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|Size||6.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 3,000 items)|
|Abstract||Burwell family of Warren, Vance, and Granville counties, N.C., and Mecklenburg County, Va., and the Williams family of Warren County, N.C. Prominent Burwell family members were Armistead (d. 1819), Lewis (fl. 1792-1848), and Spotswood (1785-1855), all tobacco and cotton farmers in Mecklenburg County, Va.; Spotswood's children, William Armistead (1809-1887), tobacco and cotton farmer of North Carolina, Lewis D. (1813-1874), Blair (1815-1848), Armistead Ravenscroft (1820-1867), George Washington (1823-1873), Robert Randolph (1829-1892), and Mary Anne Spotswood (1825-1874), who married Dr. Otis Frederick Manson.; and William Armistead's son William Henry (1835-1917), also a tobacco and cotton farmer in North Carolina and Virginia. Personal, business, financial, and legal papers of the Burwell family, including items concerning growing and selling tobacco, cotton, and other crops; slave purchases, sales, and births; runaway slaves; plantation management by Lucy Crawley Burwell in the 1820s; gold-mining in Burke County, N.C.; horse breeding; civilian conditions during the Civil War and William Henry Burwell's purchase of a substitute to take his place in the Confederate army; taxes, farm, and household expenses; William Armistead Burwell's tenure as chairman of the Board of Superintendents of the Common Schools of Vance County, N.C.; estate settlements; the genealogy of the Burwell family; and records relating to the Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church and to a black school in Vance County, N.C., in the 1880s. Also included is an album of photographs taken and developed by Fannie Brodie Burwell, a young woman in Wilson, N.C., before her marriage in 1907. Papers of the Williams family include letters regarding the establishment of local academies in North Carolina and letters from students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the 1810s and 1830s. There are also two letters from Patrick Henry (1736-1799) about selling beef and slaves.|
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The Burwell family was prominent in Mecklenburg County, Va., and Vance, Warren, and Granville counties, N.C., in the 18th and 19th centuries. Colonel Lewis Burwell, son of Armistead and Christina Blair Burwell, was born 26 September 1745, in Williamsburg. He moved to Mecklenburg County, Va., fought in the American Revolution, and served in the Virginia Assembly. With his first wife, Anne Spotswood Burwell, he had twelve children, including Armistead (d. 1819), Lewis (fl. 1792-1848), and Spotswood (1785-1855), all farmers in Mecklenburg County.
Spotswood Burwell married Mary ("Polly") Green Marshall (1792-1856), and had nine children, including William Armistead (1809-1887), Lewis D. (1813-1874), Blair (1815-1848), Armistead Ravenscroft (1820-1867), George Washington (1823-1873), Robert Randolph (1829-1892), and Mary Anne Spotswood (1825-1874), who married Dr. Otis Frederick Manson. Spotswood Burwell lived in both Granville County, N.C., and Mecklenburg County, Va.
Spotswood's son William Armistead Burwell moved to Burke County, N.C., in the 1830s to attempt a gold-mining venture, and later returned to Granville County to continue farming. He married Mary Graves Williams (1810-1896) and had one child, William Henry (1835-1917). William Henry attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, graduating in 1856, and then returned to Warren County, where his father had settled, to work on the farm. He was drafted into the Confederate army in 1861, but left the army upon purchasing a substitute in 1862, and moved to Alabama to marry Laura T. Pettway (1841-1871). He stayed in Alabama until the end of the war, when he returned to Warren County to resume farming. In later years, he continued to grow tobacco, cotton, and other crops, living at various times in Warren, Vance, and Granville counties in North Carolina and at his Berry Hill plantation in Mecklenburg County, Va. He married three times and had sixteen children.Back to Top
This collection consists of correspondence, financial, legal, business, and personal papers of the Burwell family of Mecklenburg County, Va., and Granville, Vance, and Warren counties, N.C., and of the Williams family of Warren County, N.C. Topics include family activities; tobacco and cotton farming; slave sales and purchases; family estates; a gold-mining venture in Burke County, N.C.; and the purchase of a substitute during the Civil War. Financial and legal papers include receipts for taxes, household, and farm expenditures; tobacco and cotton sales; insurance papers; papers of the superintendents of the common schools of Vance and Warren counties, N.C.; and letters from agricultural agents in Virginia and North Carolina. Other material includes advertising circulars; report cards of the Burwell children; genealogical material; and 39 volumes of church, school, and farm records and account books.Back to Top
Correspondence of the Burwell family of Mecklenburg County, Va., and Granville County and Warren counties, N.C., and of the Williams family; of Warren County, N.C.
