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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.
This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.
|Size||1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 335 items)|
|Abstract||The collection includes correspondence, volumes, financial items, and other materials, mostly 1811-1899, of the Capehart family of "Scotch Hall Plantation," Bertie County, N.C., plus some material of the related Martin family of Philadelphia. Correspondents include Susan Bryan Martin (b. 1815), who married George Washington Capehart, and her father, Peter Boyd Martin (1777-1838), who settled in Alexandria, La. Letters discuss personal and family matters, including fears and hardships endured by members of the family and their friends in Virginia or in areas of North Carolina occupied by Union forces during the Civil War. Of particular interest are the letters of William Rhodes Capehart, son of George W. and Susan (Martin) Capehart, describing his life as a surgeon and soldier in the Confederate Army. Also included are volumes containing slave records, 1840-1864; miscellaneous accounts; genealogical information; and a recipe book containing a list of the names of former slaves who remained at Scotch Hall after the war.|
|Creator||Capehart (Family : Bertie County, N.C.)|
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.
On 13 February 1812, Jannette Smith Bryan (1789-1818), daughter of William and Elizabeth Gray Brown of Bertie County, N.C., married Peter Boyd Martin (1777-1838) of Philadelphia, Pa. After their mother's death, the Martins' three children, Robert Campbell, Elizabeth Gray, and Susan Bryan, spent some time with their father's family in Philadelphia, but apparently most of their childhood was spent with the Bryans in Bertie County, while their father operated a plantation in Alexandria, La. Susan Bryan Martin (b. 1815) married George Washington Capehart (1810-1885), the son of Cullen and Amelia Capehart of Bertie County, on 28 November 1833.
Scotch Hall, the Capehart family plantation overlooking the Albemarle Sound in Bertie County, was begun in the early 1700s by William Maule, a surveyor-general for colonial governor Charles Eden. Cullen Capehart (1789-1866) bought the Scotch Hall property from Jonathan Hill Jacocks in 1818. In 1838, George Washington Capehart built the residence Scotch Hall near the remains of a foundation, presumably of Maule's home. Scotch Hall continued to be the residence of the Capehart family down to Elizabeth Jacocks Capehart and her son George Washington Capehart, Jr.
[For further information concerning Capehart family genealogy, see folder 15, volume 8, and a letter dated 17 April 1952. For further information about Scotch Hall, see the "Chronology of 'Scotch Hall' as recorded in deeds" in folder 15, a clipping in folder 14, and photographs of Scotch Hall in series 5.]Back to Top
The bulk of these papers, about two hundred items, are letters, about half of which date from the Civil War. Also included are about sixty financial and legal items, 1782-1882; about twenty printed items, chiefly clippings, 1861-1966; miscellaneous material; nine volumes; and sixteen pictures of Scotch Hall.Back to Top
Early correspondence includes an invitation, 1811, to Jannette Bryan of Bertie County, N.C., to attend a ball; and 30 letters from Susan Bryan Martin to her father, Peter Boyd Martin, in Alexandria, La., concerning her school activities, friends in Philadelphia, her sister Eliza, and individuals and events in Bertie County, 1824-1833. After her marriage in 1833 until her father's death in 1838, letters center on household affairs in Bertie County, the births of her children, the death of her daughter Eliza, and other family and neighborhood matters. A very few letters from Peter Martin to Susan Capehart are included. Other items include a letter from James Wilson to Cullen and George W. Capehart, 1853, describing his 73-day journey to Illinois, his success in farming, and the prices of various commodities, and a letter from Robert C. Martin to George W. Capehart, 1843, discussing and enclosing a map of property from Peter Martin's estate in Philadelphia, Pa.
