||Copyright © 1996 by University Publications of America.
of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations
From the Revolution Through the Civil War
Series J: Selections from the Southern Historical Collection
Part 7: Alabama
[This item added to Web July, 1996.]
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
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;
Robert Mills, Atlas of South Carolina, 1825;
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.
John Fletcher Comer Journal, 1844-1847,
Barbour County, Alabama
Description of the Collection
This small collection comprises a journal kept by Comer, 1844-1847, containing various
kinds of records relating to agricultural activities on his Barbour County, Alabama,
plantation and to his lumber and corn mills. Included are records of cotton and corn
planted, picked, and stored, and of hogs slaughtered. There are also records of specific
orders for lumber cut to varying sizes and of numbers of bushels of corn milled for
various customers. Miscellaneous purchases of knives, clothing, cloth, and tobacco also
are documented. For 1845 through 1847, there are short journal entries, most of which list
weather conditions and planting and milling activities. A few entries, however, contain
slight references to the health and activities of family and friends.
The journal is arranged as follows: Pages 1-5: Records of cotton planted and picked and
of hogs slaughtered, 1844-1845; Pages 6-92: Records of activity at Comer's sawmill,
including specific orders for lumber cut to varying sizes and numbers of bushels of corn
milled for various customers, 1844-1847; Pages 93-107: Miscellaneous records of corn and
cotton planted, picked, and stored in warehouses, and of purchases of knives, clothing,
cloth, and tobacco, 1844-1845; and Pages 108-200: Short journal entries, most of which
list weather conditions and planting and milling activities. A few entries, however,
contain slight references to the health and activities of family and friends.
John Fletcher Comer (1811-1858), a native of Jones County, Georgia, was the son of Ann
Trippe and Hugh Moss Comer, and grandson of Elizabeth Moss and Samuel Comer. He married
Catharine Lucinda Drewry in 1841 and settled in Barbour County, Alabama, where he engaged
in growing cotton and in operating both a sawmill and a corn mill.
When he died, Comer left his widow with six minor sons. The fourth son was Braxton
Bragg Comer, who, in 1906, became governor of Alabama.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Southern Historical
Collection include the Braxton Bragg Comer Papers; the Laura Beecher Comer Papers; and the
Comer Family Papers. The Laura Beecher Comer Papers and the Comer Family Papers are
included in UPA's Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and
Diaries, Series A, Part 5.
Dorman Family Papers, 1838-1897,
Mobile, Alabama; also Mississippi
Description of the Collection
This small collection comprises correspondence, financial materials, and other papers
relating to Dorman family members and friends in Mobile and Claiborne, Alabama. Letters
1847-1854 and undated give news of family and neighborhood activities. Those from 1862 are
to Thomas T. Dorman, son of Thomas W. Dorman, from family and friends while he served with
the 21st Alabama Regiment at Corinth, Mississippi. Letters 1867 to 1868 include two from
Thomas W. Dorman to son Thomas when the elder Dorman was vacationing at Healing Springs,
Virginia. Beginning in 1871, there are a few routine business letters relating to various
family members. Financial materials consist of scattered bills and receipts relating to
purchases of goods and services by various family members. Also included are a handwritten
transcription of the 1853 commencement speech delivered by William Lipscomb from the
Centenary Institute, a women's school in Sommerfield, Alabama, and eight undated school
exercises, including compositions and French translations by various female family
The collection is divided into three series: Series 1. Correspondence; Series 2.
Financial Materials; and Series 3. Other Papers.
Series 1. Correspondence (1847-1892 and undated)
This series comprises letters to and from Dorman family members and friends in Mobile and
Claiborne, Alabama, and Columbus, Mississippi. Letters 1847 to 1854 chiefly give news of
family and neighborhood activities. Those from 1862 are to Thomas T. Dorman, son of Thomas
W. Dorman, from family and friends while he served with the 21st Alabama Regiment at
Corinth, Mississippi. Letters 1867 to 1868 include two from Thomas W. Dorman to son Thomas
when the elder Dorman was vacationing at Healing Springs, Virginia. Beginning in 1871,
there are a few routine business letters relating to various family members. Undated
letters chiefly convey routine family news.
Series 2. Financial Materials (1867-1897)
This series comprises scattered bills and receipts of various Dorman family members
relating to purchases of goods and services.
Series 3. Other Papers (1838-1881 and undated)
This series comprises a wide variety of material. Included are: a handwritten poem
entitled "The Shipwreck," dated 1838; a handwritten copy of commencement speech
delivered by William Lipscomb at the Centenary Institute, a women's school in Sommerfield,
Alabama, 6 July 1853; a program from the "Sixth Anniversary of Infant Mystics"
pageant, location unknown, 9 February 1875; a program cover from the "Order of
Myths" production, Mobile, Alabama, 1 March 1881; and eight undated school exercises,
including compositions and French translations by various female family members.
Henry Alderson Ellison Papers, 1848-1882,
Baldwin County, Alabama; also North Carolina and California
Description of the Collection
This small collection comprises slave records and other papers relating to Henry Alderson
Ellison, planter of Baldwin County, Alabama, and his family, including a notebook
containing lists of slaves belonging to Ellison in 1848 and 1858-1860 and records of their
being hired out. Other papers include a letter, 30 October 1864, from Abram M. Allen, an
Ellison slave who had been freed before the Civil War, in Washington, North Carolina, to
Eliza Tripp Ellison, Henry's widow, at Wilson, North Carolina, where she had taken refuge
during the Civil War, in which Allen informed her of his whereabouts and offered hope for
the future. Also included is a letter, 16 October 1867, to Eliza, now living near Mobile,
Alabama, from Edward Stanly (1810-1872), a California politician who had been U.S.
representative from North Carolina, describing conditions in California and evaluating
prospects there for southerners. Also included are five invitations to social functions in
Beaufort County, North Carolina, 1877-1880 and undated, sent to Ellison and Bonner family
William Stump Forwood Papers, 1836-1861,
Clarke County, Alabama; also Maryland
Description of the Collection
This collection consists mostly of letters to Forwood from family members, friends, and
professional associates; the writings of Forwood and others on a variety of topics; and
bills and receipts. Only a small part of the collection is included in this microfilm
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence--Subseries 1.1
1836-1861, Subseries 1.2 1862-1865 [not included], Subseries 1.3 1866-1884 [not included],
and Subseries 1.4 1885-1897 [not included]; Series 2. Writings and Speeches [not
included]; Series 3. Financial Materials [not included]; Series 4. Clippings,
Advertisements, and Other Papers [not included]; and Series 5. Pictures [not included].
William Stump Forwood, son of Samuel Forwood, was a physician and local historian of
Darlington, Maryland. He was born 27 January 1830 in Darlington and remained there most of
his life. At his father's urging, he moved to Gosport, Alabama, in 1848, returning to
Maryland in 1851. He again lived in Gosport during the period 1870-1873.
Forwood married Pamela Wilson, probably in June 1857. She died in childbirth on 19
March 1860. On 6 May 1863, Forwood married Addie Bond. Forwood and his second wife had two
children, Lizzie and Katie.
Forwood served as president of the Clarke County, Alabama, Medical Society; the
Pennsylvania and Maryland Union Medical Association; and the Harford Historical Society,
of which he was a charter member. He was also president and founder of the Medical Society
of Harford County.
Forwood wrote extensively on the "ethnological" justification for slavery. He
also published articles in medical journals on a variety of topics. He was the author of An
Historical and Descriptive Narrative of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, first published
Forwood remained active in his medical practice until his death, apparently in 1891.
Series 1. Correspondence (1836-1897 and undated)
This series comprises mostly personal and professional correspondence of William Stump
Forwood with family members, friends, and professional associates.
Subseries 1.1. (1836-1861) This subseries consists mostly of letters from
family members, especially from Forwood's father, Samuel, who moved to Gosport (Clarke
County), Alabama in 1832. These letters concern health matters and farming conditions in
Alabama. Also of interest are Samuel Forwood's references to slavery and the impending
In a letter dated 8 October 1846, Samuel Forwood advised his son to become a doctor
because "it will not prevent you from being a Farmer, you could attend to both...and
it is an easy profession to acquire."
Numerous letters, beginning 4 April 1857, discuss the alleged intellectual inferiority
of the black race.
Omissions from the William Stump Forwood Papers include Subseries 1.2-1.4, Correspondence,
1862-1897 and undated; Series 2, Writings and Speeches, 1853-1890 and undated; Series 3,
Financial Materials, 1856-1887; Series 4, Clippings, Advertisements, and Other Papers,
1871-1890 and undated; and Series 5, Pictures, 1854-1881. A list of omitted materials is
provided on reel 2, frame 0210. Descriptions of omitted materials are included in the
introductory materials provided at the beginning of this collection.
Miscellaneous Letters, 1786-1860,
Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia
Description of the Collection
This collection consists of single, unrelated letters, chiefly from the 19th century, to
and from various persons, especially southerners, who were prominent in literary and
political arenas. Topics include family life, travels throughout the South, social life
and customs, slavery, local and national politics, and literature. Among the
correspondents are Abiel Abbott, Henry Ward Beecher, Alfred Holt Colquitt, Peter Early,
Sam Houston, Washington Irving, Andrew Jackson, North Carolina governor Samuel Johnston,
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Milledge, Wilson Cary Nicholas, Edward Telfair, Martin
Van Buren, Abraham Bedford Venable, and Daniel Webster.
Omitted materials include Items 107-160, Letters, 1863-1982. A list of omissions is
provided on reel 2, frame 0689. Descriptions of omitted items are included in the
introductory materials provided at the beginning of this collection.
Miscellaneous Southern Business Letters, 1747-1929,
Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina,
South Carolina, and Virginia
Description of the Collection
This collection comprises letters, chiefly 1833-1858, of various merchants, agents,
planters, lawyers, clerks, ship captains, and other individuals doing business at ports
along the North American coast from New Orleans to Maine, and at scattered locations in
The collection is organized into units, items in each unit either are addressed to the
same recipient or sent by the same person or business. Many letters are about aspects of
the cotton trade, such as shipping and contracting for sale of cotton. Other types of
business, such as the selling of tobacco, leather, steel, and foodstuffs, are mentioned
less frequently. Several letters concern the collection of money due. Besides showing
general business trends, these letters document economic relationships between the slave
and nonslave regions of eastern North America. The collection includes two overlapping
chronological groupings of units: Units 1-16 and Units 17-73.
Units 1-16. (1788-1923)
Unit 1 comprises two letters relating to a Capt. Taggart and to cargo shipped. The first
letter is from John Ingram at Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Capt. Taggart at
Wilmington, North Carolina, dated 3 December 1788, regarding a shipment of flax seed for
Christopher Ellery. The second letter is from A. McNaughton and Co., at Wilmington, North
Carolina, to Christopher Ellery at New Port (Newport), Rhode Island, dated 30 [January?]
1789, concerning Capt. Taggart's cargo.
Unit 2 comprises four letters sent to John D. McGill, Esq., an attorney practicing in
Middlesex County, Virginia, regarding collection of payments due. The first letter is from
William F. & A. Murdock at Baltimore, Maryland, to McGill at Churchville, Middlesex
County, Virginia, dated 17 December 1831, concerning the collection of payments owed by
John South. The second letter is from William M. Donald & Co., at Baltimore, Maryland,
to McGill, dated 7 August 1840, regarding the transfer of money for partial settlement of
a claim. The third letter is from F. & R. Voss at Baltimore, Maryland, to McGill,
dated 16 May 1842, briefly about claims. Mentioned are members of the firms F. & R.
Voss and F. & R. Voss & Co., and the fact that "Mr. Taliaferro went home in
the Rapph on Saturday." The fourth letter is from Norris & Brothers at
Baltimore, Maryland, to Messrs. McGill & Woodward at Clifton, Urbanna County,
Virginia, dated 12 June 1844, regarding the collection of an overdue payment. They wrote:
"Probably you can arrange with Mr. C. to pay without suit if not please sue. Geo. S.
& R. Norris, Jr., comprise our firm."
Unit 3 comprises two letters addressed to Seth Lowe & Co., at New York, New York.
The first letter is from Thomas Janvier at Baltimore, Maryland, to Seth Lowe & Co.,
dated 20 June 1835, concerning orders for leeches, imported spirits, and other medical
imports. The second letter is from Robert Lindenberger & Co., at Louisville, Kentucky,
to Seth Lowe & Co., dated 20 December 1848, concerning a merchandise account.
Unit 4 comprises two letters in this unit that relate to Abraham Bell & Co./Son,
merchants at New York, New York. (See also Unit 37.) The first letter is from J. Ganahl
& Co., at Savannah, Georgia, to A. Bell & Co., dated 1 December 1836, concerning
cotton sales. The second letter is from S. Coates at Mobile, Alabama, to "My dear
Father," c/o Mssrs. Abraham Bell & Son, dated 16 April 1846, concerning the
writer's mistake in leaving Mobile, a shipment of lumber to Texas, and shipping connected
with business matters. He mentioned Corpus Christi, Texas, family and personal matters, a
cargo of porter, the weather, and business associates.
Unit 5 comprises eight letters addressed to Abraham Richards, a merchant, at New York,
New York. They all are related to the cotton trade. The first three are from S. C. Dunning
in Savannah, Georgia, and are dated 15 and 21 December 1838 and 17 October 1839. The
fourth letter, of 4 June 1842, is from Jonathan Meigs in Augusta, Georgia. The fifth
letter, of 2 January 1843, is from A. Richards, Jr. The sixth letter, of 8 March 1843, is
from Thomas Alexander at Savannah, Georgia. The seventh letter, of 17 May 1843, is from S.
Matison at Savannah, Georgia. The eighth letter, of 1 March 1844, is again from Jonathan
Meigs in Augusta, Georgia.
Unit 6 comprises ten letters addressed to Charles P. Leverich, Esq., merchant at New
York, New York. The first letter is from Franklin W. McCoy at Mobile, Alabama, to
Leverich, dated 15 February 1840, regarding merchandise sales and purchases. The second
letter is from William Newton Mercer at Laurel Hill [Natchez], Mississippi, to Leverich,
dated 28 August 1840, concerning the sale of cotton, prices, and weather conditions. The
third letter is from Samuel J. Peters at New Orleans, Louisiana, to Leverich, dated 26 May
1842, concerning important banking matters involving New York and New Orleans banks. The
fourth letter is from Dunbar S. Dyson at New Orleans, Louisiana, to Leverich, dated 2
November 1844, concerning the excellent cotton crop conditions in the Carolinas, Georgia,
and Alabama, estimating a crop of 2.4 million bales, with prices, comments about sugar
crops, trade, and sterling exchange rates. The fifth letter is from Stephen Duncan at
Natchez, Mississippi, to Leverich, dated 30 January 1846, concerning the sugar trade. The
sixth letter is from Franklin W. McCoy at Mobile, Alabama, to Leverich, dated 3 April
1847, concerning business troubles, and the cotton trade. The seventh letter is from
George H. Johnson at Mobile, Alabama, to Leverich, dated 29 March 1849, concerning details
of cotton trading, mentioning the ships Republic and Mobile, and musing that
the California fever was "now over," dimming prospects for cotton sales. The
eighth letter is from Fontaine & Dent at Mobile, Alabama, to Leverich, dated 5
February 1850, about an account balance. The ninth letter is again from Stephen Duncan at
Natchez, Mississippi, to Leverich, dated 9 December 1850, briefly concerning a journal
subscription, business matters, and the weather. The tenth letter is from F. Surget at
Natchez, Mississippi, to Leverich, dated 3 February 1851, regarding the sterling exchange
and matters of account.
Unit 7 comprises two letters addressed to J. A. Montgomery, Esq., at Woodville,
Mississippi. The first letter is from Walter Carswell at Natchez, Mississippi, to
Montgomery, dated 2 May 1840, concerning cotton sales, invoices, and the dull market. Of
the latter, Carswell commented: "business here is at a standstill." The second
letter is from Samuel R. Walker at Natchez, Mississippi, to Montgomery, dated 4 January
1841, concerning his (Walker's) temporary inability to pay an account due.
Unit 8 comprises two letters relating to the steel industry, addressed to Messrs.
Orrick, Tucker & Grubbs (& Parker) at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The first letter
is from D. Anderson & Co. at Richmond, Virginia, to Orrick et al., dated 15 February
1841, regarding steel prices and a shipment of steel. The second letter is from F. B.
Deane, Jr., Superintendent to Tredegar Iron Co., at Richmond, Virginia, to Orrick et al,
dated 22 July 1842, concerning account balances and a remittance for payment.
Unit 9 comprises two letters addressed to L. Bissell, Esq., at Madison, Georgia. The
first letter is from Peck & Dearning[?] at Augusta, Georgia, to Bissell, dated 8 April
1842, concerning cotton sales in Savannah and market purchases. The second letter is from
H. P. Peck at Augusta, Georgia, to Bissell, dated 5 May 1842, regarding a cash receipt and
the price of corn and corn meal.
Unit 10 comprises two letters relating to Tiffany Ward & Co., at Baltimore,
Maryland. The first letter is from Tiffany Ward & Co., at Baltimore, Maryland, to L.
C. Grant at Bristol, Virginia, dated 24 May 1845, regarding the sale of Grant's
merchandise. The second letter is from Tiffany Ward & Co., at Baltimore, Maryland, to
L. C. Grant, agent, Bristol Managing Company, dated 3 October 1845, concerning sales of
merchandise, with a "sketch of sales for acct."
Unit 11 comprises three letters addressed to Messrs. Mason & Laurence at Boston,
Massachusetts. The first letter is from J. B. Tomlinson & Son at Mobile, Alabama, to
Mason & Laurence, dated 15 April 1846, concerning cotton sales. The second letter is
from Dexter & Abbot at Mobile, Alabama, to Mason & Laurence, dated 25 March 1848,
concerning cotton sales; there is mention of news received by telegraph. The third letter
is again from Dexter & Abbot at Mobile, Alabama, to Mason & Laurence, dated 10
June 1848, concerning cotton sales.
Unit 12 comprises two letters addressed to J. Day & Co. at New York, New York. The
first letter is from C. A. Gunst[?] & Co., at Columbus, Georgia, to J. Day & Co.,
c/o Sherman Day & Co., at New York, New York, dated 5 October 1849, concerning
bagging, coffee, molasses, the cotton trade, prices, and similar matters. The second
letter is from W. Woodbridge at Savannah, Georgia, to J. Day & Co., dated 27 November
1850, regarding cotton sales.
Unit 13 comprises two letters addressed to William A. J. Finney at Pittsylvania County,
Virginia. The first letter is from John P. Pleasants & Sons at Baltimore, Maryland, to
Finney, dated 4 May 1853, regarding a shipment of tobacco. The second letter is from
Charles D. DeFord at Baltimore, Maryland, to Finney, dated 5 August 1854, concerning the
sale of "Twist" tobacco, and including the following observation: "Our
Southern and Western customers who during the month of July came `like Angels' visits,'
are now beginning to show themselves in earnest, and the cry in their mouths is always bright
Unit 14 comprises two letters concerning business or legal matters involving Daniel H.
London of Richmond, Virginia. The first letter is from A. Jackson at Jackson, Louisa
County, Virginia, to London at Richmond, Virginia, dated 1 November 1856, concerning the
partial payment of a debt and mentioning his tobacco crop. The second letter is from D. H.
London at Washington, D.C., to John L. Woodruff c/o D. H. London at Richmond, Virginia,
dated 8 April 1857, concerning payments of bills, veiled references to business or legal
matters, and an appointment to meet the president. Also mentioned is "Floyd."
(President James Buchanan's cabinet included, since 8 March 1857, Secretary of War John B.
Floyd, former governor of Virginia). London made the following comment about his stay in
Washington: "The weather is cold and unpleasant here and certainly not
Unit 15 comprises three letters addressed to Motz & Boehm at Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. The first letter is from Jesse Hare at Lynchburg, Virginia, to Motz &
Boehm, dated 2 September 1858, regarding a telegram sent by Motz & Boehm, and
prospects for shipping tobacco. The second letter is from Benjamin F. Dickinson at
Richmond, Virginia, to Motz & Boehm, dated 18 September 1858, regarding a shipment to
Philadelphia of "Rose Bud" via the steamer Virginia; further shipments
and related tobacco business matters are mentioned also. The third letter is again from
Benjamin F. Dickinson at Richmond to Motz & Boehm, dated 2 October 1858, regarding a
"Rose Bud" shipment conveyed by the ship City of Richmond.
Unit 16 comprises two letters concerning Walter C. Thatcher of Maryland. The first
letter is from [Jules?] Levy, President, M.S. Levy & Sons, Inc., Lombard and Pace
Streets, Baltimore, Maryland, "To Whom It May Concern," envelope addressed to
Howard R. Thatcher, 1509 John St., Baltimore, Maryland, dated 6 November 1919, comprising
a brief letter of recommendation for Thatcher, "Whittler and Pattern Maker." The
second letter is from Munn & Co., 625 F St. NW, Washington, D.C., to Thatcher at 507
Oakland, Govans, Maryland, dated 31 May 1923, concerning the advisability of filing a
patent application in Canada for his invention that is not described.
Units 17-73. (1747-1929)
The remaining units have one letter each. These units are arranged in six folders. Folder
17 includes units 17-27. Folder 18 includes units 28-39. Folder 19 includes units 40-46.
Folder 20 includes units 47-61. Folder 21 includes units 62-69. Folder 22 includes units
Unit 17 is a letter from Solomon Isaacs at Charleston, South Carolina, to W. W. Vernon
at Newport, Rhode Island, dated 22 July 1747, concerning shipments of goods. Isaacs
mentioned captains Bryan and Goodman, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a health relapse, and
notice that "Rum is in great Dem'd here...W. Ind. .25/...Engl. 22/6 pr. gall."
Unit 18 is a letter from William Bule at Newbern [New Bern], North Carolina, to Samuel
Vernon and Samuel Brown, merchants, at Boston, Massachusetts, dated 12 November 1780,
refers to "drawing 3,000 Continental dollars in favor of Capt. Constant Churchill and
in favor of Capt. Benjamin Bates for $10,000 which bill I beg you will
countenance...." Bule also mentioned recommending Vernon and Brown to New Bern
merchants, the possibility of shipping naval stores to Boston in the spring of 1781, and
also a Mr. John Cooke. Unit 19 is a letter from J. N. Sears at Newberne [New Bern], North
Carolina, to John Law, Esq., Attorney at Law, at Washington, D.C., dated 2 June 1822,
regarding papers "which in any manner related to the claims of the Heirs of Charles
Churchill for Spanish spoliating...." Unit 20 is a letter from Lewis Williams at
Washington, D.C., to Thomas T. Armstrong, Esq., at Germanton, Stokes County, North
Carolina, dated 2 May 1824 (with envelope), concerning the collection of money in
connection with an estate. Unit 21 is a letter from Louis De Henry at Fayetteville, North
Carolina, to John Giles at Salisbury, North Carolina, dated 19 September 1825, concerning
the collection of money on behalf of Stephen North of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from
Satterwhite & Travis. Unit 22 is a letter from Henry R. Savage at Wilmington, North
Carolina, to Mssrs. Davis & Mathews, at Fayetteville, North Carolina, dated 28
November 1828, concerning the recipient's disappointment with a shipment of cotton,
additional freight assigned to the schooner Argo, and cotton for the vessel Damon;
a bill of charge for shipping cotton to New York on the brig Arethasa is attached.
Unit 23 is a letter from Joshua Gross at Wilmington, North Carolina, to Messrs. Charles
and William D. Crooker at Bath, Maine, dated 12 February 1830, concerning passage from St.
Thomas, severe weather, lumber, shingles, response to inquiries about a person named
Grimes working in Bladen County, North Carolina, and Joel Davidson. Unit 24 is a letter
from William Nekervis, cashier at the Farmer's Bank of Virginia (place not specified), to
Daniel Sprigs, Esq., cashier at the Hager's Town Bank, Hager's Town (Hagerstown),
Maryland, dated 21 June 1831, accepting "with pleasure" the transference of
Maryland notes; Baltimore banks also mentioned. Unit 25 is a letter from Aron Emmerson[?]
to Arthur Emmerson, Esq., at Portsmouth, Virginia, dated 12 January 1832, briefly
regarding a business matter. Unit 26 is a letter from Carriere & Bondurant at New
Orleans, Louisiana, to Messrs. J. Ransom & Co., at New York, New York, dated 10 March
1833, regarding cargo on ships Saratoga, Alabama, Jn. Linton, Talma, and Oceana;
and voicing dissatisfaction with the Oceana's cargo of Holland gin because of its
yellowish color; satisfaction with a "judicious" selection of cheese; and
requesting candles, black pepper, nutmeg, foolscap uncut paper, and almonds. Unit 27 is a
letter from R. Abbey & Co., at Natchez, Mississippi, to Messrs. G. & A. Francis at
Hartford, Connecticut, dated 4 June 1833, concerning an order for carriages and a harness.
Unit 28 is a letter from George Williams at Baltimore, Maryland, to Griggs and Weld
& Co., at Boston, dated 15 September 1834, concerning the shipment of marrow in casks
sealed with tar (plaster of paris as a sealer is mentioned) and barrels of tallow. Unit 29
is a letter from Thomas Sewell, leather supplier, at Baltimore, Maryland, to Messrs.
Eveleth & Wood, Merchants, at Boston, Massachusetts, dated 25 October 1834, regarding
the transfer of payments, orders, leather goods, and prices. Unit 30 is a letter from Ira
Dodge at Georgetown, D.C., to his nephew Allen W. Dodge at New York, New York, dated 10
June 1835, concerning the sale of stock. Unit 31 is a letter from Smith Hawthrone[?] &
Co. at New Orleans, Louisiana, to Messrs. Smith & Co., at Hartford, Connecticut, dated
22 July 1836, concerning banking arrangements. Unit 32 is a letter from Ephraim Larabee at
Baltimore, Maryland, to Messrs. Seth Lowe & Co. at Baltimore, Maryland, dated 10
December 1838, regarding a bank note on the Leather Manufacturers Bank of New York
Included is a comment that "myrh is rather too high." Unit 33 is two letters in
one: Allen Asher & Co., at New Orleans, Louisiana, to E. J. Sepions, Esq., at
Warrenton (Jackson), Mississippi, dated 19 December 1838, concerning the favorable market,
a sale of cotton, and payment in notes of the Vicksburg Waterworks & Banking Co.; and
from Templeton Payne & Co., at Warrenton, Mississippi, regarding details of money
exchange. Unit 34 is a letter from J. Spalding, Attorney, at St. Louis, Missouri, to A. C.
Bush at Tioga, Pennsylvania, dated 29 January 1839, concerning the collection of debts.
Unit 35 is a letter from James Evans at Port Deposit, Maryland, to William Hollingsworth
at Elkton, Maryland, dated 26 April 1839, regarding their legal case in the Court of
Appeals. Evans mentioned someone named McLane and a compromise proposal. (McLane might be
Louis McLane, 1786-1857, who served as president of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
Company from 1837 to 1847). Unit 36 is a letter from Tate & Hopkins at New Orleans,
Louisiana, to P. W. Vaughan, Esq., at Greensburg, Kentucky, dated 14 April 1840, primarily
about the shipment of tobacco. Unit 37 is a letter from Hazard & Fowler at Mobile,
Alabama, to Jacob Harvey, Esq., c/o Abraham Bell & Co., at New York, New York, dated
20 August 1840, concerning the cotton market, etc. (See also Unit 4). Unit 38 is a letter
from G. G. Wood at Rodney, Claiborne County, Mississippi, to George Forman at New Orleans,
Louisiana, dated 16 December 1840, about settling accounts and ordering bagging for David
McCoy. Unit 39 is a letter from Conway Whittle, Customs House, at Norfolk, Virginia, to
Jesse Hoyt, collector, at New York, New York, dated 22 December 1840, concerning a cargo
of salt on the brig Pandora.
Unit 40 is a letter from Samuel Jones, Jr., at Baltimore, Maryland, to Messrs. Tidball,
Marshall & Conrad, Trustees, at Winchester, Virginia, dated 20 January 1841,
concerning prospective changes in the board of directors of the Western Bank, on which
Jones was serving as president. Unit 41 is a letter from S. Thomson at Asheville, North
Carolina, to James Nable at Orangeburg, South Carolina, dated 7 April 1841, about the dire
need for Nable to pay him a debt owed, and the hardships caused by lack of payment. Unit
42 is a letter from F. Lucas, Jr., sales agent, at Baltimore, Maryland, to R. Hoe &
Co., printing presses and equipment, at New York, New York, dated 28 June 1841, concerning
the "Super Royal Washington Press" (machinery) being sold in Baltimore.
