Macay and McNeely family papers, 1746-1918.

Creator: Macay and McNeely family.
Collection number: 447
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Abstract: Prominent members of the Macay and McNeely families of Rowan County, N.C., included Spruce Macay (1755-1808), lawyer and judge; and his sons, Alfred (d. 1827) and William Spruce Macay (d. ca. 1861). Also represented is Robert W. McNeely, son of William Spruce Macay’s widow, Mildred Ann (Hunt) Macay, and her second husband, William G. McNeely. The materials up to 1820 consist chiefly of legal papers, with a few items of correspondence, of Spruce Macay, his second wife, Elizabeth (Haynes) Macay, and several of his children, especially his son, Alfred. The papers for 1827-1856 deal chiefly with William Spruce Macay, including correspondence, legal documents, and financial papers, and papers concerning his brother Alfred’s estate. The correspondence relates primarily to family affairs. The 1861-1877 material relates to the Macay, McNeely, and Hunt families, and includes a few letters from Meshack F. Hunt, 1st lieutenant in the 5th Infantry, North Carolina State Troops; a muster roll of Co. G., 54th Regiment, North Carolina State Troops; and other miscellaneous items relating to the Confederate Army. The 1880-1918 items are papers of the McNeely family, in particular concerning their efforts, in 1891-1892, to claim a large area of land on Manhattan Island, New York City, through their relationship to the Edwards family. In addition, there is material concerning the naval service of Robert W. McNeely, including letters describing his trips to the Azores, the British Isles, the Caribbean, Greece, the Mediterranean, Palestine, and Turkey, and letters from Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Robert married Marie Calhoun Butler, who travelled with him to his posts in the Orient and wrote back of her experiences there, 1902-1908. Volumes include a lawyer’s fee book, 1759-1774; plantation, merchants’ and household accounts; and slave records, 1791-1872.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Materials include papers relating to Spruce Macay’s purchases of slaves from 1786-1800 (Folders 1-2); a deed of gift for slaves and a distribution of slaves according to Spruce Macay’s will from 1809-1825 (Folder 3); slave bills of sale between 1827-1856 and 1863 (Folders 3-6); slave lists from 1791-1807, 1811, 1842, and 1856, as well as some undated (Folders 1-7); and slave accounts between1834-1846 (See Volumes 2, 3, and 5 in Folders 17, 18, and 20).