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|Size||3.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 950 items)|
|Abstract||Mitchell King, of Charleston, S.C., and Flat Rock, N.C., was a teacher, lawyer, and judge of the Charleston City Court. He owned property in Charleston, as well as land in Buncombe (later Henderson) County, N.C., and on the Savannah River, presumably in Chatham County, Ga. He was a member of Presbyterian and Episcopal churches and an active member of numerous civic and educational organizations. The collection includes correspondence, accounts (including bills of sale for slaves), legal papers, diaries, and other items, chiefly 1816-1862. These materials relate primarily to family affairs; to the management of King's property in North Carolina and of his plantation in Georgia; and to business, social, educational, and church affairs in Charleston. There is also some material on King's legal practice; on politics, especially the 1848 presidential election; and on King's intellectual interests, especially word usage. The Addition of February 2006 is a medical ledger belonging to Mitchell King's son, Mitchell Campbell King, containing entries from 1853 to 1867 that are arranged by patient and document medical services and charges rendered in a clinic in North Carolina.|
|Creator||King, Mitchell, 1783-1876.|
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Mitchell King (1783-1862) of Charleston, S.C., was a schoolteacher, lawyer, and finally judge of the Charleston City Court. He was born 8 June 1783 in Craill, Fife Shire, Scotland, and maintained connections with Great Britain. He married twice, to Susanna Campbell (1791-1828) on 23 February 1811, and to Margaret Campbell (1800-1857), younger sister of Susanna, on 14 August 1830.
Children of Mitchell and Susanna King who survived infancy were McMillan Campbell King (1811-1880), Mitchell Campbell King (b. 1815), Henry Campbell King (1819-1862), George Kirkwood King (1821-1907), Margaret Campbell King (1824-1916), Henrietta Campbell King (1825-1909), and Susanna Campbell King (1827-1910). Children of Mitchell and Margaret King who survived infancy were John Gadsden King (1831-1906), Louisa Preston King (1833-1920), Ellen Milliken King (1834-1914), and Alexander Campbell King (1836-1914).
Mitchell King owned property in Charleston, on the Savannah River, presumably in Chatham County, Ga., and at Flat Rock, Buncombe (later Henderson) County, N.C., where he had a summer home, Argyle. King was active in business, cultural, social, civic, and church affairs in both Charleston and Flat Rock.
King supported the Library Society at Charleston; the College of Charleston, of which he was a trustee; and was involved in various clubs and movements toward the betterment of both localities where he had homes. He was also involved in both the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches in Charleston and North Carolina and took an active interest in their management and affairs. King died at Argyle 12 November 1862.Back to Top
The papers of Mitchell King, teacher, lawyer, and judge of Charleston, S.C., Buncombe County, N.C. (later Henderson County, N.C.), and Chatham County, Ga., include correspondence, accounts (including bills of sale for slaves), legal papers, diaries, and other items, chiefly 1816-1862. These materials relate primarily to family affairs; to the management of Mitchell King's property in North Carolina and of his plantation in Georgia; and to business, social, educational, and church affairs in Charleston, S.C. There is also some material on Mitchell King's legal practice; on politics, especially the 1848 presidential election; and on Mitchell King's intellectual interests, especially word usage. The Addition of February 2006 is a one medical ledger belonging to Mitchell King's son, Mitchell Campbell King, containing entries from 1853 to 1867 that are arranged by patient and document medical services and charges rendered.Back to Top
Chiefly correspondence about King's legal practice. Most letters deal with a case in which King represented the executors of the estate of Joseph Smith. Smith was a British subject, and his executors apparently were trying to claim ownership of property in the United States. Letters about this case continue throughout the subseries.
A few letters relating to King's business affairs are included. They chiefly deal with the management of King's properties in North and South Carolina.
Fever, presumably yellow fever, is mentioned in some of the letters. When King's oldest daughter died of fever, Ben Savage offered him consolation in a letter dated 17 June 1817. Letters in 1819 from George Champion and Ben Savage mention fever in Charleston. King was apparently ill with fever during this time.
The principal correspondents in this subseries were involved in the Smith case. They include Ben Savage; Sarah, Brooke, Edmund, and Orton Smith; George Champion; and Ben Bineham.
Chiefly correspondence about King's business affairs, with a few letters on legal matters. There are frequent letters from individuals who were apparently managers or tenants at King's properties in North Carolina about decisions to be made about the properties. William Murray, for instance, wrote from 1831 to 1834 about King's property that he rented at Flat Rock (then in Buncombe County, N.C., but beginning in 1838 in Henderson County) where he had problems supervising the construction of buildings and with disputes over rights of access to the property. Other managers or tenants who corresponded with King are Frederick Rutledge, C. Barnett, Elisha King, Benjamin King, and Charles Baring.
There are numerous letters in this subseries from Colonel Benjamin Richardson to Mitchell King. Their relationship is described in a letter dated 12 April 1834. King lent $3,000 to Richardson in 1832, which was never repaid. Although initially lenient in requiring payment, in 1838 King evicted him from his property at Mud Creek, apparently in Henderson County. There are letters from this period describing taking possession of Richardson's property and making arrangements to get it in order.
