Burwell family papers, 1745-1997.

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Creator: Burwell family.
Collection number: 112
View finding aid.

Abstract: Members of the Burwell family lived in Warren, Vance, and Granville counties, N.C., and Mecklenburg County, Va., and members of the Williams family lived in Warren County, N.C. Prominent Burwell family members were Armistead (d. 1819), Lewis (fl.1792-1848), and Spotswood (1785-1855), all tobacco and cotton farmers in Mecklenburg County, Va.; Spotwood’s children, William Armistead (1809-1887), tobacco and cotton farmer of North Carolina, Lewis D.(1813-1874), Blair (1815-1848), Armistead Ravenscroft (1820-1867), George Washington (1823-1873), Robert Randolph (1829-1892), and Mary Anne Spotswood (1825-1874), who married Dr. Otis Frederick Manson; andWilliam Armistead’s son William Henry (1835-1917), also a tobacco and cotton farmer in North Carolina and Virginia. The collection includes personal, business, financial, and legal papers of the Burwell family, including items concerning growing and selling tobacco, cotton, and other crops; slave purchases, sales, and births; runaway slaves; plantation management by Lucy Crawley Burwell in the 1820s; gold-mining in Burke County, N.C.; horsebreeding; civilian conditions during the Civil War and William Henry Burwell’s purchase of a substitute to take his place in the Confederate army; taxes, farm, and household expenses; William Armistead Burwell’s tenure as chair of the Board of Superintendents of the Common Schools of Vance County, N.C.; estate settlements; the genealogy of the Burwell family; and records relating to the Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church and to a black school in Vance County, N.C., in the 1880s. Also included is an album of photographs taken and developed by Fannie Brodie Burwell, a young woman in Wilson, N.C., before her marriage in 1907. Papers of the Williams family include letters regarding the establishment of local academies in North Carolina and letters from students at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C., in the 1810s and 1830s. There are also two letters from Patrick Henry (1736-1799) about selling beef and slaves.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Included are letters which concern slave sales (1736-1799, 1832-1835); the hiring of slaves (1820-1835); the division of slaves according to an estate settlement (1850s); records of slaves hired and purchased (1830-1845, 1845-1860); letters of agreement between free blacks and William Henry Burwell of Virginia (1866-1873); account books and farm journals that record the birth dates of slaves and horses belonging to the Burwell family and slave purchases and sales (1805-1860); lists of both black and white members of the Tabernacle Society of the Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church in North Carolina (1832-1850); and a school register for a black school in Vance County, North Carolina (1881- 1887).

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