Collection Number: 01009

Collection Title: Elliott and Gonzáles Family Papers, 1701-1898

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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 8.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 6000 items)
Abstract The collection documents the Eliot and Gonzalez families, who were white plantation-owning families in Beaufort and Colleton districts, South Carolina, and on the Ogeechee River in Georgia, as well as people who were enslaved by them. Family plantations included Balls in St. Bartholomew Parish; Social Hall, the Bluff, and Middle Place near the Ashepoo River and Chehaw Creek; Pon Pon, later called Oak Lawn on the Edisto River; Myrtle Bank plantation on Hilton Head Island; Bee Hive and Hope tracts on the Edisto River; Ellis, Shell Point, The Grove, and Bay Point plantations in Beaufort District; Farniente, a mountain house in Flat Rock, North Carolina; and houses in Beaufort and Adams Run. Enslaved people are represented in bills of sale and lists of enslaved people. There are also a few letters written by enslaved people and several more about them, especially their labor and acts of resistance to slavery, from the perspective of white family members. Other correspondence of white family members before the American Civil War discusses South Carolina politics; sectional differences; travels to Saratoga Springs and other health resorts, the northern states, and Europe; plantation management; rice and cotton crops; the education of children; and summer at Flat Rock, N.C.; and various family matters. Their correspondence during the war years discusses the lives of civilians and soldiers in South Carolina and in western North Carolina. Their post-war correspondence reveals the Elliott's financial difficulties and efforts to rebuild their plantations when they could no longer exploit forced labor; their struggles to educate the Gonzáles children; time spent in Havana, Cuba; and work as telegraphers and journalists. It also documents the early years of The State, a newspaper published in Columbia, South Carolina, that was started by two family members. Materials include correspondence of adults and children, financial and legal papers, account books, maps and plats, a few writings of William Elliott and others, and a small amount of other material.
Creator Elliott (Family : Beaufort County, S.C.)

Gonzáles (Family : Gonzáles, Ambrosio Jose)
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not available for immediate or same day access. Please contact Research and Instructional Service staff at to discuss options for consulting these materials.
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 Elliott and Gonzáles Family Papers #1009, 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 antebellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J.
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Harriett Rutledge Gonzáles, Osborn, South Carolina, in 1945.
Additional Descriptive Resources
This PDF contains scans of older, paper-based versions of the description of this collection. When requesting materials please use container numbers in the current version of the finding aid.
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: Jane Adkins, May 1960; Linda Sellars and Lisa Tolbert, August 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Conscious editing by Nancy Kaiser, November 2020: Updated collection overview, subject headings, biographical note, scope and content note, and contents 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

Updated: Wilson Library staff, January 2021, January 2023

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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

William Elliott, a white plantation owner, state legislator, and writer, was the son of William Elliott and Phoebe Waight. He was born 27 April 1788 in Beaufort, South Carolina, and died 3 February 1863 in Charleston, South Carolina. He was educated at Beaufort College, circa 1803-1807, and at Harvard, circa 1807-1808. Ill health forced him to withdraw from the latter institution; nevertheless, Harvard awarded him an honorary bachelor's degree in 1810. Five years later, he received a master of arts degree from Harvard.

Elliott owned rice and cotton plantations in Beaufort and Colleton districts in South Carolina and on the Ogeechee River in Georgia. Through marriage, he obtained at least five plantations in Colleton District: Balls (1,083 acres) in St. Bartholomew Parish; Social Hall, the Bluff, and Middle Place (totalling approximately 3,400 acres) near the Ashepoo River and Chehaw Creek; and Pon Pon, later called Oak Lawn (1,750 acres) on the Edisto River. Elliott also owned the following: Myrtle Bank plantation on Hilton Head Island; Bee Hive and Hope tracts on the Edisto River; Ellis, Shell Point, The Grove, and Bay Point plantations in Beaufort District; Farniente, a mountain house in Flat Rock, North Carolina; and houses in Beaufort and Adams Run. Elliott, and these plantations, were dependent on the exploitation of forced labor of enslaved people. According to the 1860 slave schedule, Elliott enslaved 103 people in St. Helena parish and 114 people in St. Paul parish.

Although he spent much time at Oak Lawn, Elliott also traveled frequently to the northern states and on occasion to Europe. His children sometimes accompanied him on trips. In search of improved health, Elliott traveled nearly every year to various mineral springs and health resorts, especially Saratoga Springs, New York, and White Sulphur Springs, Virginia. He also frequently visited Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. In 1853, Elliott took his daughters, Ann and Emily, to Europe, where they visited Paris, Basle, Interlaken. In 1855, Elliott traveled to Europe again, this time as South Carolina's commissioner to the Paris Exposition.

Elliott represented St. Helena in the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1814-1815 and in the State Senate in 1818-1821. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States House of Representatives in 1822. Returned to the South Carolina House, Elliott served from 1826 through 1829. Following a special election in St. Helena for the Senate, he qualified 1 December 1831 for the General Assembly. He resigned his Senate seat, however, in order to avoid voting against the majority of his constituents on the issue of nullification. A Unionist, Elliott opposed nullification and expressed his views on this subject publicly in his "Address to the People of St. Helena" (1832). In addition to his terms in the legislature, Elliott served the public as trustee for Beaufort College (circa 1814-1815) and intendant for Beaufort (circa 1819-1824).

After his retirement from active politics, Elliott turned his attention to agriculture, writing, recreation, and issues of the day. As president of the Beaufort Agricultural Society and vice president of the South Carolina Agricultural Society, circa 1839, Elliott was zealous in his efforts to improve the South's agricultural system. Through articles and addresses, Elliott urged crop diversification and industrialization; he sought the appointment of an agricultural professorship at South Carolina College and the establishment of an experimental farm. In 1855 he represented South Carolina at the Paris Exposition and spoke to the Imperial Agricultural Society of France.

Throughout the years, Elliott remained firm in his opposition to secession, believing the South's economy was insufficient for independence. He defended slavery, however, and supported the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Using the pen name Agricola, he expressed his ideas on slavery in a series of letters which were later collected and published as The Letters of Agricola (1852). He frequently contributed other articles on various subjects to newspapers and magazines, including essays on sporting pursuits. Assuming the pseudonyms of Piscator and Venator, he wrote sketches depicting hunting, fishing, and other low country recreational activities; these popular stories were published (and reprinted) as Carolina Sports by Land and Water (1846, 1856).

In May 1817, Elliott married Ann Hutchinson Smith, daughter of Thomas Rhett Smith (1768-1829) and Anne Rebecca Skirving. Elliott's father-in-law, Thomas Rhett Smith, owned a plantation in St. Bartholomew Parish. Elliott's mother-in-law, Anne Rebecca Skirving Smith, was the daughter of William Skirving (fl. 1766-1795) and his second wife, Anne Holland Hutchinson (fl. 1769). Some of the land owned by William Elliott was inherited by his wife from her maternal grandfather William Skirving, who received a Chehaw plantation as a gift from his father, James Skirving; several plantations in St. Bartholomew from his first wife Mary Sacheverell (1750?-1768), daughter of Thomas Sacheverell (1723?-764); and land in St. Bartholomew, in Georgia, and in Charleston on the death of his second wife's father, Thomas Hutchinson (1714-1790?).

William Elliott and Ann Hutchinson Smith Elliott were the parents of nine children: William (1818-1832), Thomas Rhett Smith (died 1876), Ann (1822-1916), Mary Barnwell (1824-1900), Caroline Phoebe (1827-1862), Emily (1829-1889), William (1832-1867), Ralph Emms (1834-1902), and Harriett Rutledge (1838-1869). Of the eight Elliott children who survived to adulthood, three married and had children.

