Collection Number: 02718

Collection Title: Branch Family Papers, 1788-1919

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.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 3.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 3150 items)
Abstract Prominent members of the Branch family included John Branch (1782-1863), governor of North Carolina, U.S. representative and senator, secretary of the Navy, governor of the Florida Territory, and a planter in North Carolina and Florida; his son, William Henry Branch (1823-1910), cotton planter in Florida and merchant and farmer in Georgia; and his grandson, William Horton Branch (1852-1920), also a merchant and farmer in Georgia. The collection includes scattered political papers of John Branch, including some relating to his resignation from Andrew Jackson's cabinet as a result of the Peggy Eaton affair; journals and other documentation of Wood Lawn and Live Oak, John Branch's plantations, presumabley in Leon County, Fla.; and personal and business papers of William Henry Branch, William Horton Branch, and members of their families (especially the women), relating chiefly to life in Baker, Colquitt, and Mitchell counties, Ga., including social activities, small mercantile businesses, education, farming, and local politics.
Creator Branch (Family : Branch, John, 1782-1863)
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
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 to discuss options for consulting these materials.
The original item in SEP-2718/1 is not available for immediate or same day access. Please contact staff at to discuss options.
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 Branch Family Papers #2718, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the Records of ante-bellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J.
Acquisitions Information
Received from James A. Branch of Atlanta, Georgia, in March 1939 and February 1944. Subsequent additions include 120 items received from Mrs. A. H. Branch of Fayetteville, North Carolina, in January 1975, and acquisitions of individual items in 1964, 1970, and 1971. Addition received from Nancy Bacon in November 2013 (Acc. 101931).
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

John Branch (1784-1863) was born in Halifax, North Carolina, the third child in the wealthy and prominent family of Colonel John Branch and Mary Bradford Branch. He was educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in 1801. He studied law, but never actively engaged in practice, preferring the life of a wealthy planter and politician. He became a state senator in 1811, and served again in 1813-1817, 1822, and 1834, acting as speaker of the state senate from 1815 to 1817. He served as governor of North Carolina from 1817 to 1820, United States senator from 1823 to 1829, and secretary of the Navy from 1829 to 1831, when his involvement in the complications and embarrassment resulting from the marriage of John Eaton and Peggy O'Neale forced Branch to resign from the cabinet. He declined appointments to foreign missions and to the territorial governorship of Florida and severed relations with Andrew Jackson, becoming a supporter of John C. Calhoun. As a show of confidence, Branch was subsequently elected to the House of Representatives by unanimous vote, and served until 1833.

About 1833, Branch began acquiring property near Tallahassee, Florida, and was appointed governor of the Florida territory from 1843 to 1845, during which time Florida became a state. Plantations operated by Branch included Wood Lawn, Live Oak, and Whitehead Place, near Tallahassee, Florida, presumably in Leon County. (A description of Live Oak can be found in Series 2.2, Folder 107.) Upon the death of his wife, Elizabeth Foort, Branch returned to North Carolina, where he later married Mary Eliza (Jordan) Bond, with whom he had no children. He died in Enfield 4 January 1863.

Branch and Elizabeth Foort Branch raised nine children. One son, John Richard, died before John Branch, leaving children who were named in Branch's will. A daughter, Mary Eliza, first married Leigh Read and later married William Bailey. She was not named in her father's will and probably died before he did, as did two other children, James Branch and Rebecca Bradford Branch (Mrs. Robert White Williams). The surviving children of John Branch included William Henry Branch of Florida and Georgia, who is the central figure through much of the period covered by these papers; Sarah (Sally), who married Dr. James Hunter of Halifax County, North Carolina; Martha (Mrs. Edward Bradford) of Florida; Susan (Mrs. Arvah Hopkins) of Florida; and Margaret (Mrs. Daniel S. Donelson) of Tennessee. All of the daughters had children who wrote at various times, some frequently, to William Henry Branch and his children.

William Henry Branch was born 9 October 1823 and died 20 October 1910. In 1848, he married Mary Eliza Horton, daughter of R. Horton of Huntsville, Alabama. He was a licensed attorney and planter in Florida until 1866, when he moved to Georgia, where he became a small merchant and farmer. In Georgia, the William Henry Branch family lived in Baker County (Newton, Branchville); in Colquitt County (Felix), where Branch served as county commissioner and postmaster and was involved in local politics; and finally in various places in Mitchell County, including Camilla, Magnolia, Pelham, Pebble City, and Sale City, or on farms near these towns.

