Collection contains correspondence, diaries and notebooks, financial papers, legal papers, genealogical documents, printed materials, and other items pertaining to the Knight family of Natchez, Mississippi and Frederick, Maryland. Materials in the collection date from 1784 to 1960, with the bulk of the papers dating from the 1840s to the 1890s. The majority concern the personal, legal, and financial activities of John Knight (1806-1864), merchant, plantation owner, lawyer, and investor; Frances Z. S. (Beall) Knight (1813-1900), his wife; and their daughter Frances (Fanny) Beall Knight; as well as relatives, friends, and business partners, especially banker Enoch Pratt and William Beall.
Significant topics include: life in Natchez, Mississippi and Frederick, Maryland; plantations, slaves, and slavery in Mississippi and other Southern states; 19th century economic conditions, especially concerning the cotton market; banking and bank failures; U.S. politics in the 1850s and 1860s; the Civil War, especially in Maryland; reports of cholera and yellow fever outbreaks; 19th century family life; and the Knights' travels to Europe, Egypt, Turkey, and Russia from 1850 to 1864.
Genealogies chiefly relate to the descendants of Elisha Beall of Maryland. There are also two late 19th century albumen photographs of homes in West Virginia (James and Lizzie Brown's "Kingswood") and Maryland ("Beallview," the house of Elisha Beall). A few other images of the Knights are found in the Rubenstein Library's Picture File Collection.
The papers of John Knight concern his business relations with the Beall family of Maryland; his plantations in Mississippi, Hyde Park and Beverly Place, and their management; the purchases, expenses, and medical care of the enslaved people who lived and worked on those plantations; investments in cotton land in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas; economic conditions in the United States, especially concerning the cotton market; the effects of the Civil War, especially in Maryland; and the family's trips to Europe. His notebooks keep careful track of expenses and income, as well as travel. The many land deeds, indentures, slave lists, bills of purchase, and other financial and legal documents in the collection, some dating to the 1700s, chiefly relate to his activities as an attorney and landholder. Many also relate to the legal and financial activities of the Beall family, particularly to William M. Beall. John Knight was also interested in medicine, so the collection holds memoranda books and other papers with prescriptions, receipts, and instructions for medicines treating ailments of the time.
Papers of his wife, Frances (Beall) Knight, include 21 diaries and some correspondence, as well as financial and legal papers. Her diaries describe in detail life in Natchez, Mississippi, religious life, family members, visits, the weather, and health. Of particular interest are her travel diaries, which document the family's travels to Europe, with side trips to Egypt, Turkey, Russia, and other places. Her later papers deal with her financial activities as a relatively young widow, and her role as guardian of her two grandchildren, Knight and Alexandra McDannold, who lived with her after the early deaths of their parents, Fanny Knight McDannold and Thomas McDannold.
The ten diaries of Frances (Fanny) Beall Knight, the daughter of John and Frances Knight, document in some detail their trips to Europe, and details of her father's death abroad in 1864; the collection also contains some of her school and family notebooks and correspondence. Later papers refer to her husband, Thomas Alexander McDannold, who may have been the author of at least one of the anonymous notebooks in the collection, and their two children, Alexandra and John.
20th century dates in the collection refer to a typed draft of a paper on 19th century packet ships, and an article from a Maryland history magazine.
Bills and receipts, 1830-1884 9 folders — 1 box
Correspondence, 1817-1895 and undated 1.5 Linear Feet — 3 boxes
Correspondence consists chiefly of business letters by John Knight and his partners and friends. However, there are also many letters by Knight family members and their relatives and friends. The correspondence begins in 1817 with letters from Mary (McCleery) Knight in Indiana to her sister Frances (McCleery) Beall, William M. Beall's wife. There is also correspondence between Fanny Knight, John and Frances Knight's daughter, and Thomas McDannold during their courtship. Correspondence also includes letters from friends and relatives while the Knights were traveling abroad. Many letters also mention John Knight's attempts at various cures for ill health, including water cures, hot springs, and baths.
