This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.
|Size||2.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1000 items)|
|Abstract||Polk family members included William Polk (1758-1834) and his son Lucius Junius Polk (1802-1870) of North Carolina and Tennessee; and the related Campbell, Brown, and Ewell families of Tennessee. The collection includes financial papers and correspondence of the Polk family of North Carolina and Tennessee; family correspondence of the Campbell family of Tennessee; and military, financial, business, and family papers of the Brown and Ewell families of Tennessee. Polk family papers include correspondence between William Polk of Raleigh, N.C., and his son Lucius Junius Polk of Maury County, Tenn., regarding the management of William's land in Tennessee, cotton growing, agriculture, relations with slaves and overseers, and Tennessee and national politics. Campbell family papers consist of a few legal and financial documents and correspondence of Liszinka Campbell Brown (1820-1872) and her brother George Washington Campbell, Jr., regarding family matters, European travel, plantation life, slave insurrections, and Indian wars. Brown and Ewell family papers include those of Lieutenant General Richard Stoddart Ewell and Major George Campbell Brown, consisting of military papers and personal correspondence relating to their service in the Confederate Army, imprisonment at the close of the war, and defense of Ewell's military record (particularly at First Manassas and Gettysburg). There are also business and financial papers regarding the management of the family's Spring Hill plantation in Maury County, Tenn., including items relating to cotton growing and sheep raising, problems with securing labor, and legal and financial concerns; correspondence with agents and family members regarding the family's Melrose and Tarpley plantations in Bolivar County, Miss.; and letters from other family members. There are also volumes kept by Campbell Brown for household expenses for the Spring Hill plantation and of memoranda during his Civil War service.|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
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The Polk, Campbell, Brown, and Ewell families were all prominent in Tennessee in the 19th century. The Polk family was originally from North Carolina. Colonel William Polk (9 July 1758 14-January 1834) of Raleigh, N.C., owned over 100,000 acres of land in Tennessee. He had several children by his second wife, Sarah Hawkins Polk (fl. 1801-1806), including sons Lucius Junius Polk (1802-1870) and Leonidas Polk (1806-1864). Lucius Junius Polk, residing in Maury County, Tenn., acted as his father's agent in that state, managing his land and supervising his plantations. Around 1829, he married Mary Eastin Polk (fl. 1840-1860), and they had several children, including Sarah Rachel, Eliza, George Washington, and Susan ("Susie") Rebecca (b. 1847).
George Washington Campbell (8 February 1769 17-February 1848) was born in Scotland and immigrated to Mecklenburg County, N.C., in 1772. He later moved to Knoxville, Tenn., where he became a prominent lawyer and judge, U.S. senator, secretary of the treasury under James Madison, and diplomat to Russia. He married Harriet Stoddert, daughter of Benjamin Stoddert, and had several children, including George Washington Campbell, Jr. (d.1857) and Lizinka Campbell (1820-1872). (Lizinka Campbell's name is given as "Leczinksa" by some sources, but her family consistently used the spelling "Lizinka.") Lizinka Campbell married James Percy Brown in 1834 and had two children, Harriet ("Hattie") Stoddert Brown and George Campbell ("Campbell") Brown (d.1893). James Percy Brown died in 1844, and Lizinka Campbell Brown inherited his estate and that of her brother, who had died in Europe in 1857, including the Spring Hill plantation in Maury County, Tenn.
Richard Stoddert Ewell (8 February 1817-25 January 1872) was born in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., the son of Dr. Thomas and Elizabeth Stoddert Ewell. He was the cousin of Lizinka Campbell Brown. His brother was Benjamin Stoddert Ewell (10 June 1810-19 June 1894), professor and president of the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Richard Stoddert Ewell graduated from West Point in 1840 and served in the Mexican War. Upon the secession of Virginia from the Union in 1861, he resigned his commission in the U.S. Army and joined the Confederate Army as a brigadier general. He commanded a division under Stonewall Jackson in the 2nd Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. In August 1862, he lost his leg at Groveton. He returned to command the 2nd Corps on the death of Jackson in May 1863. He was relieved of command in May 1864 due to injury and was appointed to command the defense of Richmond. After the evacuation of the Confederate capital, he fought again with the Army of Northern Virginia until his capture at the Battle of Saylor's Creek in April 1865. He was held as a prisoner of war at Fort Warren in Massachusetts until July 1865. In 1863, he had married his cousin and close friend, Lizinka Campbell Brown. After his release, they returned to her Spring Hill plantation in Maury County, Tenn., where they established a successful farm, along with plantations in Bolivar County, Mississippi.