Unit 43 is a letter from C. Rodes at St. Louis, Missouri, to J. B. Macy at Portsmouth,
Ohio, dated 20 September 1842, concerning a protested bank draft. Unit 44 is a letter from
W. N. Haldeman at Louisville, Kentucky, of the "Books & Periodicals business
here," to Messrs. Tileston & Hollingsworth at Boston, Massachusetts, dated 6
February 1844, inquiring and supplying ordering information about paper on which to print
the Daily Dime, of which he was a prospective owner; Mr. Halbrook of the New
Orleans Picayune is mentioned. Unit 45 is a letter from John S. McCullock at
Baltimore, Maryland, to William P. Maulsly, Esq., counselor at law, at Westminister,
Carroll County, Maryland, dated 15 August 1844, requesting to place creditors' notices in
the Carrollonian and Democrat. Unit 46 is a letter from M. Southgate,
cashier of the Exchange Bank of Virginia at Norfolk, to Lt. Col. R. E. DeRussy at Old
Point Comfort, Virginia, dated 20 December 1844: "we credit your amount of $1365.11
in a treasury draft on this Bank rec'd with your favor of the 19th instant...."
Unit 47 is a letter from Hall Neilson at Richmond, Virginia, to John Marran, Esq., at
Washington, D.C., dated 24 January 1845, mostly concerning the bright prospects for a new
company using Mr. Broadmeadow's patent for the manufacture of steel, soliciting capital
investment. Unit 48 is a letter from E. W. [?] at Baltimore, Maryland, to Lindsley &
Blackston at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, dated 8 February 1845, regarding a protested
draft. Unit 49 is a letter from Tiffany War & Co., at Baltimore, Maryland, to L. C.
Grant, Bristol, at Bristol, Virginia, dated 24 May 1845, regarding the sale of Grant's
merchandise. Unit 50 is a letter from R. C. Cooke at Concord, North Carolina, to William
H. Horah, at Salisbury, North Carolina, dated 3 June 1845; brief cover note for payment by
draft of $207, and "$71,18 3/4 cts in Cash." Unit 51 is a letter from J. M.
Taylor at Vicksburg, Mississippi, to Henry J. Williams, Esq., dated 1 September 1845,
concerning a debt owed by Wilson P. Harrison; endorsed by Thomas Biddle, 16 September
1845. Unit 52 is a letter from D. H. Branch at Petersburg, Virginia, to Henry H. Watson at
606 Broadway, New York, New York, dated 13 October 1845, concerning, over three pages, a
financial and legal claim, including the following statement: "the old man...will be
worth from $125,000 to $150,000...." Unit 53 is a letter from Easten & Co. at
Baltimore, Maryland, to Alexander I. Boys, Esq., attorney, at Chillicothe, Ohio, dated 13
January 1846, about a claim against W. Patton Miller. Unit 54 is a letter from F. Winthirt
at Charleston, South Carolina, to Henry A. Coit, Esq., at New York, New York, dated 14
January 1846, concerning a shipment of rice. Unit 55 is a letter from James T. Marriott at
Raleigh, North Carolina, to William Jeffreys at Rolesville, Wake County, North Carolina,
dated 18 March 1846, briefly about suggested rent being too expensive. Unit 56 is a letter
from H. S. Eustis at Natchez, Mississippi, "To the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the
U.S.," dated 12 April 1846, requesting transcripts for Messrs. A. J. Dennestown &
Co. of New Orleans, Louisiana, of 1837-1838 payments drawn against the Branden Bank. Unit
57 is a letter from P. D. Woodruff at Charleston, South Carolina, to Col. Absalem Janes at
Penfield, Green County, Georgia, dated 16 June 1847, regarding the price of flour and
wheat crops. Unit 58 is a letter from Daniel Keith at Augusta, Georgia, to P. Whitin &
Sons at Whitinsville, Worcester County, Massachusetts, dated 17 June 1847, concerning
looms and other machinery for mills. Unit 59 is a letter from John J. Collier at Raleigh,
North Carolina, to Major George M. Collier at Waynesboro [Goldsboro?], North Carolina,
dated 5 October 1847, briefly about financial matters, mentioning family matters, and
plans to leave for Alabama later in the month. Unit 60 is a letter from James Winston at
Richmond, Virginia, to S. Dinguid at Lynchburg, Virginia, dated 22 March 1848, about
receipts for merchandise shipped, including shipping and toll costs. Unit 61 is a letter
from Chauncy Brooks at Baltimore, Maryland, to L. Spencer at Burlington, Hartford County,
Connecticut, dated 28 September 1849.
Unit 62 is a letter from W. M. W. Cochran at Natchez, Mississippi, to D. S. Kennedy,
Esq., at New York, New York, dated 7 June 1850, concerning methods to compel J. L. Dobyns
to pay off his debt, including the suggested mortgaging of 40 slaves. Cochran also
commented that the Mississippi River was high, that nearby riparian Louisiana plantations
were flooded, and that the area's prospects for cotton were "exceedingly gloomy and
disheartening." Unit 63 is a letter from H. B. Gwathmey[?] at Richmond, Virginia, to
Ebenezer Chadwick, Esq., at Boston, Massachusetts, dated 8 June 1850, concerning business
matters, the weather, and the good outlook for cotton. Unit 64 is a letter from William C.
Ellis at Prospect Hill [Vicksburg], Mississippi, to Messrs. Buchanon, Carroll & Co.,
cotton merchants at New Orleans, Louisiana, dated 14 April 1851, requesting that a
three-month subscription to the New Orleans weekly prices current be directed to Hannibal,
Missouri, and inquiring about bagging and rope information. Unit 65 is a letter from
Reynolds Smith & Co., at Baltimore, Maryland, to John Nycum, dated 21 May 1851,
concerning a shipment of wool, fish, and flour; and a receipt for turpentine, port wine,
glass, herrings, and shad. Unit 66 is a letter from S. H. Holland at Danville, Virginia,
to his brother Asa Holland at Hale's Ford, Franklin County, Virginia, dated 16 August
1852, about the need to pay back a loan related to a work enterprise. Unit 67 is a letter
from R. Holmes and Son, at Baltimore, Maryland, to Mr. Butterworth, dated 30 August 1852,
concerning a shipment of metal for Charles Collier. Unit 68 is a letter from F. H.
Humphreys at Richardsville, Culpeper County, Virginia, to "Dear Friend," dated
30 April 1854, concerning mining and other business matters. In the three-page letter
Humphreys mentioned his endeavor to construct "the Largest mill house at the Wycoff
gold mine that is in the state," news of that, the Liberty mines, and other property
in the area, explorations and machinery (Gardeners Crushers), and related matters. There
is also a brief list of small articles sold for the recipient. Unit 69 is a letter from
George Rivers, administrator of the George Tucker estate, to Whittle & Dabney at
Pittsylvania County, Virginia, dated 8 November 1862, consisting of a short note
concerning drawing money from an estate account.
Unit 70 is a deed from Charles Holshouser, Commissioner of Rowan County, North
Carolina, to Paul Holshouser, dated 5 April 1880. It concerns the sale of land comprising
"163 acres & 19 poles." Unit 71 is a letter from "R", Rock Hill,
South Carolina, to J. H. Sawyer Cash, location unknown, dated 3 October 1898, comprising a
very brief report of rent and apparent sharecropper payments collected during the
foregoing week. The fact that the price being paid for cotton is low is noted. Unit 72 is
a letter from the Koca Nola Company at Atlanta, Georgia, to the Turner Drug Store at
Wilkesboro, North Carolina, dated 10 March 1905, describing the beneficial qualities of
their fountain drink, Koca-Nola, "the only Koca drink on the market that is
absolutely free from dope or injurious ingredients of any kind," and soliciting an
order for it. Unit 73 is a letter from E. P. Rhyne, Piedmont Wagon and Manufacturing
Company, at Hickory, North Carolina, to R. P. Johnson at Wytheville, Virginia, dated 7
October 1929, specifying arrangements for delivery of wagons and parts and enclosing a
two-page price list for these items.
N.B. A related collection to Unit 2 (John D. McGill) is the John D. McGill
Papers at the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond (NUCMC MS 89-1963).
Herbert C. Peabody Papers, 1845-1849,
Description of the Collection
Herbert C. Peabody, a cotton factor of Mobile, Alabama, was the father of Horace Mansfield
and Emily Peabody (b. 1844), and a relative of George Peabody (1795-1869) of London,
The collection consists chiefly of letters, 1852-1859, from Peabody to Samuel St. John,
Jr., of Charleston, New Hampshire, and Bridgeport, Connecticut, who had previously lived
in Mobile. Letters discuss Peabody's business career, especially his attempts to promote
Mobile as a port and his convictions on the importance of regulating trade and setting
trade standards. Peabody also discussed his personal affairs, including family news, his
involvement with the Unitarian Church, and visits to George Peabody in London. Also
included are: a document relating to Mobile real estate formerly owned by St. John, 12
September 1845; undated sheet music for a nonsense song; and an undated mock invoice for
"strings of wampum."
Henry Lee Reynolds Papers, 1851-1864,
Mobile, Alabama; also Mississippi and New York
Description of the Collection
This collection consists chiefly of business and personal correspondence and financial and
legal papers relating to Henry Lee Reynolds and other members of the Reynolds family. Also
included are a few diaries, probably written by Reynolds family members, and other papers
including documents relating to land warrants held by the Mobile firm of Harding and
Redditt, papers about Greene family history, an incomplete biographical sketch of Baptist
evangelist Hezekiah Smith (1737-1805) of Massachusetts, and a sketch book belonging to
Harry L. Reynolds.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence and Financial and Legal
Papers--Subseries 1.1, 1851-1864 and Subseries 1.2, 1865-1924 and undated [not included];
Series 2. Diaries, 1802-1840 [not included]; and Series 3. Other Papers, ca. 1840s-1884
and undated [not included].
Papers show that Henry Lee Reynolds of Norwich, Connecticut, was in business in Mobile,
Alabama, as early as 1852, first with William A. Witherspoon in Reynolds, Witherspoon,
& Co., "importers, manufacturers, and dealers in hardware...iron and
nails...cooking stoves...cutlery... tools...and house furnishing articles of every
description." The firm also received cotton on its accounts and sold it on the
market. By 1860, Reynolds's associates were Jack P. Richardson and James C. Reynolds,
Henry's nephew, and his firm was called H. L. Reynolds & Co.
In September 1861, Henry Lee Reynolds was arrested in the North by federal agents.
After being detained at Fort Lafayette for two weeks, he was paroled in Washington, D.C.,
but not permitted to return south. After the Civil War, Reynolds's base of business
operations was in New York, with his nephews William C., James C., and Alfred C. Reynolds,
managing his affairs in Mobile with his old partner, Jack P. Richardson and others.
Sometime in 1865, Henry Lee Reynolds became associated with L. Jacquelin Smith, forming
Reynolds, Smith & Co., commission merchants, at New York, with interests in Mobile.
Henry Lee Reynolds's first wife, Martha Thomas Reynolds, died in June 1855, leaving a
young son, Charles, who was cared for by his mother's relatives in Norwich. Reynolds
remarried around 1859, taking as his wife Mary Wilson Hill of Washington, D.C. Mary was
the daughter of the Reverend Stephen Prescott Hill, a Baptist minister. Among other
children, the Reynoldses had a son, Harry Lee (b. 1861), and a daughter, Louise (b. 1868).
Harry Lee studied law and was admitted to the Washington, D.C., bar in 1885. He might have
died of tuberculosis at Asheville, North Carolina, in 1891. Louise married Gardiner Greene
(1851-1925) of Norwich, Connecticut, in 1894. Greene, the son of Gardiner (1822-1895) and
Mary Ricketts Adams Greene, was a judge of the Connecticut superior court and a state
Series 1. Correspondence and Financial and Legal Papers (1851-1924)
This series includes business and personal correspondence, accounts, legal papers, and
other business records of Henry Lee Reynolds and other members of his family. Materials
relating to Harding and Redditt land warrants are filed in Series 3.
Subseries 1.1. 1851-1864 This subseries comprises papers chiefly relating
to the activities of Henry Lee Reynolds's successive companies in Mobile and in New York.
Antebellum papers are concerned with Reynolds, Witherspoon, & Co., the Mobile
merchandizing company Reynolds ran in partnership with William A. Witherspoon. Topics
covered are securing supplies from New York, sales in Alabama and Mississippi, debt
collection, and other business matters. Many of the letters written in the 1850s are from
Witherspoon and others who discussed not only business, but politics, economic conditions,
local news and gossip, and the weather.
Family letters received by Reynolds during this period are particularly numerous in
1855 when Reynolds was at Richfield Springs, New York, and his first wife's relatives were
caring for his young son in Norwich, Connecticut. In 1859, there are letters from Mary
Wilson Hill, whom Reynolds married that year, and, in 1861, there are letters about
Reynolds's arrest and detention by federal agents, including two documents, 14 September
1861 and 24 March 1862, relating to his parole. There are also items relating to Mary's
father, Baptist minister Stephen Prescott Hill, in 1851 and 1853.
A list of omissions from the Henry Lee Reynolds Papers is provided on reel 3, frame 0555.
Omissions include: Subseries 1.2, Correspondence and Financial and Legal Papers, 1865-1924
and undated; Series 2. Diaries, 1802-1840; and Series 3. Other Papers, ca. 1840s-1884 and
undated. Descriptions of omitted materials are included in the introductory materials
provided at the beginning of this collection.
W. J. Ridgill Papers, 1851-1853,
Montgomery, Alabama; also Georgia, Mississippi, and New York
Description of the Collection
W. J. Ridgill (fl. 1851-1853) was a cotton broker of Montgomery, Alabama. This small
collection comprises business letters to Ridgill, chiefly about the cotton market in
various regions. His correspondents discussed the current prices for cotton, the size and
quality of crops, and political events, such as the possible war between Turkey and
Russia, that might influence the market. They also discussed other business matters, such
as purchasing cotton bagging materials, and freight rates and insurance on shipments of
cotton. Also included is a letter from an Alabama planter on the progress of his cotton
crop. Among the correspondents are Sterling F. Grimes and W. A. Beddell of Columbus,
Georgia; B. F. Marshall of Mobile and New York; T. U. V. Phillips of Florence, Alabama;
William R. Hagood of Columbus, Mississippi; and S. B. Glazman of Hudson Place, Talladega
Leonard M. Burford Papers, 1837-1868,
Lowndes County, Alabama; also Georgia and Texas
Description of the Collection
Leonard M. Burford was a cotton planter of Lowndes County, Alabama. This small collection
comprises letters, bills, and receipts, chiefly relating to Burford and his relatives. A
few items relate to the buying and selling of cotton through Mobile factors, while others
document purchases of dry goods, books, and other items, chiefly through merchants in
Mobile. There are several letters about family matters. There is also an 1863 letter from
Maj. Sebert J. Smith, Confederate quartermaster at Chattanooga, Tenn., to Capt. Alexander
McVay, quartermaster at Mobile, Alabama, about the need for accurate written reports in
order to make proper allocations for payment of troops.
The following items appear in the collection. A receipt, dated 12 December 1837, for
supplies for Mr. A. Stinson[?] at Mobile, Alabama. A letter from Boykins & McRae at
Mobile, Alabama, to Leonard M. Burford at "His Landing," Lowndes County,
Alabama, dated 7 January 1847, about cotton trading between Mobile and Lowndes County via
the Alabama River, which apparently was carried out by the vessel Lowndes. A letter
fragment, dated 20 September 1848[?] from E. C. Compton to an unknown recipient. Written
in a semi-literate style, the surviving text concerns personal and family matters. A
receipt, dated 24 January 1850, from John K. Randall & Co., Booksellers, etc., at
Mobile, Alabama, to L. M. Burford, for books and supplies bought. A receipt, dated 13
March 1850, from More & Lynes, Wholesale Dealers in Fancy & Staple Dry Goods, to
Leonard M. Burford for supplies bought. A letter, dated 3 July 1854, from Thomas J. Jones
at Montgomery, Alabama, to Messrs. Stewart, Cook & Burford, mostly about legal
matters. A letter, dated 25 May 1857, from lawyer T. J. Jones to Leonard M. Burford about
legal matters. A printed letterhead gives Jones's office location as Allenton, Wilcox
County, Alabama; his territory also included Monroe and Dallas counties, Alabama. A letter
of account, dated 19 January 1859, from Boykin & McRae at Mobile, Alabama, for Leonard
M. Burford, covering the period July 1858 to January 1859, and listing cotton sales. A
bill, dated 6 February 1860, from C. & H. W. Lowe at Camden, Wilcox County, Alabama,
for clothing supplies purchased by Bettie Burford in December 1859. A bill, dated 6
February 1860, from C. & H. W. Lowe at Camden, Alabama, for clothing supplies
purchased by Amanda Burford, January to December 1859. A letter, dated 12 March 1863, from
Maj. Sebert J. Smith, Chief Pay Quartermaster, Department Number 2, Confederate States of
America, at Chattanooga, Tenn., to Capt. Alexander McVay, quartermaster, District of the
Gulf, at Mobile, Alabama, in which Smith ordered an estimate of funds needed for March and
April, based upon returns of the assistant adjutant general of the district, and
emphasizing the need for accurate and fair payment. A letter, dated 20 May 1868, from H.
D. Bonne[?] at Fairfield, Freestone County, Texas, to her brother and sister (not named)
at a location in Wilcox County, Alabama. She mentioned requests for supplies, including
her sewing machine, and photographs of people back home; personal and family matters;
crops; health; and Mr. James Robinson, who delivered the letter. She also discussed
freedmen, commenting "I have no annoyances we have no freedmen around us...." A
letter, 18 March [18??], from Bettie (probably Bettie Burford) at Talbotton, Talbot
County, Georgia, to her father (probably Leonard M. Burford). The letter mentions personal
and family matters, including visiting with relatives in Georgia, including Uncle William
at Columbus, Muscogee County, Georgia. Of the latter place, there is the comment that
"I was a little anctious [sic] to get in the country, as you know, dressing in
Columbus is considered very important...." A letter fragment, undated (post-Civil
War), from Ezl. B. G.[?] to P. D. Burford. The surviving text includes comments on the
difficult social conditions the writer experienced "since the surrender," and an
uncle's attempt at "selling some cotton Ginns for Brown of Connecticut."
Walton Family Papers, 1804-1868,
Greene County, Alabama
Description of the Collection
This collection consists chiefly of nineteenth-century personal correspondence and
financial and legal papers of the Walton and Webb families. There are also miscellaneous
loose writings and six maps, circa 1820s, of land in western Alabama.
Although William Walton and his wife Justina L. Walton owned and operated a cotton
plantation in Greene County, Alabama, there are few items directly related to the running
of the plantation or to the approximately 100 slaves who lived and worked there. Financial
and legal papers, however, include a number of plantation-related receipts from cotton
merchants, including R. Moore & Company, Cotton Factors, of Mobile, Alabama.
Information in many of the items, including an 1834-1835 account book, indicates that
goods were regularly shipped between Mobile and points up and down the Tombigbee River and
Personal letters in this collection concern chiefly personal and family interests of
members of the Walton and Webb families. Other items include a small 1804 volume
containing accounts for building a house; a McLean's Family Almanac for 1868, with
brief annotations by Justina L. Walton; questions derived from reading a naturalist book;
a culinary thesaurus; a list of compatible flower decorations; a thesaurus of medicines; a
school-age composition by Justina L. Walton entitled "On Romping"; and a
silhouette of an unknown man.
The collection is arranged in series and subseries as listed below. Series 1.
Correspon-dence--Subseries 1.1. 1828-1860, Subseries 1.2. 1861-1865 [not included],
Subseries 1.3. 1866-1901 [not included], and Subseries 1.4. Undated; Series 2. Financial
and Legal Papers--Subseries 2.1. 1811-1865, Subseries 2.2. 1866-1910 [not included], and
Subseries 2.3. Undated; Series 3. Account Books, Notebooks, and Miscellaneous Volumes;
Series 4. Maps and Other Loose Materials--Subseries 4.1. Other Loose materials, and
Subseries 4.2. Maps.
Members of the Walton family, including William Walton (fl. 1811-1843) and John G. Walton
(fl. 1811-1844) emigrated from South Carolina to Alabama around 1820. William Walton and
his wife Justina L. (Jessie) Walton (fl. 1836-1866) had at least two children, Justina S.
(Jessie) (fl. 1836-1910) and Louisa W. (Lou) (fl. 1836-1880). As of 1836, they were living
at Strawberry Hill Plantation near Forkland, Greene County, Alabama. Members of the family
also lived at Eutaw, Greensboro, and Kirkpatricks Landing, Alabama.
Upon her husband's death, Justina L. Walton assumed responsibility for her family's
financial affairs. The estate she inherited included the family cotton plantation of
approximately 1,000 acres and 100 slaves located in Township 20, Range 2 East (see
"Assesment [sic] of the property of Justina L. Walton made June 30th '55...upon the
affidavit of J. D. Webb, agent," Volume 1, James Lusk Alcorn Papers, Southern
About 1853, Justina S. Walton married James Daniel Webb (1818-1863), who appears to
have moved to Alabama from North Carolina sometime in the 1840s. Together they had at
least two children, Minnie (fl. 1861-1897) and James E. In May 1861, James Daniel Webb
joined the 5th Alabama Regiment and traveled with it to camps and in the field in Florida
and Virginia. While on the regimental staff, at least part of the time as assistant
quartermaster, he served with several Confederate Army officers, including generals Robert
Emmet Rodes (1829-1864) and Richard Stoddert Ewell (1817-1872), and lieutenant colonels
Allen Cadwallader Jones (b. 1811) of Greene County, Alabama, and John Tyler Morgan
(1824-1907) of Selma, Alabama. In May 1862, Webb was appointed lieutenant colonel of the
newly formed 51st Alabama Regiment ("Partisan Rangers"); John Tyler Morgan was
appointed colonel. The 51st Alabama operated in Tennessee. Webb was mortally wounded in a
skirmish near Elk River, Tennessee, on 2 July 1863. Subsequently, Justina S. Walton Webb
managed her financial and personal affairs at Kirkpatricks Landing and Forkland, Alabama,
from 1866 until her death around 1910.
Series 1. Correspondence (1828-1901 and undated)
Subseries 1.1. (1828-1860) This subseries comprises letters to and from
members of the Walton family, chiefly concerning personal and family matters.
Correspondents included William Walton; Justina L. (Jessie) Walton; Louisa W. (Lou)
Walton; and Justina (Jessie) Walton. Beginning about the time James Daniel Webb married
Justina Walton (ca. 1853), he began corresponding with Walton family members. Many of the
letters for this period mention social life and customs at various Alabama locations,
including Strawberry Hill Plantation, Forkland, Eutaw, Greensboro, and Mobile.
There are also two letters from Margaret Smith at Greenville, South Carolina, to her
cousin Jesse L. Walton, which mention personal and family news, cotton crops, illnesses,
and church reforms. Letters, dated 1853, from Justina S. Walton Webb and James Daniel Webb
at New York and Saratoga, New York, to Justina L. Walton at Greensboro, Alabama, describe
the Webb's honeymoon trip to the North.
Subseries 1.4. (undated) This subseries comprises scattered notes and
letter fragments relating to members of the Walton and Webb families.
Series 2. Financial and Legal Papers (1811-1910 and undated)
This series consists chiefly of financial and legal papers of members of the Walton and
Webb families. There are scattered early papers relating to John G. Walton, William
Walton, James M. Walton, and Alfred Young Walton, chiefly about land purchases and
business matters in Charleston, South Carolina, Pensacola, Florida, New Orleans,
Louisiana, and Mobile and St. Stephens, Alabama. The bulk of these papers relate to
Justina L. Walton and Justina S. Walton Webb.
Subseries 2.1. (1811-1865) This subseries is comprised chiefly of
financial papers of Justina L. Walton at Forkland, Kirkpatricks Landing, and Eutaw,
Alabama, including accounts and business correspondence with James Crawford at Mobile,
There are also scattered business and legal papers relating to William Walton, John
Walton, William Walton and Company, James M. Walton, and Alfred Young Walton. Some of the
items are: a writ of intent, dated 15 June 1811, for the payment of $5,800 by William
Walton and Company at Charleston, South Carolina; a document, 1823, relating to a 640-acre
tract of land granted to William Walton in 1819 by the governor of Pensacola; a document,
dated 10 June 1826, relating to the purchase of land by James M. Walton of Greene County,
Alabama, at St. Stephens, Alabama; and an indenture, dated 22 September 1829, between
Alfred Young Walton and Cannan Pistole.
There is one Confederate army document, circa 1861, authorizing the allocation of
$20,000 to James Daniel Webb, acting assistant quartermaster for the 5th Alabama Infantry
Regiment in Virginia, for dispensation.
Subseries 2.3. (undated) This subseries comprises scattered financial and
legal papers relating mostly to members of the Walton family, including a list of
silverware bought and a document concerning a tract of land.
Series 3. Account Books, Notebooks, and Miscellaneous Volumes (1804-1868 and
This series comprises volumes as described below. The first volume is an account book,
1804, containing accounts for building a house. The second volume is an account book,
1834-1835, containing accounts for shipping. It includes lists of goods ordered and
delivered to persons living along the banks of the Tombigbee, Little Tombigbee, and Black
Warrior rivers in Alabama, delivered by the ship Ophelia or another vessel. Many
places are named, including Fairfield, Derden's Landing, Chickasaw Bluff, Woods Bluff,
Jones Bluff, Kirkpatricks Landing, Bartons Bluff, Demopolis, St. Stephens, Ivanhoe, and
Mobile. A few Civil War era newspaper clippings are pasted in. Enclosures to the second
volume volume include two loose sheets and newspaper clippings. The third volume is McLean's
Family Almanac, 1868. It includes handwritten annotations on some of the monthly
calendars. "J. L. Walton" is inscribed on the front cover of the almanac.
Enclosures to the third volume consist of scattered diary entries, author unknown,
December 1866 to March 1868. The fourth volume is a culinary thesaurus, undated. It
contains definitions of foods and cooking techniques. The fifth volume contains naturalist
questions, undated. It includes a list of questions, based on reading a book (title not
specified), dealing with subjects such as the characteristics of spiders, sloths, snails,
Series 4. Maps and Other Loose Materials (ca. 1820s and undated)
Subseries 4.1. Other Loose Materials (undated) This subseries comprises a
variety of undated papers. Items include: "Patterns that will answer for other
Flowers," a list of compatible flower decorations; a thesaurus of medicines entitled
"Technical Names of Medicines," giving Latin names followed by American forms; a
conduct sheet for four Webb children, with blank columns for "conduct"
(good/bad),"temper" (good/bad), and "punished" (with
"whipped" crossed out); a script for a scene from the New Testament (Mark xvi);
"On Romping," a school-age composition by Justina L. Walton, explaining why
little children should not romp, run, or climb trees; a silhouette of an unknown man; and
drawings of a circular design.
Subseries 4.2. Maps (ca. 1820s) This subseries comprises maps of land in
western Alabama. There are five plat maps, with names on some tracts, of the following
areas: Townships 19-20, Range 3 (dated 24 February 1820); Part of Township 19, Range 3
East; Part of Township 19, Range 2 East; Township 20, Range 1 East; and Township 20, Range
2 East (land mostly west of Black Warrior River, including tracts owned by John G. Walton.
There is an undated map of a larger area, embracing land west of the Tombigbee and Little
Tombigbee rivers to the Mississippi state line, and including Demopolis and Chickasaw
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical
Collection is the James Lusk Alcorn Papers.
A list of ommissions from the Walton Family Papers is provided on reel 4, frame 0414.
Omissions include Subseries 1.2-1.3, Correspondence, 1861-1901 and Subseries 2.2,
Financial and Legal Papers, 1866-1910. Descriptions of omitted materials are included in
the introductory materials provided at the beginning of this collection.
