Hairston and Wilson family papers, 1800-1906.

Creator: Hairston and Wilson family.
Collection number: 3149
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Abstract: The family of George Hairston (1750-1827) of Beaver Creek Plantation, near Martinsville, Henry County, Va., and Elizabeth Perkins Letcher (d. 1818) included their children Harden (1786-1862); John Adams (b. 1799), who married and moved to Yalabusha County, Miss.; and Marshall (1802- 1882), who married his cousin, Ann Hairston. Marshall and Ann lived at Beaver Creek with their four children: John A., who was killed at Williamsburg, Va., in 1862; Elizabeth (“Bettie”) Perkins, who married J. T. W. Hairston, son of Harden and Sallie (Staples) Hairston; Marshall, who never married; and Ruth Stoval, who married Robert Wilson of Danville, Va. The collection includes letters to Elizabeth (“Bettie”) Perkins (Hairston) Hairston from her mother, who wrote chiefly from Beaver Creek, the family plantation, 1850s-1890s; her sister, Ruth Stoval (Hairston) Wilson, who wrote from Danville, Va.; her brother, John A. Hairston, who wrote from school in Staunton, Va., 1855-1857; and her cousin, Jeb Stuart (1833- 1875), who wrote from West Point, 1853-1854, and while fighting against the Comanches in Texas, 1855. During the Civil War, Bettie lived with relatives in Yalabusha County, Miss., where she received letters from her family about life on the home front. There are also letters to Bettie, written after her marriage in 1873, from her husband, J. T. W. Hairston in Lowndes County, Miss., where he was trying to run a cotton plantation without slave labor. Other significant family correspondence documents the westward movement of various Hairston family members and includes some papers of George Hairston of Halifax County, Va., ca. 1800-1820. In addition to correspondence, several account books document family life, including the involvement of family members in at least two stores in Henry County and Danville, Va., 1800-1829. A household account book, 1831-1869, gives detailed information about weaving, livestock raising, gardening, and other household production. There are also other financial and legal materials, including scattered bills, receipts, depositions, slave lists and other slave records, and labor contracts with freedmen.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Subseries 2.1 includes slave lists and labor contracts with freedmen in the Danville, Virginia area between 1865 and 1871 (Folders 30-33).

Volume S-6 also contains information about enslaved individuals on two Virginia plantations between 1831 and 1869, including work performed, birth records, and the distribution of clothing.