Thomas Rhett Smith Elliott married Mary Cuthbert and lived at Balls plantation in St. Bartholomew parish. They had 13 children, of whom Phoebe and William are the only ones whose correspondence appears in these papers.

Mary Barnwell Elliott married a widower, Andrew Johnstone, who had at least one son before their marriage. Johnstone was a rice planter who owned property at Annandale, near Georgetown, South Carolina, and a house, Beaumont, at Flat Rock, North Carolina. Mary Elliott and Andrew Johnstone had six children: Elliott (born 1849); Anne (1851-1869); Frances (born 1853); Mary (born 1855); Emmaline (born 1857); and Edith (born 1858). Andrew Johnstone was killed at his home in Flat Rock in 1863 by Confederate deserters. His widow and children moved to Greenville, South Carolina. In 1868, Mary Barnwell Elliott Johnstone moved to Baltimore, where she worked at Edgeworth School, a boarding school for girls.

Harriett Rutledge Elliott married, in 1856, Ambrosio Jose Gonzáles (born 1816), a Cuban revolutionary in exile in the United States. The Gonzáleses had six children: Ambrosio Jose Junior, (1857-1926); Narciso Gener (1858-1903); Alfonso Beauregard (1861-1908); Gertrude Ruffini (1864-1900); Benigno (1866-1937); and Anita (born 1869). The children of Harriett Rutledge Elliott and Ambrosio Jose Gonzáles all used more than one name in the course of their lives: Ambrosio usually signed his letters as "Brosie" and was known in adulthood as Ambrose Elliott Gonzáles. Narciso was known affectionately in the family as Nanno, called himself Elliott during his school days, and used his initials, N. G., professionally. Gertrude Ruffini was called Tulita as a little girl, and was later known as Trudie. Alfonso Beauregard was alternately called Fonsie, Beaury, or Bory. Benigno changed his name to William Elliott and was called Minnie as a boy, Willie as a young man, and Bill as an adult. Anita's name was changed to Harriett Rutledge soon after her mother's death, and the family often called her Hattie.

Before the American Civil War, Harriett Rutledge Elliott Gonzáles and Ambrosio Jose Gonzáles lived primarily in Washington, D.C., although Mrs. Gonzáles spent considerable time with her family in South Carolina. During the war, Harriett Gonzáles and her children stayed at Oak Lawn with the Elliott family while Ambrosio Jose Gonzáles served in the Confederate army. After the war, Gonzáles bought Social Hall plantation from the Elliotts and moved his family there. In 1869, the Gonzáleses moved to Cuba, where Harriett Elliott Gonzáles died of yellow fever in October 1869. After their mother's death, Ambrosio Jose Gonzáles took four of his children to Oak Lawn, leaving Narciso and Alfonso in Cuba with friends for a year. In 1870, he moved the two boys to Oak Lawn as well, where all the Gonzáles children were raised by their grandmother, Ann Hutchinson Smith Elliott, and their aunts, Ann and Emily Elliott.

In the aftermath of the Civil War and no longer being able to exploit forced labor, the Elliotts and Gonzáleses at Oak Lawn struggled to regain title to their land and to make a living from their plantations. Lack of funds limited the formal education of the Gonzáles children. The two older boys, Ambrose and Narciso, worked as telegraphers and then as correspondents for the Charleston News and Courier to help support the family in the 1870s and 1880s.

Ambrose, Narciso, and William Elliott Gonzáles are best known for establishing and publishing a daily newspaper, The State, in Columbia, S. C. They started the paper to lead the opposition to Benjamin R. Tillman after Tillman was elected governor in 1890. The State took outspoken positions against lynching, for child labor laws, for better education, and for other social and political reforms, but the anti Tillman campaign overshadowed all other issues. In 1903, N. G. Gonzáles died from a gunshot wound inflicted by Tillman's nephew, Lieutenant Governor James H. Tillman, who blamed Gonzáles for his defeat in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 1902. After N. G. Gonzáles's death, Ambrose Elliott Gonzáles assumed additional editorial responsibilities and, with his brother William Elliott Gonzáles, continued to publish The State. William Elliott Gonzáles published the paper until his death in 1937.

For additional information about members of the Elliott and Gonzáles families, see Lewis Pinckney Jones, Carolinians and Cubans: The Elliotts and Gonzáles, Their Work and Their Writings, Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1952, and L. M. Matthews, N. G. Gonzáles, Ph.D. dissertation, Duke University, 1971; as well as biographical sketches of William Elliott and Ambrose Elliott Gonzáles in the Dictionary of American Biography; of various Elliott, Skirving, and Smith family members who served in the state legislature in Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives; and of N. G. Gonzáles in the Encyclopedia of Southern History

A chart illustrating the relationships of some of the Elliott and Gonzáles family members whose papers appear in the collection is available on request.

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This collection documents the lives of white members of the white Elliott and Gonzáles families who owned plantations in Beaufort and Colleton Districts in South Carolina, and on the Ogeechee River in Georgia, as well as of people who were enslaved by them. Although there is some other material, the majority of the collection consists of correspondence exchanged among white family members. Enslaved people are represented in bills of sale and lists of enslaved people. There are also a few letters written by enslaved people and several more about them, especially their labor and acts of resistance to slavery, from the perspective of white family members.

Family plantations included Balls in St. Bartholomew Parish; Social Hall, the Bluff, and Middle Place near the Ashepoo River and Chehaw Creek; Pon Pon, later called Oak Lawn on the Edisto River; Myrtle Bank plantation on Hilton Head Island; Bee Hive and Hope tracts on the Edisto River; Ellis, Shell Point, The Grove, and Bay Point plantations in Beaufort District; Farniente, a mountain house in Flat Rock, North Carolina; and houses in Beaufort and Adams Run.

The central figure in the collection before the American Civil War is William Elliott. The letters to his wife during sessions of the state legislature or when he was travelling in the North or in Europe comprise a large part of the antebellum correspondence. Political observations and discussion are most often found in letters written between 1818 and 1832, the period covering Elliott's tenures in the state legislature. Topics of discussion include trafficking, then called hiring out, of enslaved people; an act of resistance plotted by enslaved people; and Elliotts frequent travel to health resorts, such as Saratoga Springs, and to northern cities such as New York and Boston. His letters from these places describe customs, economic conditions, politically and socially influential people, and the countryside. Similar observations fill letters written during trips to Europe in 1853 and 1855. Letters to William Elliott from his mother, his wife, and his children report on enslaved people, plantation management, and crops, and give news of relatives and neighbors. Only a few letters about meetings with publishers in New York, two diary volumes, and a few drafts of essays and poems document William Elliott's career as a writer.

Correspondence during the American Civil War years documents the lives of civilians and soldiers in South Carolina. A considerable number of letters written by Mary Elliott Johnstone from her home at Flat Rock describe her family's life in western North Carolina during the war years.

Post-Civil War correspondence reveals the property entanglements and financial difficulties of the Elliotts as they tried to rebuild their plantations in the aftermath of the war and without the ability to exploit forced labor. Correspondence in these years also documents time spent in Havana, Cuba, and the education and early professional lives of Ambrose and Narciso Gonzáles as telegraphers and journalists. Ambrose and Narciso wrote letters filled with wide ranging political observations, details of school and work activities, and laments about the prejudices they encountered against their Gonzáles heritage. Few letters about the early years of their newspaper The State are included here. Many letters about the genealogies of the Elliott and Smith and related families are included in files for the 1890s.

There are many undated letters in the collection. The largest number of these are letters of Mary Elliott Johnstone, written to her mother, Ann Hutchinson Smith Elliott, and her sisters, Ann and Emily Elliott, between 1848 and 1900. These letters are filled with news of her children, friends, and neighbors, but are identified only by place of writing and not by date.