George Washington Allen Papers, 1832-1865,
Chambers and Russell (now Lee) Counties, Alabama;
also Georgia and South Carolina
Description of the Collection
George Washington Allen owned large plantations around Opelika and Lafayette, Alabama. His
brother, Alexander A. Allen, held sizable plantations near Bainbridge and Lexington,
Georgia, and was also a lawyer. A large portion of this collection consists of letters
between the two brothers, as they discuss business, political, and family affairs. Topics
in antebellum papers include: planting and harvesting of crops (chiefly cotton); life on
the plantations, including the buying and selling of slaves; family affairs; the practice
of law; and, as the Civil War approached, the possibility of conflict between the North
and the South. Civil War papers deal with military preparations and, later, with
descriptions of destruction left in the wake of battles. There are a few early papers
relating to the Wheat family, to which the Allens were related, and the Wheats surface
periodically throughout the collection.
Postwar letters discuss Reconstruction in Georgia and Alabama, but also in Florida and
Texas where family members, including Alexander A. Allen, who opened a law practice in
Tampa, had settled. A major topic during this period is developing relationships between
farmers and former slaves. In the 1870s and 1880s, topics covered family affairs; the
cotton crop; and life
at the Opelika Female Institute, the Home School in Opelika (Misses B. & W. Allen,
principals), and other Alabama schools in which some of Allen family members, chiefly
There are letters as well to Alexander A. Allen's son, also named Alexander A. Allen (d.
1918), reporter for the Macon Telegraph and the Atlanta Journal, and, later,
editor of the Telegraph, from, among others, Hoke Smith (1855-1931). In the 1890s
through 1918 and again in the 1920s, there are letters from various family members
traveling in Europe, particularly Willie M. (b. 1853) and Ruth Linton Allen, whose
teaching careers in various Alabama locations are documented also. Willie was principal of
the Girls' High School in Montgomery and on the faculty of the State Normal College at
Florence, and Ruth appears to have taught chiefly in schools for girls in Birmingham. Many
letters from the 1910s through the 1930s deal with genealogy, particularly relating to the
Allen family's Linton relations. There are additional Linton family history materials in
Series 2, which also contains miscellaneous clippings, school essays, and other items.
Volumes consist chiefly of scrapbooks relating to the teaching duties of Allen family
members, 1880s-1920s. Also included, however, are 1828 and 1831 mathematics books, an 1869
record of cotton picked, and volumes containing souvenirs of European trips.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence--Subseries 1.1.
1832-1865 and Subseries 1.2. 1866-1932 [not included]; Series 2. Other Papers; and Series
3. Volumes--Subseries 3.1. Mathematics Books, 1828-1831, Subseries 3.2. School Volumes
[not included], and Subseries 3.3. Other Volumes [not included].
Series 1. Correspondence (1832-1932 and undated)
This series consists chiefly of correspondence among Allen family members, and between the
Allens and their relatives, business associates, and friends.
Subseries 1.1. (1832-1865) The earliest correspondence, 1832-1849, is
between members of the Wheat family of Thomaston, Upson County, Georgia, and the Allen
family of Bainbridge, Georgia. There are several letters from Alexander A. Allen in
Bainbridge to his brother George Washington Allen at Opelika and Lafayette, Alabama. Many
of these letters relate to plantation business, especially to cotton planting and to the
management of slaves. Of special interest are the following: 16 March 1843: Alexander to
George about their father's financial affairs, gold mining, and their sister's marrying
Dunstad Blackwell; 4 June 1843: typed transcription of a letter of W. L. Harris at
Princeton, New Jersey, to George, telling of his arrival and discussing the large number
of students from the South and the poor reception President Tyler received during a visit
to the school (location of original letter unknown); and 28 September 1849: J. S. Allen of
Anderson County, South Carolina, to his son George about the murder of a friend and
relative in Alabama by a slave.
Letters, 1850-1855, are chiefly from Alexander to George relating to farming, horses,
and debts. Alexander was a lawyer as well as a planter, and, beginning in 1854, his
letters are on letterhead from Allen & Evans Law Office, Bainbridge, Georgia. In 1850,
there is evidence that George had journeyed to Texas and back, and, in 1855, there is
correspondence concerning their father's death and their brother Stephen's claims to their
father's estate. There are a few letters from sister M. A. (Amanda) Barrett in
Ruckersville, Georgia, about her family. Of special interest are the following: 12 May
1851: Maria Allen, Alexander's wife, to Margaret Allen, George's wife, containing family
news; 10 July 1851: Alexander to George about Maria's death, and subsequent letters about
how he and his children were managing; and 27 July 1852: Alexander to George about his
approaching marriage to Ann L. Dickenson.
Letters, 1856-1860, are chiefly from Alexander to George about family matters, the
cotton crop, and the practice of law. The letters were written from Americus, Bainbridge,
Starksville, Macon, Albany, and Rock Pond, Georgia. Also included are several letters to
and from other family members.
Letters, 1861-1865, are chiefly from Alexander to George. From 1863 through 1865, there
are scattered letters about Wheat and Allen family news. Of special interest are the
following: 12 February 1861: Alexander to George, giving his political comments on the
Confederacy; 23 February 1861: S. D. Blackwell of Elberton, Georgia, to George on the
inevitability of war; 10 April 1861: Alexander to George, saying that it is not yet time
for married men to commit themselves to leaving their homes; 16 August 1861: Alexander to
George, about Alexander's becoming captain of the Steam Mill Home Guard and saying that
military spirit is high in Georgia; 17 February 1862: Alexander to George about pork,
cotton, and corn, and about his decision not to sell the Rock Pond property; 19 August
1865: George's oath of allegiance; and 22 August 1865: George's amnesty paper.
Series 2. Other Papers (1778-1928 and undated)
This series includes a wide variety of items. Clippings consist chiefly of editorials
probably written by Alexander A. Allen for the Macon Telegraph in the 1890s and
later reports of the activities of various Allen family members. School essays include
essays by Alexander A. Allen and George Washington Allen at Franklin College in the late
1830s and early 1840s, and one by Willie M. Allen at Tuskegee Female College in 1870.
Linton family history includes notes and other items relating to the Linton family.
Miscellaneous materials include: an announcement from the Misses Allen's School in
Montgomery, 1888-1889; Willie M. Allen's 1902 passport; her certificate of registration as
an elector in Alabama, 1928; a handwritten copy of "Yellow Jasmine," a poem by
Mary Redding, 1905; and a printed copy of "His Teacher," a poem by Marion
Bernice Craig, 1926.
Series 3. Volumes (1828-1922)
This series consists chiefly of scrapbooks relating to the teaching careers of various
Allen family members, especially Ruth Linton Allen, but also includes earlier mathematics
books and later scrapbooks about European travel.
Subseries 3.1. Mathematics Books (1828-1831) This subseries comprises
mathematics books of Francis A. Wheat at the Franklin Academy, Upson County, Georgia.
A list of omissions from the George Washington Allen Papers is provided on reel 5, frame
0249. Omissions include Subseries 1.2, Correspondence, 1866-1932 and undated; Subseries
3.2, School Volumes, 1880-1922; and Subseries 3.3, Other Volumes, 1869-1918. Descriptions
of omitted materials are included in the introductory materials provided at the beginning
of this collection.
William M. Byrd Papers, 1832-1914,
Dallas and Marengo Counties, Alabama;
also Mississippi and Tennessee
Description of the Collection
This collection consists chiefly of deeds, indentures, and land grants for sales of land
in Marengo County, Alabama. There is also scattered political, business, and personal
correspondence of William Byrd, and certificates presented to various members of the Byrd
The arrangement of the collection is as follows: Series 1. Correspondence; Series 2.
Deeds and Indentures; and Series 3. Other Papers.
William M. Byrd (1817-1874) was the son of William H. Byrd of Richland, Mississippi. He
was born on 6 December 1817 in Perry County, Mississippi. He attended La Grange College
and, after his graduation, settled at Holly Springs, Mississippi. He later moved to
Linden, Alabama, where he began the practice of law and soon became prominent in the
political life of his state. In 1851, he was elected to the state legislature. In 1865, he
was elected to a seat on the bench of the state supreme court, which he held until
displaced by the reconstruction measures of Congress. At the Methodist Conference of 1870,
he advocated the establishment of a Methodist university which later became Vanderbilt
University. He died on 24 September 1874.
William Byrd married Maria Hawkins Massie (b. 1818) on 14 June 1838.
Series 1. Correspondence (1838-1882)
This series comprises scattered correspondence of William Byrd and his family between the
years 1838 and 1882. Some personal correspondence to Byrd from his father, William H.
Byrd, in Richland, Mississippi is included. His father wrote about family news, including
the death of one of his brothers, and plantation affairs. There are a few letters from
Byrd to his wife when he was away on business. He gave her instructions for the servants
who were tending the crops. Other scattered personal letters include one from Byrd's son
William when he was studying at the University of Virginia, and a letter from a teacher of
his two daughters when they were away at school.
Business correspondence to Byrd, chiefly about legal cases is included also. There are
also a few letters and telegrams from other lawyers referring cases to Byrd for
collection. In 1856, he received a letter from John W. S. Napier regarding Napier's
business problems, with which Byrd apparently was helping.
Byrd received some letters from political figures. In 1860, Millard Fillmore wrote to
Byrd denying that he had pledged himself to support the nominees of the Chicago
Convention. Also in 1860, Byrd received a letter from Edwin H. Ewing, chairman of the
Union Executive Committee in Tennessee, answering questions Byrd had posed about their
presidential candidate, John Bell. He received a letter from Horace Greeley of the New
York Tribune in 1871, in which Greeley seems to have clarified his stance on a
During the Civil War, Byrd received a letter from N. H. R. Dawson at Camp Jones,
defending his conduct in the first battle of Manassas.
At the end of this series, there is a letter of condolence to Maria Byrd after the
death of William Byrd in 1874. The final two letters were probably to Byrd's daughters.
Series 2. Deeds and Indentures (1832-1907)
This series consists chiefly of deeds and indentures for land in Marengo County, Alabama.
Most of the deeds relate to people other than William Byrd and were possibly part of his
law practice. Also included are a number of land grants signed during the presidential
terms of Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. A few of the deeds and indentures apparently
were part of estate cases. Also included in this series are receipts for payment made on
lands at the Receiver's Office in Demopolis, Alabama.
Series 3. Other Papers (1839-1914 and undated)
Included in this series is William Byrd's will and other papers relating to his estate,
some biographical information on Byrd, and some genealogical information on his family.
Also included are a number of certificates, such as an official pardon signed by Andrew
Johnson for John T. Morgan, dated 1865; a document certifying that William Byrd had taken
the oath prescribed by the President's Proclamation of 20 May 1865; Byrd's appointment by
Ulysses S. Grant as a commissioner on the commission to provide for celebrating the 100th
anniversary of American independence to be held at Philadelphia; a license for William
Byrd to practice law in Alabama; a certificate of life membership for Sallie Byrd in the
Woman's Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church South; and a document
certifying that P. H. Pitts had become a qualified elector for the state of Alabama. Also
included are some miscellaneous writings.
Benjamin Fitzpatrick Papers, 1819-1892,
Autauga (now Elmore) and Hale Counties, Alabama
Description of the Collection
This collection consists chiefly of the business, political, and personal papers of
Benjamin Fitzpatrick from 1819 to 1869, including legal and financial documents, letters
from his political allies, and other material relating to his political career; and the
papers of his son Benjamin Fitzpatrick, Jr., consisting of school compositions and
speeches, letters from his mother, Aurelia Blassingame Fitzgerald, and other relatives,
1868-1871, and legal and financial documents, 1873-1892. There are also newspaper
clippings on Benjamin Fitzpatrick's role in the Baltimore Convention of 1860 and
obituaries on his death in 1869, as well a copy of his 1841 inaugural address as governor
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Benjamin Fitzpatrick--Subseries 1.1.
Business, Financial, Personal, and Political Papers, 1819-1869 and Subseries 1.2.
Newspaper Clippings and Miscellaneous Items, undated; and Series 2. Benjamin Fitzpatrick,
Jr.--Subseries 2.1. School Compositions and Correspondence, ca. 1868-1872 and undated and
Subseries 2.2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1873-1892.
Benjamin Fitzpatrick, son of William and Anne Phillips Fitzpatrick, was born 30 June 1802
in Greene County, Georgia. In 1816, he moved to Alabama, where he studied law and was
admitted to the bar in 1823. He retired from the practice of law in 1827 due to ill health
and became a successful planter on his estate "Oak Grove" in Autauga (now
Elmore) County, a few miles from Montgomery. In 1827, he married Sarah Terry Elmore
(1807-1837), member of a prominent Alabama family, and became a brother-in-law by marriage
to Dixon Hall Lewis (1802-1848), a powerful states-rights advocate in Congress from 1829
to 1848. In 1840, Fitzpatrick campaigned for Martin Van Buren, and was awarded with the
Democratic Party's nomination for the governorship of Alabama. He was elected in 1841, and
served two terms. In 1844, he retired once again to his Oak Grove plantation, but
re-entered politics when called upon to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Dixon Lewis, who died
in 1848. In 1853, he once again was appointed to fill a U.S. Senate seat, this time that
of William Rufus DuVane King, and he was elected for a full term in 1855. In 1860, he was
nominated by the National Democratic Convention in Baltimore for vice president on the
Douglas ticket. He refused this nomination. He opposed secession, but supported the
Confederate cause. After the outbreak of the Civil War, he retired once more to Oak Grove,
where he died on 21 November 1869.
Benjamin Fitzpatrick had several children with Sarah Elmore: Elmore Joseph, Phillips
(1830-1901), Morris, James Madison, and John Archer. In 1837, Sarah died, and, in 1846,
Fitzpatrick married Aurelia Rachel Blassingame. Their only surviving child was Benjamin
Fitzpatrick, Jr. (1854-1892).
Series 1. Benjamin Fitzpatrick (1819-1869 and undated)
This series includes business, financial, political, and personal papers of Benjamin
Fitzpatrick, 1819-1869, as well as newspaper clippings on his life and reminiscences by
members of his family.
Subseries 1.1. Business, Financial, Personal, and Political Papers (1819-1869) This
subseries comprises business, financial, personal, and political papers. Included are
receipts for the purchase of slaves by his nephews, David and William Baldwin;
Fitzpatrick's commission as a member of the Alabama state militia in 1823; receipts for
the purchase of slaves and land, and for the sale of cotton; documents and correspondence
relating to Fitzpatrick's legal practice; a letter dated 1831 from R. Safford regarding
Andrew Jackson's election and Cabinet, and the upcoming gubernatorial race in Alabama; and
letters to and from various family members, including a letter dated 1849 from A.
Fitzpatrick in Arenoso near Texana, Texas, a brother of Benjamin Fitzpatrick, to his
nephew Phillips Fitzpatrick, comparing the states of Louisiana and Texas in terms of
quality of life and agricultural value, and describing methods of conducting business and
setting up a plantation in West Texas.
Fitzpatrick's political papers include a letter from Dixon H. Lewis, 1841, on the state
of the Democratic party in Alabama, Lewis's opinions on abolitionists, various political
figures in Washington, the disarray of the Whig party, and his observations regarding
Clement Comer Clay (1789-1866), fellow U.S. senator from Alabama. There is also a printed
copy of Fitzpatrick's inaugural address in 1841, and an original copy and a typed
transcription of his second inaugural address in 1843.
For Benjamin Fitzpatrick's U.S. Senate career, there are documents relating to the
purchase of a share of the steamboat Watumpka in Cincinnati; a letter, presumably
by Benjamin Fitzpatrick to a constituent, describing the events leading up to the
admission of Kansas to the Union; and a letter from Benjamin Fitzpatrick to Colonel Albert
James Pickett (1810-1858) in Autaugaville, Alabama, regarding a claim before Congress on
behalf of the Creek Indian tribe, asking for his testimony. There is a great deal of
material dealing with the Baltimore Convention of 1860 and Fitzpatrick's nomination for
vice president on the Douglas ticket by the National Democratic Convention, including an
official letter from the Convention informing him of the nomination; telegrams urging him
to either accept or reject the offer; and letters to friends explaining both his decision
to decline and views on the upcoming election.
There are documents from the Civil War years about the embrasure of mules by the
Confederate army, a Confederate bond, records of tax payments for agricultural products,
and receipts for the sale of corn to the Confederate army. There is a typed transcription
of a letter Fitzpatrick wrote his son Elmore in Mobile in which he informed his son of
prominent northern statesmen who would aid him if captured by the Union army, and a letter
of acknowledgment from the U.S. Department of State regarding Fitzpatrick's presidential
pardon in 1865. There are also several letters dated 1868 and 1869 to his son Benjamin
Fitzpatrick, Jr. and his wife Aurelia giving family news. Letters to his son include
fatherly advice and news from home while Benjamin Fitzpatrick, Jr., was studying under the
care of his uncle Albert in Mobile. There are other letters from this period in Subseries
Subseries 1.2. Newspaper Clippings and Miscellaneous Items (undated) This
subseries comprises newspaper clippings relating to Benjamin Fitzpatrick's nomination as
vice president during the National Democratic Convention in Baltimore in 1860, obituaries,
and other clippings about him. There is also a typed transcription of a reminiscence of
Fitzpatrick's Oak Grove plantation by his niece Mary Glenn Brickell and the lyrics to a
song by Fitzpatrick's nephew William O. Baldwin called "Wait for the Wagon," on
his decision to leave politics and not to run for a seat in the Confederate Congress.
Series 2. Benjamin Fitzpatrick, Jr. (ca. 1868-1892 and undated)
This series comprises personal, financial, and legal papers of Benjamin Fitzpatrick, Jr.,
1868-1892, including school compositions, letters to and from members of his family, and
legal and financial documents.
Subseries 2.1. School Compositions and Correspondence and Related Items (ca.
1868-1872 and undated) This subseries includes Benjamin Fitzpatrick, Jr.'s school
compositions while attending the Greene Springs School near Havana, Hale County, Alabama.
This school was directed by Henry Tutwiler and his daughters. Included are essays, a
course of readings, speeches, Bible lessons, and a translation from Virgil; a handwritten
copy of a song or poem entitled "Little Breeches" by John Hay and copies of two
debating society speeches from 1872; a number of letters written to Benjamin, Jr., while
at the Greene Springs School and in Mobile, mostly undated, from Fitzpatrick's mother
Aurelia Blassingame Fitzpatrick, detailing family and neighborhood activities; and several
letters from Benjamin Fitzpatrick, Jr. to and from his cousins at home and to his mother.
Note that there are letters from this period in Subseries 1.1.
Subseries 2.2. Financial and Legal Papers (1873-1892) This subseries
includes the will of Aurelia Blassingame Fitzpatrick, mother of Benjamin Fitzpatrick, Jr.;
several promissory notes to various individuals from Benjamin Fitzpatrick, Jr.; legal
documents relating to his law career; a list of his solicitor's fees for 1890; and a bill
for the court costs relating to his will, 1892.
John Gideon Harris Diary, 1859,
Greene, Hale, and Tuscaloosa Counties, Alabama
Description of the Collection
This collection consists of the diary of John Gideon Harris, 1 January through 31 December
1859, chronicling his life in Greensboro, Havana, Eutaw, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Harris
wrote in his diary almost daily, but most of the entries are rather brief. Sometimes only
the weather is noted, but on other days Harris wrote short descriptions of his activities,
which seem to have revolved around attendance at church and at various social functions.
There are also entries referring to the hire and sale of slaves, as well as to cases
brought against slaves in the courts. Also, there is mention of Harris's frequent visits
to educational institutions like the Greensboro Female Academy, the University of Alabama,
and the Greene Springs School. He occasionally mentioned cutting timber or shearing sheep
for his father. There are infrequent references to his work as a lawyer, including court
appearances, and to more general community activities, such as elections. A typed
transcription of the diary, produced at the Southern Historical Collection in 1960, is
John Gideon Harris was born 1 March 1834. The 1859 diary in this collection indicates that
Harris had attended law school. During 1859, he appears to have been both reading law, and
also participating in some court cases. His days (and nights) were largely filled with
social engagements in and around Greensboro, Havana, Eutaw, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
In 1861, Harris organized Company I of the 20th Alabama Regiment in Greene County. From
1866 to 1886, he practiced law at Livingston, Alabama. He then was appointed by Grover
Cleveland "Registrar of the Land Office" in Montgomery, Alabama. He held this
post until 1890, when he was elected state superintendent of education, serving in this
capacity for two terms. In 1906, he was elected to the railroad commission.
Active in religious affairs, Harris edited the Alabama Baptist, a statewide
newspaper that he bought in 1884 and sold in 1902. He also was president of the Baptist
convention in Pittsburg in 1890. He also served as Master of Masons of Alabama in
Harris married Mary Jane Brown (b. 1840). He died 7 July 1908.
N.B. Biographical information was supplied by Jennie Barrow Dawson, donor and
wife of Harris P. Dawson, John Gideon Harris's grandson.
Johnston and McFaddin Family Papers, 1839-1890,
Greene, Hale, and Marengo Counties, Alabama;
also Mississippi and North Carolina
Description of the Collection
Thomas M. Johnston was a planter of Greensboro, Alabama, who held land in Greene, Hale,
and Marengo counties, Alabama, and in Noxubee, Winston, and Kemper counties, Mississippi.
In 1860, Johnston became administrator of the Marengo County plantation of his son-in-law,
Robert H. McFaddin (also spelled McFadden). Johnston also was guardian of the children of
Robert and Mary A. McFaddin. This collection consists of financial papers, slave lists,
legal documents, business and personal correspondence, and a few miscellaneous items
chiefly relating to the Johnston and McFaddin families. There are, however, several items
relating to others, including an 1839 legal order against members of the Green family in
Lincoln County, North Carolina, and a few 1873-1875 letters to Mrs. V. F. Dalton of
Uniontown, Alabama. The connections among the Greens, Mrs. Dalton, and the Johnstons and
McFaddins are unclear. The education of the McFaddin girls in Raleigh, North Carolina, in
1869 might be part of a North Carolina link.
Items are arranged chronologically as described below. Papers, 1839, include a legal
order, dated October 9, relating to a debt owned by W. B. and D. W. Green, Lincoln County,
North Carolina. Papers, 1841-1860, consist chiefly of lists and tax statements, relating
to land in Greene County, Alabama, and Noxubee, Winston, and Kemper counties, Mississippi,
held by Thomas M. Johnston. For 1859-1860, there are lists of Johnston's holdings in
Marengo County, Alabama, and a list of taxable property in Marengo County belonging to the
estate of Robert H. McFaddin. Most 1860 items have to do with slaves. They include two tax
lists, dated 1 March 1860, describing slaves owned by Johnston as of that date, and
several items from May 1860 that show the distribution of slaves among various
Papers, 1862-1863, include a 29 August 1862 newspaper clipping about Confederate taxes
in Greene County and financial papers and tax statements relating to Johnston's property
and to property in the estates of Robert H. and Mary A. McFaddin, including several lists
and descriptions of slaves. In a 9 May 1863 letter, Johnston wrote to W. C. Oliver of
Eutaw, Alabama, advising him on the procedure for selling a slave and stating that he was
prepared to destroy all books and papers should the enemy appear. In October 1863, there
are two receipts for the sale of cotton from McFaddin's estate to business houses in Selma
and Mobile, Alabama. Papers, 1865, include statements for cotton sold at Le Havre,
Liverpool, Mobile, and New York and several copies of "Merchants' and Planters'
Prices Current." Papers, 1866-1869, include two contracts, 1 January 1866 and 31
January 1868, of Johnston with freedmen for work on Canebrake (also spelled Canebreak)
Plantation in Hale County, Alabama. There are also miscellaneous letters and market
reports relating to the selling of cotton in Mobile, Liverpool, and New Orleans and a 15
October 1868 circular from the S. J. Murphy and Company of Mobile telling about the
condition of the cotton crop and urging crop diversification. In several letters,
1866-1868, D. C. B. Connerly of the Stonewall Institute in Dallas County, Alabama,
discussed the education of Johnston's grandsons, and there is a 15 January 1868 letter
from Lida McFaddin to Connerly about her brothers. Also included are 8 May 1868 tax
statements for Johnston and for the McFaddin estate and a letter, dated 1 May 1869, from
Albert Smedes of St. Mary's School in Raleigh, North Carolina, to a Doctor G. Drake,
stating that Smedes had learned that Drake was to replace Johnston as guardian of Mary and
Carrie McFaddin and enclosing a bill for their schooling.
Papers, 1873-1890, include several letters to Mrs. V. F. Dalton of Uniontown, Perry
County, Alabama, from Marcus A. Wolff of St. Louis, Missouri, concerning her financial
affairs, hard times in the South, and family news. Wolff apparently was involved in real
estate and in handling Mrs. Dalton's business affairs. There is also a letter to Mrs.
Dalton from a minister in Corinth, Mississippi, concerning the activities of his church.
Also included are two maps from 1890: a map of Tredegar, Alabama, and one of the Cahaba
Coal Field in Alabama.
Undated materials consist of a recipe for dyspepsia pills and a plat for land
"around Blunt Springs."
Philip Henry Pitts Papers, 1814-1889,
Perry County, Alabama; also North Carolina and Virginia
Description of the Collection
This collection consists of four manuscript volumes of accounts and diary entries for
Philip Henry Pitts, five letters to and from various members of the Pitts family, one
sheet of handwritten song lyrics, and two miscellaneous papers. The volumes document
Pitts's personal life and business associations, providing a commentary on the social and
economic life of Perry County, Alabama. The letters illuminate Pitts's father's activities
in the War of 1812 as well as news of the Pitts family.
The material is arranged in chronological order. Diaries and account books are the bulk
of the collection from the 1850s through the 1880s. Typed transcriptions accompany the
volumes and one of the letters. They contain some typographical errors and omissions of
text, although none of major proportions.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence and Other Loose Items
and Series 2. Diaries and Account Books.
Philip Henry Pitts, an Alabama cotton planter, was born 3 June 1814, probably in Essex
County, Virginia. He was the son of Thomas Daniel Pitts (d. 26 August 1851) and Polly
Pitts (d. 4 March 1839). Thomas D. Pitts and his family moved from Lloyds, Essex County,
Virginia, in 1833 to Oak Lawn, near Union Town (now Uniontown), Perry County, Alabama.
Some of the Pitts family remained in Virginia, while others moved to Mecklenburg County,
North Carolina. Philip H. Pitts married Margaret Pitts (b. 25 May 1924), probably before
1841 when their first child was born. They had ten children, most of whom survived into
adulthood--sons Philip Henry ("Henry" or "Harry") Pitts, Jr., Arthur
D. Pitts, Thomas Daniel Pitts, Ellic Pitts, John Pitts (26 June 1843-27 June 1862), and
David W. Pitts, and daughters Mary Grey (Pitts) Walker (b. 27 February 1841), Adelene
Pitts (b. 1 January 1862), Sarah E. ("Kitty") (Pitts) Hudson, and Pattie Pitts
(b. 2 March 1858).
The Pitts family was related to several other prominent Uniontown families frequently
mentioned in Philip Henry Pitts's diaries--including the Davidson family (also with
members in North Carolina), most notably Alexander Caldwell Davidson, Democratic
representative from Alabama to the 49th and 50th U.S. Congresses. Other frequently
mentioned families were the Caldwell family of North Carolina and the Rennolds or Reynolds
family of Virginia. There was a great amount of travel by Pitts relations between North
Carolina and Alabama during the years covered by the diaries.
Thomas Daniel Pitts was a captain in the 4th Regiment, Virginia Militia, in
Westmoreland County, during the War of 1812. One of the letters in the collection relates
to his service in that war. Thomas and his sons, Arthur B. L. Pitts (d. 25 July 1853),
David William ("William") Pitts (d. 22 July 1861), and Philip Henry Pitts, were
landowners and cotton planters in the Cane Brake or Black Belt Region of west central
Alabama. At the time of the 1860 census, Philip owned 2200 acres and 89 slaves, as well as
stock in the Alabama-Mississippi Railroad, for a total worth of $175,300. His estates were
called "Rurill Hill" (probably named after John Davidson's "Rural
Hill" plantation in Mecklenberg County, North Carolina) and "Kings." He may
have owned land in other areas of Alabama, perhaps including Choctaw County, as well.
