Collection Number: 00716

Collection Title: Lewis Thompson Papers, 1723-1895.

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 3.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 4650 items)
Abstract Lewis Thompson was the owner of plantations near Woodville (also called Hotel), Bertie County, N.C., and at Bayou Boeuf, near Alexandria, Rapides Parish, La. Thompson was also a political leader in North Carolina, serving in the House of Commons and State Senate, 1831-1852, and as a member of the General Convention of 1865. He was a University of North Carolina trustee from 1848 until his death. The collection includes business Papers, circa 1840-1871, of Lewis Thompson, consisting chiefly of correspondence, accounts, bills, receipts, slave lists, sharecropping contracts, and other documents relating to the production of cotton and wheat in Bertie County, N.C.; to sugar in Rapides Parish, La.; and to the sale of crops through factors in New York, Norfolk, New Orleans, and Baltimore. There is also a considerable amount of correspondence relating to Lewis Thompson's role as executor of many estates, particularly that of his father-in-law, William M. Clark, and to Thompson's investments with brokers in New York. Papers before 1840 consist chiefly of land grants, deeds, and estate papers of Thompson's Pugh, Williams, Clark, Thompson, and Urquhart relations. There is also a group of papers relating to land controlled by the Tuscarora Indians. Few papers relate to Thompson's political career or to his involvement in University of North Carolina. Papers after Thompson's death in 1867 relate chiefly to the activities of his son, Thomas W. Thompson, who took over his father's North Carolina business affairs. The plantations in Louisiana had been run by Thomas's brother William for many years before their father's death.
Creator Thompson, Lewis, 1808-1867.
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Lewis Thompson Papers #716, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the Records of ante-bellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Richard A. Urquhart of Lewiston, N.C., before 1940, Molly Urquhart of Raleigh, N.C. in October 1994 (Acc. 94149), and Margaret U. Griffin in February 1995 (Acc. 95036).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

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

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

The Thompson family of Bertie County, North Carolina, appears to be descended from Hezikiah Thompson, who died in Bertie County in 1771. Because his will lists much land in South Carolina, it is possible that Hezikiah came to Bertie County from that state.

Hezikiah Thompson had six sons: Noah, Arthur, Rubin, and William apparently by his first wife, and Hezekiah, Jr. (d. 1820), and Thomas (d. circa 1827) by his second wife. Thomas Thompson was Lewis Thompson's father. Lewis Thompson was born in 1808 and graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina (A.B., 1827; A.M., 1832). He went on to become a successful businessman, owning plantations near Woodville (also called Hotel), Bertie County, and in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. It appears that most of Thompson's Louisiana land was acquired through his father-in-law, William M. Clark, who had purchased these lands shortly before his death in 1837. From around 1849 to 1858, these sugar plantations seem to have been managed in Thompson's behalf by this brother-in-law Kenneth M. Clark. Around 1858, when Moore Rawls took over the day-to-day management, William Thompson, Lewis's younger son, appears to have taken up permanent residence on the family's Louisiana lands. His brother, Thomas W. Thompson, gradually took over the management of the Bertie County plantations. The brothers appear to have remained on their respective plantations after their father's death.

In addition to his plantations, Thompson made many investments, chiefly through bankers in New York. During the Civil War, he was a heavy investor in Confederate bonds. Thompson was also a political leader in North Carolina, serving in the House of Commons and the State Senate, 1831-1852, as a member of the General Convention of 1865. He was a trustee of the University of North Carolina from 1848 until his death.

Lewis Thompson's wife, Margaret Ann Cathcart Clark (fl. 1840s-1880s) was a daughter of William M. Clark and Martha Bodie Williams (d. circa 1843). Lewis and Margaret had four children: sons Thomas W. and William and daughters Pattie and Mary. Pattie appears to have died shortly before 1867; Mary eventually married Burges Urquhart and was the mother of the donor of these papers.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

These papers relate almost exclusively to business affairs, a very high proportion of them being deeds, copies of deeds, and bills and receipts. They relate primarily to the activities of Lewis Thompson and to his sons William in Louisiana and Thomas W., who remained in Bertie County. There are also many items relating to members of the Clark, Pugh, Williams, and Urquhart families. The Clark family is especially prominent, with much material relating to the activities of Thompson's father-in-law William M. Clark, and, after 1837, to his estate for which Lewis Thompson was executor.

