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.
|Size||12.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 10,000 items)|
|Abstract||George W. Mordecai was a lawyer, bank president, railroad president, businessman, and Episcopal layman, of Raleigh, N.C. He was the son of Jacob Mordecai (1762-1838), a leader of the Jewish communities of Warrenton, N.C., and Richmond, Va. Some family members remained Jewish, while other, either through marriage or choice, became Christians. The collection consists of personal, legal, and business correspondence and financial papers, chiefly 1840-1870, of George W. Mordecai and, to a lesser extent, of Margaret Bennehan Mordecai. The business papers relate primarily to George's law practice, business ventures, the Bank of the State of North Carolina, the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, the North Carolina Railroad, the American Colonization Society, and the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. The personal papers reflect, among other subjects, conditions at the military and home fronts, especially in Richmond, Va., during the Civil War, the mental illness of some family members, and George's administration of various family estates. Persons represented in the collection include Mordecai, Lazarus, and Devereux family members, especially George's sisters Ellen and Emma, his brother Samuel, and his nieces, Ellen Mordecai Mordecai, Margaret Mordecai Devereux, Ellen Lazarus Allen Shutt, and nephew, Marx E. Lazarus. Other correspondents include Duncan Cameron, Paul C. Cameron, and various members of the Cameron family, and Thomas P. Devereux. Volumes consist of a travel diary, account books and estate settlements, plantation accounts for Durham County, N.C., plantations, and bank books. The correspondence and other papers of Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, chiefly 1872-1886, deal primarily with Cameron and Mordecai family affairs.|
|Creator||Mordecai, George W. (George Washington), 1801-1871.|
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.
George W. Mordecai (1801-1871) was born in Warrenton, N.C., the fourth son and eighth child of Jacob Mordecai (1762 1838), by Jacob's second wife, Rebecca Myers Mordecai (d. 1863). The Mordecai family was very prominent and had connections with other, primarily mercantile, families in Raleigh and Wilmington, N.C., Charleston, Richmond, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. Jacob was a leader in the Jewish communities in Warrenton and, later, in Richmond, Va. He started out as a merchant in Philadelphia, moved his family to Warrenton in 1794, and operated with his family an extremely successful female academy from 1809 to 1818. George was educated at his family's school and, circa 1817, joined his brother Samuel as a commission merchant in Petersburg, Va. He quickly returned to Warrenton to teach at the school, replacing his brother Solomon during the latter's illness, 1817-1818. The school was sold in 1818 and the family moved to Richmond. George then tried his hand as a tobacco merchant in Kentucky, and eventually studied law under his brother, Moses, in Raleigh. After Moses's death in 1824, George took over his law practice.
George became involved with the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad in 1824 as the company's legal counsel. In 1836, he was elected president of the company, a position he held until 1852; he remained on the board of directors until his death in 1871. He owned extensive stock in the company and in other railroads in North Carolina and the North.
George was appointed president of the Bank of the State of North Carolina in 1849, replacing Duncan Cameron. In 1859, he was appointed president of the State Bank of North Carolina and held the two positions simultaneously. Probably because of these positions he was actively involved in financial aspects of the Civil War. The Bank of the State of North Carolina served as the official depository of state funds. George, either in his official capacity as bank president, or on the side, handled the buying and selling of Confederate bonds.
In 1860, George was president of the Forest Manufacturing Company, a paper mill on the Neuse River. His association with the company and with both banks caused some discontent, so he apparently disassociated himself with the company shortly after the beginning of the Civil War.
Other wartime activities included George's service as treasurer of the Wayside Hospital in Raleigh and a contribution of $500 of his own money toward the construction of an ironclad vessel. He also speculated heavily in the cotton and bond markets.
After the war, George requested and received a presidential pardon, a move which came under a great deal of scrutiny in North Carolina political circles. In 1866, he was appointed by the governor as a superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum in Raleigh, having served in 1849 as one of the commissioners to establish the hospital.
In the late 1860s, George invested in land in California and flirted with the idea of relocating there. Instead he staked his nephew and namesake, George W., son of his brother Augustus, on a sheep ranch there. In 1869 he was appointed president of the North Carolina branch of the De Soto Insurance Company, a position he resigned in 1870 due to deteriorating health. By late 1870 all of his business affairs were being handled by others and he died in February, 1871, after a debilitating illness.
George was an active member of Christ Church (Episcopal) in Raleigh, serving as senior warden. He was involved in the diocesan controversy of 1851 and the abortive movement to impeach Bishop Levi Silliman Ives, who later resigned. In 1853, he was in charge of collecting funds toward the construction of a new residence for the bishop in Raleigh. He also served on the Education Committee, and was involved in the construction of a new church building.
George's relationship with his family was very close. He lived with his brother Moses's family after Moses's death and served as guardian of his children and agent for his widow, Ann Lane Mordecai. George was also guardian of the children of his sister, Rachel Mordecai Lazarus, and of the children of his nephew, Samuel Fox Mordecai. After the death of his father Jacob Mordecai in 1838, George became more and more involved with the family's financial arrangements, gradually replacing his brother Samuel, who had served in this capacity with little success. George began making investments for various members of the family and even bought a house for his mother and sisters in Richmond.
In his early fifties, George married Margaret Baines Cameron (1811-1886), daughter of Duncan Cameron (1777-1853) and sister of Paul C. Cameron. The wedding took place exactly six month's after Duncan's death. George and his brother in law, Paul, corresponded extensively from this time until George's death in 1871. Margaret had a stillborn child in 1854 and never recovered her strength. She was as attached to her family as George was to his, and the two families, who probably knew each other at least marginally prior to the marriage, quickly became close. Margaret's invalid sister, Mildred Coles ("Millie") Cameron (1820-1881), lived with the Mordecais for most of their married life, and George and Margaret took her on yearly trips to the North to visit medical specialists in search of a cure for her mysterious illness.
His marriage to Margaret Cameron brought George plantation lands, including Peeksville, Fishdam, and Jones plantations in what was then Orange County. He never acted the part of planter, preferring to hire an overseer to run both places. His brother in law, Paul, who had an active interest in the success of all of the Cameron plantations, also kept an eye on things. The end of the war and the emancipation of the slaves was a great financial blow to both families.
Margaret Bennehan Mordecai outlived her husband by fifteen years. She remained close to both her own and the Mordecai family and was well known and well respected in Raleigh and elsewhere in North Carolina for her many kind and charitable actions. After George's death she continued to live in Raleigh and take care of her invalid sister who died in 1881. Margaret had been in ill health for some time before her death in 1886.
