; and other family news. A few letters similar to these appear in 1855 and 1860. Charlotte Ruffin also occasionally wrote to Julian while he was away from home, telling him news of the family.
Subseries 1.4. (Undated Antebellum Letters) This subseries consists mostly of letters to Julian Ruffin from his sisters at Marlbourne and letters to the Meade family women from Harriette Beverley and other relatives. The topics in these letters reflect those of earlier letters described in Subseries 1.2 and 1.3.
Subseries 1.5. (May 1861-1865) This subseries consists primarily of Civil War era letters exchanged between John E. Meade, Jr., his mother, and his sisters. John Meade wrote from Entrenched Camp outside Norfolk, between May 1861 and April 1862. His mother wrote from her daughters' homes in Hanover County and Petersburg, and later from Augusta, Georgia, and Greensborough, Alabama. Other correspondence consists of letters to John Meade from friends; letters Julian Ruffin wrote Charlotte from Entrenched Camp in April 1862 and from Petersburg and Camp Ft. Clifton in December 1863; and letters received by Rebecca Meade, Julian Ruffin, and Charlotte Ruffin in Hanover County from friends and relatives in Virginia, Alabama, and New Jersey.
John Meade's letters discuss camp life; activities at the Norfolk Navy Yard; his company; social life in Norfolk; and troop movements. In early 1862, he wrote concerning enlisting in the army under the Confederate States Act. Julian Ruffin's letters to Charlotte contain similar information. In an informative letter, dated 3 April 1862, he described Methodist prayer meetings; conflicts over the refusal of Quaker draftees to fight; and common amusements at Entrenched Camp. Ruffin also frequently discussed the legal relationship between the Virginia militia and the Confederate army and gave his wife advice on how to manage their plantation in his absence.
Rebecca Meade and her daughters wrote to John and to each other frequently, discussing work they were doing to support the war effort; relatives and neighbors; church activities; the service and deaths of relatives in the war; and the behavior of slaves. Of interest is a letter, dated 22 August 1861, from Rebecca Meade to John, mentioning the public whipping of slaves in Prince George County to deter an insurrection. Other topics include the efficacy of secession, the expected roles of England and France in the war, the atrocities of Yankee soldiers, Edmund Ruffin Sr.'s participation in the Palmetto Guard, and news of important battles. Mrs. Meade wrote John in October 1861 concerning Edmund Ruffin, Sr.'s extreme bitterness over the war and her discomfort with his inability to restrain his emotions.
Letters from other relatives discuss family, farming, and financial hardships brought on by the war and general war news. Letters of note include one, dated 4 June 1861, to John from his friend, W. C. Kerr, in Petersburg, describing a pass through the city by Jefferson Davis, P. G. T. Beauregard and J. P. Benjamin. A letter from Harriette Beverley Cooper to Rebecca Meade, dated 13 January 1863, expressed sympathy upon John's death, and other letters discuss sentiment towards the war in New Jersey. A 16 March 1863 letter from Julia Gardiner Tyler discusses the wartime censorship of mails and her delivery of a notice to the New York newspapers about Edmund Ruffin, Sr. A letter, dated 24 May 1864, from Edmund Ruffin, Jr. to Charlotte, discusses the death of Julian Ruffin. A letter, dated 18 May 1863, from Edmund Ruffin, Sr. describes his son Edmund's participation in a group of civilians collected to oppose Yankee raiders.
Subseries 1.6. (1866-1867, 1869, 1897, 1899-1900 and undated) This subseries consists mostly of correspondence of Eleanor Meade Platt in 1866 with her mother and sisters. Scattered letters appear in 1866 from Eleanor Platt's husband, W. H. Platt, and a few letters appear exchanged during that year among Rebecca Meade, Charlotte, and Bessie. Correspondence after 1866 is primarily that of Charlotte and her daughter, Jane Ruffin.
The principal focus of the correspondence for 1866 is Eleanor's health, which declined steadily throughout the year until her death from tuberculosis in late December or early January. Other topics of interest are the Platts' move to Louisville, Kentucky, from Petersburg in early 1866, their friends there, Rev. Platt's activities as a minister, and their children. In July, the Platts traveled to Minnesota, where Eleanor remained until September. Letters exchanged by Rebecca Meade in Hanover County and Petersburg, with Charlotte at Marlbourne Plantation in Hanover County, and Bessie in Petersburg, discuss news of family and friends, with mention of illnesses, deaths, and marriages. Of particular note is a letter, dated 29 August 1866, from Bessie to her mother concerning a freedman who supported his former mistress financially after her son was shot by another freedman. The letter also mentions a fever killing hundreds of freedmen in Alabama.
