Samuel Finley Patterson papers, 1792-1939 and undated

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Patterson, Samuel Finley, 1799-1874
Samuel Patterson (1799-1874) was a farmer, Indian commissioner, Justice of the Peace in Caldwell County, railroad official, and state legislator from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Collection consists primarily of personal and business papers of Samuel Patterson, his family, and the Graham family, of North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. The papers pertain to North Carolina railroads, legislative and politics in North Carolina, sale of Cherokee lands, mercantile affairs, the education of children, and other topics. Correspondents include C. B. Aycock, K. P. Battle, W. J. Bingham, Edward W. Bok, Locke Craig, Josephus Daniels, Dorothea L. Dix, John Haywood, William H. Haywood, Edwin Mims, John Charles McNeill, William Norwood, Henry J. Stockard, C. Alphonso Smith, Zebulon B. Vance, and Henry Van Dyke. Correspondence from the Civil War and Reconstruction periods discusses abolitionism, slavery, supplies to Confederate soldiers, refugees, prices, military affairs and leaders, the establishment of a school for African Americans, and refers to the dislike of the policies of Jefferson Davis and Judah P. Benjamin. The papers of Lucy Bramlette Patterson relate to her travels through Europe and Mexico in the 1880s, her literary and extensive political interests, and family matters.
9 Linear Feet
Approx. 2,167 Items
Material in English
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The collection comprises the personal and business correspondence and other papers of Samuel Finley Patterson (1799-1874), state legislator and president of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, and of Lucy Bramlette Patterson (1865-1942), wife of Jesse Lindsay Patterson, Samuel Finley Patterson's grandson. There are also papers of Samuel Patterson's son, Rufus Lenoir Patterson (1830-1879), and of his granddaughter, Caroline Finley Patterson. Early papers include the business records and daybooks of Hugh Graham concerning mercantile affairs, the purchase of land warrants, and the panic of 1819; letters of William Norwood (1767-1842) dealing with family matters and his election as a judge; letters of the Jones family, related through the wife of Samuel Finley Patterson, pertaining to family affairs; and life in 1823 at Salem Academy (Salem, North Carolina), in 1835 at the University of North Carolina, and in 1840 at Yale College; and letters from Edmund Jones Henry and James Edward Henry regarding farming in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and a temperance convention there in 1843.

The papers of Samuel Finley Patterson give information of Revolutionary land claims; sale of Cherokee lands; the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad; Cincinnati (Ohio) in 1819; South Carolina politics, including nullification and support for the Van Buren administration; the Bank of the United States; the Whig Party in North Carolina and Virginia; Patterson's activities as a member of the North Carolina legislature; student life at the University of North Carolina in 1849 and 1867, and at the University of Virginia; Charlottesville (Virginia), in 1869; and Rufus T. Patterson's cotton and paper factories.

Correspondence from the Civil War and Reconstruction periods discusses abolitionism, slavery, supplies to Confederate soldiers, refugees, prices, military affairs and leaders, the establishment of a school for African Americans, dislike of the policies of Jefferson Davis and Judah P. Benjamin, the Good Templars of Hillsborough (North Carolina), the emancipation of Louisiana from radical rule; and the threat to eliminate state funding for the support of the University of North Carolina.

The papers of Lucy Bramlette Patterson include her diploma from Salem Female College; letters written while she was traveling in Mexico and Europe during the 1880s; letters from prominent persons in response to invitations to speak at Salem Female College; information on the Patterson Cup awarded annually for the best literary production in North Carolina; letters from a few North Carolina literary figures correspondence regarding the location of the Daniel Boone Trail; papers relative to Mrs. Patterson's service with Kolo Serbski Sestara in caring for the orphans of Serbian soldiers; a few items relating to the visit of Queen Marie of Rumania to the United States; clippings of Lucy Bramlette (Patterson) Patterson's contributions to the Progressive Farmer, Raleigh, North Carolina; and an account of "The Groves," the home of Willie Jones.

Other materials include a list of pledges by women of Caldwell County, North Carolina, in 1862 for construction of an ironclad gunboat; broadsides advertising the Charlotte Female Institute, Charlotte (North Carolina), Gaston High School, Dallas (North Carolina), O. P. Fitzgerald's Home Newspaper and Educational Journal, Hubert H. Bancroft's History of California and the Pacific States, and a forestry conference to be held at Montreat (North Carolina). Other printed materials include a program of performances at the Opera House in Winston (North Carolina) in 1882; broadside announcing the inauguration of Governor Zebulon B. Vance in 1877; bulletin of St. Mary's School, Raleigh (North Carolina); printed speech of John K. Kuttrell entitled "Who is Responsible for Chinese Immigration."

There are several items in the collection relating to the Bolijack family, including an account book, 1855-1869, of William A. Bolijack with entries for a sawmill and for trade in barrels of lime, and an agreement, 1842, between John W. Smith and Bolijack for use of a patented sawmill on Town Fork of the Dan River in Stokes County.

Biographical / historical:

Samuel Finley Patterson was a clerk of the N.C. Senate, 1835, treasurer of N.C., 1835-1837, president of Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, 1840-1845, chairman of the Caldwell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1845-1868, member of the N.C. Senate, 1846, 1848, 1864, member of the N.C. House of Commons,1854, member of the N.C. State Convention, 1866, Indian commissioner, 1839, Brigadier and Major General of the N.C. State Militia, Justice of the Peace in Caldwell County, N.C, trustee of the University of N.C., and farmer.

Lucy Bramlette Patterson, daughter of General William Houston Patterson, was born in Tennessee, the home of her mother's family, but spent the greater part of her unmarried life in Philadelphia, the home of the Patterson family. In 1888, she married Jesse Lindsay Patterson, grandson of Samuel Finley Patterson and son of Rufus Lenoir Patterson (1830-1879) and Mary Louisa (Morehead) Patterson (1830-1862). She had traveled extensively in this country, Mexico, and Europe before her marriage. With literary interests and some ability herself, she made her home, "Bramlette" in Winston, a kind of center for literary activity in North Carolina from 1888 until 1919 when she became interested in Serbian War Relief and national Republican politics. The greater part of her own literary works consisted of a page in the Progressive Farmer from approximately 1904 to 1918, relating the pleasures of country life. Lucy Patterson was a graduate of Salem College, 1882; founder and first president of the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs; president of the N.C. Historical Society; Republican nominee for Congress in 1922; and Republican National Committee Woman from North Carolina.

Acquisition information:
The Samuel Finley Patterson papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift in 1949, with additions received from 1950 to 1960.
Processing information:

Processed by Rubenstein Library staff

Encoded by Paula Jeannet and Matthew Warren, June 2014

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: from 1949 to 1960

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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[Identification of item], Samuel Finley Patterson papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.