Following the end of the Civil War, Philip Pitts retained at least part of his holdings at
Rurill Hill, but Kings seems to have disappeared. In 1870, he bought a section of the
Lodebo plantation adjoining Rurill Hill. He remained a cotton planter until his death on
22 April 1884.
Series 1. Correspondence and Other Loose Items (1814-1839)
The first item in this series is a letter, 4 August 1814, from John M. Parnell to Captain
Thomas D. Pitts at Camp Yeocomico, Westmoreland County, Virginia, both correspondents
being officers during the War of 1812, regarding a problem with an underage army
substitute who was Pitts's responsibility. Parnell mentioned the legal status of age of
substitution for the army. Also, he discussed the amassing of troops and the imposition of
the draft during the War of 1812 for the U.S. army stationed on the Potomac, perhaps in
response to the imminent British invasion of Washington, D.C. He also mentioned "a
most bloody engagement in Canada"--probably the Battle of Lundy's Lane on 25 July
1814, at Niagara Falls.
The second item is the handwritten lyrics to a song "Save De Union", set to
the tune of "Clare De Kitchen." The lyrics are about the Nullification Crisis of
1832, focusing on Virginia's wish to preserve the Union despite her hatred of the tariff.
The third item is a letter, possibly dated November 4, 1833 or 1834, from B(?)
Rennolds, at Philadelphia to Philip H. Pitts at Union Town, Perry County, Alabama. The
letter mentions a possible trip of the Pitts family to Virginia, the cousin's
soon-to-be-earned diploma, and news of births, deaths, and marriages.
The fourth item is a letter, dated April 10, 1838, from Philip H. Pitts at Union Town,
Perry County, Alabama, to David William Pitts at Davidson College, Mecklenburg County,
North Carolina. The letter gives news of births, deaths, and marriages in Perry County for
local families as well as news of the Pitts family. A typed transcription accompanies this
The fifth item consists of rough drafts of three letters written by Thomas D. Pitts at
Oak Lawn near Union Town, Perry County, Alabama. The first draft concerns a business
matter. The second is to "Robert" regarding the death of Thomas Pitts's wife
Polly from inflammatory fever on 4 March 1839. The third draft is a reply to a man
inquiring about relocation to the Cane Brake region of Alabama. Pitts extolled the virtues
of Marengo and Perry counties, including the fertility and inexpensiveness of the land; he
also extended an invitation to the visitor to stay with his family and gave advice about
hiring out the man's slaves.
The sixth item is an undated letter, either a draft or unfinished, to "Reverend
Sirs" from Thomas D. Pitts at Union Town. The letter asks for aid in finding a female
teacher of French, English, and the piano to come to the female academy in Union Town (at
that time, a town with 150 inhabitants) in Pitts's capacity as one of the seven trustees
of the academy.
The seventh item, of uncertain date, is a short anecdote about three family dogs, and
the eighth item, which is undated also, is a loose page of accounts from manuscript volume
Series 2. Diaries and Account Books (1850-1884)
Volume 1, September 1850-February 1853, is composed of a mixture of Philip H. Pitts's
accounts and memoranda as well as diary entries and a number of pasted-in newspaper
clippings relating to farm, household, cooking, and medicinal matters. Entries include
notices of births and deaths of slaves as well as whites; planting records for cotton,
corn, potatoes, and oats; notes on the livestock owned by Pitts--horses, sheep, pigs, and
cattle, including records of hog killings; notes on the weather and planting by the signs;
church news and critiques of various visiting preachers; Pitts's business dealings with
the Alabama-Mississippi Railroad and the Selma-Meridian Railroad; financial matters
dealing with loans and debts, cotton sales, insurance, and taxes; accounts relating to the
building of his home; the purchasing and hiring of slaves from other planters, runaway
slaves in the county, and a case of slaves murdering their master; local politics; a
description of Pitts's encounter with U.S. vice president and senator from Alabama William
Rufus de Vane King (1786-1853) regarding the latter's illness and cure; the deaths of
Pitts's father Thomas D. Pitts and brother Arthur B. L. Pitts; news of the Davidson and
Caldwell families; and the construction of a brick kiln.
Volume 2 comprises accounts of Philip H. Pitts, January 1856-1865; accounts of Arthur
D. Pitts, July 1884; and diary/accounts of Philip H. Pitts, August 1882-March 1884. The
accounting entries on pages 1-105 and pages 295-300 record Philip H. Pitts's debts and
loans: purchases of lumber and building supplies; cotton sales, bale weights, and shipment
to Mobile, Alabama, via railroad; doctor's bills for his family and slaves; the purchase
of provisions; and the purchase of marriage licenses from a judge ("20 marriage
licenses for freedmen + 10 marriage licenses for whites"). There is an alphabetical
name index to the accounts in the front pages of the volume. Pages 189-270 contain a
scattering of the accounts of Arthur D. Pitts, Phillip H. Pitts's son, dated July 1884.
The diary on pages 106-186, was written in the back of the older account book. It
covers the last two years of Philip H. Pitts's life. At this time, he was still a cotton
planter, although now hiring blacks to work in crews in place of slave labor. The diary is
primarily concerned with Pitts's family matters, livestock, garden and crops; weather; and
local news. Some mention is made of local politics and the nascent Republican (Radical)
party. Also mentioned are details of local crimes and court cases--his sons Henry and
Ellic were apparently part-time lawyers on the Circuit Court. There are also scattered
accounts throughout the diary. The failed cotton crop and ensuing financial panic of 1883
is discussed. Pitts's interest in church business, the railroads, and medicinal cures
continued, although not as strongly as in previous years. A new theme of anti-Semitism
emerges. Pitts also mentioned the Alabama congressional elections, corruption in Alabama
politics, and a brief history of the Alabama railroads. There is an anecdote from Dr.
Davidson about the cure of Governor Zebulon B. Vance (1830-1894) of North Carolina from
impotence. Again, the Davidson family, A. C. Davidson in particular, is mentioned
frequently in this diary.
Volume 3, January 1860-January 1863, is for the most part a diary, although it does
include lists of accounts for the railroad, cotton, etc. Other entries relate to
agriculture, livestock, planting advice, and the weather; legal concerns; and local county
births, deaths, and marriages. Pitts took a great deal of interest in home remedies and
the symptoms of different illnesses of both humans and livestock; and in local crimes and
court trials, as well as his own legal disputes with different individuals. He primarily
attended the local Presbyterian church, although he was interested in preaching and the
comparative church activities of the local Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, and Baptist
churches. Pitts was concerned with railroad business and elections also, and he discussed
the hiring of slaves from other planters and his relationships with his overseers. He also
discussed the financial panic of 1861. In 1860, he took part in the census, giving his
total worth as $175,300. Also in 1860, the presidential election and news of the impending
Civil War were mentioned. News of the war increased as Pitts's brother David William Pitts
and son John Pitts both enlisted in the Cane Brake Rifle Guards of the 4th Regiment
Alabama Volunteers, leaving Uniontown April 25, 1861, for Harper's Ferry, Virginia. Pitts
recorded the death of William in the First Battle of Manassas, 22 July 1861, and John on
the third day of the Seven Days Battles at Gaines Mill, near Richmond, Virginia, on 27
June 1862, one day after his 19th birthday. Pitts wrote extensively about their burials
and the settling of his brother's estate.
Volume 4, January 1-December 28, 1870, is a date-book for the year 1870, with entries
for almost every day. This volume continues the listing of accounts for Pitts's cotton and
oat crops; local crimes; court cases; gossip; and agricultural and weather notes. At this
time, Pitts retained his Rurill Hill plantation, although he apparently had lost his Kings
estate after the Civil War. Frequent themes are the problem of hiring and getting freedmen
to work, local politics of the Republican (Radical) party, and the enfranchisement of
blacks. He also wrote about his purchase of a section of the Lodebo plantation adjoining
Rurill Hill. Other items of note are folktales about medicinal cures and the weather;
railroad elections and business; and an increasing theme of anti-Semitism, which is even
more strongly expressed later (see Volume 2, 1882-1884).
Ruffin, Roulhac, and Hamilton Family Papers
(James H. Ruffin Plantation Records), 1841-1848,
Marengo (now Hale) County, Alabama
Description of the Collection
Included here is one volume of James H. Ruffin plantation records from a much larger
collection. The collection consists chiefly of family correspondence and other
documentation of members of the Ruffin, Roulhac, and Hamilton families and their friends
and associates, who lived chiefly in eastern and central North Carolina, but also in
Florida, Tennessee, and Alabama. The papers relate to routine family matters and everyday
life and, to a lesser extent to business matters, to both the Civil War and
Reconstruction, and to various public concerns.
Papers are basically those of the following persons and their immediate families:
Thomas Ruffin, Anne M. Kirkland Ruffin, Joseph B. G. Roulhac, Catherine Ruffin Roulhac,
Daniel Heyward Hamilton, Jr., and Frances Gray Roulhac Hamilton. There is little
information on Thomas Ruffin's legal and judicial career in this collection.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence, 1784-1951 and undated
[not included]; Series 2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1787-1879 and undated [not
included]; Series 3. Other Papers, 1812-1926 and undated [not included]; Series 4.
Volumes, 1829-1917 and undated [included in part]; and Series 5. Pictures, 1862-1916 and
undated [not included].
Thomas Ruffin (1787-1870), a lawyer who became chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme
Court, settled in Rockingham County in 1807. He was married to Anne Kirkland in 1809 and
settled in Hillsborough, where her family's home, Ayr Mount, was located. Ruffin also
became a leading planter who operated two plantations--one in Rockingham County and the
Hermitage in Alamance County. Ruffin's oldest daughter, Catherine, married Joseph Blount
Gregoire Roulhac (1795-1856), a merchant in Raleigh who frequently traveled to the
Northeast and Middle Atlantic states on business. Catherine and Joseph had seven children,
one of whom, Frances Gray, married Daniel Heyward Hamilton, Jr. (b. 1838), a Confederate
soldier who later (in 1865-6) owned a naval stores business in Madison County, Florida.
James H. Ruffin was a brother of Thomas Ruffin.
Series 4. Volumes (1829-1917 and undated)
Account books, journals, and diaries. Most of the merchandise ledgers and account books
were kept by Joseph Blount Gregoire Roulhac. The volumes are arranged roughly by type,
Subseries 4.1. Plantation Records (1841-1848) This subseries consists of
a plantation record of James H. Ruffin, Marengo County, Alabama. Record was kept of cotton
picked, clothing allowances to slaves, number of hogs killed, and other matters. This
volume was formerly
The plantation was near Prairie Creek and Cane Brake in northern Marengo County (now
Hale County), Alabama. In 1846, Ruffin planted 200 acres of corn, 620 acres of cotton, 55
acres of oats, 10 acres of wheat, 5 acres of potatoes, and 1 acre of tobacco. The slave
force in that year appears to have included over fifty hands out of over one hundred
individuals receiving clothing. Ruffin appears to have retained William L. Williford as an
overseer or agent and some of the records were presumably made by Williford. Other members
of the Ruffin family included G. M. Ruffin and James S. Ruffin.
One entry of a social nature in the volume is a wager between James H. Ruffin and
Carter B. Beverley dated November 19, 1846. The wager limited each man to not more than
two glasses of ardent spirits per day.
A list of omissions from the Ruffin, Roulhac, and Hamilton Family Papers is provided on
reel 7, frame 0354. Omissions include Series 1, Correspondence, 1784-1951 and undated;
Series 2, Financial and Legal Papers, 1787-1879 and undated; Series 3, Other Papers,
1812-1926 and undated; Subseries 4.2-4.6, Volumes, 1829-1917 and undated; and Series 5,
Pictures, 1862-1916 and undated. Descriptions of omitted materials are included in the
introductory materials provided at the beginning of this collection.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Southern Historical
Collection include the Thomas Ruffin Papers and the Cameron Family Papers. The Cameron
Family Papers are included in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from
the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J, Part 1.
Slave Birth Record, 1807-1861,
Russell (now Lee) County, Alabama
Description of the Collection
This collection comprises five pages from a medical manual entitled, "A Compendium of
the Theory and Practice of Midwifery Containing Practical Instructions for the Management
of Women During Pregnancy, in Labour, and in Child-bed," by Samuel Bard, 1817.
Records of slave births and deaths from 1807 to 1861 are written in the margins. The pages
appear to be from a volume belonging to P. Philips and read by A. C. Phillips. No location
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical
Collection is the Tillman and Norwood Ledgers. That collection, which follows this
collection in this edition concerns Russell (now Lee) County, Alabama, physicians, in
which entries for Mrs. P. Phillips and for the estate of P. Phillips appear, and in which
some of the names of slaves in this collection are duplicated.
Tillman and Norwood Ledgers, 1859-1868,
Russell (now Lee) County, Alabama
Description of the Collection
James A. Tillman and John Norwood, physicians of Crawford, Russell (now Lee) County,
Alabama, who, in 1860-1862, appear to have shared a practice, called Tillman and Norwood.
The collection comprises two ledgers relating to the medical practices of Norwood and
Tillman. Volume 1 contains entries about Norwood's practice, 1859-1866, with only a few
entries for 1860-1862, the period during which he appears to have shared a practice with
Tillman. Volume 2 contains Tillman and Norwood entries, 1860-1862, and Norwood entries,
1866-1868, when the partnership seems to have been dissolved. Entries in both ledgers show
dates of treatment and payment received, and, before and after the Civil War, note which
patients were black. Many entries, especially in Volume 1, consist only of "advice
and medicine for self." Other entries, however, list the patient's complaint and the
treatment rendered. Tillman and Norwood typically dressed wounds, delivered babies, lanced
fingers, and prescribed morphine, quinine, and laudanum. Tooth extraction was also an
important part of their practice; an entry on 26 August 1860 shows that Tillman was paid
in whisky for "nocking (sic) out two teeth with a hammer and nail."
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical
Collection is the Slave Birth Record. That collection, which precedes this collection in
this edition, duplicates some of the names of entries in the Ledgers, including those of
Marcus Joseph Wright Papers (John W. Womack Series), 1831-1860,
Butler and Greene Counties, Alabama
Description of the Collection
Only one series is included from a much larger collection, primarily documenting
Confederate military history. The collection is divided into nine series: Series 1. John
W. Womack Papers; Series 2. Wright Family History [not included]; Series 3. Marcus Joseph
Wright Biography, Bibliography, Tributes [not included]; Series 4. Marcus Joseph Wright
Early Memoirs [not included]; Series 5. Marcus Joseph Wright Papers [not included]; Series
6. Howard P. Wright Papers [not included]; Series 7. Clippings and Articles [not
included]; Series 8. Pictures [not included]; and Series 9. Volumes [not included].
Marcus Joseph Wright (1831-1922) was a native of Purdy, McNairy County, Tennessee. He was
a lawyer, clerk of court, and sheriff in Memphis before serving in the Confederate army,
where he was assistant adjutant general on Cheatham's staff, regiment commander, military
governor, brigade commander, and post commander. He also served as brigadier general.
In 1878, Wright was appointed agent of the United States War Department charged with
collecting and compiling official Confederate army records. He served in this post for
Wright was married twice. His first wife was Martha Spencer Elcan Wright (d. 1875),
daughter of Spencer and Martha Bolling Elcan. His second wife was Pauline Womack Wright,
daughter of John W. (fl. 1831-1860) and Ann M. Beville (or Bevill) Womack. Wright had at
least two sons, Howard P. (fl. 1929-1947) and John W. Wright.
Marcus Joseph Wright's second father-in-law was John W. Womack, who migrated from
Butler County, Alabama, to Greene County, Alabama, by the year 1840. A planter and lawyer,
he served from 1831 to about 1837 in the Alabama General Assembly. Jacob Lewis Womack (b.
1806?), his brother, also a planter, resided in Butler County, despite frequent urging
from John to move to Green County.
Series 1. John W. Womack Papers (1831-1860 and undated)
This series comprises letters from John W. Womack, Marcus Joseph Wright's father-in-law,
to his brother, Jacob Lewis (Lewis) Womack, and a letter of advice, undated, to his
daughter, Pauline, wife of Marcus Joseph Wright.
Most letters discuss family matters, the state of people's health, and crop conditions.
Family members mentioned in the letters include John W. Womack's mother, who split her
time between John and Lewis; John's first wife Nancy and their daughter; and his second
wife Ann M. Beville (or Bevill) Womack and their children Winston, Sidney, and Pauline.
Members of Lewis's family mentioned in the letters include his wife Agnes and their
children Joseph, Augustus (Gus), and Caroline. Occasionally mentioned are Joseph Womack's
struggle with alcoholism, and the illness and death of his and Marcus's brother Mansel
Womack (1810?-1842). Many letters mention politics, travel, social matters, and business
and legal deals.
Selected letters are described below. 23 November 1831: John to Lewis about travel from
Montgomery, Alabama, to Tuscaloosa and about political matters, such as convening the
Alabama general assembly and a speech of Governor John Gayle (1792-1859). 28 July 1832:
John to Lewis briefly describing Montgomery and declaring his support of President Andrew
Jackson in the United States Bank controversy. He also commented upon the nature and
spread of Asiatic cholera and provided suggestions for Joseph Womack's studies. 24
November 1833: John to Lewis describing a night stagecoach ride and discussing the
unfolding "tedious session" of the general assembly, including the selection of
government officials for ten new counties. 30 August 1835: John to Lewis about how slavery
"will ultimately bright about a dissolution of the Union of States," and the
"leprosy of Van Burenism." 28 December 1835: John to Lewis mostly about
political matters, including county and state taxes, Governor John Gayle, and Lewis's
election to the board of trustees of the University of Alabama. 12 May 1842: John to Lewis
about John's increasing disillusionment with politics and about his possible appointment
to the United States mission to Turkey. 24 December 1845: John to Lewis about John's loss
to George D. Shortridge in the general assembly election for 3rd circuit court. Undated:
John to his daughter Pauline, giving general advice on what she needed to know to succeed
A list of omissions from the Marcus Joseph Wright Papers is provided on reel 7, frame
1036. Omissions include Series 2. Wright Family History, 1792-1871 and undated; Series 3.
Marcus Joseph Wright Biography, Bibliography, and Tributes, 1875-1922; Series 4. Marcus
Joseph Wright Early Memoirs, 1938; Series 5. Marcus Joseph Wright Papers, 1853-1923;
Series 6. Howard P. Wright Papers, 1919-1945; Series 7. Clippings and Articles, 1894-1913
and undated; Series 8. Pictures, 1913 and undated; and Series 9. Volumes, undated.
Descriptions of omitted materials are included in the introductory materials provided at
the beginning of this collection.
Buchanan and McClellan Family Papers, 1816-1872,
Limestone County, Alabama; also Tennessee
Description of the Collection
This collection consists chiefly of correspondence of the Buchanan and McClellan families.
The early letters are between members of the Buchanan family about land transactions.
Other letters before the Civil War discuss family news and farming activities, and Thomas
J. McClellan corresponded with friends about Alabama politics. The Civil War is heavily
documented by members of the Buchanan and McClellan families who served in the Confederate
army, including Matthew Buchanan, Felix Grundy Buchanan, and William C. McClellan. After
the Civil War, most of the correspondence relates to the McClellan family, particularly to
Matilda, daughter of Thomas J. McClellan. She received a number of letters from her
brother, Thomas Nicholas McClellan, that document his political career. She also received
a number of letters from family and friends containing personal news.
There are a few financial and legal items, chiefly deeds and indentures for land in
Washington County, Virginia, Warren and Lincoln counties, Tennessee, and Limestone County,
Alabama. Also included are bills, accounts, receipts, wills, and a license to practice law
of Thomas N. McClellan.
The Other Papers series contains papers that relate to Thomas J. McClellan's dealings
with the Federal forces in northern Alabama during the Civil War, and miscellaneous
writings, poems, and essays.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence--Subseries 1.1,
1820-1838, Subseries 1.2, 1840-1849, Subseries 1.3, 1850-1860, Subseries 1.4, 1861-1865
[not included], Subseries 1.5, 1866-1917 [not included], and Subseries 1.6, Undated [not
included]; Series 2. Financial and Legal Materials; and Series 3. Other Papers.
The chief figures in these papers are Andrew Buchanan (fl. 1820-1865) of Warren and
Lincoln counties, Tennessee, and his family, and Thomas Joyce McClellan (fl. 1836-1880) of
Limestone County, Alabama, and his family. These two families were connected by the
marriage of Felix Grundy Buchanan, son of Andrew Buchanan, to Kate McClellan, daughter of
Thomas Joyce McClellan. There apparently were ties, however, between the two families
prior to the marriage. Letters to Thomas Joyce McClellan from members of the Buchanan
family dating as early as 1838, indicated that the McClellans moved from Tennessee to
Andrew Buchanan was a merchant and a planter. He was married to Bethia L. Buchanan and
apparently had at least seven children, among them: Felix Grundy (d. ca. 1910) m. Kate
McClellan; Margaret m. 1857 Coleman A. McDaniel; and Matthew. Felix Grundy and Matthew
fought in the Civil War. The daughter of Felix and Kate McClellan was Mary White Hobbs,
the donor of these papers.
Andrew Buchanan had a brother, Samuel, who died in Lincoln County, Tennessee, in 1836.
His brother William lived in Virginia and was the ancestor of the Buchanans who
corresponded with Kate McClellan Buchanan after 1900. For additional data on the Buchanan
genealogy, see letters, 1910 to 1917, from William Buchanan to Kate McClellan Buchanan.
Thomas J. McClellan was a planter and the owner of a livestock business. He also
participated in politics and was a member of the Alabama Secession Convention in 1861 and
a member of the Alabama Constitutional Convention of 1865. He was married to Martha
Fleming Beatie and had at least seven children, among them: William C. (d. 1869) m. Susan
E.; Matilda (fl. 1859-1914); Robert Anderson (1843-1898) m. Aurora Pryor; John; Kate (fl.
1859-1917) m. Felix Grundy Buchanan; Sallie m. ? Davis; and Thomas Nicholas (1853-1906).
William C. and Robert Anderson both fought in the Civil War. Several McClellans were
prominent in Alabama politics in the late nineteenth century. Thomas Nicholas McClellan
was a state senator from 1880 to 1884, attorney general from 1884 to 1889, associate
justice of the Alabama supreme court from 1889 to 1898, and chief justice from 1898 to
1906. Thomas C. McClellan, son of Robert Anderson and Aurora Pryor, was associate justice
of the Alabama Supreme Court.
N.B. Genealogical data are drawn from letters of November, 1909, from J. E.
McClellan to Matilda McClellan.
Series 1. Correspondence (1820-1917 and undated)
Subseries 1.1. (1820-1838) This subseries includes scattered letters chiefly
to members of the Buchanan family. The earliest letters are to Andrew Buchanan of Warren
and Lincoln counties, Tennessee, from Matthew Buchanan and Samuel Buchanan of Washington
County, Virginia, and deal with land transactions. Also included is a letter from Andrew
Buchanan to William Buchanan in Washington County, Virginia, about the death of their
brother Samuel in Tennessee on 25 November 1836. There are also a few letters between the
Buchanans and the McClellans, including a letter dated 17 September 1838 from Thomas W.
Buchanan in Bedford County, Tennessee, to Thomas J. McClellan in Shoal Ford, Alabama,
about business matters.
Subseries 1.2. (1840-1849) This subseries comprises correspondence of the
McClellan and Buchanan families, chiefly about family news and farming activities. A few
of the letters deal with political events, including a letter from Andrew Buchanan in 1840
in which he remarked on the presidential campaign opinions in Tennessee that year. L. R.
Davis, a friend of Thomas J. McClellan's and a member of the Alabama legislature, wrote to
McClellan in 1849 about both the burning of the Alabama capitol and the business of the
Subseries 1.3. (1850-1860) This subseries consist chiefly of McClellan
family correspondence. There are letters to and from W. N. Wright (nephew of Thomas J.
McClellan), W. A. McClellan, Sarah A. McClellan, John McClellan, A. M. Beatie, Sallie
McClellan (possibly also known as Sarah A. McClellan), Matilda McClellan, Kittie (Kate)
McClellan, and a few unidentified friends.
There are a number of letters between Thomas J. McClellan and his two friends, Patrick
Ragland and L. R. Davis. In these letters, the three discussed local and family news,
personal finances, and local, state, and national politics. In a letter from McClellan to
Ragland, dated 25 July 1852, McClellan expressed his strong support of the Whig party and
his views on the nomination of Winfield Scott for the presidency. Davis wrote to McClellan
in 1852 about both the defeat of the Whigs in that year and the state of the Whig party,
and he wrote to him in 1860 about secessionist sentiment in the Alabama legislature.
The main items in the Buchanan family correspondence are four letters from Felix G.
Buchanan to family members written from Emory and Henry College in Washington, Virginia,
in 1856 and 1857. Also included is a letter from a friend of the family, James Fulton, to
Mrs. Buchanan (probably Mrs. Andrew Buchanan), dated 6 December 1860, from the ship on
which he was stationed, the U.S. steamer Saginaw, in Hong Kong, China.
Series 2. Financial and Legal Materials (1816-1872 and undated)
This series consists chiefly of deeds and indentures for sales of land in Washington
County, Virginia, Warren and Lincoln counties, Tennessee, and Limestone County, Alabama.
The earliest indentures involve members of the Buchanan family in Washington County,
Virginia, and Warren and Lincoln counties, Tennessee. Also included is a deed dated 1836
for sale of land in Lincoln County, Tennessee, by Sarah Polk to Thomas J. McCleland
Between 1840 and 1850, there are a number of papers relating to land transactions by
Thomas McClellan and Howell Peebles in Lincoln County, Tennessee, and Limestone County,
Alabama. The relationship of Howell Peebles to the Buchanan and McClellan families is not
clear. Also included is a list of the property of John Beatie, which was sold in December
1849. John Beatie probably was related to Thomas J. McClellan's wife whose maiden name was
Between 1850 and 1860, there are several accounts for Thomas J. McClellan with a dry
goods firm. Also included is a deed dated March 1857 for the sale of land by William P.
and Amanda Vaughan to Elish H. French in Limestone County, Alabama, and a receipt for
state and county taxes paid in Lincoln County, Tennessee, on 31 August 1855 by Enoch
Cunningham. The relationship of the Vaughans, French, and Cunningham to the Buchanans and
McClellans is not clear.
There are only a few financial and legal papers from the Civil War period and
afterward. Included is a receipt dated 1862 to Thomas J. McClellan for one stack of fodder
taken for use by the 18th Regiment of Ohio Volunteers. Between 1868 and 1872, there are
five items, including a receipt for state, county, courthouse, and poll taxes paid by
Thomas J. McClellan in 1868. Also included is a deed covering a land and money transaction
by Thomas J. McClellan, his wife, and his son Robert A. McClellan; a deed dated 10
September 1869 for land bought by William C. McClellan and his wife Susan E. McClellan; a
grocer's bill dated 1871; and a license granted to Thomas N. McClellan to practice law in
Alabama dated 4 October 1872. The final item is an undated will for Thomas Edmondson.
Series 3. Other Papers (1836-1910 and undated)
A number of the papers in this series relate to Thomas J. McClellan's dealings with
Federal forces in northern Alabama during the Civil War, including passes for getting
through army lines, guarantees of protection for his property, and his oath of allegiance
to the government of the United States. Among the other papers are several obituaries, a
funeral notice for Thomas J. McClellan, and miscellaneous writings, poems, and essays.
A list of omissions from the Buchanan and McClellan Family Papers is provided on reel 8,
frame 0294. Omissions include Subseries 1.4-1.6, Correspondence, 1861-1917 and undated.
Descriptions of omitted materials are included in the introductory materials provided at
the beginning of this collection.
James McKibbin Gage Papers, 1835-1876,
Mobile, Alabama; also Georgia and South Carolina
Description of the Collection
This collection consists almost entirely of personal and family correspondence of James
McKibbin Gage. The correspondence is arranged chronologically in Series 1. Topics
discussed include the study and practice of medicine, horse breeding and racing, sectional
and national politics, and local and family life. Series 2 contains three miscellaneous
items--a poem, a printed drawing, and a sermon by an unknown author.
James McKibbin Gage, physician and horse breeder, was born 28 July 1813, the son of John
Gage (d. February 1845). He had a brother, Robert I. Gage, and two sisters, Nancy (often
called Ann) and Mary Jane Gage. Nancy married B. Frank Patton of Clarkesville, Georgia,
and joined Patton in Clarkesville after their marriage.