Miscellaneous letters for 1866 include one, dated 6 September, from Elizabeth Beverley Randolph in Columbus, Georgia, to Rebecca Meade, in Hanover County, concerning the death of Mrs. Randolph's grandson, Beverley, and her plans to move north.
Letters after 1866 were received by Charlotte Ruffin at Marlbourne and her daughter, Jane Ruffin. Three letters in early 1867 express sympathy over the deaths of Charlotte's mother and sister. Other letters for that year include one, dated 6 February, from a cousin turning down a governess position Charlotte had offered her, and another, dated 10 August, from Peter P. Batte, pertaining to Charlotte's plans to rent or sell Ruthven. There are no letters for 1868. Two letters appear for 1869, one to Charlotte from her brother-in-law, William Sayres, and another from G. W. P. Haw, concerning the division of Marlbourne between Edmund Ruffin, Jr. and herself.
No correspondence appears after 1869 until 1897, when Jane Ruffin received several letters from R. Heber Screven of Charleston and one from her brother, Edmund S. Ruffin, in Norfolk discussing Edmund Ruffin, Sr.'s service with South Carolina's Palmetto Guard during the Civil War. There are no letters for 1898. In 1899, a letter to Charlotte from M. M. P. Newton of Richmond discusses the marriage of a relative. Two items appear in 1900, a letter from Kate Christian of Richmond to Charlotte concerning the death of a family member, and a postcard sent to Charlotte announcing a religious meeting.
Five undated letters include: two from Bessie Callender to Charlotte; two from Jane Ruffin at school and teaching in Woodstock to her mother, Charlotte; and one from Elizabeth J. Murray to a friend, appear. The letters discuss family news, Jane's school life and dislike of teaching, and religious readings.
Series 2. Miscellaneous Papers (1796, 1845-1847, 1856-1868, 1887, 1906, and
This series comprises school materials of John E. Meade, Jr.; scattered financial and legal items, mostly pertaining to the estates of Julian C. Ruffin and John E. Meade; and miscellaneous items, including poems, clippings, genealogical notes, a child's scrapbook, and broadsides.
John E. Meade, Jr.'s school papers include grade reports and examinations from the Episcopal High School of Virginia in Fairfax County between January and July 1857 and grade reports and compositions from the Brookland School in Albemarle County between February 1858 and April 1861.
Financial items include Charlotte Ruffin's accounts with Peter P. Batte between 1865 and 1868. Batte seems to have acted as an agent for Julian Ruffin's estate and possibly for that of John E. Meade. Other financial items are a receipt for Julian C. Ruffin from Agnes N. Beckwith in 1863 and an account of the division of Marlbourne, Edmund Ruffin, Sr.'s plantation, between Charlotte Ruffin and Edmund Ruffin, Jr. probably recorded in 1867.
Two legal items are an order by Elizabeth Randolph, dated 8 January 1796, on her trustees under the terms of her marriage contract to grant acquittance to Thomas Griffin Peachy for his purchase of slaves on her behalf, and an acquittal of Julian C. Ruffin from responsibility of trusteeship for Elizabeth Ruffin, late wife of William Sayre, dated 2 December 1861.
The bulk of the remaining papers are poems and clippings. Most of the poems address love, religion, and death. Several are clipped from newspapers. Other clippings relate to the Wilmot Proviso, the contents of the Post Office's dead letter file, and the first transatlantic cable message received in the United States.
Miscellaneous items include a child's scrapbook, ca. 1860-1866; genealogical notes on the Randolph, Everard, Meade, and Beverley families; an announcement of the opening of Meade & Baker, a Richmond apothecary shop, in 1856; an undated broadside for Rubright Liniment; an undated fragment of a sermon; a description by Eleanor Meade of her school; and scattered other items. The child's scrapbook contains poems and stories, mostly of a devotional and didactic nature, clipped from religious newspapers and pasted over pages in an old account book. The 75-page volume originally held accounts for 1857 kept by John E. Meade, Jr. as part of his practical bookkeeping class at the Episcopal High School in Fairfax County, Virginia. A poem copied by Julian Meade Ruffin for his younger brother Edmund in 1866 appears pasted on the last page of the scrapbook, suggesting that the book may have belonged to Edmund. Enclosures consist of several loose clippings (1867, 1868, and undated); an undated handwritten poem; and a love letter, dated 17 May 1887, by an unidentified man to Mary R.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection include the Edmund Ruffin Papers and the Edmund Ruffin, Jr. Plantation Journal. Of these, the Edmund Ruffin, Jr. Plantation Journal is included in the present edition. Other related collections include the Edmund Ruffin Papers, Virginia Historical Society; the Beverley Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society; the Kennon Family Papers, University of Virginia; and the William Bolling Papers, Duke University. Of these collections, the Kennon Family Papers are included in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series E, Part 1 and the William Bolling Papers are included in Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series F, Part 3.
