The collection is divided into two series: Correspondence and Papers, and Ledgers. The papers of W. Robert Leckie and William Hendrick overlap; both series contain records of Hendrick's ancestors. Both series are arranged chronologically by year.
In the Correspondence and Papers series, the papers of W. Robert Leckie are concerned with the construction of public buildings, canals, arsenals, aqueducts, fortifications, masonry of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and surveying and building of walls in the District of Columbia. The papers focus primarily on the prices of commodities used in construction work, rather than on qualities of military architecture itself. Also included are the records of a lawsuit between Leckie and James Couty; papers relative to experiments in the production of lime, cement, and bricks; nine letters from Isaac Roberdeau revealing practices of engineers of the period; and a 91-page bound report of the commissioners appointed by the president for planning the defense of the United States. This report, though undated, was probably made after the War of 1812 and includes extensive details relative to the problems of defense, including topography, waterways, roadways, population, distances, and probable expenses of constructing forts. Some of Leckie's papers reflect his efforts to obtain contracts for the construction of such buildings at the Augusta Arsenal.
The papers of William Hendrick and Mary Ann Leckie, his wife, constitute a long record of the sales of plantation products and the purchase of supplies from commission merchants in Petersburg, Virginia, and the operation of a series of tobacco and corn farms. In addition, Hendrick's children wrote letters from Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey; Virginia Military Institute, Lexington; and various other academies. Also includes two writing exercise books for children.
In the Ledgers series, among the volumes from Leckie are the following: diary and accounts, 1828-1829, of engineering contracts and cement stone quarries at Shepherdstown, Va., Seneca, Md., Baltimore, and a point near the Monocacy River; a memorandum book containing data for surveying water lines, leveling streets, and building aqueducts in Georgetown and Washington, D.C.; and a memorandum book of John Leckie, associated with his father, W. Robert Leckie. Among the volumes from Hendrick are several plantation account books, a memorandum book, and accounts of a mercantile firm. The account books dated 1799 and earlier were kept by Hendrick’s forbears.
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.
Family and business correspondence of John Winn (d. 1844); of his wife Lucy Winn; and of their numerous children, including Philip James Winn. The correspondence of John Winn, farmer, lawyer, postmaster at Winnsville, captain in the War of 1812, and agent for General John Hartwell Cocke, includes information on Bremo, the plantation of the latter, including also a list of periodicals subscribed to by Cocker and legal cases relative to Revolutionary bounty land.
Correspondence centering around Philip James Winn includes information on the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, both of which he attended; one letter with a description of the unusual religious services of the Dunkards; a deed for land purchased by a free Negro; records of the invention and patenting of a 'New Gate Latch' by Philip J. Winn; and the interest of various members of the family in law, medicine, agriculture, mechanics, business, religion, and the operation of a stagecoach line between Richmond and Staunton, Virginia.
Collection also Includes a letter of William H. Winn containing detailed descriptions of the battles of Bethel, 1861, and Gettysburg, 1863, in which he participated as a Confederate soldier. More than half the collection consists of receipts and bills connected chiefly with John Winn's work in Revolutionary bounty lands and with Philip James Winn's invention. Twenty-seven volumes include post office accounts of John Winn and of his successor, Philip James Winn; a letter book concerning the 'New Gate Latch'; accounts of the estate of Samuel Kidd; letter books; ledgers; medical notes; and records of births and deaths of slaves.
Collection of 77 manuscript sermons (246 pages) that were written and used by the Reverend William Young, delivered at irregular intervals between December 1835 and January 1848. Each sermon is identified by a date and place and is signed by Young. They approximately follow the chronology of Young's circuit appointments. The text is followed by an index in which there is a brief thematic description of each sermon, along with the Bible verse upon which it is based.
Collection includes correspondence and other papers of Renwick, his wife, Rosannah Rogers Renwick, and related members of the Beard, Bothwell, Lyons, Renwick, and Rogers families, including material on South Carolina cotton planting, slavery, politics, social life, and customs; U.S. Representative James Rogers; and the Renwick and Rogers families.
The collection documents Holden's career as a journalist and politician, including his shift in party allegiance from Democrat to Republican during the Civil War. He served as the 28th and 30th governor of North Carolina.
Pre-Civil War letters deal mainly with personal and legal matters and with the Democratic convention in Charleston, S.C., 1860, and presidential election of 1860. Post-war materials concern the history of journalism in North Carolina; Holden's appointment by Andrew Johnson as provisional governor of North Carolina in 1865; his election as governor in 1868; Reconstruction policies; Ku Klux Klan activity in the state; the Kirk-Holden War; the "Ferrell Matter," a debt case in which Holden was the guarantor; Holden's impeachment as governor in 1870; his conviction by the N.C. Senate in 1871; his appointment as postmaster by Ulysses S. Grant in 1873; and life and politics in Washington during the period of Radical control. Of note are depositions and other evidence gathered by Holden and his supporters of various members of the Ku Klux Klan, documenting their membership and activities during 1869-1870.
