Mary Hunter Kennedy papers, 1759-1955.

Creator: Kennedy, Mary Hunter.
Collection number: 3242
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Abstract: Correspondence; legal and financial papers; genealogical material; student notebooks, account books, and other volumes; pictures; and other papers of members of the Houston, Young, Dalton, and Kennedy families of Iredell County, N.C., and other locations in the South. Most of the papers are family letters exchanged among members of this large family, as they spread out from Iredell County seeking more profitable lands to the south and west.The letters provide vivid pictures of frontier life in Tennessee and Missouri, including reports of weather, health, crops, religion, education, slavery, and, especially, the daily lives and work of women. Letters of Christopher Houston (1744-1837) from Maury County, Tenn., about 1814-1837, contain discussions of his Presbyterian faith and anti-slavery convictions; papers dated after his death relate to attempts to challenge and settle his will, through which he had manumitted his slaves. Also included are documents relating to property; items relating to the postmastership in Iredell County, which was held by family members for nearly a century; and scattered papers relating to the North Carolina tobacco trade form the 1840s through the 1880s.There are also Civil War era letters written by soldiers, who told of military life, and civilians, who wrote about local conditions in various southern states. The extensive genealogical materials were chiefly collected by Mary Cecelia Houston Dalton (1814-1901) and her granddaughter Mary Hunter Kennedy. Volumes include school notebooks and account books relating to the tobacco industry and to general merchandising, as well as to estates and domestic expenses.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Letters discuss domestic matters and plantation management, such as buying and supervising slaves (Correspondence in Sub Series 2.1: 1824-1834; see also Folders 12 and 13 in Series 1); the prices of slaves (1835-1860); and problems with former slaves and Reconstruction policies (1866-1879). The collection also contains contracts for the sale of slaves (1812; See Folder 3) and for the hire of slaves (1835-1860) and freedmen (1866-1870; see subseries 2.2.1: Legal Items).