The papers tell a story of Lewis Thompson's growing wealth. Much of the material is about the cultivation and marketing of cotton and wheat in Bertie County, North Carolina, and of sugar in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. These items are chiefly from the period 1840 to 1871; they include many documents dealing with slave sales and purchases, and, after the Civil War, with black laborers and sharecroppers. Some of the earlier material relates to land in Bertie County belonging to the Tuscarora Indian Nation.

As Thompson appears to have specialized in being named executor of the estates of his relatives and friends, there is a large amount of material relating to estate settlements. Although Thompson was active in North Carolina politics for most of his life, there is very little of a political nature in this collection, and, although he was a trustee of the University of North Carolina for twenty years, there is even less about the University. Starting around 1856, there are some personal letters, but the bulk of the papers discuss business affairs. Volumes are chiefly account books and records of estate settlements.

The collection consists of a series of correspondence, legal and financial materials, and other Papers, arranged in a roughly chronological run, followed by a series of Confederate bonds [transferred to Miscellaneous Currency, #4672], and a series of eight volumes that are chiefly Lewis Thompson's account books. Volumes been ordered chronologically by the last date appearing in the volume. The run of loose papers has been divided into subseries according to dates that mark significant changes in subject or type of materials; the volumes have been split into two subseries: one consisting of antebellum volumes and the other of volumes dated 1861 or later.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Chronologically arranged Papers, 1723-1894 and undated.

About 4100 items.

Arrangement: roughly chronological.

Correspondence, legal and financial materials, and other papers relating to Lewis Thompson, his son Thomas W. Thompson, and to their Clark, Pugh, Williams, and Urquhart relatives.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. 1723-1833.

About 150 items.

Chiefly originals and copies of deeds, indentures, and wills. The earliest items are largely hand-drawn plats of land in Bertie County, North Carolina. In this subseries, there is material relating to most of the families important in this collection, but especially to the Pugh, Clark, and Williams families. The relationship between the Lewis Thompson mentioned in items dated before the Lewis Thompson after whom the collection is named came of age is unclear.

Of particular interest are the following:

1730: Grant to Thomas Pollock by Lord Proprietors of North Carolina (dated 2 August 1727, but with endorsements dated 1730) for 600 acres on Moratuck River (Roanoke River).

1749: 23 June, indenture of John Pugh to Thomas Barker for land in Bertie County.

1760: 27 November, land grant of Lord Granville to George House (d. circa 1763) for land in Bertie County. Lewis Thompson eventually gained control of this land through his father, who had gotten it from Littleberry Abington.

1766: 23 July, indenture leasing 8000 acres in the Indian Wood, Bertie County, to Robert Jones, William Williams, and Thomas Pugh for 150 years. The indenture was signed by many of the leading men of the Tuscarora Nation.

1771: 25 January, copy of will of Lewis Thompson's grandfather, Hezikiah Thompson.

1775: 2 December, copy of indenture leasing 2000 acres of land in the Indian Wood for 99 years to Thomas Pugh, Wilie Jones, and William Williams for an annual rent of 80 duffle blankets, 80 shirts, 80 pair of boots, 50 pounds of powder, and 150 pounds of shot. This indenture was also signed by Tuscarora Nation leaders, but this particular document is a copy and, thus, does not bear original signatures.

1786: Will of Thomas Barker (1713-1787), who came to Bertie County around 1735. Barker, who first married Pheribee Pugh nee Savage and then Penelope Hodgson nee Pagett, is buried at Hayes Plantation in Edenton, North Carolina.

1792: January, list of slaves belonging to the estate of John Pugh. The list shows the dispensation of eleven slaves, valued at $315; two slaves were given to Thomas Thompson.

