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Charles S. Sydnor papers, 1729-1978 and undated 14.8 Linear Feet — circa 11,159 items

The Charles S. Sydnor Papers roughly span the period 1729-1978, the bulk dated 1923 to 1954. They include correspondence, research notes, writings, printed materials, and clippings, chiefly relating to Sydnor's teaching career at Duke University, as well as at Harvard and Queen's College, Oxford. The collection also includes information about his involvement with various historical associations and committees, including the American Historical Association, Southern Historical Association, North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, and the Advisory Committee of the Office of the Chief of Military History for the United States Army. There is background information pertaining to his various writings, including The Development of Southern Sectionalism (Volume V of the work A History of the South) (Baton Rouge, La., 1948), Gentleman Freeholders: Political Practices in Washington's Virginia (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1952), A Gentleman of the Old Natchez Region: Benjamin L. C. Wailes (Durham, N.C., 1938), Mississippi History (New York, N.Y., 1930), and Slavery in Mississippi (New York, N.Y., 1933). The papers contain notes and examinations for various history courses taught by Sydnor, student roll books, grade books, and papers. Additionally, there are a few notebooks and papers of Sydnor's while he was a student.

Materials relating to Sydnor's teaching career and participation in historical associations are found primarily in the Alphabetical Files Series and the Teaching Files Series. The information about Queen's College, University of Oxford, is located in the Alphabetical Files Series under Oxford. Information pertaining to his writings are found in the Writings and Speeches Series. Sydnor's own student notebooks and papers are found in the Miscellaneous Series. Topics highlighted include the Duke University Department of History during the late 1930s through the early 1950s, (Alphabetical Files Series); the writing and teaching of Southern history, particularly Mississippi history, (Writings and Speeches Series and Teaching Files Series); and the naturalist and planter, Benjamin L. C. Wailes (Writings and Speeches Series). A related collection in the Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library is the Benjamin L. C. Wailes Papers.


Clopton Family papers, 1629-1915 (bulk 1775-1897) 77 Linear Feet — 11,916 Items

Family correspondence and miscellaneous papers of four generations of the Clopton family and three generations of the Wallace family, centering in Virginia. The material ranges in date from 1629-1915 (bulk 1775-1897).

Family correspondence and miscellaneous papers of four generations of the Clopton family and three generations of the Wallace family, centering in Virginia. The earlier papers are genealogical records. Papers of John Clopton, Virginia legislator and U.S. Representative contain comments on politics in the Jeffersonian Republican Party, the Continental Congress, Jay's treaty, the Alien and Sedition acts, the Embargo act, and American relations with France. Letters to son, John Bacon Clopton, Virginia judge, relate to the operation of a plantation in New Kent County. Correspondence of Charles Montriou Wallace, Sr., a Richmond merchant, includes accounts of an overland journey to California (1849) and subsequent residence there, Reconstruction, and Virginia politics. Of interest also are Civil War letters from William Izard Clopton. Letters from a Richmond commission firm concern wartime and postwar business conditions. The collection also includes several memorandum books, scrapbooks, account books, legal casebooks, journals of trips to California, Texas and England, records of an unidentified temperance society, and financial records of a teacher.


George Rust papers, 1808-1879 3.5 Linear Feet — Approx. 3,343 Items

Businessman, militia officer, and Virginia state legislator, of Baltimore, Maryland, and Leesburg, Virginia. Collection houses correspondence and other papers of George Rust and of his family, relating to Rust's legislative career, his work on behalf of the Jacksonian Democrats, his investment activities in Maryland and Virginia banks and mercantile firms, and his association with the Virginia militia. Includes letters from members of the family in other sections of the United States.

Correspondence and other papers of Rust and of his family, relating to Rust's legislative career, his work on behalf of the Jacksonian Democrats, his investment activities in Maryland and Virginia banks and mercantile firms, and his association with the Virginia militia. Includes letters from members of the family in other sections of the U.S.


