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Woody family papers, 1784-1939 9 Linear Feet — 2,389 Items

Family of Quaker merchants and millers residing in Guildford County, North Carolina, with relatives in Indiana and Montana Territory. Collection comprises a rich array of business and personal correspondence and other papers (chiefly 1835-1887) relating to Newton D. Woody, merchant and miller of North Carolina, his Civil War service, and his flight to Indiana in 1865 and eventual return to N.C.; the activities of Frank H. Woody, who traveled to and described life in the territories of Washington and Montana before and after the Civil War. There are also important materials regarding the Civil War and its aftermath, including descriptions of camp life by Confederate soldiers, one of whom was in the 21st North Carolina Regiment; experiences of Confederate soldiers in Union prisons at Johnson's Island, Ohio, and Elmira, New York, during the war; accounts of Reconstruction in Augusta, Georgia, given by a Union sympathizer, 1867-1868, as well as economic conditions in North Carolina before, during, and after the Civil War. There are also some documents and letters concerning African American life in the South before, during, and after the war. Printed matter in the collection relates to the activities of Unionists in North Carolina during the Civil War and opposition to Ulysses S. Grant and the Radicals. Other topics include the activities of Woody relatives who had migrated to Indiana; the activities of the children of Newton and of his brother, Robert Woody, postmaster, miller, and merchant; and the history of the Society of Friends in antebellum North Carolina. Includes legal documents, business records, and minutes of the Orange Peace Society, Orange County, N.C.

Papers of Robert Woody, Newton Dixon Woody, and other members of the Woody family include a rich trove of business and personal correspondence; legal and financial papers; printed materials; and manuscript volumes. The papers of this family concern the mercantile and milling businesses of Robert Woody in Chatham County, North Carolina, and Newton Dixon Woody in Guilford County, North Carolina, in the 1850s; the decision of Newton D. Woody to leave North Carolina during the Civil War and his return in 1865; experiences of Frank H. Woody, a lawyer and clerk, in the Washington and Montana territories in the 1860s and 1870s, in which he mentions clashes with Native Americans and settlers, and reports seeing Sherman in 1878. There are also letters with news from relatives living in Indiana.

Other papers include information about temperance meetings, including the General Southern Temperance Conference at Fayetteville, North Carolina, 1835; hog droving; commodity prices in the last half of the 19th century; general economic conditions in North Carolina and the United States in the 19th century; the upkeep of roads in Guilford County; and the experiences of Mary Ann Woody as a student at New Garden Boarding School, Guilford County, 1852-1853. In addition, there is a bill of sale for slaves and a letter from Alabama describing African American celebrations at Christmas, 1857.

There are also important materials regarding the Civil War and its aftermath, including descriptions of camp life by a soldier in the 21st North Carolina Regiment during the Civil War; experiences of Confederate soldiers in Union prisons at Johnson's Island, Ohio, and Elmira, New York, during the war; and accounts of Reconstruction in Augusta, Georgia, given by a Union sympathizer, 1867-1868. Printed matter in the collection relates to the activities of Unionists in North Carolina during the Civil War and opposition to Ulysses S. Grant and the Radicals. There is also a May 1865 letter saying that John Gilmore of N.C. was dividing land with freed African Americans, and a letter mentioning African American violence during elections in an unspecified state in Dec. 1870.

Volumes in the collection include minutes of meetings of the Orange Peace Society, Orange County, North Carolina, 1824-1830; memorandum books; an account book kept during the construction of a Quaker church at High Falls, North Carolina, 1905-1909; minute book of meetings of the Friends of Prosperity, 1913-1914. Other papers in the collection mention camp meetings and religious revivals in North Carolina and their effect on Quakers. There are also financial record books of Robert Woody and Newton Dixon Woody.