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.
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|Size||16.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 9,230 items)|
|Abstract||The collection contains documentation of the people enslaved by the white Pettigrew family on their rice plantations, Bonarva, Belgrade, and Magnolia, in Washington County, N.C. and Tyrrell County, N.C., and copies of original poetry by George Moses Horton, a Black man enslaved in Chatham County, N.C. Included are letters written between 1856 and 1858 that were dictated by Malichi J. White (Active 1820-1880), Moses (Active 1856-1858), and Henry (Active 1856-1858), who were enslaved men serving as overseers for William S. Pettigrew (1818-1900), a white Episcopalian minister and plantation owner. Eighteenth and nineteenth-century correspondence with white members of the Pettigrew family, particularly Charles Pettigrew (1744-1807), Ebenezer Pettigrew (1783-1848), Charles Lockhart Pettigrew (1816-1873), and William S. Pettigrew pertain to the institution of slavery; a thwarted uprising by enslaved people in Hillsborough, N.C. in 1830; resistance by people enslaved on the Pettigrews’ plantations; trafficking of people in the Haitian slave trade in the 1790s and later in the internal slave trade; and hiring out and relocation of enslaved people from eastern North Carolina to Chatham County, N.C., during the American Civil War. After the war, correspondents discuss their inability to hire Black laborers whom they had previously enslaved. Financial documents before the war include bills of sale for people trafficked in the internal slave trade and lists of people enslaved by the Pettigrews. The collection also contains the white family's poems and autobiographical writings; family histories and genealogical information; notebooks, composition books, speeches, music books, and other school work from University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, St. Mary’s School in Raleigh, N.C., and other schools; commonplace books and collected recipes and cures; records and journals related to the Methodist and Episcopal churches of North Carolina and the ministerial work of Charles Pettigrew and William S. Pettigrew; accounts by James Johnston Pettigrew (1828-1863) of his travels to Spain and other parts of Europe, Charleston, S.C., and Cuba; and framed portraits in oil and photographs of family members and others.|
|Creator||Pettigrew (Family : Pettigrew, James, -1784)|
|Curatorial Unit||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.|
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.
Four generations of the Pettigrew family carved three plantations out of the swampy lands between Lake Phelps and the Scuppernong River in Washington and Tyrrell counties, N.C. While there were Pettigrew women who led productive and interesting lives, the family's history is dominated by fathers and sons. Starting out from Scotland, James Pettigrew (d. 1784) arrived in Pennsylvania, but soon moved on, first to Virginia, and then to Granville County, N.C. Ever restless, he continued his southward journey, finally settling in Charleston and the Abbeville district of South Carolina. In these regions, the Pettigrew family flourished. Around 1809, the family, in an effort to claim Huguenot origins, changed its name to Petigru, and, under this name, became prominent in Charleston society.
James's son Charles Pettigrew (1743-1807), however, did not choose to move south, and settled instead around Edenton, N.C. Charles established his branch of the family in eastern North Carolina near the end of the 18th century. His son Ebenezer Pettigrew (1783-1848) developed the plantations that were later passed on to Ebenezer's children: Charles Lockhart Pettigrew (1816-1873), William S. Pettigrew (1818-1900), James Johnston Pettigrew (1826-1863), Mary B. Pettigrew (d. 1887), and Anne B. S. Pettigrew (1830-1864). Although the daughters shared in this inheritance, they were seldom directly involved in managing the plantations. An exception was Jane Caroline North, a South Carolina Petigru cousin, who, upon her marriage to Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, assumed a central role in shepherding the family's fortunes. This marriage reunited the Pettigrew and Petigru branches of the family. In the years following the Civil War, family members tried to hold onto their patrimony, struggling to adjust to life in much-reduced circumstances. Free labor and other changes wrought by the war, however, defeated their efforts, and, by the end of the century, the family left the region.
While the plantations provided the unifying focus of family life, each generation of Pettigrew men also participated in significant events beyond the local community. Charles Pettigrew served as an Anglican minister in Edenton, N.C., was the first bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, and participated in the initial efforts to organize the University of North Carolina. Ebenezer Pettigrew was a student in the first preparatory class of the new university, completing his education at the Edenton Academy in 1804. He also served in the North Carolina state senate, 1809-1810, and as a Whig congressman, 1835-1837. James Johnston Pettigrew, unlike his brothers, spent most of his life away from the family plantations as a student in Hillsborough and Chapel Hill; mathematician at the National Observatory; student of law in Baltimore and Europe; lawyer in Charleston, S.C.; representative in the South Carolina assembly; and brigadier-general in the Confederate Army.
For more detailed biographical information, see the descriptions of materials in Series 1, which has been organized and described according to significant events in Pettigrew family history. Other sources of information about the Pettigrew family include:
Ducey, Mitchell F. "The Pettigrews: Paternal Authority and Personality Development in a North Carolina Planter Clan." Master's Thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1979.
Lemmon, Sarah McCulloh. Parson Pettigrew of the ""Old Church,"" 1744-1807. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970.
Lemmon, Sarah McCulloh, ed. The Pettigrew Papers, 1685-1818, Vol. I. Raleigh: State Department of Archives and History, 1971.
Lemmon, Sarah McCulloh, ed. The Pettigrew Papers, 1819-1843, Vol. II. Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 1988.
Wall, Bennett Harrison. "Charles Pettigrew: A Study of an Early North Carolina Religious Leader and Planter." Master's thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1940.
Wall, Bennett Harrison. "Ebenezer Pettigrew: An Economic Study of an Antebellum Planter." Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1947.
Wall, Bennett Harrison. "The Founding of the Pettigrew Plantations." North Carolina Historical Review 27 (October 1950): 395-418.