In addition to the correspondence, there are some financial and legal papers, account books, some maps and plats, a few writings of William Elliott and of others, and some other material in the collection.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1759-1898 and undated.

About 5200 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. 1759-1898.

Folder 1

Correspondence, 1759-1786

6 items.

Chiefly business letters of ancestors of Ann Hutchinson Smith Elliott and one letter of Josiah Tattnall to a Mr. Elliott. Two letters addressed to Thomas Sacheverell, one written by Thomas Hutchinson, one from James Skirving apparently to William Skirving, one unsigned fragment.

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About 70 items.

Chiefly correspondence of William Elliott and some correspondence of Thomas Rhett Smith. The earliest letters in this group are Elliott family letters written while William Elliott was at Harvard College, one from his mother dated 5 December 1807 about a duel fought at Camden, South Carolina, some from William to his father and his sister in 1808 about his studies and professors at Harvard. There are also letters to Elliott from Harvard professor Levi Hedge in 1812 about Elliott's receiving his degree and in 1815 about Elliott's brother Ralph who was then at Harvard and about the relative strengths of the Democratic and Federalist parties in Massachusetts and South Carolina.

William Elliott's correspondence of 1813 and 1814 includes letters to and from his sister Caroline Elliott Pinckney and her husband Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Junior. Of particular interest are a letter from Elliott to Pinckney dated 18 August 1814 about land values in Beaufort and other effects of the British blockade of the South Carolina coast and a letter from Elliott to Mrs. Pinckney about fortification of Beaufort and the results of an election in which he won a seat in the state legislature.

Elliott's letters in 1816 and 1817 are primarily love letters to his cousin Ann Hutchinson Smith, who was fourteen years old at the time. There are also a few letters to his sister Mary Barnwell Elliott.

Correspondence of Thomas Rhett Smith includes a letter dated 7 June 1810 from William Skirving to Thomas Rhett Smith and his wife Ann Rebecca Skirving Smith about Skirving's will and a letter of 29 October 1813 to Thomas Rhett Smith, Intendent of the City of Charleston, signed with the initials G.H. deN. about control of fishing boats in the harbor while enemy vessels were blockading.

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About 300 items.

Included in this group of letters are several descriptions by white family members of enslaved people who they had subjected to trafficking, then called hiring out: 8 February 1827 (2) and 12 October 1829. There is also a letter of 22 July 1822 that describes a recent act of resistance plotted by enslaved people.

The majority of the letters in this group are letters that William Elliott wrote to his wife when he was away from home, either travelling for his health or living in Columbia during the sessions of the state legislature. When Elliott travelled he wrote letters to his wife that contain vivid descriptions of the people he met and places he saw. In 1823, for example, Elliott wrote letters from Saratoga Springs describing New York City and the people he met there as well as the people at Saratoga--Van Buren, Poinsett, Clinton, General Scott, etc. From Saratoga, Elliott travelled to Niagara Falls, Rochester, Lake Champlain, and Quebec, all of which he described to his wife in his letters. (See also the diary in Series 5.) In a letter of 24 July 1828, Elliott described New York City and contrasted its prosperity to South Carolina's financial problems.

During the years that William Elliott served in the state legislature, he wrote to his wife in November and December from Columbia about the legislative sessions. In 1828, he wrote several letters about the debate on the tariff and in 1831 about the nullification debate. He often described his living situation and the other legislators. In a letter of 28 November 1829, Elliott described a meeting with Vice President Calhoun.

Elliott received letters about politics from his uncle Stephen Elliott (1771-1830) of Charleston. On 27 July 1820, for example, Stephen Elliott wrote to William about the Missouri question and on 22 July 1822 about the differences in opinion between legislators representing the country and the city. In 1824 he received a letter from his brother Ralph Elliott about Lafayette's visit to New York. Beginning in 1827, Stephen Elliott and his son Stephen Elliott Junior (1806-1866), both wrote to William Elliott about the Southern Review.

Also included in this group are some letters to Ann Elliott from her parents Thomas Rhett Smith and Ann R. Smith. Correspondence between Thomas Rhett Smith and William Elliott is also found here. Several letters in 1824, 1825, 1826, and 1827 discuss the property and financial problems of Thomas Rhett Smith. In letters of 8 February 1827, William Elliott reported to Thomas Rhett Smith and to Ann Elliott on the the trafficking of enslaved people as described above, as well as the sale of Smith's crop, efforts to sell the Social Hall plantation, and Stephen Elliott's plan to edit a quarterly review.

Several of William Elliott's letters to his wife indicate Elliott's confidence in his wife's management of his affairs while he was away. Although Elliott's letters frequently requested reports on the plantations or acknowledged receiving such reports, none of Ann Elliott's letters to her husband during this period are preserved here. The only letter of Ann Elliott in this grouping is one to her mother, Ann R. Smith, dated 12 October 1829, in which Ann Elliott advised her mother on financial strategies, such as trafficking enslaved people as described above, to mitigate the likelihood of a failed crop at Social Hall plantation.

The bulk of the letters are primarily correspondence of William Elliott, some correspondence of Elliott's sisters Mary Barnwell Elliott and Caroline Pinckney, his uncle Stephen Elliott, his father-in-law Thomas Rhett Smith, and a few letters of other individuals.

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About 200 items.

Included in this grouping is a description of trafficking of enslaved people in 1835.

The majority of the letters in this group are letters of William Elliott, his brother Ralph Elliott, his sister Mary Barnwell Elliott, and his mother Phoebe Elliott. William Elliott wrote to his wife from Charleston and from Hilton Head about fishing there. In 1836, Elliott wrote numerous letters while on a trip north. In a letter of 6 July 1836 to his daughter Annie, Elliott described his first ride on a railroad. In letters to his wife, Elliott commented on the increase of wealth around New York (11 July 1836), described his visit to Mount Holyoke seminary and a Shaker worship service in Lebanon (Boston, 18 August 1836), and told her of labor-saving machines he saw in Boston (25 August 1836). In 1839, Elliott traveled north again, this time taking his daughters Annie and Mary with him. Elliott usually left room on his paper for one or both of the daughters to add a note to Mrs. Elliott from Norfolk, Philadelphia, Saratoga Springs, Boston, or New York.

William Elliott corresponded during this period with Ann R. Smith about disposition of property. On 14 March 1834, he wrote to her about land in Georgia. On 10 April and 18 May 1839, he wrote to her about disposition of the Pon Pon property. Other letters appear in 1840 and 1841 about difficulties in settling the Pon Pon property.

Some letters of William Elliott's mother Phoebe Elliott are included in this grouping. One notable letter of Phoebe Elliott, dated 26 July 1833, is addressed to William Elliott and describes her trip to Greenville and the Blue Ridge, the road through the mountains, her stop at Flat Rock, where she stayed at Mitchell King's hotel, and her visit to Asheville, and travel along the French Broad River.

Letters of Ralph Emms Elliott, brother of William Elliott, to William Elliott and to Phoebe Elliott report on Ralph's farming endeavors and financial concerns in Pendleton District, South Carolina. On 20 February 1839, Ralph wrote to William about the advantages and disadvantages of selling "Prairie" and buying a plantation on the Savannah River.

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About 500 items.

Included are letters, 11 November 1848 and 22 October 1849, with reports on plantation management from Ben Stevens Elliott and Isaac Stephens, who were enslaved people working as drivers on William Elliot's plantations. There are also letters from Phoebe Elliott to William Elliott, with reports on the plantation that referenced what she had been told by Ben and Isaac.

