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|Size||About 2000 items (4.5 linear feet)|
|Abstract||The Howerton family of Halifax County, Va., included Philip Howerton (1793-1879), tobacco planter and sheriff; his son-in-law Rufus H. Owen (fl. 1870-1890), tobacco planter and merchant of South Boston, Va.; and Howerton's children, Susannah Catharine (1824-1870); William Matthew (1826-1874); Judith Anne Purkins (1828-1874); Eliza Jane Owen (1830-1917); and Louisa Dresser (1833-1882). The collection includes business and family correspondence, financial and legal papers, and other materials relating to the Howerton family. Business correspondence, 1822-1901, includes letters relating to Philip Howerton's position as sheriff of Halifax County, Va.; slaves; accounts, many having to do with the tobacco industry; and other topics. Family correspondence includes letters relating to education, travel, and news of the Howerton, Purkins, Owen, Cabaniss, and other related families. There are also letters, 1844-1851, that Sally J. Brodnax in North Carolina wrote to Eliza J. Howerton. Financial and legal materials are both loose papers and volumes. Loose papers, 1817-1869, pertain chiefly to Philip Howerton and document his sheriff activities. Many items relate to slaves. Loose papers, 1870-1896, relate primarily to family members and to tobacco merchants in South Boston, Va. Volumes, 1819-1881, are account, cash, and other books, many relating to tobacco. Among the other papers are writings by family members, including an 1859 diary; an 1859 songbook; a notebook dated 1882-1884; recipes; printed circulars and advertisements; and clippings.|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
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The Howerton family of Halifax County, Va., included Philip Howerton 1793-1879), who was born to William Howerton and Caty Edmonson Howerton of Essex County, Va. In 1817, Philip moved to Halifax County, Va., where he became a tobacco planter and served as the sheriff. On 14 November 1822, he married Elizabeth Cunningham Cabiness (1806-1850), daughter of William Matthew Cabaniss and Susannah Carter Cabaniss, daughter of Theodorick and Judith Carter.
Philip and Elizabeth Howerton lived two miles from the town of Halifax on 3,000-4,000 acres in a house named Oakland. They had five children: Susannah Catharine (1824-1870); William Matthew (1826-1874); Judith Anne (1828-1874); Eliza Jane (1830-1917); and Louisa Dresser (1833-1882).
William Matthew married Adrianna Tucker of Raleigh, N.C., in 1848. They had two children: William Philip (1849-1886) and Harriet Eliza (1853-1927?). Judith Anne married Judge George W. Purkins in 1847. They separated in 1854 and were divorced in 1860. They had one daughter, Eliza Anne "Lizzie" (1853-1913), who married William Watson Kasey in 1882. In 1853, Eliza Jane married Rufus H. Owen, tobacco planter of South Boston, Halifax County, Va.Back to Top
Business and family correspondence, financial and legal papers, and other materials relating to the Howerton family of Halifax County, Va.
Business correspondence, 1822-1901, includes letters relating to Philip Howerton's position as sheriff of Halifax County, Va.; slaves; accounts, many having to do with the tobacco industry; and other topics. Family correspondence includes letters relating to education, travel, and news of the Howerton, Purkins, Owen, Cabaniss, and other related families. There are also letters, 1844-1851, that Sally J. Brodnax in North Carolina wrote to Eliza J. Howerton.
Financial and legal materials are both loose papers and volumes. Loose papers, 1817-1869, pertain chiefly to Philip Howerton and document his sheriff activities. Many items relate to slaves. Loose papers, 1870-1896, relate primarily to family members and to tobacco merchants in South Boston, Va. Volumes, 1819-1881, are account, cash, and other books, many relating to tobacco.
Among the other papers are writings by family members, including an 1859 diary; an 1859 songbook; a notebook dated 1882-1884; recipes; printed circulars and advertisements; and clippings.Back to Top
Business and family letters of the Howerton family of Halifax County, Va. Business letters relate chiefly to Philip Howerton's position as sheriff of Halifax County; to slaves; and to merchant and tobacco plantation accounts. Materials relating to slaves include correspondence about the boarding and health of a woman and child; a lengthy account by William H. Lanier on the death of one of his slaves; letters about Howerton's hiring of a smith named Israel and his trip across the Blue Ridge Mountains with "my lot of negroes"; and letters from John Thompson, who claimed that a runaway slave in the Halifax County jail belong to him. Family letters are largely of Philip Howerton's children and relatives.
Early correspondence, 1822-1839, consists primarily Philip Howerton's business letters with a few personal letters from his wife Eliza and one to her about his journey across the Blue Ridge mountains. Correspondence, 1840-1859, includes the letters of Philip Howerton, but there is a growing emphasis on his children's letters, especially those of Susannah and William Matthew, and on letters of other family members. 1841 letters include several from William H. Clark at the Virginia House of Delegates in Richmond.
Several letters relate to education, including a letter from G. W. Purkins to his son at college, extolling the advantages of a hard-won education for young men and women; Margaret B. Carter, a relative, asking Philip Howerton to see to the schooling of her daughter; a list of students and teachers at Howard High School near Alexandria, Va.; a list of students, including teachers and servants, at Judy Howerton's school; descriptive letters from Eliza Howerton at St. Mary's School in Raleigh, N.C.; and letters and grade reports of William Matthew Howerton at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Of note are the letters that Sally J. Brodnax in North Carolina wrote to Eliza J. Howerton, some of which have been published in That Sally Brodnax, As Told in her Letters, 1846-1851. Letters of Eliza Jane Howerton Owen and Lousia Howerton, 1850-1882, include a few about the Civil War.
