DeRosset family papers, 1671-1940 (bulk 1821-1877).
Creator: DeRosset family.
Collection number: 214
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Abstract: The DeRosset family descended from French Huguenot Armand John DeRosset, who immigrated to the American colonies in the 1730s and settled in Wilmington, N.C., where four generations of DeRossets worked as physicians and
merchants. Family members included Armand John DeRosset (1767-1859) and his wife Catherine Fullerton DeRosset (1773-1837) and children Moses John (1796-1826), Catherine Fullerton Kennedy (1800-1889), Eliza Ann (1802-1888), Magdalen Mary (1806-1850), and Mary Jane Curtis (1813-1903). Also included were Armand John DeRosset (1807-1897), his wife Eliza Jane Lord DeRosset (1812-1876), and their children, Katherine Douglas Meares (1830-1914) and Louis Henry (1840-1875) and Louis’s wife Marie Trapier Finley DeRosset (1844-1870) and daughter Gabrielle de Gondin Waddell (b. 1863). DeRosset family papers, chiefly 1821-1877, relating to family life and social, religious, political, and military activities of DeRossets in Wilmington and Hillsborough, N.C.; Columbia, S.C.; New York, N.Y.; and other locations. Included is correspondence of several generations of DeRosset women, documenting the education of children, family health, fashion, social events, religious opinions, and household problems. Other correspondence relates to mercantile partnerships in Wilmington and New York City; family members’ relocation to England because of interests in the Wilmington and Weldon Rail Road after the American Civil War; the family rice plantation in Brunswick County, N.C.; and slaves in North Carolina and South Carolina. Civil War era letters describe hardships on the homefront and shipping goods from Bermuda through the Union blockade of Wilmington. Included are some letters written by slaves. Some Reconstruction era letters discuss activities of former DeRosset slaves. Also included is correspondence with British author Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who was a family friend. Financial and legal materials include papers documenting land transactions; papers relating to slave sales and a volume listing births and deaths of DeRosset slaves, 1770-1854; wills and estate papers; and military commissions. Of special interest are a group of French documents, including a 1671 marriage contract and an 1817 deed of emancipation for a Charleston, S.C., slave. Other materials include records, 1801-1806, of the Nine-Penny Whist Club of Wilmington; a Civil War narrative describing running the Wilmington blockade; scattered diaries of DeRosset women; and materials relating to the history of Saint James Episcopal Church, Wilmington. The Addition of 2007 consists of Moses John DeRosset’s travel diary documenting a trip to western Europe in 1854; Moses John DeRosset’s autograph album containing autographs and quotes from schoolmates, 1855-1863; Adelaide S. Meares’s autograph album containing autographs and quotes from schoolmates at the Patapsco Female Institute in Maryland; diplomas and certificates, 1850s-1870s.
Repository: Southern Historical Collection
Collection Highlights: Correspondence includes letters, discussing the hiring out of slaves written to the De Rossets by their slaves in Wilmington, North Carolina (1861-1864) and activities of freed slaves (1865-1871). Financial materials include slave bills of sale; a deed of emancipation for a Charleston, South Carolina slave (1817); and a slave record listing births and deaths of De Rosset family slaves (1790-1854). The collection also includes four prints of charcoal drawings of African Americans by H. P. Kimball.