Francis Gildart Ruffin Papers, 1802-1860,
Chesterfield and Hanover Counties, Virginia;
also Alabama and Mississippi
Description of the Collection
Over half of this collection consists of the postwar business papers of Francis G. Ruffin. The remainder are scattered antebellum and civil war items for Ruffin and the antebellum legal, financial, and personal papers of Ruffin's relatives, Albert and Eliza Ruffin, and Spencer Roane.
The collection is organized in four series, each arranged chronologically: Series 1. Papers of Spencer Roane; Series 2. Papers of Albert G. Ruffin; Series 3. Papers of Eliza Roane Ruffin; and Series 4. Papers of Francis Gildart Ruffin--Subseries 4.1. Antebellum Papers, Subseries 4.2. Civil War Papers [not included], and Subseries 4.3. Postwar Papers [not included].
Series 1 (1802-1818) contains financial and legal papers and correspondence pertaining to the purchase of land by Spencer Roane in Hanover County, Virginia. No information appears on Roane's political career or family.
Series 2 (1817-April 1829) consists of correspondence and legal and financial papers pertaining to Albert Ruffin's law practices in Mississippi and Alabama and to his plantation affairs in Hanover County, Virginia. Scattered estate papers appear for his father, William Ruffin; his father-in-law, Spencer Roane; and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Elizabeth Hoskins Roane. Financial and legal items include correspondence, deeds, bonds, receipts, court petitions, warrants, pleas, court dockets, accounts, and slave bills of sale. Personal correspondence also appears for Ruffin. The papers provide information on land claims, estate law, and financial arrangements in the frontier territories of Mississippi and Alabama; information on Ruffin's personal and plantation finances; and insight into national and Virginia politics.
Series 3 (May 1829-1838) contains the personal and financial papers of Eliza Roane Ruffin. Consisting mostly of accounts and correspondence, her papers are useful for studying plantation finances, family life, and the treatment of slaves.
The papers in Series 4 (1838-1892) are those of Francis Gildart Ruffin. They include correspondence, accounts, reports, legal papers, maps, clippings, and other items pertaining to the Office of the 2nd Auditor of Virginia, the Sinking Fund, the Miller Manual Labor School, and Ruffin's writings. Included are the papers of Asa Rogers, Ruffin's predecessor as 2nd Auditor. Miscellaneous items include advertising circulars, broadsides, and a travel diary.
Francis Gildart Ruffin (1820-1892), planter of Chesterfield County, Virginia, 2nd Auditor of Virginia, editor, and political writer, was orphaned as a child. It is unclear who his parents or his legal guardians were, but his affairs were often tended to by his uncle, Albert G. Ruffin, and aunt, Eliza Roane Ruffin. He may have lived for a time with Eliza Ruffin after Albert's death in 1829.
A colonel during the Civil War, Ruffin served as the Commissary of Subsistence for the state of Virginia until his resignation in February 1865 due to poor health. After the war, he became heavily involved in Democratic party politics. He held the position of 2nd Auditor of Virginia from 1884 until his death in 1892, served as chairman of the Sinking Fund Commission, and acted as secretary of the Miller Manual Labor School in Richmond, Virginia. Ruffin also edited the Richmond Dispatch in the mid to late 1880s and was the author of several political pamphlets, including "The Negro as a Political and Social Factor" and "The Cost and Outcome of Negro Education in Virginia."
Ruffin had at least three sons, Francis G. Ruffin, Jr., George R. Ruffin, and W. U. Ruffin. He may also have had a daughter, Sally.
Ruffin's uncle, Albert G. Ruffin (d. 1829), was the son of William (d. 1825) and Margaret Ruffin of Raleigh, North Carolina. He had three brothers, William H., Robert R., and A. R. Ruffin. Early in his career, Ruffin sought opportunity in the Mississippi Territory, where he opened a law practice in Winchester in the spring of 1818. He remained there until 1821, when he moved to St. Stephens in the new Alabama Territory. Ruffin left Alabama upon his marriage in the spring of 1825 to Eliza Roane of Richmond and took up planting at Spring Garden, her plantation near Hanover Town in Hanover County, Virginia. He planted corn, wheat, and cotton and engaged in local politics until his death in 1829. Albert and Eliza had one son, Spencer (1826-1831). After her husband's death, Eliza moved with Spencer to her Newcastle estate in Hanover County and continued planting. Her brother, W. H. Roane, moved to Spring Garden.