Wilson, Clyde Norman, Jr. "Carolina Cavalier: The Life of James Johnston Pettigrew." Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1971.Back to Top
The collection includes business and personal correspondence reflecting the varied interests and activities of Pettigrew family members of Washington County, N.C., and Tyrrell County, N.C., including the involvement of Charles Pettigrew and his grandson William S. Pettigrew in the Anglican Church and the Episcopal Church; the development and management of Bonarva, Belgrade, and Magnolia plantations by Ebenezer Pettigrew, sometimes in cooperation with family friend James Cathcart Johnston of Edenton, N.C., including unsuccessful efforts by the family to hold onto the plantations after the Civil War; slavery, especially William's use of slaves as overseers (some slave letters are included) and a thwarted slave rebellion planned for Hillsborough, N.C., in 1830; Charles's involvement in the founding of the University of North Carolina and his sons' attendance there; family life, including the education of children at the University of North Carolina and elsewhere; the evacuation of the plantations after the capture of Roanoke Island in 1862; James Johnston Pettigrew's travels to Charleston, S.C., Spain and elsewhere in Europe, and Cuba; reestablishment of ties with the Charleston Petigrus that was formalized with the marriage of Charles Lockhart Pettigrew and his cousin Jane Caroline North; and the general decline of family fortunes after the Civil War despite the efforts of Jane Caroline North Pettigrew to hold onto land and other assets. Included are letters of Henry Clay, 1841-1842. Financial records document purchases for family and plantation use and educational expenses and include slave lists. Writings consist mainly of travel diaries, especially of James Johnston Pettigrew; some religious works; poems and acrostics by slave poet George Moses Horton; and other items. School materials consist of notebooks and other items. Commonplace books concern women's activities and current events. William's Episcopal Church materials relate to his service at various North Carolina churches and include journals of parochial visits; registers of salary, offerings, baptisms, burials, etc.; records of sermons delivered; and records of church-related expenses. Genealogical materials include information on the Blount, Bryan, Shepard, and other related families. Miscellaneous items include a phrenological study of Ebenezer, circa 1830s-1840s.
The greater part of materials in this collection may be classified as correspondence and closely related items. These items are arranged chronologically in Series 1, which has been broken into subseries according to the dates of events significant enough to signal a change in the cast of characters and/or subjects discussed. Included in this series are both personal and business correspondence. As noted in the description of Series 2, letters that are essentially receipts or confirmations of purchase orders are filed in Series 2.
In this finding aid, women are referred to consistently by the name that is most important relative to the collection. Also, because names are repeated from generation to generation and even within the same generation, an effort has been made to differentiate fathers from sons and sisters from sisters-in-law chiefly by the use of first names and middle initials. Although occasionally awkward, using first names plus initials not only helps to clarify which individual is being discussed, but also is the way most of the Pettigrews identified themselves in their writings.Back to Top
Correspondence and related materials of Pettigrew family members and others. Undated correspondence is arranged by individuals, with the greater portion of this material relating to Jane Caroline North Pettigrew.
About 20 items.
Chiefly correspondence between Charles Pettigrew and various religious leaders. Charles Pettigrew, though raised a Presbyterian, was ordained in the Anglican Church in 1775. His ministerial position in Edenton brought him into contact with Methodist leaders. These letters document Pettigrew's interest in the growing Methodist Church and show that, by 1784, Charles had rejected Methodism, largely because of the its position on infant baptism. For writings of Charles Pettigrew on this issue, see Series 3. Prominent among the correspondents are Francis Asbury, Devereux Jarratt, Edward Dromgoole, Charles Cupples, Caleb B. Peddicord, and Henry Metcalf. Also included is correspondence with Charles's former teacher, Henry Pattillo. Little family or plantation-related correspondence appears in this time period. See also copies of Charles's letters in folder 509.
About 20 items.
The ascendancy of Charles Pettigrew, the planter, over Charles Pettigrew, the minister. Charles's complete disenchantment with Methodism is documented in correspondence with Methodist minister Beverly Allen in 1785. During this time, Charles served as Anglican priest in Edenton, N.C. Rising to prominence in the church, Charles was named first Bishop Elect of the newly organized Diocese of North Carolina in 1794. He was never consecrated in this office, however, because of his refusal to travel through disease-ridden regions to the Episcopal conventions in Philadelphia.
Letters reveal that despite increased clerical responsibilities, Charles was devoting more and more time and energy to the serious development of land in Tyrrell County, N.C., that he purchased in the early 1780s. To a considerable extent, development projects proceeded in cooperation with the neighboring Collins family, their mutual interests leading to canal- and road-building partnerships. Also during this period, Charles journeyed to Haiti to engage in the slave trade in an effort to bolster the human stock on his developing plantations.
Family life emerges as a prominent topic during this period. Significant changes are documented in letters about the death of Charles's first wife, Mary Blount Pettigrew (whom Charles called Polly) in 1786 and his marriage to Mary Lockhart (also called Polly) in 1794. Included is material on Charles's participation in the first meetings of the University of North Carolina trustees to determine where to locate the new university. Correspondence with Charles's former teacher, Henry Pattillo, continues. See also copies of Charles's letters in folder 509.
Chiefly correspondence relating to the school activities of Charles's sons John and Ebenezer, John a member of the first class at the newly organized University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C, and Ebenezer a member of the University's preparatory school. Most of John's letters from Chapel Hill discussed topics dear to a student's heart--food, companions, and money. Charles countered with letters reflecting his concerns--morals, grades, and money. By 1798, Charles's increasing uneasiness with the loose atmosphere in Chapel Hill led him to make other arrangements for his children's education. John went to Nixonton to study medicine, and Ebenezer attended Edenton Academy from 1802 to 1804. John died suddenly on 20 August 1799, just as his father was investigating career opportunities for him. Meanwhile, University of North Carolina preparatory school correspondence continued between Ebenezer and his former classmates. Later (around 1804), correspondence between Ebenezer and Edenton Academy friends, among them James Iredell, Jr., began.
