Collection Number: 01689

Collection Title: Nicholas Washington Woodfin Papers, 1795-1919, 1950

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 150 items)
Abstract Nicholas Washington Woodfin, a white lawyer and legislator of Buncombe County, N.C., was married to Eliza G. McDowell Woodfin. His papers, which are chiefly photocopies, include three letters written from Albert McDowell, an enslaved or formerly enslaved person who had gone to California with Samuel McDowell to work in the gold fields; county deeds; indentuaries; estate papers; scattered family, business, and political correspondence, including letters of John W. Holland, including a few dated 1898-1901 when he was serving in the United States Army in the Philippines; American Civil War letters, including an original 1862 letter from Woodfin to Governor Clarke about the defense of eastern Tennessee; clippings; obituaries; family history materials; and speeches on agriculture. Other items include the bill of auction for the Woodfin Mansion House and Grounds in Asheville, N.C., to be sold 13 August 1879; a biographical sketch of Woodfin written by J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton in February 1950; remarks made at a presentation of Woodfin's portrait in Asheville in 1950; and a land warrant from Governor Patrick Henry to William Gibbs (apparently unrelated to the rest of the collection).
Creator Woodfin, Nicholas Washington, 1810-1876.
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

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 wilsonlibrary@unc.edu 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 Nicholas Washington Woodfin Papers #1689, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy available.
  • Reel 1: Series 1 and additions of May 1960 and February and May 1962
Acquisitions Information
Received from Jessie Reed Burnett in March 1950 and from Perry Deane Young in May 1960 and February and May 1962; purchased from B. and L. Rootenberg in November 2006 (Acc. 100547).
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

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

Nicholas Washington Woodfin was born in Buncombe County, N.C., on 29 January 1810. In February 1831, he was admitted to practice law in the county courts, and soon after settled in Asheville, N.C. In 1840, Woodfin married Eliza Grace McDowell; the couple had three daughters. For ten years starting in 1844, Woodfin represented Buncombe and Henderson counties in the state senate. He was active on the Asheville school board and in the Episcopal church, and acted as the Buncombe County delegate to the North Carolina Secession Convention. During the Civil War, he was superintendent of the North Carolina Salt Works. Afterwards, he returned to the practice of law and died on 23 May 1876. The town of Woodfin, N.C., in Bumcombe County, is named for him.

(Details from Samuel Ashe's The Biography of North Carolina (volume II, 1905, pages 481-86) and townofwoodfin.org.)

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Nicholas Washington Woodfin, a white lawyer and legislator of Buncombe County, N.C., was married to Eliza G. McDowell Woodfin. His papers, which are chiefly photocopies, include three letters written from Albert McDowell, an enslaved or formerly enslaved person who had gone to California with Samuel McDowell to work in the gold fields; county deeds; indentuaries; estate papers; scattered family, business, and political correspondence, including letters of John W. Holland, including a few dated 1898-1901 when he was serving in the United States Army in the Philippines; American Civil War letters, including an original 1862 letter from Woodfin to Governor Clarke about the defense of eastern Tennessee; clippings; obituaries; family history materials; and speeches on agriculture. Other items include the bill of auction for the Woodfin Mansion House and Grounds in Asheville, N.C., to be sold 13 August 1879; a biographical sketch of Woodfin written by J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton in February 1950; remarks made at a presentation of Woodfin's portrait in Asheville in 1950; and a land warrant from Governor Patrick Henry to William Gibbs (apparently unrelated to the rest of the collection).

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Papers, 1879, 1950 (Original Deposit).

2 items.

Photocopy of the bill of auction for the Woodfin Mansion House and Grounds in Asheville, N.C., to be sold 13 August 1879, for division among Woodfin's three daughters, and a biographical sketch of Woodfin written by J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton in February 1950 to be attached to the portrait of Woodfin hung in the Asheville YMCA. (The portrait was donated to the Southern Historical Collection in November 1949 by Mrs. Oscar Mauldin. As of June 2006, it was hanging in Room 901-H in the Manuscripts Department.)

Folder 1

Papers, 1879, 1950 #01689, Series: "1. Papers, 1879, 1950 (Original Deposit)." Folder 1

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2A. Papers, 1795-1950 (Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962).

About 150 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Processing Note: Additions were merged and arranged chronologically.

Photocopies of three letters, 1853-1855, from enslaved or formerly enslaved people who had gone to California with members of the family to work in the gold fields; American Civil War letters; obituaries; clippings; indenturies; estate papers; family history materials; letters of John W. Holland, including a few dated 1898-1901 when he was serving in the United States Army in the Philippines; county deeds; family and business letters; remarks made at a presentation of Woodfin's portrait in Asheville in 1950; and land warrant from Governor Patrick Henry to William Gibbs (apparently unrelated to the rest of the collection).

Folder 2

1795-1839 #01689, Series: "2A. Papers, 1795-1950 (Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962)." Folder 2

Folder 3

1840-1849 #01689, Series: "2A. Papers, 1795-1950 (Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962)." Folder 3

Folder 4

1850-1859 #01689, Series: "2A. Papers, 1795-1950 (Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962)." Folder 4

Includes three letters from enslaved or formerly enslaved people.

Folder 5

1860-1875 #01689, Series: "2A. Papers, 1795-1950 (Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962)." Folder 5

Folder 6

1875-1899 #01689, Series: "2A. Papers, 1795-1950 (Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962)." Folder 6

Folder 7a

1900-1919 #01689, Series: "2A. Papers, 1795-1950 (Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962)." Folder 7a

Folder 7b

1950, undated and miscellaneous #01689, Series: "2A. Papers, 1795-1950 (Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962)." Folder 7b

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2A. Letter, 1862 (Addition of November 2006).

1 item.

Acquisitions Information: Accession 100547

Original letter from Nicholas Washington Woodfin to Governor Clarke about the defense of eastern Tennessee.

Folder 8

1862 #01689, Series: "2A. Letter, 1862 (Addition of November 2006)." Folder 8

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff and Amy Johnson, September 2007

Encoded by: Amy Johnson, September 2007

Conscious Editing Work by: Nancy Kaiser, July 2020. Updated abstract, subject headings, scope and content note, and container list.

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

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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