James Gage studied medicine in Paris from April 1835 to April 1836 and in Charleston,
South Carolina, from November 1836 to February 1837. He lived in Union, South Carolina,
during the summer (July-September) of 1836, and apparently returned there in the summer of
1837 to settle permanently and to practice medicine. He died in 1855 and was buried in
Series 1. Family and Personal Correspondence (1835-1868 and undated)
This series comprises letters received by James McKibbin Gage and others from family and
friends discussing personal, social, and political affairs between 1835 and 1868.
Between April 1835 and April 1836, Gage studied medicine in Paris and traveled in
Europe. Most of the letters he received during this period were written by his brother
Robert I. Gage of Union (formerly Unionville), South Carolina. He also received letters
from his father, John Gage, of Union, and from his sister Nancy (sometimes referred to as
Ann) of Union. After her marriage to B. Frank Patton, Nancy wrote Gage from Clarkesville,
Georgia. The correspondence discusses both personal, family, and neighborhood news and
sectional and national affairs. Specific personal topics include marriages, property
transfers, visitors, travel (to New York, England, and Ireland), horse racing, cock
fighting, farming, local theatre, murders and deaths, society news, an earthquake in 1835,
and the difficulties of practicing medicine. Political topics include opposition to
abolitionism, Texas, the building of the Cincinnati railroad, and Seminole-French-American
Correspondence in late 1836 and 1837 consists mostly of letters written by family
members to Gage while he was studying medicine in Charleston. Correspondents include his
brother Robert, his father, his brother-in-law B. Frank Patton, and his friend James E.
Nott. There are also letters from family members in Charlotte, North Carolina. Of note is
a letter from J. C. Nott, in Mobile, Alabama, discussing the prospects of a young doctor
starting a practice in that city. Other topics are the inflation of cotton prices, horse
racing, and Gage's future plans.
Only three letters appear for the years 1838 through 1840, when Gage was establishing
himself as a doctor in Union. One, dated 1838, is from J. C. Nott and tells of the
difficulty of collecting doctor's fees in Mobile and the status of Nott's horse-breeding
activities. An 1839 letter from Peter Kent of Columbia, South Carolina, discusses horses
in depth. The final letter, written in 1840, is from B. F. Patton. Patton begged for news
of his son John, who was visiting the Gage family, and abused the Gages for their politics
as well as for their neglect in writing him.
Correspondence for the years 1841 through 1868 is scattered. No letters appear for the
years 1841 through 1846. One item, a letter dated 11 October, appears for 1847. Written by
L. C. Johnson in Mexico to Gage in Union, this letter describes the horrors of army camp
life during the Mexican War. No letters are present for 1848 or 1849. Gage received one
letter in 1850 from F. M. Robertson of Charleston concerning widespread sickness in the
city. Two miscellaneous personal letters, one for 1851 and one for 1858, complete the
correspondence for the 1850s.
Only three letters appear for the 1860s, all written by Gage's brother Robert. Of
particular interest is a letter dated 14 January 1866, which discusses the difficulties he
encountered in negotiating with newly freed African-Americans on his plantation. Two other
letters written by Robert Gage are either to his sister or sister-in-law (addressed as
Sissy) and dated 1868. These letters discuss family and household news.
Undated items consist of two letters written to Gage by R. A. Nott, one letter to Gage
from a patient, and one letter from Gage's brother Robert concerning the death of Robert's
wife (Eliza Nott Gage).
Series 2. Other Items (1876 and undated)
This series contains three items: a poem entitled "New-Year's Eve," by G.
Wheatley, published in The Quiver on 1 January 1876; a printed drawing of a woman
entitled "Julia Mannering"; and an undated handwritten sermon by an unknown
Lipscomb Family Papers, 1791-1867,
Benton (now Calhoun) County, Alabama; also South Carolina
Description of the Collection
This collection comprises personal correspondence and financial and legal papers, the bulk
of which (1840-1870) consists of correspondence of Smith Lipscomb, Jr., and his wife,
Sally Draper Lipscomb, of Spartanburg District, South Carolina, and, after 1844, of Benton
County, Alabama, with other members of the Lipscomb, Draper, and related Littlejohn
families of South Carolina, Alabama, and Texas.
Civil War letters from relatives and friends in the 7th and 9th Alabama regiments, 51st
Alabama Regiment (Partisan Rangers), and Holcombe's Legion (South Carolina Volunteers),
discuss camp life, illnesses, picket duty, and family matters. Letters of the
Reconstruction period mention economic and social conditions and family matters. There are
also papers (1909-1926) of Edward S. Lipscomb of Jacksonville, Alabama.
Volumes include account and daybooks, 1843-1867 and 1874, concerning various
agricultural matters, cotton planting, and supplies bought and sold. Also included is a
notebook listing birthdates of members of the Lipscomb family and one of six slaves owned
by Smith Lipscomb, Jr. There is also an incomplete Pennsylvania edition of an 1855
William Lipscomb and his son John Lipscomb (1761-1827) of Union District, South Carolina,
settled in the District of Ninety-Six, South Carolina, in 1791. John and his wife Sally
Lipscomb (b. 1767) had several children, including Smith Lipscomb, Jr. (b. 1804). Smith
married Sally Draper Lipscomb (1806-1875) on 21 October 1824. They had at least five
children, among them: Caroline (b. 1825), Lucinda (b. 1827), William O. (fl. 1861-1865),
Edward S. (fl. 1871-1926), and another son (probably Joshua), who died in camp while
serving in the 7th Alabama Regiment in 1861. William O. Lipscomb served in Company B, 7th
Alabama from 1861 to about 1862, when he transferred to the 51st Alabama Regiment
(Partisan Rangers), led by John Tyler Morgan (1824-1907). He was paroled as a member of
the latter unit in May 1865.
Other members of the Lipscomb family include: Elizabeth Lipscomb Littlejohn (b. 1784);
Sally (b. 1787); William (b. 1789); and twins Edward and Sally (b. 1795). Members of the
Draper family include Joshua and Laurence J. One of the Drapers served in the Confederate
army as captain of Company B, 7th Alabama Regiment. Members of the Littlejohn family
include Francis and Thomas. Members of the Wilkins family, either relatives or friends of
the extended family, include Moses, Robert, and John.
William E. Pool, a friend or possibly relative of some of the Lipscombs and Drapers,
served with the 19th Alabama Regiment. Another relative served for part of the Civil War
in Holcombe's Legion, a South Carolina unit consisting of four cavalry and nine infantry
Series 1. Correspondence and Other Loose Papers (1791-1926 and undated)
This series consists chiefly of correspondence between members of the Lipscomb and Draper
families from locations in South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, and in various additional
locations (mostly Florida and Tennessee) from members serving with the Confederate army.
There are scattered letters, 1866 to 1883, from members of the Draper family, chiefly
about homesteading in Lamar County, Texas. Other loose papers include financial and legal
papers, among these land deeds of members of the Lipscomb family in South Carolina and
Alabama, and an 1865 parole and citizenship papers of William O. Lipscomb.
Subseries 1.1. (1791-1860) Items in this subseries include a variety of
materials that are listed below. A deed of indenture, Spartanburg District, South
Carolina, dated 6 September 1791, transfers 245 acres of land from Phillemon and Molly
Martin to John Lipscomb. A broadside, dated 26 October 1832, calls for a convention of the
people of South Carolina to consider the tariff act, with imprint of Henry Deas and Henry
L. Pinckney of the South Carolina legislature.
An item, dated 3 October 1844, announces the next day's election "to fill the
vacancy of John B. Richards to comand [sic] the Second Battalion, ninth Brigade and 37
Ridgement [Regiment] of the South Carolina Militia..."; Samuel Littlejohn, Smith
Lipscomb, and John Philips are listed as "Managers," and B. F. Bates and G. M.
Stewart as candidates. On the reverse, undated, is a list of five subscribers, including
William Poole, to be taught basic education by Joshua Draper, Jr.
A letter, dated 11 June 1846, is probably from Sally Draper Lipscomb in Benton County,
Alabama, to "Dear Brother" in South Carolina, mostly about family matters.
Evidently of limited education, she described the area in which she and her immediate
family lived, their house, and their living conditions.
A letter, dated 12 April 1851, is from "Bailey King" Draper at Jefferson
City, Alabama, to Caroline Lipscomb at Jonesboro, Alexandria Post Office, Benton County,
Alabama, in which the writer describes social events (including a wedding) in the vicinity
and mentions personal and family matters.
A letter, dated 13 December 1851, is from Edward Lipscomb at Spartanburg District,
South Carolina, to Smith and Sally Draper Lipscomb at Cedar Springs Post Office, Benton
County, Alabama, about the declining health of Sally Lipscomb and other family matters,
and about the crop conditions in the vicinity.
A letter, dated 20 March 1852, is from Elizabeth Lipscomb Littlejohn at Spartanburg
District, South Carolina, to Smith Lipscomb, giving her view of the health of their
mother, and conditions in the neighborhood.
A leaf of paper signed by Smith Lipscomb and dated 22 March 1858, provides the location
and size of his farm (Section 9, Township 14, Range 7 East; 321.92 acres) and the
birthdates and ages of six slaves.
Series 2. Account and Daybooks and Other Volumes (1826-1874)
This series comprises a variety of small volumes. Lipscomb family notes, 1826-1854,
contains birthdates of members of the Lipscomb family, "Negro Polly," and
horses. A daybook, Benton County, Alabama, 1843-1847, includes miscellaneous notes
concerning agricultural work and other day labor. A daybook, Smith Lipscomb, Jr.,
Alexandria, Benton County, Alabama, 1852-1854, includes notes concerning agricultural
work, mostly with cotton and corn crops, and other day labor. A day book, Smith Lipscomb,
Jr., 1853-1854, 1874, includes records of wheat, coffee, cotton, sugar, potatoes, and wood
borrowed, bought, or sold in the 1850s and also 1874 notes concerning cattle. A farmer's
almanac, Pennsylvania edition, 1855, consists of a fragment covering part of February to
December 1855, with monthly calendars, notes, and monthly tables of dates entitled
"Court of Quarter Sessions, and Court of Common Pleas" for Pennsylvania
counties. A cotton book, James Kirby, 1859, 1861-1862, 1866-1867, includes notes on cotton
baled, wrapped, weighed, hauled, bought, and sold.
An account book, 1861-1864, includes notes on cotton, sugar, corn, beef, and other
supplies bought and sold. There are brief references, August 1862, to Col. J. T. Morgan of
the 51st Alabama Partisan Rangers. There is "a liste of the children in the
Alexandria township," Benton County, Alabama, circa 1864, showing the number of
children for each head of household. Enclosures to the account book, 1861-1864, include a
receipt for crops gathered, dated 5 August 1859, on the reverse is a receipt for the
purchase of a mule, dated 12 February 1864, and there is an undated fragment of a song,
"Chilly Waters," and on the reverse, lyrics to "Phillipians."
An account book and notes, 1861-1864, includes accounts of wheat, corn, and cotton;
payments received and owed; notes on distances traveled, days of school taught in 1863;
and birthdates of members of the Wilkins family. Parts of this volume are written in very
A list of omissions from the Lipscomb Family Papers is provided on reel 8, frame 0725.
Omissions include Subseries 1.2, Correspondence and Other Loose Papers, 1861-1926 and
undated. Descriptions of omitted materials are included in the introductory materials
provided at the beginning of this collection.
William Pelham Papers, 1820, 1856-1861, and 1922,
Benton (now Calhoun) County, Alabama; also North Carolina
Description of the Collection
Principal persons documented in this small collection include: William Pelham (1836-1889)
of Alexandria, Alabama; his mother, Martha Montford McGehee Pelham (b. 1805), born in
Person County, North Carolina; and his father, Atkinson Pelham (b. 1797), physician and
cotton planter, who attended the University of North Carolina, circa 1820, and later
settled in Alabama. William had many siblings, among them Peter, b. 1840, and Confederate
hero Major John Pelham, "the gallant Pelham."
The collection comprises nine letters, 15 June 1856-32 March 1859, to William Pelham at
school from his mother, and a few other items. Pelham's mother wrote chiefly of family and
neighborhood sicknesses and deaths, about her garden, and about feeling deserted by her
children. There is one letter, dated 24 May 1861, to William from his father, describing
the destruction by hail of the corn and cotton crop and telling about local preparations
for war. Also included are Atkinson Pelham's 1820 certificate of membership in the
Dialectic Society at the University of North Carolina and a typed transcription of an
autobiographical fragment written by Peter Pelham.
Thompson Family Papers, 1809-1924,
Franklin County, Alabama; also Louisiana, Mississippi,
North Carolina, and Tennessee
Description of the Collection
Thompson family members included: Joseph B. Thompson (d. 1849), who appears to have left
Alabama for Louisiana to raise cotton around 1839; his uncle, Lawrence Thompson (d. ca.
1864), who grew cotton around Tuscumbia, Franklin County, Alabama, and his aunt, Rebecca
Thompson (d. 1856). Also significant were Joseph's nephew Jacob Thompson of Oxford,
Mississippi, who was a congressman (1839-1851), secretary of the interior (1857-1861), and
Confederate army inspector general and confidential agent to Canada; and Joseph N.
Thompson, who was wounded and taken prisoner during the Civil War. There are no materials
in the collection relating to Jacob Thompson's public career.
The connection between the Thompson family and the Malone family, represented chiefly
by letters and financial materials relating to planter Goodloe W. Malone of Franklin
County, Alabama, appears to have been forged by the 1869 marriage of Lucie Blackwell
Malone (b. 1847) and Joseph N. Thompson.
The collection consists chiefly of Thompson and Malone family letters and financial and
legal materials, especially indentures and other items having to do with land acquisition
and sales. Goodloe Malone's account book lists about seventy names and ages of
"Negroes in Mississippi." Also included are a few Civil War letters to Joseph N.
Thompson during his captivity, and writings of three family members. These writings
include a genealogy of the Cockrill family that was compiled by Granville Goodloe around
1898; Lucie Blackwell Malone Thompson's autobiographical sketch about her childhood in
Alabama, including an account of Civil War days, which she spent at Salem Academy,
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and three reminiscences by Joseph N. Thompson, chiefly
about his Civil War experiences.
Series 1. Correspondence and Related Items (1839-1907 and undated)
This series consists of letters of Thompson and Malone family members, chiefly about
family matters, but also about business interests and other matters. Included are the
Letters, March 1839, from Joseph B. Thompson (d. 1849), who had gone to Louisiana to
raise cotton, to his aunt, Rebecca Thompson (d. 1856), in Florence, Alabama, about his
life in Louisiana. Letters, 1843-1846, to Lawrence Thompson (d. ca. 1864), Rebecca's
husband, from cotton factors in New Orleans about sales of his cotton.
Letters, 1849-1859, to Lawrence and Rebecca Thompson in Tuscumbia, Franklin County,
Alabama, following the death of Joseph B. Thompson. The letters are from Joseph's nephews,
John Thompson of Nashville, Joseph B. Thompson, and Jacob Thompson of Oxford, Mississippi.
The latter was a congressman, 1839-1851; secretary of the interior, 1857-1861; and
Confederate army inspector general and confidential agent to Canada. The letters are
concerned with plans for their deceased uncle's children, family matters, and crops.
Letters, 1855, from Joseph S. Thompson of Leasburg, North Carolina, to Lawrence
Thompson, catching him up on family news after a silence of twenty-one years. Three
letters, 1864-1865, to Joseph N. Thompson, in hospital at Point Lookout, Maryland, after
being wounded and taken prisoner. An October 1869 announcement of marriage of Lucie
Blackwell Malone (b. 1847) and Joseph N. Thompson. Scattered papers, 1871-1907, of Goodloe
W. Malone, Joseph N. Thompson, and other family members, including a few items about
Series 2. Financial and Legal Materials (1809-1899 and undated)
This series consists of financial and legal materials relating to Thompson and Malone
family members. Included are account statements, indentures, stocks, bonds, receipts, tax
blanks, and deeds. Early papers are chiefly deeds documenting land acquisition by Lawrence
and Joseph B. Thompson.
Papers in the 1840s and 1850s relate to cotton sales of Lawrence Thompson of Tuscumbia,
Alabama, and to Goodloe W. Malone's serving as guardian of John S. Malone, Robert Malone's
heir. There is also a 16 January 1846 indenture of Goodloe W. Malone for Franklin County,
Alabama, land purchased from Pamela Reynolds, a Chickasaw Indian. From the 1860s there are
a few bills and other items relating to Joseph N. Thompson of Barton Station, Alabama.
There is also a small account book, with entries dated 1861-1862, that might have belonged
to Goodloe W. Malone. The book includes a list, entitled "Negroes in
Mississippi," consisting of about seventy names and ages. There are also a few
undated items relating to land ownership.
Series 3. Writings (1898-1924 and undated)
This series consists of reminiscences and genealogical writings by Thompson family members
and Granville Goodloe, who was related to the Thompsons. A Cockrill genealogy was compiled
by Goodloe of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, for publication in American History Magazine,
October 1898. An undated autobiographical sketch, by Lucie Blackwell Malone Thompson,
touches briefly on her parents and her childhood in Alabama and gives an account of Civil
War days, which she spent at Salem Academy, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Three
reminiscences by Joseph N. Thompson relate to the Battle of Franklin, 30 November 1864,
his prisoner of war experiences, 1864-1865, and a history of the 35th Alabama Infantry
Regiment written in 1924.
Wyche and Otey Family Papers, 1824-1900 and 1935-1936,
Madison County, Alabama; also Arkansas and Mississippi
Description of the Collection
The bulk of the materials in the collection pertain to the family and plantation affairs
of Octavia and William Madison Otey and their children between 1851 and 1888. The
collection is organized as follows: Series 1. Correspondence--Subseries 1.1. 1824-1840 and
undated, Subseries 1.2. 1843-1849 and undated, Subseries 1.3. 1850-1865 and undated, and
Subseries 1.4. 1866-1898 and undated; Series 2. Financial and Legal Papers--Subseries 2.1.
Wyche and Horton Papers, 1829-1856, Subseries 2.2. Antebellum and Wartime Otey and
Kirkland Papers, 1836-1863, and Subseries 2.3. Postwar Otey Papers, 1865-1888 and undated;
Series 3. Diary of Octavia Wyche Otey--Subseries 3.1. Antebellum Years, 1849-1858, and
Subseries 3.2. Civil War and Postwar Years, 1864-1888; Series 4. Other Volumes--Subseries
4.1. Merchant's Account Book, 1838, 1840, and 1843, Subseries 4.2. Antebellum Plantation
Books, 1857 and 1858, Subseries 4.3. Civil War Plantation Books, 1861-1865, Subseries 4.4.
Postwar Plantation Books, 1865-1870, and Subseries 4.5. Miscellaneous Volumes, 1877-1900
and 1935-1936; Series 5. Miscellaneous Items; and Series 6. Pictures.
Series 1 contains family and business correspondence, mostly of William and Octavia
Otey and their children. Only a small number of letters appear for Octavia's parents,
William H. and Mary Ann Rebecca Wyche, and William's sister, Lucy Otey Horton, and her
husband, Rodah Horton. The small number of letters for the Pruit family, appearing in
1860, are the only items in the papers concerning them, though Octavia Otey's diary does
mention John Pruit frequently.
The bulk of the financial and legal papers in Series 2 document the operation of
William Madison Otey's cotton plantation in Yazoo County, Mississippi, and his plantation,
Green Lawn, in Meridianville, Alabama, before the Civil War. A few postwar papers pertain
to Octavia Otey's management of Green Lawn. Additional antebellum items are estate papers
and accounts for the Wyche family. Only a few papers appear for the Kirkland family.
Series 3 consists of the seventeen volumes of Octavia Otey's diary, covering the years
1849, 1852-1853, 1857-1858, 1862, 1864-1871, 1876-1884, and 1888. Only three entries
appear for 1857 and 1858, and entries made in 1888 are sporadic. The 1862 entries appear
in a plantation daybook Octavia kept. The diary addresses mostly Octavia's daily work and
social routines, the raising of her family, and her financial affairs.
The volumes appearing in Series 4 give some insight into William Madison Otey's early
career as a general merchant, but document mostly the operation of his cotton plantations.
The miscellaneous items in Series 5 relate primarily to the education and personal
lives of Wyche and Otey family members.
Only two photographs, both related to railroad construction, appear in Series 6.
The papers offer an excellent opportunity for the study of antebellum and postwar race
relations; Octavia Otey's diary and correspondence frequently discuss her personal and
business relationships with her slaves and with the freedmen after the war. The papers
also provide considerable information on daily plantation affairs and family life, and
some information on wartime hardships.
William Madison Otey (1818-1865), the son of John Walter Otey and Mary Walton Otey, was a
general merchant in Meridianville, Alabama, during the 1830s, and later, a cotton planter
in Madison County, Alabama, and Yazoo County, Mississippi. He was married to Octavia
Aurelia James Wyche in 1849. Octavia was the daughter of Mary Ann Rebecca Wyche and Dr.
William H. Wyche (d. 1835) of Yazoo County, Mississippi, and Madison County, Alabama. Most
of the land William Madison Otey cultivated in both Alabama and Mississippi between 1849
and his death had been bequeathed to his wife by her parents. Otey also inherited the bulk
of his mother's estate, located near Meridianville, in 1854. In the 1840s, before his
marriage, he had lived with his mother on her small plantation and worked the land with a
handful of slaves belonging to her.
Octavia Wyche's family resided mostly in northern Alabama and Mississippi, and included
her uncles Thomas P. Wyche, a planter in Yazoo City; G. A. Wyche and A. A. Wyche, both
physicians in Meridianville; John F. Wyche, a commission merchant in New Orleans;
Middleton Wyche; Nathaniel Wyche; and her aunt, Elizabeth Wyche.
Octavia was her parents' only child, but had a half-sister, Ella Kirkland, and a half
brother, William Kirkland, who were the children of her mother and her stepfather, John
Kirkland. Kirkland was a storeowner in Meridianville, and later worked in a store in
Attalaville, Mississippi. Ella Kirkland lived with William and Octavia from the early
1850s until her marriage to Dr. James P. Burke in 1861. Ella had a son named Matt Otey
Burke. William (Will) Kirkland also lived with the Oteys for a time in the early 1860s,
until his death in 1866.
William Madison Otey had at least two brothers, C. C. (possibly Christopher) and A. H.,
and two sisters, Lucy Ann and Maria. Sometime before 1830, Lucy Ann Otey married Rodah
Horton (fl. 1830-1850?), a planter and member of the Alabama legislature in 1837 and 1838.
They had a son, William, and three daughters, Mary Eliza, Josie, and Fanny (Colcock).
After their marriage in 1849, William and Octavia resided on their plantation, Green
Lawn, outside Meridianville in Madison County. They had six children: Imogene (b. 1850),
the oldest, who married William Fields in 1884; Mollie (b. 1854), who married John M.
Hampton in 1881; William Walter (Buddy, b. 1853), who married Sophia [?] in 1887; Lucille
(Lucy) Horton Otey, who married John Beale Walker in the early 1890s; Matt (b. 1858); and
After her husband died in June 1865, Octavia Otey continued to live outside
Meridianville, and to operate their plantation there.
Series 1. Correspondence (1824-1898 and undated)
This series consists chiefly of the family and business correspondence of Octavia Wyche
Otey, and her husband, William Madison Otey, of Meridianville, Alabama, between 1850 and
1865. Earlier correspondence is that of Octavia's parents, William H. and Mary Ann Rebecca
Wyche, her stepfather, John W. Kirkland, and William's sister and brother-in-law, Lucy and
Rodah Horton. Post Civil War correspondence consists primarily of Octavia's and her
childrens' letters with each other and with relatives in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Principal topics are plantation affairs, family, school, antebellum and postwar race
relations, wartime hardships, and travel.
Subseries 1.1. (1824-1840 and undated) This subseries comprises
correspondence of the Wyche family of Yazoo County, Mississippi, and Madison County,
Alabama, and the Horton family of Madison County. About an equal number of letters appear
for each family, and all focus primarily on plantation affairs and family news.
Wyche family correspondence is chiefly that of Mary Ann Rebecca Wyche (called Rebecca)
and her husband, William H. Wyche, for the years 1830 to 1840. During the 1820s, the
couple lived in Yazoo County, but, by 1830, had come to reside on a plantation outside
Meridianville, Alabama. They continued, however, to plant their Yazoo County lands.
William wrote his wife while on a trip to Mississippi in April, mentioning his ideas for
trying to sell at least part of the Yazoo property and slaves. He wrote later that year to
J. E. Wyche concerning similar plans. A final letter from William in 1831 is to Sarah
Wilburn, and discusses family matters, including speculation on their brother Thomas's
Rebecca's first letter appears in 1832, by which time the Wyches had returned to live
again in Yazoo County. She wrote Sarah Wilburn in January describing her deep loneliness
on the plantation. After her husband's death in 1835, Rebecca left Yazoo County for good
and moved back to Meridianville. Most of her correspondence after this year is with her
brother-in-law, Thomas P. Wyche, who was executor of William's estate. The letters concern
management of the Yazoo plantation, estate debts, and attempts to sell land and slaves.
John Kirkland, whom Rebecca married in 1837 or 1838, assumed control of the plantation,
and two letters concerning its affairs appear for him, one in 1838 and another in 1840.
Horton family letters belong mostly to Lucy and Rodah Horton, who corresponded between
1826 and 1837, while Rodah traveled on business and attended the Alabama legislature and
Lucy remained at China Grove, their plantation outside Meridianville. Rodah wrote from the
"Chickesaw Counsil" in 1830 concerning Chickasaw and Choctaw lands; from
Columbus, Mississippi, in 1832, mentioning buying cattle and selling slaves; from Memphis,
Tennessee, in 1834, reporting his ill health; and from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1836 and
1837, reporting votes in the legislature. He frequently advised Lucy about farm affairs.
Lucy's letters, written in 1826 and 1830, discuss neighborhood and family news, her
unhappiness about a possible move to Choctaw territory, conflicts between their slaves and
overseer, and local election results. Other Horton family items consist of a note from
their son William, written while away at school in 1833, a letter from Rodah Horton to his
daughter in 1836, written while he attended the legislature, and a fragment of an 1824
letter from Lucy Horton in Bolingreen to Eliza. All of these are brief and contain little
Three undated letters that were written most likely in the 1830s are from Rebecca Wyche
to Lucy Thornton, from C. P. Wing to Lucy Thornton, and from Lucy Thornton to Rebecca
Wyche. These letters concern borrowed household items and Lucy's joining C. P. Wing's
Subseries 1.2. (1843-1849 and undated) This subseries consists mostly of
letters received by Octavia Wyche at school in Huntsville from her mother in
Meridianville, and letters she received after her return to Meridianville from cousins and
friends in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Single items appear for Lucy Horton and G.
Octavia's mother, Mary Ann Rebecca Wyche Kirkland, wrote Octavia in 1843 and early 1844
about family news and illnesses, Christian ideals, and the consequences of misbehavior at
school. Of note are a letter for 16 April 1843, in which Mrs. Kirkland described her
desires to be a Christian; a letter for 22 January 1843, in which she scolded Octavia for
her misdeeds at school; and a letter for 26 February 1843, in which she gave Octavia
advice about a young lady's social deportment. Mrs. Kirkland frequently mentioned her
children, William and Ella, and Octavia's aunt, Mrs. Lucinda Wyche. Other individuals
appearing in the letters are Uncle Thomas, probably Thomas P. Wyche; Uncle John, probably
John F. Wyche; and Uncle Alphonso.
Octavia received one letter from her stepfather, John Kirkland, in 1846, addressed to
her in care of Mrs. Thomas Bass of Athens, Alabama. He mentioned mostly news of her Aunt
Lucinda's illness and the health of her grandmother and of William and Ella.
After 1846, most of Octavia's letters are from her cousins, H. C. Wyche, E. B.
Landidge, L. E. Sledge, Molley, Olivia, Carrie M., Mary Lou W., and Lucilla, and her
friends, Fanny Harris and Caroline Atwood. H. C. Wyche, a schoolteacher, wrote from Walnut
Hill in Arkansas in 1847 and early 1848, and from Red Land, Louisiana, in late 1848,
describing hunting, horseback riding, and fishing in those areas, and wishing that Octavia
could join him on his hunts. He also mentioned his teaching positions in passing. Of note
is a letter of 29 April 1848, in which he discussed his father's severe depression. A
letter of 17 November 1847 from Octavia's cousin, Olivia, also concerns hunting, and
demonstrates clearly that it was a sport enjoyed by some planters' daughters as well as
sons in frontier areas.