Between 1830 and 1864, Knight's business correspondence with Enoch Pratt, a Baltimore banker in charge of Knight's finances, William Beall, and others, predominates. Topics include: the U.S. political and economic climate: the conflict between Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson; the cotton market; banking and bank failures; investment in cotton land in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas; the purchase and sale of slaves, with some bought by William Beall and sent to Knight in Mississippi; the treatment and medical care of slaves; the operation of Knight's plantations; piracy on the Mississippi River, 1841; cholera and yellow fever epidemics in New York and New Orleans in 1832, 1833, 1837, and 1841; the economic panic of 1857; education at the Frederick Female Academy, Frederick, Maryland; financial conditions in the United States during the Civil War; the relations between the United States and England during the war; and the course of the Civil War, especially the Union invasion of Maryland. One early letter from Roger Brooke Taney to William Murdock Beall explains his refusal of the vice-presidency and discussing his interest in the U.S. presidency.
Other smaller groups of correspondence were written by Frances "Fanny" Knight McDannold, the daughter of John and Frances Knight, her children Knight and Alexandra, and husband Thomas McDannold, and that family's acquaintances.
The correspondence ends with a much smaller series of letters, which include items to Frances S.Z. Knight from her grandchildren, and other correspondence reflecting her financial and legal activities as she managed her husband's large estate and the guardianship of her grandchildren even as she approached old age.
Some additional correspondence can be found in the Legal and Financial Papers series.
The Dismal Swamp Land Company records consist of company records spanning the 17th-19th centuries, with the bulk falling in the mid-to-late 19th century. The majority of records consist of financial documentation, including receipts for the purchase of equipment by the Company and numerous receipts for customers detailing quantities and prices of shingles purchased. Monthly ledgers and an account book are also present. The records include legal documents surrounding surveys of the Dismal Swamp, indentures, wills, and several powers of attorney for shareholder meetings. Incoming correspondence intended for the Company's presidents, mainly from employees and shareholders, makes up the majority of the Correspondence series.
1820-1851 2 folders
1833-1855 1 folder
1835-1836 1 folder
Collection contains letters and papers of William H. Thomas (1805-1893) concerning his life and businesses in western North Carolina; his role as a white agent representing the Indians in negotiations and communications with the U.S. government; the removal of the Eastern Band of Cherokee on the Trail of Tears; the legal and financial conditions of Cherokee who remained behind in North Carolina; the building of roads and railroads through Western North Carolina; fighting during the Civil War in East Tennessee, including Thomas's leadership of Thomas's Legion in the Confederate Army; postwar administration of Indian affairs; and private business of Thomas, including some documentation of his declining health and his institutionalization for mental instability. There are also account books, day books, and ledgers showing a record of goods bought and sold in Thomas's five stores in Haywood and Cherokee counties. Included also are business correspondence and miscellaneous accounts, 1875-1890, of his son, William Holland Thomas, Jr., merchant and farmer of Jackson County, North Carolina.
Account Book, 1834-1836, 1834-1836 Volume (boards); 20x34 cm.; 122 pages
Scott's Creek, Haywood County, N.C. Contains a list of 16 "Rules of Shoal Creek Store," one of them being "Sell to all customers alike. Let not the price vary on any Article in order to do so keep the price of the goods marked on Each Article." Also contains customer accounts; billing accounts for leather, salt, and other goods; spending accounts for purchases in Augusta and Philadelphia.
Accounts, 1835-1839 Volume (boards); 20x38 cm.; 117 pages
Scott's Creek, Haywood County, N.C. Customer accounts and retail prices. Includes notes from purchases in Augusta and Philadelphia.
The collection consists of an extensive, but incomplete, set of account books, remnants of the office file and James Sprunt's correspondence (personal as well as business letters and papers), and pictures. Among the account books there are long series of ledgers, journals, cashbooks, purchase books, and stock inventories that document the company's operations between the 1870s and 1950s. The ledgers date between 1889 and 1952, and there are private ledgers for 1907 through 1931. The volume of minutes covers 1919-1930, but there are a few others among the offices files along with financial statements, 1885-1915, important legal documents of the partnership and corporation, and assorted other papers.
