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|Abstract||Descendents of early French Huguenots, the Ravenel and related DuBose families of South Carolina ranked among the most prominent members of the state's planter class. William Francis Ravenel (b. 1828), son of physician/planter Henry Ravenel (1790-1867), achieved note as a lawyer and planter in the Berkeley District. His half-brother, Henry W. Ravenel (1814-1887), became a well-respected botanist. Around 1857, William Ravenel married Ellen DuBose, whose brother, Theodore Samuel DuBose (b. 1785), was a graduate of Yale and a prosperous planter in the Fairfield District. The collection includes papers, chiefly 1850-1890, pertain primarily to estate settlements and postwar plantation finances, and include deeds, wills, indentures, receipts, and cotton factor accounts. Estates represented include the following: Abigail Ravenel (fl. 1840s); Henry Ravenel, Edwin DuBose (fl. 1859), Jonathan Eady (fl. 1850), Frederick Simons (fl. 1880s), and Rebecca H. Waring (fl. 1880s). Personal correspondence and other miscellaneous papers also appear, including livestock records, 1790-1897, and a brief journal of two unidentified sisters in the 1840s. Information on slaves owned by the Ravenels and other families often appears in the correspondence and and estate papers in such items as slave bills of sale, a birth list, and receipts for clothes and other materials distributed to slaves.|
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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William Francis Ravenel, to whom the majority of the papers in this collection belonged, was born in 1828, the son of Henry Ravenel (1790-1867) and Elizabeth Catherine Porcher (1798-1846). Ravenel worked as a lawyer, handling the estates of many of his relatives, and operated the Woodlawn Plantation located in the Berkeley District of South Carolina. Included in the collection are the estate papers of his father, a prominent planter and physician, and those of his great aunt, Abigail Ravenel. A few letters written by noted botanist Henry W. Ravenel, William's half brother, also appear. Rene Ravenel (1826-1875), another of William's half brothers, acted as executor of the estate of Jonathan Eady, and his papers on this estate, along with a few of his business papers, appear here.
William Ravenel was of Huguenot descent, and he married Ellen M. DuBose, a descendant of another prominent South Carolina Huguenot family, around 1857. Ellen's brother, Theodore Samuel Marion DuBose, was a prosperous planter in the 1840s and 1850s. Educated at Yale University, he returned to South Carolina in the mid 1830s to run Farmington Plantation, and later Roseland Plantation outside Winnsboro in Fairfield District. His son, William Porcher DuBose, became an influential Episcopal theologian in the latter part of the century. Ellen and Theodore DuBose account for much of the personal correspondence in the collection. The estate papers of their brother, Edwin, and of their father, Samuel DuBose (b. 1785), are also included.Back to Top
Series 2 and 3 make up the bulk of the collection. Series 2 contains almost exclusively papers pertaining to the settlement of the estates of the Ravenels and related families. Most of these papers were those of William F. Ravenel, who acted as executor of the estates of Abigail Ravenel, 1852-1869; Dr. Henry Ravenel, 1866-1903; Edwin DuBose, 1851-1886; Frederick Simons of Ophir Plantation, 1885-1890; and Rebecca H. Waring, 1890. William Ravenel's accounts with cotton factors, merchants, and tax collectors, and his business correspondence are included in Series 3.
Other estates for which settlement papers are included are: John Edwards, 1809; John Louis Ravenel, 1828; Mary Gaillard, 1828; Mrs. Paul Ravenel, 1852; Samuel DuBose, 1857-1858; and Jonathan Eady, 1854-1876 (Rene Ravenel, executor).
Series 1 contains personal correspondence, mostly of Theodore S. DuBose and his sister Ellen, who married William Ravenel. Series 4 includes miscellaneous items of interest, including a livestock record (1790-1897, incomplete) and a 10 page journal kept by two unidentified sisters. Information on slaves can be found in the personal correspondence and in the estate papers of Jonathan Eady, Samuel DuBose, Abigail Ravenel, John Louis Ravenel, and Mary Gaillard.Back to Top
Family and other personal correspondence. Most of the letters from the 1840s are written by Theodore S. DuBose to members of his family. Most of those after the 1840s are written to or by DuBose's sister Ellen M. Ravenel and her husband William Ravenel.
One letter to Peter C. Porcher in Paris, 1837, and eleven letters from Theodore S. DuBose to his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel DuBose, who lived in the Charleston District. Most letters discuss DuBose's wife and children, news about friends, acquaintances and local events, and legal matters and business transactions. There is one letter, 27 May 1847, concerning a recent railroad convention and subscriptions to construct a railroad along the Catawba River in South Carolina.
Ten letters to Ellen M. DuBose Ravenel from various friends and family members concerning miscellaneous topics, such as her marriage, ca. 1857, to William Ravenel. Also included are a letter from Henry W. Ravenel to his brother William upon news of William's engagement to Ellen and two letters written by Theodore DuBose, one to his father and another to his brother, Edwin DuBose. Of special note is a letter, 24 June 1865, written by Alfred Huger at the age of 80 to William Ravenel reminiscing about his years at Princeton University, 1803-1807, and discoursing on secession and the nature of the federal union, as well as the burning of Columbia during the Civil War.