Letters from other cousins mention mostly personal news, news of family and friends,
and Octavia's wedding. E. B. Landidge, writing from Pineville, Louisiana, in 1848,
described having two of his teeth pulled. Writing in that same year, L. E. Sledge proposed
to visit Octavia, and Lucilla described an illness she had suffered. Carrie M., Caroline
Atwood, Lucilla, and Fannie Horton (later Colcock) wrote in 1849 about Octavia's wedding,
and Mary Lou W. wrote in that same year giving news of mutual friends.
Two letters appear from Octavia's friend, Fannie Harris, while Harris attended the
Columbia Female Institute in Columbia, Tennessee. She wrote on 17 January 1848, urging
Octavia to enroll there and giving news of her family and friends. Of special interest is
a letter she wrote on 21 March 1848, in which she described in detail the daily routine of
the institute, talked about her close friend Phoebe, and related a dream she had had about
Octavia's Uncle John.
The remaining items consist of a letter from William Horton to his mother, Lucy Horton,
in 1843, informing her that he had won first prize for Latin translation at Yale; an 1847
letter from Octavia to her Aunt Lucinda in New Orleans, discussing a trip by John Kirkland
to Nashville, her cousin Chambers, and fishing; and a letter in 1848 from E. B. Landidge
in Pineville, Louisiana, to G. A. Wyche in Meridianville, describing the damage to cotton
from heavy rains in Pineville and his concerns over his father's poor mental state. Two
undated letters appear from Octavia Wyche to her grandmother and give family news. Another
undated letter is from her friend, Caroline, and concerns a trip to Cincinnati they were
Subseries 1.3. (1850-1865 and undated) This subseries consists
principally of the family and business correspondence of Octavia Wyche Otey and William
Madison Otey of Meridianville, after their marriage. Letters were exchanged with and
between members of the Wyche, Otey, Horton, Kirkland, Landidge, and Pruit families, who
were scattered across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Business
correspondence concerns mostly the Otey's Yazoo County plantation. A number of letters
also appear for the Pruit family in 1860.
A little over half the family correspondence is that of Octavia Wyche Otey with her
Wyche and Horton relatives, the Kirkland family, her husband, William, and her daughter,
Imogene. Most of the letters she received before 1858 were from her husband; her nephew,
J. Edwin Horton; her niece, Fanny Horton Colcock; and several cousins, including John F.
Wyche, Jr. (Fletcher), James E. Wyche (Jimmy), and Robert E. Wyche. Scattered letters
appear from her cousin Lucilla Johnstone, her aunt Lucy Horton, her uncle G. A. Wyche, and
her half sister, Ella Kirkland.
William Madison Otey wrote Octavia frequently when he made yearly trips to Yazoo
County, Mississippi. He described the travel conditions he encountered, local events in
Yazoo County, and their plantation's operations, including crop conditions, overseers, and
the welfare of their slaves.
J. Edwin Horton wrote from Lebanon, Tennessee, most often concerning family. Of
interest is a letter he wrote Octavia on 29 May 1852, in which he mentioned the suicide of
Robert Pruit, the illness of William Otey's mother, to whom Octavia was very close, and
his views on women as "idols, companions, nurses, friends." Fanny Colcock also
often discussed family in her letters. She frequently mentioned her son, Charles, family
Christmas celebrations, her plantation, "The Camp" (location unknown), and
visits to and from relatives.
Letters from Wyche cousins discuss John F. Wyche's cotton factoring business in New
Orleans, for which both John, Jr., and James E. worked; their social lives and courtships;
and their views on work, education, marriage, and other topics. Robert Wyche, writing from
Bossier Parish, Louisiana, often mentioned his marriage prospects, financial arrangements,
and hopes of becoming a successful cotton planter.
Letters Ella Kirkland exchanged with Octavia (and with her father) in 1854 while she
attended school in Winchester focus primarily on her health and school needs and
William Madison Otey's family correspondence before 1858 is primarily with his
brothers, C. C. (possibly Christopher) of Whitesburg, Alabama, and A. H. of Marengo
County, Alabama, and his wife, Octavia. The Otey brothers wrote concerning finances,
family illnesses and hardships, deaths, and farming activities. C. C. Otey died in 1856.
Of particular interest in William's correspondence is a letter to him from his sister,
Lucy Horton, dated 21 January 1854, in which she expressed her feelings on how their
mother's estate should be divided. Octavia's letters to William, written while he was
visiting Yazoo County, discussed mostly her loneliness with him gone and the activities of
Family correspondence after 1858 consists largely of letters exchanged between the
Oteys and the Kirklands, and between Kirkland family members. John Kirkland wrote both
Octavia and William Madison Otey frequently after he moved to Attalaville, Mississippi,
sometime in the late 1850s. He discussed lands in the area, farming prospects there for
his son William, and family news. William Kirkland wrote from Attalaville and Batchelor's
Hall (possibly a plantation name),
Mississippi, after he joined his father in 1858 to take up farming. Letters appearing
from him between 1858 and 1861 describe his crops, local religious scandals, camp
meetings, murders and feuds, and family.
Kirkland family letters for late 1860 and early 1861 focus on Ella's marriage to Dr.
James P. Burke. Neither John nor William Kirkland approved of the marriage, and they
expressed their feelings freely in their letters to Ella and to William and Octavia. Their
correspondence for these two years also sometimes comments on politics, mentioning events
and local loyalties around Attalaville during the election of 1860.
In addition to Otey and Kirkland correspondence, a set of letters appears in 1860
related to the Pruit family, cousins of the Oteys. Their place of residence does not
appear, but they might have lived within the vicinity of Meridianville, Alabama. Most of
the letters are from R. W. and W. G. Pruit at LaGrange Military Academy in Arkansas, to
their father, J. W. Pruit, and discuss family and school life. Two letters, dated 15 and
16 July 1860, are from the overseer on Pruit's Arkansas plantation. J. W. Pruit may be the
J. or John Pruit often mentioned in Octavia's diary (see Series 3).
Scattered family letters during the Civil War discuss the activities of various
relatives in the army and civilian hardships. Letters from soldiers include a few from
William Kirkland, who was briefly stationed at Camp Clark in Corinth, Mississippi, before
falling ill and being mustered out of the army. Kirkland continued to write Octavia and
his sister Ella frequently from Attalaville about his farming affairs, friends, and
family. Other soldiers who wrote were W. A. Robinson, Octavia's nephew, who was stationed
at Camp Hardee near Warrington; E. A. Otey, stationed at Camp Law in Virginia; and Armpie
Otey, stationed at Harper's Ferry, Virginia. Their letters describe mostly camp life and
Among the Otey's most frequent correspondents was Ella Kirkland Burke, who wrote while
traveling in Tallahassee, Florida, and Fayetteville, Tennessee, about family news and her
husband's relatives, and from her home in Edgehill, Alabama, about her baby Occie and high
prices. A letter for March 1861 from Ella to Octavia suggests that William Madison Otey
had joined a Confederate company, but it does not specify which one or where he served. He
was at home ill throughout most of the war and died in June 1865. Of interest are two
letters of 1864 from Octavia to Ella explaining why she had taken the oath of allegiance
to the United States and telling of the hard times of her family during the Federal
occupation of northern Alabama.
Other items of interest in the correspondence for this period include a letter, dated
13 February 1862, to Octavia from her friend L. A. Johnson, mentioning her husband's
escape through the Federal blockade; a letter dated 16 February 1863 to Octavia from her
cousin Mary in Collinsburg, Louisiana, telling of her family's Christmas celebration, of
learning to spin, and of the activities of the men of the family in the army and in the
salt business; and a letter dated 27 February 1863 from a slave, Thomas, in Mount Shell,
Tennessee, to his master, J. M. Oaty, asking him to get a substitute for him in the
building of a stockade.
Several letters also appear from Octavia to her daughter, Imogene, while Imogene was
visiting and in school in Huntsville. Octavia frequently gave her daughter news of the
family and advice on her behavior. Ella Burke also occasionally wrote Imogene, mostly
about family news.
Undated correspondence for the early 1860s includes four letters to William Madison
Otey from his niece Mary concerning her finances, the difficulty of obtaining supplies,
and restrictions on travel enforced by the Union army; two letters from Imogene to her
mother; and a letter from John F. Wyche, Jr., to Octavia concerning William Otey's health
and family news.
Business correspondence for the 1850s through the Civil War pertains mostly to the
Otey's Yazoo County plantation. Letters appear on a fairly regular basis from cotton
factors Pope & Devlin (later Jennings & Devlin, then simply J. M. Devlin) of Yazoo
City, Mississippi, and Bradley, Wilson & Co. of New Orleans concerning cotton sales
and accounts. Letters also appear from J. R. York and J. W. Bell, overseers on the Yazoo
plantation. They described crop and weather conditions, the welfare of slaves on the
plantation, farm improvements, and news of their families.
Few business letters appear in the 1860s. Of note are three received by Octavia from
her lawyer Jim Robinson concerning the settlement of William Otey's estate after his death
in 1865, and one, dated 8 December 1865, from her cousin W. Wyche Wilburn, of Yazoo
County, concerning her giving him power of attorney for handling her property in
Subseries 1.4. (1866-1898 and undated) This subseries consists
principally of the family correspondence of Octavia Wyche and her children, Imogene,
William Walter, Mollie, Lucy, and Elliese. Included are letters family members exchanged
with each other and letters they received from Wilburn relatives in Mississippi, and Otey
and Landidge relatives in Tennessee. The bulk of the letters is addressed to Octavia Otey.
During this period the Otey family continued to reside at Green Lawn, their farm outside
Meridianville, and most of Octavia's letters are written from there. A few business
letters, which are interspersed with family items, concern her financial problems.
Only two letters appear for 1866. One is to Octavia from an unidentified friend in
Titus County, Texas, who wrote on 25 August, to express sympathy over William Madison
Otey's death, and another is to Octavia from her cousin, W. Wyche Wilburn, who wrote on 9
December in reference to her plantation and property in Yazoo County. Octavia received
letters from Wilburn about the plantation's management and attempts to sell it throughout
the 1870s and in 1880. She received one letter from her cousin R. E. Wilburn of Pickens,
Mississippi, concerning selling the plantation in 1882.
Correspondence between 1867 and the mid-1870s consists mostly of letters Octavia
exchanged with her Otey relatives living in Beechwood, Tennessee, including her nephew
William S. Otey, his wife Lou, and her cousins Fannie Lou, J. S. Landidge, and Mary.
Letters of note include one from J. S. Landidge, who wrote Octavia in 1868, to recommend a
tenant farmer, Mr. Phillips, to her; another from Lou Otey, written in 1875, concerning
her desire to move to Huntsville and the possibility of her husband's going into law
partnership with Jim Robinson; and several from her nephew Meck Robinson in 1869, written
while Robinson attended medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia,
concerning both his studies and family news. Another letter, dated 21 September 1869, is
from Carlos G. Smith, and concerns the schooling of her son, William Walter, at Huntsville
Grammar School. The letter is accompanied by a printed circular about the school.
Octavia, Imogene, and Mollie visited Beechwood regularly in this period and
corresponded with each other and with other family members while there. Their letters are
filled with news of family and friends as well as with discussion of finances, farm
affairs, local events, and travel plans.
In the late 1860s through the mid-1870s, Octavia also received a number of letters from
her nephew John J. Robinson of Bartons, Arkansas; her cousin Ellen of Sunnyside, Alabama;
her cousin Mary of Collinsburg, Louisiana; and E. A. Wyche of Red Land, Louisiana. These
letters relate mostly family news with some discussion of postwar difficulties and
relationships with the freedmen.
Correspondence for the late 1870s consists primarily of letters Octavia exchanged with
her daughters and other relatives, and letters Imogene and Mollie received from friends
and beaux. Most of Octavia's letters are to Imogene, and concern her travels in Tennessee
and Virginia and Imogene's management of the daily affairs at Green Lawn. Other
correspondents include Lucy C. Crisman and G. W. Mitchell. Octavia wrote Mrs. Crisman on
15 March 1876 about a misunderstanding between them on family finances. A letter from Lucy
to A. G. Newlin of Meridianville discusses this misunderstanding. G. W. Mitchell wrote on
16 March 1877 from Athens, Alabama, concerning a book that he had written.
Imogene and Mollie's correspondents included Mollie's fiance, John Hampton, and
Imogene's friend Frank Morrison. Hampton wrote Mollie in 1876 from the University of
Alabama in Tuscaloosa describing college life, and Morrison wrote Imogene on 13 July 1877
from Fort Couche, Texas, describing the people and land in the vicinity of the Rio Grande.
One letter appears for William Walter Otey in 1879. On 14 March, he wrote Rev. G. M.
Mitchell of Huntsville to tell him of money he had raised to pay him for his services
after his church had been unable to pay his salary.
Most of the letters from the early to late 1880s were received by the Otey children
from relatives. Matt Otey Burke wrote Lucy and Elliese several times from the University
of Alabama in 1884 and 1885, and discussed his studies and exams and his interests in
various girls. In a letter he wrote Lucy on 6 December 1882, he described a visit he made
to the school's observatory to view Venus. Other items include a letter from John Hampton
at Spring Creek, Alabama, to Mollie (his furture wife), while she visited her mother at
Green Lawn. Hampton described his work on his plantation.
Imogene, who after marrying in 1884 moved to Russell County, Virginia, near Castlewood,
received a number of letters there from her mother. She also wrote several letters,
addressed from "Locust Hill" and "Brickley's Mill," probably the names
of plantations she and her husband owned, to her mother, her sister Mollie, and her
brother William Walter. She discussed her husband's affairs, trips she made in and around
where she lived, her home life, and her husband's relatives. Letters to her from Green
Lawn give mostly news of family illnesses and events and of friends, including John Pruit.
Of interest in the 1880s is a letter from Imogene's husband, William Fields, to John
Hampton on 29 July 1884, in which he discussed attending the Democratic Convention at
Marion to nominate a congressional candidate. He also discussed his family and crops. Also
of note is a letter Octavia received from Rebecca Scruggs, written 20 March 1888, in which
Scruggs described the city of Woodville, Mississippi, where she was visiting, and
mentioned a Women's Christian Temperance Union convention she had witnessed in Nashville.
Undated family correspondence for the postwar period is mostly that of Octavia Otey,
with scattered letters appearing for her children Imogene, Mollie, William Walter, Matt,
and Elliese. Most of Octavia's letters are addressed from Green Lawn. Frequent
correspondents include her half-sister, Ella; her nephew, Meck Robinson in Liberty,
Virginia, and unidentified locations; and her cousin, Ellen, of Sunnyside. Letters
exchanged with Ella discuss mostly domestic affairs, including Ella's trials over her
husband's alcoholism. Meck Robinson wrote concerning his travels and his health. Ellen
wrote most often about her children, her health, and her plans for visiting. Other
correspondents of note are M. O. Pruit; William S. Otey, writing from Meridianville;
Armpie Otey, and C. A. Robinson.
William Walter received a letter from his cousin Hattie W. Rhett. Imogene received
several letters from her mother and wrote several replies. She also wrote her sister Lucy.
Mollie wrote her mother and received letters from her. Of interest is a letter Matt Otey
wrote as a child to "Santy Close," telling him what he wanted for Christmas.
Other individuals from whom letters appear are Marian Shelby of Dixie Hill; Margaret A.
Otey of Marshall Court, Alabama; Helen Pickens; Walter Kelley; R. K. Williams; J. W.
Levers; Octavia's cousins, R. M. Wilburn and J. D. Vance; cousin Jarvis; cousin Lee; and
The undated letters are similar to the dated items for the postwar period, and discuss
mostly family news, illnesses, travels, and finances. They have been inserted within the
most likely decades of their appearance.
Business letters appear for Octavia beginning in the late 1870s. Most of these pertain
to her growing debts, and include letters of collection and legal correspondence. A letter
of 24 October 1878 from Hereford & Timberlake of Huntsville concerns her failure to
pay the mortgage on her plantation. Other firms and individuals trying to collect from
Octavia included Brooks, Peace, & Conner of Huntsville; W. McCalley of Meridianville;
and attorney John J. McDavis of Huntsville.
Series 2. Financial and Legal Papers (1829-1888 and undated)
This series comprises financial and legal papers pertaining primarily to William Madison
Otey's plantation affairs, with scattered accounts appearing for the Wyche family and
papers related to Octavia Wyche Otey's finances and farm affairs after the war. A few
items appear for John Kirkland and his daughter, Ella, and for William Walter Otey. Papers
include accounts with cotton factors, merchants, and doctors, estate papers, deeds, loan
notes, summonses, agreements for the hiring out of slaves, and work contracts with
Subseries 2.1. Wyche and Horton Papers (1829-1856) This subseries
consists chiefly of financial and legal papers of William H. Wyche of Meridianville, with
scattered items appearing for Rodah and Lucy Horton and John F. Wyche, also of
William Wyche's papers for 1829 consist of accounts with Otey Kinkle; a power of
attorney given him by his brothers Middleton and John F. Wyche; and an agreement he and
his father, William H. Wyche, Sr., made with Muse & Greenleaf of Lafourche Parish,
Louisiana, concerning hiring out their slaves to the firm.
The remainder of William Wyche's papers pertain to the estates of his brother,
Nathaniel Wyche, and sister, Elizabeth Wyche. Appearing in 1830 and between 1832 and 1834,
they include receipts, an article of agreement concerning Nathaniel's property, and
Papers relevant to William Wyche's own estate were kept by his brother and executor,
Thomas P. Wyche. They consist of two deeds, both dated 1840, and a loan note, 1837, for
William's widow, Mary Ann Rebecca Wyche.
Horton family items are an account for 1836 for L. A. M. Horton with Pruit & Jones
of Huntsville, for books and clothing, and a land rental agreement between Rodah Horton
and William H. Glascock, dated 1839.
Miscellaneous items comprise an order issued in 1838 for the delivery of a slave woman,
Eliza, who had belonged to Dr. A. A. Wyche, deceased, to Joseph Leeman; a receipt for
Eliza signed by Leeman in 1838; a loan note, dated 7 June 1839, for G. A. Wyche; and an
agreement dated 1849 for the hire of a slave woman and three children belonging to the
estate of Jackston Lightfoot. John F. Wyche was Lightfoot's executor. One other item, a
receipt of 17 May 1856, appears for Lightfoot's estate.
Subseries 2.2. Antebellum and Wartime Otey and Kirkland Papers (1836-1863) This
subseries consists predominantly of William Madison Otey's accounts with cotton factors in
the 1850s through 1861. A few items appear for his wife's stepfather, John Kirkland, and
John Kirkland's daughter, Ella, and for Mary Otey.
Cotton factors with whom Otey dealt most frequently were Bradley, Wilson & Co. of
Huntsville and Pope and Devlin (later Jennings & Devlin, then J. M. Devlin) of Yazoo
City, Mississippi. Reports of cotton sold and accounts for hardware items, foodstuffs,
farm supplies and medicinal drugs bought of these firms comprise over eighty percent of
Most of the remaining accounts relating to Otey are with hardware merchants, W. P.
Thompson, William M. Rozell, John M. Humphrey, and John S. Dickson of Huntsville; dry
goods merchants, John Kirkland of Meridianville and Thomas S. McCalley of Huntsville;
blacksmith, James T. McClean; druggists, James L. Cooper of Huntsville and Newman &
Harrison; doctors, G. A. Wyche of Meridianville and F. H. Newman; and book dealers,
Collant & Sons.
Otey's account in 1842 with tailor John Shanor lists a charge for "cutting a coat
for a free [N]egro," suggesting that Otey might have served as a go-between for free
blacks and local merchants.
Legal papers for Otey consist of a certificate, dated 8 April 1847, appointing him
paymaster of the 2nd Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Division of the Alabama state militia; a
deed, dated 16 October 1850, transferring land in Madison County from William H. and Eliza
Branch to John Robinson and William Madison Otey; and a certificate, dated 1 March 1861,
issued by the Alabama Commissioners' Court of Roads and Revenue, naming Otey overseer of
the Meridianville Road. Only a handful of items, mostly accounts, appear in the Civil War
Early items in the antebellum papers are financial materials related to Mary Otey.
Notes appear in 1837 and 1846 for loans made to and by her with John Robinson, and in 1838
for money she owed Pruit & Jones of Huntsville. Accounts comprise one, dated 11
January 1841, with Patton & Bros. of Huntsville, for clothes and sewing goods, and
another, dated 17 November 1844, with Wyche Landidge, for medical services.
Legal items appearing for John Kirkland imply that he experienced financial
difficulties in the early 1850s. The court issued an "order for payment of debt"
to Kirkland in 1850 in relation to the case Edith Shotwell vs. Kirkland and Strother,
and George R. Wharton filed a public instrument of protest against Kirkland in 1852 when a
bill of exchange Kirkland had given him was rejected for payment because of insufficient
funds. Miscellaneous items relating to Kirkland are an account, dated 31 August 1855, he
held along with William Madison Otey at Bradley, Wilson & Co., and an account he had
with "Mrs. Webster" in 1858 for clothing. Two items, dry goods accounts with M.
A. Easley in 1858 and Thomas S. McCalley in 1861, are for Ella Kirkland.
Subseries 2.3. Postwar Otey Papers (1865-1888 and undated) This subseries
consists chiefly of accounts and legal documents of Octavia Otey, with scattered items
appearing for her son, William Walter Otey. Most of Octavia's accounts appear between 1865
and 1878 and are with dry goods merchants, grocers, and cotton factors. Firms named
include Friedlander & Galinger of Yazoo City, Mississippi, Darwin & Tully,
location unknown, and B. Altman of New York. Cotton factors are Mastin & Donegan of
Memphis, Tennessee, and Sam Pleasants of New York. Single accounts appear in 1868 for
doctor's visits by James Burke, and in 1870 for the reimbursement of travel expenses paid
for Octavia by John Robinson. A list of the accounts of William Otey's estate appears in
Legal documents relating to Octavia Otey consist of a work contract she signed in 1866
with Maria, a freedwoman who worked as a cook and laundress (see Subseries 3.2 for similar
contracts copied in Octavia Otey's diary); loan notes presented for payment; and a
summons, dated 2 July 1888, for Octavia Otey, William Walter Otey, Laura E. Otey, and Lucy
H. Otey in the case of McColley & Co. vs. Octavia A. Otey et al.
Scattered accounts for William Walter Otey are with Huntsville druggist T. E. Williford
and coal suppliers Matthews & Morrison. Of note is a work contract he made with Albert
Otie on 18 March 1888.
One final item is an account for 1883 listed in the name of Mrs. W. F. Robinson with
Huntsville druggist L. H. Wilson.
For additional information on the legal and financial affairs of the Otey family, see
account and plantation books in Series 4.
Series 3. Diary of Octavia Wyche Otey (1849-1888)
This series comprises the diary in seventeen volumes of Octavia Aurelia James Wyche Otey,
kept irregularly between 6 March 1849 and February 1889. In the original arrangement
scheme, the diary was labeled as Volumes 2 through 5, 9 through 11, 14 through 15, and 17
through 24. Volumes here are ordered chronologically by bulk dates rather than by volume
number. The diary is fullest for the years 1852-1853, 1864-1871, and 1876-1881.
Octavia made most of her entries while at home on her plantation, Green Lawn, outside
Meridianville, Alabama. Many of the entries for the 1880s were made in Castlewood,
Virginia, where she frequently stayed with her daughter, Imogene, and in Spring Creek,
Alabama, where she stayed with her daughter, Mollie.
Subseries 3.1. Antebellum Years (1849-1858) This subseries comprises four
volumes. Octavia Wyche started the diary she was to keep off and on for 51 years on 6
March 1849, upon the occasion of William Otey's marriage proposal. Entries in the first
volume (formerly Volume 2), made between 6 March and 23 April, express both her reluctance
to marry a man older than she, whom she did not love, and her attempts to reconcile
herself to that fate. Also appearing in the diary are items related to her sewing
activities, including accounts for sewing materials (two are for 26 September and 21
November 1849, the latest dates appearing in the volume); a list of friends and relatives
(probably wedding guests); a number of poems, lists of household items, and a draft of a
letter to her childhood friend, Lou, reminiscing about their girlhood happiness together.
Seventy-three of the small, leather-bound diary's 97 pages are used; most entries are
poems, whose authorship is unclear. Only 15 pages contain actual diary entries.
After her initial effort in 1849, Octavia did not write in her diary again until 1852.
The second volume (originally Volume 3) contains entries made between 25 February and 22
July 1852, and describes her day-to-day activities as a mother and as mistress of the
family's plantation. Octavia often appeared depressed, complaining of severe headaches,
heart trouble, and other illnesses. She frequently mentioned the difficulties of raising
her daughter Imogene and her half sister Ella, who lived with her, and of managing her
slaves. Detailed descriptions appear of her relationships with her house servants,
Parthenia, Maria, and Lina. She mentions the tasks she set for them, their behavior, and
punishments she meted out when they displeased her. Other topics in the diary are visits
to and from family and friends, illnesses among the family and slaves, her sewing, and her
Of particular interest in this 93-page volume are entries, dated 1 March 1852, in which
Octavia describes her reaction upon seeing Hiram Powers's "Greek Slave"; 15
March 1852 and 11 April 1852, in which she mentions slaves being whipped; and May 1852, in
which she describes Imogene's near death from a long illness. Individuals of note are
William Madison Otey (her husband), Lucy Horton (her sister-in-law), Uncle Alphonso (more
often called Phon or Fon), brother John Otey, and her sister-in-law, Maria Otey.
Miscellaneous entries consist of a few pages of notes on her sewing, one page of accounts
for William Otey with Trotman Warren, dated 1850, and a draft of a letter to her cousin
Emma. The letter discusses the uproar within the family over her Uncle Phon's marriage to
Betsy Caldwell, of whom the family disapproved.
The third volume of the diary (formerly Volume 4) contains 173 pages and is dated
between 27 November 1852 and 12 May 1853. The topics that dominate the narrative are Uncle
Phon's marriage to Betsy Caldwell and the ongoing antagonisms between family members and
Betsy; Octavia's management of her children and her slaves, which frequently included
corporal punishment; her garden and farm animals; and her family's health. Miscellaneous
entries contain two-and-one-half pages of accounts for William Otey with Irwin &
McClelland for 1850, a few poems, and lists of household goods. Individuals mentioned
include Mary Otey, Cousins Mary and Beverley Walton, John Pruit, and John Robinson.
A small 22-page volume kept between 20 September 1853 and 13 October 1853 (formerly
Volume 5) discusses mostly family. Of note is an entry for 20 September 1853 mentioning
the birth of her son, William Walter, on 17 August. Subsequent entries describe him as a
baby. Ella Kirkland, John Pruit, and Uncle Phon are mentioned with some frequency. One
loose leaf, found with this volume, has entries dated 22-23 December 1857 and 1 November
1858. They concern a visit from Margaret Otey; William M. Otey's buying land; and items
Octavia had given William Kirkland.
Subseries 3.2. Civil War and Postwar Years (1864-1888) This subseries
comprises thirteen volumes. After October 1853, Octavia did not keep a regular diary for
eleven years. Only a handful of additional entries besides those for December 1857 and
Novemer 1858 appear during this hiatus; these are contained in her plantation daybooks and
are described in Subseries 4.3. Octavia took up her pen again with some consistency during
her husband's long illness and death in 1864; however, large gaps continue to appear in
the diary, especially during 1865 and 1866. No entries appear between November 1871 and 4
Between 1864 and 1868, Octavia wrote in a large, 214-page volume (formerly Volume 9),
expressing deep grief over her husband's and her brother Will Kirkland's deaths;
describing the activities of Northern soldiers and freedmen in the area; complaining of
the difficulties of managing the affairs of Green Lawn and of interacting with the freed
slaves on her plantation; and documenting the rearing and education of her children.
