William S. Carter papers, 1830-1922
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- Carter, William S.
- Col. William Sylvester Carter (approximately 1833-1902) was a white Confederate plantation owner, businessman, and state representative from Fairfield in Hyde County, N.C. Collection contains correspondence, legal and financial papers, and account books from the Carter, Howard, and Spencer families of Hyde County, North Carolina. The ledger books largely relate to William and David Carter's plantations and crops, particularly corn, and also contain expenses and accounts for different Hyde County residents, including enslaved and later emancipated African Americans, throughout the mid-ninteenth century. Correspondence and legal papers in the collection largely relate to the estate management, land, farming, and business or trading expenses for the Carter family. Some materials relate to the American Civil War.
- 3 Linear Feet
- Collection ID:
- Scope and content:
Collection contains correspondence, legal and financial papers, and account books from the Carter, Howard, and Spencer families of Hyde County, North Carolina. The ledger books largely relate to William and David Carter's plantations and crops, particularly corn, and also contain expenses and accounts for different Hyde County residents throughout the mid-ninteenth century. A small amount of materials in the ledgers relate to Black people and are indicated with the headings "negro" - this material is sporadic and dates both pre- and post-emancipation.
Correspondence and legal papers in the collection largely relate to the estate management, land, farming, and business or trading expenses for the Carter family. Some materials relate to the American Civil War, including correspondence informing the family of the death of Captain James Carter in 1862. Other materials relate to the enslavement of different men, women, and children, including bills of sale, rental and lease information, and medical expenses accrued by the slaveholders for the different slaves treated on various plantations in the 1850s and 1860s. One document records the names of slaves who self-emancipated themselves following the Union Army victory at the Battle of New Bern. Following the war, most correspondence and legal documents relate to estates and other routine business transactions. There are two election certificates for William Carter in the 1860s, and a draft of a letter to the editor from David S. Carter promoting Democratic candidate Edward J. Warren. The collection also contains several dozen forms returned to the Richmond Boarding House Bureau of Information (1907) reflecting prices of room and board.
- Biographical / historical:
Col. William Sylvester Carter (approximately 1833-1902) was a white Confederate plantation owner, businessman, and state representative from Fairfield in Hyde County, N.C. Following the American Civil War, Carter was also a president of the Fairfield Canal and Turnpike Company.
There are several other members of the Carter family documented in this collection. William Carter's father, David Carter Jr. (1801-1862), was a founder of the town of Fairfield. William's brother, Capt. James Henry Carter (1841-1862), enlisted in Company E, North Carolina 4th Infantry Regiment for the Confederacy in 1861. He was killed in the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862. Another brother, David Miller Carter (1830-1879), also served in the Confederate Army and as a state representative in the N.C. General Assembly. He practiced law in Raleigh and was an active participant in public affairs. His papers are located at Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina.
- Acquisition information:
- Collection was purchased by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library in 1952.
- Processing information:
Processed by Don Sechler
Completed April 23, 1999
Encoded by Lisa Stark
It was first cataloged in the manuscript card file in 1962, and the initial finding aid was created in 1999. The collection was reprocessed with a new finding aid written by MLyon in 2022.
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
- Hotels -- Virginia -- Richmond
Fugitive slaves -- North Carolina
Corn -- North Carolina -- 19th century
Plantations -- North Carolina
- Confederate States of America. Army
Richmond Boarding House Bureau of Information
- North Carolina -- Politics and government
Hyde County (N.C.) -- History
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[Identification of item], William S. Carter Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.