Correspondence is otherwise that of William Elliott and other Elliott family members. As in earlier correspondence, the largest number of letters are from William Elliott to Ann Elliott. In these years, however, William Elliott also wrote letters to and received letters from his daughters. The daughters also wrote to their mother. In 1844-1845, Elliott's daughter Emily wrote from school at the Montpelier Institute in Georgia. Daughters Ann and Mary travelled with Elliott on occasion during these years and wrote to their mother or sisters from Charleston, Saratoga Springs, New York, and other places they visited. Beginning in 1848, Ann Elliott and some of her children spent most of their summers at Flat Rock, N. C., where the Elliotts owned a house they called "Farniente." William Elliott also spent the summer months at Flat Rock when he was not travelling to the North or to Europe.

The publication of William Elliott's book Carolina Sports in 1846 stimulated numerous friends and acquaintances to write to him in 1846 and 1847. Notable is an exchange of letters with Elliott's Harvard classmate William Plumer of New Hampshire about the courses their lives had taken since college and concerning ideas and attitudes of Northerners and Southerners about slavery and enslavers (Plumer to Elliott, 25 January 1847 and 15 April 1847, draft of Elliott to Plumer, April? 1847). A letter from another friend, William Gilmore Simms, concern the hurricane of 7-8 September 1854.

Elliott occasionally received other letters that contrasted the North with the South or discussed the increasing tension between the sections. A letter from Samuel A. Eliot of Boston dated 10 October 1850, for example, bemoans the precarious state of the Union and expresses the fear that disastrous results would follow a civil war. A letter of 5 February 1854 from Senator Andrew Pickens Butler describes the coming debate on the Nebraska-Kansas bill and what Butler supposed to be the attitude of the northwestern states.

William Elliott travelled in the northern United States and wrote letters to his wife and family in 1844, 1845, 1847, 1850, and 1851. Elliott's letters describe the social scene at health resorts and record his observations of northern life. A letter of 9 September 1844, for example, describes the introduction of the polka at a ball in Saratoga Springs and a letter of 11 September in the same year describes the prosperity and manufactures of New England.

One of the purposes of William Elliott's trip to the North in 1847 was to take William Elliott Jr. to Harvard. His letters to his wife in August and September of that year describe the arrangements he made for his son in Cambridge. In a letter dated 8 October 1847, he advised his son on his studies, behavior, drinking, and expenses. Letters from William Elliott to his son continue in 1848 and 1849 until William Elliott Junior, left Harvard late in 1851. A few letters from the son to the father or to other family members may also be found here.

In 1853 and 1855, William Elliott travelled to Europe. In the summer of 1853, Elliott wrote descriptive letters from Paris and from Interlaken, Switzerland, about his travels with his daughters in France, Germany, and Switzerland. In 1855, Elliott went to Paris as South Carolina's commissioner to the Paris Exhibition. He hoped to promote trade in sea island cotton. Letters written in the winter and spring of 1855 discuss preparations for the Exhibition. His letters to his wife and his children, especially his son Ralph, in July and August 1855 describe Paris, the Exhibition, and his address to the Imperial Agricultural Society of France. (See also the diary in Series 5.).

While William Elliott was travelling, he wrote to and received letters from his mother, Phoebe Elliott, who provided news of his plantations, as noted above, as well as of cotton prices, other business, family and friends, and disease, including dengue ("broken bone fever") and bronchitis. In a letter of 25 September 1847, William Elliott urged his mother to apply for his father's Revolutionary War pension. Occasional letters following this mention their efforts to establish her right to the pension.

Beginning in 1849, there is correspondence about William Elliott's legal dispute with his neighbors, Haskell and Edmund Rhett, about drainage of his land. Richard DeTreville acted as Elliott's attorney in Elliott's suits against the Rhetts.

The education of the Elliott children is an important theme in the correspondence in this grouping. There are letters from Emily at Montpelier Institute, which she called the "Protestant nunnery," in 1844-1845, and from Bishop Stephen Elliott about Emily's education in 1845 and 1846. In 1847-1850, there are letters about William Elliott Junior's studies at Harvard. A letter of 26 December 1847 from William Elliott Jr. at Harvard to his brother Ralph at school in Charleston contains brotherly advice on social behavior. Ralph Elliott began attending the University of Virginia in 1852 and corresponded with his family about his studies and life in Charlottesville. On 1 January 1855, William Elliott wrote to his wife about the rules and requirements of Madame Togno's school in Charleston, where he had placed their daughter Harriett.

Until her sudden death in 1850, William Elliott's sister Mary (Mancy) was a regular family correspondent. She wrote from Beaufort, Battery, or Rest Park, to William Elliott and to his wife and children. Her letters were usually filled with news of epidemics or lack thereof in Beaufort, of neighbors, and of the families of her brothers Stephen and George Elliott and her sister Caroline Elliott Pinckney.

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About 200 items.

Chiefly correspondence of William Elliott, some correspondence of Harriett Rutledge Elliott Gonzáles, her husband Ambrosio Jose Gonzáles, and other Elliott family members. During this period, William Elliott wrote numerous letters to his wife and occasionally to others from his plantations--Bay Point, the Bluff, Social Hall, Myrtle Bank, and Oak Lawn--describing his crops and plantation management. In 1860, Elliott received several letters from his factor William Bee about legal and financial matters. In 1858 and 1859, William Elliott wrote to his wife and family from Saratoga Springs and from New York, where he was meeting with publishers to try to get Carolina Sports published again.

Some letters in this grouping discuss the growing sectional tension in the country. For example, in a letter to William Elliott, dated 8 December 1859, William Plumer III, son of Elliott's Harvard classmate, wrote from Boston about relations between North and South and about John Brown's raid, and requested Elliott's advice on Plumer's projected move to the South. William Elliott wrote from New York about the political situation in letters to Ann, dated 18 September 1860 and to Ralph, dated 26 September 1860.

Correspondence of Harriet Rutledge Elliott Gonzáles in this group includes a few love letters from Ambrosio Jose Gonzáles before their marriage in the spring of 1856. After their wedding, the Gonzáleses moved to Washington, D.C. While in Washington, Harriet wrote letters to her mother and sisters and received letters from them. In the summer of 1858, when her son Narciso Gener was born, Harriett Gonzáles was apparently at Edingsville on Edisto Island with her mother and sisters, whose letters to William Elliott gave news of her.

Correspondence of Ralph Emms Elliott in this group includes mostly letters to and from his father about plantation management. On 25 November 1859, Ralph wrote to his father that he would like to strike out on his own as a plantation owner. His father, as a result, sold him the Pon Pon plantation. Some of Ralph's letters in these years mention politics. In 1860, Ralph Elliott was elected to the South Carolina state legislature. A letter to his mother, dated 10 December 1860, gives Ralph's view of the legislature in 1860.

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Folder 79


About 400 items.

Included are letters from 1861 of white family members who described acts of resistance by enslaved people, including work stoppages, theft, looting, self-emancipation, and occupying the home of Thomas R. S. Elliott in Beafort. A letter, 25 August 1862, described efforts of enslavers to recapture enslaved people. By winter of 1865, Elliotts wrote about freedmen and the availability of their labor in Greenville, S.C.

Correspondence during this period largely focuses on the lives of the Elliotts during the American Civil War years. William Elliott, his wife, and his unmarried daughters, together with Mrs. Harriett Gonzáles and her children lived at the plantation called Oak Lawn near Adams Run, S.C., during the war. The majority of the letters in this grouping were received from Mary Elliott Johnstone, who was living with her family in Flat Rock, N.C., and then in Greenville, S.C., and from Thomas Rhett Smith Elliott, Ralph Emms Elliott, and William Elliott Junior.