Other correspondence about King's properties include a letter dated 9 September 1839 from King to Samuel Lyle, a contractor, describing Argyle, the house he wanted to build near Flat Rock, and proposing a meeting to see if it were possible for Lyle to build it. Also included are letters from January 1844 about a property, believed to be a tavern owned by King, which burned down in Flat Rock.
Scattered letters concerning King's legal business appear in this subseries. In 1844, there are letters from H. Bailey over the Bank case in which King was involved. A few letters also appear on Episcopal and Presbyterian church matters.
There is little family correspondence in this subseries. King's wife, Margaret Campbell King, wrote on 18 August 1839 describing a carriage accident in which she and some of their children were involved. Among personal events mentioned in letters is the death of King's mother-in-law, Henrietta Dickie Campbell, in 1835.
Other correspondents in this subseries include Charles Edmonston, Count de Choiseul, and James Walker.
Family correspondence (a larger percentage than in earlier subseries) and letters on King's business and legal affairs. In 1845, King's son, Henry Campbell King, wrote numerous letters from Charleston, where he was apparently taking care of his father's affairs, to his father at Flat Rock. His letters describe the progress of repairs to King's house and other minor events in Charleston.
Included is a letter, 4 September 1845, describing a whipping received by his younger brother, John Gadsden, from the schoolmaster for not knowing his lessons. Henry apparently felt the punishment was unnecessarily harsh and requested his father's intervention.
Letters from King's other children continue throughout the subseries. In June 1846, Kirkwood wrote his father from Paris where he was apparently traveling in Europe. Kirkwood returned to Paris a second time in 1856, against his father's will. In a letter dated 25 October 1856, King refused to advance his son any more money and strongly entreated him to enter a suitable profession. (See Series 1.6 for other letters from King to Kirkwood.) Also included are letters from King's daughters Henrietta, Margaret, and Susan, and from his other sons McMillan and Mitchell. Letters of 1849 concern Springfield and other Savannah River, Ga., plantations superintended by McMillan King.
A. B. Williman, a physician who married King's daughter Henrietta, wrote King in 1848 about a trip to Boston he made with Henrietta and Susan. In 1857, Williman wrote frequently from Norfolk describing a visit from Susan and Ellen, mentioning Henrietta's miscarriage, and discussing other family and financial matters.
There are several letters in 1848 discussing national politics, especially the presidential election and South Carolina representatives in Congress. Included is a letter, 13 July 1848, from United States Representative Isaac Edward Holmes discussing the growing danger to the South from abolitionists.
An 1849 exchange with V. G. Audubon relates to King's purchase of the third volume of Quadropeds. The relationship of V. G. Audubon to John James Audubon in not known. In a letter of 8 March 1856, Caroline Gilman asked King to critique a poem and noted her role as "a lady writer."
Also included are letters about King's various properties, law practice, and church affairs. Other correspondents in this subseries include Count de Choiseul, James Walker, L. Molyneux, David Ravenel, and G. A. Trenholm.
Beginning with 1855, there is a set of lettercopy pages for each year, filed at the end of that year's correspondence. These are copies of letters King wrote from Argyle. For copies of letters by King from Charleston, see the lettercopy books in Subseries 1.6.
Chiefly letters from friends and associates, including such prominent Charlestonians as Alfred Huger, rather than family members. Sets of pages of copies of letters written from Argyle continue through 1861.
Included are letters relating to some of the organizations with which King was involved. In 1859, a letter was sent to King indicating that the treasurer of the Board of Supervisors of the High School of Charleston had died and that King, as chair, should look into finding a replacement. Correspondence of 1860 discusses finances of the College of Charleston. An 1860 letter from King to Henry Dana of Woodstock, Vt., discusses word definitions and the purchase of butter for King's Charleston house.
A few letters from 1861 and 1862 mention the Civil War. A letter dated 24 July 1861 asked King for money to help fit up a ship to attack the northern blockade. There is also evidence that King allowed the Confederacy to use one of his houses as a depot for commissary stores. Letters from 1862 offered condolence on the death of King's son Henry who was killed at Secessionville on James Island on 16 June 1862.
Letters to King from from his second wife, Margaret Campbell King, and from Benjamin Richardson, C. Barnett, Thomas E. Justice, Stephen Lee, D. Johnson, Charles Fraser, William Hayne, Thomas Willikin, Charles Baring, Sam Barkey, and others. Letters from McMillan King discuss the illness and death of slaves at Springfield plantation.
Copies of letters King wrote from Charleston, with a few from Argyle in 1862. (Copies of earlier letters from King at Argyle are in folders 25-31.) The two volumes total almost 1,200 pages (with about 100 unused) and hold 1,000 letters or more.
There are letters to family and friends and numerous business letters. Letters of 1855 detail the organization of the Charleston, Cumberland Gap, and Cincinnati Railroad. Other letters concern history, literature, language, natural history, and prominent travelers to South Carolina. Correspondents include George Bancroft (e.g., 20 November 1855), Louis Agassiz (e.g., 21 July 1855), and Francis Lieber (e.g., February 1855). Some letters relate to such Charleston institutions as the Museum of Natural History at the College of Charleston and the Charleston Library. Business correspondents include Robert Habersham and Son of Savannah and Baring Brothers and Co. of London. There are also occasional letters to prominent South Carolina plantation owners, many of whom were King's clients.