Henry James Seibert papers, 1779-1912 and undated 15 Linear Feet — 16,658 Items

Lawyer, election clerk, and Virginia legislator, of Martinsburg and Hedgesville, Virginia (now West Virginia). Correspondence, account books, ledgers, and other professional, business, and family correspondence (chiefly 1820-1885), of Seibert and of his family. The collection relates to family matters, Virginia and national politics before the Civil War, migration into the Old Northwest, social life and customs, and slavery in Virginia.

Spanning the years 1779-1912, the collection contains correspondence, legal and financial papers, and printed material of Henry James Seibert, Sr., Virginia state legislator, executor for numerous estates, and financial agent for emigrants to the Mid-West.

The correspondence discusses personal and family matters; internal improvements in Pennsylvania during the 1820s; salt mining in Pennsylvania; commodity and land prices in Ohio during the 1820s and 1830s; Ohio politics during the 1830s and the attitude of politicians towards the Second Bank of the United States; commodity prices in Illinois during 1838 and 1840; bank failures in Ohio, 1841; wages in Ohio, 1845; care of a ward of Henry James Seibert, Sr., in an insane asylum; the National Road in Ohio; presidential elections of 1840, 1844, 1848, 1852, and 1856; the National Democratic Convention of 1844; Henry Clay and the Whig Party; the slavery question in relation to the California Territory; improvement and construction of public buildings in Washington, D.C.; coal mining in Maryland; the Compromise of 1850; cholera in New Orleans, 1850s; internal improvements in Virginia, 1850s; control and sale of liquor and distillation of whiskey; slave trade in the United States; Civil War bounty; pension claims; and other matters.

Also included are bills and receipts; indentures; court summonses; account sheets; applications for pensions; prospectus, 1865, of The New Era, a newspaper to be published in Martinsburg, West Virginia; bulletin of Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, for 1879; pamphlets containing West Virginia laws in 1887 relating to public schools; advertisements for the Maryland Lottery Company, the Kentucky State Lottery, cooking and heating stoves, women's fashions for 1884-1885, and patent medicines; Reformed Missionary Herald, 1889; almanacs; price current sheets for Baltimore, Maryland, in 1867 and 1869; premium list of the annual fair of the Ogle County (Illinois) Agricultural Board in 1881; ballots for the Greenback Party, the Democratic Party in Berkeley County (West Virginia) in 1880 and 1888, and the National Prohibition Party in 1884; pamphlet of the National Prohibition Party; form letter, 1849, explaining the stand of the Society of Friends of Great Britain and Ireland on slavery; broadsides of a U.S. pension agency; and announcement and program of the 29th annual session of the Farmers' National Congress, Raleigh, 1909.

There are also many 19th century manuscript volumes - daybooks, ledgers, and account books - containing financial records of the general mercantile establishments of John W. Boyd and Benjamin R. Boyd; Hezekiah Hedges; Henry J. Seibert; and of William L. Seibert.


John Rutherfoord papers, 1754-1931, bulk 1781-1865 4.5 Linear Feet — 6 Boxes (2,745 items)

Collection contains correspondence, travel journals, account books, memorandum books, farm records, legal records, commonplace books, class notes, and other papers (chiefly 1781-1865) of John Rutherfoord; of his son, John Coles Rutherfoord, lawyer, planter, and state legislator; and of other members of the family. The papers before 1818 are chiefly legal and business papers and include information on family investments in Kentucky lands and other ventures. The papers of John Rutherfoord relate to his career as governor, his agricultural and business affairs; Virginia and U.S. politics, the American Party; the return of fugitive slaves, secession and events preceeding the Civil War, Confederate foreign relations; and family matters; and they include letters from Edward Coles, William Cabell Rives, and others of Rutherfoord's relatives by marriage, concerning agriculture and anti-slavery sentiment in Virginia and relations between the United States and France. John Coles Rutherfoord's papers relate to his attendance at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) and the University of Virginia, his interests in politics and European travel, his legal activities, his work as a state legislator (1852-1865) and as manager of the family estates, westward expansion, and social life and customs in Virginia. Includes scattered correspondence of J.C. Rutherfoord's wife, Ann Seddon Roy Rutherfoord, referring to life in the South during and after the Civil War, and family matters.