Branch was called William H. or W.H.; his son, William Horton Branch, called Horton by the family, signed his name W. Horton Branch and was frequently addressed as W.H. In many of the later Papers, it is difficult to determine which Branch was indicated by W.H. Other children of William Henry and Mary Eliza Branch include Lucie (Mrs. Charles Munnerlyn), among whose children were Genie, Josie Elma, Lucius, and others; and Josie (Mrs. Wimberly W. Cullens), whose children were Wimberly, Jr., Willie Frank, Branch, and Plant. Mary Eliza Branch died in 1871.

William Horton Branch (1852-1920), the focus of the papers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was born at Live Oak, a Branch plantation in Florida. He moved to a location near Felix, Georgia, and married Sallie Thornton of Georgia in 1876. About 1888 Horton moved to a home near Magnolia (later Pelham), Georgia; he served there as overseer of roads, and became a member of the Democratic Executive Committee of Mitchell County in 1904. Children of William Horton Branch and Sallie Thornton Branch included Will [William Henry]; Edward; Elbert; and James A. James A. Branch was educated at Emory University, taught briefly in Leary, Georgia, became a lawyer in Atlanta, and was the donor of most of these papers.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence and legal and financial material of four generations of the Branch family. The earliest papers are deeds and legal documents relating to property in Halifax County, North Carolina. Other financial and legal material relating to John Branch includes deeds, indentures, sales receipts and other material relating to cotton production. After the 1850s, the financial and legal papers are primarily those of William Henry Branch, and document the inventory and operation of Branch's small farming operation and mercantile businesses. Similar papers of William Horton Branch, a small merchant in various southwestern Georgia towns, become a significant part of the collection by the late 1880s and continue until the end. Scattered throughout the papers of both William Henry and William Horton Branch are items relating to small mercantile businesses, the marketing of cotton and other produce, local government and politics, social life in small Georgia towns, and education at all levels.

Correspondence in the Branch family papers of the 1820s and 1830s relates largely to the political activities of John Branch, but are too sporadic to reveal a full picture, with the partial exception of Branch's involvement in the Eaton affair. There is very little information on Florida politics in the period of Branch's governorship.

After the 1840s, the focus of the correspondence shifts to the family of William Henry Branch. Papers document both family and business concerns of William H. Branch and his children and grandchildren. While there is no evidence in the papers of any participation in the Civil War by Branch men, letters contain both John and William's views on secession, as do two undated essays (see Series 3). Several letters reveal the effect of the war on women. Documentation of William Horton Branch is central to the collection after 1870. Documentation of women increases throughout, and is especially strong in the last decades of the nineteenth century.

Correspondence (Series 1) and financial and legal papers (Subseries 2.1) have been arranged chronologically with subseries divided by dates of events that to some degree alter the focus of the material.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1819-1916.

About 2500 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Correspondence relates to the families, businesses, and political activities of John, William Henry, and William Horton Branch. Correspondence from 1819 until about 1850 largely concerns the political career and business interests of John Branch. Beginning in 1851, letters document William Henry Branch's mercantile concerns and various forays into local politics in southwestern Georgia. The series retains its focus on William Henry Branch until about 1870, after which business and personal correspondence of the family of William Horton Branch dominate. Letters by and among Branch's wives, daughters, and other friends and acquaintances are of particular interest from 1864 to about 1871, with several describing women's postbellum entry into remunerative childcare and education. Much correspondence after 1880 involves women in the Branch family; topics are largely household chores, illnesses, financial concerns, visiting and letter-writing, and general news of children and family members. Occasional references to political and economic developments can also be found in these letters.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. 1819-1835.

About 60 items.

Scattered correspondence relating to John Branch's political career, including an 1826 letter from Andrew Jackson regarding the current political climate, and an 1832 letter from James Iredell on his opposition to Van Buren for vice-president, as well as notes and letters regarding Branch's plans and policy as secretary of the Navy, and several letters revealing Branch's role in the "Eaton affair." Material related to this incident includes correspondence with John Eaton, John MacPherson Berrien, Samuel Price Carson, Romulus Mitchell Saunders, and R.H. Bradford, as well as an appeal from a committee of Bertie County citizens encouraging Branch to run for Congress. Of special interest is a letter, 16 December 1834, on horse racing.