Eliza and W. H. Roane were the children of Spencer Roane (1762-1822), planter, politician, and judge of Hanover County, Virginia, and Elizabeth Hoskins Roane (d. 1825). Judge Roane was educated at the College of William and Mary, where he studied law. Admitted to the bar in 1782, he became a state representative and senator, an advisor to Governor Patrick Henry, and a judge in the General Court and State Supreme Court of Appeals. A staunch Anti-Federalist, he started the Richmond Enquirer in 1804 as a vehicle for his political views.
Series 1. Papers of Spencer Roane (1802-1818 and undated)
This series comprises financial and legal papers, including deeds, legal agreements, court documents, land plats, correspondence, receipts, bonds, and lawyer's accounts pertaining to Spencer Roane's purchase of land in Hanover County, Virginia, near the town of Newcastle. Individuals involved in the sale of the land and subsequent law suits concerning its ownership are Nicholas and Elizabeth Syme, John Meriwether Syme, John Syme, Thomas Christie, Samuel Richardson, Benjamin Brand, Benjamin Oliver, and William Cunningham.
Of interest in the papers is a copy, dated 1802, of an appraisement made in 1799 of the estate of Col. Patrick Henry (1736-1799) of Charlotte County, Virginia. Henry was Spencer Roane's first father-in-law.
Series 2. Papers of Albert G. Ruffin (1817-April 1829 and undated)
This series comprises legal, plantation, and personal papers of Albert G. Ruffin, while a lawyer in Mississippi and Alabama from 1817 to 1825, and while a planter in Hanover County, Virginia, from 1825 until April 1829. A few items apppear for Ruffin's wife, Eliza Roane Ruffin; his father, William Ruffin; his father-in-law, Spencer Roane; and his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Hoskins Roane.
Early papers are mostly correspondence with clients and lawyers concerning court cases, and financial and legal items, including receipts, bonds, wills, petitions, pleas, court dockets, prayers, certificates, warrants, subpoenas, judgments, legal memoranda, bills to clients, and deeds. The papers cover legal transactions in several locations, including Greene, Wayne, and Marengo Counties, Mississippi, and Washington and Monroe Counties, Alabama. A number of letters appear from clients in New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, for whom Ruffin acted as a collection agent. The steadiest correspondent of these was David Gordon of Philadelphia.
Personal accounts and correspondence also appear. Most of the accounts are for household items and services provided by hardware and dry goods merchants, K. L. Sherrod & Co., W. R. Graham, and John McRae of Winchester, Mississippi. A few accounts suggest that Ruffin may have operated a business, probably a milling concern, with John Harman of Winchester, Mississippi; however, neither their relationship nor the nature of their business is entirely clear. Of note in Ruffin's personal correspondence are letters from William Brockenbrough and Thomas Ritchie of Richmond, Virginia, and Judge Powhattan Ellis of Mississippi. Brockenbrough and Ritchie wrote in 1817 responding to Ruffin's requests that they use their political influence to help him obtain a position in the new Alabama Territory; they wrote later discussing the election of 1824, Lafayette's visit to Richmond in 1824, and Ruffin's upcoming marriage to Eliza Roane in 1825. Judge Ellis wrote Ruffin from New Orleans on 11 July 1820 concerning Mississippi politics; on 22 November 1820 criticizing President Monroe's policies and the idle wealthy; and from Natchez on 24 May 1819 concerning upcoming elections, his crops, and court affairs.
Scattered letters appear addressed to William Ruffin in August 1824 concerning a dispute he had with William Polk and A. S. H. Burgess over an article he published in the Raleigh Register, which they felt slandered them.
Ruffin's later papers, covering the period after his marriage in 1825, contain mostly personal and business correspondence and plantation and personal accounts. William Brockenbrough and Thomas Ritchie remained his primary correspondents and wrote mostly concerning family news and finances and national politics. Brockenbrough wrote often about the settlement of Spencer Roane's estate and the Ruffins' plantation finances. Both he and Ritchie discussed family visits, illnesses, and conflicts, and ventured their political opinions freely, especially on Jacksonianism and the election of 1828. Ruffin also received a few letters from his relatives Archibald Ritchie and John Brockenbrough, who also wrote about family and politics. A number of letters from commission merchants B. W. Dabney and T. H. Drew of Richmond pertain to the sale of Ruffin's crops and the balance of his accounts. Occasional letters appear from old Alabama and Mississippi acquaintances and clients.