This collection contains family, business, personal, and political correspondence of John Rutherfoord (1792-1866), lawyer, merchant, and governor of Virginia, 1841-1842; of his son, John Coles Rutherfoord (1825-1866), lawyer, planter, and member of the House of Delegates; of Ann Seddon (Roy) Rutherfoord (1832-1906?), wife of John Coles Rutherfoord; and of Thomas Rutherfoord (1766-1852), father of John Rutherfoord, and Richmond merchant.

Early papers are those of Isaac Holmes, assistant quartermaster at Petersburg, Virginia, chiefly from Richard Claiborne concerning provisions for Revolutionary soldiers; and of James Webb, apparently a lawyer of Smithfield, Virginia, having connections with John Marshall, Spencer Roane, and John Wickham, consisting of legal correspondence and papers. The papers of Thomas Rutherfoord include a letter, 1810, expressing objections to the embargo; letters concerning family matters and Rutherfoord's ailments; correspondence dealing with business affairs, chiefly his large landholdings in Kentucky and Ohio, and the title and sale of those lands; and an article, 1812, on the necessity of a navy to protect the maritime rights of the United States. Personal correspondence of John Rutherfoord is primarily with relatives, including his son, John Coles Rutherfoord; his brothers, Samuel Rutherfoord, William Rutherfoord, and Alexander Rutherfoord, and their families; relatives of Emily (Coles), Rutherfoord, his wife, including Tucker Coles, Isaac A. Coles, Edward Coles, Andrew Stevenson, and William Cabell Rives; his brother-in-law, Hodijah Meade; and Jane (Rutherfoord) Meade. Letters discuss family news; business matters; agriculture and the operation of their various plantations; the painting of family portraits; the marketing of wheat produced at “Rock Castle,” home of John Coles Rutherfoord, during the 1840s and 1850s; visits to various springs in western Virginia; the insurance society headed by John Rutherfoord; family illnesses, including full descriptions of remedies and medicines; purchase of land; detailed accounts of the construction of a boat for use at "Rock Castle"; purchase of a buggy, including description of various types of buggies; purchase and price of guano; detailed accounts of shipping by freight boats on the James River; purchase of slaves to prevent the separation of families; sympathy for slaves; purchase of shoes and making of clothes for slaver at “Rock Castle”; details of household management, such as the making of candles and the slaughtering of sheep; Richmond social life; and current events. Also included are letters from relatives in Ireland; letters of advice from John Rutherfoord to his son, John Coles Rutherfoord, while the latter was a student at Washington College, Lexington, Virginia, and at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia; letter, 1837, from Andrew Stevenson, U.S. minister to England, describing his and his wife's experiences in diplomatic circles in London, and papers relating to the settlement of the case of the U.S.S. Caroline, burned in 1837 by Canadian troops; a letter, 1832, from William Cabell Rives, while minister to France, concerning the instability of the French government, and Rives's conviction that slavery should be abolished; and letters discussing the activities of Thomas Ritchie (1778-1854), editor of the Richmond Enquirer, especially during 1849. Other papers relate to Rutherfoord's bank stocks, his legal practice, and mercantile affairs in Richmond, Virginia. The political correspondence includes correspondence between Rutherfoord and John Tyler concerning national politics, 1827-1831, Andrew Jackson and his policies, Henry Clay, political intrigue, "sectional cupidity," European affairs, and Tyler's concern for the welfare of the country; correspondence with Governor William H. Seward of New York while Rutherfoord was governor of Virginia pertaining to a controversy over fugitive slaves; letters from Rutherfoord to John Coles Rutherfoord commenting extensively on the American Party or Know-Nothings in Goochland County, Virginia; letters, 1860, from C. G. Memminger regarding national politics, secession, and the possibility of war; letter, 1860, from Rutherfoord to a cousin in London discussing the election of Abraham Lincoln, national politics, and his hatred of abolitionists, and protesting that the Prince of Wales had not been mistreated in Richmond; correspondence concerning the coming of the Civil War, the scarcity of food during the war, and refugees; letter, 1861, from John Brockenbrough describing the Washington Peace Convention and commenting on the compromise plan proposed by John Jordan Crittenden; letter, written under an assumed name, to Rutherfoord from Sir William Henry Gregory, member of the British Parliament with sympathies for the Confederate States of America, regarding the possibilities of recognition of the Confederate government by England and the means of communicating with Rutherfoord's nephew, who was attending a German university [published: Nannie M. Tilley (ed.), England and the Confederacy, American Historical Review 44 (October, 1938), 56-60]; and papers relating to Rutherfoord's service on a committee to assess damages made by the Confederate government in erecting defenses in Richmond.

