George W. Mordecai papers, 1767-1916 (bulk 1840-1870).

Creator: Mordecai, George W., 1801-1871.
Collection number: 522
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Abstract: George W. Mordecai was a lawyer, bank president, railroad president, businessman, and Episcopal layman, of Raleigh, N.C. He was the son of Jacob Mordecai (1762-1838), a leader of the Jewish communities of Warrenton, N.C., and Richmond, Va. Some family members remained Jewish, while other, either through marriage or choice, became Christians. The collection consists of personal, legal, and business correspondence and financial papers, chiefly 1840-1870, of George W. Mordecai and, to a lesser extent, of Margaret B. Cameron Mordecai. The business papers relate primarily to George’s law practice, business ventures, the Bank of the State of North Carolina, the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, the North Carolina Railroad, the American Colonization Society, and the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. The personal papers reflect, among other subjects, conditions at the military and home fronts, especially in Richmond, Va., during the Civil War, the mental illness of some family members, and George’s administration of various family estates. Persons represented in the collection include Mordecai, Lazarus, and Devereux family members, especially George’s sisters Ellen and Emma, his brother Samuel, and his nieces, Ellen Mordecai Mordecai, Margaret Mordecai Devereux, Ellen Lazarus Allen Shutt, and nephew, Marx E. Lazarus. Other correspondents include Duncan Cameron, Paul C. Cameron, and various members of the Cameron family, and Thomas P. Devereux. Volumes consist of a travel diary, account books and estate settlements, plantation accounts for Durham County, N.C., plantations, and bank books. The correspondence and other papers of Margaret B. Cameron Mordecai, chiefly 1872-1886, deal primarily with Cameron and Mordecai family affairs.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: . Correspondence discusses the death of a slave under the employ of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, and the resulting lawsuit (Folders 1-3)  the American Colonization Society in 1840 (Folder 4); runaway slaves and the need to purchase a slave who was to be sent South and was the spouse of an enslaved woman belonging to the Mordecais in 1853 (Folders 72-73). Financial papers include slave bills of sale; an account book with records relating to enslaved individuals (Folder 290, ); and a memorandum on slaves (Folder 292).