Also important in the collection are the following family members:
Jacob Mordecai (1762-1838) married first Judith Myers (1762-1796) and then her half sister, Rebecca (d. 1863). With Judith, he had six children: Moses, Rachel, Samuel, Ellen, Solomon, and Caroline. With Rebecca he had seven more: Julia Judith, George W., Alfred, Augustus, Eliza Kennon, Emma, and Laura. After Jacob's death, the family formed two distinct groups. One, headed by Samuel, was based in Richmond and included at various times Ellen, Emma, Julia, Laura, Eliza (after her husband's death), and Rosina (Young) Mordecai and her children. The children of Aaron and Rachel Mordecai Lazarus apparently lived in Richmond after their father's death in 1841. The second family group was in Raleigh and consisted of George W. Mordecai and his sister-in-law Nancy Lane Mordecai, his sisters Harriet and Temperance Lane, the children of Moses and Margaret Lane Mordecai, and Nancy's daughter Margaret. Mary Lazarus joined the group sometime in the mid-1840s. After George's marriage in 1853, the family also included Margaret Cameron Mordecai and her invalid sister, Millie Cameron. Satellite groups in Mobile, Ala., included Caroline Mordecai Plunkett and the family of Solomon Mordecai.
Moses (1785-1824) was a lawyer and judge of Raleigh, N.C. He married twice into the prominent (Gentile) Lane family. His first wife was Margaret (1786-1821), with whom he had Henry (1819-1875), Judith "Ellen" (1820-1916), and Jacob (1821-1867). His second wife was Margaret's sister, Anne Willis, called "Nancy" (d. 1854), with whom he had Margaret (1824-1910). Henry became a prominent planter and politician. Ellen married her cousin, Samuel Fox Mordecai, and had two children. Jacob never married; he and his aunt, Temperance Lane, ran one of the former Lane plantations. Margaret married planter John Devereux and had eight children.
Rachel (1788-1838) married late in life to Aaron Lazarus (1777-1841) of Wilmington, a widower with seven children. Rachel had four more children: Marx Edgeworth (1822-1895), Ellen (b. 1825), Mary Catherine (1828-1850), and Julia Judith (1830-1873). Rachel's conversion to Christianity infuriated both her father and her husband, who threatened to take her children away from her. None of Rachel's children came to a good end. Marx was an acknowledged genius who studied medicine but was unable to settle down long enough to practice it. His instability caused his family great concern. Ellen married twice, first to John Allen (d. 1858) with whom she had four children, and then to Walter Shutt, with whom she had three more. Neither marriage was financially stable, and Ellen was barely able to support her family. Mary Catherine, or "Min", married Drury Thompson of Mobile. The marriage was apparently an unhappy one. Mary died in childbirth in 1850. Julia shared some of her brother's instability. She was constantly in search of a cure for a nervous disorder and spent a great deal of time in New York undergoing various questionable courses of treatment. She broke with her Mordecai relatives in 1856 and died in poverty.
Solomon (1792-1869) studied medicine in Philadelphia before moving to Mobile, Ala., in 1823. In 1824, he married a Gentile, Caroline Waller, and had many children, including Edward Randolph, William, Samuel Fox (1828 1852), Ellen, Thomas, Laura, Susan, Jacob, and Caroline.
Caroline (1794?-1862) also married a a Christian, Achilles Plunkett (d. 1824), who had been a teacher at her family's school and who continued the academy at Warrenton after the Mordecais moved to Richmond. Caroline had three children, all of whom died in infancy. After the death of her husband, she tried unsuccessfully to run the school. After that, she moved to Raleigh to teach her brother Moses's children, but was unhappy there. She finally settled in Mobile, Ala., where she ran a small school, returning to Richmond just prior to the Civil War. She died at the insane asylum in Raleigh, N.C., in 1862.
Samuel (1786-1865) was a merchant at Petersburg and Richmond, Va., and author of Richmond in By Gone Days. He was charged with handling the family's investments. Apparently few of his schemes every proved successful. After his father's death in 1838, he became head of the Richmond branch of the family. Samuel never married but may have had a daughter, whom he named in his will.
Ellen (1790-1884) also never married. She worked as a teacher in the family school and later as a private governess. She also wrote several books, including The History of a Heart, which described her conversion to Christianity.
Alfred (1804-1887) attended West Point and became a career army officer. He married Sara Ann Hays of Philadelphia and raised a large family, including Laura, Rosa, Alfred, Miriam, Augustus, and Gratz. At least two others died in infancy. Alfred resigned his commission at the outbreak of the Civil War and refused to fight for either side, although there is evidence that his sympathies lay with the South. His family stayed in Philadelphia during the war while he worked for the Mexican government constructing a railroad.
Augustus (1806-1847) married Rosina Ursula Young and lived at Rosewood, a farm near Richmond. He and his wife had seven children, four of whom reached adulthood. These children were: William Young (1836-1873), John Brook (b. 1839), George Washington (b. 1844), and Augusta (1847-1939). After Augustus's death, Rosina continued to run the farm, despite chronic poor health. During the Civil War, the farm was often occupied by soldiers of both sides. William, John, and George all served in the Confederate army. George was employed by his uncle, George, as an overseer and later established a sheep ranch in California for him.
Eliza Kennon (1809-1861) married Samuel Hays Myers (1799-1849) of Richmond, Va., and settled with him in Petersburg. They had two children, Edmund Trowbridge Dana (1830-1905) and Caroline (b. 1844). Edmund married Frances Trigg and had at least four children. Caroline married Edward Cohen, a Richmond banker and stock broker. After her husband's death, Eliza apparently lived with or near her mother, sisters, and brother Samuel, in Richmond.
Julia (1799-1852) and Emma (1812-1906) never married. Julia lapsed into insanity for the last several years of her life and died in Richmond. Emma remained with her mother until Rebecca's death in 1863. After the war, she pursued a teaching career. The last Mordecai child was Laura (1818-1839). At the time of her sudden and unexplained death, she was engaged to John Young, her brother Augustus's brother in law.Back to Top
The George Mordecai collection is divided into four series: Correspondence (business and personal); Estate Papers; Financial Papers; and Other Papers. The business correspondence contains little concrete information about George Mordecai's work with the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad or the various banking enterprises he ran. Prior to the Civil War most letters concern the sale of railroad bonds, the collection of debts connected with his law practice, the Episcopal Church controversy of the 1850s and the building of the new church at Raleigh, and George Mordecai's dealings with merchants, primarily in Wilmington, N.C., Richmond, Va., and New York. After 1853, there is some information concerning the running of his plantations. Wartime correspondence provides substantial information on economic conditions in North Carolina. There are also several very detailed letters just prior to the war and immediately after the outbreak of hostilities that give the political opinions of various prominent persons. Postwar correspondence shows the reestablishment of commerce, hints at political jealousies within North Carolina, and shows a general disheartenment among the people.
The personal correspondence deals primarily with the Mordecai family and its affairs, especially the affairs of the children of Moses Mordecai and of Rachel Mordecai Lazarus. The Lazarus children were a particular problem, especially Marx Lazarus and Julia Lazarus, whose eccentricities caused a great deal of concern within the family. There are many newsy letters from various sisters and nieces as they visited back and forth, and, of course, extensive correspondence concerning births, illnesses, marriages, and deaths of key members of the family. Letters from Samuel Mordecai discuss business affairs in Richmond, especially during the Civil War. After the marriage of George Cameron and Margaret B. Cameron in 1853, there is correspondence with various members of the Cameron family, including Paul C. Cameron, concerning family life, plantation affairs, economic conditions, and the coming of the war. Post-war correspondence touches on Reconstruction politics, but deals mostly with the difficulties of reestablishing communications and salvaging family fortunes.