The collection also includes Holden family papers, including scrapbooks and account books kept by Holden's wife and daughters; Holden's memoirs, recorded by his daughter Mary Holden Sherwood and edited by W.K. Boyd as part of the Trinity College Historical Society; some family photographs and materials related to the Holden homestead in Raleigh, N.C.; writings and poetry by Holden and his son, Joseph Holden; obituaries and clippings about Holden and his legacy; and other assorted personal and financial papers. Though removed from public life, Holden continued to write about public policy and government, sometimes critical of both parties, until his death in 1892.
Collection consists largely of correspondence to and from William Wilberforce, with subjects ranging across abolitionist politics in Great Britain, business correspondence about the West India Committee, and personal family news and health. Correspondents include British politician William Pitt (the younger); Thomas Harrison, a close friend and a member of the Duke of Gloucester's West India Committee; Hannah More, an English writer and philanthropist; his close friend John Scandrett Harford, Jr. of Blaise Castle (near Bristol, England); George Montagu, Fourth Duke of Manchester; Lord Brougham; Spencer Perceval; Thomas Chalmers; George Canning; and John Bowdler (d. 1815).
Letters from this collection, particularly in the 1810s, often reference slavery and Wilberforce's work with abolitionists. In one letter of Aug. 10, 1814, Wilberforce wrote Harrison that he had been able to persuade Thomas Clarkson not to attend the Congress of Vienna. Articles appeared in The Edinburgh Review during 1814 which questioned William Pitt's motives in supporting the abolitionists. Wilberforce (Oct. 22, 1814) wrote Harrison concerning his relations with the younger Pitt (d. 1806), and stated that his belief was that Pitt had been a "sincere friend" of the abolition movement. Other letters for 1814 mention such things as the West India Committee and its membership, including the Duke of Gloucester, Lord Grey, Marquis Lansdowne, and Lord Grenville (Mar. 20 and Apr. 20), and the planned composition and distribution of pamphlets describing the evils of the slave trade and advocating its abolition (Apr. 26 and Oct. 3). The letter of Apr. 26 suggests the establishment of a special board, sanctioned by the King, to see to the composition of such works. Other letters from this period are between Wilberforce and Harford. One letter of Oct. 12, 1814, speaks of French publications which favor abolition and mentions Chateaubriand, Humboldt, Sismondi, and Madame de StaÃ«l. It also tells of the Duke of Wellington, the King of France (Louis XVIII), Prince Talleyrand, and the English Prince Regent (later George IV) as being favorable to abolition. A letter of Nov. 23, 1814, continues to speak of abolition in the light of world events, and Wellington and Tallevrand's correspondence with him. One fragment of a strong letter, dated 1815, gives a graphic account of two slave ships. This letter also asks Harford to try to interest the Roman Catholic Church in banning the slave trade. Wilberforce also mentions trying to interest Sir Thomas Acland and Lord Castlereagh in making an attempt to interest the Pope in the abolition of the slave trade. In 1817, Wilberforce was bothered by the hostile pamphlets of one of his opponents, the anti-abolitionist Joseph Marryat. Wilberforce wrote to Harrison concerning this matter on Aug. 4, 1817, and discussed the urgency of having one of James Stephen's speeches in answer to Marryat printed and distributed as soon as possible. Wilberforce recognized the need for much printed material to educate the peoples of all countries, and especially the "unprincipled Frenchmen" (letter of Aug. 5, 1821), in support of abolition of slavery. A July 9, 1816, letter speaks of Zachary Macaulay; and a May 7, 1817, letter tells of a Macaulay letter falling into the hands of Joseph Marryat. Wilberforce also speaks bitterly of Marryat's attack on himself.
The collection also includes letters about conditions and religion in Ireland. A Sept. 8, 1812, letter asks Harford (during his bridal tour of Ireland) to try to ascertain the comparative moral effects of the Catholic and Protestant religions on the peasant and servant classes of Ireland. A Feb. 7, 1827, letter from Charles Forster to Harford tells of the efforts of the Church of England clergy to convert the Roman Catholics in Ireland.
These letters often mention charities, especially the Bible Society. A May 2, 1821, letter speaks of investigating and learning about colleges. Wilberforce speaks of the "experiment" in education being conducted by Harford. This is leading up to Harford's giving land and helping found St. David's College in South Wales in 1822. A Nov. 9, 1827, letter speaks of St. David's College. There is also an 1819 pamphlet for the "House of Protection for the Maintenance and Instruction of Girls of Good Character."