Financial items are primarily plantation accounts and receipts for blacksmithing, dry goods, groceries, hardware items, building supplies, and taxes. Of note is a list of subscriptions, dated 1 January 1828, for the construction of a meeting house in Hanover Town, Virginia. Occasional items appear concerning slaves, including slave bills of sale and jail charges for runaways apprehended in other counties.
Items appearing for others include several 1825 accounts, mostly with Richmond jewelers, milliners, and dry goods merchants, for Elizabeth and Eliza Roane; estate papers for Judge Spencer Roane (1825), William Ruffin (1825), and Elizabeth Roane (1826); and scattered letters to Eliza from Archibald and Thomas Ritchie and William Brockenbrough mostly concerning Albert's failing health, the welfare of her son, Spencer, and her prospective financial situation after Albert's impending death.
Undated materials are primarily court dockets and Ruffin's notes on cases; letters to Ruffin from Thomas Ritchie and others concerning family and finances; and letters to William Ruffin from A. S. H. Burgess pertaining to finances and from Thomas Ritchie concerning family.
Series 3. Papers of Eliza Roane Ruffin (May 1829-1838 and undated)
This series comprises financial papers and correspondence of Eliza Ruffin after her husband's death. The bulk of the papers are receipts and accounts for plantation and personal expenses, including blacksmith work, groceries, overseer's pay, farm work, hardware items, and taxes, and dry goods and doctor's bills. Other papers are loan notes and miscellaneous legal items, a few pertaining to the settlement of Albert Ruffin's estate. Numerous accounts appear with commission merchant T. H. Drew of Richmond.
Eliza's most frequent correspondents include her brother, W. H. Roane, who lived at Spring Garden; her cousin, William Brockenbrough; her Ruffin relatives, Archibald and Thomas Ritchie; and her friends, Caroline Marx of Richmond and Amelia A. of Locust Green Plantation. The Ritchies, William Brockenbrough, and W. H. Roane seem to have taken shared responsibility for helping Eliza arrange her personal and plantation affairs, and wrote her often discussing the sale of her slaves, the hiring of overseers, financial investments, and the guardianship of her nephew, Francis G. Ruffin. Of note is a letter from Archibald Ritchie on 8 February 1830 describing his opinions on the proper way to manage slaves. Letters from Eliza's female friends discuss mostly news of family births, weddings, visits and vacations, illnesses, and deaths, and troubles they experienced with their slaves. Of interest is a letter from Caroline Marx in July 1831 expressing sympathy over the death of Eliza's son, Spencer.
Undated items are mostly receipts, with scattered letters appearing from Thomas Ritchie, Caroline Marx, Harriet (Marx?), Francis (Frank) G. Ruffin, Amelia A., I. O. Lay, J. Myers, T. H. Drew, and Mary (?). Of interest are a letter Frank Ruffin wrote from Rumford, Virginia, where he was attending school at Col. Ritchie's, concerning his coming home, and another Caroline Marx wrote from Richmond discussing a visit she planned to make to Eliza. She claimed that she did not feel afraid of Eliza's slaves, even though Eliza was alarmed herself, suggesting an uprising had been threatened.
Series 4. Papers of Francis Gildart Ruffin (1836-1909 and undated)
This series comprises scattered antebellum and Civil War papers of Col. Francis G. Ruffin and extensive business and personal papers of Ruffin as 2nd Auditor of Virginia, as editor of the Richmond Dispatch, and as an author of several pamphlets on racial and political matters. Also included are the papers of Asa Rogers, Ruffin's predecessor as 2nd Auditor of Virginia.
Subseries 4.1. Antebellum Papers (1837-1860 and undated) This subseries consists of correspondence and receipts of Francis G. Ruffin and miscellaneous unidentified items. One letter, dated 18 October 1844, is addressed to Ruffin at Everettsville in Albemarle County, Virginia, from W. H. Roane at Tree Hill Plantation and discusses farming and politics. Roane expressed anger at having to pay "tribute" on his crops to the "upstartish swell heads of New England," and commented on his uneasiness over the presidential election. Two letters appear from Ruffin at Summer Hill, his plantation in Chesterfield County. One, dated 27 August 1855, is to his son, Roane, at school, explaining the need for an education and a Christian outlook. This letter provides an extensive rationalization for the rights of the educated to profit off the labor of others. The second letter, dated 16 August 1857, is to James Higgins, an agricultural writer of Baltimore, and concerns Ruffin's farm, located 10 miles below Richmond on the James River. He sought advice from Higgins on how best to improve his soil. One receipt for postage appears for Ruffin in 1837.