Folder 1

1819-1829 #02718, Subseries: "1.1. 1819-1835." Folder 1

Separated Folder SEP-2718/1

Letter from Andrew Jackson, 1826 #02718, Subseries: "1.1. 1819-1835." SEP-2718/1

Restriction to Access: The original item is not available for immediate or same day access. Please contact staff at to discuss options.

Folder 2

1830-1831 #02718, Subseries: "1.1. 1819-1835." Folder 2

Folder 3

1832-1835 #02718, Subseries: "1.1. 1819-1835." Folder 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. 1837-1850.

About 50 items.

Correspondence regarding Branch's political career and move to Florida, including an 1839 letter from Branch outlining his inability to support Martin Van Buren, attempts on the life of Leigh Read, and political appointments, especially Branch's appointment as territorial governor of Florida. Also included are letters from relations in Halifax County, North Carolina.

Folder 4

1837-1846 #02718, Subseries: "1.2. 1837-1850." Folder 4

Folder 5

1847-1849 #02718, Subseries: "1.2. 1837-1850." Folder 5

Folder 6

1850 #02718, Subseries: "1.2. 1837-1850." Folder 6

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.3. 1851-1866.

About 150 items.

Business and political correspondence of John Branch, relating to his property and overseers in Florida (presumably in Leon County), and Branch's pro-secession stance. Correspondence includes an 1851 letter from Charles Colcock favoring secession and an 1857 letter from R. B. Rhett, Jr., on the sectional crisis, as well as an April 1862 letter from Margaret Donelson, wife of General Daniel S. Donelson, on her husband's transfer to Corinth, Mississippi, and her intent to follow him. Letters from John Branch to William Henry Branch express a fear of war, and give news of the blockade, and other military developments. Correspondence between women in the family reveals their anxiety over the war. Of interest is an 1866 letter from Amos Whitehead in Florida on reconstruction and race relations. Other family correspondence includes an account of the destruction of Branch's crops by boll-worm and floods, a letter from Branch's wife and mother-in-law following what appears to have been Eliza's miscarriage, letters from William Henry Branch relating to such matters as a small shoe factory he established and salt production, and letters from relatives in Halifax County, North Carolina. Letters from June 1863 begin a long correspondence with lawyer Joseph Batchelor and others regarding the settling of John Branch's estate.

Folder 7

1851-1859 #02718, Subseries: "1.3. 1851-1866." Folder 7

Folder 8

1860-1863 #02718, Subseries: "1.3. 1851-1866." Folder 8

Folder 9a

1864-1866 #02718, Subseries: "1.3. 1851-1866." Folder 9a

Folder 9b

Undated, circa 1851-1866 #02718, Subseries: "1.3. 1851-1866." Folder 9b

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.4. 1867-1871.

About 200 items

Correspondence describes the post-bellum financial situation of the Branch family, including William Henry Branch's efforts to rent or sell Live Oak Plantation in Florida following his 1866 move to Baker County, Georgia. Other letters relate to Lucy Branch attending Montpelier Institute. Correspondence describes education among other members of the family, including letters from Horton Branch describing his experiences at the business school of R.R. Euston in Macon, Georgia. Other letters concern R.B. Rhett's search for a governess for his daughter Josie, who lived with the Branch family during this period. Correspondence with Joseph Batchelor and others regarding the John Branch estate continues.

Folder 10

1867-1868 #02718, Subseries: "1.4. 1867-1871." Folder 10

Folder 11

1869 #02718, Subseries: "1.4. 1867-1871." Folder 11

Folder 12

1870 #02718, Subseries: "1.4. 1867-1871." Folder 12

Folder 13

January - August 1871 #02718, Subseries: "1.4. 1867-1871." Folder 13

Folder 14a

September - December 1871 #02718, Subseries: "1.4. 1867-1871." Folder 14a

Folder 14b

Undated, circa 1867-1871 #02718, Subseries: "1.4. 1867-1871." Folder 14b

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.5. 1872-1879.

About 100 items.

Correspondence continues regarding the settling of the John Branch estate. Other correspondence relates to cotton production and speculation, the establishment of a local Grange (for minutes of Grange meetings, see Series 3, Folder 103), and miscellaneous family news.

Folder 15

1872-1873 #02718, Subseries: "1.5. 1872-1879." Folder 15

Folder 16

1874-1875 #02718, Subseries: "1.5. 1872-1879." Folder 16

Folder 17a

1876-1879 #02718, Subseries: "1.5. 1872-1879." Folder 17a

Folder 17b

Undated, circa 1872-1879 #02718, Subseries: "1.5. 1872-1879." Folder 17b

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.6. 1880-1891.