During this period, Bonarva and Belgrade plantations were carved out of the swampy region between Lake Phelps and the Scuppernong River. By 1799, Ebenezer was writing to John about a farmhouse being built at the Lake (Bonarva). Belgrade, located north of Bonarva, seems to come into its own around 1803 when Charles was in residence there. In mid-1804, Ebenezer left Edenton Academy and assumed primary responsibility for Bonarva. Much late-1804 correspondence contains advice and instructions about plantation management from Charles to his son.
Also of interest in this period are letters relating to slavery, including the sale of slaves (June 1803) and Charles's attitude toward the institution (1802-1804). See also copies of Charles's letters in folder 509.
About 100 items.
Chiefly correspondence involving Ebenezer Pettigrew's running of the Pettigrew plantations. Charles Pettigrew died in 1807, leaving Ebenezer in charge of both Bonarva and Belgrade. Chief among the plantations's products were rice, wheat, corn, juniper shingles, and lumber. After his father's death, Ebenezer sought advice on plantation management from others. Letters show that these advisors included Thomas Trotter, Stuart Mollan, John Beasley, and Frederick Blount. During this period, Ebenezer also made frequent trips to Virginia and the North to establish and strengthen business relations with various firms there.
There is considerable family-oriented correspondence with Blount and Shepard relatives during these years. Of special significance is the beginning of a dialogue between Ebenezer and Ann Blount Shepard (Nancy), whom he later wed.
In 1809-1810, Ebenezer was a reluctant participant in state politics, serving as senator from Washington County. Few documents that reflect his activities in the state assembly survive. Letters from these years show Ebenezer as the first of many Pettigrews who, while serving their country, expressed their desire to avoid the public eye.
Note that there is no correspondence for 1813.
About 350 items.
Correspondence covering the married life of Ebenezer Pettigrew. Included is continued exchange between Ebenezer and Thomas Trotter, John Beasley, Stuart Mollan, and Frederick Blount on plantation business. Crops were primarily rice, wheat, corn, and lumber. Frequent business trips generated correspondence between Ebenezer and distant suppliers and factors in New York, Baltimore, and Norfolk. Locally, Ebenezer dealt with merchants in Plymouth, Edenton, and New Bern. Among the most significant correspondents added during this period was James Cathcart Johnston of Hayes Plantation outside Edenton. Ebenezer entered into several business ventures with Johnston, among them canal building, road improvements, and the purchase of the canal boat Lady of the Lake (1829). Numerous letters attest to the change in this relationship, with Johnston quickly evolving from advisor on plantation management and business partner to close friend.
In 1815, Ebenezer married Ann Blount Shepard (Nancy) of New Bern. Because Ann refused to live in the swamps during unhealthy seasons, there is much correspondence between her in New Bern and Ebenezer at Lake Phelps. These letters treat subjects ranging from love to farming techniques. Although they lived apart during much of their married life, they managed to produce a large family. All nine children were born during this period. Two died in infancy. By 1829, three Pettigrew children--Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, William S. Pettigrew, and James--were at a school run by William Bingham in Hillsborough (later Hillsborough Academy). Ann died in childbirth in 1830.
There are also a few letters for this period that were exchanged between South Carolina Petigrus. These papers do not reveal any contact, however, between the two branches of the family during these years.
About 1880 items.
Correspondence chiefly focussing on agriculture, politics, and the education of Ebenezer's children. Ann's death marked the end of Ebenezer's happiness; starting in 1831, letters show that he became increasingly reclusive and introspective. While the older boys remained at Bingham's, the younger children--Mary B., James Johnston, Ann B. S., and probably Henry--were sent to live with Ann's sister Mary Williams Shepard Bryan and her husband, John Heritage Bryan in New Bern. From this time on, the Bryans are referred to as "Ma" and "Father"; Ebenezer is called "Pa".
Back in the swamps, Ebenezer Pettigrew continued managing Bonarva and Belgrade plantations, adding Magnolia plantation in the early 1840s. See also letter in folder 486. The plantations produced wheat, corn, and lumber; there was, however, a decline in the cultivation of rice. The Lady of the Lake was abandoned at sea in January 1837. Correspondence continued between Ebenezer and Thomas Trotter, John Beasley, and various supply houses and factors.
During this period, Ebenezer was involved in several agricultural experiments. A 15 May 1833 letter reveals a salt-making proposal. By 1837, he was cultivating and exporting Scuppernong grapes as far as New Orleans. In the late 1830s, Ebenezer and Josiah Collins, Jr., formed the Sahara Silk Company, a venture aimed at fostering silk production in the region. Although significant numbers of Mulberry leaves were imported, silk production never seems to have gotten off the ground, and the company was disbanded around 1844. Ebenezer's innovative approach to farming did not go unnoticed. In a November 1839 letter, Edmund Ruffin asked him to write an article on draining and cultivation techniques for Farmer's Register.
During this period, Ebenezer, once again with great reluctance, agreed to render further public service by standing as Whig candidate for to the United States House of Representatives. He served one apparently unremarkable term from 1835 to 1837 and refused to run again (14 January 1837). There is not much substantive material reflecting Ebenezer's role in Congress, but there is a sprinkling of letters from constituents seeking political favors ranging from patronage jobs to support for local internal improvements.