Miscellaneous items include a handwritten copy of an editorial from the Baltimore Daily Exchange, dated 1 March 1860, on the selection of Judge Hugh L. Bend, and unidentified financial papers pertaining to General I. B. Harvie. Undated items are a cure for headache, a garden plat, and a sermon preached at the funeral of Mrs. Gildart.
A list of omissions from the Francis Gildart Ruffin Papers is provided on reel 32, frame 0544. Omissions include Subseries 4.2, Francis Gildart Ruffin Civil War Papers, 1864-1865, and Subseries 4.3, Francis Gildart Ruffin Postwar Papers, 1868-1892 and 1909. Descriptions of omitted materials are included among the introductory materials provided with this collection.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, include the Francis Gildart Ruffin Papers, the Chamberlayne Family Papers, the Henry Curtis Papers, and the Harrison Family Papers.
John Walker Papers, 1824-1844 and ca. 1956,
King and Queen County, Virginia
Description of the Collection
This collection consists of the plantation journal of John Walker. Walker's journal is most useful for the study of religious life, plantation finances, and slavery in and around King and Queen County. Information appears on camp meetings, church business, and Methodist Episcopal preachers. Often the movements of preachers on their circuits can be traced from the entries. Walker also provided some insight into the race and sex of converts at camp meetings.
The journal documents Walker's finances thoroughly, including his income and expenditures. Some information, principally notes on suits filed and fees paid, appears on Walker's legal actions as executor of his father's and Joseph Temple's estates.
The journal is particularly rich as a source for slave genealogy, activities, and slave/owner relations, often recording vital statistics, family relationships, and the purchase and sale of slaves. Several entries provide information on slaves holding skilled positions outside the household or fields. Entries also provide many examples of slave resistance.
Another topic receiving considerable attention is Samuel Thomson's method of Botanic Family Medicine, which Walker adopted in the 1830s.
Only a few entries appear on the public offices Walker held in King and Queen County or on his family life. Family information is limited to some discussion of disputes between relatives and occasional mentions of his attendance at camp meetings with his wife and children and of household tasks his wife completed.
Originals appear for the first two volumes only. Typed transcriptions appear for the first two and one-half volumes. All seven volumes appear on microfilm.
Also appearing is a family tree that documents the Walker family of King and Queen County from the mid-1660s though the 1950s.
John Walker (1785-1867), cotton and wheat planter of King and Queen County, Virginia, was born at Locust Grove, the home of his parents, Humphry (1762-1820) and Frances Temple Walker (1760-1824). As a young man, he lived in Nashville, Tennessee, but returned in 1819 to King and Queen County where he went into trade with Baylor Temple at Walkerton Mills. He took up planting in 1824 at his plantation, Chatham Hill, near Clarkston on the Mattaponi River. Walker grew mostly cotton, wheat, oats, and corn, and raised livestock at Chatham Hill, but supplemented these with a variety of vegetables and peach and apple orchards. In 1840, he also began experimenting with growing silkworms.
In 1829, Walker married Margaret Watkins Shepherd, and together they had seven children, five of whom died in early or late childhood. Two, Watson (1834-1900) and Melville (1846-1904), survived.
Walker was a devout Methodist Episcopal. He first joined the M. E. Church in 1818 in Nashville, and joined Shepherd's Chapel upon his return to King and Queen County in 1819. He served for many years as a steward for the Gloucester and Essex circuits and the Richmond District of the M. E. Church.
In addition to his church activities, Walker held several public positions, including overseer of the poor in 1828 and surveyor of the road in 1831 for King and Queen County. Walker also served as executor for the estates of his father and of Joseph Temple. He died in 1867 at Chatham Hill.
Series 1. Original Volumes (1824-1837)
This series comprises originals of the first two of seven volumes of a journal kept by John Walker for his Chatham Hill plantation in King and Queen County, Virginia. The first volume (88 p.) covers the period from 28 March 1824, when Walker first moved to Chatham Hill, to 17 April 1832. The second volume (262 p.) covers the period from 9 April 1832 to 28 March 1837. The bulk of the entries in both volumes concern Walker's farming activities, his relations with neighboring planters, his slaves, his religious activities, and his financial and legal affairs.
Most of Walker's agricultural entries concern the weather and planting, harvesting, and marketing his crops. He frequently mentioned conflicts with neighbors over damage done to his crops by unfenced livestock and by fox hunters trespassing on his land.
