Collection Number: 00310-z

Collection Title: William Hargrove Papers, 1793-1930.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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.

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Size 20 items
Abstract This collection includes a plantation record book, 1799-1870s, of William Hargrove, a white plantation owner in areas of Granville County, N.C., now part of Vance County, N.C., documenting his family, enslaved persons, stud records, taxes, and business and personal expenses. This documentation might refer, at least in part, to Hibernia Plantation, where many members of the Hargrove family are buried. The account book contains birth records of enslaved people, including the person’s name, birth date, and in some cases, the mother’s name. Birth dates range in date from approximately 1785 to approximately 1863. Enslaved people are also named in the tax records. The 1793 will of William Hargrove’s father, John Hargrove, includes the names of eleven enslaved people: Cato, Suck, Lisebel, Ginney, Sue, Phill, Agey, Jese, Dick, James, and Jacob. There is also scattered correspondence, chiefly from Hargrove and Sturdivant relatives in the Missouri River Valley.There are typed transcriptions of all items in the collection.
Creator Hargrove, William, b. 1776.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the William Hargrove Papers #310-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the Records of ante-bellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. J. Walter Williamson of Wilmington, N.C., in 1938.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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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.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

The Hargrove Family of Granville County, N.C., and Vance County, N.C., were white landowners who profited from selling tobacco. John Hargrove (d. 1793) willed the following 11 enslaved people to his wife Amy and his children: Cato, Suck, Lisebel, Ginney, Sue, Phill, Agey, Jese, Dick, James, and Jacob. His son William Hargrove (1776-1848) maintained properties around Lynesville (present day Townsville) and Williamsboro, both now part of Vance County. In 1798, he married Holly Dodson (1778-1806) with whom he had four daughters, including Polly Ann Hargrove (b. 1801) and Nancy J. Hargrove (b. 1803). Holly died in 1806, and, in 1807, William married Susan Sturdivant of Dinwiddie County, Va. William and Susan had at least seven children, including William Turner (b. 1808), Hester (b. 1813), John (b. 1815), Elizabeth R. (b. 1818), Susan (b. 1820) and Robert S. (b. 1823). Susan Hargrove married Henry Harrison Burwell (1818-1884) in 1851. Many members of the Hargrove family are buried at the Hargrove Family Cemetery at Hibernia, located in the Hibernia Campground of the Kerr Lake State Recreation Area.

William Hargrove's son John (1815-1900) travelled west on business for his father, visiting Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. He eventually returned to Granville County to work on his father's estate and served as an aid-de-camp to Governor Charles Manly in 1849. John Hargrove had at least two children, Emma and Mollie, who attended the Salem Female Academy. The Hargroves were related to several other Granville County families that are mentioned frequently in the papers, especially the Sturdivant, Smith, and Hanks families. Members of these families, along with some of the Hargroves, emigrated to Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi in the 1830s and 1840s.

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This collection consists of papers and an account book of the white Hargrove family of Granville County and Vance County, N.C., particularly those of William Hargrove (1776-1848), his son John Hargrove (1815-1900), and his daughter Elizabeth R. Hargrove (b. 1818). An account book, 1799-1870s, contains birth records of enslaved people on William Hargrove's plantation, including the person's name, birth date, and in some cases, the mother's name. Birth dates range in date from approximately 1785 to approximately 1863. Enslaved people are also named in the tax records. Other information in this volume includes purchases and sales, stud records for livestock and horses, records of agricultural expenses, and notes on planting and harvests, as well as some genealogical information on the Hargrove family. The family papers includes the 1793 will of William Hargrove's father, John Hargrove, which includes the names of eleven enslaved people: Cato, Suck, Lisebel, Ginney, Sue, Phill, Agey, Jese, Dick, James, and Jacob. The will indicates that six enslaved people were not willed. Other papers consist of correspondence of members of the Hargrove and Sturdivant families with friends and relatives, with a few financial and legal documents. There are typed transcriptions of all items in the collection.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Account Book, 1799-1880s.