Chiefly personal and business correspondence of Armistead Burwell, his brothers Lewis Burwell and Spotswood Burwell, and Spotswood's son William Armistead Burwell of Mecklenburg County, Va., as well as some correspondence of the Williams family of Warren County, N.C.
From 1792 to 1819, the correspondence of Lewis Burwell and Armistead Burwell includes items concerning tobacco farming and sales, horses, slave purchases, agriculture, and the disposition of the estate of their father, Col. Lewis Burwell, including two letters to Armistead from Patrick Henry (1736-1799) concerning beef and slave sales.
After Armistead's death in 1819, his wife Lucy Crawley Burwell assumed the running of their plantation. The papers for 1820-1831 include correspondence on the settlement of Armistead Burwell's estate, tobacco and cotton, relations with Lucy Burwell's tenants, and Spotswood Burwell's land grants in Tennessee. Correspondence for the Williams family in this period includes items describing family news and finances, the War of 1812, tobacco farming, and hiring of slaves. There are also letters regarding the establishment of local academies in North Carolina, and letters from the 1830s of a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, describing his everyday life and his friends.
From 1832 to 1835, Spotswood Burwell and his son William Armistead Burwell corresponded about the latter's attempts to establish a gold-mining concern in Burke County, N.C. Other subjects include growing corn and tobacco, hiring and selling slaves, the family's problems with a runaway slave named Tom, and the bloodlines of Spotswood's horses. There are also letters from agents and businesses regarding the sale of tobacco and other agricultural products, and letters to William Armistead Burwell from various friends and family members, including several discussing the Nullification Crisis in South Carolina and the building of a manufacturing mill on the Catawba River in that state.
In 1836, William Armistead Burwell abandoned the mining project in Burke County and returned to Granville County to resume farming. The letters of Spotswood Burwell and his sons Blair Burwell and William Armistead Burwell include business correspondence relating to tobacco weights and sales, cotton farming and household expenses, and personal correspondence describing family and neighborhood activities.
Sometime in the 1850s, William Armistead Burwell relocated to Warren County, N.C., where he grew tobacco. His correspondence includes a description of his escape from a steamboat explosion on the Mississippi River in 1848, letters from his brother Lewis Burwell in Rome, Ga., a letter concerning the state common school system, letters regarding his son William Henry Burwell's school performance, and papers relating to the settling of Spotswood Burwell's estate, including the division of slaves and a survey of his property. There are also many business letters about tobacco and corn crops, household purchases, and the purchase and use of guano as fertilizer. There are several letters in 1856 to Laura Pettway, future wife of William Henry Burwell, in Camden, Ala., from family and friends relating social news.
Chiefly personal and business correspondence of William Armistead Burwell and his son, William Henry Burwell, of Warren, Granville, and Vance counties, N.C., and Mecklenburg County, Va.
In 1861, William Henry Burwell was drafted into the Confederate army's 12th North Carolina Regiment, Warren Rifles. There are several letters to and from family and friends while he was stationed at Camp Carolina in Norfolk, Va. In 1862, there are documents relating to his purchase of a substitute and permission to travel to Wilcox County, Ala., where he married Laura Pettway and where he was to settle for the rest of the war. Other correspondence of the war years includes letters to William Armistead Burwell and his wife on the progress of the war in North Carolina, a request for food aid to the 8th North Carolina Regiment, and business correspondence. There is also a letter from a relative, a prisoner-of-war at Johnson's Island, Ohio, asking for food, and other letters from relatives, including William Armistead Burwell's sister Mary Burwell Manson in Richmond, Va., describing the progress of the war and the fates of family and friends.