1798: Indenture of Littleberry Abington to Lewis Thompson. Littleberry was married Sarah Moor, daughter of Titus Moore, whose name appears several times in these papers.

1807: 23 April, receipt of Jeremiah Slade, as "Commissioner," for rents and purchase money from Thomas Pugh and William Williams for lands in Bertie County belonging to the Tuscarora Indians.

1808: 13 October, copy of the 1717 treaty with the Tuscarora Indians by which the Tuscarora Nation yielded lands on the Pamlico and Neuse rivers in exchange for lands in Bertie County.

1808: Circa 1808, petition to Governor Caswell of North Carolina from the Tuscarora Indian Nation against William King, who was alleged to have negotiated a lease with members of the tribe after he had "got all the Indians drunk."

1809: 6 March, copy of letter, dated 28 July 1803, from the United States Secretary of War to J. Slade, agent and attorney for Tuscarora Nation.

1810: 16 March, indenture of Nathaniel and Penelope B. Bond to Thomas Thompson for land in Bertie County. Penelope is probably the same woman who had been married to Thomas Barker (see 1786 above).

1810: May, document, signed by Judge William Gaston, detailing the legal proceedings of William Williams and others against George Pollock in the North Carolina District Court.

1812: Beginning around 1812, there are records of many purchases and sales of slaves by various relatives of Lewis Thompson, and, later, by Thompson himself. The volume is especially high around 1818-1819, when it appears that William M. Clark was assembling a large group of slaves.

1820: 5 March, list of 99 slaves purchased from Ann B. Pollock by Davis and William M. Clark and subsequently divided between the buyers.

1824: 9 December, letter from Elisha Mitchell of University of North Carolina to Thomas Thompson about his son Lewis's performance at the University. The letter was actually written by George S. Beltner, a tutor at the University, who later became a well-respected physician in New Bern and New York.

1827: August, copy of the will of Thomas Thompson, father of Lewis Thompson.

1828: 10 October, copy of will of David Clark (b. 1772) of Scotland Neck, North Carolina. David Clark was the brother of William M. Clark, Lewis Thompson's father-in-law, and husband of Louisa Norfleet. Clark was one of the largest and most substantial planters on the Roanoke River.

1828: 23 May, receipt from John Cox of Plymouth, North Carolina, for $2,500 received from William M. Clark in payment of money owed by Cox's wife, who was Clark's sister. An explanation of the debt is also included. Cox was a partner in the Plymouth firm of Clark, Devereux & Cox, merchants.

1828: 3 December, evaluation of two islands at the mouth of the Roanoke River made by Hardeson and Maitland of Plymouth, North Carolina, for Francis Pugh and the heirs of Thomas Thompson. Benjamin Maitland was a merchant of Philadelphia with a branch office in Plymouth. The islands were valued at $250 for both.

1813-1828: Ledger of the estate of William T. Thompson, Thomas Thompson, executor.

1830: 10 October, list of 72 slaves belonging to the estate of Thomas Thompson and to be divided between his sons Lewis and Hezikiah.

1830: 25 February, receipt from W. M. Roberts, treasurer of North Carolina, to William M. Clark for a payment towards the purchase of land in the Indian Wood.

1831: 28 July, receipt from William Hill, North Carolina secretary of state, to the heirs of William Williams for payment on 1,000 acres of land in the Indian Wood.

Folder 1

1723-1798 #00716, Subseries: "1.1. 1723-1833." Folder 1

Folder 2

1801-1810 #00716, Subseries: "1.1. 1723-1833." Folder 2

Folder 3

1812-1820 #00716, Subseries: "1.1. 1723-1833." Folder 3

Folder 4

1821-1827 #00716, Subseries: "1.1. 1723-1833." Folder 4

Folder 5

1828-1833 #00716, Subseries: "1.1. 1723-1833." Folder 5

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. 1834-1848.

About 300 items.