The estate papers series deals with relatively few estates but in great detail. Besides the estates of Moses Mordecai, Aaron Lazarus, and Samuel Fox Mordecai, there are materials concerning the estate of John Allen, first husband of Ellen Lazarus Allen Shutt, John Rex, and James R. Lloyd. These materials consist of bills and receipts, deeds, promissory notes, and correspondence.
The bulk of the collection consists of George Mordecai's bills, receipts, receipted accounts, promissory notes, and other papers of a financial nature, including a few slave bills of sale and some stock certificates. He paid the bills and served as agent for his nephews Henry and Jacob, who both ran plantations. He also kept accounts of his dealings with Harriet Lane and Temperance Lane, sisters in law of his brother, Moses Mordecai, who continued to live with the family after Moses Mordecai's death. After George Mordecai's marriage to Margaret Mordecai, there are accounts with her and with her sister, Mildred Coles Cameron ("Millie". There are hundreds of receipts from George Mordecai and Margaret Mordecai's wedding trip to New York City, including hotel receipts and receipts for purchases of furniture, housewares, and clothing and jewelry. There are also extensive accounts with doctors who treated Margaret Mordecai, Mildred, and other members of both families.
Account books include bank books, records of legal fees paid to George Mordecai in the course of his law practice; personal and family accounts; estate accounts; plantation accounts; and accounts of the Wayside Hospital in Raleigh, N.C., for the building of Christ Church (Episcopal) in Raleigh, and of Hogg and Mordecai, a commercial partnership. There are also miscellaneous papers concerning Mordecai and McKimmon, a mercantile partnership, and the Forest Manufacturing Company.
Legal papers consist primarily of deeds and indentures, although there are a few miscellaneous judgements and other legal documents.
Personal items include George Mordecai's report cards from his attendance at the Mordecai Academy and various certificates, including his pardon, 1865. Other papers include a few miscellaneous Lane and Cameron family items.Back to Top
The series is divided into four subseries consisting of the business correspondence of George W. Mordecai, 1813-1870; personal correspondence of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennhan Mordecai, 1822-1870; business and personal correspondence of Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1871-1888; and undated correspondence (all).
Business correspondence of George W. Mordecai as a practicing lawyer, railroad president, and bank president. The subseries is further subdivided according to the different professional eras of George's life. Subseries 1.1.1, 1813-1839, covers the beginning of his law practice and his involvement with the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad. Subseries 1.1.2, 1840-1848, is dominated by railroad business. Subseries 1.1.3, 1849-1860, covers his election to the presidencies of the Bank of the State of North Carolina and the State Bank of North Carolina. Subseries 1.1.4, 1861-1865, concerns Confederate financial conditions and cotton speculation. Subseries 1.1.5, 1866-1870, shows George's efforts toward political and economic recovery, and investment in land in California, and touches on his entry into the insurance business.
This collection contains very little concrete information about George's roles as president of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad and president of the Bank of the State of North Carolina and the State Bank of North Carolina. There is some information about his bank presidency in the Cameron Family papers, Series 1.3, in correspondence between George Mordecai and Duncan Cameron. There is also a good deal of George's business correspondence mixed in with the Cameron family correspondence, especially after 1861. By the end of 1870, George was in such ill health that his business affairs were being handled by his wife, Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, his brother in law, Paul C. Cameron, and John Devereux, husband of George's niece, Margaret Mordecai Devereux.
The earliest items concern Dempsey Taylor, postmaster of Northampton County, N.C., relative to irregularities in his accounts. These items may actually have belonged to Moses Mordecai, whose law practice George assumed in 1824. Other scattered items include correspondence concerning the death of a slave in a construction accident while he was employed by the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad and the resulting lawsuit.
The legal problems of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad continued during this period. In 1840, George began corresponding with Thomas P. Devereux of Conacanara Plantation. The correspondence often concerns financial matters and George's legal services, as well as Thomas's plantation and, after the marriage in 1842 of George's niece, Margaret Lane Mordecai, to Thomas's son, John Devereux, the letters also contain family news.
Also in 1840, there is correspondence with T. Wilkinson, General Agent of the American Colonization Society, apparently concerning money left the Society by John Rex, whose estate George handled. See also Series 2. Estate Papers.
In 1842, George began receiving letters from his brother Samuel concerning Mordecai family financial matters. Letters from Samuel that are purely personal in nature are located in Subseries 1.2. After 1860, all letters from Samuel are in Subseries 1.2.
The main topics of George's business correspondence at this time are the purchase of railroad bonds for various individuals, the collection of debts for clients, and, in 1847, plans for the construction of a new building for Christ Church (Episcopal) in Raleigh. Prominent correspondents include George E. Badger, William Boylan, Duncan Cameron, Thomas P. Devereux, John Huske, Theodore S. Garnett, C. P. Mallett, A. Sidney Robertson, and Seymour W. Whiting.
George succeeded Duncan Cameron as president of the Bank of the State of North Carolina in 1849 and Cameron corresponded with George on banking subjects from this time until his death in 1853. Correspondence with Thomas P. Devereux also continues, more and more concerned with Devereux's deteriorating financial condition. There is a great deal of correspondence concerning the Episcopal Church, especially the movement in 1851 to remove Bishop Levi Silliman Ives, which George actively supported. George was also involved in the plan to raise funds for the building of a new residence in Raleigh for the bishop, and in the collection and distribution of Education Committee funds toward supporting young men studying to enter the ministry.
Other subjects of interest during this period include the formation of the North Carolina Railroad Company, the failure and rechartering of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, the construction of the new Episcopal church in Raleigh, the establishment of a mental hospital in Raleigh, the Washington and New Orleans Telegraph Company, the new North Carolina State Bank, and, after 1853, the management of George's plantations. In 1855 there is an interesting report from Dr. Louis Baur of the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Orthopedic Institute regarding the condition of George's invalid sister in law, Mildred C. ("Millie") Cameron. In 1860 there is a long letter from Benjamin D. Silliman, a long time friend and fellow lawyer from New York, concerning the tense political climate and assuring George of his continued friendship, "whether we are henceforth under the same flag" or not. The remaining correspondence concerns routine legal business and the buying and selling of supplies for various plantations and households.
Prominent correspondents include George E. Badger, William Boylan, Duncan Cameron, John Devereux, Thomas P. Devereux, Dorothea Dix, Charles Garnett, C. T. Haigh, Bishop Levi Silliman Ives, David May, Jarvis Buxton, Benjamin D. Silliman, David L. Swain, and William A. Wright.