A number of letters, mostly in November and undated 1861, concern construction of fortifications in the Beaufort and Port Royal area. Other letters of 1861 concern enslaved people, as described above, as well as the destruction of cotton in Beaufort area to prevent its being taken by the Yankees and the losses of crops.

There are relatively few letters of William Elliott in this grouping. Several letters in 1861 describe his concerns about controlling the people he enslaved, as described above, the approach of Union forces, and efforts to protect his property. Only two letters written by William Elliott in 1862 and none in 1863 may be found here. William Elliott died in February 1863.

All three of William Elliott's sons served in the military during the war. Thomas Rhett Smith Elliott was on General Donelson's staff, but wrote to his mother (4 February 1862) that the general gave him leave whenever needed to attend to the affairs of his plantation. Indeed, Thomas R.S. Elliott's letters throughout the war contain more family, plantation, and neighborhood news than military news, although he did describe the defense of Charleston in a letter dated 18 August 1863 to his sister Emily.

Ralph Emms Elliott also wrote frequently about family business. It was Ralph who was called to Charleston during his father's final illness and who took care of much of his mother's business after that. Late in 1863, Ralph wrote to his mother from Accabee, S.C., about her business and about the shelling of Charleston. In 1864, Ralph continued to write to his mother about business, from Charleston and then from Wilmington, N.C. A letter of 15 June 1864 from Ralph to his mother describes how his sister Mary's husband, Andrew Johnstone, was murdered in his home at Flat Rock, N. C., by deserters.

William Elliott Junior, served in Drayton's company and wrote to his family in 1861 and 1862 from camps in the Beaufort area--Red Bluff, Hardee's Place, Camp Sturgeon (three miles from Hardeeville, S.C.), Camp Mcpherson, and Fort Johnston (on James Island) about camp life, fortifications, maneuvers, and other topics. In April-August 1863, William Elliott Junior wrote from Greenville, S. C., to his mother about catching conscripts and deserters in the up-country. Late in 1863, William Elliott Junior moved to Georgetown, S.C., where he continued to work as a recruiter of conscripts and deserters.

Mary Elliott Johnstone wrote frequently to her family at Oak Lawn during the war years, first from her home in Flat Rock, N.C., and later from Greenville, S.C. Mrs. Johnstone's letters clearly describe daily life and domestic concerns, such as prices, health, and neighbors.

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Elliott family correspondence documents efforts to rebuild their lives and their plantations after the war, when they no longer could exploit forced labor. The house at Oak Lawn had been destroyed by Sherman's army. William Elliott Junior and Ralph Elliott both wrote to their mother in 1866 about their efforts to get clear title to their land, money to buy seed and supplies, and laborers to work on the land. In June 1866, William Elliott Jr. sent a report to the Freedmen's Bureau at Walterboro about the conduct of a Black employee. In a letter of 9 March 1867 Harriett Elliott Gonzalez compared the capability and willingness to work of white and Black laborers. William Elliott Junior died early in 1867.

Some letters of 1867 and 1868 document the efforts of the Elliott family, especially Ralph and Annie, to raise money from friends in the North. In February 1867 Ralph traveled to Boston to try to borrow money. Several letters in 1867 and 1868 from William Amory of Boston to "Miss Elliott" concern money collected among Boston friends for the Elliott family.

Mary Elliott Johnstone continued to write from Flat Rock and Greenville about her struggle to maintain her home and support her children. She moved to Baltimore in 1868 to live and work at the Edgeworth School for Young Ladies. She lived there until 1885. During this period, she wrote about one letter each week to her family at Oak Lawn. The vast majority of these letters were undated and are filed in Subseries 1.2. In the immediate postwar years, Mrs. Johnstone's daughters wrote letters to their mother at her home and to their grandmother and aunts at Oak Lawn from school in Baltimore at the Convent de Notre Dame. Their brother William Elliott Johnstone attended Georgetown College and wrote letters from there in 1866-1867.

Ambrosio Jose Gonzáles apparently bought Social Hall plantation from the Elliotts in 1866 (see Gonzáles to Ralph Elliott, 7 February 1866). Letters in 1867 and 1868 include letters from Harriett Elliott Gonzáles at Social Hall to her mother and sisters. The Gonzáles family moved to Cuba in January 1869. Mrs. Gonzáles's letters from Havana and other places in Cuba describe her life there until her death of yellow fever in October 1869. In November 1869, Ambrosio Jose Gonzáles brought four of his children to Oak Lawn, leaving Alfonso Beauregard and Narciso with the Dalcour family near Matanzas, Cuba, for a year before they too were sent to Oak Lawn.

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Folder 137


About 800 items.

Included is a letter, 29 December 1876, from Edward Stephens, who had previously been enslaved by the Elliotts.

There are two major streams of correspondence documenting on one hand the education and early work experience of Ambrosio Jose Gonzáles Junior and Narciso Gener Gonzáles, and on the other hand the property entanglements and financial difficulties of the Elliott family in the aftermath of war when they could no longer exploit forced labor. Ann Hutchinson Smith Elliott and her unmarried daughters, Ann and Emily, were the chief recipients of correspondence for this period. Ambrosio and Narciso were its most frequent correspondents, filling their letters from an early age with wide ranging political observations, details of school and work activities, and laments about the prejudices they encountered against their Gonzáles heritage. These attitudes, added to an apparent family predilection for nicknaming and ambivalence toward their wandering father, motivated the Gonzáles children to change their given names, in some cases more than once. Ambrosio usually signed his letters as "Brosie" and was known in adulthood as Ambrose. Narciso was known by the family as Nanno, called himself Elliott during his school days, and used his initials, N.G., professionally. Gertrude Ruffini was called Tulita as a little girl, and was later known as Trudie. Alfonso Beauregard was alternately called Fonsie, Beaury, or Bory. Benigno changed his name to William Elliott and was called Minnie as a boy, Willie as a young man, and Bill as an adult. Anita's name was changed to Harriett Rutledge soon after her mother's death, and the family often called her Hattie.

In 1870, Narciso and Alfonso Beauregard Gonzáles were living with the Dalcour family near Matanzas, Cuba. Narciso's letters to his family in South Carolina provide a glimpse of the brothers' life in Cuba. They rejoined their siblings at Oak Lawn late in 1870. Letters from Ambrosio Jose Gonzáles Sr. document his growing estrangement from the Elliott clan.

Ambrosio and Narciso attended various schools in South Carolina and Virginia during the early 1870s. Narciso studied at St. Timothy's Home School for Boys in Herndon, Virginia, administered by David S. Johnston. During the latter half of the 1870s, Ambrosio worked as a telegrapher in Grahamville and Varnesville, South Carolina. His letters often include advice about farming at Oak Lawn, in addition to descriptions of long hours and dull routines. Narciso wrote about his work as a telegrapher in Savannah (1877) and Valdosta (1878), Georgia.

Other significant family correspondents include Ralph Emms Elliott, who worked in a sawmill at Altman's Station, South Carolina during the 1870s; Thomas R. S. Elliott who died alone at his Balls plantation in July 1876; Mary Elliott Johnstone, who worked at Edgeworth School in Baltimore (a great deal of her correspondence is undated, see Subseries 1.2); and the young Gertrude Gonzáles, who entered her aunt's Baltimore school in 1877. That same year Ann Hutchinson Smith Elliott died at the age of 74.