The journal is particularly rich as a source on slave genealogy, activities, and slave/owner relations. Walker often recorded births, illnesses, marriages, deaths, family relationships, medical treatments given, and the purchase and sale of his slaves. He frequently gave the ages and birthdates of adult slaves and noted from whom he bought and to whom he sold them.
Several of Walker's entries illustrate the hierarchical nature of slavery in Tidewater, Virginia. The range of employment he mentioned includes field workers; house servants; a cooper, Daniel, whom he hired out to shops in Richmond; and a doctor (Doctor Lewis) of King William City, belonging to John Steverson, whom he hired to treat his slaves in 1833 and 1834.
The journal also provides many examples of slave resistance, including frequent running away and stealing of food. Of note are entries for 21 March 1825, reporting that a local doctor's slaves had burned down his house; 13 November 1832, noting that one of Rev. Hezekiah McLelland's slaves had poisoned the minister to death; and 30 April 1836, claiming that a slave woman, Sillar, had poisoned Walker's son, as well as a slave girl. In retaliation for their resistance, Walker often had his slaves whipped or sold. Walker also administered punishment to slaves for other transgressions. On 2 July 1834, angry at the death of one of his slaves from venereal disease, he had several slaves whipped on the charge that they had acted as procurers of slave women for a local brothel catering to white men.
A substantial amount of information also appears on the activities of Methodist Episcopals in and around King and Queen County. Walker frequently listed preachers active at Shepherd's Chapel, especially the Reverends Lewis Skidmore, Hezekiah McLelland, William H. Starr, George W. Nolley, Moses Brock, Frank Scott, J. P. Gregory, and Richard R. Corbin. Other Methodist Episcopal preachers he mentioned include Rev. Philip Long of Shiloh Meeting House in Caroline County, J. McDonald and James M. Lewis of the Essex Circuit, and David Fisher of Coles Chapel in King and Queen County. Walker often attended camp meetings at Shiloh Meeting House and
Coles Chapel, as well as Powels Chapel in King William City, Whit's Chapel and St. John's Chapel in Caroline County, Logan Chapel in Essex City, and other locations. He usually noted the size of meetings, those preaching, and the number of converts; he sometimes recorded the names and race of converts.
Entries of note are one for 3 May 1832, mentioning Rev. William H. Starr's founding of a Sunday School at Shepherd's Chapel; one for 30 July 1832, describing a conflict between Rev. Starr and a Rev. Duvall, a Baptist Campbellite, over Starr's administering the eucharist to Methodist Sempleites and Baptist Campbellites together; and one for 12 April 1834, mentioning the formation of the Essex Circuit.
Walker made frequent entries on his financial and legal transactions, including mention of notes and bills paid, crops sold, items bought, monies owed him, monies donated to the church and to missionaries, and taxes and court fees paid. The volumes also contain other financial information. Several copies of business letters, interspersed with the entries, discuss food and farm supplies Walker ordered to be shipped from Norfolk by James H. Johnston; the manufacture of a wheat thresher for him by J. Parker of Richmond in 1837; the terms of hire for Daniel to Richmond coopers John A. Pilcher between 1833 and 1836 and Silas Wyatt in 1837; and the management of his stock in the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad Company in 1834 and following years. In addition, accounts appear at the beginning and end of the second volume. The first 3 pages of accounts, dated 1833 and 1834, are mostly with farm workers and weavers, and those at the end detail expenses and income between 1833 and 1837. Walker itemized amounts spent for sundries, food, and medicines; midwive's, doctor's, and attorney's fees; wages to farm hands; donations to missionaries; and miscellaneous expenditures, and recorded income from the sale of slaves, corn, and livestock and from railroad stock dividends. Also appearing at the end of the second volume are recipes, home cures, and a list of important events recorded in the volume. The list seems to have been added by a later reader of the journal rather than by Walker.
Miscellaneous entries of interest in the two volumes are several between 1834 and 1837 concerning Walker's adoption of Samuel Thomson's method of botanic family medicine (see especially 7 June 1834; 21 November 1835; and 4 February 1837) to treat his own family and his slaves, and several between 1834 and 1837 concerning members of the Walker family migrating to Alabama (see 23 October 1834 and 15 March 1837). A number of entries also appear on Walker's actions as executor of his father's and Joseph Temple's estates.
Series 2. Typed Transcriptions (1824-1840)
This series comprises typed transcriptions of the first two and one-half volumes of John Walker's plantation journal. The transcription of the first volume contains 109 pages, and that of the second contains 339 pages.