On the family front, letters document the deaths of two of Ebenezer's sons--Henry in 1831 and James, who suffered a most curious death at sea in November 1833. The Bryans, who had charge of Mary B., James Johnston, and Ann B. S., moved from New Bern to Raleigh in 1838. Writing from the state capital, Mary B. composed several letters containing observations on local politics. A significant family event occurred in November 1843, when Ebenezer re-established contact with the Petigru branch of the family in Charleston, S.C.
Ebenezer's surviving children were all in school during this period. After attending the academy at Hillsborough, Charles Lockhart Pettigrew graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1836; William S. Pettigrew also attended William Bingham's school, but left the University of North Carolina without a degree in 1837. Both boys returned to the plantations to begin their careers as planters. James Johnston, after a brilliant career at Bingham's school, lived up to his reputation by graduating first in his class at the University of North Carolina (1847). Correspondence from their University days reveals that all of the Pettigrew boys were active members of the Philanthropic Society, a cultural and literary student association. After graduation, James Johnston briefly worked for the National Observatory in Washington, D.C. Quickly tiring of this work, he traveled for a time and then studied law in Baltimore. Many letters document the ongoing debate over what the brilliant James Johnston would do with his life. The Pettigrew girls began their education in Hillsborough, but Mary B. soon departed to continue her education in Washington, D.C., and Ann B. S., rejoining the Bryan household, attended the newly organized Saint Mary's School in Raleigh.
Of special interest in this period are highly descriptive letters from Charles Lockhart Pettigrew on his journey to Niagara Falls (summer 1836); letters from Henry Clay to Ebenezer (24 September 1841 and 1 June 1842); a charming valentine from Charleston, S.C. (February 1843); a letter to James Johnston from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow declining a request to serve as commencement speaker at the University of North Carolina (27 March 1847); letters about Whig politics between William S. Pettigrew and Ebenezer (late 1840s); and frequent correspondence between Ebenezer and James Cathcart Johnston and, starting around 1847, James Cathcart Johnston and William. A letter from William to James Cathcart Johnston presents a vivid description of the death of Ebenezer (8 July 1848).
About 760 items.
Chiefly correspondence relating to family matters and travel. Upon the the death of Ebenezer Pettigrew, management of Belgrade and Magnolia passed to his son William S. Pettigrew Charles Lockhart Pettigrew managed Bonarva. Crop production (corn, wheat, and timber) remained as in previous periods, but experimentation and innovation largely ceased. James Cathcart Johnston became William's chief consultant on plantation management. Of special interest is a letter outlining the positive aspects of using slaves as overseers (9 January 1849). William was an attentive master; he wrote many letters on his slaves' behalf (see 31 October 1850, for example). Letters show, however, that he periodically had trouble with his slaves. (See series of letters beginning 4 November 1852 relating to the sale of a rebellious slave.)
In this period, James Johnston visited his Petigru relatives in Charleston, S.C. Letters, particularly around April 1849, provide a lively description of Charleston society. Subsequent letters reveal his further travels. In the early 1850s, James Johnston traveled to Europe, studying law in Berlin and working at the American Embassy in Madrid. Returning in 1853, he explored Cuba and the deep South, finally settling in Charleston, where he practiced law with his uncle James L. Petigru.
A frequent Petigru correspondent was Jane Caroline (Carey) North, daughter of James L. Petigru's sister, Jane Petigru North, and wife of Charles Lockhart Pettigrew. From Charleston, Carey wrote many letters to her mother, a widow running Badwell plantation at Abbeville, S.C. This correspondence largely reflects Carey's preoccupation with the Charleston social whirl and only peripherally deals with the struggles of her mother to manage Badwell on her own. The Pettigrew-Petigru connection having been strengthened by James Johnston's activities, it was solidified by the marriage of Carey to Charles Lockhart Pettigrew in 1853. Although their courtship generated few surviving letters, their European honeymoon is well documented.
While Ann B. S. remained with the Bryans in Raleigh, Mary B. traveled extensively among her Pettigrew and Petigru relatives.
About 1380 items.
Correspondence chiefly documenting the mature professional careers of the three sons of Ebenezer Pettigrew. During this period, William S. Pettigrew continued to manage Belgrade and Magnolia, Charles Lockhart Pettigrew and Carey settled at Bonarva and started a family, and James Johnston pursued an independent life in Charleston. Mary B. and Ann B. S. circulated among their Pettigrew and Petigru relatives.
In slavery's last years, William established a pattern of annual visits to the Virginia springs with James Cathcart Johnston. During these absences, William's slave overseers informed him of plantation activities in frequent letters written with the assistance of a white neighbor. Many issues relating to slavery are discussed in other letters from this period, including one from June 1858 that describes conditions in the new country of Liberia.
While Charles and Carey were a loving couple, they fared less successfully on the financial front. The first hints of Charles's poor business sense are evident in his purchase of Cherry Hill plantation in South Carolina (1857) and subsequent pleadings for cash from William and James Johnston.
Letters from this period show that, using James L. Petigru's law firm as a springboard, James Johnston launched a career in politics. In 1856, he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. His career was cut short in 1858, however, by hisen hostility towards the reopening of the slave trade coupled with his involvement in a mysterious duel. Disappointed in his prospects for advancement in the political arena, James Johnston retreated to Spain to write Spain and the Spaniards.
No documents reveal the circumstances surrounding the burning of the main house at Bonarva in 1860. It is clear, however, that this loss is a precursor of even more terrifying events on the horizon.
About 720 items.
Material relating chiefly to Pettigrew family involvement in the Civil War. Correspondence reflects the various activities of family members, some of whom were actively engaged in war work and others whose lives were dramatically altered by wartime events.
Although James Johnston Pettigrew was a major figure in several important military campaigns, few surviving documents reflect his activities. There is, however, slight correspondence, chiefly discussing the hardships endured by soldiers in the field. See Series 3. for William S. Pettigrew's writings about his brother's service to the Confederacy and heroic death in 1863.