During the Civil War,George speculated heavily in cotton and, either as a representative of the banking industry or on his own, bought and sold Confederate and North Carolina bonds for himself and others. He dealt regularly with John A. Lancaster and Son, with R. H. Maury and Company, with Harrison, Goddin, and Apperson, and with Edward Cohen, all of Richmond, buying and selling stocks and bonds, and with Charles Rogers and Co. of Columbus, Ga., and D. Malley and Son of Cheraw, S.C., buying cotton. There is a great deal of correspondence from other commission and general merchants in Richmond, Norfolk, Wilmington, and Charleston, containing information about economic conditions and the availability of goods. George evidently purchased supplies not only for his own plantations at this time but also for Paul C. Cameron and occasionally for Thomas P. Devereux. There is also some information on currency shortages and banking difficulties. For detailed information on the social, political and economic situation in Richmond see the correspondence of Samuel Mordecai in Subseries 1.2. For conditions in the piedmont plantation region of North Carolina see the correspondence of Paul C. Cameron in Subseries 1.2.
George's official political involvement during the war was slight, although he was appointed by the governor to deal with owners of salt mines concerning supplies for the North Carolina troops, and was consulted by the Confederate government concerning the appointment of a North Carolinian to the position of treasurer. Also, George gave $500 of his own money toward the construction of an ironclad ship to protect the North Carolina coast.
As the war came to an end, there are several letters from Thomas Ruffin and William Hawkins to George concerning the political situation in the state. George and William Hawkins applied for pardons, the applications for which were either lost or intentionally mislaid by North Carolina government officials, and the two men eventually went to Washington for a private interview with President Andrew Johnson. The move was not a popular one on all fronts and there were several insulting letters to the editor of the Raleigh Standard. Copies of George's rebuttal are filed at the end of 1865.
Prominent correspondents at this time include Thomas Branch and Sons of Petersburg, Jarvis Buxton of Asheville, De Rosset, Brown and Co. of Wilmington, Thomas P. Devereux, Marx S. Cohen of Charleston, M. A. Curtis of Hillsborough, C. T. Haigh, C. P. Mallett, Willie Perry (concerning plantation affairs), Thomas Ruffin, D. T. Williams, and William A. Wright (discussing conditions in Wilmington, N.C.).
George's trading in stocks and bonds continued after the war, as did his efforts to realize something out of the cotton he lost during Sherman's march through Georgia and the Carolinas. He corresponded frequently with Maury & Co., and with Edward Cohen, both of Richmond, and with Hawkins, Williamson & Co. of Baltimore. Edward Cohen, who had married George's niece, Caroline Myers, appears to have taken over the Mordecai family affairs in Richmond, serving in much the same capacity as Samuel Mordecai had prior to the war.
Correspondence with Thomas Devereux continued as Devereux moved increasingly toward bankruptcy. The collection of debts, including those owed by the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, was everyone's concern as people tried to dig out from the ravages of the war.
In 1866, George was appointed a supervisor of the North Carolina Lunatic Asylum in Raleigh. In 1867, he purchased land in California and established his nephew and namesake, George W. Mordecai Jr., son of Augustus and Rosina (Young) Mordecai, as a sheep farmer. George Jr. was never a success at the business. In 1869, George was appointed head of the North Carolina branch of the De Soto Insurance Company, but he resigned the position due to ill health in 1870. By the fall of 1870, George Sr. was in such ill health that his wife, Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, and brother in law, Paul C. Cameron, were handling his business affairs. The bulk of the correspondence for this period, including George's letter of resignation to the De Soto Insurance Company, can be found in the Cameron Family papers, Series 1.5.
While there are a few scattered early letters, including one from George to Jacob Mordecai, 1831, discussing the Southampton Insurrection, the bulk of the correspondence in this subseries begins in 1839. Prior to 1853, the letters are from members of George's family, especially his sisters Ellen and Emma; his brothers Samuel, in Richmond, Solomon, in Mobile, Ala., and Alfred, from various military installations where he was stationed; and from nieces and nephews to whom George was guardian: Henry, Ellen, Jacob, and Margaret, children of Moses Mordecai, and Marx Edgeworth, Ellen, Julia, and Mary Catherine, children of Aaron and Rachel Mordecai Lazarus. After 1853 there is also Cameron family correspondence, mostly from Paul C. Cameron, his wife, Ann Ruffin Cameron, and their children.
This subseries is divided into five sections. Subseries 1.2.1, 1822-1841, covers the period of the death of Moses Mordecai in 1824, the deaths of Jacob Mordecai and Rachel Mordecai Lazarus in 1838, and the death of Aaron Lazarus in 1841, resulting in George's guardianship of eight minor children. George also served as agent for Moses' widow, Anne Willis ("Nancy") Lane, and as legal and financial advisor to Samuel and the remaining family in Richmond, Va. The subseries also contains information concerning George's trip to England in 1838-1839 and his visit with novelist Maria Edgeworth, with whom the Mordecais had been corresponding for years. Subseries 1.2.2, 1842-1852, illustrates George's troubles with the Lazarus children and his efforts on behalf of his ailing sister in law, Nancy Mordecai. Subseries 1.2.3., 1853-1860, covers George's marriage to Margaret B. Cameron and is the beginning of correspondence with the Cameron and related families. Subseries 1.2.4., 1861-1865, shows the effects of the Civil War on communication and the effects of the war on the people of Richmond and environs. At this time the family lost track of Ellen Lazarus Allen, who moved to the North just prior to the war, and with Alfred Mordecai and his family, who remained in Philadelphia. Subseries 1.2.5., 1866-1870, concerns the reestablishment of communications with members of the family in the North, efforts to resurrect the family fortunes, and George's increasing ill health.
There is an early letter discussing the Southhampton rebellion but the bulk of the correspondence in this subseries begins in 1839 with copy of a letter from George to English novelist Maria Edgeworth, with whom the family had been corresponding since 1813. George travelled to England in 1838-1839 and visited the Edgeworths while there. In 1840, Alfred Mordecai travelled to Europe as a United States military observer and wrote back to the family his impressions of the different countries he visited.
In 1842, Henry Mordecai came of age and assumed the running of his plantation. His stepmother Nancy had a brick house built at Wills Forrest and moved there with her daughters Ellen and Margaret (until the latter's marriage), her son, Jacob, and her sisters, Harriet and Tempe. Much correspondence concerns the construction of this house. See also Subseries 3.1.1. and Subseries 3.2.4 for financial materials associated with the construction.
At this time, the family was split between North Carolina and Virginia, with Nancy, Ellen, Mary Catherine ("Mary Kate" or "Min") Lazarus, Henry, and Jacob in the Raleigh area and Samuel, Ellen, Emma, Eliza Mordecai Myers, Rebecca Myers Mordecai, and Augustus and Rosina (Young) Mordecai in Richmond. Ellen, Julia, and Marx Lazarus were based in Richmond but travelled a great deal between their Lazarus relatives and to New York. Marx, having studied medicine, always intended to settle down and practice but was never able to stay in one place, and out of trouble, long enough to establish himself. His letters to his uncle invariably request money for various fantastic schemes in which he was involved, which funds George either stalled or often refused to send. Marx was also involved with the socialist movement in New York. Ellen accompanied him on several of his trips and probably through him met John Allen, a minister with socialist tendencies. After a short engagement, Ellen and John Allen were married in 1848 and moved afterwards to a farm near Vevray, Ind. Ellen's letters to George detail their life there and increasing financial difficulties. Julia quickly took Ellen's place as Marx's travelling companion. She moved to New York to undergo a variety of "water" cures and other treatments for her nerves, in the process associating herself with persons of questionable nature. See also Subseries 1.1.2 for a letter, 1846, of Thomas P. Devereux to George, describing his attempt to visit Julia while on a trip to New York. Her landlady would not allow him to see her and the house she was staying in was of a suspicious nature.