2 items.

Account book originally belonging to William Hargrove (1776-1848), a white plantation owner in Granville County, N.C., in areas now part of Vance County. This volume, which has loose sheets of paper and other sets of bound pages inserted into it, contains birth records of enslaved people, including the person’s name, birth date, and in some cases, the mother’s name. Birth dates range in date from approximately 1785 to approximately 1863. Enslaved people are also named in the tax records.

Other information recorded in this volume includes stud records for his horses and cattle; lists of household and plantation expenses; blacksmith and store accounts; tax records for other forms of property; planting and harvest notes; and some genealogical information on the Hargrove family. Acreage is recorded for several locations, including “Home,” which might refer to Hibernia Plantation, where many members of the Hargrove family are buried.

Folder 2

Original #00310-z, Series: "1. Account Book, 1799-1880s." Folder 2

Folder 3

Typed transcription #00310-z, Series: "1. Account Book, 1799-1880s." Folder 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Correspondence and Other Loose Papers, 1790-1930.

19 items.

Arrangement: chronological (typed transcriptions are interfiled with originals).

Primarily contains correspondence of members of the white Hargrove family of Granville County and Vance County, N.C., 1800-1890, and the 1793 will of William Hargrove’s father, John Hargrove, which includes the names of eleven enslaved people: Cato, Suck, Lisebel, Ginney, Sue, Phill, Agey, Jese, Dick, James, and Jacob, and indicates that six enslaved people were not willed.

The correspondence begins in 1800 with a letter to Susan Sturdivant of Dinwiddie County, Va., from a friend in Georgia describing social life in Hancock County, including a Masonic ball, family matters, and everyday life. A letter dated 29 Dec 1814 to William Hargrove from ""Camp Peach Orchard"" gives an acquaintance's impressions of the horrors of the War of 1812, including the high mortality of soldiers due to disease, the poor conditions in camp, and secessionist sentiments. In 1839, there are several letters to William Hargrove from his son, John Hargrove (1815-1900), written during the latter's journey west on business, which discuss coal mines in Kentucky and general living conditions in that state, agricultural and financial conditions in Mississippi, and James K. Polk's election to the governorship of Tennessee, as well as his father's business concerns and some social matters.

In the 1840s and 1850s, correspondence continued between family members, including William Hargrove’s daughter Elizabeth, mostly concerning family news, deaths, and illnesses. One letter, dated 1848, describes one family's move to Arkansas through Tennessee, mentioning the difficulties of the trip, and the terrain, local customs, housing, and typical food of Arkansas. There are two letters about the education of John Hargrove's children in North Carolina; and an undated letter from Susan Sturdivant Hargrove informing one of her sisters of the death of their brother, John Sturdivant.

Other papers include an 1849 certificate appointing William Hargrove’s son, John Hargrove (1815-1900), as aid-de-camp to Governor Charles Manly; three receipts, 1873-1874, for the tuition and board of Emma Hargrove and Mollie Hargrove at the Salem Female Academy; and a 1930 newspaper clipping from the Sunday Star News of Wilmington, N.C., describing the history of Williamsboro, N.C.

Folder 1

Correspondence and other loose papers #00310-z, Series: "2. Correspondence and Other Loose Papers, 1790-1930." Folder 1

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Processing Information

Processed by: Elizabeth Pauk, August 1992

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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.

Conscious Editing Work by: Dawne Howard Lucas, July 2020. Updated title, abstract, subject headings, scope and content note, biographical note, and container list.

Since August 2017, we have added ethnic and racial identities for individuals and families represented in collections. To determine identity, we rely on self-identification; other information supplied to the repository by collection creators or sources; public records, press accounts, and secondary sources; and contextual information in the collection materials. Omissions of ethnic and racial identities in finding aids created or updated after August 2017 are an indication of insufficient information to make an educated guess or an individual's preference for identity information to be excluded from description. When we have misidentified, please let us know at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

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