George Phifer Erwin papers, 1779-1931.

Creator: Erwin, George Phifer, 1840-1911.
Collection number: 246
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Abstract: George Phifer Erwin, son of Edward Jones (1806-1871) and Elizabeth Ann Phifer Erwin (1814-1890) of Morganton, N.C., was a Confederate officer, accountant, and bank president of Burke County, N.C. Family letters; promissory notes; bills and receipts; deeds for land and slaves; wills; and business, legal, and estate papers of George Phifer Erwin and other members of the Erwin and Avery families of Burke County. Family correspondence consists of several letters to Erwin’s father-in-law William Waightstill Avery (1816-1864), including a few from Isaac Thomas Avery, William’s father, concerning the use of slave labor in North Carolina and California gold mines, 1852.There are also letters in the 1850s to Erwin while a student at Davidson College from his parents and other relatives and friends with family, lcoal, and political news, 1857-1861.There are also Civil War letters of Erwin describing his experiences as a Confederate staff officer in Virginia and North Carolina, 1861-1863, and in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, 1863-1865, particularly at the battles of Gettysburg and Chattanooga. Later items include records of relatives’ estates, including that of Erwin’s mother.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: The collection includes slave deeds of sale (1779-1856); correspondence referring to the health of slaves in Burke County and concerns over slaves mining gold in California (1852); and letters discussing a possible slave rebellion (1857-1861).