W. Robert Leckie papers, 1768-1906 and undated 3 Linear Feet
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.
Woody family papers, 1784-1939 9 Linear Feet — 2,389 Items
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.
Women's Education Ephemera collection, 1806-1948 0.5 Linear Feet
Winn family papers, 1780-1925, bulk 1780-1889 5 Linear Feet — 9 boxes, 2,684 items, 27 vols.
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.
William Young notebook of seventy-seven sermons, 1835-1848 0.4 Linear Feet — 1 item
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.
William Woods Holden papers, 1834-1929 and undated 4.0 Linear Feet
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.
William Wilberforce papers, 1782-1837 and undated 1.0 Linear Foot
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.
William Weaver papers, 1809-1885 4 Linear Feet — 3,387 Items
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.
William Watts Ball papers, 1778-1952 and undated 31 Linear Feet — Approx. 26,000 Items
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.
William T. Richards papers, 1788-1923 and undated, bulk 1845-1903 0.5 Linear Feet — Approx. 342 Items
Chiefly correspondence of William T. Richards and his family and friends. Richards was a New England native, and three early letters from the 1840s are from a sister in Danbury, Connecticut. One letter from Chattooga County, Georgia (1865 Aug. 31) speaks of the devastation in that area from the Civil War. An early item is a power of attorney of 1833 from the merchant Joseph Ganahl to Francis Ganahl. Also includes a bill for goods bought in New York, N.Y. in October, 1865; invitations; announcements; and clippings which relate to William Hill, once Secretary of State for North Carolina. One item is an announcement of William T. Richard's retirement in 1903 as treasurer and paymaster of the Georgia Railroad. Some materials relate to the Hill and Thomas families in N.C., but their relation to the Richards family is unknown.
Collection includes correspondence and business, personal, and legal papers of Tolbert and several members of the Tolbert (Talbot) and Huber families of Chambersburg, Pa., containing information about family affairs, Republican Party affairs in Chambersburg, and William E. Tolbert's activities with the Chief Engineer's Office of the U.S. Military Railroad in the Division of the Mississippi. There are a number of letters (1883-1922) to Emma Tolbert from her friend Elizabeth Russell, who was a Methodist missionary in Nagasaki, Japan.
William Tilghman papers, 1671-1876 2.8 Linear Feet — 5 Boxes, 900 items
This collection houses the papers of William Tilghman (1756-1824), lawyer and chief justice of the supreme court of Pennsylvania. They relate chiefly to his law practice in Maryland, 1783-1793, and to his service in the Maryland general assembly, 1788-1793, and include legal papers dealing with litigation, land sales, the collection of debts, notes, the settlement of estates, and other legal matters. Included are deeds, indentures, wills, estate records, court records, and other legal papers relating chiefly to Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne counties, a roster, 1818-1819, of the citizens of Charles County, scattered papers pertaining to the Church of England in Maryland, occasional references to personal matters, and legal and business papers concerning the family, including papers dealing with loan transactions and with the settlement of the estate of William Tilghman.
The collection also has scattered papers of Tilghman's father, James Tilghman, a lawyer, several bills and accounts of St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, and Charlotte Hall School, Charlotte Hall, Maryland, petitions and acts relating to Tilghman's career in the general assembly chiefly dealing with the settlement of local affairs, including the disposal of reserved lands, an evaluation of land in various counties, and an estimate of the cost of building a turnpike between Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D. C., and other papers dealing with legal and business matters.
The volumes are a digest, 1747-1760, of cases at law in which James Tilghman was an attorney, a System of Law concerning Estates by Richard Tilghman IV, legal notes kept by William Tilghman as a young man, and dockets of William Tilghman in the Kent County court for the March 1794 term.
William Thomas Leavell papers, 1831-1932 5.6 Linear Feet — 17 boxes; 5,136 items
Collection comprises the papers of W. T. Leavell and of his son-in-law, Edward Allen Hitchcock McDonald, Confederate officer, attorney, and businessman. Leavell's papers contain correspondence with leaders of the Episcopal Church concerning church business, doctrinal disputes within the church, and debates between the Episcopal Church and other Protestant denominations; and family letters and papers which provide information on the salaries, duties, and home life of a minister.
The papers also contain material pertaining to the economic and agricultural conditions in Leavell's parishes in Virginia and West Virginia and genealogical material on many of his parishioners; letters while a student at Bristol College, Bristol, Pa., 1833-1836, and at Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary, 1836-37; letters from brothers and sisters in Spotsylvania and Culpeper counties, Va., discussing agriculture; correspondence between daughter Anne Leavell and John M. Daniel in the 1870s, both before and after their respective marriages; and over 200 sermons. Leavell was a teacher at Fairfax Institute, 1837-39. Box 9 contains a diary in which Leavell included much autobiographical information.