Ellen Mordecai of Raleigh and Mary Catherine Lazarus visited their uncle Solomon and his family in Mobile, Ala., in 1849. Mary quickly formed an attachment with one of her uncle's business partners, Drury Thompson, which resulted in their marriage in 1850. The family suspected that Thompson, who was much older and had several children from a previous marriage, had misrepresented himself to Mary and was in fact a fortune hunter. George, who was by this time Mary's agent and legal advisor, made sure that her not inconsiderable fortune was safe from Thompson's control. Thompson's true character came out after Mary's sudden death in childbirth in 1850. Her aunt, Caroline Mordecai Plunkett, who also lived in Mobile, revealed that Mary had been very unhappy and perhaps even abused by her husband. His refusal to allow the family to move her remains to Raleigh was the final blow.
Samuel Fox Mordecai, son of Solomon, had visited the Raleigh family in 1848. Ellen Mordecai's visit in 1849 allowed the cousins to renew their friendship, resulting in an engagement between Samuel and the much older Ellen. The engagement was not generally approved by either side of the family, especially as Sam, who had been studying law, was not considered ready to support a family. Ellen returned home to prepare for the wedding and await Sam's arrival, which was delayed. The suspicious nature of the delay, and the disapproval of the families, resulted in the discontinuance of the engagement. As it turned out, Sam was recovering from an unfortunate social disease picked up during a moment of youthful indiscretion. This fact was revealed in a letter from Solomon, Sam's father, to George, as Ellen's de facto guardian; whether Sam ever told Ellen is unclear. After much agonizing and many letters exchanged between Ellen, George, Nancy, and John and Margaret Mordecai Devereux, Sam and Ellen managed to settle their differences, were married in 1850, and returned to Mobile. By 1852 they were back in North Carolina and preparing to move to a plantation on the Roanoke River, very near the Devereux home. While at the plantation Sam contracted a fever and died quite suddenly in August 1852, leaving Ellen with one child, a daughter, and another on the way. George was appointed executor of Samuel Fox Mordecai's estate.
Other family events reflected in letters to George during this period include the death of George's sister, Julia Judith Mordecai, in 1852; the continuing illness of Nancy Lane Mordecai; various floods along the Roanoke River that affected the plantation of John and Margaret Mordecai Devereux; after 1850, the farm life of Ellen Lazarus Allen and her husband, John; continued antagonism between Marx Lazarus and George, resulting in 1850 in an angry letter from Marx revoking his power of attorney and essentially "firing" George as his agent; and news of the births of children to Margaret Mordecai Devereux, Ellen Lazarus Allen, and Ellen Mordecai Mordecai.
In 1853, there are several letters from members of the Richmond family discussing servant problems. Emma wanted George's help to buy a slave who was in danger of being sent south. The slave was evidently the husband of a Mordecai servant. There was also a Mordecai slave who wished to be sold and who kept running away. Samuel, although head of the family, was unable to deal effectively with the situation and wanted George to handle it. In late spring 1853, George apparently announced his engagement to Margaret B. Cameron, whom he married in June. He received letters of congratulation from his sister Ellen, and his brothers Samuel, Solomon, and Alfred. Ellen wrote: "You were always good, but with a good wife, you will be better!" Just after the wedding, Eliza Mordecai Myers and Nancy Lane Mordecai travelled to Hampton, Va., in the hope of improving Nancy's deteriorating health. Later in 1853, letters between George and his nephew in law, John Devereux, discuss the seriousness of Nancy's condition and the advisability of Margaret Mordecai Lazarus's moving temporarily to Raleigh to be with her mother, who died in January 1854. Also in 1853, Alfred Mordecai travelled to Mexico on official business. While he was away George corresponded with his sister in law, Sara Hays Mordecai, concerning her family and finances.
In May 1854, Eliza Mordecai Myers wrote a letter of sympathy to Margaret Cameron Mordecai after the latter suffered a miscarriage. A letter from Julia Lazarus in October of the same year refers to Solomon Mordecai's being in Philadelphia recovering from cataract surgery.
Cameron family correspondence appears shortly after the marriage of George and Margaret. They lived in the Cameron house in Raleigh, where Margaret's invalid sister, Mildred Coles ("Millie") Cameron, lived with them. Mildred's health was a major topic of conversation, as were the annual trips north in search of a cure for her mysterious illness.
Letters from Julia Lazarus and Ellen Lazarus Allen reveal that Marx Lazarus apparently married in late 1854 or early 1855. His wife's name was Mary, last name unknown. Ellen Lazarus Allen's letters discuss her growing family and her husband's struggles to run a vineyard in New Switzerland County, Ind. Julia Lazarus lived most of the time in New York. In 1856 she and Marx (and Mary?) travelled to Paris, ostensibly for Marx to study medicine. There is a curious series of letters from Julia to her uncle George announcing her marriage while in Florence, Italy, to a man she declined to name, and discussing her financial arrangements while in Europe. George replied that, as she was now a married woman, her husband should be in charge of her financial holdings. Julia wrote back, asking George to disregard her previous letter; she had returned to Paris and was staying with Marx. George wrote again to her, asking her for further information: was she married or not? This question was never fully answered. There is evidence in other family letters that Julia may have married, or believed she was married to, a man named Smith who was one of her so called doctors in New York. From this point on, correspondence between Julia and George concerns business only. Upon her return to America Julia declined to live with the Richmond Mordecais but instead moved from one Lazarus relative to another.
John Allen died in 1858, leaving his farm and finances in disarray. Ellen Lazarus Allen had by this time moved to New York, where she felt the climate was more physically and socially healthful, so she was not with her husband at the time of his death. Her sister, Julia, and brother, Marx, were, however, and Ellen revealed to George that rumors persisted that she had arranged for her siblings to dispatch John. At Ellen's request, George tried to untangle the mess in Indiana, working with John Allen's farmhand, Joseph Dantel, a Frenchman. John Allen's total lack of business knowledge, coupled with his lack of success as a farmer, allowed unscrupulous elements in his neighborhood to encroach on his holdings. Letters between George, Joseph, and Ellen discuss the events leading to John Allen's sad financial condition and concern various lawsuits in which he was involved. Joseph Dantel agreed to stay on the farm and try to run things, to at least see the grapes through harvest and the wine made. Letters from Joseph Dantel can be found in Subseries 2.1. Estate Papers. They are mostly in French. Meanwhile, George provided for Ellen and her four children.
In November of 1860, Caroline Mordecai Plunkett moved to Richmond from Mobile. Letters from George's sisters Emma and Ellen and from his mother, Rebecca, in Richmond reveal the family's increasingly concern for her physical and mental health.
