Creator: Philips, James Jones, 1798-1874.
Collection number: 972
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Abstract: James Jones Philips was a physican and scientific farmer of Edgecombe County, N.C., and his cousin Ethelred Philips (1801-1870) was a physician and farmer of Mariana, Fla. The collection is chiefly letters from Ethelred Philips to James J. Philips. Many of them contain instructions to James in his capacity as the manager of Ethelred’s business affairs in North Carolina. Letters often include information on crop yields, prices, and other aspects of the agricultural economy. Ethelred commented on a variety of subjects, including succession and his sympathy for the Union, the Confederate government, censorship, the problems of democracy, and post-war problems. He also discussed religion, philosophy, and the need for church reform and modernization; health care, including reports of various epidemics, his own ill health, and the medicial benefits of brandy, which he apparently liberally prescribed for himself; and relationships with slaves and freedmen. There are also a few letters to and from James J. Philips, Jr. (d. 1865) and other family members. Also included are accounts of James J. Philips; a physician’s record book, 1832-1835; and an 1871 book of accounts with laborers. There is also an account book containing estate records, 1849-1858; accounts with Ethelred Philips, 1856- 1869; and accounts with slaves and freedmen, 1859-1860 and 1867-1870.
Repository: Southern Historical Collection
Collection Highlights: Letters in Folders 1-3 contain discussion about relationships with slaves and free blacks. The collection includes accounts with slaves and free blacks (1859-1860, 1867-1870). The medical accounts in Volume 1 in folder 4 might have included enslaved individuals. Volumes 2 and 3 in Folders 5 and 6 include account books with free people of color.