Jacob Mordecai papers, 1784-1936 4 Linear Feet — 2558 Items
Collection contains personal correspondence and papers of Jacob Mordecai (1762-1838), educator and progenitor of a family long prominent in North Carolina and Virginia; and of his children and grandchildren. The majority of the letters are of a personal nature, but they include several important series of letters, as follows: copies of letters from Rachel (Mordecai) Lazarus (1788-1838) to Maria Edgeworth, beginning in 1816; of Ellen Mordecai (1790-1884) to her brother, Solomon Mordecai (1792-1869), while he was a medical student at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and later as a physician in Mobile, Alabama; of Ellen Mordecai, regarding her long tenure as a teacher in her father's school at Warrenton, North Carolina, and later as a governess in New York City, 1848-1852; of Caroline (Mordecai) Plunkett (1794-1862) and her husband, Achilles Plunkett (d. 1824), while they conducted a school at Warrenton, North Carolina, and of her later life as a teacher in Mobile; and of Alfred Mordecai (1804-1887) to members of his family while a student at the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, New York, 1819-1823. The correspondence contains frequent comment on literature of the day, information on social life and customs in general, and especially in Warrenton and Richmond, and life in Mobile, 1823-1860.
Letters of Samuel Mordecai (1786-1865) refer in part to his writing of Richmond in By-Gone Days (Richmond: 1856), and to land in Wisconsin sold for taxes. There are letters from 1810-1812 describing the Richmond theater, its actors, performances, and scenery, both the old theater, which burned down in a famous conflagration in 1811, and the new theater that replaced it. Included also are Jacob Mordecai's ledger containing personal and school accounts, 1811-1818; Samuel Mordecai and Company's ledger, 1839-1865, Petersburg, Virginia; and Isabel R. Mordecai's journals, 1858-1861, Charleston, S.C. There is also a secretary's report of the Sick Soldiers Relief Society, Raleigh, North Carolina, October 1, 1861; a description by Marshall De Lancey Haywood of the Mordecai residence in Raleigh with related correspondence of Pattie Mordecai, 1936; correspondence of Emma Mordecai, daughter of Jacob, with relatives and friends, including Solomon Cohen, an attorney of Savannah, describing European travel, and with Sally Vaughn Norral, a former slave; and bills, receipts, and bank statements of various family members.
Addition (1986) (84 items, dated 1805-1881) contains correspondence (1805-1838 and 1869-1875), most of which is personal, to and from various family members. Some of the letters provide insight into Mordecai's life as a boarding school student in Oxford, N.C., and later as a student at the University of Virginia. Also includes essays by Samuel F. Mordecai and two manuscripts by Moses Mordecai.