George Coke Dromgoole papers, 1767-1974

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Dromgoole, George Coke, 1797-1847
Planter, state legislator, and U.S. Representative, from Lawrenceville (Brunswick Co.), Va. Papers of G. C. Dromgoole, son Edward Dromgoole, and other members of the Dromgoole family, including the papers of Richard B. Robinson, George's nephew by marriage. George's papers concern family, business, and political matters and include a large number of letters dealing with plantation work and the management of slaves; items on the Democratic Party before the Civil War; and letters from Edward when he was a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Richard B. Robinson's papers include correspondence, business papers, and a daybook. Edward Dromgooles papers deal largely with legal and business matters and contain plantation records, accounts of cotton sales, and letters from tenants after the Civil War, and from a student at the Virginia Military Institute in the 1870s. The collection also includes Brunswick County, Va., legal records, including justice of the peace, county, and Circuit Court minutes, orders, summonses, warrants, and depositions. There are volumes, including daybooks, plantation books, an account book for the estate of Thomas Dromgoole, and a description of Edward Dromgoole's home and family genealogy.
8 Linear Feet
4564 Items
Material in English
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The correspondence and papers of Edward Dromgoole, prominent planter of Brunswick Co., Va., during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and sometime lawyer at South Gaston, N.C. The letters and papers give an excellent account of plantation life and management just previous to and following the Civil War in Va., dealing mainly with such matters as the settlement of accounts and notes, the sale of slaves and cotton, the production of such crops as corn, cotton, and tobacco, land tenure, land drainage, labor agreements, etc. A large number of the letters to Dromgoole following the Civil War are from his land tenants, which discuss in great detail the problems of plantation management. A few plantation account sheets and Dromgoole's daybook showing plantation expenses (1892-1893) are included.

A few letters from M.M. Harrison, a student at Virginia Military Institute during the 1870s, to Dromgoole, his guardian, give much information on V.M.I. and some account of the death and funeral of Commodore Mathew Fontaine Maury, a professor at the Institute, in 1873.

Also included in the collection are bonds and obligations; land deeds; Justice of the Peace, County, and Circuit Court minutes; orders, summonses, warrants, and despositions of Brunswick County; articles of agreement for land tenure and labor on Dromgoole's plantations; various obituaries; land plats; the will of James Ledbetter of Brunswick County (Dec. 1, 1820); advertisements; numerous bills and receipts; promissary notes; and a memorandum book.

An item of especial interest in the collection is a copy of the petition for exemption from Confederate military service made by Dromgoole in 1864, in which he discusses the size and importance of the plantation under his management, both those of his own and of his wards.

Biographical / historical:

Dromgoole was a large planter and politician of local prominence. He practice law, served in both houses of the State legislature, and was a delegate to the Virginia Convention of 1829 prior to his service in Congress, 1835-1841 and 1843-1847.

Acquisition information:
The George Coke Dromgoole Papers were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library in 1933-1955.
Processing information:

Processed by Rubenstein Library Staff, 1989

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, August 2011

Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], George Coke Dromgoole Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.