Much correspondence documents William's political maneuverings and his efforts to protect the family's holdings as the war closed in. William was elected to serve as Washington County's representative to the North Carolina Secession Convention (1861-1862), where he regretfully urged the state to leave the Union. See also Series 3. for William's writings about the Convention. William's correspondence after secession documents his continued involvement in the political scene, serving the Confederacy in several positions. Towards the end of the war, William attempted to render more active service by joining a battalion of senior reserves (1865).
On the homefront, the fall of Roanoke Island in 1862 was a turning point for the Pettigrews. William and Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, fearing imminent invasion by northern forces, took the precaution of marching their slaves out of the swamps and into Chatham County in central North Carolina. This move is vividly described in a letter from Jane Caroline North Pettigrew to her mother (22 March 1862). Other correspondence, some of it written/dictated by the slaves themselves, shows that, from their temporary residence about 50 miles from Raleigh, they were hired out as laborers in the region.
While Mary B. Pettigrew continued, in an understandably curtailed way, to circulate among family members, Ann B. S. entered into a wartime marriage with the Reverend Neill McKay, a Presbyterian minister (1863). In 1864, however, the new bride succumbed to an unidentified illness. At her side was her brother William, who often stayed with the McKays at their residence in Summerville, N.C. See Series 3. for William's description of his sister's death.
Other significant events documented in these papers include the death of James L. Petigru (1863) and the visit of Confederate vice-president Alexander Stephens to Cherry Hill plantation (22 August 1864).
About 460 items.
Correspondence relating to the Pettigrew family's adjustment to post-war conditions. Documents reveal that, in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, the family returned to the swamps to wage a futile battle aimed at resurrecting their ante-bellum way of life. As part of this effort, William S. Pettigrew and Charles Lockhart Pettigrew attempted to lure their former slaves back to the land as day laborers. Also calculated to stabilize the family's financial position was William's attempt to expand the scope of his business contacts. Of particular interest is his frequent correspondence with Atlanta businessman A. K. Seago (starting in mid-1866), who was eager to lend the desperate planter ready funds. Letters throughout this period reflect William's increasing disenchantment with farming and indecision about what to do next. Around 1867, William, having decided to become an Episcopal minister, started to transfer business responsibilities to others. In 1869, William left agriculture behind him and was ordained as a deacon in the church.
During this period, Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, his wife, and his children lived in much-reduced circumstances at Bonarva. Although it appears that no former slaves were tenants, some of the land was under cultivation by white tenant farmers. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew suffered throughout these years from a debilitating skin condition; Jane Caroline North Pettigrew attempted to educate her children at home. The eldest son, Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, Jr., was sent, however, to school in Oxford, N.C.
Mary B. Pettigrew, in June 1868, married P. Fielding Browne, a doctor, and moved to Norfolk, Va. Much correspondence centers around her homesickness.
About 260 items.
Correspondence relating to the family's continuing struggle to retain the lands around Lake Phelps. As of 1870, William S. Pettigrew was no longer actively involved in maintaining the family's holdings. In that year, he accepted a ministerial position in Henderson, N.C., and was ordained as a priest. Of special interest are letters between William and Thomas Atkinson, Episcopal bishop of North Carolina (ca. 1870). Later, William served several churches in the Warrenton, N.C., area. See Series 4 for details of William S. Pettigrew's church career. He also developed an interest in genealogy during this time, and corresponded with relatives in Ireland, with whom he discussed not only family history, but also poverty and tensions in the post-Civil War South and pre-rebellion Ireland. See Series 7 for family history materials.
By 1872, Mary B. Pettigrew and her husband, P. Fielding Browne, moved back to Bonarva; Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, his wife, and children (among them Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, Jr., Jane, Caroline, Tom, and Alice) moved to Belgrade. Letters indicate that Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, Jr., assumed increasing responsibility for farm operations as his father's health declined. In 1873, Charles Lockhart Pettigrew died.
In 1873, the Pettigrew family was deeply in debt. In July 1874, a loan from Dempsey Spruill raised the family's hopes, but, by 1880, Mary found it necessary to sell Bonarva to meet her debts. The purchaser, however, was a family member--S. Miller Williams, husband of Jane Pettigrew. Letters reveal that Miller at Bonarva and Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, Jr., at Magnolia struggled against drought, worms, rising debts and taxes, and the problems associated with free labor. This last subject surfaces many times in letters that focus directly or indirectly on the family's fight to make their plantations work without slavery. Within five years, the family was unable to meet its obligations, and, around December 1885, Spruill foreclosed on the land. The family then left the region, with various members taking up residence in Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina, and other places.
Jane Caroline North Pettigrew's daughters Caroline, Mary, and Alice all attended school in these years, preparing for teaching careers. Because of the financial hardships of the period, many letters discuss how to fund their education. Correspondence with son Tom relates first to his education and later to his job as a civil engineer in the North. There is ample correspondence from Tom to his mother discussing the low pay, isolation, and difficult working conditions he faced. After losing the Pettigrew lands, Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, Jr., passed the North Carolina bar examination (1885) and began his legal career in Plymouth, N.C.
This period ends with the 1887 deaths, just weeks apart, of Jane Caroline North Pettigrew and Mary B. Pettigrew.
See also Series 1. for photocopies of similar materials from 1884 to 1908.
About 100 items.
Correspondence of William S. Pettigrew, Jane Pettigrew, and other family members. After the deaths of Mary B. Pettigrew and Jane Caroline North Pettigrew in 1887, William devoted increasing amounts of time and energy to the past, publicizing details of James Johnston Pettigrew's military career and researching Pettigrew family and local Episcopal Church history. See Series 3 for writings of William S. Pettigrew, Series 4 for materials on church history, and Series 7 for family history materials.
