Collection Number: 00869

Collection Title: John Edwin Fripp Papers, 1817-1944

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 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 25 items)
Abstract The collection documents John Edwin Fripp, a white owner of cotton plantations on St. Helena Island and Chechessee Bluff, Beaufort County, S.C.; his wife, Isabelle Jenkins Fripp (1833-1883); their eleven children; and the people enslaved by the Fripps. There is also documentation of people enslaved by Jane Hay Barnwell and by Joseph Hazel. Manuscript volumes and papers relate chiefly to the cotton plantation and family life. Of note are lists of enslaved people and descriptions of their activities, illnesses, and religious services from the perspective of their white enslaver. Other topics include Fripp's holdings in "The Village" on St. Helena Island and in Grahamville, S.C.; his accounts with various factors in Charleston, S.C.; his post American Civil War retirement of his debts and the small farming in which he engaged; and starting in the late 1880s, his position as overseer for the Chelsea Plantation Club, Beaufort County, S.C., where he managed the hunt and rounded up poachers.
Creator Fripp, John Edwin, 1831-1906.
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 John Edwin Fripp Papers #869, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the Records of ante-bellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. R. L. Fripp of Beaufort, S.C., and others in the 1940s.
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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Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, July 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, December 2009; Laura Hart, June 2021

Conscious editing by Nancy Kaiser, August 2022: abstract, subject headings, biographical note, scope content note, and container list.

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

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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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John Edward Fripp was born 26 November 1831 on St. Helena Island, S.C. He was a descendant of John Fripp, who came to America in 1670 with a grant of land on St. Helena.

Fripp owned several plantations on St. Helena Island. He also owned a plantation at Chechessee Bluff ("The Bluff") in Beaufort County, S.C., which he purchased in 1857. While Fripp maintained his family, the people he enslaved, and other possessions at the Bluff, he seems to have spent a good deal of his time traveling among his holdings. To these journeys were added trips to his summer homes in "The Village" on St. Helena Island and in Grahamville, near the Bluff.

Fripp apparently served in some capacity during the Civil War, through which he managed to hold onto his land. After the War, he paid off his debts and continued farming on a much reduced scale. Starting in the late the 1880s, Fripp, while continuing to farm, worked as overseer for the Chelsea Plantation Club, where his duties included supplying game for the hunt and bringing poachers to justice. He died on 22 May 1906.

Fripp was married to Isabelle Jenkins Fripp, who was born on 5 November 1833 and died on 4 August 1883. The couple produced eleven children: Mary Rosa (b. 1853); Julian Jenkins (b. 1855); Edgar Walter (b. 1857); Florence Amanda (b. 1859); Daniel Perry (b. 1860); Thomas Screven (b. 1862); Ella Rosalie (b. 1864); Eliza Emily (b. 1867); Charles Benjamin (b. 1870); Robert Lee (b. 1872); and Alice Louisa (b. 1875).

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This collection consists of eight manuscript volumes, a few miscellaneous papers, and one volume of typed transcriptions of parts of four of the manuscript volumes and a few of the papers. Because many of the manuscript volumes include several types of entries (chiefly accounts or narratives in the form of diary entries or short memoranda), it has not been possible to categorize them by type of volume. The typed transcriptions were made by the Southern Historical Collection at the request of the donor around 1944.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1817-1944.

25 items.
Folder 1

Volume 1: Lists of enslaved people, circa 1860

Small volume containing lists of people enslaved by John Edwin Fripp and Isabelle Jenkins Fripp, their birth dates and mothers' names. 17 pp.

Folder 2

Volume 2: Plantation records, 1856-1858

"Bluff Plantation Expenditures, Memoranda, and Notes," with entries from 1865 to 1870 interspersed among the original entries. Chiefly accounts relating to the Bluff Plantation, but also narrative entries in which Fripp wrote of moving his possessions from St. Helena Island to Chechessee Bluff, the activities of the St. Helena Agricultural Society, and other matters. Post Civil War entries include accounts and copies of letters about planting with laborers who were not enslaved and other issues. 88 pp.

Folder 3

Volume 3: Diary, 1857-1858; 1867-1868

Entries noting activities and illnesses of people enslaved by Fripp; the building of a Christian church; church services held for people enslaved by the Fripps; the purchase (1868) of property in Grahamville, and other topics. 98 pp.

Folder 4

Volume 4: Account book, 1871-1883

Personal and farm accounts with periodical cumulative listings of stock. 199 pp.

Folder 5

Volume 5: Account book with memoranda, 1895-1900

Personal and farm accounts showing small scale transactions with memoranda detailing such activities as paying wages with beef. After 1889, entries relate to Fripp's job as overseer at the Chelsea Plantation Club: riding about to locate game, investigating reports of poaching, etc. 194 pp.

Folder 6

Volume 6: Account book with memoranda, 1901-1907

Personal, farm, and some Chelsea Plantation Club accounts, including memoranda about activities of family and friends, notations on game sighted and poachers reported, and bounties paid for hawks killed. 302 pp.

Folder 7

Volume 7: Account book, 1904-1906

Chiefly Chelsea Plantation Club accounts. 37 pp.

Folder 8

Volume 8: Account book, 1916-1924

Accounts of cotton and peas picked and lettuce shipped. This volume may have belonged to one of Fripp's children. 106 pp.

Folder 9

Miscellaneous papers, 1817; 1856-1905 and undated.

Miscellaneous papers relating chiefly to John Edwin Fripp, but some with contents relating to others, probably neighbors or relatives of Fripp. Included are lists of people claimed as property, one for 1817 that lists enslaved people belonging to the estate of Jane Hay Barnwell, and another, undated, that lists people enslaved by Joseph Hazel and their birth dates; Fripp's accounting sheets with Coffin & Pringle, 1856-1859; and several letters and notes relating chiefly to Fripp's business affairs.

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-869/1

Family tree, undated

Folder 10

Typed transcriptions of selected manuscript volumes and papers, 1817; 1856-1900; 1944

One volume of typed transcriptions of the 1817 list of enslaved people belonging to the estate of Jane Hay Barnwell and of manuscript volumes 2, 3, and 5. About 325 pp.

Reel M-869/1-2



Microfilm copy of collection materials

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Oversize paper folder (OPF-869/1)

Microfilm reel (M-869/1)

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