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.
|Abstract||The collection includes letters between half-sisters Margaret Mordecai, later Mrs. John Devereux, and Ellen Mordecai (1820-1916), later Mrs. Samuel Fox Mordecai, daughters of Moses Mordecai of Raleigh, N.C., and scattered letters of other family members. Margaret's and Ellen's letters were written while they were attending schools in Philadelphia, Pa., and Petersburg, Va., and after their respective marriages. After her marriage, Margaret Mordecai Devereux split her time between her husband's Bertie County, N.C., plantation, Runiroi, and her family home in Raleigh. Ellen and her two children lived in Raleigh after her husband's death in 1854. Letters relate to experiences at school in Philadelphia, books the sisters were reading, social life and daily activities at Runiroi, and other family matters.|
|Creator||Devereux, Margaret Mordecai, 1824-1910.|
|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.
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Margaret Lane Mordecai (1824-1910) was the daughter of Moses Mordecai (1785-1824) and his second wife, Ann Willis Lane Mordecai (1794-1854). Margaret married John Devereux, Jr., (1819-1893) in 1842. The young couple divided their time between the Devereux plantation of Runiroi, near Palmyra in Bertie County, N.C., and Wills Forest, a Lane family home near Raleigh. They had eight children, including daughters Anne, Katherine and Ellen and sons Thomas and John.
Judith Ellen Mordecai (1820-1916) was the daughter of Moses Mordecai and his first wife, Margaret Lane (1786-1821). In 1850, Ellen married her first cousin Samuel Fox Mordecai (1828-1852), the son of Moses Mordecai's brother Solomon (1792-1869). They had two children, Margaret Lane Mordecai and Samuel Fox Mordecai II.Back to Top
Chiefly correspondence between Margaret Mordecai, later Mrs. John Devereux, and her half-sister Judith Ellen Mordecai, later Mrs. Samuel Fox Mordecai. Letters, 1837-1841, describe Margaret's daily life, her nostalgia for her home, and her activities at school in Philadelphia, Pa., and in Petersburg, Va., where she spent the winter with her father's sister Ellen. Letters, 1842-1856, concern Margaret's married life at Runiroi plantation and at Wills Forest near Raleigh and describe the activities of her children. In one letter, 1844, Margaret described her activities as a young married woman, giving details of housekeeping and an account of one day's routine at Runiroi; in another, 1848, she describes her family's preparations for Christmas. Letters from both sisters note books they were reading.
Also included are a few letters, 1839, from Margaret to her mother, Ann Lane Mordecai, describing Margaret's daily life at school, and an undated letter, probably written in 1842, describing Margaret's wedding trip and arrival at Runiroi Plantation; letters, 1837-1839, between George Washington Mordecai and his nieces Ellen and Margaret, concerning routine family news; and letters, 1841-1844, to Ellen from Margaret's husband John Devereux, Jr., giving amusing descriptions of daily life at Runiroi.
The collection also includes one photograph, a picture of the plantation house at Runiroi taken in 1981.Back to Top
Processed by: Rebecca Hollingsworth, April 1992
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008
Updated by: Dawne Howard Lucas, April 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