While materials relating to North Carolina predominate, Thompson's Louisiana connections are first seen in a letter dated 30 January 1834 (described below). During this period, there is much activity in settling estates, particularly that of Thompson's father-in-law, William M. Clark, who died in 1837 after buying land in Louisiana. It is not clear whether or not Thompson had connections with Louisiana sugar production before he became executor of Clark's will, but settlement of Clark's seemingly complicated dealings in Louisiana certainly increased Thompson activity in that state. Beginning in 1840, there are many letters to Thompson from cotton factors in Norfolk. Most of these letters give routine information on numbers of cotton bales sold during specific periods. There is also a great deal of estate settlement going on during this time, especially the estate of John Ruffin in the mid-1840s.

Of particular interest are the following:

1834: 30 January, unsigned letter from New Orleans to [William M. Clark?] about land deals and mortgage collections. The writer may have been Benjamin Ballard, from whom William M. Clark bought property in 1837.

1836: 6 October, letter from Asa Biggs in Tarboro, North Carolina, to William M. Clark about Biggs's payment of a note. Biggs (1811-1876) was a Bertie County resident, congressman and senator, and important member of the state and Confederate judiciary.

1836: October, copy of will of William M. Clark.

1836: 30 December, copy of deed of purchase of land in Bayou Boeuf, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, from Benjamin Ballard by William M. Clark, who was represented at the sale by Reuben Carnal, an attorney who appears to have handled much of the family business in Louisiana.

1837: June, letter from Reuben Carnal to Lewis Thompson explaining how Louisiana inheritance laws affect the property that William M. Clark, now deceased, held in that state.

1840: 6 June, beginning of reports from James B. Gordon & Company, factors in Norfolk, Virginia, to Lewis Thompson giving information on cotton sold on Thompson's behalf.

1841: 30 August, letter from William J. Ellison in Winsor, North Carolina, to Lewis Thompson summarizing the North Carolina land holdings of William M. Clark.

1843: 22 January, letter from Benjamin Ballard in New Orleans to Lewis Thompson about money owed to Ballard by the estate of William M. Clark.

1843: 12 December, valuation of the slaves owned by the estate of Martha Bodie Williams Clark, Lewis Thompson's mother-in-law.

1844: 14 May, letter from Benjamin Ballard in New Orleans to Lewis Thompson about money apparently owed by Ballard to Thompson. Letter from Ballard to Thompson, chiefly about money matters, continue sporadically for many years.

1845: 21 February, inventory of the estate of John Ruffin, Lewis Thompson, and William Bishop, executors. There are many papers after this date that relate to the settlement of Ruffin's estate and to payments for educating Ruffin's children.

Folder 6

1834-1836 #00716, Subseries: "1.2. 1834-1848." Folder 6

Folder 7

1837-1840 #00716, Subseries: "1.2. 1834-1848." Folder 7

Folder 8

1841-1843 #00716, Subseries: "1.2. 1834-1848." Folder 8

Folder 9

1844 #00716, Subseries: "1.2. 1834-1848." Folder 9

Folder 10

1845 January-March #00716, Subseries: "1.2. 1834-1848." Folder 10

Folder 11

1845 April-December #00716, Subseries: "1.2. 1834-1848." Folder 11

Folder 12

1846 #00716, Subseries: "1.2. 1834-1848." Folder 12

Folder 13

1847-1848 #00716, Subseries: "1.2. 1834-1848." Folder 13

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.3. 1849-1855.

About 700 items.

The purchase of William M. Clark's two sugar plantations in 1849 signaled increased activity for Lewis Thompson in that state. The volume of materials relating to his Louisiana interests increases dramatically during this period, as Thompson strived first to resolve legal and financial entanglements involving Clark's estate and then to get on with the business of producing sugar. By the mid-1850s, documents relating to Louisiana far outnumber those pertaining to North Carolina. During this period, there is also much material that illustrates the increasing scope of Thompson's operations. These consist chiefly of large number of bills and statements from factors and brokers, among them Bogart & Foley (later Bogart, Foley & Avery and, still later, Foley, Avery & Company) in New Orleans; Kada Biggs & Company in Norfolk; and John Cunningham in New York.