In 1866, William Henry Burwell returned to Warren County, N.C. From 1866 to 1923, the correspondence of William Armistead Burwell and William Henry Burwell primarily consists of business letters on the subject of tobacco, cotton, and other cash crops, promissory notes, the hiring of field hands, and farming and livestock. Personal correspondence includes letters from the Pettway family in Alabama and the Burwell family in Virginia and North Carolina regarding family matters, letters relating to the settlement of William Armistead Burwell's estate and other family members' estates, and William Henry Burwell's children's school performance. There are also several letters to members of the Cole family, relatives of William Henry Burwell's second wife, Lucy Cole Burwell.
Arrangement: loosely chronological.
Financial and legal papers of the Burwell family of Mecklenburg County, Va., and Warren, Vance, and Granville counties, N.C., and the Williams family of Warren County, N.C.
Chiefly financial and legal papers of Armistead Burwell, Lewis Burwell, and Spotswood Burwell of Mecklenburg County, Va., and of William Armistead Burwell of Granville, Vance, and Warren counties, N.C., as well as some papers of the Williams family of Warren County, N.C.
For the period from 1750 to 1830, financial and legal papers include receipts for legal services, state and local taxes, household and farm expenses, farming equipment and supplies, and subscriptions; horse-breeding records; records of tobacco and other farm products sales; and documents relating to the settlement of the estates of Col. Lewis Burwell and Armistead Burwell.
From 1830 to 1845, documents include a horse pedigree, William Armistead Burwell's records of expenses for his gold-mining venture; records of slaves hired and purchased; doctor's bills; receipts for household and farm expenditures and sales; letters of agreement; and indentures.
There is a great deal of material for 1845-1860, including marriage licenses; tuition receipts; receipts for taxes, household, and farm expenses; sales records for tobacco, corn, and other crops; railway stock shares; drafts of various family members' wills; William Armistead Burwell's records of payments of teacher's salaries in his capacity as chairman of the Board of the Superintendents of Common Schools of Vance and Warren counties; records of slave sales and bequests; plans for the building of Dodson's Bridge over Nut Bush Creek in Warren County; and documents relating to the settlement of the estate of Spotswood Burwell. There are also several legal documents of the Pettway family and Williams family for this period.
Two legal documents related to the estate of Col. Lewis Burwell, identifying enslaved people as collateral. Both items are dated 16 February 1804. Acquired as Acc. 103156.
Chiefly financial and legal papers of William Armistead Burwell, and his son William Henry Burwell of Mecklenburg County, Va., and Warren, Granville, and Vance counties, N.C.
Financial materials for 1861-1873 consist of receipts for household and farm expenses; records of agricultural sales; permits for William Henry Burwell to travel throughout the Confederate States of America and documents relating to his exemption from military service; promissory notes; and Confederate bonds and tax-in-kind forms. After 1866, there are receipts for farming expenses; letters of agreement between freedmen and William Henry Burwell for labor on his farm; tobacco and cotton sales records; subscriptions; bank and mortgage statements; insurance forms; and tax forms. After 1870, the papers consist of receipts; North Carolina and Virginia tax receipts; hand-drawn boundary survey maps; promissory notes; subscription notices; records of household and farm expenses and of tobacco and cotton sales; letters from agricultural agents in Virginia and North Carolina; and insurance forms.
Items from 1816-1817 written by Robert Williams, and undated papers probably written by William Henry Burwell, consisting of love letters, school compositions, poems, and essays.
Arrangement: by type of material.
Miscellaneous papers of the Burwell family. Genealogical information about the Burwell family includes a history of the family from Burwell, Spotswood, Dandridge, West and Allied Family Histories (Lawrence, 1943); Blair Burwell's family tree; a copy of the tombstone inscription of Lewis Burwell; and two memorial pamphlets about William Henry Burwell. There are also school records, 1874-1893, for William Henry Burwell's children from Randolph-Macon College, Greensboro Female College, and Peace College; lists of subscribers to a building fund for the Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church and a list of children in the Fishing Creek School District; and valentines dating from the 1850s belonging to William Henry Burwell and his soon-to-be wife, Laura Pettway.
Printed items include advertising circulars for tobacco and agricultural dealers; cut-out pictures of horses and other farm animals; advertisements for medicinal cures, household items, insurance, and other products; price current newsletters; and clippings of the series "Pen and Ink Sketches of the University of North Carolina, As It Has Been," from the Weekly Sentinel, 1869. Miscellaneous items include business cards; a playbill for 1819 performances of Wanted a Wife! and Ella Rosenberg at the Philadelphia Theatre; a medicinal recipe; cards; drawings; and party invitations.
