Collections : [David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library]

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David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

The holdings of the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library range from ancient papyri to records of modern advertising. There are over 10,000 manuscript collections containing more than 20 million individual manuscript items. Only a portion of these collections and items are discoverable on this site. Others may be found in the library catalog.

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A majority of the documents in the Legal series pertain to property transactions of Benjamin Newton Duke and other individuals in Orange County, NC and Durham, NC. Property deeds dating from 1838 show changes in ownership of land that Duke eventually purchased. Other papers include architectural contracts, plans and specifications, trust indentures, a legal brief, copies of the wills of Benjamin N. Duke and Washington Duke, and materials related to the execution of the estates of Angier B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke.

Box 1

Assorted manuscript documents from the Massie family, arranged chronologically. Items include correspondence from acquaintances and business contacts regarding crops and prices for tobacco, corn, wheat, rye, hemp, and other agriculture; planning and maps for planting fields, raising pigs, or other farming activities; letters between Thomas and William Massie negotiating estates, land, and boundaries following the death of their father and mother; letters from Thomas James Massie to his father William Massie while away at school, including one about a missing umbrella; a deposition signed by Thomas Massie in 1833 about his 1775 Continental Army service; a fragment of a 1838 land assessment for Nelson County, including mention of Pharsalia. Several pieces of local correspondence indicate they were carried by enslaved people, including Robin, Ned, and Roger, with a slave pass note of their name near the letter's addressee. The folder includes a note from 1831 January 11 from E. Pendleton asking Massie to send an update on Bob, an enslaved person who had been sent to work on Massie's plantation. Includes an affidavit of sale for "a young Negro Woman named Judy, and her Female Child Esther," sold by Thomas Massie to William Massie for three hundred dollars on 1831 April 18. Includes a manuscript copy of an affidavit, dated 1832 May 4, for William Massie from Landon R. Cabell for the sale of "a man slave named Jack, of which slave is now in the possession of said Massie as a hireling" for four hundred fifty dollars. Includes an affidavit for the sale of "three Negroes, vis. Patty, Lizzy, and Dorcus, for the sum of seven hundred dollars" from Reubin G. Coffey to William Massie, 1834 August 29. Includes a note from John Junkins that "Mr. John Hill will deliver my negro woman Betty to William Massie, I having this day sold her to the said Massie" (1835 December 12). In one letter, 1834 October 1, from Thomas Massie advises William on a remedy for an unnamed enslaved boy's eye. Includes an 1837 copy of a note by William Massie agreeing to pay Thomas J. Baird seventy five dollars for the "hire of his Negro man named Henry for one year." Includes a November 1836 receipt by Charles A. Jacobs "the following slaves, which were bequeathed to me" by the estate of David Jacobs: "Jim Clarkson a mulatto man, Phil a boy, Edmunton boy, and Lewis a young man." Includes a letter dated 1836 Dec. 10 from Henry Massie in Louisville, Kentucky, to his uncle William, updating him on the as-yet unsuccessful search for Gil, an escaped enslaved person. Includes a letter dated 1837 March 30 from Thomas Baird to Massie discussing a property dispute between Baird and Mr. Acker over "my boy Henry," whereby Baird agrees to "accept your offer of six hundred and fifty dollars for Henry." Includes a 1837 October 10 bill of sale for "two negro men Milford and Jack" for 1100 dollars, sold by Henry Rose to William Massie and subsequently hired to M. Cabell for labor on the James River Canal. Includes a bill of sale for "a negro girl named Mary Ann," sold by Henry Rose to William Massie on 1837 October 21. Includes a 1827 bill of sale for "a negro girl named Matilda," attached to a 1837 October 27 note by William Massie as evidence of his ownership of Matilda in a dispute between him and John Stevens. Includes a 1837 October 23 bill of sale for "a negro woman Betsy" for six hundred dollars, sold by Henry Rose to William Massie. Includes several bills of sale for enslaved men and women; some are accompanied by correspondence indicating different disputes between the Massies and others about the legal or ownership status of some enslaved people. Includes a 1838 August 27 receipt from Peter Coffey for payment of four hundred twenty dollars by William Massie "in full consideration of a Negro Boy named Joshua." Includes a note from William Massie to Frances Barnett regarding "the hire of Negro man Martin" for the year 1839.

Box 3

Bound volume, 173 pages, approximately 20x32cm, consisting of chronological entries by William Massie recording the various agricultural activities of the Pharsalia, Tyro, and Level Green plantation lands, with additional notes regarding weather or other events. Entries tend to be brief, for example: "Finished cutting the wheat" (1828 June 26). Some entries indicate which area of the plantation was being farmed, such as Newground, Old Ground, or various fields. Crops include wheat, oats, tobacco, apples, barley, clover, hemp, sweet potatoes; others entries record the killing of hogs, shearing sheep, and birth of foals. This book does not seem to include entries with names or groups of enslaved people, although their labor is indirectly implied. Later in the book, Massie began arranging entries by "Crop Memorandum," "Weather Memorandum," and "Orchard Memorandum."

Box AF35

Contents Include: Pan-Africanism, Germany, Edwardian Nationalism, Antiqua, St. Kitts, Colonization Movement, African Nationalism, Gold Coast, William Randolph Hearst, and Garveyism; newspaper articles on the war of the races, race war, and racial war; transcriptions; and keyword searches. Materials may overlap with Research (RE).