Of particular interest are the following:

1849: 3 May, deed conveying William M. Clark's Louisiana property, consisting of two plantations on Bayou Boeuf, Rapides Parish, from Thompson's brother- and sister-in-law, William M. and Martha Clark, to Lewis Thompson.

1849: Beginning in 1849 and continuing until around 1858, there are many letters from Kenneth M. Clark to Lewis Thompson, all of which were written from Bayou Boeuf, Rapides County, Louisiana, and relate to the running of Thompson's sugar plantations. Clark (b. 1827) was Thompson's brother-in-law. He was apparently retained by Thompson to manage the Louisiana plantations.

1850: 6 January, unsigned letter notifying Lewis Thompson that a land deal has been concluded on his behalf. This is probably the successful settlement of the Clark property, with the addition of the purchase of slaves, machinery, and other necessities of sugar production.

1850: Lists of slaves formerly belonging to William M. Clark.

1851: 9 April, beginning of numerous account statements from Bogart & Foley, factors of New Orleans, who marketed Lewis Thompson's sugar and molasses.

1852: 19 May, letter from Benjamin Bullard in New Orleans to Lewis Thompson about Bullard's recent bouts with the courts.

1853: 29 March, letter from Asa Biggs in Williamston, North Carolina, to Lewis Thompson about collecting the proceeds from the sale of lands from the William M. Clark estate.

1853: 10 August, letter from Lewis and Margaret Thompson at the springs to their son Thomas at home. This is one of the very few personal letters in the collection.

1854: 2 April, letter from Thomas W. Thompson in Bayou Boeuf, Louisiana, to his father, Lewis Thompson reporting on conditions on the family's Louisiana plantations.

1854: 20 November, letter from Henry King Burgwyn at Thornburg Plantation near Jackson, North Carolina, to Lewis Thompson about the sale of a bull. Burgwyn (1813-1877) was a major North Carolina planter and the father of several illustrious sons.

1854: November, bills relating to the building of Grace Episcopal Church at Woodville, North Carolina. Lewis Thompson seems to have been in charge of the financial end of this project. Bills continue into 1855.

1854: Bills and letters indicating that marketing of Lewis Thompson's cotton in Norfolk was being handled by Kada Biggs & Company. Kada Biggs was the brother of Asa Biggs.

1854: 9 March, letter from Thomas Ruffin in Raleigh, North Carolina, to Lewis Thompson about the activities of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina. This is the first of several such letters appearing sporadically from various board members until Thompson's death in 1867.

1854: 17 March, letter from Henry King Burgwyn to Lewis Thompson about buying Thompson's cotton crop.

1854: 11 June, letter from Henry King Burgwyn to Lewis Thompson about the wheat crop and about Thompson's coming visit to Burgwyn.

Folder 14

1849 #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 14

Folder 15

1850 #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 15

Folder 16

1851 #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 16

Folder 17

1852 January-March #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 17

Folder 18

1852 April-December #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 18

Folder 19

1853 January-March #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 19

Folder 20

1853 April-September #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 20

Folder 21

1853 October-December #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 21

Folder 22

1854 January-March #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 22

Folder 23

1854 April-June #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 23

Folder 24

1854 July-December #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 24

Folder 25

1855 January-February #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 25

Folder 26

1855 March-April #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 26

Folder 27

1855 May-September #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 27

Folder 28

1855 October-December #00716, Subseries: "1.3. 1849-1855." Folder 28

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.4. 1856-1860.

About 1200 items.

Beginning in 1856, while materials are still chiefly financial and legal, there are also a number of letters about political issues. There are also, in 1857, several items relating to Thompson's activities in the Seaboard Agricultural Society of Virginia and North Carolina. Also, around 1857, letters from Lewis Thompson's sons begin to appear, with William in Louisiana and Thomas in Bertie County. There are also a few letters relating to family affairs, particularly from Thompson's daughters at St. Mary's School in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Of particular interest are the following:

1856: 12 February, letter from Caleb S. Hollawell in Alexandria, Virginia, to Lewis Thompson about William Thompson's entering Hollawell's school, which became Alexandria High School, an institution of some note. See also receipts from the school starting 26 February 1856. By 1857, however, William had left school for Louisiana.