The papers of John Coles Rutherfoord consist of his letters concerning literature, the activities of the Virginia House of Delegates, work on a banking bill in 1854, the Know-Nothing Party in Goochland County and their opposition to Rutherfoord's candidacy for a seat in the House of Delegates, visits to various springs in Virginia, trips to South Carolina to visit relatives, his courtship of Ann Seddon Roy, and his legal practice; correspondence regarding preparations for a European tour made by John Coles Rutherfoord and Charles Morris in 1851; letters to Rutherfoord discussing Virginia politics in the 1850s; letters from a former college mate, William M. Cooke, describing his legal practice in Saint Louis and Hannibal, Missouri, the slavery question, the growth of Saint Louis, emigrants to California and the sale of supplies to them, hunting grouse on the prairies, and the Know-Nothing Party in Missouri in 1855; letters from John D. Osborne and William Cabell Rives, Jr., containing descriptions of their travels in the North and in Europe and conditions in Paris, France; scattered letters referring to the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, and to the Southern Literary Messenger and John R. Thompson; and letters from William P. Munford concerning the translation of Homer's Iliad by his father, William Munford, and his own plans to have it published.

Correspondence of Ann Seddon (Roy) Rutherfoord includes letters to her husband, John Coles Rutherfoord, concerning preparations and plans for her visits to her father, William H. Roy, household matters, and their children; letters from William H. Roy to Ann Seddon (Roy) Rutherfoord; papers pertaining to the settlement of William H. Roy's estate; letters from her sister, Sue (Roy) Carter, and from her aunt, Sarah (Seddon) Bruce, describing their children, accouchements, servants, household affairs, crops, care for slaves, and, during the Civil War, refugees, the scarcity of food, family members in the Confederate Army, and crowded conditions in Richmond, Virginia; letters of James A. Seddon regarding the business affairs of Ann Seddon (Roy) Rutherfoord after the death of her husband; letters from other friends and relatives chiefly concerning personal matters; and papers relating to the operation of "Rock Castle," including scattered accounts, contracts for labor, and inventories.

Volumes consist of a notebook on rhetoric by Emily (Coles) Rutherfoord; legal notebook of John Rutherfoord containing notes on Blackstone; personal account book, 1840-1841, of John Coles Rutherfoord; autographs and clippings collected by John Coles Rutherfoord, 1836-1850; commonplace book, 1839-1842, of John Coles Rutherfoord also containing copies of several letters; Index Rerum, 1842, kept by John Coles Rutherfoord while at the University of Virginia; notebooks of John Coles Rutherfoord while a student at Washington College, on various subjects including chemistry, mathematics, Greek history, natural and moral philosophy, political economy, Latin history, law, and the Constitution; case books, 1844-1852, and memorandum book, 1856-1862, containing records of the cases handled by John Coles Rutherfoord; memorandum book, 1846-1864, with notes on farming operations; letter book, 1857-1866, letterpress copybook, 1856-1866, and letter book and commonplace book, 1852-1858, of John Coles Rutherfoord; index, 1856-1865, of the letters received by John Coles Rutherfoord; indices to articles on politics and major events in the New York Herald, 1856-1859, and in the Richmond Examiner, 1862-1865; notebook on Rutherfoord family history; a scrapbook, 1843-1856, relating to the career of John Coles Rutherfoord in the Virginia House of Delegates; and a legal notebook, 1895-1916, of John Rutherfoord, son of John Coles Rutherfoord.