During this period, Caroline and Alice Pettigrew taught at female boarding schools, Caroline becoming assistant principal at a female academy in Richmond, Va., in 1895. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, Jr., rose to some prominence as a lawyer and was described in two of William's letters as the region's choice for state attorney general (March 1892). He was not nominated at the state Democratic convention, however, and, soon after, moved to Atlanta, Ga., where he married and became a judge.
See also Series 1. for photocopies of similar materials from 1884 to 1908.
About 200 items.
Photocopies of correspondence collected by S. Miller Williams, Jr. This material is essentially of the same sort as the other correspondence for the period. Alice Pettigrew is the chief correspondent; letters are chiefly between her and her aunt Minnie North, her brother Tom, and other relatives and associates.
Material relates to the loss of the Pettigrew plantations; to Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, Jr.'s successful legal career; to the republication (ca. 1899) of James Johnston Pettigrew's Spain and the Spaniards; and to family social matters. A letter of 16 February 1887 tells of how a drunk Arthur Collins, after losing Somerset plantation, sat on the porch at the Collins's Weston plantation and threatened to turn his bulldogs on anyone who tried to take that property away from him. Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, Jr., was his lawyer in an unsuccessful attempt to hold onto the land.
Letters to Alice Pettigrew in February 1908, one from R. D. W. Connor, document the North Carolina Historical Commission's desire to obtain the Pettigrew Papers.
About 340 items.
Undated letters and letter fragments of Pettigrew family members and others. The letters, which chiefly relate to family matters, are arranged by recipient. However, when the sender is identifiable and the recipient is either unknown or not a family member, the letter is filed under the sender's name.
Arrangement: by type, then chronological.
Unbound Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1849 #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 352-437
About 1300 items.
Records of Charles and Ebenezer Pettigrew and their Blount and Pettigrew ancestors. Material prior to the 1780s consists of deeds and other records of the Blount and Pettigrew families. Items relating to Ebenezer begin in 1805, and those relating to Charles end with the 23 July 1807 inventory of his estate.
Included are receipts and bills of lading for the sale of rice (especially prior to the 1830s), wheat, corn, juniper shingles, and lumber, and, to a lesser extent, hides, and fish (1821). Transactions involved the purchase of slaves and of food and clothing for them; farm and household equipment; and building materials. Many of these purchases were from firms in Baltimore and New York; they typically took place in October and November.
Other significant items include detailed records of income and expenses (1835-1839 and 1841); bills for tuition at the University of North Carolina and other schools (December 1793, February 1796, November 1830, and January 1837); medical records (January 1834, November 1836, March 1837, January 1839, and January 1842); records (February-April 1847) relating to the wreck of a schooner carrying Pettigrew corn; material (1839) relating to attempts by Josiah Collins III and Ebenezer to produce silk; and various wills and estate records (Charles Pettigrew on 26 January 1806 and 23 July 1807; Mary Lockhart Pettigrew on 25 April 1827; and Ebenezer Pettigrew on 30 November 1847, 12 December 1848, and 22 March 1849). There is also material relating to Nathan A. Phelps, particularly after 1833 when Ebenezer acted as executor of his will.
Unbound Financial and Legal Items, 1850-1887 #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 438-472
About 525 items.
Chiefly records of Ebenezer Pettigrew's sons Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, William S. Pettigrew, and James Johnston Pettigrew, and grandson Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, Jr. Items include receipts and bills of lading for crops and wood products sold and for slaves, equipment, and supplies purchased. There are also tallies of corn gathered at Magnolia (1855, 1858, and 1859) and an insurance policy showing diagrams of Magnolia and Belgrade (14 September 1855).
Some items relating to the Civil War and Reconstruction periods include a note, 19 October 1861, documenting the contributions of William S. Pettigrew and Josiah Collins III to the outfitting of troops from Washington County ($500 and $1,000 respectively); records, beginning 1 July 1861, relating to the arrests of Union sympathizers; and farm tenancy and other labor contracts, 28 February 1866 and sprinkled throughout 1866 and 1867. Following the Civil War, William S. Pettigrew, his nephew Charles, and his brother-in-law S. Miller Williams experimented with rice and cotton, but, for the most part, corn and wheat continued to be the chief crops of the Pettigrew plantations. The impending loss of the Pettigrew lands is suggested in a note, 22 May 1871 (written 31 January 1866), in which a loan of $22,943.37 to William S. Pettigrew is transferred to Neill McKay.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1807-1817, Ebenezer Pettigrew (32 pp.) #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 473
Accounts with various individuals for goods and services.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1817-1819, Ann Blount Shepard Pettigrew (153 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 474
Miscellaneous Bonarva and New Bern accounts, including inventory of linens, bedding, dishes, and furniture; slave lists; notes on religious devotions, books, remedies and cures; and mathematical problems.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1812-1820, Ebenezer Pettigrew (45 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 475
Accounts with various individuals for goods and services, and a list of enslaved people given blankets.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1829-1832, Ebenezer Pettigrew (22 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 476
Accounts of Ebenezer Pettigrew as executor of the estate of Nathaniel Phelps.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1833, Ebenezer Pettigrew (16 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 477
Accounts of Ebenezer Pettigrew as executor of the estate of Nathaniel Phelps.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1828-1834, Ebenezer Pettigrew (48 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 478
Accounts of Ebenezer Pettigrew as executor of the estate of Nathenial Phelps.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1834?, Ebenezer Pettigrew? (4 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 479
List of work done, chiefly by enslaved people, possibly relating to the laying of planking over a bridge.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1835-1836, Ebenezer Pettigrew (54 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 480
Personal and travel expenses, laundry lists, and other accounts kept during his senatorial tenure.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1830-1837, Ebenezer Pettigrew (44 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 481
Plantation records for Bonarva and Belgrade, including cash receipts and payments, sales, wine made (1833), post office account, and a list of enslaved people.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1831-1837, Ebenezer Pettigrew (86 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 482
Slave accounts, chiefly for tobacco, molasses, and other items.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1842, Ebenezer Pettigrew (6 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 483
Accounts relating to education of Mary Bount Pettigrew. An unrelated bank account for Arch Henderson with the Bank of Metropolis for 1834-1835 is included in this volume.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1816-1843, Ebenezer Pettigrew (74 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 484
Bonarva and Belgrade crop and livestock records, accounts with individuals, and a list of enslaved people (1830).