1856: Letters relating to American Party politics, among them a letter of 29 May notifying Lewis Thompson of his selection as elector from the American Party in the coming presidential election; on of 17 June from P. H. Winston in which he declined to be an American Party legislative candidate; and two letters dated 16 July in which American Party meetings were discussed. Few other items of a political nature appear until 1860.

1857: April-May, letters from Thomas W. Thompson reporting back to his father on conditions on the family plantations in Louisiana.

1857: October-November, several items showing Lewis Thompson involvement with the Seaboard Agricultural Society of Virginia and North Carolina, including a letter on 10 November, informing him that he had been chosen vice-president of the Bertie County chapter.

1857: Beginning in 1857, there are many letters from Lewis Thompson's son William, who appears to have taken up permanent residence on the family's Louisiana plantations.

1857: Around 1857, Moore Rawls appears to have succeeded Kenneth M. Clark in the day-to-day running of Thompson's Louisiana sugar plantations. Although there is an occasional letter from Clark, there are many letters about plantation operations from Rawls to Thompson.

1858: 31 December, letter from Lewis Thompson in Louisiana to his son Thomas, in which he reported the results of his search for land in Thomas's behalf.

1859: 11 April, letter from Lewis Thompson in Philadelphia to son Thomas in Bertie County about depression suffered by Margaret Thompson and Lewis's feeling that he may have to commit his wife to professional caretakers.

1859: 16 May, letter from Henry King Burgwyn to Lewis Thompson about state bonds.

1859: 31 December, bill for the sale of a slave to Lewis Thompson.

1860: 1-10 February, receipts for the purchase of nine slaves by Lewis Thompson. Another document shows that, shortly after this purchase, Lewis sold six slaves to his son Thomas.

1860: 14 March, letter written on behalf of a slave in Orange County, North Carolina, to a slave who had apparently been bought by Lewis Thompson.

1860: 16 March, letter from Sam E. Johnston in Edenton, North Carolina, to Lewis Thompson asking for his help in getting his son a tutorship at the University of North Carolina.

1860: 18 May, letter notifying Lewis Thompson of his selection as a senator fro m Bertie County to the General Assembly in Raleigh. A small number of items that mention politics appearing throughout 1860.

1860: 23 July, letter from Henry King Burgwyn to Lewis Thompson about the purchase of bonds.

1860: Beginning in September, letters from Thompson's daughters Pattie and Mary at St. Mary's School, Raleigh.

Folder 29

1856 January-April #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 29

Folder 30

1856 May-July #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 30

Folder 31

1856 August-December #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 31

Folder 32

1857 January-May #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 32

Folder 33

1857 June-August #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 33

Folder 34

1857 September-October #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 34

Folder 35

1857 November-December #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 35

Folder 36

1858 January #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 36

Folder 37

1858 February #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 37

Folder 38

1858 March #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 38

Folder 39

1858 April-June #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 39

Folder 40

1858 July-October #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 40

Folder 41

1858 November-December #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 41

Folder 42

1859 January-February #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 42

Folder 43

1859 March-May #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 43

Folder 44

1859 June-September #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 44

Folder 45

1859 October-December #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 45

Folder 46

1860 January #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 46

Folder 47

1860 February #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 47

Folder 48

1860 March-April #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 48

Folder 49

1860 May-June #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 49

Folder 50

1860 July-September #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 50

Folder 51

1860 October-December #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 51

Folder 52

Undated letters and fragments, probably prior to 1861 #00716, Subseries: "1.4. 1856-1860." Folder 52

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.5. 1861-1867.

About 900 items.