Correspondence and other papers of James Sprunt and the company date between 1884 and 1952, but they are numerous only for 1904, 1906, 1909-1910, and 1919-1921. The letters date mostly to 1904-1910, and 1919-1921, and are largely files of James Sprunt, reflecting his activities in business and interests in secular and theological education, the Presbyterian church in the U.S., and North Carolina history. Notable correspondents and subjects are Alexander Sprunt (1815-1884), Alexander Sprunt (1852-1937), Alexander Sprunt (b. 1898), James Sprunt (1847-1924), Kenneth Mackenzie Murchison, Francis Herman Packer, John Miller Wells, John Campbell White, Edward Jenner Wood, The Laymen's Missionary Movement, and the Presbyterian mission at Kiangyin, China. Account books, minutes, and correspondence are available also for a number of domestic and foreign subsidaries and branch offices, but these are often quite fragmentary. More than thirty pictures, mostly photographs, illustrate the firm's staff, workers, physical plant, and employees as well as other scenes.
Also included are some papers representing various domestic and foreign subsidiaries and branch offices, especially Champion Compress and Warehouse Company, the Wilmington Compress and Warehouse Company, Alexander Sprunt & Son (of Delaware, a holding company), and the company's offices in New York City and Le Havre, France.
Information about the company's history can be found in: James Sprunt's letters of Nov. 6, 1908; Apr. 9, 1909; Jun. 7 and Oct. 22, 1919; an article in Wilmington's Morning Star from Feb. 11, 1921; and Dictionary of American Biography.
While the bulk of the collection is made up of correspondence, the papers also include Abbot's addresses to schools and the Virginia Educational Society; printed bulletins detailing courses of study and formal statements of the teaching philosophy at Bellevue; and an official letter-book, receipts, financial and legal documents relating to the purchase, expansion and daily administration of the school. Other materials relating to the children of the William and Lucy Abbot include educational addresses by their son, Charles Minor Abbot, who administered Bellevue until it closed (1901-1909), as well as biographical material on Virginia Henderson's authoritative influence on professional nursing.
The Abbot Family papers provide the researcher with numerous vantage points onto public, professional and private life in nineteenth-century Virginia, most particularly through personalized accounts of men and women of the time. While the papers follow the families' colonial past from the early eighteenth century into the mid-twentieth century, the collection is noteworthy for its emphasis on military and private life in the Confederacy and in the Reconstruction South. The collection illuminates the experience of the Civil War through numerous windows onto the private lives of individuals; the professionalization of secondary education during the Reconstruction; the social and epistolary conventions of nineteenth century courtship; and the construction of an inter-generational identity, based on extended familial affections and ties to the institutions of Bellevue and the University of Virginia.
Transcription of entries from Charles Minor's personal diary from a trip from Charlottesville to New Orleans, mentioning General Jackson. The second half of the document is Minor's account of his early education in the classics, also detailing the circumstances surrounding Minor's first teaching position in Albemarle County and eventual move to Ridgway.
Personal diary of Anne Minor, youngest child of Charles Minor. The diary describes early childhood experiences during the Civil War, after the family moved from Brookhill to Lands End upon the death of Charles Minor. The ten-page record is unusual for its dramatic reconstruction of a child's perspective on events witnessed during the Civil War, as well as for its disturbing reflections on the particular insecurities suffered by young children in war-time (c. 1929).
Insurance policies, deeds of trust, and land plats pertaining to Bellevue property and W.R. Abbot's property elsewhere in Virginia and in Kansas City; legal papers of Ellen Abbot's pre-Civil War residence in Georgetown; records of W.R. Abbot's partnership with J.P. Holcombe and his assumption of Bellevue subsequent to Holcombe's death; affidavits of family members recording receipt of inheritance; and original deeds of trust recording land grants made in Virginia to John B. Minor from Sir Thomas Carr of Topping Castle.
The collection includes a small account book that A. B. (Abel Beach) Nichols used to record financial transactions that occurred in Alabama from 1835 to 1836. Nine pages contain handwriting and several pages near the front and back of the book have been removed. Of particular interest are two pages with the heading, "A list of the sales of negroes in the State of Alabama in 1835 & 1836," followed by a tabular listing of the number of slaves, their names, from whom purchased, cost, date, to whom sold, time, and amount. In all, Nichols bought and sold 42 slaves for a profit of $21,430.58. Headings such as "A list of bonds bought in Alabama ..." and "Bond on ... in Alabama for articles sold" are found on subsequent pages. Also included in the collection are two letters addressed to A. B. Nichols. The 1846 letter, from Pollard Hopkins & Co., describes efforts regarding the sell or hire of Nichols' slave, Henry, and the "writer's" intention to buy Henry a horse and dray, thereby giving him the means to eventually buy his freedom. The 1850 letter, from Henry, respectfully explains arrangements for acquiring the title to himself.