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1843, Ebenezer Pettigrew (16 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 485
Magnolia crop and livestock records, tally of shingles and other building materials produced, and corn paid out for work.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1845, Ebenezer Pettigrew (16 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 486
Magnolia lumber tallies, lists of enslaved people, household accounts, and excerpt from letter to William Bingham (29 October 1845) that discusses Ebenezer Pettigrew's starting anew at Magnolia.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1848-1853, William S. Pettigrew (176 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 487
Magnolia lists of enslave people and accounts with enslaved people.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1849-1853, William S. Pettigrew (167pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 488
Belgrade lists of enslaved people and accounts with enslaved people.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1839-1856, William S. Pettigrew (138 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 489
Magnolia and Belgrade crop and livestock records.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1851-1857, William S. Pettigrew (96 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 490
Magnolia and Belgrade crop and livestock records.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1853-1860, William S. Pettigrew (116 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 491
Magnolia lists of enslaved people and accounts with enslaved people.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1853-1860, James Johnston Pettigrew (54 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 492
Income (pp. 1-26, front to back of book) and expenses (pp. 27-116, back to front of book)
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1846-1861, William S. Pettigrew (47 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 493
Belgrade lists of enslaved, accounts with enslaved people, and crop and livestock records.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1847-1861, James Johnston Pettigrew (8 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 494
Lists of income, personal expenses, and investments.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1848-1861, William S. Pettigrew (133 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 495
List of taxable property in Washington County, personal expenses and assets, and some plantation records.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1848-1861, William S. Pettigrew (169 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 496
Magnolia and Belgrade crop and livestock records.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1851-1861, William S. Pettigrew (82 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 497
Belgrade crop and livestock records.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1848-1863, William S. Pettigrew (69 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 498
Accounts with James Johnston Pettigrew, Mary B., and Ann B. S. Pettigrew relating to William S. Pettigrew's management of their inheritance from Ebenezer Pettigrew.
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1854-1867, William S. Pettigrew (72 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 499
Statement of indebtedness (pp. 1-23 and 47-72) and accounts with various vendors (intervening 42 pages).
Financial and Legal Volumes: 1860-1885, Jane Caroline North Pettigrew (26 pp.). #00592, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Items, 1685-1885." Folder 500
Wartime and post-bellum records, including expenses in Hillsboro and Cherry Hill (1862-1863); Bonarva diary and house accounts (1867); food accounts (1884); and smoke house records (1885)
Arrangement: by author, then chronological.
Writings by George Moses Horton, members of the Pettigrew family, and others. Many writings are travel diaries; those of Charles Pettigrew are chiefly sermons. Original titles have been retained where possible. At times, it is not possible to determine if writings are original works of the person who committed them to paper or if that person simply copied the work of others. Cases of unclear or unknown authorship are indicated.
George Moses Horton poems, 1836 and undated #00592, Series: "3. Writings, 1780-1899 and undated." Folder 568
Charles Pettigew, 1779- and undated #00592, Series: "3. Writings, 1780-1899 and undated." Folder 501-522
Ebenezer Pettigrew, 1830 and undated #00592, Series: "3. Writings, 1780-1899 and undated." Folder 523-524
James Johnston Pettigrew, 1850-1857 and undated #00592, Series: "3. Writings, 1780-1899 and undated." Folder 525-530
Jane Caroline North Pettigrew, 1845-1857 and undated #00592, Series: "3. Writings, 1780-1899 and undated." Folder 531-537
William S. Pettigrew, 1839-1899 and undated #00592, Series: "3. Writings, 1780-1899 and undated." Folder 538-561
Bonarva Intelligencer, 1870 (9 items). Copies of handwritten, 4-page "newspaper" written by Pettigrew and Allston children living at Bonarva, in which they wrote about the comings and goings of family members, current events, and theological issues. Also included are short stories and poems.
Arrangement: by writer, then chronological.
School notebooks and other materials related to Pettigrew family members' studies.
|Folder 576- 577||
|Folder 578- 581||
James Johnston Pettigrew, 1840-1859 #00592, Series: "4. School Materials, 1792-1859." Folder 582-587
"Awards on Merit," 2 August-27 September 1867 (7 items).
John Pettigrew, 1795- 1798 and undated #00592, Series: "4. School Materials, 1792-1859." Folder 589-593
Notebooks and other materials of colleagues of Ebenezer Pettigrew, Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, James Johnston Pettigrew, and William S. Pettigrew at the University of North Carolina
Commonplace books assembled by Mary B. Pettigrew and William S. Pettigrew, and other materials collected by Pettigrew family members.
|Folder 597- 599||
Commonplace Books, 1857-1888 #00592, Series: "5. Commonplace Books and Other Collected Materials, 1831-1888 and undated." Folder 597- 599
Other Collected Materials, circa 1831-1876 #00592, Series: "5. Commonplace Books and Other Collected Materials, 1831-1888 and undated." Folder 600-605
Arrangement: by type.
