Learn about upcoming major facilities work in Wilson Library.

Collection Number: 01704

Collection Title: Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925.

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 and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 460 items)
Abstract Members of the Wirt family of Virginia, Maryland, and Florida include William Wirt (1772-1834); his wife Elizabeth Gamble Wirt and their children; Wirt's son-in-law Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough (1805-1877) of Florida; and James McCutcheon Baker (1837-1900) of Pensacola, Fla., who married Wirt's granddaughter. The collection contains personal and family correspondence of William Wirt (1772-1834), of Virginia and Maryland, lawyer, author, and United States attorney general, and of his descendants, including letters, 1802-1822, concerning Wirt's biography of Patrick Henry and his other writings and business and financial affairs; family correspondence, 1824-1832, chiefly between Wirt and his son, William Cabbell Wirt, at school in Massachusetts; letters of condolence at Wirt's death; family letters from the Wirt children to their mother and to each other; family and naval correspondence, 1838-1867, of Wirt's son-in-law, Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough (1805-1877), serving with the United States Navy in Brazil, Europe, and Washington, D.C.; and papers, 1861-1919, of James McCutcheon Baker (1837-1900), of Florida, who married Wirt's granddaughter, concerning his Confederate naval career and postwar sea voyages, chiefly letters to his family in New Orleans. Papers after 1900 are of Baker's wife and children. Volumes include William Wirt's reminiscences of his early years, written in 1825 and 1833; Mrs. Wirt's lettercopy books, 1834-1841; and a lettercopy book, 1848-1849, of a female relative teaching school in Pensacola, Fla. Also included are fragments of William Wirt's manuscript on Patrick Henry.
Creator Wirt (Family : Wirt, William, 1772-1834)
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
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 Wirt Family Papers, #1704, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Gifts of Mrs. Edward M. L'Engle, Jacksonville, Fla., 1950; Mrs. John Cates, Baltimore, Md., 1950; Mrs. Pauline Coad, Savannah, Ga., and Mrs. Paul Cavanaugh, Staten Island, N.Y., 1962
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
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.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Adam Fielding, Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, September 2010

This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Related Collections

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Members of the Wirt family of Virginia, Maryland, and Florida include William Wirt (1772-1834); his wife Elizabeth Gamble Wirt and their children; Wirt's son-in-law Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough (1805-1877) of Florida; and James McCutcheon Baker (1837-1900) of Pensacola, Fla., who married Wirt's granddaughter.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection contains personal and family correspondence of William Wirt (1772-1834), of Virginia and Maryland, lawyer, author, and United States attorney general, and of his descendants, including letters, 1802-1822, concerning Wirt's biography of Patrick Henry and his other writings and business and financial affairs; family correspondence, 1824-1832, chiefly between Wirt and his son, William Cabbell Wirt, at school in Massachusetts; letters of condolence at Wirt's death; family letters from the Wirt children to their mother and to each other; family and naval correspondence, 1838-1867, of Wirt's son-in-law, Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough (1805-1877), serving with the United States Navy in Brazil, Europe, and Washington, D.C.; and papers, 1861- 1919, of James McCutcheon Baker (1837-1900), of Florida, who married Wirt's granddaughter, concerning his Confederate naval career and postwar sea voyages, chiefly letters to his family in New Orleans. Papers after 1900 are of Baker's wife and children. Volumes include William Wirt's reminiscences of his early years, written in 1825 and 1833; Mrs. Wirt's lettercopy books, 1834-1841; and a lettercopy book, 1848-1849, of a female relative teaching school in Pensacola, Fla. Also included are fragments of William Wirt's manuscript on Patrick Henry.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid

Folder 1

1802-1815

Folder 2

1816-1827

Folder 3

1828-1829

Folder 4

1832-1834

Folder 5

1835-1838

Folder 6

1839-1843

Folder 7

1844-1849

Folder 8

1850-1858

Folder 9

1859

Folder 10

1861-1863

Folder 11

1865-1865

Folder 12

1866-1867

Folder 13

1868-1869

Folder 14

1870-1874

Folder 15

1875-1879

Folder 16

1880-1887

Folder 17

1888-1889

Folder 18

1890

Folder 19

1891

Folder 20

1892-1899

Folder 21

1900-1909

Folder 22

1910-1917

Folder 23

1924-1925

Folder 24

Undated and miscellaneous

Folder 25

Biographical and genealogical data

Folder 26

Childhood remininscences of William Wirt

Folder 27-28

Folder 27

Folder 28

Letterbook, 1834-1841, Mrs. William Wirt

Folder 29

Letterbook, 1848-1849, Miss Josephine M. Hutton

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-1704/1

Fragments of manuscript on Patrick Henry

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top