About 130 items.

Largely correspondence of the women in the Branch families, revealing the rhythms of life on Georgia plantations; topics include children, illnesses, visits and letter-writing, and social affairs, with some comment on the business and political affairs of family members. This correspondence includes an 1882 Valentine poem attributed to Josie Branch, and two poems, "Friendship," and "Life's Problems," copied and sent by Josie Branch, probably to her father. Chief correspondents include Martha Branch Bradford, Josie Rhett, Josie Branch, Lucie Branch Munnerlyn and Sallie Thornton Branch. Business correspondence includes discussions of the sale of guano, letters regarding William Henry Branch's appeals to family and friends for loans following a "misfortune in crops," letters relating to Branch's attempt to rent his properties, and continued correspondence with lawyer Joseph Batchelor. After 1890, letters relate to the procurement of goods for William Horton Branch's mercantile business, which he appears to have established at about this time.

Folder 18

1880-1881 #02718, Subseries: "1.6. 1880-1891." Folder 18

Folder 19

1882-1883 #02718, Subseries: "1.6. 1880-1891." Folder 19

Folder 20

January - August 1884 #02718, Subseries: "1.6. 1880-1891." Folder 20

Folder 21

September - December 1884 #02718, Subseries: "1.6. 1880-1891." Folder 21

Folder 22

1885-1886 #02718, Subseries: "1.6. 1880-1891." Folder 22

Folder 23

1887 #02718, Subseries: "1.6. 1880-1891." Folder 23

Folder 24

1889-1890 #02718, Subseries: "1.6. 1880-1891." Folder 24

Folder 25

1891 #02718, Subseries: "1.6. 1880-1891." Folder 25

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.7. 1892-1896.

About 150 items.

Continued family letters, with Josie Branch (now Mrs. Wimberly Cullins) writing frequently from Camilla, Georgia, to her father, who was with Horton at Magnolia (later Pelham). Letters to Horton contain information regarding the taxation of guano in Florida. Between 1894 and 1896, correspondence includes scattered comments on local (Georgia) and national politics.

Folder 26

January - July 1892 #02718, Subseries: "1.7. 1892-1896." Folder 26

Folder 27

August - December 1892 #02718, Subseries: "1.7. 1892-1896." Folder 27

Folder 28

1893 #02718, Subseries: "1.7. 1892-1896." Folder 28

Folder 29

1894 #02718, Subseries: "1.7. 1892-1896." Folder 29

Folder 30

1895 #02718, Subseries: "1.7. 1892-1896." Folder 30

Folder 31

1896 #02718, Subseries: "1.7. 1892-1896." Folder 31

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.8. 1897-1899.

About 220 items.

William Horton Branch moved at this time from Pelham, Georgia, to his farm outside of town; papers include material on roadwork in Mitchell County, for which Horton Branch acted as overseer. In the fall of 1897, James A. Branch began to write from Emory University at Oxford, Georgia; in 1898 these letters and others include comments on local politics and the Spanish-American war, although none of the Branches participated directly in the war. Several letters during 1899 discuss a controversy in the Methodist church in Pelham, and the trial of a church member. Other correspondence to William Henry Branch reveals Branch's attempts to sell various personal items from Live Oak, James A. Branch's experiences teaching at Leary, Georgia, and local political activity in which William Horton Branch was involved. Of special interest is an 1897 inquiry to Horton Branch asking how to conduct a ring-and-lance tournament, and Horton's response.

Folder 32

January - May 1897 #02718, Subseries: "1.8. 1897-1899." Folder 32

Folder 33

June - August 1897 #02718, Subseries: "1.8. 1897-1899." Folder 33

Folder 34

September - December 1897 #02718, Subseries: "1.8. 1897-1899." Folder 34

Folder 35

January - March 1898 #02718, Subseries: "1.8. 1897-1899." Folder 35

Folder 36

April - July 1898 #02718, Subseries: "1.8. 1897-1899." Folder 36

Folder 37

August - December 1898 #02718, Subseries: "1.8. 1897-1899." Folder 37

Folder 38

January - May 1899 #02718, Subseries: "1.8. 1897-1899." Folder 38

Folder 39

June - December 1899 #02718, Subseries: "1.8. 1897-1899." Folder 39

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.9. 1900-1902.

About 120 items.

