Creator: Gillespie and Wright family.
Collection number: 275
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Abstract: Members of the Gillespie and Wright family, included James Gillespie (1747?-1805), planter, North Carolina state legislator, 1779-1786, and U.S. congressman, 1793-1799 and 1803-1805. Gillespie was married to Dorcas Mumford Gillespie (1750-1801). Their daughter, Jane (1785-1858), married planter Isaac Wright (1780-1865). The Gillespie and Wright families owned thousands of acres of land and significant numbers of slaves in the lower Cape Fear region of North Carolina, especially in Duplin County. The collection is chiefly legal and financial papers, 1735-1845, of Gillespie and Wright family members, including land records, deeds, plats, and surveyor’s notes; tax records; slave bills of sale and other tiems relating to slaves and slavery; accounts, bills, and receipts; papers relating to business dealings with various Duplin County tenants of Isaac Wright; wills and property inventories; and documents relating to the settlement of the estate of James Moorhead (d. 1808?), for which Isaac Wright and Hinton James (1776-1847) acted as executors. There are also some personal papers, mostly 1790-1830, of family members. In addition, there are two acrostics by black poet Geroge Moses Horton (ca. 1797-ca. 1883); a handwritten version of Jeb Stuart’s “Ode to his Favorite War Horse ‘Maryland'”; and a 1990 Gillespie family tree and short family history. The papers contain few references to political and national events; they are chiefly concerned with business and family matters.
Repository: Southern Historical Collection
Collection Highlights:The collection contains slave bills of sale and other slave papers from 1735-1861 (Folders 1-7) and tax-related slave documents from 1801-1845 (Folder 4-7).
There are papers relating to a court case involving two slaves accused of stealing a pig in 1825 and a note giving the average value of slaves in Cumberland and Sampson counties, North Carolina in 1861 (See Folder 9, entitled “Slave Documents, 1802-1861, and undated”).
Other items include two undated acrostics by well known enslaved poet George Moses Horton (See Folder 17).