Miscellaneous items appearing in the diary volume are recipes, poems, drafts of letters,
and copies of work contracts for 1866 with Maria, Nina, and Anderson, all of whom had
formerly been slaves at Green Lawn. Draft letters are to her cousins Robert, James, and
Fletch; Will; sister Frances; and Jim Matt, and concern her husband's and Will Kirkland's
deaths and miscellaneous family matters. One entry, a recipe for muffins, is dated 1874.
From the spring of 1868 until the spring of 1869, Octavia kept her journal in a
142-page notebook (formerly Volume 11). She frequently appeared depressed and unhappy with
her responsibilities in managing Green Lawn. Extensive information appears on her
children; her financial and legal affairs; and her relationship with her tenants. She also
mentioned her gardening, reading, and the comings and goings of friends and family. Of
particular interest in the diary are descriptions, dated 29 November and 6 December 1868
and 19 January and 1 February 1869, of visits to Green Lawn by the Ku Klux Klan.
Individuals mentioned regularly in this volume are William Walter, Mollie, and Elliese
Otey; Ella and James Burke; and John Pruit, John Ford, and cousin Meck. Octavia made no
entries in the diary for the period between August and November 1868. She jotted a handful
of entries at the back of the volume for late 1869 and early 1870. Less personal in
nature, these entries include notes on her crops and farm affairs; a list of medical
symptoms she suffered between October 1869 and January 1870; an undated description of the
"Wyche of a hundred years ago"; and a 10-page description of the process of
making the parlor ornament known as "The Phantom Bouquet." A list of books she
lent to others appears for 27 October 1869.
Octavia's diary for the period from January 1871 to November 1871 (formerly Volume 13)
contains 62 pages. She worried constantly about her growing financial woes in these pages.
Most entries concern financial arrangements and disputes, debts, and her childrens'
education. No entries appear between April and November. Those for November describe
Octavia's distress over James Burke's abuse of his wife, Ella, while she lay bedridden.
Octavia did not keep a diary between November 1871 and February 1876. When she resumed
writing, she wrote consistently again until October 1884, when she put her pen down for
almost four years until June 1888. Her entries for 1888 were her last.
A 96-page volume (formerly Volume 14) contains Octavia's entries for 4 February through
25 October 1876. In this volume, she discussed her desperation over her mounting debts,
her children and their prospects, and her business dealings with local merchants and
bankers. Individuals of note in the diary are her daughter Mollie's fiancé, John Hampton,
and a friend of Hampton's, Johnny Russell. Octavia's uneasy feelings about Hampton's
character, her intense distrust of Russell, and her fears for her daughter's future are
frequently the focus of her writing. She also often expressed the perception that her
financial distress was resulting in a drop in her social standing among her friends and
neighbors. Miscellaneous items in this volume are eight pages of unidentified poems, which
appear at the back of the volume.
Between 16 January and 13 May 1877, Octavia kept a 42-page diary (formerly Volume 15),
in which she discussed mostly her debts, her relationship with her workers, and conflicts
with her Otey relatives. Entries of interest include one for 27 January, in which she
describes her relief over Johnny Russell's and Otey Pruit's departure to take up residence
in Mississippi, and another for 7 February, in which she mentions the trial of a black man
for burning a white man's barn. Miscellaneous items in this volume include copies of
literary passages, lists of items bought, recipes, and a draft letter to Mr. Tinney,
concerning money Octavia owed him.
Entries for the period between 19 July 1877 and 4 April 1878 appear in a 132-page
volume (formerly Volume 17). During this time Octavia continued to express dismay over her
financial difficulties, her unhappiness over increasing family quarrels, and her
uneasiness over John Hampton's courtship of Mollie. She also discussed her daily routine
on the farm; parties in the neighborhood; local theater productions; and church
activities. Entries concern a number of her Robinson, Pruit, and Otey relatives.
Miscellaneous items include a few accounts, poems, a list of jewelry, and a passage titled
"Receipt for Happiness."
Similar topics dominate Octavia's diary for the next several years. Between 30 April
1878 and 2 November 1879, she wrote in a 176-page volume (formerly Volume 18) about her
deepening depression, her conflicts with John Hampton, her mortification over her daughter
Imogene's courtship by J. J. McCorkle, a farm hand, and her attempts to raise cash by
selling off her Mississippi lands. An entry for 19 May 1878 describes her outrage at John
Hampton for his support of Darwin's theories, and an entry for 12 September 1879 mentions
a law suit being brought against her for nonpayment of her debts. Other topics in this
volume are her daily routine on the farm, local social events, her tenants, and her son
William Walter's financial woes. Individuals appearing with some frequency are J. Pruit,
Ellen Robinson, and Van Horton. Miscellaneous items include recipes, a list of monies paid
out, and passages copied from literary works. One enclosure of note is a lottery ticket
bought of the Kentucky Cash Distribution Company.
Forty-six pages of entries appear between 20 December 1879 and 6 February 1880. These
entries, contained in the former Volume 19, focus almost entirely on Octavia's debts and
her feelings of humiliation over them. Mention of Otey Robinson, who seems to have handled
at least some of her business affairs, appears frequently.
Entries for the period between 22 November 1880 and 24 June 1881 are contained in a
102-page volume (formerly Volume 20). They focus heavily on Octavia's debts, her
relationship with her tenants, and her daughters' courtships. Of note are an entry for 22
November describing wedding preparations for the daughter of a former slave, Maria, and
another for 12 January 1880, in which Octavia complains that local blacks "will not
work for white people if they can help it." Other entries discuss the
on-again, off-again engagement of Mollie and John, Octavia's hatred of J. J. McCorkle, and
her sending of her son Matt off to school. Miscellaneous items in the volume are a list of
monies spent, copies of literary passages, and a list of books lent out on 6 June 1881.
Octavia's entries after 1880 are less frequent, and tend to concern mostly her
immediate family. No entries appear between 24 June and 1 September 1881. Thirty-nine
pages of entries, contained in a paperback notebook (formerly Volume 21) appear between 1
September 1881 and 14 December 1881. Seventy-six pages of entries, contained in the former
Volume 22, appear for 18 December 1881 through 4 July 1882. The first of these two volumes
describes Mollie's marriage to John Hampton, the couple's apparent happiness together, and
their move to a farm Hampton owned in Spring Creek (near Courtland), Alabama. Several of
Octavia's entries in the second volume were made while she stayed with John and Mollie in
Spring Creek. Entries of note appear for 21 January 1882, when Octavia wrote concerning a
Dr. Watts's meddling between John and Mollie (Watts was evidently a spurned suitor), and
for 18-20 December 1881, when she reflected on the events leading up to John and Mollie's
wedding. John Robinson and John Pruit appear frequently in this volume. Miscellaneous
undated entries are a list of items purchased and one page of notes on the management of
Only 32 pages of very sporadic entries appear between 12 July 1882 and 4 October 1884.
Topics in this volume (formerly Volume 23) include family illnesses, the birth of Mollie's
baby in November 1883, and John Hampton's taking over of Octavia's business affairs for
her. The last entry, 4 October 1884, was made at Castlewood, Virginia, where Octavia was
visiting her daughter, Imogene, and son-in-law, William Fields.
The final volume of the diary (formerly Volume 24) contains only 24 pages, and is dated
between 2 June 1888 and 28 October 1888. Octavia wrote concerning her poor health, her new
Fields relatives, and her treatment of Imogene's illness. Four undated drafts of letters
appear, one to John thanking him for a Christmas present, one to Cousin Amanda concerning
sending her some meal, one to "Miss Bessie" concerning a misunderstanding
between them, and one to Charles McCalley about her accounts with him. One other item of
note is a list of "Questions from Ward" about her financial affairs and her
Series 4. Other Volumes (1838-1900, 1935-1936)
This series comprises ten volumes, consisting mostly of plantation books containing farm
accounts, notes on crops and activities, and receipts, for the plantations of William M.
and Octavia Otey. One merchant's account book appears for William Otey, and miscellaneous
personal volumes relate to their daughter, Imogene, and granddaughter, Mattie W. Walker.
Volumes are arranged chronologically by last date appearing in the volume.
Subseries 4.1. Merchant's Account Book (1838, 1840, and 1843) This
subseries comprises one volume, including one-hundred and sixteen pages of accounts for
groceries, clothing, dry goods, and housewares, sold by William Madison Otey of
Meridianville during the years 1838, 1840, and 1843. Besides cash, Otey often accepted
other goods (for example, cattle, cowhides, deerskins, jewelry, and honey) as well as
services for payment. Almost all of the accounts appear in 1838, and three-quarters of
them are with local Chickasaw Indians. A few accounts (about thirty) appear for local
farmers having Anglo names, but who may have been members of the tribe as well. Among the
most frequently recurring surnames are Brown, Colbert, and Sealy. At least one customer,
Sally Shochoty, is listed as a Negro; the spelling of her name as Shock.ho.ty at one point
suggests that she may have intermarried with the Chickasaws.
Scattered accounts for 1840 and 1843 are mostly with friends, relatives, and business
associates in Meridianville and Huntsville, including Otey's brother-in-law Rodah Horton,
John Kirkland, John Robinson, and Pruit & Jones.
Subseries 4.2. Antebellum Plantation Books (1857 and 1858) This subseries
comprises two volumes related to William M. Otey's plantation affairs. The location(s) to
which these volumes belong is unclear. The first volume, dated 1857, is a 28-page record
kept by Otey of cotton picked by slaves from September through November. Slaves are listed
by first name. This volume was originally labeled Volume 27.
The second volume, with entries for the months January to June 1858, contains accounts,
probably for Otey's Meridianville plantation. Most of the accounts are with relatives and
friends in the area, including Van Horton, Rodah Horton, J. E. Horton, Hugh Otey, H. S.
Otey, J. W. Pruit,
V. G. Pruit, and John Robinson. This 24-page account book was formerly Volume 6.
Subseries 4.3. Civil War Plantation Books (1861-1865) This subseries
comprises two plantation daybooks, kept by Octavia Otey, with scattered accounts in
William Madison Otey's handwriting.
A daybook for the years 1861 to 1863 contains livestock records; lists of clothing and
food distributed to slaves; accounts of time lost by her slave, Maria; notes on the
progress and treatment of William Madison Otey's illness; and extensive lists of
foodstuffs on the plantation. Also mentioned are novels Octavia loaned to others, toys she
gave her children, and items stolen from her. Toward the end of the daybook are several
diary entries made between February and April 1862. In these, Octavia discussed feeding
and housing Confederate soldiers in the area. Of note is an entry for 11 April, stating
that the Yankees had marched into Hunstville. On 12 April, she claimed that her husband
and brother-in-law, Dr. Burke, had been detained in Huntsville by the Northern army. This
34-page volume was formerly Volume 8.
While the title on the cover of a daybook for 1861 and 1863-1865 reads "Col. Wm.
M. Otey with White Scruggs R., No. 1, Commercial, 1861," the volume (formerly Volume
7) actually contains only four pages of accounts. These are dated between January and
March 1861, and are for books and stationery supplies, dry goods, and clothing. The
remaining 44 pages pertain to Octavia Otey, and include notes to herself on finances;
legal matters, especially concerning her rights of ownership after William Madison Otey's
death in 1865; and plantation business. Entries include lists of things to do and buy,
amounts owed, amounts of corn and wheat sent to be milled, and amounts paid out to her
house slaves. Octavia also kept a record of her treatment of Otey's illness.
Subseries 4.4. Postwar Plantation Books (1865-1870) This subseries
comprises two volumes, a plantation daybook and a receipt book of Octavia Otey in the
years just after the Civil War, kept for her Green Lawn plantation.
Entries in the daybook are almost all for the period 1865-1868; only three entries
appear for 1870. This 108-page volume (formerly Volume S-10) provides extensive
information on Octavia's financial situation, including accounts for clothing and food
with local merchants, notes on financial arrangements with black and white farm workers,
and lists of amounts owed various individuals. Also appearing are livestock records. In
this volume, Octavia spelled out the major means of her family's support, mentioning
"The rent of the stores, Working the thrasher. Stock in the railroad. Renting the
blacksmith shop, Rent Masonic Lodge." Octavia supplemented real estate rentals,
thrasher proceeds, and stock dividends with land rentals to tenant farmers. Frequent notes
appear concerning her interactions with workers and tenants. These interactions dominate
several diary entries. At least one diary entry is for 1870. Other 1870 items in the
volume are household accounts.
A 32-page receipt book (formerly Volume 12) appears for 1868-1870. Receipts document
payment for goods and services to merchants in Huntsville and Madison County. Receipts are
signed by, among others, M. E. Elliot, seamstress; A. J. Bentley, M. C. Muller, L. K.
Fletcher, and Darwin & Riley, merchants; Daves & Dyer, blacksmiths; and H. A.
McDaniel, dentist. One receipt of note, dated 4 November 1868, verifies Octavia's payment
for land belonging to William M. Otey's estate, sold to her by Morris K. Taylor, the
Subseries 4.5. Miscellaneous Volumes (1877-1900 and 1935-1936) This
subseries comprises three volumes, a personal notebook and a diary of Imogene W. Otey
(Mrs. William Fields), and a notebook of home remedies collected by Mattie W. Walker.
Imogene Otey's notebook, kept in 1877, contains 22 pages of her thoughts on love, true
womanhood and manhood, and the loss of the Confederacy. Miscellaneous items are poems and
her New Year's resolutions. Of particular interest are fragments of letters she wrote to
an unidentified friend and an unidentified politician, both expressing her deep sense of
loss over the Confederacy's failure and her feelings of betrayal over the Compromise of
1877. This volume was originally Volume 16.
Imogene Otey Fields kept a fairly regular diary between February and May 1891, with
very occasional entries appearing for the period between 1892 and 1900. The diary
discusses the activities of her husband, her servants, and her children. She also mentions
farm affairs and gardening. Individuals of note are her aunt, Ellen, John Dickinson, and
Matt Burke. This volume, formerly Volume 25, also contains Imogene's accounts for
household items and accounts with servants for 1891, 1895, and 1897-1898. Most are for
Mattie Walker, of Luray, Virginia, kept a notebook of home remedies for human and
livestock ailments in 1935. Entries include cures for chest colds, constipation, swelling,
and colic in horses. Other items are lists of furniture and jewelry taken from Green Lawn,
a recipe for Elder Blossom Wine, and an account, dated 2 August 1936, of Mattie Walker's
expenditures. This 25-page volume was formerly Volume 26.
Series 5. Miscellaneous Items (1830-1870 and undated)
This series includes poems, certificates, grade reports, and miscellaneous items relating
to the Wyche and Otey families. Eleven handwritten poems appear; most are unidentified and
undated. Two poems address the topic of death. Samuel L. Robertson wrote "Lines on
the Death of W. W. Kirkland," for Octavia Otey in 1866, and an unidentified man
penned "Silence, Absence, Death," "in memory of Mrs. Mattie Pruit and her
sweet little innocent," who appear to have been his wife and child. Other poems
include "Mother," by H. C. Wyche; "To My Husband," probably by Octavia
Otey; and an untitled poem written in 1857 by Octavia Otey. Part of this poem is written
on the back of a brief note concerning pledges to build a church in Meridianville (the
actual pledge sheet is not attached).
Grade reports appear for Octavia Wyche from P. J. Eckles in 1841; for William Walter
Otey in 1870 at Huntsville Grammar School; and for Mollie R. Otey in 1870 at Huntsville
Two certificates, dated 1830 and 1832, document W. H. Wyche's membership in the
Lexington Medical Society at the University of Transylvania in Lexington, Kentucky. His
diploma shows that he graduated from the University in 1832. One other item that probably
belonged to Wyche is a cloth sash, bearing the name "Hippocrates" and the Greek
letters for Kappa Lambda.
Of particular interest among the remaining items are an undated speech, probably by
Imogene Otey (see similar material in her notebook in Subseries 4.5), concerning the
civilizing influence of woman over man, and a handwritten transcription of an untitled
song, having the first line, "I once did love a yallow gal, I tell you her name, she
come from old Virginia once, They call her Mary Blanc." Other items are an 1849
clipping on "Blind Tom," a slave who was considered an idiot but who had a great
memory for sounds; a recipe for "Mrs. Scrugg's Ladycake"; a cure for inveterate
cancer; a phosphate of soda prescription; an historical note on the parlor ornament known
as "The Phantom Bouquet"; a printed play by T. W. Robertson entitled "Not A
Bit Jealous"; and several invitations and calling cards.
Series 6. Pictures (undated)
This series comprises two photographs related to construction by N. & W. Railroad
sometime between 1880 and 1920. The first is a cyanotype of four surveyors standing with
their dogs and equipment outside a clapboard building, labeled "10th Residency."
The men are identified as Walker, Butler, Vawter, and Counts. "Office of 10th
Residency - C.V. Div. N. & W. R. R." is written on the back of the photograph.
The second is a cyanotype labeled "East Portal Kiser Tunnel C. V. Div. N. and W. R.
Ernest Haywood Papers, 1830-1860,
Greene and Marengo Counties, Alabama;
also North Carolina, Texas, and Mexico
Description of the Collection
This collection consists chiefly of five series of chronologically arranged papers that
include correspondence and related items. The first of these covers the period 1752 to
1803. These papers primarily relate to John Haywood and include materials about his work
as state treasurer of North Carolina, his personal financial papers, his correspondence
concerning affairs at the University of North Carolina, and family and personal
correspondence. The papers in Series 2, covering the period 1804 to 1829, continue the
documentation of John Haywood's career. The activities of his children, however, become
increasingly prominent. The early personal papers in this series relate chiefly to the
family of Eliza Eagles Asaph Williams, wife of John Haywood. The personal papers later in
the series relate to members of John Haywood's immediate family, including letters from
the boys when they were at school and from the oldest daughter, Elizabeth, when she was
away from home visiting or traveling. In Series 3, which covers the years 1830 to 1860,
the prominent figures are George Washington Haywood, son of John Haywood, and his cousin,
Alfred Williams. George Washington Haywood was the state attorney for Wake County, and
many of his papers in this series are legal items, either correspondence relating to cases
or legal documents. Some of the papers also relate to the plantation he owned in
partnership with his brother, John Steele Haywood, in Greene County, Alabama. The papers
of Alfred Williams primarily relate to his plantation in Alabama, which he purchased with
his firm, Williams and Haywood, Inc., in 1833. Series 4, which covers the years 1861 to
1946, has been arranged chronologically but not described.
This collection also contains 118 volumes. The largest group is merchants' account
books. These include account books for a number of different business enterprises
including one for the firm Williams & Haywood, Inc., which operated a drug store.
Another large group of volumes relate to the activities of Edmund Burke Haywood during the
Civil War when he was a surgeon for the Confederate forces and oversaw hospitals for
troops in the Raleigh area. There are also a number of medical notebooks kept by him, in
which he recorded some of his medical cases. Other volumes include household accounts,
plantation journals and accounts (chiefly for the Alabama plantations), legal accounts,
hotel guest registers for Yarborough House, bank books, account books for labor, recipe
books, school notebooks of Ernest Haywood, two lettercopy books kept by Ernest Haywood,
miscellaneous writings, and memoranda books. Other volumes concern James Newlon and
members of the Yarborough family.
Also included in this collection are clippings, North Carolina lottery tickets, a
pencil sketch of Pettigrew Hospital by S. A. Partridge, and some pictures and
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence and Related Loose
Items, 1752-1803 [not included]; Series 2. Correspondence and Related Loose Items,
1804-1829 [not included]; Series 3. Correspondence and Related Items, 1830-1860; Series 4.
Correspondence and Related Loose Items, 1861-1946 [not included]; Series 5. Clippings and
Lottery Tickets [not included]; Series 6. Account Books and Other Volumes--Subseries 6.1.
Household and Personal Accounts [not included], Subseries 6.2. Plantation Journals and
Accounts, 1833-1881, Subseries 6.3. Merchants' Account Books [not included], Subseries
6.4. Legal Accounts [not included], Subseries 6.5. Medical Notebooks and Accounts [not
included], Subseries 6.6. Hotel Guest Registers [not included], Subseries 6.7. Bank Books
[not included], Subseries 6.8. Account Books for Labor [not included], Subseries 6.9.
Recipe Books [not included], Subseries 6.10. School Notebooks [not included], Subseries
6.11. Lettercopy Books [not included], Subseries 6.12. Miscellaneous Writings [not
included], and Subseries 6.13. Memorandum Books; and Series 7. Pictures.
This collection documents the lives of three generations in the Haywood family of Raleigh,
North Carolina, starting with John Haywood (1755-1827), state treasurer, 1787-1827, member
of the board of trustees of the University of North Carolina, 1789-1827, and the first
mayor of Raleigh. He was the son of William and Charity Hare Haywood of Edgecombe County,
North Carolina, and cousin of John Haywood (1762-1826), the writer and jurist. Among his
brothers were Sherwood, Stephen, and William Henry. His first wife was Sarah Leigh, who
died in 1791. In 1798, he married Eliza Eagles Asaph Williams (fl. 1798-1830), daughter of
John Pugh Williams and Jane Williams. Their children were Eliza Eagles, John Steele,
George Washington, Fabius Julius, Alfred Moore, Thomas Burges, Rebecca Jane, William
Davie, Benjamin Rush, Frances Ann, Sarah Wool, and Edmund Burke. Eliza Williams Haywood
was active in the Raleigh Female Tract Society. John Haywood served as state treasurer for
forty years. After his death, a committee examined his accounts and found that $68,906.80
was missing. His estate reimbursed the state for $47,601.37, but was not able to cover the
entire amount. Haywood was a very popular figure at the time of his death and many
citizens of the state believed that he was innocent of any wrongdoing.
Several of John Haywood's children are prominent in this collection also. His son
George Washington Haywood (1802-1890) was state attorney for Wake County and owned a
plantation in partnership with his brother, John Steele Haywood, in Greene County,
Alabama. His daughter, Eliza Eagles Haywood (fl. 1818-1853), was a friend of Anna Hayes
Johnson, daughter of William Johnson, United States Supreme Court justice from Charleston,
South Carolina. Eliza apparently ran a school in the family home for a period of time in
the early 1840s. The youngest son, Edmund Burke Haywood (1825-1894) became a prominent
surgeon in the Confederate army. He was a student at the University of North Carolina from
1843 through 1846, and received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1849. He
enlisted in the Raleigh Light Infantry in 1861 and was elected its surgeon. He established
the first military hospital in the state and on 16 May 1861 he was appointed surgeon of
the North Carolina state troops. He continued to serve in medical posts, and, in August
1862, was commissioned a surgeon in the Confederate army. Also in 1862, he became acting
medical director of the Department of North Carolina and was placed in charge of the
Raleigh military hospitals. His headquarters was at Pettigrew Hospital, New Bern Avenue
and Tarboro Road. Edmund Burke Haywood served as president of the board of directors,
State Insane Asylum, from 1875 to 1889, and chairman of the State Board of Public
Charities. He married Lucy A. Williams in 1850, and lived in Raleigh in the Haywood home
built by his father in the 1790s.
A prominent figure who was a contemporary of the Haywood children was their cousin,
Alfred Williams (fl. 1825-1860). Williams operated a drug store as part of the firm of
Webb and Williams, which was succeeded later by the firm Williams and Haywood, Inc. In
1833, this firm purchased land in Marengo County, Alabama, and Alfred Williams moved there
to operate the plantation. After his marriage in 1850, he spent much of each year in
Raleigh and purchased 700 acres of land west of that city.
The third generation of Haywoods is represented chiefly by Ernest Haywood (1860-1946),
son of Edmund Burke Haywood and Lucy Ann Williams Haywood. He graduated from the
University of North Carolina in 1880 and was admitted to the bar in 1882. He practiced law
in Raleigh and was one of the founders of the North Carolina Bar Association in 1885. He
was interested in local history and published several articles in local newspapers.
Series 3. Correspondence and Related Items (1830-1860)
This series comprises papers for the years 1830 to 1860 and are surveyed en bloc.
Correspondence and other papers for this period relate mainly to two individuals, George
Washington Haywood, second son of John Haywood, and his cousin Alfred Williams. The papers
also contain letters and other items of the following members of the Haywood family: Eliza
Eagles (Betsy) Haywood, Alfred Moore Haywood, Fabius Julius Haywood, Edmund Burke Haywood,
Rebecca Jane Haywood (Mrs. Albert G. Hall), John Steele Haywood, William Davie Haywood,
Thomas Burges Haywood, William Henry Haywood, Jr., and a number of cousins who did not
bear the Haywood name. With a few exceptions, described below, about 90 percent of the
papers are on business matters. These business papers are those of George Washington
Haywood (1802-1890), state attorney for Wake County, who resided in Raleigh, North
Carolina, and Alfred Williams of Raleigh and Marengo County, Alabama, also an attorney,
but primarily a planter.
The papers of George Washington Haywood consist of letters to him from clients of Wake,
Franklin, Chatham, and Johnston counties; legal documents--indentures, wills, deeds,
bonds, court or trial dockets for Wake County court--and, beginning in 1835, letters to
him from his brother John Steele Haywood who, with George, formed a partnership that owned
a plantation in Greene County, Alabama. John lived on the Alabama plantation and
apparently had a direct hand in the management of the farming operations, often acting as
his own overseer. His letters to his brother George kept the latter informed about
conditions on the plantation--crops, slaves, prices, etc. George Washington Haywood's
letters from clients and legal documents often bear the names of Haywood cousins, friends,
and neighbors in Wake and surrounding counties, such as Whitaker, Poole, Boylan,
Yarborough, Holloman, Goodwin, and others. During these years, he appears to have had
three or more law partners, including Thomas W. Johnston, David W. Stone, and Mr. Miller.
The papers of Alfred Williams, cousin of the Haywood brothers, are merged with, but not
related to, George Washington Haywood's papers. Williams's father and Haywood's mother
were brother and sister.
In partnership with Dr. Fabius Julius Haywood of Raleigh, a younger brother of George
Washington, and his own brother John R. Williams, Alfred had for many years operated a
drug firm and general merchandise store, Williams & Haywood, Inc. During the early
1830s, there are a number of business items of this firm and correspondence to the firm
from various physicians of eastern North Carolina, usually requesting drugs and medicines.
About 1833, this partnership purchased land from a Houston family in Marengo County,
Alabama. From this point on, correspondence and business items of the merchant partnership
no longer appear in the the papers, though the firm continued for some years. Alfred
Williams moved to Alabama to operate the plantation. He prospered and ultimately owned
ninety-one slaves and much land. His accounts, tax lists, bills and receipts, lists of
slaves, correspondence with cotton commission merchants and overseers, and items on
plantation physician business are present in the papers. Williams married about 1850 and
returned to Raleigh to spend the greater part of each year, leaving the management of his
plantation to a series of overseers with whom he corresponded. A deed, dated 4 January
1856, indicated that he bought more than 700 acres of land west of Raleigh.
There were a number of letters to Alfred Williams in Raleigh, North Carolina, and
Linden, Alabama, in the early 1850s from J. J. Williams, his cousin. J. J. Williams (who
was at Butler and Pushmataka in Choctaw County, Alabama, in 1851; at Prairie Plains,
Grimes County, and Anderson, Texas, in 1852; and at Centerville in Leon County, Texas, in
1854) chiefly wrote about his financial difficulties and his efforts to sell land he owned
in Texas to pay off his creditors, one of whom was Alfred Williams. While in Alabama, he
also wrote about the progress of his crops and other plantation business. There are
letters from several other individuals, including F. W. Harmes and Thomas Affleck in 1853,
to Williams about the sale of the Texas property.
In addition to these two parallel but unrelated series of papers, there are letters of
Alfred Moore Haywood, chiefly to his brother Edmund Burke Haywood, who was a physician in
Raleigh after his graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, and also to his brother
George Washington Haywood and his sister Betsy. These letters begin on 1 August 1856, in
Galveston, Texas, and were written by Alfred Moore Haywood after he had killed a man named
Smith during a fight in the city of Raleigh. There were witnesses to the fight and Haywood
fled to Texas and then to Mexico. His letters to his relatives describe his wanderings and
sufferings. He finally settled in Matamoros, Mexico, leaving his Raleigh property and
slaves to his brother's management. He was 52 years old at the time.
The papers also contain about fourteen letters between members of the Scott family of
New Bern and Raleigh, North Carolina. These are chiefly letters from Guion Scott to his
brother Lawrence W. who was attempting to establish a practice of some sort (presumably
medicine) in Raleigh. The final letter of this group is one from Charles G. Scott to
George W. Haywood dated 5 August 1857. Otherwise, the Scott letters appear to be unrelated
to the Haywood papers.
