Robert Leslie papers, 1783-1934 and undated, bulk 1814-1872 23.7 Linear Feet — Approximately 15,398 Items
Correspondence, accounts, invoices, statements, and legal papers, chiefly spanning the years 1814-1872, of Robert Leslie, a member of the Virginia mercantile firm of Leslie and Shepherd, and a slave owner. The papers before 1819 largely concern the processing and sale of cotton, tobacco, rice, and western lands. Most of the papers after 1819 pertain to tobacco manufacture in the Richmond-Petersburg area. Other topics include Leslie's career, family, and travels in England; his western landholdings and efforts to develop the West; his slaveholding and attitude toward it; mercantile prices and U.S.-British trade; and absentee landlordship referring to the maintenance of American property owned by Englishmen. Later material includes scattered correspondence and business papers of Leslie's nephews, Robert L. Watson and John McGill, whom Leslie had admitted to partnership in the firm.