A certain amount of nervousness and anticipation of hard times to come cloud materials from 1861, although direct mention of the Civil War is rarely found. There is a letter, dated 2 June 1861, from Thomas Thompson, who was apparently in the army at the time. Soon, however, he seems to have returned to Bertie County, where he remained with his father throughout the conflict. William Thompson spent the war years in Bayou Boeuf, Louisiana, and Pattie and Mary remained at St. Mary's School in Raleigh. The biggest change wrought by the war in this collection is in terms of volume of material, which falls off dramatically in 1862 and becomes little more than a trickle in 1863 and 1864. Immediately following the war's end, there are many items documenting Lewis Thompson's efforts to reestablish his financial network. Soon enough, the collection resumes its pre-war character, with only some changes in the names of bankers (Duncan, Sherman & Company in New York) and merchants (James Corner & Sons in Baltimore) and the introduction of shipping cotton through Baltimore instead of exclusively through Norfolk. The new order of things is best demonstrated by contracts for sharecropping and farm labor and in letters from William, who was having a hard time getting the Louisiana plantation back on track with hired labor. During this period, there is a scattering of letters bearing on political issues, particularly around 1866. Lewis Thompson appears to have died in early December 1867; many materials dated after December 16 are addressed to his executors (Margaret, Thomas, and William).

Of particular interest are the following:

1861: 23 January, letter from Kenneth M. Clark in Baton Rouge to Lewis Thompson about Louisiana's leaving the Union.

1861: 1 April, letter from John Devereux of the Assistant Quarter Master's Office in Raleigh, North Carolina, to Lewis Thompson about the purchase of hogs for the Confederate army and the pasturage of soldiers' horses on Thompson's lands. Devereux (b. 1820) was married to Margaret Mordicai, and owned considerable acreage in Bertie County. Devereux's wealth may be measured by the fact that he owned over 1,000 slaves at the outbreak of the Civil War.

1861: 2 June, letter from Thomas W. Thompson in the Confederate army at [Garysburg?] to Lewis Thompson about army life.

1863: 29 August, bill of sale for land in Bertie County purchased by Lewis Thompson.

1864 :7 March, letter from Thomas W. Thompson in Hotel to Pattie [in Raleigh?] expressing his fear that he may be called up to fight [again?] and discussing the activities of soldiers in the vicinity.

1865: 1 April, note about commandeering a "third-class horse" from Lewis Thompson for use by the military.

1865: In May and June, there are letters about re-establishing Lewis Thompson's financial network. For example, a letter dated 6 June, from the National Bank of Commerce in New York, reveals that Thompson's money was not confiscated during the war and that the bank is willing to resume trade with him.

1865:28 June, letter from William Thompson in Louisiana about the burning of his crop by Confederate soldiers and about how hard it will be to work the land.

1865: June, several sharecropping agreements between freedmen and Thomas W. Thompson.

1865: 27 August, letter from Kenneth W. Clark to Lewis Thompson about post-war conditions in Louisiana.

1866: 31 October and 7 November, letters from W. W. Holden to Lewis Thompson about meetings of the Union Vote Committee on which they both served.

1867: 2 June, letter from William Thompson about difficulties with his crops and workers. He also wrote about taking some of his black workers to register to vote.

1867: 1 August, invitation to Lewis Thompson to address the Republican Club in Edenton, North Carolina.

1867: August, accounts of several of Thompson's North Carolina plantations, including wages due to hands.

1867: 31 September, letter of John Pool to Lewis Thompson about reconstruction politics.

1867: 1 November, "memorandum" by Lewis Thompson listing sums of money invested and with whom these investments were made.

1867: 1 November, copy of Lewis Thompson's will.

Folder 53

1861 January-February #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 53

Folder 54

1861 March #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 54

Folder 55

1861 April-June #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 55

Folder 56

1861 July-December #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 56

Folder 57

1862 #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 57

Folder 58

1863-1864 #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 58

Folder 59

1865 January-July #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 59

Folder 60

1865 August-December #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 60

Folder 61

1866 January-February #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 61

Folder 62

1866 March-April #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 62

Folder 63

1866 May-June #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 63

Folder 64

1866 July-September #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 64

Folder 65

1866 October-December #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 65

Folder 66

1867 January-February #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 66

Folder 67

1867 March-April #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 67

Folder 68

1867 May-June #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 68

Folder 69

1867 July-August #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 69

Folder 70

1867 September-December #00716, Subseries: "1.5. 1861-1867." Folder 70

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.6. 1868-1894.