The papers of Edward Allen Hitchcock McDonald contain letters from Civil War veterans of McDonald's regiments, the 11th Virginia Cavalry and the 77th Virginia Militia, concerning battles and skirmishes in which they participated; a manuscript copy of McDonald's "The History of the Laurel Brigade," and letters, 1870-1890, pertaining to the Louisville Abstract and Loan Company and general business conditions in Louisville, Ky.
William Thomas Laprade papers, 1660-1975 (bulk 1898-1975) 40 Linear Feet — 40,000 Items
Contains materials pertaining to the personal and professional activities of William Thomas Laprade, educator, historian, editor, and civic leader in the Duke University community. Papers include correspondence, notes, reports, printed materials, manuscript materials, photographs, diplomas, memorabilia, clippings, student papers, and letters. Materials include research and manuscript materials for books on 17th, 18th, and 19th century Europe, as well as a letter from Anthony Eyre to his brother-in-law, Sir John Newton, English mathematician and astronomer (1660). Correspondence concerns professional interests, Laprade's family, the Great Depression, World War I, and World War II. A complete alphabetical index to named persons in this collection, including correspondence, can be found in Box 16. The oversize box contains materials from the Laprade collection that were formerly housed in the map cabinets and the General Oversize collection. Materials range in date from 1660-1975 (bulk 1898-1975).
Personal and Laprade family letters are concerned with family and local news, health, church meetings, grain production at the family mill in Rivermont, Va., the 1908 presidential election, and Laprade's father's voting machine invention. From about 1902 to 1904, Laprade participated in a large network of correspondence centered in the Weekly Courier-Journal newspaper of Louisville, Ky. Students wrote in, under pseudonyms, to discuss their ideals and problems. Other correspondence subjects include the effects of World War I and World War II on the Laprade family.
William Swinton Bennett Hopkins papers, 1834-1946, bulk 1852-1898 3.5 Linear Feet — 1657 Items
Collection consists largely of correspondence between family members, friends, and business associates spanning three generations, as well as some Civil War and early Reconstruction letters relating to Hopkins' activities in New Orleans. Correspondents include Hopkins' daughter, Elizabeth; her husband Alfred Lawrence Aiken, a prominent banker in Boston; the Gadsden family of Charleston, S.C.; and the Peck family, relatives of Hopkins' wife, Lizzie. An information folder chronologically lists a portion of the collection. Also included in this collection are a few legal papers, financial papers, addresses and writings, pictures, and a miscellaneous folder that includes some genealogy. Subjects mentioned in the letters include travel in the U.S. and Europe, marriage and family life, illness, Williams College, Yale College, politics, law,"bloodletting with leeches," Civil War activities, and The Worcester Continentals.
William Smith papers, 1785-1860 1 Linear Foot — 328 Items
This collection consists of letters and writings to and from William Smith, as well as collected printed materials largely related to Smith's work opposing the slave trade and the abolition of slavery in British colonies in the early 1800s. Outstanding are the 24 letters of William Wilberforce (1759-1833); these discuss such topics as: religion, sickness in the family, his sickness which forced him to leave the House of Commons, his family and his desire for more private life with them, his relatives, political disappointments, trips and engagements, publishers, criminals in Great Britain and their punishment, resolutions and plans for the abolition of slavery, the antl-slavery society, the Jamaica Law, Spanish slave trade, Spanish abolition, William Pitt, Lord Grenville and his estate Dropmore, Dr. Channing, Robert Hall, and Thomas Buxton.
A number of the letters from Smith's many correspondents stand out. There are a number of letters around 1790 from various societies and committees discussing the abolition of slavery and approving Smith's actions; some of them also mention Wilberforce. A letter from J. Yule in Edinburgh of August 13, 1792, tells of the poor Scottish peasants who are being driven from their lands to make room for sheep which are more profitable. Three letters from James Muir between 1793 and 1797 discuss the case of his son who has been banished for fourteen years for Joining the Society for Parliamentary Reform. A letter from John Longley on January 31, 1796, tells of a book which he has just published on parliamentary reform and discusses various aspects of the English government from the viewpoint of a reformer. Thomas Coke on March 16, 1809, writes of the different slavery laws in Jamaica. A lengthy 1813 letter from Andrew Wedderburn, a Jamaica plantation owner, discusses the condition of the enslaved people after a storm, their food supplies, sickness and death, his attitude toward their care, the various uses of the land, the crops raised, the market for produce, the purchase and hiring of slaves. A number of letters from Bermuda, Nevis, St. Vincent, Barbados, and Berbice contain similar discussions. An unusually good letter comes from a planter in St. Vincent, April 4, 1816. Some of these planters' letters give in rather emphatic terms the case of the planters against the abolition of slavery. There is copy of a sermon preached at Port Royal, Jamaica, June 7, 1822, on the anniversary of the great earthquake (1692) which contains a very frank and oven criticism of the moral life of Port Royal.