Business and family correspondence. Business letters relate to the sale of land and crops, acquisitions of merchandise for shops, and maintenance of insurance policies. Family correspondence includes letters from Josie Munnerly to her grandfather, William Henry Branch, and letters from James A. Branch to William Henry and Sarah Branch, with references to law school at the University of Georgia and activities in Athens, Georgia. In 1901, James A. Branch left school and began law practice in the office of Burton Smith in Atlanta. Correspondence during 1902 includes letters describing Wimberly Cullens, Jr.'s move to Jacksonville, Florida to work in a hotel, and fairly detailed letters from Josie Branch Cullens on life in Camilla, Georgia.

Folder 40

January - August 1900 #02718, Subseries: "1.9. 1900-1902." Folder 40

Folder 41

September - December 1900 #02718, Subseries: "1.9. 1900-1902." Folder 41

Folder 42

1901 #02718, Subseries: "1.9. 1900-1902." Folder 42

Folder 43

January - June 1902 #02718, Subseries: "1.9. 1900-1902." Folder 43

Folder 44

July - October 1902 #02718, Subseries: "1.9. 1900-1902." Folder 44

Folder 45

November - December 1902 #02718, Subseries: "1.9. 1900-1902." Folder 45

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.10. 1903-1916.

About 170 items.

Chiefly family letters, especially from Josie Cullens, the granddaughter of William Henry Branch, the latter now in Hartsfield, Georgia. Correspondence contains occasional references to local politics, particularly in 1904 when William Horton Branch was a member of the Democratic Executive Committee of Mitchell County. Also included is some business correspondence of William Horton Branch, who by 1909 was in the mercantile business with his sons. Several items pertain to loans to William Horton Branch.

Folder 46

1903 #02718, Subseries: "1.10. 1903-1916." Folder 46

Folder 47

January 1904 - April 1904 #02718, Subseries: "1.10. 1903-1916." Folder 47

Folder 48

May - December 1904 #02718, Subseries: "1.10. 1903-1916." Folder 48

Folder 49

January - September 1905 #02718, Subseries: "1.10. 1903-1916." Folder 49

Folder 50

October - December 1905 #02718, Subseries: "1.10. 1903-1916." Folder 50

Folder 51

1906 #02718, Subseries: "1.10. 1903-1916." Folder 51

Folder 52

1909-1916 #02718, Subseries: "1.10. 1903-1916." Folder 52

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.11. Undated Correspondence.

About 80 items
Folder 53

Letters from Josie Branch Cullens to William Henry Branch, discussing family news, illnesses, and household business. #02718, Subseries: "1.11. Undated Correspondence." Folder 53

Folder 54

Letters from Sarah Branch Hunter to William Henry Branch, regarding family and plantation news, including discussion of interaction with black servants/workers, the death of a Mrs. Branch, and household affairs. #02718, Subseries: "1.11. Undated Correspondence." Folder 54

Folder 55

Correspondence of the family of William Henry Branch, including letters from William Horton Branch to his father, letters from Mary Eliza Branch to her children, and letters from Clara E. Barrow to William Henry Branch. #02718, Subseries: "1.11. Undated Correspondence." Folder 55

Folder 56

Letters relating to business interests of the Branch family, including some correspondence regarding the settling of estates. #02718, Subseries: "1.11. Undated Correspondence." Folder 56

Folder 57

Correspondence related to the public activities of John, William Henry, and William Horton Branch, particularly to the construction of roads in Mitchell County, and to the Mitchell County Board of Commissioners. #02718, Subseries: "1.11. Undated Correspondence." Folder 57

Folder 58

Continued correspondence related to public activities, including drafts of letters to an editor regarding Mitchell County politics, particularly the Democratic Committee. #02718, Subseries: "1.11. Undated Correspondence." Folder 58

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1788-1919.

About 1600 items

Items relating to the cotton plantations and small mercantile businesses operated by John, William Henry, and William Horton Branch, as well as material regarding the personal finances of the Branch family. Some scattered items document financial activities of women in the Branch family.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. Financial and Legal Papers, 1788-1919 and undated.

About 1570 items.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1.1 1788-1866.

About 120 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Scattered deeds to land in Halifax County, North Carolina, Mitchell County, Georgia and Leon County, Florida; documents relating to the gift, sale, and purchase of slaves (especially lists of slaves with estimated values in folder 68); and indentures, promissory notes, receipts, bills of sale, and other material relating to the Branch cotton plantation. Items of William Henry Branch begin appearing after 1850, the year Branch seems to have purchased his father's Florida plantation. John Branch's will and legal documents regarding his estate, of which William Henry Branch was executor, are included here also.

