David Gillespie Papers, 1797-1799, 1825

Creator: Gillespie, David, 1774-1829.
Collection number: 5483-z
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Abstract: David Gillespie was born in Duplin County, N.C., on 5 April 1774. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1795, after which he accepted the position of assistant surveyor with Andrew Ellicott, secretary of the commission to mark the western boundary of the United States. This work was done primarily in the Natchez, Miss., region. Gillespie was a major during the War of 1812 and also served in the North Carolina legislature. Gillespie died in 1829 in Bladen County, N.C. The collection includes four letters sent by David Gillespie to his parents, one in 1797 to his father and the rest addressed to his mother, 1797-1799. Topics include Gillespie’s dissatisfaction with Andrew Ellicott, family matters, his expected return home. The letter to Gillespie’s father describes political events occurring during the transfer of sovereignty of the Natchez region from Spain to the United States in which Andrew Ellicott, Colonel Anthony Hutchins, and a British general stationed in Natchez were involved. Also included is a 1797 legal document headed “Government of Natchez, Villa Gayoso District.” The document is missing its bottom half, but seems to relate to events in New Orleans, La., and Natchez, possibly during the American Revolutionary War, involving Captain James Willing and wealthy merchant, trader, and financier Oliver Pollock. There is also an 1825 evaluation of David Gillespie’s slaves apparently done by his son, Joseph Mumford Gillespie.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Folder 3 contains a Slave Evaluation done in 1825 of David Gillespie’s enslaved population, apparently done by his son Joseph Mumford Gillespie.