The coming of the war put Alfred Mordecai in a difficult position. He and his family were living in Philadelphia, where he was stationed. He mentions in a letter to George that he had been approached by the governor of North Carolina and offered the command of the state troops, which he asked George to decline for him. He also could not fight against the South, and so, after much soul searching, he resigned his United States Army commission. His letters show he came under attack from both sides and faced the very real problem of providing for his large family. He eventually went to Mexico to help survey and construct a national railroad. The Raleigh and Richmond families lost contact with him during the war, except for an occasional letter smuggled through the lines.
As hostilities broke out, many of the younger members of the family joined the army, including Thomas and John Devereux;, William, Thomas, and Jacob Mordecai of Mobile; William, John, and George W. Mordecai Jr., and Edward Myers, all of Richmond; and Marx Lazarus. Letters from this period often contain accounts of various battles as reported by these participants. The family in Richmond suffered all the deprivations of a city under siege, relieved from time to time by shipments of food and supplies sent by Margaret and George from relatively unaffected Raleigh. Samuel's letters discuss economic and social conditions in the city. Whenever possible he listed prices of goods and commodities and also the action among stock and bond traders.
After some discussion between George and various of the Richmond family, Caroline Mordecai Plunkett moved to Raleigh in 1861. Her insanity had worsened and taking care of her was too much for George's sister, Emma, who was also nursing their mother Rebecca through her final illness, and brother Samuel, as his physical conditioned weakened. Caroline was committed to the mental hospital in Raleigh, where she died in 1862. Emma's letters to George detail Rebecca Myers Mordecai's increasingly deteriorating condition and George made more than one trip north to visit her. Rebecca died in 1863 and the Richmond home was broken up in 1864. Emma's letters reveal that she moved to a farm outside of Richmond, home of her sister in law Rosina, widow of Augustus. Ellen travelled for awhile before settling in Raleigh. Samuel moved to Raleigh and lived with George and Margaret. He died in April, 1865. After his death, a letter between George and Alfred revealed that Samuel had had an illegitimate daughter, to whom he left a legacy.
Various Cameron relatives visited throughout the period, especially Margaret's niece Rebecca, who married her cousin Walker Anderson in 1863. Walker was killed in battle shortly afterwards. Many letters from Rebecca and from members of her immediate family report on her mental state. There are many letters from Paul Cameron to both George and Margaret. With Margaret he discussed family news and especially the health of sister Mildred Coles ("Millie") Cameron. With George he discussed plantation affairs and the difficulties of obtaining supplies, general economic conditions, and the progress of the war.
During this time, letters from Solomon Mordecai of Mobile were infrequent and usually written by one of his daughters. His daughter, Susan, married a Mr. Westfeldt who was later killed in battle.
Letters from Emma Mordecai in Richmond report the movements of various nephews who were in the Confederate army. Marx Lazarus enlisted in several Confederate companies, usually as a private, but may never have actually served. He spent some time with the Richmond family and may have worked in the city as a newspaper reporter and practiced medicine on the side. In 1864, he married a second time (as reported by his cousins) but his second wife's name is unknown, as is the fate of his first wife, Mary. Ellen Lazarus Allen apparently remarried during the war, to a Mr. Walter Shutt. He was a widower with several children; together they had three more.
Of note is a letter dated 27 May 1865 from Paul C. Cameron to "My Dearest Sisters." In the letter, Cameron recounts an exchange between his daughter Maggie and the Cameron family's cook, a freedperson. The cook, according to Cameron, looked Maggie in the eye and said: "her skin was nearly as white as hers--that her hair was nearly as straight--[and] that she was quite as free."
After the war, Ellen Lazarus Allen Shutt's affairs dominate. Nothing had been settled concerning John Allen's estate prior to the war, and at the war's end, when she contacted the family, it was to announce her remarriage and desperate need for money. George wrote back with advice and apparently bought for her the lot and house where she had been living and provided money for essential improvements. She wrote him long letters detailing her life during the war when her family had been in such severe financial straights that she had apprenticed her daughter Minnie and son Urner (now called Earnest) to the Shakers, a decision she regretted but was unable to reverse. Minnie had no desire to leave the sect but through trickery Ellen was able to "rescue" Earnest. Letters from Julia Lazarus indicated that she and Marx had moved to Georgia and were living off her income from her father's estate while Marx made plans to establish his medical practice.
After the war, Emma Mordecai taught school at various places, including Wilmington, N.C., and Columbus, Ga., and wrote to George of her trials and triumphs. Alfred Mordecai reestablished contact with the family and visited North Carolina in late 1865. He was welcomed by George and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, but a letter from Margaret Mordecai Devereux to George asked that Alfred not visit her family. George was evidently much displeased by this refusal and Margaret later relented.
In 1867, George purchased land in California and sent his nephews George W. Mordecai and Thomas P. Devereux out to survey it. Their letters home describe farming conditions, land prices, and settlement in San Joachin County. Thomas returned to North Carolina but George Jr., stayed in California intending to establish a sheep ranch and continued to correspond with his uncle about the land purchased and necessary improvements.
Letters from Mobile announced the death of Solomon Mordecai in 1869. By the fall of 1870, George was in failing health and Margaret and Paul Cameron were handling his correspondence and business affairs. See the Cameron Family papers, Series 1.5.
Letters received by Margaret Bennehan Mordecai after her husband's death in 1871 and until her death in 1886, including letters from George W. Mordecai Jr. in California, reporting various crop failures and business reverses; other "business" correspondence concerning debts collected on Margaret's behalf by John Devereux and Thomas P. Devereux Jr., and correspondence with merchants, business colleagues of her husband, and doctors. Personal correspondence includes letters from Margaret's Cameron and Mordecai relatives, especially from her brother, Paul C. Cameron. See also Subseries 1.4.3 for undated letters from Paul C. Cameron. Paul's letters concern plantation and family affairs and the health of Margaret and of their invalid sister, Mildred Coles ("Millie") Cameron, until the latter's death in 1881. Various Cameron nieces and nephews visited Margaret and Millie in Raleigh and wrote back to them from other places.
Arrangement: by correspondent.
This subseries is further divided into three parts. Subseries 1.4.1 contains undated letters from George W. Mordecai to Margaret Bennehan Mordecai both before and after their marriage in 1853. Subseries 1.4.2 contains letters from Margaret Bennehan Mordecai to George W. Mordecai both before and after their marriage. Subseries 1.4.3 contains all other undated correspondence arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
These letters are few in number and are very scattered. They include billet doux exchanged prior to the marriage of George W. Mordecai and Margaret B. Cameron in June 1853, and brief notes after, with one or two long letters written while George was away on family business. They contain mostly news of family and friends and hopes for the good health of both Margaret and George's sister in law, Mildred Coles ("Millie") Cameron.
These letters have been divided into three groups: those written prior to the death of Margaret's father, Duncan Cameron, in January 1853; those written during the period of mourning, circa January May 1853; and those written after the marriage of Margaret to George in June 1853.
