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William Weaver papers, 1809-1885 4 Linear Feet — 3,387 Items

Ironmaster and pioneer in scientific agriculture, from Goshen (Rockbridge Co.), Va. Correspondence and business papers of the owner of the Bath Iron Works, Buffalo Forge, Va., containing information about the iron industry in antebellum Virginia, the use of slaves as industrial laborers, life among Weaver's workers, the supply of iron to the Confederate government, the iron industry in the Confederacy, and industrial conditions in Virginia during Reconstruction. Personal correspondence discusses the progress of the war in Virginia and Confederate politics.

Collection contains business papers of William Weaver (1781-1863?), owner of the Bath Iron Works, dealing with the iron industry in Virginia, and containing information on types of items in demand; collection of debts; prices of iron, land, crops, and livestock; the hiring and use of slave labor; and diet, clothing, wages, and prices of slaves. Included are several lists of slaves, with a brief physical description and comments on their reliability as workers. Personal correspondence discusses cholera in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore, Maryland, 1832; smallpox in Lexington, Virginia; typhoid in Texas, 1853; the activities and pension of a Revolutionary soldier; state and national politics, especially under Andrew Jackson; the completion of the canal from the mouth of the Brazos River to Galveston, Texas, 1853; the election of 1860; vigilance committees in Virginia; the use of substitutes; troop movements through Lynchburg and Richmond, Virginia; food prices; the death of Thomas Jonathan Jackson; and the iron industry during the war. Letters, 1861-1863, from John Letcher (1813-1884), U. S. congressman, 1851-1859, and governor of Virginia during the Civil War, discuss his message to the Virginia General Assembly concerning state and Confederate affairs in 1861; rumors; the failure of the legislature to provide replacement troops; military actions at Gordonsville and Fredericksburg, Virginia; various Confederate and Union generals; the unlikelihood of European intervention; military activity in North Carolina; and public opinion in the North.