Church materials written or collected by William S. Pettigrew. Pettigrew was ordained in the Protestant Episcopal Church at Saint James Church in Wilmington, N.C., first as a deacon (31 January 1869) and later as a priest (12 June 1870). His rectory was at Ridgeway, N.C.
Pettigrew served as follows:
|1869-1870||Saint David's Chapel, Scuppernong, N.C.|
|1870-1878||Church of the Holy Innocents, Henderson, N.C.|
|1870-1900||Saint John's Church, Williamsboro, N.C.|
|1878-1900||Chapel of the Good Shepherd, Ridgeway, N.C.|
|Circa 1881||Saint Luke's Parish, Mecklenburg County, Va.|
|1884-1900||Chapel of the Heavenly Rest, Middleburg, N.C.|
Parochial Visits, 1870-1899. #00592, Series: "6. William S. Pettigrew Episcopal Church Materials, 1845-1900." Folder 606-618
Journals recording visits to church members and other local people. Included are names, locations, "predilection" or church membership of people visited, biographical data, and other information. Note that, because of overlapping dates among journals, years may be covered in more than one volume.
Private Registers, 1869-1900. #00592, Series: "6. William S. Pettigrew Episcopal Church Materials, 1845-1900." Folder 619-628
Records of Pettigrew's salary promised and received, amounts of offerings, distribution of funds, baptisms, burials, marriages, and confirmations. Pettigrew maintained these records in separate volumes according to church or parish, except for one volume containing miscellaneous records, 1879-1898.
Divine Services, 1869-1900. #00592, Series: "6. William S. Pettigrew Episcopal Church Materials, 1845-1900." Folder 629-633
About 15 items.
Records of sermons delivered, including dates, places, duration, black and white attendance, amount of offerings, accompanying hymns, and other information. Also included is miscellaneous material relating to sermons--sermon titles, biblical texts, outlines, and notes on places and dates of delivery. Note that records for many years are missing.
Expenditures, 1874-1900. #00592, Series: "6. William S. Pettigrew Episcopal Church Materials, 1845-1900." Folder 634-636
Records of church-related expenses, including work done at the rectory at Ridgeway.
Other Material, 1845-1900. #00592, Series: "6. William S. Pettigrew Episcopal Church Materials, 1845-1900." Folder 637-645
About 75 items.
Chiefly material collected or written by Pettigrew about the Episcopal Church in North Carolina. Included are materials relating to Pettigrew's personal commitment to the church, church history, and the diocesan conventions of 1874 and 1877. Also included are the records, 1845-1881, of Saint Luke's Parish, Mecklenburg, Va., and other parish records.
Genealogical notes, narratives, and printed matter about on the Pettigrew and related families. Much of this material was collected or written by William S. Pettigrew. See also autobiographical and biographical writings of William S. Pettigrew in Series 3.
Pettigrew Family, 1830s-1938 and undated. #00592, Series: "7. Genealogy and Family History, 1830s-1930s." Folder 646-652
Related families, undated #00592, Series: "7. Genealogy and Family History, 1830s-1930s." Folder 653-655
Notes on the Blount, Shepard, Pagett, Vail, Lillington, Lockhard, Bond, Baker, and other families (about 20 items).
Pictures include portraits of Ebenezer Pettigrew and James Johnston Pettigrew, photographs of those and other portraits, and other photographs of Pettigrew family members and connections.
|Framed Item FR-592/1||
Portrait in oils, framed, artist unknown.
|Framed Item FR-592/2||
Portrait in oils, framed, by William Garl Brown.
Image Folder PF-592/1-2
Photographs of portraits of Ebenezer Pettigrew (1783-1848), James Johnston Pettigrew (1828-1863), Charles Pettigrew (1744-1807), and Mary Pettigrew (1750-1786); photographs of Margaret Pettigrew Montgomery, Vaughn Montgomery, William S. Pettigrew, Charley Henderson; and photographs of unidentified people. Also included are a painting of a house and a photocopy of a picture of a mural from the Institute of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, showing General Pettigrew at Gettysburg.
Acquisitions Information: Received from the families of Angus Everton and Valerie Everton Hawkins in June 2016 (Acc. 102612).
"This addition to the Pettigrew Family Papers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by the families of Eugene H. Hawkins and Angus R. Everton is dedicated in loving memory of Valerie Everton Hawkins, the wife of Eugene, the sister of Angus, the mother of Jane and Edward, and the aunt of Elizabeth and Ann. With much love for the light of our lives and a beacon to our souls."
Correspondence among family members and close acquaintances, including Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, William S. Pettigrew, Jane Caroline (Carey) North Pettigrew, Jane Pettigru North, and James Johnston Pettigrew. Much of the correspondence documents the family's experiences immediately before, during, and after the Civil War and is topically similar to materials in the original deposit. Letters describe family affairs and the state of their plantations and property, particularly in 1862 when the family had moved with many of their slaves to outside of Raleigh, N.C. Of particular note is a letter, 29 December 1830, describing how a slave rebellion planned for Hillsborough, N.C., had been thwarted. Also included are letters of General James Johnston Pettigrew and other Confederate officers.
Correspondence: 1789-1915 #00592, Series: "10. Correspondence, 1789-1915 (Addition of June 2016)." Folder 662-686
|Oversize Paper Folder OPF-00592/1b|
Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom and Lisa Tolbert with the assistance of Mark Beasley, September 1989; Gergana Abernathy and Ashlyn Velte, July 2016
Encoded by: Mara Dabrishus, January 2005
Updated: March 2020 by Laura Hart. The structure of the contents list was simplified and condensed to enhance the clarity and usability of the finding aid.
Updated January 2021 and January 2022Back to Top