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.
|Size||18.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 80 volumes items)|
|Abstract||John Wilson, his son, Robert Wilson, and his grandson, Robert Anderson Wilson, were merchants and farmers of Danville and Dan's Hill, Pittsylvania County, Va. The collection includes daybooks and ledgers containing lists of general merchandise; accounts for blacksmithing, carpentry, and other services; a few accounts with overseers; records of sawmilling and grain milling; invoice books; and other accounts for the Wilsons and their associates. There are also a few records, 1772-1782, for general merchandise in Guilford County, N.C., and an account book, 1885-1888, of Annie M. Hairston of Martinsville, Va.|
|Creator||Wilson, Robert, b. 1789.|
|Curatorial Unit||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.|
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.
John Wilson made his home at Dan's Hill, an estate adjoining the home of his father Peter Wilson at Wilson's Ferry on the Dan River in Pittsylvania County, Va. He was a colonel in the Revolutionary War and represented his county at the Constitutional Convention of Virginia. He was also a successful merchant, financier, and gentleman farmer; he owned the land on which the city of Danville was laid out, and his general store was the entrepot for all the settled country for miles around. He died in 1820.
Robert Wilson, the seventh son of Colonel John Wilson, inherited Dan's Hill. He was a colonel in the War of 1812. He married Catharine Pannill, the daughter of Samuel Pannill, a successful businessman of Green Hill, Campbell County, Va.
Robert Anderson Wilson, the third son of Colonel Robert Wilson, inherited Dan's Hill from his father. He married Ruth Stovall Hairston, the daughter of Marshall and Ann Hairston of Martinsville, Va.Back to Top
The volumes are of three main types:
1. Journals or daybook accounts, chronological records of business day by day, usually with detailed entries as to the articles purchased and showing also the name of the buyer and the amount charged.
2. Ledgers, into which the accounts from the journals were transferred and arranged under the name of the individual purchaser. In some cases, the lists of purchases were transferred in full; in other cases only the amounts or the totals for a day or month were transferred to the ledger.
3. Shop accounts: the same type of records for services such as blacksmithing, shoemaking, carpentry, and general repair work.
The volumes are arranged chronologically according to the earliest date included in each volume, and are organized in the following series and subseries:Back to Top
Accounts of an extensive turnover of general merchandise--provisions, dry goods, hardware, medicine, notions and sundries, rum and tobacco--almost entirely on a credit basis. The name of John Wilson appears on many of the books; "Pittsylvania County" [Va.] appears on nearly every volume beginning with Volume 3.
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October 26, 1799 - October 27, 1816. Invoice book. Chronological listing of orders of goods (itemized) bought for store, showing amount, cost, and where bought. Most of the orders are from Buchanan, Dunlap & Co. or from James and John Dunlap. 227 pages #01896, Series: "1. John Wilson Books, 1772-1822." 28
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Accounts of general merchandise sales, shop accounts, and records of interest payments and expenses of the firm. The name Dickenson, Pannill and Company appears on volumes 40 and 41, and volume 42 deals with the change to Pannill, Wilson, and Company, the name appearing on most of the volumes after volume 43. Danville and Dan's Hill are the locations given for most of the volumes.
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April 6, 1831 - June 21, 1838. Danville, Va. Invoice and inventory book--an inventory of goods taken by Pannill, Wilson and Company of the stock of Dickenson, Pannill and Company in April, 1831; a list of the bills of goods purchased by Dickenson, Pannill and Co. in April, 1831; and a record of goods purchased by Pannill, Wilson and Company from 1831 to 1838. 282 pages #01896, Subseries: "2.1. Pannill, Wilson, and Others, 1827-1844." 42
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Mostly journals and ledgers of accounts for general merchandise. They are labeled either Danville or Dan's Hill, except for Volume S-74 and Volume 76, which contain accounts of the Sandy River Mills. The name Robert Wilson appears on most of the volumes.
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Two account books of Robert Wilson's son Robert Anderson Wilson and one account book of Annie M. Hairston of Martinsville, Va.; Hairston was apparently the sister-in-law of Robert Anderson Wilson. Also included are several loose sheets and fragments, including sections of a journal dated December 1835 - March 1836, an index to a ledger, and pages from a ledger with references to "Journal E."
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Processed by: Rebecca Hollingsworth, December 1991
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008
Updated by: Dawne Howard Lucas, May 2021
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