Major George Campbell Brown, Ewell's assistant adjutant general (A.A.G.) and the son of Lizinka Campbell Ewell, married Lucius Junius Polk's daughter Susan after the war, and helped his mother and step-father manage the Spring Hill plantation and land in Tennessee and Mississippi. Upon the deaths of Ewell and his wife in 1872, he took over the running of the Spring Hill plantation until his death in 1893.Back to Top
This collection consists of the personal, financial, business, and military papers of the Polk, Brown, and Ewell families, from 1803 to 1896. The bulk of the collection contains the military papers and personal correspondence of Richard Stoddert Ewell, Confederate general, and his stepson and A.A.G. George Campbell Brown during the Civil War; and their financial, business, and personal papers following the war, especially regarding the Spring Hill plantation in Maury County, Tenn. The collection also contains family correspondence between William Polk and his son Lucius Junius Polk in the 1830s and 1840s regarding the management of William Polk's land in Tennessee and related financial papers; and scattered correspondence for the Polk and Campbell families from 1803 to 1887.Back to Top
Chiefly correspondence between members of the Polk family of North Carolina and Tennessee, and correspondence and papers of the Campbell family of Tennessee.
Correspondence of Lucius Junius Polk and of his wife Mary Eastin Polk, and miscellaneous papers relating to the Polk and Campbell families.
The correspondence is between Lucius Junius Polk of Maury County, Tenn., and his father William Polk of Raleigh, N.C., regarding the former's management of his father's lands in Tennessee. The letters discuss growing cotton and corn; the establishment of a hemp farm and attempts to build a cotton gin; raising hogs; blacksmithing; and farm machinery and equipment. Other topics include slave insubordination and problems with overseers; the buying and selling of slaves; problems with land disputes and with other agents in Tennessee; Tennessee state politics and national elections; conducting business and legal matters in Tennessee; and family news from Tennessee and North Carolina. There are other letters, including several to Lucius Junius Polk from his brother Leonidas Polk and his mother Sarah Hawkins Polk, and letters between Lucius Junius Polk's wife Mary Polk and her family, discussing family news, politics, the election of Andrew Jackson, and one comparing Martin Van Buren and John C. Calhoun.
Other papers include documents for land purchases in Tennessee and Mecklenburg County, N.C.; a printed copy of a political speech by George Washington Campbell in 1809; a certificate of indenture between George Washington Campbell and John Overton (1766-1833); a bill of sale for slaves; and a letter to David Hubbard on an appointment to the Choctaw Commission.
Correspondence of George Washington Campbell, Jr., and his sister Lizinka Campbell Brown, with some correspondence of the Polk family.
Letters to Lizinka Campbell Brown from her brother George Washington Campbell, Jr., describing his travels in Europe, 1852-1857. There are also letters from George Washington Campbell, Jr., to other family members and friends, and a letter to Lizinka Campbell Brown regarding her brother's death in France of tuberculosis.
From 1853 to 1859, Lizinka Campbell Brown corresponded with her cousin and fiance Richard Stoddert Ewell, then a captain in the United States Army in New Mexico, about a variety of topics. The letters discuss family news; a description of a slave insurrection and slave escapes; her views on slavery and secession; her relationships with her overseers and her dislike of overseers and slaves; his possible appointment as U.S. Army Paymaster; politics and secession; the Indian Wars, and William Walker's return from Nicaragua. There are also several letters between other members of the Ewell and Brown families.