The partial (158 page) transcription of the third volume covers the period between 1 April 1837 and 21 March 1840, and contains some accounts for renovations at Shepherd's Chapel in 1838, 1843, and 1844 and a brief list of family births and deaths and important events between 1837 and 1844. Topics appearing in this volume are very similar to those in the first two volumes, concerning mostly plantation activities, slaves, church affairs, and Walker's financial and legal activities.
Of note are entries concerning Rev. Henry B. Cowles and his family, who boarded with Walker in 1837; several entries between 1837 and 1839 concerning the treatment of a slave boy, William, for scufola, first in the Thomsonian Infirmary in Richmond, later by a Thomsonian doctor, Dr. George K. Hooper of Richmond, and finally by an Elliott Chiles of Chesterfield County; and several entries pertaining to church affairs. On 11 August 1838, Walker described the laying of the cornerstone of a new Episcopal Church on the county line, and, on 24 October 1838, he noted that the new brick Shepherd's Chapel had been completed.
Several copies of business letters appear among the entries, written by Walker to James Johnston of Norfolk, ordering supplies; to his attorney in Richmond, concerning his railroad stock; and to agents in Richmond, concerning the hire of Daniel to cooper Silas Wyatt.
On 18 January 1840, Walker noted that Robert D. Edwards had come to live with him to work as an overseer and experiment with the raising of silkworms.
A note of interest at the beginning of the volume remarks on the construction of Walkerton Mill on the Mattaponi River between 1799 and 1800.
Series 4. Walker Genealogical Chart (ca. 1956)
This series consists of a genealogical chart of the Walker family of King and Queen County, Virginia, compiled by J. Henley Walker, Sr. (b. 1875), grandson of John Walker. The chart traces the descendants of Thomas Walker (b. 1869), son of Lt. Col. John Walker. The margins contain additional information on the Walkers of King and Queen County, the Thomas Walker bible, and other Walker family records.
A list of omissions from the Walker Family Papers is provided on reel 33, frame 0514. Omissions consist of Series 3. Microfilm, 1824-1867. Descriptions of omitted materials are included in the introductory materials included with this collection.
Floyd L. Whitehead Papers, 1830-1886,
Nelson County, Virginia; also Alabama
Description of the Collection
This collection consists chiefly of financial, business, and legal papers of Floyd L. Whitehead, including some personal papers, and several items relating to Whitehead's brother, John.
Business and financial material includes letters from tobacco dealers in Richmond, Virginia, particularly in the 1830s, and other business correspondence, indentures, receipts for household expenses and tobacco sales, tax records, Confederate tax forms, and slave bills of sale. A letter dated 1838 regarding the federal government's sub-treasury policy outlined the conservative politics of W. C. Rives. Beginning in the 1840s, there is an increasing amount of material relating to Floyd L. Whitehead's business concerns, including customer receipts, promissory notes, lists of accounts, and a notebook of tobacco sales. Legal material relates to the settlement of estates, land and property disputes, and the collection of bad debts.
Other papers include a letter to the editor of the Lynchburg, Virginia, newspaper, in 1846, protesting a case of slander involving Whitehead and his former partner, Nathan Lofftus. A letter of 1855 discusses Whitehead's investment with others in lands in Rusk County, Texas, and legal problems in that state. Another letter of 1855 discusses a suit involving Whitehead being heard in the Virginia Court of Appeals. There is also a letter that discusses the medical treatment of paupers in Nelson County, Virginia, in the 1850s. In the 1860s, there are several letters from Alexander R. Whitehead to his father describing Alexander's marriage and economic prospects in Jackson County, Alabama, and his impressions of the army and its officers while in the Confederate army in New Dalton, Georgia. Papers of 1863 concern the efforts of Maria Effinger Massie to settle William Massie's estate. Miscellaneous items include an announcement of Hoyt's lotteries; a circular regarding an endowment campaign for the Andrew Female College in Cuthbert, Georgia; a newspaper clipping about Reconstruction; and a broadside for the election of sheriff in Nelson County, Virginia, in 1855.
Floyd L. Whitehead (fl. 1830-1886) was a merchant, slave trader, and tobacco planter in Nelson County, Virginia. He had several business partners, including his brother John Whitehead. He and his wife, Maria P. Whitehead, had several children, including Alexander R. (fl. 1852-1865); Floyd L., Jr.; George; Sallie; and Fannie. Alexander relocated to Jackson County, Alabama, around 1860, and married Margaret Stogsdill that same year. Alexander and George both served in the Confederate army. Whitehead served as a justice of the peace for Nelson County in the 1840s.
N.B. A related collection is the Floyd L. Whitehead Papers, Duke University, included in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series F, Part 3. Another related collection is the Floyd L. Whitehead Papers, University of Virginia.