Foscue family papers, 1753-1869.

Creator: Foscue family.
Collection number: 4643
View finding aid.

Abstract: Foscue family members include Simon Foscue (d. ca. 1814), planter of Trent Bridge, later Pollocksville, Jones County, N.C.; his son, Simon Foscue (1780-1830), who served as executor of his father’s estate and guardian of his brothers and sisters; his grandson, John Edward Foscue (1809-1849), executor of his father’s estate; and John’s wife, Caroline Foy Foscue, who handled the family’s finances after John’s death. Correspondence, financial and legal materials, and other items. Materials 1753-1815 are chiefly indentures, plats, and other property- related documents, many documenting disputes of Foscue family members among themselves or with neighbors and others detailing the handling of estates. Other materials relate to plantation finances and the hiring out of slaves. Scattered throughout are family letters, including one in 1814 from Lewis Foscue giving some details of the Battle of New Orleans. Materials 1815-1830 are chiefly financial and legal documents relating to son Simon Foscue’s handling of his father’s estate; materials 1831-1853 chiefly relate to Simon’s son John’s handling of his father’s estate and John’s own finances, which included the buying, selling, and hiring out of slaves. In 1841 and 1842, there are several receipts for jail and apprehension fees paid to Sheriff John Dawson for the capture of runaway Foscue slaves. Beginning around 1853, materials document the activities of John’s wife Caroline Foy Foscue as head of the plantation. During the Civil War, Caroline apparently left with her slaves for the interior where letters reached her from friends and relatives on the home front and from her son, serving with Confederate forces in Virginia, who wrote about military life. Several letters relate to finding a substitute for this son, who appears to have been too weak to serve. Also included is a fragment of an account, dated 1866, of the murder of most members of the Reaves Foscue family by black robbers.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Legal documents contain a listing of slaves (1803); records of the buying, selling, and hiring-out of slaves (1831-1853); and several receipts for jail and apprehension fees paid to the sheriff for the capture of runaway slaves (1841 – 1842). Correspondence includes a letter concerning the hiring of a pregnant slave (1860); the flight of the Foscue family and slaves deeper South during the Civil War (1862); and a fragment of an account of the murder of the Keaves Foscue family by black robbers (1866).