Mrs. Elliott, with her daughters Ann and Emily, had spent the better part of the decade fighting to recover clear title to the family estate. Family correspondence offers vivid accounts of financial struggles at Oak Lawn. Occasional letters from William Bee, a cousin and former factor for William Elliott Sr., who rescued Oak Lawn from its creditors in 1873, and from William Elliott, Beaufort attorney and eldest son of Thomas R. S. Elliott, who helped the Oak Lawn Elliotts disentangle their property affairs, document legal maneuvers to establish clear title to Elliott lands. In November 1879, Ann and Emily Elliott finally secured title to Oak Lawn, and Ambrosio gave up his job as a telegrapher to help rebuild the Elliott plantation.

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Chiefly family correspondence documenting the maturing professional lives of Narciso and Ambrose Gonzáles; the education of their younger siblings; and schemes to bolster family finances. In 1880, Narciso abandoned his unrewarding career in telegraphy and took a job as reporter for the News and Courier in Columbia, South Carolina. His letters from assignment in Washington, D. C. (1881-1882), and subsequently in Columbia, South Carolina at the state legislature contain many observations about contemporary politics and reveal his interest in learning as much as possible about the newspaper business.

Ambrose meanwhile struggled in vain to revive farming operations at Oak Lawn and by 1881, he abandoned the plantation to work as a telegrapher for Western Union. Except for several months during 1882-1883 when the company sent him to New Orleans, Ambrose lived in New York City. Although the family often complained to him about the brevity of his letters, Ambrose's correspondence reveals an often exhausting work schedule coupled with poor nutrition which significantly weakened his health. See his letter of 29 August 1883 for his description of a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his face and which he treated under a doctor's supervision with electric shock and strychnine. In spite of his usual terseness, Ambrose did sometimes comment about life in the city beyond work, as on 9 April 1882, when he described immigrants of "half dozen nationalities" entering at Castle Garden with their various possessions. In October 1885, Ambrose left his job at Western Union, his health impaired by years of overwork, to become the fourth member of the Gonzáles family to join the staff of the News and Courier in Columbia, South Carolina. Ambrosio had been preceded at the newspaper by his brother William (November 1884) and his uncle Ralph (May 1885), in addition to his brother Narciso. His health suffered again in 1887, when he reportedly suffered from measles and typhoid fever.

Throughout this period, family correspondence laments the financial difficulties of maintaining the Elliott property. Emily and Ann opened their Flat Rock home to boarders for several summers during the early 1880s. In 1883, tiring of the effort to keep intact the family's extensive but unproductive land holdings, the Elliott sisters asked their cousin William Elliott to help them sell the property at Flat Rock, the Bluff, and Middle Place.

This grouping also documents William Elliott Gonzáles's education at Kings Mountain Military School in Yorkville, South Carolina (1881) and at the Citadel in Charleston (1883). Harriett Rutledge Gonzáles entered Edgeworth School in Baltimore in 1883 and wrote several letters (1883-1886) to her South Carolina family about her educational progress. Mary Elliott Johnstone wrote frequently from Baltimore during this period, but most of her letters are undated (see Subseries 1.2). Gertrude Ruffini Gonzáles replaces her aunt Emily Elliott as chief recipient of correspondence, but after 1885 family letters become less frequent and less informative. Although Emily Elliott died in 1889, no letters document that event.

Of particular interest for this period are letters documenting the initial relationship between Narciso Gonzáles and a member of the Tillman family. Narciso's editorial feud with the Tillmans led to his assassination in 1903. Narciso's early impressions of the Tillmans appear to have been much more favorable than his later opinions proved to be. His letters from Washington (1881-1882) reveal a burgeoning friendship with Congressman George D. Tillman, who occupied rooms adjoining the young reporter's. Narciso wrote his Aunt Emily (25 January 1882) that Tillman had given him "the run of his books and papers, and better than all, his hard sense and legislative experience, which things are of advantage to me." By 1890, however, the Gonzáleses seemed to be less enamored of the Tillmans. Writing from the Headquarters of the Advisory Committee for Straightout Democracy in Columbia, South Carolina, Ambrose criticized the faction of the state's Democratic Party led by Ben Tillman (brother of Congressman George D. Tillman). He complained to his sister Gertrude that "the Tillman party has captured the machinery of the Democratic party in this State, illegally maybe and unjustifiably certainly...." He went on to describe the division between the Tillmanites and the Straightouts within the South Carolina Democratic party (23 August 1890). Narciso left the News and Courier after the election of Ben Tillman in 1890.

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About 150 items.

Chiefly correspondence relating to genealogy. Also included are scattered letters from Ambrose and Narciso Gonzáles mentioning activities at their young newspaper, The State. Narciso and Ambrose started The State in pursuit of greater editorial freedom after Ben Tillman was elected Governor of South Carolina in 1890. Their uncle Ralph Emms Elliott continued to work in the circulation department of the News and Courier, and their brother William left the newspaper business altogether to become a real estate developer near Asheville, North Carolina.

Family correspondence for this period is sparse and offers only occasional glimpses of the effort to launch The State. Narciso became the paper's editor and Ambrose worked as general agent, travelling the state to sell stock, advertisements, and subscriptions in a job similar to the one he had held at the News and Courier. In a letter to his sister Gertrude (8 February 1891), Ambrose declared that he expected fundraising for the aborning paper to be "the hardest work of my life." Few such letters about the work of The State have survived in this collection and surviving letters reveal little of the political battles between the newspaper and Governor Tillman. Instead, much of the correspondence for this period concerns Gertrude's collection of genealogical information.

Also included are letters from Johnstone cousins, Emmaline, Edith Johnstone Coleman, and Frances (Fannie) Johnstone Dent. Letters for 1894-1896 relate to Gertrude's marriage to Frank Hampton of Columbia, South Carolina, and the birth of their son in April 1896. In May 1898, Narciso wrote from Cuba as a member of the staff of General Emilio Nunez during the Spanish-American War. Thereafter, family correspondence consists almost exclusively of letters from Gertrude to her Aunt Ann ("Nannan").

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2 Undated Correspondence

About 1700 items.

Arrangement: alphabetical by writer.

Undated letters and fragments are arranged by writer when the writer could be identified. When individual writers cannot be identified or when there are only a few letters from each individual but a considerable number from a family, letters are grouped by family.

Folder 170

Lena Cary

About 30 items.

Folder 171

Edith Johnstone Coleman

About 10 items.

Folder 172

Frances Johnstone Dent

About 20 items.

Folder 173-174

Folder 173

Folder 174

Anne Hutchinson Smith Elliott

About 40 items.

Folder 175

Annie Elliott

About 10 items.

Folder 176

Emily Elliott

About 20 items.

Folder 177

Phoebe Elliott

5 items.

Folder 178

Ralph Elliott

About 20 items.

Folder 179-182

Folder 179

Folder 180

Folder 181

Folder 182

William Elliott

About 80 items.

Folder 183

Ambrosio J. Gonzáles

4 items.

Folder 184

Gertrude Gonzáles

About 10 items.

Folder 185

N. G. Gonzáles

4 items.

Folder 186-187

Folder 186

Folder 187

Elliott Johnstone

4 items.

Folder 188-190

Folder 188

Folder 189

Folder 190

Emmaline Johnstone

About 60 items.

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Folder 196

Undated letters of Mary E. Johnstone, before 1868

About 100 items.

Chiefly letters headed Annandale, Beaumont, and Flat Rock. In 1848, when she was twenty-four years old, Mary Barnwell Elliott married Andrew Johnstone. A widower with a half-grown son named William, Johnstone was a wealthy rice planter of Annandale near Georgetown, South Carolina. Like the Elliotts, he also owned a summer home, called Beaumont, at Flat Rock, North Carolina. The Johnstones' six children were all born before the start of the American Civil War: Elliott (born 1849), Ann (1851-1869), Frances ("Fannie" or "Fan," born 1853), Mary ("Mamie," born 1855), Emmaline ("Emma," born 1857), and Edith (born 1858). In 1864, Andrew Johnstone was murdered by three deserters at his Flat Rock home. Mary's letters for this period detail family activities, difficulties caused by war, and problems of supporting and educating her children after her husband's death. In 1868, Mary moved to Baltimore to work at Edgeworth, a boarding school for girls.