About 850 items.

Lewis Thompson's death appears to have had little effect on family affairs; materials after 1868 show that the business relationships established under Lewis were, by and large, continued by his son Thomas. Beginning in 1868, there are papers relating to the estate of Lewis Thompson, number of which diminishes significantly after 1869. During this period, there are few references to Louisiana, where, it appears, William C. Thompson was operating independently from his brother. Beginning in the late 1860s and continuing to April 1883, however, there are items relating to the settlement of a court case involving some of Lewis Thompson's Louisiana property and his children's attempt to insure the equitable division of the proceeds from the sale of that land. In general, the Thompson family appears to have prospered under Thomas W. Thompson's guidance; throughout this period, there are many letters to Thomas from neighbors and relatives requesting loans and outright gifts of money and land. Correspondence is very slight after mid-1871, but, even into 1874, there is evidence that Thomas W. Thompson was still active in acquiring land to add to the wealth amassed by his father.

Of particular interest are the following:

1868: Throughout this period, there are many letters from P.H. Winston in Windsor, North Carolina, who was managing the business affairs of Thomas W. Thompson. Winston may have been Thompson's lawyer, since he appears to have had much to say about the Louisiana property case.

1868: 5 May, copy of will of Mary R. Urquhart of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, wife of R. H. Urquhart and grandmother of the donor.

1868: 1 June, letter of William C. Thompson in Louisiana to his brother about planting and related affairs.

1869: 4 May, letter of William M. Clark, Thomas's uncle, to Thomas W. Thompson, requesting a loan to help him out of destitution.

1870: 1 January, printed notice from a neighbor about untrustworthy sharecroppers.

1870: 18 September and 11 December, letters of William C. Thompson in Louisiana to Thomas W. Thompson, about crops and the pending property settlement.

1871: January through May, several letters from J. Adalaide Oertel, wife of J. A. Oertel, minister and painter of Lenoir, North Carolina, to Margaret Thompson about her husband's art and ministry.

1872: Chiefly materials relating to the affairs of Burges Urquhart of Bertie County, North Carolina, who was the husband of Lewis Thompson's daughter Mary.

Folder 71

1868 January-February #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 71

Folder 72

1868 March-April #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 72

Folder 73

1868 May-July #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 73

Folder 74

1868 August-October #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 74

Folder 75

1868 November-December #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 75

Folder 76

1869 January-February #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 76

Folder 77

1869 March-April #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 77

Folder 78

1869 May-July #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 78

Folder 79

1869 August-December #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 79

Folder 80

1870 January-February #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 80

Folder 81

1870 March-June #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 81

Folder 82

1870 July-September #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 82

Folder 83

1870 October-December #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 83

Folder 84

1871 January-February #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 84

Folder 85

1871 March-December #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 85

Folder 86

1872-1879 #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 86

Folder 89

1878-1879 #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 89

Folder 87

1880-1894 #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 87

Folder 90

1880-1894 #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 90

Folder 88

Undated and fragments, probably after 1860 #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 88

Folder 91

Undated and fragments, probably after 1860 #00716, Subseries: "1.6. 1868-1894." Folder 91

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Confederate bonds, 1862-1863.

31 items.

Confederate bearer bonds, issued through the state of North Carolina, in $500 and $1000 denominations, with many coupons intact. Although no names appear on the bonds, they were surely the property of Lewis Thompson. [Transferred to Miscellaneous Currency, #4672]

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Lewis Thompson volumes, 1827-1879.

8 items.

Arrangement: chronological by last date in volume.

Volumes relating to Lewis and Thomas W. Thompson, containing business, personal, and estate accounts. Subseries 3.1 contains antebellum volumes and Subseries 3.2 contains volumes with entries dated 1861 or later.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.1. 1827-1857.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.2 1861-1879.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Oversize Papers

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, October 1990, March 1995 with the assistance of Janna Sayle

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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