Miscellaneous papers, 18th-20th centuries.

Creator: Miscellaneous papers.
Collection number: 517
View finding aid.

Abstract: Single or small groupings of items arranged in units by provenance. Included are tax forms, records of accounts, slave lists and bills of sale, land patents, schedules of debt, wills, marriage licenses, naturalization papers, invitations, proclamations, commissions, sermons, speeches, and reminiscences, predominantly from North Carolina, Virginia, and other southern states. There is little correspondence. Some units are cataloged separately.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Some of the materials in this collection have been digitized and are available online. Click here to link to the finding aid for this collection and access the digital items.

Folder 1 (Unit 1) contains a message of the General Assembly of North Carolina to Governor Arthur Dobbs (1689-1765), concerning the disposition of an African-American man in jail under sentence of death in Wilmington, N.C

Folder 9 (Unit 9) contains a letter (c. 1816 or a little later) written by Robert Ratcliffe, Clerk of Court, Fairfax County, Va., listing the value of slaves and other property from the estate of Ann Fox.

Folder 14 (Unit 14) contains two documents relating to slaves and slave trading. One, 2 May 1831, is between William Townes, Mecklenburg County, Va., and Alfred Townes, Hopkins County, Ky., regarding Alfred’s dealings in the slave market. The other, 20 September 1831, is among William, Alfred, and Joseph H. Townes, establishing a partnership concerning the buying and selling of slaves.

Folder 21 (Unit 21) contains a Deposition (22 May 1855), of William H. Adams and Eliza Jane Adams of Lyons, Wayne County, N.Y., that they believe Alfred Moby (or Woby), an African American, to be “feeble minded”.

Folder 61 (Unit 61) consists of three letters (6 December 1869, 25 April 1871, and undated )from Zacharias W. Haynes of Raleigh, N.C., to his parents in Yadkin County, N.C., and one letter, 19 March 1868, from Haynes’s father John to his son. Zacharias W. Haynes was a teacher at the North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind, apparently in charge of the Colored Department of the school for 20 years. In the 1874 letter, Haynes briefly described conditions at the school; in the 1869 letter, he mentioned that the state owed him $80.00, which he could not hope to collect before the next year since the treasury had “gone dry”. Other letters deal chiefly with family matters.

Folder 62 (Unit 62) consists of a volume of information on Greer Cemetery in Durham, N.C.  compiled by R. Kelly Bryant. The purpose of the volume was to raise support for a project aimed at ensuring maintenance of the cemetery and reseaching its history. Geer Cemetery was a principal burial ground for the city’s African-American population from the 1870s through the 1930s. It apparently had ties to the White Rock Baptist Church.

Folder 67 (Unit 67) contains a volume of Samuel J. Brim, a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives from Surry County in 1901. The volume contains notes for Brim’s political speeches, most of which concern the possibility that African-Americans might gain control of the government through their right to vote.

Folder 68 (Unit 68) Photocopy of the diary kept by Richard N.L. (Pete) Andrews in 1963 while he worked on Aaron Henry’s Mississippi gubernatorial campaign. (Aaron Henry was an African American civil rights activist, politician, and head of Mississippi’s NAACP chapters). The diary records activities of Andrews, a student at Yale at the time, and others as they staged a “mock voter registration” aimed at assessing how many people would vote in the election if they were not blocked from doing so by the state’s restrictive voter registration practices. Students from Yale were recruited and led by Allard Lowenstein.

Folder 84 (Unit 84) contains from five notes from 1851-1855 relating to James and Thomas Graham’s purchases of farm machinery, land, guano, and a slave.

Folder 92 (Unit 92) contains a slave bill of sale from Orange County, N.C. (1824).

Folders 95a and 95b (Unit 95) includes a few bills of sales for slaves in Nash County, N.C.

Folder 96 (Unit 96) contain relating to slaves in antebellum North Carolina and Tennessee. Included are the John McClatchy vs. Carter Markam judgement from Buncombe County, N.C., 22 October 1807, with an attached warrant, 4 September 1809; a deed relating to Richard Burkes, Warren County, Tenn., June 1813; bills of sale for slaves, Richard Burkes, seller, Warren County, Tenn., 19 September 1813, 23 July 1833, and 31 August 1833; and an account for smith work from R.P. Burkes, 1839

Folders 101a and 101b (Unit 101) also have documentation related to enslaved individuals in North Carolina. Includes a report of the division of slaves belonging to the estate of Thomas Mashborne, 10 December 1846; a settlement of account of James M. Mashborne with his guardian Gardner Shepard with amounts of slave hire and sales, 1847; a bill of sale for slaves of George W. Mashborne, Owen Jarratt, seller, 3 June 1850; and a bill of sale for a slave named Dave belonging to Gardner Shepard, guardian to James Mashborne, 1855. There are also other slave documents, including an inventory of the estate of William Mills with a list of slaves and other property, November 1772; a reward notice for apprehension and return of slave named Nancy Elliot, about twelve years old, 23 August 1848; an audit of the accounts of William Herring, guardian of Charity Carter, 18 January 1851; and bill of sale for slaves to F.D. Thomas, 26 April 1858.

Folder 103 (Unit 103) contains two slave bills of sale. One bill of sale, 12 February 1816, is from Bertie County, N.C., for Jeffery, a male slave about 30 years old, for the sum of $450. The other bill of sale, 26 November 1860, is from Orange County, N.C., for Caroline, a female slave about 20 years old, and Lewis, a male slave, about two years old, for the sum of $1001.

Folder 104 (Unit 104) is a 1954 undergraduate thesis by Ana Pliscz entitled “Marcus Garvey and the Negro in the United States”.