Home > 19th Century, Free People of Color, Labor, North Carolina, Sharecropping, Slavery > Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams papers, 1827-1979.

Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams papers, 1827-1979.

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Creator: Williams, Lucy Tunstall Alston, 1869-1940.
Collection number: 4351
View finding aid.

Abstract: Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams was the daughter of Jane Elizabeth Crichton (1840-1891) and Philip Guston Alston (1839-1924), a farmer and Confederate Army captain, of Warren County, N.C. She married Archibald Davis Williams, a planter in Franklin County, N.C. The collection includes personal and business correspondence of the Alston, Williams, Crichton, and Tunstall families of Warren and Franklin counties, N.C. The bulk of the collection consists of personal correspondence. Prior to the Civil War, family correspondence of the Alston and Williams families described economic conditions, family activities, slavery, and business and agricultural concerns. During the Civil War, while serving in the Confederate Army, Philip Guston Alston wrote letters about his business affairs. There are also descriptions of military service, imprisonment, and the progress of the war by several other people. From 1870 to 1890, letters detail Philip Guston Alston’s unsuccessful attempts at farming in Warren County, N.C., and the daily lives and concerns of his family members. There are also letters from his sons, describing their work and daily lives in western North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and Turkey, including descriptions of the tobacco market in Turkey. After 1900, Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams received letters from Philip Guston Alston in South Carolina, and from her daughters regarding family matters and their teaching careers. Miscellaneous items include leaflets, church bulletins, concert programs, poetry, cards, and invitations, school records, genealogical records, wills, pamphlets, and autorgraph albums.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Civil War era documents mention Phillip Tunston Alston’s agricultural experience with the slave labor he inherited from his father.

Folder 9 contains an agreement of labor, dated 1 January 1869, made out in the name of Philip Guston Alston but left blank. One of the provisions of the form requiring the landowner-employer to “encourage the establishment of schools” for the children of his employees was stricken out.

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