The collection also includes two volumes which record Wilberforce's account with the London banking house of Smith, Payne, and Smiths during 1829-1833. The itemized transactions provide details about his expenditures, including investments and benevolences.
Other topics discussed include the African Institute; agriculture; economic panic among farmers, 1830; the Corn Laws; American Friends; the Treaty of Amiens; the Army Training Bill; the Waterloo campaign; conditions in New South Wales, Australia; British relations with Austria, Brazil, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United States, and the Vatican; economic conditions in Austria; Baptists; Baptist missions in India; the Church of England in England, Ireland and other British colonies; patronage and tithes of the Church of England; the Methodist Church; the Moravians, the Church Missionary Society; the Church of Scotland; the Blagdon Affair; censorship of books; emigration to Canada; the Congress of Vienna; the coal trade; economic conditions in England and Scotland; education; St. David's College, South Wales; politics and government in England, France, Ireland, Jamaica, Sierra Leone, Trinidad, and Venezuela; elections; French colonies; free trade versus protection; the French Revolution; Greek Independence; Haiti; South Africa; the Society of Friends; labor; landlords and tenants; manufacturers in Scotland; the textile industry; the Royal Navy; Black officers in the Royal Navy; parliamentary reform; prisons; need to reform the penal code; the use of capital punishment; the poor laws and poor relief; Socinianism; the New Rupture Society; and personal matters, including Wilberforce's failing health.
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.
Materials document the hiring and use of enslaved labors in the iron industry, including diet, clothing, wages, and prices of enslaved laborers. There are several lists of enslaved persons with brief physical descriptions 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.
Collection consists of personal and political correspondence, diaries, business papers, speeches, editorials, notes, printed matter, personal account books, memorandum books, photographic materials, and scrapbooks. The papers document a long period in Southern history, and reflect Ball's activities as editor of several newspapers, including The State, of Columbia, S.C., and the News and Courier, also of Columbia, S.C. The main group is concerned with national and South Carolina history for the first half of the 20th century. Topics referred to include American politics; the South Carolina textile industry; African Americans in the South; the depression and the F. D. Roosevelt administration; newspapers and the newspaper business; education in South Carolina; conditions and problems stemming from both World Wars; prohibition; states' rights; South Carolina social life and customs; Roman Catholicism in South Carolina; international issues; and general business and family matters.
A substantial portion of the papers consists of family correspondence containing information on school and college life; Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s; social life and customs in Laurens, Charleston, and Columbia, South Carolina; and England, the Italian battlefront, and a journey across the Atlantic during World War II. Other letters come from editors, publishers, educators, politicians, financiers, and industrialists, principally from South Carolina, although some national figures are found. These correspondents include J. J. McSwain, D. C. Heyward, John Gary Evans, John Hays Hammond, M. F. Ansel, David D. Wallace, James C. Hemphill, Ambrose E. Gonzales, Thomas R. Waring, Nathaniel B. Dial, James F. Byrnes, Ulrich B. Phillips, Josephus Daniels, Bernard M. Baruch, Warrington Dawson, Ellison D. Smith, Max Fleischman, Nicholas Roosevelt, Wendell Willkie, Frederick H. Allen, and Archibald Rutledge.
Ball's financial papers, scattered throughout the collection, generally relate to real estate investments, stock holdings in textile mills, and the Depression as it affected his financial situation. A major part of the correspondence pertains to state and national politics. Letters discuss Tillmanism and Bleasism; the state primary system and election reform; state and national elections; opposition to the New Deal and the formation of the Southern Democratic Party; and other local, state, and national issues.
Material on race relations begins as early as 1916, but is particularly abundant from the 1930s onwards. Involved with the issue of states' rights versus federal control, the "Negro problem" includes the anti-lynching movement, enfranchisement and control of the African American vote, racial unrest, segregation, and other matters. The papers reveal Ball's interest in education, especially the development of schools of journalism, the expansion of the state-supported college system, the University of South Carolina, and the South Carolina School for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind.
Other papers relate to Ball's editorship of various South Carolina newspapers, principally The State and the News and Courier, and to his publishing efforts. There is also material on the textile industry in South Carolina, labor unrest and unionization, prohibition, women's suffrage, the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, recollections by Ball and others of social life, customs and politics during the 1870s through the 1890s, the economic and industrial development of South Carolina, genealogy of the Watts and Ball families, and drafts and copies of speeches and editorials.
The photographic items include 34 black-and-white photographs (ca. 1840-1940), chiefly consisting of group and individual portraits of W. W. Ball's family, friends, and colleagues in journalism. There are several views of the Ball family's ancestral plantation home in Laurens, S.C. Volumes include family account books, 1911-1942, a memorandum book beginning in 1901; scrapbooks, 1893-1951; a digest of the military service of Frank Parker, 1894-1945; and Ball's diaries, 1916-1952.