Correspondence of the Polk family for this period consist of letters from Lucius Junius Polk to his daughters and to various individuals regarding business matters and land purchases, and one from his brother Leonidas Polk in Philadelphia.
Personal, military, business, and financial papers of Richard Stoddert Ewell, his wife Lizinka Campbell Ewell, and her son Campbell Brown, with some letters of the Polk family.
Correspondence of Linzinka Campbell Ewell, and correspondence and military papers of Richard Stoddert Ewell and Campbell Brown.
In 1860, Lizinka Campbell Brown and her two children, Harriet ("Hattie") Stoddert Brown and George Campbell ("Campbell") Brown, traveled to Europe. There are letters to their aunt, Mrs. David Hubbard, in Alabama from August 1860 to January 1861, describing their travels. In April 1861, Lizinka Campbell Brown received a letter from W. H. Stephens of Jackson, Miss., on the subject of secession.
The military papers of Richard Stoddert Ewell begin with the First Battle of Manassas, 21 July 1861. These papers include field notes; official reports of Ewell to Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard and Stonewall Jackson for various battles; general orders and communications from Ewell's commanding officers, including Beauregard, Jackson, and Robert E. Lee and their AAGs, regarding troop movements, a spy in the Army of Northern Virginia, courts martial, prisoners of war, logistics and tactics. Ewell's AAG and soon-to-be stepson, Campbell Brown, corresponded with his mother Lizinka Campbell Brown, describing the battles of Winchester, Seven Pines, Cross Keys, First Cold Harbor (Gaines Mill), and the progress of the war. There are also letters from Richard Stoddert Ewell to Lizinka Campbell Brown on the progress of the war.
After the loss of his leg at Groveton, 23 August 1863, Ewell was relieved of command until May 1863, when he was promoted to lieutenant general and given command of Stonewall Jackson's 2nd Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. There are a few documents for this period, including a letter from Campbell Brown to Lizinka Campbell Brown describing the general's convalescence, and letters to and from General Ewell in early 1863 regarding his attempts to regain his field command.
After May 1863, there are letters from Campbell Brown to his mother and sister describing the Army of Northern Virginia's march into Pennsylvania, Ewell's reports for the Gettysburg campaign, and letters from Ewell to his new wife, Lizinka Campbell Brown.
For 1864, Ewell's papers include family correspondence, letters regarding a proposal to enlist slaves into the Confederate Army, and field messages and general orders for the Battle of the Wilderness and the Battle of Spotsylvania regarding enemy movements and tactics. After the Battle of Spotsylvania in May 1864, Ewell was injured again. Lee relieved him of his command and replaced him with General Early. After this event, there are letters and official documents relating to his attempts to return to active duty, Lee's refusal, and Ewell's appointment to the command of the defense of Richmond. There are also official reports to Ewell from various subordinates on the Battle of Spotsylvania and letters from Ewell to his wife on the war and the Union's plans to capture Richmond.
For 1865, there are frequent letters between Lizinka Campbell Ewell in Alabama and her daughter Harriet ("Hattie") Brown in St. Louis, who wrote to one another regarding family news and their feelings and opinions on the war. After Ewell and Campbell Brown's capture by Federal troops on 6 April 1865 at the Battle of Saylor's Creek, Lizinka Campbell Ewell worked hard for their release. She herself was arrested in St. Louis and her lands in Tennessee were confiscated by the Federal government. Documents from this period include letters to and from various family members and a letter to Ulysses S. Grant from Ewell expressing his sorrow at Lincoln's assassination.
While in prison, Campbell Brown and Ewell both wrote to Lizinka Campbell Ewell about conditions in the prison and their legal problems. Lizinka Campbell Brown corresponded with President Andrew Johnson, asking for pardons for herself and for her husband and son, and for the recovery of her land in Tennessee. There are also the official documents for Ewell's oath of allegiance to the Federal government and his pardon in July 1865, and for Lizinka Campbell Brown's pardon and the return of her lands.