Folder 59

1788, 1791 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.1 1788-1866." Folder 59

Folder 60

1800, 1818 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.1 1788-1866." Folder 60

Folder 61

1823-1839 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.1 1788-1866." Folder 61

Folder 62

1840-1849 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.1 1788-1866." Folder 62

Folder 63

1850-1859 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.1 1788-1866." Folder 63

Folder 64

1861-1862 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.1 1788-1866." Folder 64

Folder 65

1863 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.1 1788-1866." Folder 65

Folder 66

1864 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.1 1788-1866." Folder 66

Folder 67

1865 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.1 1788-1866." Folder 67

Folder 68

1866 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.1 1788-1866." Folder 68

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1.2. 1867-1877.

About 500 items.

Deeds, indentures, tenancy agreements, stock inventories, cotton reports, statements of accounts, numerous sales receipts from various wholesale and retail dealers in Mitchell County, Georgia, and other material related to the purchase of supplies in Newton. Of particular interest are several labor contracts with freed men and women.

Folder 69

January - June 1867 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.2. 1867-1877." Folder 69

Folder 70

July - December 1867 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.2. 1867-1877." Folder 70

Folder 71

1868 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.2. 1867-1877." Folder 71

Folder 72

January - June 1869 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.2. 1867-1877." Folder 72

Folder 73

July - December 1869 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.2. 1867-1877." Folder 73

Folder 74

1870 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.2. 1867-1877." Folder 74

Folder 75

1871-1872 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.2. 1867-1877." Folder 75

Folder 76

1873 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.2. 1867-1877." Folder 76

Folder 77

1874-1875 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.2. 1867-1877." Folder 77

Folder 78

1876-1877 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.2. 1867-1877." Folder 78

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1.3. 1878-1893.

About 150 items.

Deeds, stock inventories, bills, and receipts with various wholesale and retail dealers in Mitchell County. This subseries marks the appearance of Horton Branch, also a small Georgia merchant.

Folder 79

1878-1879 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.3. 1878-1893." Folder 79

Folder 80

1880-1885 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.3. 1878-1893." Folder 80

Folder 81

1885-1889 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.3. 1878-1893." Folder 81

Folder 82

1890 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.3. 1878-1893." Folder 82

Folder 83

1891 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.3. 1878-1893." Folder 83

Folder 84

1892 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.3. 1878-1893." Folder 84

Folder 85

1893 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.3. 1878-1893." Folder 85

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1.4. 1894-1910.

About 400 items.

Statements of accounts from cotton buyers and dealers in plantation supplies, and other material relating to the cotton trade; statements of accounts and sales receipts from various merchants in Pelham, Camilla, and Pebble City; bills relating to the education of Branch's sons; and material relating to the construction of roads in Mitchell County. Material relating to Horton Branch's financial affairs increases steadily and includes notes from banks in Thomasville, Moultrie, Camilla, Pelham, and Sale City. Several memos appear in 1908 from the Office of Clerk, Superior Court of Mitchell County, regarding the estate of A.J. Akridge, for which William Horton Branch was a receiver. (For a record of William Horton Branch's activities as a receiver for the estate, see Subseries 2.2, Folder 121.)

Folder 86

1894 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.4. 1894-1910." Folder 86

Folder 87

1895 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.4. 1894-1910." Folder 87

Folder 88

1896 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.4. 1894-1910." Folder 88

Folder 89

1897 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.4. 1894-1910." Folder 89

Folder 90

1898 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.4. 1894-1910." Folder 90

Folder 91

1899 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.4. 1894-1910." Folder 91

Folder 92

1900 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.4. 1894-1910." Folder 92

Folder 93

1901-1902 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.4. 1894-1910." Folder 93

Folder 94

1903 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.4. 1894-1910." Folder 94

Folder 95

1904-1905 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.4. 1894-1910." Folder 95

Folder 96

1906-1907 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.4. 1894-1910." Folder 96

Folder 97

1908-1910 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.4. 1894-1910." Folder 97

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1.5. 1911-1919.

About 250 items.

Sales receipts, deeds, and further material revealing William Horton Branch's financial affairs, including memos from the Southern Mortgage Company and a 1916 bank statement from the Farmers Bank of Pelham. Also included is the 1918 draft registration certificate of William Henry Branch, the only item of William Horton Branch's children found in Series 2.

