Lewis Thompson papers, 1723-1895.

Creator: Thompson, Lewis, 1808-1867.
Collection number: 716
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Abstract: Lewis Thompson was the owner of plantations near Woodville (also called Hotel), Bertie County, N.C., and at Bayou Boeuf, near Alexandria, Rapides Parish, La. Thompson was also a political leader in North Carolina, serving in the House of Commons and State Senate, 1831-1852, and as a member of the General Convention of 1865. He was a UNC trustee from 1848 until his death. The collection includes business papers, ca. 1840-1871, of Lewis Thompson, consisting chiefly of correspondence, accounts, bills, receipts, slave lists, sharecropping contracts, and other documents relating to the production of cotton and wheat in Bertie County, N.C.; to sugar in Rapides Parish, La.; and to the sale of crops through factors in New York, Norfolk, New Orleans, and Baltimore. There is also a considerable amount of correspondence relating to Lewis Thompson’s role as executor of many estates, particularly that of his father-in-law, William M. Clark, and to Thompson’s investments with brokers in New York. Papers before 1840 consist chiefly of land grants, deeds, and estate papers of Thompson’s Pugh, Williams, Clark, Thompson, and Urquhart relations. There is also a group of papers relating to land controlled by the Tuscarora Indians. Few papers relate to Thompson’s political career or to his involvement in UNC. Papers after Thompson’s death in 1867 relate chiefly to the activities of his son, Thomas W. Thompson, who took over his father’s North Carolina business affairs. The plantations in Louisiana had been run by Thomas’s brother William for many years before their father’s death.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Included are slave lists from 1792, 1830, and 1850 (Folders 1, 5, and 15); records of slave purchases and sales  in 1812, 1820, 1859, and 1860 (Folders 3, 45, and 47); a letter written on behalf of a slave in Orange County, North Carolina, to a slave who had apparently been purchased by Lewis Thompson in March 1860 (Folder 48).

Also included are several sharecropping agreements between freedmen and Thomas W. Thompson in June 1865 (Folder 59 ); a letter from William Thompson about taking some of his black workers to register to vote on 2 June 1867 (Folder 68); and a record book registering accounts with black sharecroppers (Folder 98).