Correspondence, personal, business, and financial papers of Lizinka Campbell Ewell, Richard Stoddert Ewell, and Campbell Brown, with some letters of the Polk family.
After their release from prison in July 1865, the Ewell and Brown family returned to Spring Hill, Tenn., to rebuild their lives. Documents for this period include correspondence from Campbell Brown to family members about the state of Ewell's lands in Tennessee, assessing damage to the house and property, and letters to Lizinka Campbell Ewell from her agents in Haywood County and Dyer County, Tenn., describing the management of her land in those counties.
There are also several of Ewell's reports for the evacuation of Richmond and his actions in various campaigns of the war. After the war, many Confederate veterans began to publish books and articles about their war activities. Ewell became involved in defending his reputation following the publication of Robert Lewis Dabney's Life of Jackson, which slighted Ewell's performance at First Manassas. A great deal of the material after 1865 concerns Ewell and Campbell Brown's defense of Ewell's actions at Manassas, Gettysburg, and during the evacuation of Richmond.
There is also correspondence with friends, old acquaintances, and family members after the war. Lizinka Campbell Ewell and General Ewell started a successful farm at Spring Hill, and they purchased two plantations, Tarpley and Melrose, in Bolivar County, Miss. Campbell Brown assisted the Ewells with the building of their new home at Spring Hill, and he traveled frequently to western Tennessee and to Mississippi in connection with their land and plantations there. There are financial papers for both Lizinka Campbell Ewell, who continued to hold property in her own name, and for Richard Stoddert Ewell, including receipts for household expenses, business receipts, promissory notes, attorney's fees, and letters from Ewell's New York bankers. Correspondence includes letters from the agents managing the Mississippi plantations, and from Ewell and Campbell Brown during their visits to Mississippi, concerning the problems of setting up and running the plantations and finding hands to pick cotton, and the possibility of importing Chinese labor from San Francisco and "Irish" to work on the plantations. There are also circulars and advertisements for agricultural items and correspondence relating to wool, cotton, flour and other crops.
Lizinka Campbell Ewell and Richard Stoddert Ewell died within a day of each other in 1872. The material for 1872 consists of designs for their tombstones and obituaries and letters of condolence from family and friends. In 1873 and 1874, the Brown family collected reminiscences from friends and colleagues of Richard Stoddert Ewell for a proposed biographical sketch. From 1875 to 1896, the material is generally letters to Campbell Brown concerning the operation of the Spring Hill farm, local politics, family matters, and his continued attempts to vindicate Ewell's war record, particularly at Gettysburg. Campbell Brown corresponded with General Joseph E. Johnston, Henry Jackson Hunt, and General Fitzhugh Lee on Ewell's actions at Manassas and Gettysburg; and with other officers on an attempt to implement the enlistment of slaves into the Confederate Army. There are also two letters from Benjamin Ewell, describing his attempts to keep the College of William and Mary open after the war, and a booklet on the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Newspaper clippings for this period include obituaries for Richard Stoddert Ewell and Lizinka Campbell Ewell, articles on the Gettysburg Campaign, agricultural articles by Campbell Brown, and a retrospective on the career of Robert E. Lee.
There are several Polk family letters for the period from 1870 to 1887, mostly to Eliza Polk, sister of Campbell Brown's wife Susan Polk Brown, from various family members, including one from her brother George W. Polk regarding his expedition to the headwaters of the Brazos River in Texas in 1874.
Memorandum and account books, kept by Campbell Brown and possibly Lizinka Campbell Ewell.
The 1863 and 1865/1892 volumes, belonging to Campbell Brown, have scattered entries of memoranda for Brown's duties as AAG to Richard Stoddert Ewell, including notes of military movements, a short account of the Battle of Gettysburg, and a list of prisoners captured at the Battle of Saylor's Creek. The remaining volumes relate to the financial and business affairs of Spring Hill plantation, including household expenses, recipes, lists of accounts, farm and financial memoranda, and weather and agricultural notes.
Processed by: Elizabeth Pauk, July 1991
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008
This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.Back to Top