Later letters include a sympathy letter from Ellen M. Ravenel to her aunt, Nina, 1873; one letter to Annie S. Ravenel from her father, 7 Jan. 1881; and one letter from Capt. William F. Ravenel to his mother, Mrs. Theodore D. Ravenel, from somewhere in France (28 October 1918).
Letters and fragments written by Theodore S. DuBose, William DuBose, Henry William Ravenel, and others to family members. These letters discuss illnesses and deaths, personal relationships, church and family matters, crops, and business transactions. Most of these letters were probably written in the 1840s and 1850s, though a few appear to be from a later period.
Primarily papers concerning the settlement of Ravenel and other South Carolina family estates. Also included are miscellaneous legal papers, most of which pertain to Ravenel family members.
Arrangement: alphabetical by estate.
Wills, deeds, bills of sale, receipts, probate records, and correspondence related to the settlement of estates as noted below.
Certificate of executorship; letters testamentary; warrant of appraisement for executors; and survey of Stewarton Plantation.
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Will (mentions by name slaves owned by DuBose); deed for St. Stephen's Parish land sold him by Theodore Gourdin; and deed for St. John's Parish land sold him by Edwin DuBose.
Will; deed for Charleston District land sold him by Edward Owens; letters testamentary; accounts of the estate; and receipts. Included is a letter fragment referring to, and a receipt for the sale of, a slave named Isaac.
Promissory note to estate executor for John Edwards.
Will, estate accounts, certificate of annual account, correspondence, and order for sale of personal property. There is material on slaves belonging to the estate, including a bill of sale for a slave named Rose, correspondence concerning the hiring out of several slaves, accounts for goods and services purchased for the slaves, and a slave birth list.
Dr. Henry Ravenel Estate, 1866-1903 #01022, Subseries: "2.1. Estate Papers, 1809-1890." Folder 10-12
Will, correspondence receipts, accounts of the estate, letters testamentary, railroad stock certificates, and bill for survey of Woodlawn plantation.
John Louis Ravenel and Mary Gaillard, 1828 #01022, Subseries: "2.1. Estate Papers, 1809-1890." Folder 13
Memorandum to the court concerning a dispute in which these estates were involved. Slaves who were part of the disputed property are mentioned.
Property appraisal and one receipt.
One letter, tax receipts, and bills of redemption for land seized for failure to pay taxes.
One letter and a bill of redemption for land seized for failure to pay taxes.
Deed transferring title of Pine Ville, South Carolina, land from Peter Gaillard to Mrs. Charlotte Ravenel, 28 June 1823; deed transferring title of St. John's Parish land from R.D. McKelvey to Steven Deveaux, 7 November 1839; letter of guardianship appointing Theodore D. Ravenel as guardian of minor Samuel F. Ravenel, 9 January 1912; two unidentified fragments, one dated 8 March 1805 and the other undated; and four oversize plats (a 10 1/2" x 15" plat of St. John's Parish lands; a plat of St. Stephen's Parish land owned by Theodore Gourdin; a plat of Berkeley County lands for sale by John Ward; and a plat of Charleston District(?) land owned by Daniel Ravenel).
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Cotton factor accounts, tax receipts, and other financial papers, mostly of William F. Ravenel.
Arrangement: alphabetical by cotton factor.
Accounts of William F. Ravenel with cotton factors S.L. Howard & Company, 1865-1875; Ravenel & Co., 1890-1900 (includes a lien on his crop); W. B. Smith & Company, 1883-1891; and Whaley & Rivers, 1889-1899.
Tax receipts of William F. Ravenel and others for South Carolina state and property taxes. Many of these receipts probably were related to estates for which Ravenel was the executor, but for which no other papers have survived.
Account receipts with bankers, grocers, hardware merchants, and others, mostly of William F. Ravenel. There are also several bills of lading with the Atlantic Coast Line and North eastern Railroad Company. Four receipts of Theodore S. DuBose are also included and are dated 1833, 1855, and 1859.
Arrangement: alphabetical by type.
An arithmetic (ciphering) book belonging to William DuBose at the Newport Academy, Rhode Island, 1802; genealogical material on the Gaillard, Stevens, Palmer, and Ravenel families; women's diary entries from the 1840s; a livestock record, 1790-1897; and miscellaneous items including poems (manuscript and printed), recipes, and other miscellaneous materials.
The diary entries are by two unidentified women, one who wrote in the early 1840s, mostly about her religious beliefs, and a second, sister of the first, who wrote several later entries reflecting on the first woman's death and on her own religious feelings. Also of note, among the miscellaneous items, is a copy of the Rules of the Courting, Wooing, and Matrimonial Society, an organization of over 100 South Carolina gentlemen formed to promote marriage and proper conduct among courting couples.
Processed by: Linda Griggs, November 1983; Jill Snider, July 1990
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008
Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, November 2009Back to Top