See also Series 2 for letters directly relating to financial and legal matters.
Financial, legal, and related papers of the Howerton family of Halifax County, Va. Papers, 1817-1869, pertain chiefly to Philip Howerton, planter and sheriff. These early papers document Howerton's official activities, and consist primarily of receipts and tax lists, including property tax lists, tax receipts, a tax list of "ordinaries and private entertainments," and tax lists of merchants, including peddlers. In addition, there is material relating to the imprisonment of insolvent debtors, including lists of property sold to settle accounts, requests for release from jail, and a list of debtors, 1840-1843.
Items referring to slaves include an 1850 census, tax lists, mortgages on slaves, and references to individual slaves who came in contact with the criminal justice system. Although there is little information about Howerton's own plantations, of interest is an agreement, 4 October 1837, describing a newly hired overseer's responsibilities on a plantation managed by Howerton and a land survey, 1855, of 1,864 acres owned by Howerton. Also included are business letters from Philip Howerton's commission merchant, Elisha Barksdale.
Papers, 1870-1896, relate primarily to Rufus H. Owen of South Boston, Halifax County, Va., son-in-law of Philip Howerton, and to Shepherd & Company, tobacco merchants of South Boston. These papers consist of correspondence, accounts with various Richmond, Va., commission merchants, and miscellaneous items relating to tobacco sales. Also included are business letters from Shepherd & Company to Halifax County tobacco growers and Richmond and Danville Railroad Company receipts for shipment of tobacco.
Other papers relate to Slate Brothers & Jordan , 1896; the legal and financial situation of George W. Purkins and his daughter, Lizzie Purkins Kasey; and to purchases made by Louisa Howerton and Eliza J. Owen.
Account books, including administrator accounts; merchant account books of Philip Howerton, Howerton-Fitzgerald, Howerton & Cabaniss, William M. Howerton, William Breedlove, and others in Halifax County, Va.; and records from Philip Howerton's tobacco business, including a letter copybook containing business correspondence and an 1819 cash book of Philip Howerton listing expenses for goods and services.
Volume 1: 1819, 47 p. Cashbook, Philip Howerton, listing customer names and items purchased by date. Four loose additions to the volume include R. O. Griffen's cashbook, 1821, 33 p.; two folded sheets of account notes of P. Howerton, 1821; and Philip Howerton's memorandum book, 1819-1820, 36 p., labeled "what is not entered in full on this is carried to Ledger A." #00359, Subseries: "2.2. Volumes, 1819-1881. " Folder 93
Volume 6: 1840-1844, 318 p. Account book, containing individual cash accounts and lists of items and goods purchased, with pages 1-27, 119-129, and 151-175 from 1840; pages 28-57, 130-150, 176-197, and 206-210 from 1841; pages 59-87, 198-199, 211-228, and 255-289 from 1842; pages 88-112, 229-247, and 290-300 from 1843; pages 113-118, 202-203, 248-254, and 301-305 from 1844. #00359, Subseries: "2.2. Volumes, 1819-1881. " Folder 98
Volume S-8: 1844, 129 p. Daybook and cash accounts. Pages 1-95 contain daily entries for grocery items and dry goods sold in 1844; pages 96-129 contain cash accounts showing itemized monthly sales. The creator of the volume and location of the store are unknown. #00359, Subseries: "2.2. Volumes, 1819-1881. " Folder 100
Volume 9: 1844-1845, 307 p. "Factory Book," Howerton & Cabaniss tobacco business. Pages 1-294 have merchandise, factory, and store accounts; pages 295-307 show tobacco in pounds purchased and shipping accounts. Also included are an index of names and a loose twelve-page addition of accounts. #00359, Subseries: "2.2. Volumes, 1819-1881. " Folder 101
Volume 12: 1847-1881, 196 p. Cash accounts and labor contracts. Pages 1-52 contain cash accounts from 1847-1848 with various individuals for groceries and merchandise. Pages 53-196 contains accounts from 1866 to 1881, apparently entered by William M. Howerton. These entries consist chiefly of accounts with freedmen, and include a copy of a labor contract (p. 65) and a journal of "gardening and farming" showing work accomplished in 1868 (p. 100). #00359, Subseries: "2.2. Volumes, 1819-1881. " Folder 104
Papers relating to various members of the Howerton family of Halifax County, Va. Included are essays, poems, and speeches; a book of poems handwritten by Miss Howerton in 1838; a songbook and album, 1859, of Henry E. Owen; a handwritten constitution for the Howerton Sabbath School Society; a pocket-sized manufactured diary and memorandum book of Rufus H. Owen; a notebook of Eliza J. Owen, containing lists of grocery items and dry goods purchased; and handwritten recipes.
Circulars include a menu from the Willard Hotel, Washington, D.C.; copies of an advertisement for the Kasey Leaf Tobacco Caser; an advertisement for Mr. Polke Miller, "a delineator of the Old Southern Plantation Negro"; price current circulars for tobacco; and a broadside for the Petersburg and Roanoke Rail Road connection with the Appomattox Rail Road. Political papers include a broadside from George W. Purkins regarding his views on a Virginia constitutional convention.
Also included are handwritten and printed marriage and death notices and newspaper clippings regarding planters and plantations in the South prior to and during the Civil War.
Oversize volumes (S-359/1, 8, 11).Back to Top
This collection was re-housed under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.Back to Top