Margaret's letters written prior to her father's death express her concern over his deteriorating health and also over the mysterious illness of her sister, Mildred Coles ("Millie") Cameron, who never recovered and was an invalid for the remainder of her life. During this time (probably late 1852) Margaret ran her father's Raleigh household and nursed the two patients. It is not clear whether her courtship with George was carried out openly or whether it had the approval of her father. There is some indication that Margaret's brother, Paul C. Cameron, did not fully approve and may have exchanged words with George. There is also indication that George's letters to Margaret contained selections of poetry. Unfortunately none are present in this collection.
Margaret's letters after her father's death reflect her deep sense of loss and grief. They also make frequent reference to the continued ill health of Mildred Coles ("Millie") Cameron.
Margaret's letters after her marriage to George in June 1853 largely contain news of the Cameron and Mordecai families and friends and events in Raleigh, when George was away from home, and in Hillsborough, N.C., while Margaret was away visiting her family. There are also letters written from New York during Margaret and Millie's annual visits in search of a cure for Millie's illness.
Arranged alphabetically by author when known, with unidentified items and fragments at the end of the series. There are large runs of letters from Margaret's brother, Paul C. Cameron, and niece, Rebecca Cameron Anderson Graham, filed separately.
M. E. Alcott. Mary Read Cameron Anderson. Robert Walker Anderson. William E. Anderson. Bettie Atkinson. J. G. Atkinson. J. M. Atkinson.
J. G. B. E. H. Badger. Pattie (Mrs. Kemp P.) Battle. M. W. Blount. Bettie H. Bridgers. N. W. Briggs. Fannie R. Brodnax Mary McLean Bryant. Sally Burgwin. Anne Busbee. M. E. Butterworth. Anna N. Buxton. Fanny Buxton. W. S. Bynum.
Anne Ruffin Cameron. Bennehan Cameron Duncan Cameron. E. S. Cameron. Frank H. Cameron. J. S. Cameron. M. C. Cameron. Mrs. C. Capehart. Mildred Carlisle. Sallie Chambers. R. Chapman. L. Claxton. Thomas Coates. Caroline Myers Cohen. George Cohen. Anne Ruffin Cameron Collins. R. A. Collins. Sally R. Collins. Anna M. Cosby. Mary De Rosset (Mrs. M. A.) Curtis. L. J. Czarnowska.
August [Daept]. Mary Daniels. J[ane] R. Davidson. M. Day. M. G. Day. De Rosset. Annie Devereux. John Devereux. John Devereux Jr. Laura Devereux. Margaret Mordecai Devereux. T. Devereux. C. Dewey. Mary Dixon. A. M. Donnell. J. B. Donnelly. C. [A.] Edmondston.
M. L. Fitz Gerald. A. B. Forrest. Jean C. Gales. Mary A. ("Mollie") Cameron Gales. Weston R. Gales. George M. Graham.
C. S. H. M. B. Hale. Fanny G. Hamilton. C. C. Harding. Kate McK. Hawley. E. Burke Haywood. J. Henop. Kate Henop. E. H. Hill. Dr. Hines. Misses Hines. Mr. and Mrs. Hines. C. Hines. Ellen ("Nellie") Mordecai Hinsdale. Jean C. Hinton. Lucy Hogg. Sally Hogg. Sarah L. Hogg. Annie Holderfield. R. C. Holmes. Frances Huske.
Helen B. Iredell. Mary Iredell
Cornelius L. Johnson. P. J. Johnston. J. R. Jones. Eliza ("Lizzie") Jones. Mary Jones. R. E. (Mrs. Cadwalder) Jones.
Mrs. L. V. Kingsbury. Anna M. Cameron Kirkland. [Sue May] Kirkland.
Julia A. Landrum. Temperance Lane. Mrs. Lathrup. Julia A. Lazarus. Mrs. R. G. Lewis. J. G. Lippett. Mary I. Lucas.
A. M. Bettie M. Sally P. [McGehee]. K. J. Devereux McKay. Sue T. McPheeters. Mrs. Arthur A. Maginnis. M. M. Marshall. M. Sue Marshall. Martha Mason. Mary Mason. R. S. Mason. Augustus Mordecai. Bettie Mordecai. Ellen Mordecai. Ellen Mordecai Mordecai. Emma Mordecai. George W. Mordecai. George W. Mordecai Jr. M. Mordecai. Margaret Mordecai. Rosa Mordecai. Rosina (Young) Mordecai. Samuel Mordecai. Sara Hays Mordecai. William Y. Mordecai. William Morely. Mrs. Morris.
A. C. Nash. M. G. Nash. Maria Nash. Susan Kollock Nash. Y. Nash. Sterling Neblett. M. H. Neilson.
C. M. Park. G. C. Payne. Margaret Cameron Peebles. Belle Pescud. Jonathan S. Pescud. Jonathan D. P[ruined]. G. W. Picard. Emily Polk. Mrs. George F. Pringle.
E. G. Read. W. Reston. Annie Roulhac. C[atherine] R[oulhac]. Fanny G. de Roulhac. Lilly Roulhac. Nannie R. Roulhac. Mary E. Rowland. Jane R[uffin]. M. R. Ruffin. Pattie Ruffin. R. [W. or R.] Ruffin. Benjamin Rush. Mary Ryan. Mary G. Ryan.
R. A. S. Saint Mary's School, Rector of. Julia A. Saunders. R. Bowden Shepherd. M. A. Short. W. A. Slade. A. Smedes. George W. Smedes. Susan D. Smedes. Richard H. Smith. Elizabeth B. Standin. E. Stephens. Mrs. Strange. G. Stuart. Annie S. Syme.
Lou N. Taylor. B. [H.] Thompson. M. E. Venable. [J. G.] W. Elizabeth F. Warder. Mrs. M. H. Weddon. Susan Mordecai Westfeldt Emily Williams. Jonathan R. Williams. W. Woollcott. Lula Wynn. S. V. Young.
While this series by no means holds a complete record of those estates for which George W. Mordecai served as executor or trustee, it serves as a good example of the diversity of services rendered. Almost all persons represented here were either related to the Mordecai family or were close business associates of George. Estate papers include bills, receipts, executor's accounts, guardian accounts, deeds, and correspondence. Correspondence with family members concerning the estate of Aaron Lazarus, husband of Rachel Mordecai Lazarus, and of John Allen, first husband of Ellen Lazarus Allen Shutt, can be found in Subseries 1.2. Personal Correspondence.
Aaron Lazarus (1777-1841) of Wilmington, N.C., married Rachel Mordecai and with her had four children: Marx Edgeworth, Judith "Ellen", Mary Catherine (called both "Mary Kate" and "Min"), and Julia. George served first as guardian and then as trustee for the children. Marx, Ellen, and Julia ran quickly through most of the property they inherited. Mary died before she could make use of hers. This subseries contains bills and receipts for clothing, education, medical services, and travel expenses of the Lazarus children, as well as correspondence with the legal firm in Wilmington that George employed to manage their properties there.
The estate papers of John Allen (d. 1858), first husband of Ellen Lazarus Allen Shutt, concern the running of a vineyard and farm in New Switzerland County, Ind., at which the Allens became progressively more unsuccessful. In the letters of Joseph Dantel, one of Allen's farm hands, there is much information concerning the cultivation of grapes and production of wine, as well as the general lawlessness of the area. Also present are deeds for the land, which George apparently bought from John Allen to protect him from further financial ruin.