One significant in the collection is a letter in very tiny handwriting from John Horseman, July 15, 1817, which includes the text of Robert Southey's poem entitled "To the Exiled Patriots." The only known publication of the poem is in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Essays on His Own Times, (1850) I, 19-20. Horseman's edition of the poem contains sixteen stanzas as compared to Coleridge's ten. In addition eight of the lines are different in the two editions.
Several letters from Thomas Clarkson between 1825 and 1827 discuss the methods to be used in the drive for complete abolition of slavery. A letter from T. Gisborne in 1829 accuses Smith of being a Papist. A lengthy petition in 1829 signed by 95 principal native inhabitants of Bombay, India, protests to the House of Commons against certain grievances and asks redress. A letter of Gilbert Shelton in Bermuda in 1832 comments with keen insight on the recent Reform Act, on Irish independence, and on the types of Christian missionaries in the West Indies; later letters from him give considerable details regarding the purchase of a life insurance Policy in England. Different letters in 1833 tell of the methods and problems involved in the abolition of slavery. A letter from James Stephen announces Wilberforce's death, July 29, 1833; also a letter from Wilberforce's son, Robert, tells of the death. There is a copy of a petition to Rev. H. W. Wilberforce signed by 127 members of both houses of Parliament requesting that William Wilberforce be buried in Westminster Abbey and that they be granted permission to attend the funeral. Several letters between the Clarksons and William Smith shortly offer Wilberforce's death concern Robert Wilberforce's proposed life of his father and his ideas of attacking some of Thomas Clarkson's claims for himself in the abolition movement.
The correspondents in this collection include: M. Babington, J. Barham, Richard Bickell, Henry Bright, Richard Brodbelt, Priscilla Buxton, Thomas Powell Buxton, Catherine Clarkson, Thomas Coke, Benjamin Cooper, John Frederick Garling, T. Gisborne, Andrew Grant, Robert Grosvenor, George Hibbert, John Horseman, Robert Harry Inglis, John Longley, Men Leith, Zachary Macaulay, A. Mavrocordato, James Muir, J. Plymley, D. Power, William Rathbone, Gilbert Salton, Philip Sansom, John Scott, B. Shank, Granville Sharp, E. Sharpe, James Stephen, W. Villers, Andrew Wedderborn, James Weeker, Barbara Ann Wilberforce, Robert I. Wilberforce, William Wilberforce, John Wright, and J. Yule.
In addition to the letters mentioned above, there is extensive evidence in the miscellaneous papers and the printed material on slavery. It includes Smith's notes and research on: spies in the slave trade, deaths (of crew and captives) on slave ships, food carried on slave ships, methods of obtaining slaves in Africa, conditions of Africans in Africa, British exports to Africa, eyewitness accounts and lists of witnesses, general information on the West Indies, estates and plantations, diseases and epidemics, population, mistreatment of slaves, breeding of slaves versus importation, description of a riot in Barbados in 1823 and the destruction of a Methodist chapel, printed petitions from the West Indies showing the increasingly difficult financial position of the sugar planters due to high taxes, shipping costs, and low prices, lists and copies of British Laws concerning slavery in the colonies, a planter's plan for the emancipation of slaves over a period of 34 years, conditions of slaves in French colonies, papers comparing the raising of sugar cane in the West Indies and in the East Indies and India, letters regarding the abolition of slavery in Ceylon, speeches in Parliament or manuscripts of books, Parliamentary resolutions, printed statements for and against slavery, history of the movement for abolition, newspaper excerpts, and magazine articles.
William Sims papers, 1770-1860 3.6 Linear Feet — 385 Items
Correspondence, financial papers, and legal documents, concerning William Sims' extensive plantation holdings in South Carolina. Includes two account books. Correspondence is primarily related to business matters, including cotton trade and prices; the price and availability of slaves; and the beginnings of a textile industry on the plantation. Local and state politicians in South Carolina are often mentioned, as is the general economic plight of the Southern planter in the period (ca. 1819-1830), and currency problems in the state (ca. 1826-1830). One personal letter effusively describes newly settled land in Mississippi and the quality of the cotton grown there.
Detailed financial papers form the bulk of the collection, and concern the cotton trade (including weights, bale numbers, shipping, prices, and sales), and household and plantation expenses. Legal papers are confined to deeds, documents of land litigation, military commissions, and documents relating to slaves, such as indentures and lists of slaves on the plantation. Also includes genealogical information on the Sims family.
William Sigler papers, 1825-1855 2.5 Linear Feet — 1300 Items
Collection contains personal correspondence, business papers, and receipts relating to William Sigler. Some correspondence concerns local politics and economic conditions. Sigler sometimes corresponded with prominent merchants in Baltimore, Md.