Creator: Elliott and Gonzales family.
Collection number: 1009
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Abstract: Prominent members of the Elliott and Gonzales families of Beaufort and Colleton districts, S.C., included William Elliott (1788-1863), planter, state legislator, and writer; Phoebe Waight Elliott (d. 1855); Ann Elliott Johnstone (1824-1900); Ralph Emms Elliott (1834-1902); Harriett Rutledge Elliott (1838-1869); Ambrosio Jos? Gonzales (b. 1818); Ambrose Elliott Gonzales (1857-1926); Narciso Gener Gonzales (1858-1903); and William Elliott Gonzales (1866-1937). The Elliotts owned cotton and rice plantations, houses in Beaufort and Adams Run, S.C., as well as a summer home in Flat Rock, N.C. Ambrose Elliott Gonzales, Narciso Gener Gonzales, and William Elliott Gonzales founded “The State,” a newspaper published in Columbia, S.C. The collection is chiefly correspondence, but also financial and legal papers, account books, maps and plats, a few writings of William Elliott and others, and a small amount of other material. The bulk of the material before the Civil War is correspondence of William Elliott Gonzales about South Carolina politics; sectional differences; his travels to Saratoga Springs and other health resorts, the northern states, and Europe; plantation management; rice and cotton crops; slaves; the education of children; summer at Flat Rock, N.C.; and various family matters. Only a few letters document William Elliott’s career as a writer; four are from William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870). Correspondence during the Civi War years discusses the lives of civilians and soldiers in South Carolina and in western North Carolina. Post-Civil War correspondence reveals the Elliott’s financial difficulties, their struggles to educate the Gonzales children, and their efforts to rebuild their plantations. It also documents the education and early professional lives of Ambrose and Narciso Gonzales. There are a few letters about the early years of their newspaper, “The State.”
Repository: Southern Historical Collection
Collection Highlights: Correspondence covers various topics, including a slave rebellion (22 July 1822); buying and selling of slaves (8 February 1827); ; attitudes of Northerners and Southerners toward slavery and slaveholders (25 January 1847 and 15 April 1847, ? April 1847); the refusal of slaves to work, concern that slaves would run away to the Union Army, and efforts to recapture runaway slaves (1861); and a comparison of the black and white work ethic (9 March 1867). See Folders 8, 12-13, 32-33, 63-65, and 84-89).
A letter from Ann Elliott to her mother, Ann R. Smith, dated 12 October 1829, advised her mother that the crop at Social Hall plantation would probably not be a good one and that her mother should make only necessary expenditures, hire out some slaves, or cut wood to sell.
Letters from Letters from Ben (11 November 1848) and Isaac (22 October 1849) to William Elliott appear to indicate that they were slaves who were drivers on Elliott’s plantations (See Folders 34-37).
Financial and legal papers contain slave bills of sale and slave lists from 1855 and 1863 (See Folder 275). The collection also includes a memorandum book listing names, probably of slaves in 1857 (Folder 283); a plantation journal listing slaves bought with the plantation between 1840 and 1851 (Folder 301).