Shanks family papers, 1801-1923 (bulk 1830-1879).

Creator: Shanks family.
Collection number: 2090
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Abstract: The William Shanks family and the William A. Moody family were related. Both were chiefly tobacco planters of Granville County, N.C., and Mecklenburg County, Va. The Royster family of Granville County was related to the Shanks and Moody families. Chiefly business papers, with scattered family correspondence and miscellaneous items. Business papers pertain to the administration of estates and to plantation finances, and most involve William Shanks between the 1830s and the 1870s. Earlier financial materials include papers of William Shanks’s father, Robert Shanks, mostly between 1801 and the 1820s, and of Williams Shanks’s brother-in-law, William A. Moody, in the 1830s and 1840s. Later business papers are for William Shanks’s son, Henry T. Shanks. Estate papers appear for Benjamin Moody, Francis Royster, Robert Shanks, Elizabeth Shanks, and others. The financial items consist of bills, receipts, accounts, slave bills of sale, slave lists, deeds, legal agreements, correspondence concerning personal finances and the sale of tobacco, and summonses. Family letters touch on social, religious, plantation, and school life; slavery; politics in Macon County, N.C., Fayette County, Tenn., Drew County, Ark., and several locations in Virginia; and overseers’ duties in Clarke and Hinds counties, Miss. There are a few Civil War letters relating to life in the Confederate army. Also included are poems, a hymn, and a pamphlet.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Business papers relate to the administration of estates and to plantation finances, and correspondence touches on slavery and overseer duties in North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Virginia (See Folder 3). Legal and Financial papers in Series 2 include slave bills of sale and slave lists (1801-1865). Of particular note is an 1837 legal agreement on the division of slaves belonging to the estate of James Royster.