One significant non-family estate is that of Joseph R. Lloyd, who directed in his will that his minor sons be educated in North Carolina. Lloyd's widow remarried and moved with her daughter to Louisiana, beginning a long battle of wills over the education of her sons. The correspondence between George, the Lloyd children, their stepfather A. Sidney Robertson, and the headmasters of various schools they attended is quite informative. The boys attended a number of schools and often ran away or got into other serious trouble. They at one time attended the Episcopal mission school at Valle Crucis, N.C., where they all came down with venereal disease. By the 1850s, they were attending military school in Louisiana.
Other estates represented include Moses Mordecai's, which contains land grants and deeds for the vast Bryan plantation lands Mordecai purchased before his death and that eventually passed to his daughter, Ellen Mordecai Mordecai. There are also papers for the estate of John Rex, who left a significant amount of money to the American Colonization Society.
Arrangement: alphabetical by estate and chronological within folders.
This series includes financial papers (bills, receipts, promissory notes, insurance policies, stock certificates, etc.) and account books for several commercial partnerships, including Hogg and Mordecai, Mordecai and McKimmon, and the Forest Manufacturing Company, and deeds and miscellaneous legal papers.
Bills and receipts for the purchases of household goods and services, both for George W. Mordecai and for various family members; promissory notes; and accounts of stock in the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad and other companies, including the State Bank and the Bank of the State of North Carolina, and slave bills of sale. Accounts dealing with specific estates can be found in Series 2. Estate papers.
Bills, receipts, accounts, promissory notes, stock certificates, tax lists, etc., documenting George W. Mordecai's business and personal lives, as well as those of family members for whom he served as agent. There are a few plantation accounts for Henry and Jacob Mordecai and, after 1853, for George W. Mordecai. Of particular prominence are doctor's bills for various family members, especially Nancy Lane Mordecai and Mildred Coles ("Millie") Cameron.
These items reflect the increase in prices and decrease in supplies of goods as the war progressed, as well as George's speculation in cotton and bonds. Also included are scattered receipts for Wayside Hospital, a Confederate hospital in Raleigh. See also Subseries 3.2.4.
Some record of George's investment in California are included. For more information see Subseries 3.2.2. Legal Papers, and Subseries 1.3. Margaret Bennehan Mordecai Correspondence.
Bills, receipts, and accounts of Margaret Bennehan Mordecai showing purchases of food, household goods, and services. Included are lists of Margaret's taxables for several years. Also present are bills for the medical care of Mildred Coles ("Millie") Cameron until her death in 1881 and for Margaret throughout the period.
1820-1831 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 271
Bank of New Bern, Raleigh office
1824-1838 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 272
Bank of the State of North Carolina
1834-1841 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 273
Bank of the State of North Carolina
1841-1843 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 274
Bank of the State of North Carolina
1843-1846 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 275
Bank of the State of North Carolina
1846-1848 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 276
Bank of the State of North Carolina
1848-1851 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 277
Bank of the State of North Carolina
1851-1853 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 278
Bank of the State of North Carolina
1853-1855 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 279
Bank of the State of North Carolina
1855-1858 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 280
Bank of the State of North Carolina
1858-1859 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 281
Bank of the State of North Carolina
1859-1860 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 282
Bank of the State of North Carolina
1861-1862 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 283
Bank of the State of North Carolina
1848-1855 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 284
Check stubs of George W. Mordecai
1881-1883 #00522, Subseries: "3.2.1. Bank Books and Check Stubs of George W. Mordecai and Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, 1820-1883." Folder 285
Check stubs of Margaret Bennehan Mordecai
Property received from Margaret B. Cameron; inventories of Fishdam, Peeksville, and Jones plantations
Slave, planting, and livestock record, Peeksville plantation
Livestock (hogs) and overseer's records, Peeksville plantation
Personal accounts; family accounts; church building and mill at plantation accounts
Jacob Mordecai, misc. accounts; memorandum on slaves, corn, and cotton; George's receipts at Pitt and Green county courts
Bank book; accounts with Dabney Cosby, builder; Thomas A. Waite, carpenter; and other accounts relating to the building of a brick house at Raleigh (probably Wills Forrest)
Record of stocks purchase in Harlem Railroad and other railroads and companies, mostly in the North
Accounts of days of work done by hands quarrying rock for a church
Wheat account of W. Collins' mill
Accounts of treasurer of the Wayside Hospital Association, Raleigh
A commercial partnership established in 1835 between George W. Mordecai and Gavin Hogg, and continued after Gavin's death with his son. The partners owned a building in downtown Raleigh which was leased for some time to the North Carolina Book Store. Papers include account books, bills, receipts, tax receipts, and insurance policies.
A commercial partnership established in 1833 between Augustus Mordecai, George W. Mordecai, and James McKimmon to run a mercantile business. Augustus decided to pull out in 1838 and George sold all of his remaining interests to James McKimmon.
A Neuse River, N.C., papermaking concern. Materials are scattered and information incomplete. Primarily notes concerning meetings of investors and lists of stockholders.
Primarily deeds to various odd pieces of land situated in Raleigh and in Buncombe County owned by George W. Mordecai. Also, deeds belonging to Ellen Mordecai Mordecai concerning the Bryan Plantation, which she inherited from her father, Moses Mordecai, and deeds for the lot occupied by Ellen Lazarus Allen Shutt in the Village of Modern Times (now Islip Township), N.Y. Other deeds can been found in Series 2. Estate papers. See especially the estates of Moses Mordecai and John Allen. There are also a few miscellaneous land related items, primarily surveys.
Miscellaneous papers of a legal nature, including miscellaneous estate papers, judgements, contracts, and rental agreements. Included are the articles of agreement to provide supplies to Wayside Hospital, Raleigh, N.C., circa 1862.
Personal items of George W. Mordecai, of his wife, Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, and related family members, and papers of the Lane and Cameron families. The diary of George's trip to England, 1838-1839, is included.
Miscellaneous items of a personal nature, including George's report cards from the Mordecai academy; his diary and accounts from a trip to England in 1838-1839, during which he visited Maria Edgeworth; obituaries and memorials of George W. Mordecai, Margaret Bennehan Mordecai, Ellen Mordecai Mordecai, and Alfred Mordecai Jr.; and certificates, including the deed to a pew a Christ Church in Raleigh, George's presidential pardon; railroad passes; and calling cards.
Miscellaneous items from the Lane and Cameron families that have no apparent relation to the papers above. These include deeds and indentures, appointments, receipts, accounts, and some personal and business correspondence, and the marriage license of Paul Carrington Cameron and Anne Ruffin. Persons represented include Ann Willis Lane (prior to her marriage), Harriet Lane, Henry Lane, Joel Lane, Temperance Lane, and William Lane, and Duncan Cameron, Margaret B. Cameron (prior to her marriage), Mildred Coles Cameron, and Paul C. Cameron and his family.
Processed by: L. Eileen Parris, October 1990
Encoded by: Eben Lehman, January 2007Back to Top