The Sallie Bingham Papers provide rich documentation of the personal life, literary development, and philanthropic activities of Sallie Bingham, feminist and writer. The papers, dated 1900-2022, with the bulk of the materials dating from the 1940s to 2022, are comprised of correspondence, speeches, writings, subject files, personal papers, diaries and notebooks, legal and financial papers, audiovisual recordings, and photographic media. Included also are some records of The Kentucky Foundation for Women, a philanthropic organization founded by Bingham; The American Voice, a literary journal founded by Bingham and published under the auspices of The Kentucky Foundation for Women; and Santa Fe Stages, a regional theater founded by Bingham. Arranged into the following series: Audiovisual Materials, Correspondence, Diaries and Notebooks, Kentucky Foundation for Women, Legal and Financial, Miscellaneous, Photographs, Poetry, Santa Fe Stages, Speeches, Subject Files, Writings, and Oversize Material, with the Writings, Diaries and Notebooks, and Correspondence Series composing the bulk of the collection.
The Writings Series is central to the collection, and is correspondingly substantial, comprising over half of the papers. It includes drafts, research, correspondence and publicity related to such novels as Small Victories, Upstate, Matron of Honor, and Straight Man, her memoir Passion and Prejudice, the writing and production of the plays The Awakening and The Death of Henry Flagler as well as poetry and many short, personal essays. The Poetry Series consists of individual poems, while compendiums of poetry are in the Writings Series. Many of Bingham's writings (including poems, novels, short stories, plays and essays) exist as electronic files and are available to researchers. These files are listed in the Poetry and the Writings Series. The Diaries and Notebooks Series contains material spanning her entire life -- from her adolescence in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1940s to her experiences living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and contain many ideas for writings and references to the process of writing. The Correspondence Series also spans the same period of time, and contains family correspondence spanning many decades, as well as literary and personal correspondence between Bingham and such well-known authors, activists and artists as Judy Chicago and Gloria Steinem. The smaller Speeches Series houses writings by Bingham for public engagements, and in addition to contributing to a portrait of Bingham as a writer, documents her explication of feminist issues relating to women in the corporate world, in publishing, and women in history.
Bingham, born into a prominent Louisville, KY, family that owned The Louisville Courier-Journal, worked for the newspaper as book page editor, 1982-1985. She also took an active seat on the board of the Bingham Enterprises, which was responsible for The Courier-Journal and other media corporations in the Louisville area. Bingham's desire to sell her shares in the stock in the newspaper resulted in the sale of The Courier-Journal in 1986. The Bingham family and the break-up of the Bingham Enterprises were the subject of at least four books (The Binghams of Louisville, House of Dreams, The Patriarch, and Bingham's Passion and Prejudice) and much media attention. Materials concerning this aspect of Bingham's life can be found in the Legal and Financial Papers Series and Subject Files Series. Audiovisual materials in the Audiotapes and Videotapes Series document aspects of Bingham's career and life through interviews and other events.
NOTE: This collection also contains numerous additions that have not been processed. For descriptions of later additions, please see below or consult the library's online catalog.
Accession (2009-0183), 1800-2009 2 boxes
Addition (2009-0183) (900 items; 1.2 lin. ft.; dated 1960s-2000s) includes manuscripts of essays and short stories; drafts of plays and accompanying production materials; research files and correspondence from Bingham's investigations into her family's history (1980s); notebooks and journals; and other miscellaneous materials.
Collection includes business, personal, and legal correspondence of Edward B. Hicks (died 1858), lawyer and planter of Lawrenceville, Brunswick County, Virginia, and of his son, David S. Hicks, lawyer, planter, and land agent. Papers of Edward B. Hicks include jockey club dues, records connected with his duties as sheriff in 1821 and possibly later, and with Hicks' position as superintendent of schools in Brunswick County in 1847.
Included also is an extensive series of letters and papers relating to the operation, in partnership with John W. Paup, of Spring Hill plantation at Red River, Arkansas, in 1837 and later. An early letter, 1840, describes the deaths ("losses") of enslaved persons at the plantation, and the building of better quarters. Letters also show that Hicks engaged in selling enslaved persons in New Orleans during 1852. Other interesting letters are from Lewis Taylor on the War of 1812 and another, in 1817, relative to disturbances at Princeton College, Princeton, New Jersey, caused by refusal of professors to accept state bank notes.
