This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.
|Size||1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 200 items)|
|Abstract||Harrison Henry Cocke was a U.S. Navy officer of Prince George County, Va. The collection includes papers of Cocke and his family. The bulk of the collection consists of family correspondence and other papers of Cocke's first wife, Elizabeth Ruffin Cocke (d. 1849), and their children in Prince George County, Va., including many letters from their daughter, Tariffa Cocke Witherspoon, in Mobile and Greensboro, Ala. Other items include Elizabeth Ruffin's diary in Prince George County, circa 1826, and her diary, 1827, of a trip to New York City, Saratoga, N.Y., Philadelphia and Bedford Springs, Pa., Washington, D.C., and other places in the North, accompanied by her half-brother, Edmund Ruffin (1794-1865). Cocke's papers include correspondence, orders, and other records of his service in the U.S. Navy, including a manuscript book of regulations, orders, and letters kept by Cocke at the Pensacola, Fla., navy yard, 1832-1838, and on the U.S.S. "St. Louis", which he commanded, circa 1844-1849. Papers of relatives of Cocke's second wife, Emily Banister Cocke, are also found in the collection, including a diary of Robert B. Banister at sea, 1841-1842, mostly concerning religious thoughts; and recollections of childhood during the Civil War at Petersburg, Va., by Anne Banister.|
|Creator||Cocke, Harrison Henry, 1794-1873.|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
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Harrison Henry Cocke (1794-1873), Prince George County, Va., planter and U.S. naval captain, married his cousin Elizabeth Ruffin (fl. 1809-1849) around 1828. After Elizabeth's death, Cocke married Emily Banister (fl. 1852-1868).
The papers consist chiefly of the personal correspondence of Cocke and his first wife and their daughters, Rebecca "Beck" Cocke Henley (fl. 1838-1899), Tariffa "Tiff" Cocke Witherspoon (fl. 1844-1874), Juliana Cocke (fl. 1849-1872), and Eliza "Bunnie" Cocke (fl. 1849-1871), and the Cocke's various cousins, grandchildren, and in-laws. Tariffa married William Alfred Witherspoon (d. 1862) of Greensboro, Ala. Rebecca married a Dr. Henley of Richmond, Va. Juliana and Bunnie did not marry. The papers chiefly concern family and social life in Virginia and Alabama. Financial and legal papers are chiefly deeds, indentures, and receipts. Harrison's second wife is minimally represented in the papers.
The collection also includes papers related to Harrison Cocke's naval career. He served intermittently from 1812 until his resignation in 1861. Most of these papers are from 1848 to 1851 when Cocke commanded the U.S.S. Saint Louis in the south Atlantic in the suppression of the illegal slave trade. During this period, Cocke was temporarily suspended for "neglect of duty."
Other items in the collection include two diaries kept by Elizabeth Ruffin around 1827; the devotional diary of Robert B. Banister kept on a sea voyage in 1849; Anne Banister's "Incidents in the Life of a Civil War Child," circa 1904; and El Asesinato de Camila O'Gorman: Articulos del "Comercio Del Plata," 1848, a pamphlet that Cocke may have collected on one of his voyages that tells the story of Camila O'Gorman, Argentine heroine who was executed in 1847 for eloping with a priest.
Papers relating chiefly to Harrison Henry Cocke and Elizabeth Ruffin Cocke have been placed in series 1 and 2. Other Cocke family papers, chiefly correspondence among the Cocke's daughters, appears in series 3.Back to Top
Business and professional papers, items related to agricultural improvement, naval papers, and the personal correspondence of Harrison H. Cocke.
Chiefly indentures, inventories, wills, deeds for land and slaves, various receipts, and a brief report on the Brandon and Merchants Hope Church in Prince George County, Va. The earliest papers concern John Imray; his relation to the Cocke and Ruffin families is unknown. Other papers relate to Nathaniel Snelson, George Ruffin, John Hite, and James Epes.
|Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-1587/1|
Reports and constitution of the No. 1 Hole and Corner Club and a proposal to establish an agricultural school at an experimental farm.
Chiefly orders, regulations, commissions, personal invitations to shipboard and port of call functions, and communications regarding Cocke's command. Items relating to the suppression of the slave trade and to Cocke's temporary suspension from command are located in Folder 6.
Manuscript volume containing the " Rules and Regulations, U.S. Naval Yard, Pensacola," 1831-1833 #01587, Subseries: "1.3. Naval Papers, 1815-1852." Folder 7
Also includes a Harrison family genealogy and newspapers clippings, circa 1845-1888, that have been pasted over some pages.
Chiefly letters to Harrison H. Cocke from family members.
Personal correspondence and two diaries.
Chiefly letters of Elizabeth Ruffin Cocke to her mother, Rebecca Woodlief, and to Elizabeth Ruffin Cocke from members of her family.
Elizabeth's diaries before her marriage. One diary was kept at home, probably in the spring of 1827; the other is a travel diary describing a trip taken with her brother (possibly Edmund Ruffin (1794-1865)) in the fall of 1827 to the springs of New York and Pennsylvania. Both diaries contain entries documenting her leisure and entertainment, courtship, and gender relations. In the travel diary, she also compared northern and southern society and the role of women in each. She also described a Shaker meeting and a public execution in New York.
Chiefly correspondence of Tariffa, Beck, Juliana, and Bunnie Cocke, with occasional letters from Harrison and Elizabeth Cocke and other family members. The Federal occupation of Williamsburg, Va., is described in a letter of 14 October 1862. Otherwise, there is little substantial information on the Civil War.
Two writings by members of the Banister family.
Journal of Dr. Robert B. Banister, kept mostly while he was at sea aboard the U.S.S. Levant and in the ports of Pensacola, Fla., and Norfolk, Va. Entries chiefly convey his religious thoughts.
Reminiscences entitled "Incidents in the Life of a Civil War Child," typescript, 8 p., of Anne A. Banister (Mrs. A. Campbell Pryor) of Petersburg, Va., documenting her life during the waning days of the Civil War, but written around 1904.
Pamphlet entitled "El Asesinato de Camila O'Gorman" (in Spanish), about Camila O'Gorman, Argentine heroine who eloped with Jesuit priest Ladislao Gutierrez in 1847. They were executed by the Rosas regime in December of that year.
Processed by:Scott Philyaw, September 1991
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008
Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, December 2009
This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.Back to Top