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Folder 232

Undated letters of Mary E. Johnstone, after 1868

Letters written from Baltimore or the homes of Mary's daughters. From 1868 until her retirement in 1885, Mary Johnstone worked at Edgeworth School for Young Ladies at No. 64 Mount Vernon Place in Baltimore. Much of her correspondence for this period was composed at that address. After her retirement she moved into the Baltimore home of her daughter Emma, where she lived until her death in 1900. A few letters for this period also originated from Brookland, the Pennsylvania home of her daughter Fannie Johnstone Dent. Mary apparently wrote her mother and sister Emily weekly accounts of her activities and freely expressed her low opinion of Northerners, especially those residing in Baltimore.

Folder 233

Sallie L. Johnstone

1 item.

Letter of Sallie L. Johnstone, Savannah, to "Grandmother" (possibly Mrs. Ann H. Elliott).

Folder 234

William Gilmore Simms

4 items.

Letters of William Gilmore Simms to William Elliott about Elliott's writings.

Folder 235

James Skirving

1 item.

Letter of James Skirving to William Skirving about the rice crop.

Folder 236

Mary Johnstone Thompson

About 30 items.

Folder 237

Burnet Family

About 20 items.

Folder 238-239

Folder 238

Folder 239

Elliott Family

About 40 items.

Folder 240-241

Folder 240

Folder 241

Habersham Family

About 40 items.

Folder 242

Johnstone Family

About 20 items.

Folder 243-245

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Manigault Family

About 60 items.

Folder 246-247

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Pinckney Family

About 40 items.

Folder 248-249

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Folder 249

Other Writers, Before 1860

About 40 items.

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Folder 251

Folder 252

Other Writers, After 1865

About 60 items.

Folder 253

Unidentified Other Writers

About 30 items.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Financial and Legal Material, 1701-1898 and undated.

About 450 items.

Arrangement: by type, then chronological.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. Financial and Legal Papers, 1701-1898.

About 430 items.

Unbound materials relating to financial and legal matters. Included are letters that are essentially receipts or confirmations of purchase orders. Other business letters are filed in Series 1. Also included are maps or plats attached to deeds or indentures. See Series 3 for other maps and plats.

Folder 254-260

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Folder 260

Thomas Sacheverell, James Skirving, William Skirving, and Others, 1701-1810

About 140 items.

Records of Thomas Sacheverell, his son-in-law William Skirving, and William Skirving's father James Skirving. Material prior to 1747 consists chiefly of indentures relating to land in Colleton district, South Carolina, which was eventually acquired by Sacheverell and the Skirvings.

Items relating to Thomas Sacheverell begin in 1747. In addition to records concerning land, these materials include bills for personal expenses, an itemized bill for construction of a brick kitchen, and Sacheverell's will (1764).

Items relating to James Skirving begin in 1764 and include deeds and indentures; documents concerning Skirving's rice crop (1764); and his will (1771, 1785).

Items relating to William Skirving begin in 1769 and consist of deeds and indentures; property taxes (1787) paid for Pon Pon, Ashepoo, and Balls plantations; and Skirving's will (1810).

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Folder 269

People enslaved by the Elliott family, 1812-1863

There are bills of sale for people enslaved by William Elliott; a list of 28 people enslaved by Bethia Smith and trafficked to William Elliott in 1850, with information about their ages, condition, and the valuation assigned to them; a list of the people enslaved by Phoebe Elliott as of 1855; and a list of people enslaved by the Elliotts and their locations as of 1863.

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Folder 269

William Elliott and Others, 1812-1863

About 180 items.

Financial and legal papers of William Elliott and others, including Thomas Rhett Smith, and various Smith family relatives, Stephen Elliott, Phoebe Elliott, and the children of William Elliott.

Documents relating to William Elliott include mortgages, bonds, accounts for sales of rice and cotton, bills for supplies and other plantation expenses, an opinion in the case of William Elliott vs. Haskell Rhett (1852), passports (1855, 1857, 1860), bills and receipts for expenses of European trips in 1853 and 1855, a pew assessment (1859), publication agreement and bill for printing Carolina Sports (1859), and a tax return for Hilton Head property (1861). American Civil War papers of William Elliott in this subseries include a Confederate War Tax receipt dated 31 July 1862, a pass dated 3 December 1862 allowing Elliott to leave the city of Charleston to go to Adams Run, a Confederate stock certificate, and a list dated 26 September 1863 of scrip in Confederate 8 percent stock sent to William Elliott by Mr. Bee.

Most of the Smith family papers concern settlement of estates, which often included trafficking of enslaved people. They include papers about litigation concerning the estate of William Skirving, the wills of Thomas Rhett Smith and Ann Rebecca Smith, and papers relating to the estates of Thomas Rhett Smith (1830-1833), Caroline Smith (1850-1852), and Bethia Smith (1858).

A few papers of William Elliott's mother Phoebe Elliott are included in this subseries, including a bill for food in 1842.

Documents relating to William Elliott's children include a bill dated 12 November 1845 from Montpelier Institute for Emily Elliott; bills and receipts for purchases, notably those made in Paris in 1855; and passports (1855, 1857). Also in this subseries are some papers of Ralph Emms Elliott, including a bill for his uniform in 1862 and an account with his mother dated 15 October 1863.

Folder 270-274

Folder 270

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Folder 273

Folder 274

Descendants of William Elliott and Others, 1864-1898

About 100 items.

Receipts, bills, mortgages, inventories, and other financial and legal papers of William Elliott's children, Ann Elliott, Emily Elliott, Mary Elliott Johnstone, and Ralph Elliott; his grandson Ambrose Elliott Gonzáles; his wife Ann H. Elliott; and others. There are no papers of N. G. Gonzáles in this subseries. Many items relate to property lost during the American Civil War and to the Elliotts' attempts to recover their property, especially their land. Ann Elliott's application to the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Land for restoration of her land is dated 9 December 1865.

The majority of the papers for the 1870s are papers of A. E. Gonzáles, Ann Elliott, and Emily Elliott. There are also a few documents of Mary Johnstone. Papers of the 1880s include tax receipts and bills for supplies. Papers for the 1890s include a brief by the claimant's attorney in the case of Anne H. Elliott vs. the United States (1891), and papers relating to rental of land owned by the Elliotts on Hilton Head Island.

Folder 275

Lists of enslaved people

About 20 items.

Also includes miscellaneous accounts dated before 1861.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Account Books, 1822-1887.

21 items.

Arrangement: chronological by date of latest entry.

Account books kept by members of the Elliott family. The account books are listed in chronological order by date of latest entry. The keeper of the volume is indicated if known. Most of these books contain financial information only, but a few include copies of correspondence, school exercises, or miscellaneous remarks.

Folder 276

Household account book kept by Ann Hutchinson Smith Elliott, 1832-1833

Household expenses and income showing purchases, often in Charleston and Savannah, of food, textiles, personal items, and other goods, and proceeds from sale of land and crops. Also includes payments to Esther Lyle Snow, the Elliott children's nurse.

Folder 277

Travel and farm expenses kept by William Elliott, 1847-1850

Travel and farm expenses, including brief memorandum of work performed at Flat Rock in 1849.