Centering around David S. Hicks, the papers dated after 1858 are largely legal documents, notes, and correspondence concerned with his law practice and the administration of the estate of Edward R. Hicks. The most continuous series among these legal papers is a set of letters from Leigh R. Page, a Richmond attorney. Papers also pertain to the efforts of Hicks and one Turnbull to sell lands in Brunswick County to Northerners.
Included also are records of Hicks's activities as judge of Brunswick County, as dealer in Texas lands, and as an organizer of the Atlantic and Danville Railroad. One letter, June 30, 1866, from D. J. Claiborne, Jr., concerns African American congressmen in the South and his hatred for them amidst fears of a "Negro supremacy." Fifteen letters from General Thomas Ewing are concerned with the Atlantic and Danville Railroad Company.
The volumes, generally mercantile records, seem to have into the collection as a result of Hicks's legal practice and duties as sheriff in Virginia. These are chiefly in the form of account and ledger books.
An account book from 1864 bears the names Hicks, Jones, and Mallory, and appears to be records of a tanyard.
One letter from November 13, 1840, recently added to the original collection, was written from John Paup, Spring Hill Plantation, Hempstead county, Arkansas, to Edward Brodnax Hicks, his partner in the plantation and resident of Brunswick County, Virginia. His thee-page letter refers to the economics of enslaved labor and buying enslaved persons; illness and the deaths of enslaved persons on the plantation; the cotton crop, insurance, and prices; and the survey of the border between Arkansas and the Republic of Texas.
This collection contains papers of the related Jarratt, Puryear, Clingman, Poindexter and Cash families, and especially of Isaac A. Jarratt, soldier in the War of 1812, landholder, merchant, and distiller.
The collection concerns family matters and local affairs; the education of Mary Jarratt at St. Mary's College, Raleigh, North Carolina; the education of Augustus Jarratt at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and conditions at the university preceding the Civil War; Isaac Jarratt's partnership with Tyre Glen in the slave trade between Alabama and North Carolina, 1830-1835; the Creek War of 1836; United States relations with Mexico, 1842; a survey of Wilson, North Carolina, 1851; frontier conditions in Texas; the Civil War, including troop movements in North Carolina and Virginia, conditions in the Confederate Army, conscription, lists of absentees, official orders for enrolling new age groups, conscription lists, casualty lists, payments to widows, and home conditions; freedmen, including letters from former enslaved persons inquiring about relatives; Jarratt's efforts to get whiskey during the war; North Carolina politics after the war; whiskey taxes; conditions in California; a Texas counterfeit affair in which A. B. Clingman was unjustly suspected; the business affairs of the Jarratt family; the administration of the estates of Samuel L. Davis, William Doss, Sally Doss, and Polly Sapp by Isaac Jarratt and of the estate of Richard Clauselle Puryear (d. 1867) by Jarratt and by his son, Richard Clingman Puryear (b. 1848); and the law practice of Richard Clingman Puryear, including the collection of many claims, 1870-1900.
Volumes include a plantation account book, 1834-1881, containing lists and prices of enslaved persons bought and sold in 1834 and 1835; a plantation account book, 1866-1871, recording supplies and cash advanced to tenants; an administration book, 1845-1848, concerning the estate of Matthew A. Doss; and a ledger, 1869-1870, of Isaac A. Jarratt & Sanderford, a general mercantile firm, containing the records of the sale of whiskey.
This collection consists largely of business papers, particularly of financial and legal documents concerning the slave trade in North Carolina, Virginia and Alabama as well as possibly other locations. In addition to copious information on slave trading in the 1830s and 1840s, the collection includes references to Glen's Union sympathies and claims for horses confiscated by the U.S. Army; farming; exemptions from the Confederate Army and other topics.
Volumes include accounts of slaves, mercantile interests, and general expenses. Also included in the collection are two volumes concerning a firm known as Poindexter and Palmer operating a general store in North Carolina. These records contain numerous accounts of individuals from the region included H.P. Poindexter, various members of the Clingman family and Richard C. Puryear.