Folder 98

1911-1914 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.5. 1911-1919." Folder 98

Folder 99a

1915-1919 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.5. 1911-1919." Folder 99a

Folder 99b

Receipts and related items removed from volumes, circa 1908-1919 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.5. 1911-1919." Folder 99b

Folder 99c

Receipts and related items removed from volumes, circa 1908-1919 #02718, Subseries: "2.1.5. 1911-1919." Folder 99c

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1.6. Undated.

About 150 items.

Indentures, receipts, bills of sale and some stock inventories. Of special interest are an arbitration settlement between William Henry Branch and his son-in-law and daughter Arvah Hopkins and Susan Branch Hopkins and a copy of a will written by William Henry Branch before the marriage of his daughter Josie to Wimberly Cullens.

Folder 100-101

Folder 100

Folder 101

Undated #02718, Subseries: "2.1.6. Undated." Folder 100-101

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2 Financial and Legal Volumes.

Account books of John Branch and his son, William Henry Branch, relating to the operation of both farming and mercantile concerns, and records of farming activities on Branch plantations. Account books also contain slave lists and records of slave labor, as well as personal memoranda and other miscellaneous notations. Farm journals also contain records of slave activity and maintenance.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2.1. Account Books, 1835-1866.

7 items.
Folder 102

Volume 1. John Branch's account book with the Union Bank of Florida, 1835-1857. Also included are a sketch of a bath house, an 1864 slave list, and some miscellaneous records regarding cotton production at Wood Lawn, Whitefield Place, and Live Oak. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.1. Account Books, 1835-1866." Folder 102

Folder 103

Volume 2. Miscellaneous farm and personal accounts, 1852-1865, including accounts for lumber, records of hog killing, and other notes regarding farming operations. Also included are "Memoranda," listing household items related to needlework, cooking, and cosmetics. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.1. Account Books, 1835-1866." Folder 103

Folder 104

Volume 3. Miscellaneous farm and personal accounts, 1854-1855, including records of slaves' labor and accounts, and some notes regarding the 1850 census. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.1. Account Books, 1835-1866." Folder 104

Reel M-2718/2

Microfilm copy of Volume 3 #02718, Subseries: "2.2.1. Account Books, 1835-1866." Reel M-2718/2

Folder 105

Volume 4. Farm journal and handbook for farm management, 1854 and 1865, containing an inventory of the names, ages, and values of slaves; a daily record of farm activity; records of slave births, deaths, and marriages; and a record of physicians visits for William Branch's plantation Wood Lawn. Fairly thorough records were kept in 1854, then none until the spring of 1865, when Branch used the journal to record work absences. Some entries appear to be for Live Oak plantation. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.1. Account Books, 1835-1866." Folder 105

Reel M-2718/2

Microfilm copy of Volume 4 #02718, Subseries: "2.2.1. Account Books, 1835-1866." Reel M-2718/2

Folder 106

Volume 5. Cotton picking record book, 1856-1858, noting the amount of cotton picked and gleaned by each slave. Also included are notes on total production and some miscellaneous notes relating to other aspects of plantation operations. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.1. Account Books, 1835-1866." Folder 106

Reel M-2718/2

Microfilm copy of Volume 5 #02718, Subseries: "2.2.1. Account Books, 1835-1866." Reel M-2718/2

Folder 107

Volume 6. Miscellaneous farm and personal accounts, 1856-1866, including records of accounts paid, receipts filed, personal debts, a labor agreement with an overseer, and dealings with the Confederate States of America. About a fourth of the volume was used as a day book. A detailed description of the plantation at Live Oak, possibly a draft of a sales notice, is included near the end. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.1. Account Books, 1835-1866." Folder 107

Folder 108

Volume 7. Cotton Picking Record Book, 1860, same as above. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.1. Account Books, 1835-1866." Folder 108

Reel M-2718/2

Microfilm copy of Volume 7 #02718, Subseries: "2.2.1. Account Books, 1835-1866." Reel M-2718/2

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2.2. Account Books, 1867-1916.