Items that might be of particular interest are described by year below.
1830: Legal correspondence and papers of George Washington Haywood. Similar items
continue until 1860. February, William Henry Haywood, Jr., to his cousin Eliza Eagles
Haywood (Betsy). 7 May, letter of introduction from John B. Muse of Washington, D.C., to
Fabius Julius Haywood introducing Dr. Alexander Telfair. 23 May, Theo A. Snow to George W.
Haywood, describing Terre Haute, Indiana, where he was visiting. 5 June, William H.
Haywood, Jr., to his cousin Betsy with a statement and discussion of her indebtedness. 6
August, letter from E. Fondo, dressmaker for Miss E. Haywood. Indentures conveying a slave
family from Jesse and Stephen Birdsall to John McLeran and Hugh McLaurin. A number of
legal papers of the 1830s bear the name of Birdsall. 13 December, W. Latimer of Edenton to
Thomas W. Johnston (partner of George W. Haywood), concerning a sale of property. 21
December, William H. Haywood to Betsy Haywood giving personal advice.
1831: 1 January, valuation of slaves belonging to the heirs of the late John Williams.
18 January, Judge Henry Potter, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Dr. Hudson M. Cave,
Chapel Hill, about collecting a debt. 16 February, Marshall T. Polk of Charlotte, North
Carolina, to John B. Johns or G. W. Haywood, about a legal matter. 22 February, William H.
Haywood, Jr., to his cousin Betsy with references to the scandal that involved both their
families, the unfortunate state of his father's "pecuniary affairs with the State
Bank." Young Haywood was forced to buy some of his father's property. 19 April,
Robert McKoy of Clinton, North Carolina, with an order for a Wedgewood mortar and pestle
and smallpox vaccine from Williams & Haywood, Inc. 29 April, I. T.(?) Haywood of
Smithfield, North Carolina, to his cousin George W. Haywood about the latter running for
political office and his chances. 30 May, Dr. J. T. Gilliam of Fayetteville, to Williams
& Haywood, Inc. about the fire that had destroyed a large section of the town on the
preceding day. The drug supplies having been destroyed, Gilliam ordered supplies listing
those most needed. August, advertisements sent out by Mrs. John Haywood to state
legislators offering rooms to rent during their stay in Raleigh. 1 August, William H.
Haywood, Jr., on the death of his nephew, son of his sister (Charity) Mrs. Manly.
September-December, business letters of Williams & Haywood, Inc., from William Pickett
of "near Hillsboro," M. E. Manly of New Bern, John T. Johnston of Hillsboro,
Henry Toole Clark of Tarboro, and other items from northern business firms.
1832: Letters from I. T. Haywood and William Henry Haywood, Jr., and dry goods accounts
of Eliza E. Haywood. Pension petition, Revolutionary War service of John Walker. Obituary
of Mrs. Elizabeth Araph (Williams) Haywood, who died July 21, 1832, written by Thomas
Burges Haywood. Letter of 20 August from Charles Manly (Governor of North Carolina
1849-1851) to Eliza E. Haywood on the execution of her mother's will. Copy of the will of
Dennis Grady of Wake County, October 17, 1832. Letter of 19 December from D. W. Stone, of
Edenton, to Alfred Moore Haywood relating to the rental of land.
1833: Inventory of drugs purchased from Dr. Rufus Haywood by Williams & Haywood,
Inc. Part of an address (four pages) by William Gaston. Letter, 10 June, from Rebecca Jane
Haywood to William B. Meares, Wilmington, attorney, about the Wilmington property recently
inherited from her mother. Copy of the will of William Whitley of Wake County, August 31,
1833. Letter, 8 November, from Dennis O'Bryan of Warren County to G. W. Haywood about
renting the latter his plantation on Swift Creek. Letter, 18 December, from Thomas Burges
Haywood, Raleigh, to "Dear Sister," visiting in Wilmington, mainly a facetious
letter about social life in Raleigh. Scattered letters and papers, through the early
1830s, are from or relate to Joseph Small of Pittsboro, mainly of a business nature
relating to his debts.
1834: Letters from Eliza E. Haywood to her sister Rebecca Jane, who was visiting in
Wilmington with the E. B. Dudley family, give extensive advice on the conduct of a young
lady, and an account of Raleigh social news. Information in the letters of Rebbeca Haywood
indicates that on this Wilmington visit she met Albert G. Hall, and married him the
following November or December in Raleigh. Her letters, from 1835 until her tragic death
in 1842, written to her sister Eliza depict the unfortunate circumstances of her married
life and her trials with her husband. A bond of several members of the Haywood family, 20
February, relates to the purchase of some of the property which had been taken from John
Haywood, state treasurer, when the deficit was discovered at his death. Letter, 21 March,
from Thomas D. King, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to G. W. Haywood, about business concerning
their two families. Letter, 1 April, from Carolina R. Moore, Wilmington, to "My Dear
Cousin" (Rebecca Jane Haywood). Letter, 5 April, from Randolph Webb, Raleigh, to
Judge Henry Seawell, Raleigh, about a legal matter concerning the discharge of a bond.
Letters, 11 and 26 April, from William B. Meares, Wilmington attorney, to George W.
Haywood about legal business. Copy of the will of James Speight of Wake County, October
26, 1833. Letter, 24 November, from Albert G. Hall, Wilmington, to Eliza Haywood on his
forthcoming marriage to her sister Rebecca Jane.
1835: Eliza Haywood's accounts with a general merchandise firm in Raleigh. Two land
transactions of William Donaldson and Henry A. Donaldson of Wake County. Letters from
Rebecca (Haywood) Hall to her sister Eliza give an account of her life in Wilmington.
About six letters, beginning 4 March, from C. H. Dudley, attending an Episcopal boys
school in Raleigh, to Albert Hall. In this year appear the first letters from John Steele
Haywood to his brother George W., written from Greensboro, Greene County (now Hale
County), Alabama, where he had moved to make a new life. Letter, 30 May, from Elizabeth
Pearsall to her nephew Albert G. Hall.
1836: Legal correspondence of George W. Haywood with northern law firms. There is a
marked increase in family letters, including the letters of Albert G. Hall to his wife
Rebecca, staying with her family in Raleigh. Their first child was born in January 1836
and was a girl, Eliza Haywood Hall, who was called Betsy. Letter, 22 January, from Harry
Clark, Cook County, Tennessee, to his nephew Lewis Dupree of Raleigh. Letter, 20 February,
from Fabius Haywood to Alfred Williams, Greensboro, Alabama, with news of the families in
both localities. Evidence in the letter indicates that the Alabama venture was a combined
effort to repay debts and to recover reputation. Copy of the will of Thomas Lambeth of
Chatham County, March 8, 1836. A friendly letter, 18 April, from Thomas A. Snow, Liberty,
Virginia, to George W. Haywood. Letters, 23 April and 20 May, from Joseph Fowler, Wake
County, to George W. Haywood describing a gang of hoodlums who attacked his family and
slaves. Letter 13 May, from Joseph Gales Johnson, Choctaw, Columbus, Mississippi, on the
influence of Santa Anna on the cotton market and the advantages of emigrating to Texas as
soon as the land opened up. Letter, 26 September, from H. Waddell, Pittsboro, to "My
Dear Cousin" (Eliza Haywood), asking to room at her house. Articles of agreement and
correspondence with overseers in Alabama begin 7 October and continues through subsequent
years. Letter, 2 November, from Richard D. Spaight, New Bern, concerning his legal
business with George W. Haywood. Letters, 6 November (and March and April 1837), from
William Davie Haywood, Philadelphia, to his brother George W. on entering medical college.
George W. was paying his tuition and expenses.
1837: Legal papers and plantation correspondence and accounts continue as heretofore.
Letter, 12 March, from Rebecca Haywood Hall, Woodbine Retreat, near South Washington, New
Hanover County, at which place she and her husband were making their home and engaged in
farming, to her sister Eliza Haywood. Eliza Haywood's household accounts with the Raleigh
firm of Haywood and Little. Letters 3 July and 17 August, from William Davie Haywood,
Philadelphia, to his brother George W. on receiving his medical degree, which took him six
months. Deed, 2 August, for Indiana land between William and Susan Williams and Alexander
Lawrence. Correspondence with attorneys and other persons in Indiana over this property
composes a minor segment of the Williams papers over the next twenty-year period. Other
letters are included from Rebecca Hall, and one from Albert G. Hall, 17 December, to Eliza
Haywood tells of the arrival of his wife's second child, a daughter named Alice. The will
of Susan Parrish of Wake County, October 27, 1837.
1838: Letter, 18 February, from Richard Barnum, formerly of Wake County, a friend and
client of George W. Haywood, withdrawing a lawsuit against "old Rodgers" and the
Williams family. Letters of March and October from J. W. Carroll, Chapel Hill attorney,
urging George W. Haywood to attend to certain legal matters. Letter, 5 May, from Abraham
Rencher, Washington, D.C., to George W. Haywood. Letter, 25 May, from M. I. Waddell,
Pittsboro, to Charles Manly about a debt. Letter, 19 June, from William Roles to George W.
Haywood requesting legal advice on a suspected rape of a mute girl. Letters, 13 July and
16 August and January 25, 1840, from Robert Stamper, Hilliardstown, Nash County, North
Carolina, to George W. Haywood about his suit against the Bank of the State of North
Carolina. Letters, 25 October and March 11 and November 27, 1839, from Moses Jewett,
Columbus, Ohio, to George W. Haywood about Dr. Joseph B. Hinton of Raleigh. Letter, 7
November, from Mrs. S. H. Waddell, Hillsboro, to Eliza Haywood asking for a governess for
the Waddell family, which resided at Moorefields, near Hillsboro. Letter, 8 November, from
Alfred M. Haywood to his brother George about selling the family home. Letter, 6 December,
from Eliza E. Haywood to her brother George about her desire to keep the family home for
herself for use as a boarding school.
1839: Letters, 3 January, from Eliza E. Haywood to her brothers Fabius and George W.
thanking them for enabling her to keep the family home. Letter, 4 January, from Joseph I.
Dillard, Hinds County, Mississippi, about both a runaway slave and debts. Letters of this
period from John Steele Haywood to George W. tell of trouble with crops and slaves on the
Alabama plantation. Papers indicate that a number of slaves were purchased in Raleigh and
sent to him in Alabama. Letters, 16 November and February 12, 1842, from Joseph B. Hinton,
Raleigh, to George W. Haywood. Scattered letters, 1839-1841, from Reverdy Johnson,
Annapolis and Baltimore, Maryland, to George W. Haywood about legal matters and politics.
1840: Papers consist mainly of business and legal papers and letters of George W.
Haywood. Also in this year are a few letters and invitations to George W. Haywood on Whig
business or celebrations. Eliza E. Haywood's school tuition bills and receipts are also
included. Letter, 5 March, from Charles Fisher, Washington, D.C., concerns "the debt
we owe to the Literary Board." A letter, 30 March, is from John H. Seawell, Spring
Hill, Alabama, to his brother Henry Seawell, Raleigh. A letter, 20 May, is from B.
Whitfield, Linden, Alabama, to Alfred Williams, Raleigh. A former Raleigh resident,
Whitfield wrote to give Williams information on his land holdings and conditions in
Alabama in general. Other plantation related materials in this period include a list of
rules and regulations for the plantation of Williams & Haywood in Alabama. Letter, 10
July, is from Abraham Rencher, Pittsboro, to Charles Manly, Raleigh, about a Whig meeting
and maneuvers. Letter, 11 September, is from J. O. Watson of Raleigh, writing from
Montreal, Canada, to George W. Haywood about his travels in that place. Letters, 23
September and 16 November, are from Rebecca Hall, South Washington, New Hanover County,
North Carolina, to her sister Eliza E. Haywood about her new baby daughter, her many
problems, and her husband's unkindness.
1841: Scattered letters in this period are to Eliza E. Haywood from Mrs. Waddell of
Hillsboro and Rebecca Hall. Letter, 8 January, is from H. I. Gorman, Concord, to Miss
Martha Gorman "that was," Raleigh, about losing his money and going to
Mississippi. Family letters concern Eliza E. Haywood's plans to open a boarding school.
Letter, 29 March, is from W. Nichols, an engineer who had gotten into serious trouble in
Raleigh, to George W. Haywood regarding his need for legal counsel and his desire to stay
out of prison. Letters, 9 May and 25 May, are from Rebecca Hall to Eliza E. Haywood
concerning her daughter Alice being burned to death and other tragic events in her family.
Letter, 17 July, is from Ezra McCall Tate, Asheville, to George W. Haywood. Letters, 25
December and August 1, 1842, are from Spencer H. Alston, Bedford, North Carolina, to
George W. Haywood concerning personal and business matters.
1842: Letters of this period include those from Merritt Dillard of Holy Springs,
Mississippi, to Alfred Williams, Linden, Alabama, and Raleigh, North Carolina, concerning
the sale of land and slaves from his son's estate and debts. A number of family letters,
accounts, and other business papers relate to the Alabama plantations. Letters of Rebecca
Hall and Albert G. Hall to Eliza E. Haywood request payment to him of his wife's share of
her mother's estate and discuss their many difficulties. A letter, 20 August, is from Ann
M. Jones, South Washington, New Hanover County, North Carolina, to Eliza E. Haywood on the
death of Rebecca Hall. Letter, 28 November, is from Guion Scott, New Bern, to his brother
Lawrence W. Scott, Raleigh. Letter, 28 November, is from Thomas A. Williams, Hamilton,
Georgia, to his brother Alfred telling of their brother William's imminent departure for
Mississippi and family business. Another letter from Thomas A. Williams to Alfred is dated
July 7, 1843. Letter, 31 December, is from Albert G. Hall to Eliza E. Haywood declining
her offer to raise and to educate Rebecca's two surviving daughters, Betsy and Ida.
1843: Business and legal papers continue in this period as heretofore. A letter, 7
January, is from Eliza E. Haywood to Alfred G. Hall on the care and education of Rebecca's
two daughters. A letter, 1 March, contains Hall's reply. These are the last two letters
relating to the Hall family in the papers. Letters from John MacLeod, "Bona
Vista" and Smithfield, Johnston County, North Carolina, to George W. Haywood discuss
debts, legal matters, Whig business, and other matters at length. Letter, 19 July, is from
William Davie Haywood to his brother George W. about his poor circumstances and his desire
to leave for Alabama to practice as a physician. Shortly after this letter was written, he
did leave for Alabama, where he lived with his brother John Steele Haywood on his
plantation. The will of Eliza Powell, Chatham County, is dated July 27, 1843. A letter, 21
August, is from Eliza E. Haywood to her brother George W. about their brother Edmund Burke
Haywood's education and his preparations for going to "the Hill." The will of
Lucinda Lanier, Franklin County, is dated October 25, 1843. John Steele Haywood's letter
to George W., 29 November, describes William Davie Haywood's conduct on the plantation.
1844: Letters from E. Burke Haywood discuss his activities at the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill. A letter, 13 January, is from D. Sugg to George W. Haywood
discussing legal business and emigration to Mississippi. An indenture, 15 January, is
between William Powell and William Poole, both of Wake County. An indenture, 10 February,
is between William Shanck, George W. Haywood, John Buffalow, Weston R. Gales, and John
Smith. A letter, 29 May, is from Joel King, Green Hill, Alabama, to Alfred Williams. The
will of William Lashley, Wake County, was presented for probate during the May term. A
copy of a letter, 29 July, is from George W. Haywood to David W. Stone, a Raleigh
attorney, in which Haywood demanded to know if Stone or his wife had made certain
slanderous statements about him. Stone, who either was or had been a law partner of
Haywood, replied on 30 July. A letter, 17 October, is from Eliza E. Haywood to her brother
E. Burke Haywood at Chapel Hill discussing family matters, the activities of slaves, and
Raleigh news. A letter, 24 November, is from John P. Manly, Smithfield, to George W.
Haywood asking him to be his "groomsman." A letter, 29 November, is from Joel
King, Green Hill, Alabama, to Alfred Williams about business, debts, and mutual friends. A
letter, 14 December, is from Guion Scott, New Bern, to his brother Dr. Lawrence Scott,
1845: Scattered letters between members of the Scott family appear during this year. A
deed and articles of agreement, 3 and 13 January, are between John Steele Haywood and
George W. Haywood relating to the ownership and operation of their Alabama land holdings
and slave force. A letter, 19 January, is from Reverdy Johnson, Annapolis, Maryland, to
George W. Haywood. There is a letter, 30 January, from Thomas Bragg, Warrenton, North
Carolina, to George W. Haywood. A letter, 29 March, is from N. E. Rand, Newbern, Alabama,
to John Hayes, attorney of Raleigh, regarding one D. B. Massey, alias Dempsey Blake,
formerly of Wake County, who had deserted his North Carolina family and settled in
Alabama. Letters, 25 May and later, continue from E. Burke Haywood at Chapel Hill to his
brother George W. Haywood and sister Eliza E. Haywood. A letter, 6 October, is from George
Gray, Windsor, North Carolina, to his cousin David Stone. There are also a few letters to
Dr. Lawrence W. Scott, Raleigh, including one from Charles L. Pettigrew. A list of 50
slaves purchased for $14,275 from Miss Hinton by Williams & Haywood, Inc., is dated
November 1845. Additional items also relate to the purchase and sale of slaves. Letters, 5
and 19 November, are from W. H. Jones, Raleigh, to David W. Stone. There are also some
legal papers of the Powell and Fowler families of Wake County.
1846: Family letters in this year include a number about William Davie Haywood in
Greene County, Alabama, and a few from him. Letters, 1 April and 1 May, are from J. P.
Devereux to David W. Stone. Many business items concern the Alabama plantation of Williams
& Haywood, Inc. A letter, 29 August, from E. Burke Haywood to George W. Haywood
concerns his decision to "quit the study of Law and commence that of Physick." A
letter, 21 November, is from M. A. C. Gaines, Wake Forest, to George W. Haywood about
security on debts.
1847: The 100 items appearing in this year are almost entirely legal and business
papers. There is also a letter, 9 January, from Alfred Williams, Marengo County, Alabama,
to his brother John R. Williams, Raleigh, concerning their mutual affairs. A power of
attorney, 17 February, was granted by T. Loving, Wake County, to William R. Pool, also of
Wake County. Other legal papers relating to members of the Pool family occur in the 1840s.
Pool was an active Whig and a friend of George W. Haywood. The will of John Shaw of Wake
County is dated March 27, 1847. A letter, 3 May, is from John Steele Haywood to George W.
Haywood concerning their brother William Davie Haywood's aversion to the practice of
medicine and activities on the Alabama plantation. The will of Frances Waddell of Franklin
County is dated June 20, 1847.
1848: The 129 items for this year are as those papers previously described, legal
correspon-dence and papers of George W. Haywood, and plantation business items and
correspondence of Williams & Haywood, Inc.
1849: Papers for this year continue similar to those described above. There are also
typed copies of papers relating to the family and descendants of James Furse, who married
Herodias Redding in Savannah, Georgia, in 1766. A letter, 3 March, is from Nat. W.
Alexander, Charlotte, North Carolina, to George W. Haywood recommending leniency in a
criminal case against William Black. A letter, 4 April, is from Eliza E. Haywood to George
W. Haywood concerning their brother E. Burke Haywood's graduation from medical school at
the University of Pennsylvania. The will of William R. Pool of Wake County is dated May
18, 1849. A few legal papers of August and September relate to the Stith family of
Raleigh. A letter, 1 September, is from William S. Hadley, Chatham County, to the
directors of the Bank of Cape Fear at Raleigh about debts of the late Allen Goodwin of
Raleigh. A letter, 6 December, and bond, 10 December, are from Nathaniel J. Palmer to
Sarah Ann Stone, the widow of David W. Stone. A letter from Palmer to George W. Haywood is
dated October 6, 1850.
1850: Papers of this year continue as previously described. There also appears a
letter, 7 May, from Samuel F. Phillips, Chapel Hill, to George W. Haywood about litigation
between Henry Williams and a Mr. Page whose son married Williams's daughter. A legal
agreement, 14 August, is between Edward Yarborough of Raleigh and Alfred Williams.
Yarborough had married Hannah Haywood, widow of Dr. John Lee Haywood, and was proprietor
of Raleigh's Yarborough House. The will of Josiah Jones of Wake County is dated September
3, 1850. A letter, 27 September, is from H. Waddell, Hillsboro, to George W. Haywood about
a suit brought against him by the Bank of Cape Fear. Two letters of February 21, 1851, are
also from Waddell to Haywood.
1851: Papers of this year continue as previously described. There also is the will of
Elizabeth Fort of Wake County dated February 5, 1851. Scattered letters during the year
are from J. R. Whitaker, Wilmington, to George W. Haywood concerning debts. Two lengthy
letters, 30 August, are from John Steele Haywood, Greensboro, Alabama, to George W.
Haywood giving account of the state of their operations in Alabama, extent of
landholdings, slave lists, and present and future prospects. A letter, 8 December, is from
John W. Wilson, overseer, Linden, Alabama, to his employer Alfred Williams. Other John W.
Wilson letters and overseer's contracts are included occasionally during this decade. A
letter, 9 December, is from Samuel F. Phillips, Chapel Hill, to George W. Haywood about an
insolvent merchant, a Mr. Kirkland.
1852: Papers of this year continue as previously described. Letters, 1 February and 12
March, are from M. D. J. Slade, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to Alfred Williams. Slade was a
native North Carolinian. A letter, 1 November, is from Sidney Smith, Chapel Hill, to
George W. Haywood about mutual business.
1853: Papers of this year continue as previously described. A letter, 9 January, is
from John R. Williams, to his brother Alfred in Linden, Alabama, about the Williams's
business operations in Raleigh. A letter, 15 June, is from John T. Williams, Harris
County, Georgia, to his uncle Alfred on the death of his father. Scattered legal
correspondence is included from William Veitch, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to George W.
Haywood. A letter, 2 October, is from Charles Manly to Eliza E. Haywood. A letter, 9
November, is from John Goode, attorney of Boydton, Virginia, to George W. Haywood about
defending Hardaman Irby, accused of murdering a slave.
1854: Papers of this year continue as previously described. A letter, 30 May, is from
Thomas Ruffin (not the chief justice), Washington, D.C., to George W. Haywood on the
question of the legal insanity of his sister and the division of their father's estate. A
letter, 12 June, is from Merritt Dillard, Carroll County, Mississippi, to John Griffes,
near Raleigh, about his long life in Mississippi, his desire to return to North Carolina,
and his debts.
1855: Papers for this year continue as previously described. A letter, 10 September, is
from William A. Graham, Hillsboro, to George W. Haywood on legal business. A letter, 18
November, is from Alfred Moore Haywood to his brother George W. Haywood about his
1856: Papers for this year continue as previously described. A deed, 4 January, is from
a large tract of land purchased by Alfred Williams west of Raleigh. Letters begin 1 August
from Alfred Moore Haywood, Galveston, Texas, on his flight from justice, accused of
murdering a man named Smith. Haywood's letters to his brothers in Raleigh continue until
the close of this section of the papers in 1860. His letters also are present in the
papers during and after the Civil War.
1857: Papers for this year continue as previously described. Family letters include
those from Alfred Moore Haywood, Matamoros, Mexico, early in the year and from Lexington
and Independence, Missouri, Van Buren, Arkansas, and other locations on the frontier later
in the year. By December he was back in Matamoros. Sometimes he signed his name
"Jacob Shepperd." E. Burke Haywood's medical accounts with his patients,
including Sion H. Rogers, are included in November.
1858: Papers for this year continue as previously described. Letters from Alfred Moore
Haywood are written from Matamoros and other locations. A few items of Colonel Edward
Yarborough include some relating to the Yarborough House in Raleigh. A letter, 6 March, is
to Fanny Jones from an unidentified individual in Columbia, Tennessee, containing an
obituary of Colonel Edward Jones of Pittsboro, Chatham County, North Carolina, which gives
some biographical and genealogical information. A letter, 9 April, is from Charles Manly
to his cousin Eliza E. Haywood. A letter, 16 May, is from James T. Morehead, Greensboro,
North Carolina, to George W. Haywood about a debt of Jacob Hubbard.
1859: Papers for this year continue as previously described. Among a number of Alfred
Moore Haywood letters included is one written in January describing his two months stay in
Monterey, Mexico, and his return to Matamoros. A letter, 14 January, is from Alfred
Williams, Marengo County, Alabama, to his cousin Fabius Haywood giving a full account and
valuation of their jointly owned plantation and slaves. Williams desired to sell all of
his Alabama interests and devote his time to his Wake County, North Carolina, plantation
and law practice. Letters, 1 April and 9 May, are from William Cate, Jonesboro, Tennessee,
to Alfred Williams about business of the family of the late W. T. M. Outlaw
and the Hartmus family. Some correspondence relates to arrangements for the sale of Alfred
Moore Haywood's land in North Carolina to a Mr. L. Henry. Within a few months of the
arrangements Henry died and it is not clear whether the sale actually went through. A
letter, 2 December, is from John Steele Haywood to George W. Haywood on the death of their
brother William Davie Haywood of typhoid fever.
1860: Papers for this year continue to relate to business, legal, and plantation
matters as previously described. Letters from Alfred Moore Haywood in Mexico continue to
describe his activities, travels, and difficulties.
Undated papers for this period include extensive correspondence of George Washington
Haywood and Alfred Williams. These papers relate to many of the same business, family, and
legal matters detailed in the dated papers, including the Alabama plantations.
Series 6. Account Books and Other Volumes (1812-1967 and undated)
This series comprising 118 volumes was rearranged and renumbered in 1991. The former
number for each volume is included in parentheses at the end of each description.
Subseries 6.2. Plantation Journals and Accounts (1833-1881) This
subseries comprises ten volumes containing miscellaneous notes, journal entries, and
accounts for plantations. Two volumes specifically refer to Alabama plantations owned by
Alfred Williams and his cousin William Haywood. The other eight volumes do not identify
the plantations, but it is possible that they also relate to the Alabama properties. The
final two volumes in this subseries appear to be records of time worked by freedmen after
the Civil War and supplies that were given to them.
Volume 11, 1833-1837, Alabama farm, lists expenses for travel and goods (formerly
volume 18). Volume 12, 1835-1851 appears to be a record of labor and supplies for
individuals working on a plantation who were not slaves (formerly volume S-17). Volume 13,
1836-1881, includes records of Dr. William Haywood in account with A. Williams Co. for his
plantation in Alabama (formerly volume 19). Volumes 14-17, 1837, 1838, 1839, and
1840-1841, are plantation memorandum books, including lists of supplies purchased, lists
of supplies given to slaves, and a few daily journal entries (formerly volumes 21, 22, 23,
and 24). Volume 18, 1845-1854 is a plantation account book (formerly volume 27). Volume
19, December 1865-January 1867, lists supplies given to slaves or freedmen (formerly
volume 58). Volume 20, 1867-1871 includes accounts of time worked by freedmen and a list
of supplies given to them (formerly volume 60).
A list of omissions from the Ernest Haywood Papers is provided on Reel 20, frame 0689.
Omissions include: Series 1-2 and 4, Correspondence and Related Items, 1752-1829 and
Undated and 1861-1946 and Undated; Series 5. Clippings and Lottery Tickets, ca. 1802-1803
and ca. 1861-1947; Series 6. Account Books and Other Volumes--Subseries 6.1, Household and
Personal Accounts, 1812-1881, Subseries 6.3, Merchants' Account Books, 1834-1883,
Subseries 6.4, Legal Accounts, 1814-1815, Subseries 6.5, Medical Notebooks and Accounts,
1847-1883, Subseries 6.6, Hotel Guest Registers, 1860-1865, Subseries 6.7, Bank Books,
1842-1876, Subseries 6.8, Account Books for Labor, 1837-1856; Subseries 6.9, Recipe Books,
1862-1872, Subseries 6.10, School Notebooks, 1819-1890, Subseries 6.11, Lettercopy Books,
1889-1895, Subseries 6.12, Miscellaneous Writings, 1821-1967, and Subseries 6.13,
Memorandum Books, 1816-1893; and Series 7, Pictures, 1800-1930. Descriptions of omitted
materials are included in the introductory materials provided at the beginning of this
View UPA Catalog-Gopher entry
for this collection.