Springs family papers, 1772-1924 (bulk 1845-1870).

Creator: Springs family.
Collection number: 4121
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Abstract: The Springs family of Mecklenburg County, N.C., and York District, S.C., included John Springs III (1782-1853) and his son, Andrew Baxter Springs (1819-1886), both of whom resided at and managed Springfield Plantation, York District, S.C.; served in the South Carolina legislature; and were stockholders and directors of various banks, railroads, and manufacturing firms. Other family members included Mary Springs (1778-1834), the wife of John Springs III, and Julia Blandina Baxter Springs (1827-1902), the wife of Andrew Baxter Springs and daughter of Eli Harris Baxter (1778-1866) and Julia Richardson Baxter of Hancock County, Ga., and Cherokee County, Tex. Family, personal, and business papers, chiefly 1845-1870, of the Springs and related families, including much Baxter family correspondence. Family and personal correspondence document daily activities and concerns of plantation life. Letters report news of family and friends, school life, social life and conditions, and frequently comment on politics. The lives of plantation women and children are particularly well documented. Business papers document various agricultural and financial ventures in which the Springs and Baxter families were involved, especially management of crops, slavery, and livestock at the family plantations in South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas. There are also papers concerning investments in railroads, including the Charlotte and South Carolina Railroad; South Carolina banks; and the Graniteville Manufacturing Company, a South Carolina textile firm. Civil War materials chiefly relate to service in the South Carolina First Cavalry and the Sixth Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers, and to Baxter Springs’s work as commissioner of the board that provided relief to the families of York District soldiers. Post Civil War materials comment on Reconstruction politics, freedmen, and race relations in the South. Also included are letters from individuals who moved west that give fairly detailed accounts of life on the frontier before and after the Civil War.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: The collection includes papers referring to the murder of two white men by a runaway slave in South Carolina  in 1838 (Folders 13-14 ); the capture of several runaways in Texas in 1856 and 1859 (Folders 96-99 and 107-110); the workload and illnesses of South Carolina slaves between 1837-1844 (Folders 11-24); a slave suicide in Mississippi in 1845 (Folder 25-30); a “stolen” Mississippi slave in 1846 (Folders 31-40); rumors of overseers murdered by slaves in 1847 (Folders 41-48); and a North Carolina legal case which sentenced a slave to hang (1849)

Other correspondence deals with the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act and the shooting of a slave who was found inside an unidentified Georgia woman’s house in 1850  as well as arson attempts by two young slaves in Camden, South Carolina (Folders 66-69);  the flogging of slaves  in 1853 (Folders 80-83)); a discussion of secession and the reopening of the slave trade in 1859 (Folders 107-110); a white family accused of helping local slaves plan a rebellion in Rock Hill, Virginia in 1860 (Folder 111-115); rumors that blacks near Rock Hill committed “outrages” against white women as well as toward enslaved women by Yankee soldiers in 1861 (Folders 116-120);

Post war correspondence contains many letters commenting on the “Negro Question” between 1866-70 (Folders 161-204); the treatment of whites by blacks in Springfield, Virginia in 1865 (Folders 144-150); a claim that free labor was ruining the South in 1868, and Ku Klux Klan activities in Cedar Spring and Mebanville, Virginia in 1868 and 1869 (Folders 171-192)

Series 2 (Other papers) contain bills of sale for enslaved individuals, as well as lists of monetary gifts given to enslaved people at Christmas.