Folder 278

Account book possibly kept by Ann Hutchinson Smith Elliott, 1848-1851

Accounts of "Miss Elliott" and William Elliott Junior, with A. Johnstone, chiefly for travel expenses for a trip north in 1848. Also includes clothing expenses for 1850 and 1851.

Folder 279

Register of receipts and plantation accounts possibly kept by Ann Hutchinson Smith Elliott, 1852-1853

Chiefly plantation expenses. Also includes list of blankets distributed to people enslaved at Pon Pon, instructions for nurses at Chehaw, and a register of receipts on hand (some dating back to 1845).

Folder 280

Account book possibly kept by Phoebe Elliott, 1853

Household and personal expenses, including an unfinished "List of household articles." This account book appears to have been used by an unidentified person several years after 1853, since purchases appear to have been made for the Gonzáles children, the oldest of whom was born in 1857.

Folder 281

Household expenses kept by Phoebe Elliott, 1853

Folder 282

Personal and travel expenses kept by Emily and Ann Elliott, 1856-1857

Folder 283

Memorandum Book for 1857 with list of enslaved people, possibly kept by William Elliott

Farm memoranda consisting of calculations for "distance in cotton." Most pages in this volume are blank.

Folder 284

Expenses kept by Ann Elliott, 1857-1859

Household, travel, and personal expenses. Also includes a "list of correspondence for 1859," and school exercises in Spanish.

Folder 285

Account book kept by William Elliott, 1859

Only one entry in account with South-Western Railroad Bank. Although most of this volume is blank, it contains an undated account of "Anne's expenses," and a "list of articles [food] furnished by Mary."

Folder 286

Expenses, with list of enslaved laborers and house servants with allowances, kept by Ann and Emily Elliott, 1858-1861

Travel, personal, and household expenses. Includes a copy of a letter written sometime during the American Civil War by "A. H. Elliott" discussing plantation management; an undated "chicken list".

Folder 287

Account Book kept by Mrs. William Elliott, Miss Ann Elliott, Miss C. Elliott, and Miss Emily Elliott, circa 1855-1863

Travel, personal, and household expenses, including expenses on a trip to New York (probably in 1859).

Folder 288

Esther Lyle Snow account book kept by Ann Hutchinson Smith Elliott, 1822-1838, 1863

Record of wages, interest earned, and personal expenses of Esther Lyle Snow, nurse to the Elliott children. Includes a narrative of Snow's tenure at Oak Lawn written by Ann Elliott upon Mrs. Snow's death in 1863.

Folder 289

Household expenses kept by Phoebe Elliott, 1855, 1866

Household expenses. Entries for 1866 were made by an unidentified person.

Folder 291

Daily labor account book, 1867, keeper unknown

"Daily Labor Account" shows names of laborers and wages paid in food and supplies.

Folder 292

Altman Station account book possibly kept by Ralph Emms Elliott, 1873

Apparently accounts of boards cut and shipped from sawmill at Altman Station.

Folder 293

Account book, 1873-1875, keeper unknown

Chiefly household expenses.

Folder 294

Account book possibly kept by Ambrose Gonzáles, 1875-1878

Apparently plantation-related accounts, including payments to laborers, list of cattle born, and lumber accounts.

Folder 295

Account book kept by A. E. Gonzáles, 1880-1886

Chiefly farm labor accounts; also includes household expenses for 1884, value of Confederate bonds held by Elliott family members, and a list of roses planted in 1886.

Folder 296

"Miss E. Elliott in account with A. J. Hart and Son, Flat Rock, North Carolina," 1886-1887

Household expenses.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Maps and Plats, 1714-1855 and undated.

About 25 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Folder 297

Maps and Plats, 1714-1855 and undated

Maps and plats, chiefly of land in the Colleton district of South Carolina. Most are dated before 1805 and are of lands belonging to James Skirving, William Skirving, William Bee, and Thomas Hutchinson.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Writings

About 80 items.
Folder 298-299

Folder 298

Folder 299

Writings by William Elliott

Poems, essays, letters to the editor, and speeches by William Elliott. Of particular note is a description of the Battle of Port Royal. See also the diaries in Series 5.

Folder 300

Other Writings

Poems, songs, essays, quotations, and other miscellaneous writings. Many are unsigned. Included, for example, are an essay, probably a school exercise, by Ambrose Gonzáles on "The advantages which the 'Lowlands' of the South have over the mountainous countries of the North," a printed copy of "Ode for the Supper of the Class of MDCCCXLIX" by Julius Henry Stuart, a copy of "Old Black Joe," and instructions for the cultivation of rice.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Other Material, 1823-1880s? and undated.

About 200 items.

Arrangement: by type.

Folder 301

William Elliott's Plantation Book for Pon Pon, with list of people enslaved, 1840-1851

Description of size and purchase price of Pon Pon plantation in March 1840. Journal of crops planted, weather, farm work done, with daily entries beginning in March 1840 and continuing in the planting season of each year through 1846. The book also contains memoranda of crop yields and allowance lists for several years.

Folder 302

Travel Journal of William Elliott, 1823

A fluently written account of Elliott's trip from Charleston by sea to New York, then through New York State to such places as Saratoga, Auburn, Utica, Rochester, and Niagara Falls, thence to Montreal and Quebec, followed by the return trip via Boston. Elliott describes and reflects on such matters as the Erie Canal (then under construction); the appearance and manners and activities of North American Indians, French Canadians, and others he encountered; the Canadian governmental and legal systems; historic sites; and the appearance of the countryside. Poetry appears on the last few pages.

Folder 303

Travel Journal of William Elliott, 1855, and lists of expenses, 1872 and undated

The first fifty-seven pages of this journal record observations Elliott made in Paris where he was South Carolina's commissioner to the Paris Exhibition. He discussed various arrangements for the Exhibition, seeing the Emperor (Napoleon III), giving a speech in French, etc. The writing is in pencil and quite difficult to read. The remainder of the book is given to lists of expenses, with some receipts; one page is dated February 1872; otherwise these lists are undated.

Folder 304

Tariff of 1828

Drafts of resolutions for the South Carolina state legislature?

Folder 305

Theological Exercises

Small volume of religious writing by Mary Barnwell Elliott. 29 pages.

Folder 306


Folder 307

School Reports, 1867-1886

Reports from Edgeworth School on Edith E. Johnstone, 1870; Gertrude Gonzáles, 1877-1879; and Hattie Gonzáles, 1884-1886; from J. Peyton Clark's Private School for Boys on Ambrosio Gonzáles, 1872-1873; from Saint Timothy's Home School for Boys on Narciso Elliott Gonzáles, 1873-1874; from King's Mountain Military School on William Elliott Gonzáles, 1881-1883; and from Georgetown College on Elliott Johnstone, March 1867.

Folder 308-309

Folder 308

Folder 309

Genealogical Material

Genealogical notes and other material about the Elliott, Smith, Rhett, Hutchinson, Ladson, Moore families. Most material apparently collected by Gertrude Gonzáles.

Folder 310


Reviews of Carolina Sports by Land and Water, 1846 and 1867; obituary of William Elliott written by R. B. Rhett Junior, 1863; an obituary of Mary Barnwell Elliott written by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 1850; clippings about American entry into the Spanish-American War; and other clippings.

Folder 311

Calling Cards, undated

Calling cards of Elliott family members and others, including a few business cards, the card of L' Honorable Wm. Elliott, commissaire de la Caroline du Sud pres l'Exposition Universelle a Paris, and cards apparently received by Elliott during his stay in Paris.

Folder 312

Miscellaneous Papers

Advertisements, menus, and other miscellaneous papers.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 6. Oversize Papers

Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-01009/1a-2a

Oversize papers

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-01009/1b

Oversize papers

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 7. Microfilm

Reel R-01009/1-4






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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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