Manuscript volumes belonging to Armistead Burwell and his wife Lucy Crawley Burwell, Spotswood Burwell, William Armistead Burwell, and William Henry Burwell of Mecklenburg County, Va., and Warren, Granville, and Vance counties, N.C.; and some volumes of the Williams family of Warren County, N.C.
Account books, farm journals, and church books of Armistead Burwell, Lucy Crawley Burwell, Spotswood Burwell, William Armistead Burwell, and members of the Williams family, including a ""Horse Book"" listing horse breeding records for 1805; the birthdates and names of slaves and horses belonging to the Burwell family for various years; slave purchases and sales; records of household and farm expenses; settlement of estates of the Burwell and Williams family; records of payments and visits of doctors and midwives; weather and farm work notes; a blacksmith shop book dated 1837; lists of both black and white members of the Tabernacle Society of the Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church for the 1830s through the 1850s; and an expense book of William Henry Burwell's travels to Alabama in the 1850s.
Account books, farm journals, and school record books of William Armistead Burwell and his son William Henry Burwell, including records of tobacco weights and sales; poetry; lists of slaves; membership lists of the Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church; farm records for tobacco, cotton, and other crops; and a school register for a black school in Vance County, N.C., in the 1880s.
Arrangement: by type of material, then chronological.
Correspondence, financial and legal papers, genealogical notes and charts, and pictures of member of the Burwell and related families. These are primarily the papers of Spotswood Burwell's sons Blair Burwell, Lewis Burwell, and Robert Burwell, and of the forebears of Fannie Brodie Burwell.
Letters, 1834-1838, are addressed to Blair Burwell, who was in Raleigh working for Ruffin Tucker, from his father, his brother Lewis, and from others. The 1833 letter is from Nathaniel Harrison to his daughter, Frances Ann Harrison, who later married D. A. T. Ricks and who was the grandmother of Fannie Brodie Burwell.
Two letters, 1841 and 1844, from D. A. T. Ricks to Frances Harrison, are love letters. The second was written from Pickens County, Ala., and told Frances that Ricks planned to return to North Carolina to stay. Letters, 1845-1846, from Ricks to Frances after they were married describe his trip from Nash County, N.C., through South Carolina and Georgia to Pickens County, Ala., where he was settling his business, selling his land and some of his slaves, and bringing back the remaining slaves.
Letters from the 1850s and 1860s are nearly all addressed to Robert Randolph Burwell, who was living in Granville County, N.C. They include family letters from his brothers, his sister, or his brother-in-law, as well as business letters mostly from N. M. Martin Bro. & Co. of Petersburg, Va., about tobacco sales. Letters from Mary Manson in 1863 and 1865 describe conditions in Richmond, Va., during and immediately after the Civil War.
Financial and legal papers include wills and deeds of members of the Ricks and Harrison families of Nash County, N.C.; tax receipts of members of the Thorp family; and accounts and contracts of Robert Burwell. Included among Burwell's papers are items relating to his purchase of a substitute to serve in the Confederate Army and to supply beef rather than slaves to the Confederate Army.
Other papers include recipes and genealogical notes and charts. The two genealogical charts are oversized charts of the descendants of Timothy Thorp (ca. 1695-1750) and his wife Mary of Southampton County, Va., through their son Timothy Jr. (17??-1763) and of John and Elizabeth Gregory of Rappahannock through their son Richard (ca. 1644-1700).
Two pictures are included--one of Frances Ann Harrison, wife of D. A. T. Ricks and grandmother of Fannie Brodie Burwell; and one of a family, with the notation "Mr. A. H. Ricks, Rocky Mount" on the back.
Also included are two photograph albums. One of them contains photographs taken and developed by Fannie Brodie Burwell before her marriage in 1907. Most of them were taken at her home in Wilson, N.C. The other album contains picture of people and places in Wilson and Rocky Mount, N.C., in 1904.
Photograph Album PA-112/1-2
Items separated: OP-112, P-112, PA-112.Back to Top
This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.Back to Top