There are many letters to King's children. Among these are frequent letters to Kirkwood in Europe, bemoaning what King perceived as his son's desertion of the family. There also are many to McMillan at Springfield plantation, discussing crops, sicknesses, and other plantation matters.
Legal forms such as writs and subpoenas; legal documents apparently drawn up by King such as suits and agreements; and receipts, bills for goods and services, bills of sale for slaves, lists of receipts and expenditures, and lists of bonds.
From 1801 to 1828, there are numerous bills of sale for slaves that King purchased. These bills of sale appear only occasionally in the rest of the series. Also included is a document, 8 March 1850, apparently prepared by Mitchell King for Daniel Macaulay, emancipating two slaves left to Macaulay by his sister.
From 1809 to 1822, there are legal and financial documents relating to the Champion/Smith case in which King was attorney for the executors of Joseph Smith.
There are numerous legal and financial documents relating to work performed, or money expended, at King's various properties. These are dated primarily between 1830 and 1848, although a few are from other years. Included is an agreement dated 1830 between King and Samuel Waldrop stipulating that the latter would build ditches around King's property in Flat Rock. Also included in 1830 is a copy of an agreement between King and William Murray for Murray to rent the Tavern at Flat Rock. In 1831, there is a list of charges for workmen who were boarded by C. Barnett. Also included is part of a sale agreement dated 17 October 1835 between King and George Summer for "King's Tavern or Establishment commonly called Flat Rock." It is not clear whether this agreement was ever finalized. The papers from 1841 to 1844 include an agreement to have C. Barnett build a stable for King, an estimate by Barnett for building a mill, and an agreement between King and L. Fullman to pull down an old dam and build a new one in a different place. King also kept accounts and statements of money expended at various properties and receipts for payments made to workmen.
Scattered documents from King's legal practice appear. A list of receipts for King's law firm, King & Barker, for the years 1826 to 1828 is included. In 1832, there is a writ of fi fa to be served on Samuel Cades, defendant in a case in which King was the plaintiff's attorney. Also included are other writs, subpoenas, depositions, legal bills, and estate papers.
Beginning in 1851, numerous fire insurance policies and premium receipts are included for the Charleston Insurance and Trust Company. They were primarily taken out by Mitchell King and his son, Henry Campbell King. Also included are receipts from 1839 to 1858 for purchases of shares of stock in the Louisville, Cincinnati, & Charleston Railroad (reorganized as the South Carolina Railroad Company in 1842) chiefly for Elisha and Benjamin King. The relationship between Elisha and Benjamin King and Mitchell King is not clear, but it appears to be one of employees/employer rather than of family members.
Memoranda of 1852 show the fluctuations in valuation among King's properties in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina between 1840 and 1852. Legal notes of 1876 concern the successive deeds to King's plantations on Hutchinson Island, Ga.
Detailed descriptions of King's business, church, social, civic, and family affairs. These diaries were written in Charleston, S.C., and at Argyle, Flat Rock, N.C. The almost daily entries tell of King's law practice, business affairs, social engagements, meetings of cultural organizations, planting and other activities at his summer home in North Carolina, and other activities and affairs of his family and friends. King often mentioned members of the following families: Baring, de Choiseul, Drayton, Girardeau, Grimke, Hamilton, Hayne, Huger, Johnstone, Lowndes, Mazyck, Memminger, Middleton, Miles, Molyneaux, Petigru, Pinckney, Porcher, Ravenel, Rutledge, and Waites.
King also mentioned the Library Society at Charleston; the College of Charleston, of which he was a trustee; and Presbyterian and Episcopal churches in Charleston and in North Carolina. He was apparently a regular attendant at services, particularly of the Episcopal Church, and recorded comments on sermons he heard. He noted a meeting with William Makepeace Thackery during Thackery's visit to Charleston in March 1853.
Some of the diary volumes also contain poems and stories by others copied by King. A few of the entries are in someone else's hand.
Typed transcription of part of volume in Folder 71
Typed transcription of volume in Folder 73
Typed transcription of volume not in collection
Newspaper clippings, 1860-1861, and undated and miscellaneous other items. Included among the miscellaneous items is genealogical information on the Campbell and King families compiled by Mitchell Campbell King, a description of a monument to be constructed for Governor David Johnson, a map of tracts of land owned by Mitchell King, calling cards, a typed version of a poem called "The Wanderer" by Mitchell King, and copies of programs and invitations to events.
Medical ledger belonging to Mitchell King's son, Mitchell Campbell King, containing entries from 1853 to 1867 that are arranged by patient and document medical services and charges rendered in a clinic in North Carolina.
Processed by: A.B. Allan, F. Phillips, Shonra Newman, May 1990
Encoded by: Eben Lehman, February 2007
Updated by: Margaret Dickson, July 2007Back to Top