About half of the letters were written during the Civil War and discuss the fears and hardships experienced by various members of the Capehart family and their friends. In particular, William Rhodes Capehart wrote about fifteen letters to his mother, Susan Martin Capehart, and other family members while serving as a surgeon in Poague's Battalion, Williams' Battery, circa C, Tenth N.C.T. (First Artillery). These letters describe the life of a soldier in the Confederate army as his unit marched and fought near Columbia, Tenn., and later between Richmond and Petersburg, Va. Also included are letters from other members of the Capehart family and their friends, most of whom were in Virginia and in areas of northeastern North Carolina occupied by federal troops. Among them were Lucy H. Bryan, James B. Martin, and Mollie Outlaw. There letters describe food shortages, war-time parties, farming and fishing activities, prices and shortages of clothing, farm animals and equipment taken by "impressment agents," fear and disgust of Yankees, and discussions of possible peace. Also of interest is the letter from A. Smith, an overseer, addressed to George W. Capehart in Franklin County, N.C., November 1864, describing events at Scotch Hall while Bertie County was occupied by Federal troops.
Post-Civil War letters include several referring to conditions during Reconstruction at plantations in Bertie County. There are also a few letters from Kate (Mary Carey Capehart?) to her father (Cullen Capehart?), circa February 1866, indicating that some former slaves wished to remain on plantations or with members of their former owners' families, and five letters written by Sophia Capehart in Norfolk, Va., in May 1868. There is also a letter, 1952, from Homer E. Capehart to Mr. and Mrs. George W. Capehart concerning the genealogy of the Capehart family, with a brief genealogical chart enclosed.
|Oversize Paper OP-1494/1|
Among the financial and legal material are contracts, agreements, wills, deeds, and bills and receipts of members of the Capehart family. Included is a will of Jonathan Jacocks, 1782; an account of claims on the estate of Peter Boyd Martin, 1836-1839; an account of money received by Susan Bryan Martin Capehart and her husband from Peter Martin's estate, 1838-1847; and a loan agreement, 1882.
Most of the printed items are newspaper clippings from the Richmond Dispatch, the North Carolina Standard, and other papers concerning the Civil War. These chiefly describe battles and local events in Virginia and North Carolina. There is also an article from the Raleigh News and Observer, 1966, which gives a brief history and description of Scotch Hall and its furnishings and includes photographs of Elizabeth Jacocks Capehart and Scotch Hall.
Among the miscellaneous material is a genealogical chart of the Capehart family and a "Chronology of 'Scotch Hall'."
Chiefly genealogical material relating to the Martin and Capehart families, slave records, and account books of a Capehart business that apparently operated out of Norfolk, Va. Volume 9 is a recipe book that also includes the ages and birth dates of the freed slaves who, presumably, remained on the Capehart estate after the Civil War. Volume 4 includes a diary entry, dated 3 January 1867, concerning a violent storm.
Slave records with birth dates, lists of clothing, and a few recipes.
Accounts of C. Capehart.
Sick list, presumably of slaves.
Scrapbook of Sue M. Capehart.
|Oversize Volume SV-1494/5||
Accounts of merchandise and sundries from Norfolk, Va., with pages missing.
|Oversize Volume SV-1494/6||
Accounts of Cheek, Capehart, and Co., Norfolk, Va.
Account book of Susan Bryan Capehart.
"Family Record of Marriages, Births, and Deaths," belonging to Sue Martin Capehart Nicholls.
Recipe book to which was added a list of names, birth dates, and ages of former slaves who remained at Scotch Hall after the Civil War.
Letters and miscellaneous papers, 1811-1923 and undated #01494, Series: "4. Microfilm, 1811-1923." Reel M-1494/1
Approximately 220 items, mainly letters, of the Capehart family with originals among the correspondence in Series 1, except for the following: 13 April 1849, 16 June 1858, 12 February 1865, circa 1865 (beginning "A column of Sherman's army.."), 9 January 1866, and 23 February 1890 (from Bill Arp), and two undated letters beginning "Please return my basket.." and "I don't want you...." Other items that are not included among originals in the printed material include an obituary, an account of slaves, and a 1767 map of lands owned by William Rhodes Capehart.
Photographs of Scotch Hall, the Capehart residence.
Processed by: Cynthia Crouch, September 1983; Revised by: Suzanne Ruffing, September 1996
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008
Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, December 2009
This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.Back to Top