Robert Anderson papers, 1735-1878, 1908 and undated, bulk 1735-1859 0.5 Linear Feet — 1 box, 1 oversize folder

Collection comprises correspondence, documents and print materials belonging to merchant, land owner, and enslaver Robert Anderson of Williamsburg and Yorktown, Virginia. The materials date from 1735-1908, with the bulk dating from 1735 to 1859, and consist of over eighty letters, both incoming and outgoing, many legal and financial papers, other manuscript documents, and ephemeral print items such as broadsides and circulars. One folder contains military muster lists and fines stemming from Anderson's service as clerk of the 68th regiment of the Virginia militia. Topics in the correspondence include slavery and the slave trade, particularly in Virginia, colonization efforts, emancipation, the status of mixed-race individuals, Virginia and U.S. politics, Virginia military history, religion and church affairs, and education. Of particular note are several letters and documents relating to Anderson's children, who he fathered with one or more enslaved women; one of these children, Haidee, was sent to Eaglewood, a boarding school run by abolitionists Angelina Grimké Weld and Theodore Dwight Weld. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection consists of correspondence, documents and ephemera belonging to merchant, land owner, and enslaver Robert Anderson of Williamsburg and Yorktown, Virginia. The materials date from 1735-1908, with the bulk dating from 1735-1859. The earliest document is a deed of gift of land from Thomas Vine of York County, Virginia, to his grandson.

There are over 100 pieces of incoming and outgoing correspondence dating from 1804 to 1859, with a few letters dated much later. Many of the retained copies and drafts are written on small slips of paper and docketed, which appears to have been Anderson's idiosyncratic method of dealing with his correspondence. Topics include religion and church matters; U.S. and Virginia politics; Virginia history; mercantile transactions; education; and slavery, including prices for enslaved persons in the Richmond market, and Anderson's correspondence referring to purchases and sales of individuals. A printed circular letter from 1850 concerns colonization efforts to send emancipated persons to Liberia.

Of note are several letters relating to children Anderson fathered with enslaved women, especially his daughter Haidee, who he sent to Eaglewood, the boarding school run by abolitionists Angelina Grimké and Theodore Dwight Weld; one long letter was written by Grimké to Anderson, exhorting him to emancipate Haidee and her mother. Eaglewood was part of the utopian community in Raritan Union Bay, New Jersey.

Stemming from Anderson's work as clerk for the 68th Regiment of the Virginia militia in James City County (Jamestown), there are 39 items, some written by Anderson, some by the Sheriff of Williamsburg, which consist chiefly of detailed muster lists and fines (1806-1858), and two printed lists of individuals receiving military pensions received due to an Act of Congress in 1828. Other documents in the collection refer to Virginia history during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, and to the history of the Virginia Norfolk Junior Volunteers, founded in 1802, in which Anderson served.

There are also deeds, wills, and other documents; several dozen financial receipts; and a few printed and partially printed ephemeral items. Family names appearing in the deeds, bonds, and other documents are Bryan, Coke, Moody, Dickeson, Nelson, White, and Chapman. Among the later documents is a list of medical expenses from 1852 that seem to relate to care for enslaved persons, and an 1858 bill for boarding school expenses for Haidee, signed by Theodore Weld. A document from 1855 records citizens protesting a request from the ship "Seabird" to land cargo and passengers, due to an outbreak of yellow fever in the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth.

Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.