Creator: Little, Benjamin Franklin, 1830-1879.
Collection number: 3954
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Abstract: Benjamin Franklin Little was a planter of Carlisle plantation, Richmond County, N.C.; Confederate Army officer with the 52nd North Carolina Infantry Regiment; state legislator, 1864-1865; dry goods merchant; and delegate to the 1876 National Democratic Convention in Saint Louis, Mo. In 1856, he married first Mary Jane Reid of Iredell County, N.C., daughter of Rufus Reid. Correspondence, financial and legal materials, writings, volumes, photographs, and other papers. Many letters were written by Benjamin Franklin Little to Mary Jane Reid Little as one or the other traveled on business or family visits, 1857-1860, and after 1865. Civil War letters, 1862-1864, were written by Benjamin Franklin Little from Camp Mangum near Raleigh, N.C., and from the North Carolina and Virginia-Pennsylvania theaters. They include accounts of battles, his feelings about the war, his daily activities, conditions in camp, and other information. Little frequently mentioned Wiley, the slave who accompanied him throughout the war, and sent instructions to Henry, the slave who managed Carlisle in Little’s absence. After Gettysburg, there are letters Benjamin Franklin Little’s army associates and from L. M. Oakley, Little’s Union surgeon who appears to have amputated Little’s arm in 1863, as well as from Little himself in hospitals and prisons in Maryland and Pennsylvania. In 1864 and 1865, there are a few letters relating to Little’s service in the North Carolina state legislature, and, in 1876, letters from Little serving as a delegate to the Democratic Convention in Saint Louis, Mo. Beginning in 1877, there are a number of letters to Rufus Little, a student at Davidson College, Mecklenburg County, N.C.; most post-1879 letters are to Rufus Little about his horse breeding and racing interests. Financial and legal materials, 1833-1878, chiefly relate to Benjamin Franklin Little and his father, Thomas Little. They include a deed, 1833, conveying slaves; valuation and division of slaves to settle an estate, 1853; agreements, 1871, relating to Little’s dry goods business; an undated contract with “freedmen and women” tenant farmers and set of plantation rules and regulations; and other items. Writings include speeches by Little, chiefly at educational institutions, and notes for poems and other writings. Volumes include a school notebook of Thomas Little with a short journal of his 1806 voyage as an immigrant
Repository: Southern Historical Collection
Collection Highlights: Civil War letters frequently mention the slave “Wiley,” who accompanied Little throughout the War, and outline instructions to the slave “Henry,” who managed Carlisle in Little’s absence (1862-1864). See particularly Folders 3-8.
The collection also includes a deed conveying slaves from one owner to another (1832); a valuation and division of slaves among the heirs of Thomas Little (1853); a cotton book with entries of slave lists and the amount of cotton picked (1853-1855); a list of slave birth dates (1850-1864); and an account book listing clothing allotted to slaves (1861- 1862).
Financial materials in Folder 17 contains documents entitled “Classification of Negroes,” undated; an undated contract with “freedmen and women” tenant farmers and set of “Plantation Rules and Regulations”; and other items.