Polk, Brown, and Ewell family papers, 1803-1896.

Creator: Polk, Brown, and Ewell family papers, 1803-1896.
Collection number: 605
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Abstract: Polk family members included William Polk (1758-1834) and his son Lucius Junius Polk (1802-1870) of North Carolina and Tennessee; and the related Campbell, Brown, and Ewell families of Tennessee. The collection includes financial papers and correspondence of the Polk family of North Carolina and Tennessee; family correspondence of the Campbell family of Tennessee; and military, financial, business, and family papers of the Brown and Ewell families of Tennessee. Polk family papers include correspondence between William Polk of Raleigh, N.C., and his son Lucius Junius Polk of Maury County, Tenn., regarding the management of William’s land in Tennessee, cotton growing, agriculture, relations with slaves and overseers, and Tennessee and national politics. Campbell family papers consist of a few legal and financial documents and correspondence of Liszinka Campbell Brown (1820-1872) and her brother George Washington Campbell, Jr., regarding family matters, European travel, plantation life, slave insurrections, and Indian wars. Brown and Ewell family papers include those of Lt. Gen. Richard Stoddart Ewell and Major George Campbell Brown, consisting of military papers and personal correspondence relating to their service in the Confederate Army, imprisonment at the close of the war, and defense of Ewell’s military record (particularly at First Manassas and Gettysburg). There are also business and financial papers regarding the management of the family’s Spring Hill plantation in Maury County, Tenn., including items relating to cotton growing and sheep raising, problems with securing labor, and legal and financial concerns; correspondence with agents and family members regarding the family’s Melrose and Tarpley plantations in Bolivar County, Miss.; and letters from other family members. There are also volumes kept by Campbell Brown for household expenses for the Spring Hill plantation and of memoranda during his Civil War service.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Included is information on relations with slaves and overseers on the Spring Hill Plantation in Maury County, Tennessee. Letters discuss slave insubordination, problems with overseers, and the buying and selling of slaves (1828-1848); a slave insurrection and slave escapes in Tennessee (1853-1859); general views on slavery and secession (1853-1859; see particularly the correspondence dated 1 July 1856); and a proposal to enlist slaves into the Confederate Army (1864). The collection also contains a slave bill of sale (n.d.).