Moore, Blount, and Cowper Family Papers, 1834-1990.

Creator name: Moore, Blount, and Cowper family.
Collection name: 4617
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Abstract: The Moore, Blount, and Cowper families of North Carolina were active chiefly in Wake, Franklin, and Halifax counties. Moore family members included B.F. Moore, an anti-secessionist lawyer and North Carolina attorney general, 1848-1851; his daughter Lucy Catherine Moore Henry Capehart and sons Bartholomew Figures Moore, Van Boddie Moore, and James Moore; and his grandson Bartholomew Figures Moore, who was married to Olivia Blount Cowper Moore. Other Cowper family members included Olivia’s paternal grandparents, Pulaski Cowper and Mary Blount Grimes, and maternal great grandparents, Bryan Grimes and Lucy Olivia Blount. The collection consists of correspondence, legal papers, volumes, pictures, family history, and other materials documenting the Moore, Blount, and Cowper families, as well as the Boddie, Coapman, Gatling, Grimes, Keeble, Ruffin, and Williams families of North Carolina. Nineteenth-century correspondence includes family letters, some mother-to-daughter and father-to-daughter, that offer a glimpse into plantation life, including social news, child-rearing, child mortality, epidemic illness, death during childbirth, courtship, and news about slaves, in antebellum North Carolina. Other 19th-century letters support ending the Civil War and discuss business affairs, agriculture, medicine, slavery, and academics at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Of particular note are copies of letters exchanged by B.F. Moore and Governor W. W. Holden in 1866 that discuss an 1863 conversation they had with Governor Zebulon Vance regarding further prosecution of the war. Twentieth-century correspondence consists chiefly of a series of Olivia Blount Cowper Moore letters exchanged with a French soldier during World War I; letters from her friend with a children’s clothing enterprise during the 1930s; frequent social correspondence, including invitations and greeting cards (bulk 1960s); and sympathy letters. Other 20th-century correspondence concerns business affairs, the Episcopal Church, genealogy, and potential Communist indoctrination at North Carolina State University. Legal materials consist of bonds, deeds, indentures, and cadastral maps regarding land and slaves, chiefly in Wake County, N.C., and in Alabama. There is also an 1852 list of slaves, where they lived, and from whom they were bought; wills and related estate materials for many family members; and account books, scrapbooks, and other volumes that document estate settlements, family life, women’s social life and customs, the Civil War, World War I, arts and cultural entertainment, influenza, the Episcopal Church, and various other subjects. Pictures depict family members and others and are primarily black-and-white photographic prints, some card-mounted, but there also are daguerreotypes, tintypes, and other formats. Family history materials include genealogical correspondence, biographical materials, and a record of slave births, circa 1828-1847. Most slave materials relate to North Carolina, but there are also items about slavery in Alabama and Texas. Also included are family bibles, a history of the Boddie family, blueprints for several family houses, a small amount of financial material, miscellaneous writings by family members and others, a mid-19th-century recipe for a medicinal cure for ague and the fever, Civil War pardons, newspaper clippings and other printed material, and World War II ration coupons and inspection records.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Correspondence in Series 1 frequently discusses the enslaved as well as the Civil War. For example, Correspondence of the junior Bartholomew Figures Moore (1838-1890) includes an 1863 letter he wrote to his father, B.F. Moore (1801-1878), while serving in the Confederate Army, in which he discussed the purchase of slaves in Alabama and the issue of runaway slaves during the Civil War. In Series 2 (Legal Materials), there are deeds of sale for slaves, as well an 1852 list of slaves, where they lived and from whom they were bought. In Folder 106, there is a list of slave births, c. 1828 Р1848.  Image Folder  P-4617/21 contains a photograph of an African American woman with two African American men and an ox drawn cart in front of the home of Lucy Olivia Blount Grimes and Bryan Grimes (1793-1860) on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, N.C.