19 items.
Folder 109

Volume 8. Cash book, 1867. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.2. Account Books, 1867-1916." Folder 109

Folder 110

Volume 9. Day book, General Merchandise Store, Branchville, Georgia, 1867-1869. Includes some accounts of freedmen in Florida. Indexed. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.2. Account Books, 1867-1916." Folder 110

Folder 111

Volume 10. Inventory of store stock, general merchandise and drugs, 1869-1871. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.2. Account Books, 1867-1916." Folder 111

Folder 112-120

Folder 112

Folder 113

Folder 114

Folder 115

Folder 116

Folder 117

Folder 118

Folder 119

Folder 120

Volumes 11-19. Nine pocket memoranda and miscellaneous account books of William Henry Branch, 1869-1898, relating both to farming and mercantile operations. Other notes of interest relate to horse racing (Volume 14), local geography (volume 11), and medical remedies (volumes 15 and 16). Volume 17 appears to contain Branch's records as postmaster in 1888. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.2. Account Books, 1867-1916." Folder 112-120

Folder 121

Volume 20. General merchandise store accounts, 1888-1908. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.2. Account Books, 1867-1916." Folder 121

Folder 122

Volume 21. Store accounts, 1898-1902. Also included are other records regarding labor and cotton production and marketing and some notes regarding building expenses. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.2. Account Books, 1867-1916." Folder 122

Folder 123

Volume 22. General merchandise accounts with farm labor, 1903-1905. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.2. Account Books, 1867-1916." Folder 123

Folder 124

Volume 23. William Horton Branch's records as receiver for the A.J. Akridge estate, 1907-1909. See also subseries 2.1.4. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.2. Account Books, 1867-1916." Folder 124

Folder 125

Volume 24. General merchandise accounts with farm labor, 1907-1914. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.2. Account Books, 1867-1916." Folder 125

Folder 126

Volume 25. General merchandise accounts with farm labor, 1913-1917. Also included are a number of records relating to the Pebble City School (Sale City, Georgia), including information regarding teachers' salaries, maintenance of the school building, provision of school supplies, and a record of the time individuals spent teaching. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.2. Account Books, 1867-1916." Folder 126

Folder 127

Volume 26. General merchandise accounts with farm labor, 1915-1916. #02718, Subseries: "2.2.2. Account Books, 1867-1916." Folder 127

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Other Materials, 1819-1899.

About 30 items.

Miscellaneous items relating largely to the public activities of John and William Henry Branch, including several messages and addresses of John Branch relating to his political career and material related to local government in Mitchell and Colquitt Counties. Items relating to the Branch family include school essays of Mary Eliza Horton and a commonplace book, 1867-1890, containing recipes and drafts of essays on various topics.

Folder 128

Annual message to the General Assembly of North Carolina, 1819. #02718, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1819-1899." Folder 128

Folder 129

Report on the naval yard at Pensacola, Florida, 1829. #02718, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1819-1899." Folder 129

Folder 130

Message to the legislative council of Florida, circa 1843. #02718, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1819-1899." Folder 130

Folder 131

Minutes. 1875 Grange meetings. #02718, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1819-1899." Folder 131

Folder 132

Undated material related to William H. Branch's public activities in Mitchell and Colquitt counties, Georgia, circa 1870-1890. #02718, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1819-1899." Folder 132

Folder 133

Material related to the 1899 purchase of a church organ for the Methodist church in Magnolia, Georgia. #02718, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1819-1899." Folder 133

Folder 134

Miscellaneous items, including two late 1850s discussions of the secession crisis, perhaps drafts of letters to an editor or public addresses; an undated contract for labor with freedmen; a brief biographical note on John Branch; copies of poems; and some school essays of Mary Eliza Horton. #02718, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1819-1899." Folder 134

Folder 135

Commonplace book, 1867-1890. Contents include recipes, an essay on the war with Spain, a letter to the editor regarding territorial expansion, a copy of a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Jefferson Smith, cotton weights, an essay on humanity, and several poems. #02718, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1819-1899." Folder 135

Folder 136

Lettercopy book fragment, circa 1855, containing little that is legible, and no letters. #02718, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1819-1899." Folder 136

Reel M-2718/1

Correspondence and miscellaneous business papers, 1822-1865 #02718, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1819-1899." Reel M-2718/1

Correspondence and other papers of John Branch. Correspondence is mostly personal during Branch's residence in Florida (1838-1851), relating especially to finances, farming, and sale of cotton. Also included are a deed of gift of an enslaved girl (1854); a list of enslaved people, with ages and values (1849); and requisition of enslaved people to complete fortifications around Tallahassee (1864).

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Additions

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.1. Papers (Addition of November 2013)

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Marla Miller, August 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated: November 2018, December 2018

Updated by: Dawne Howard Lucas, April 2021

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