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|0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 600 items)
|Iveson Lewis Brookes, teacher, Baptist minister, and planter, was born in Rockingham County, N.C. Brookes, a 1819 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C., amassed, through marriage and purchase, considerable holdings of land and slaves in Jasper and Jones counties in Georgia and Edgefield County and other locations in South Carolina. He also worked in schools for much of his life (teacher at Greensboro Academy, Greensboro, N.C., 1819; rector of Eatonton Academy, Eatonton, Ga., 1820s; principal of Penfield Female Academy, Penfield, Ga., 1840s), employing overseers to manage his plantations while he taught and preached at various Baptist churches. He was also active in national and local Baptist affairs and was a staunch defender of slavery. This collection consists chiefly of correspondence of Iveson Lewis Brookes. Most of the letters were written to Brookes by business associates, either about plantation or church business. There is, however, a considerable amount of family correspondence. Also included are about 15 letters, 1816-1819, written by Brookes to his father when he was a student at the University of North Carolina. There is also a small group of papers relating to Iveson Brookes's affairs and another to the property of Jesse Rountree of Edgefield County, S.C., and, after 1814, to James Myers. These papers continue through the early 1830s, when Brookes married Sarah J. Myers, widow of James Myers, who brought the Edgefield plantation property to the marriage. Also included are sermon fragments and notes in Brookes's hand and a few other items.
|Brookes, Iveson L., 1793-1865.
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, June 1990
Encoded by: Peter Hymas, October 2004
Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, January 2010
Funding from the State Library of North Carolina supported the encoding of this finding aid.Back to Top
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Iveson Lewis Brookes was born in Rockingham County, N.C., in 1793, one of five sons of Jonathan and Annie Lewis Brookes.
At some point, Brookes's parents moved to Caswell County, N.C. Brookes began his studies at the University of North Carolina in 1816 and received an A.B. degree in 1819. While in school, he preached in local Baptist churches, particularly at the Mount Carmel Baptist Church near Chapel Hill. After graduation, Brookes taught briefly at Greensboro Academy in Greensboro, N.C., and then, employed by the Itinerant Board of the Baptist Church, left North Carolina for a domestic mission tour through South Carolina.
In 1821, Brookes became rector of Eatonton Academy in Eatonton, Ga. On 22 September 1822, he married Lucine Walker. In 1831, their son, Walker I. Brookes, inherited plantation land and slaves in Jasper and Jones counties, Ga., from his mother's family. Brookes managed this property as guardian for his son until 1846. Sometime in early 1830s, presumably following the death of his first wife, Brookes took a second wife, Sarah J. Myers, widow of James Myers. Sarah brought to the marriage plantation property in Edgefield County, S.C. About 1831, Brookes seems to have moved to Woodville, located just outside Hamburg in Aiken County, S.C., where he lived when not visiting one or the other of his plantations.
In 1842, Brookes was named principal of the Penfield Female Academy in Penfield, Ga. By 1845, however, he was back in Woodville, contemplating opening an academy there. These plans never came to fruition, and Brookes spent the rest of his life managing various properties and preaching in various churches. His plantation holdings must have been considerable; an 1861 list includes the names of 66 slaves who appear to have been employed on one of his properties.
Brookes was active in local and national Baptist affairs and vocal in defending the institution of slavery. In 1850, he published "A Defense of the South Against the Reproaches and Incroachments of the North: In Which Slavery is shown to be an Institution of God" (available in the Southern Pamphlets Collection, Rare Book Collection), a pamphlet that justifies slavery on biblical grounds.
Besides his son Walker, Brookes appears to have fathered at least four daughters. Evidence of their activities is sketchy in these papers, as is information on the fate of his wives. Brookes died in 1865.Back to Top
This collection consists chiefly of correspondence of Iveson Lewis Brookes. Most of the letters were written to Brookes by business associates, either about plantation or church business. There is, however, a considerable amount of family correspondence. Also included are about 15 letters, 1816-1819, written by Brookes to his father when he was a student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.
In addition, there are two relatively small groups of financial and legal papers. One group relates to Iveson Brookes's affairs and the other to the property of Jesse Rountree of Edgefield County, S.C., and, after 1814, to James Myers. These papers continue through the early 1830s, when Brookes married Sarah J. Myers, widow of James Myers. Sarah brought the Edgefield plantation property to the marriage, having inherited it from James Myers, who had managed the property as part of Rountree's estate. How the property came to be in Myers's name is not clear.
Also included in the collection are sermon fragments and notes in Brookes's hand and a few other items.Back to Top
Correspondence of Iveson Lewis Brookes, business associates and friends, and members of the Brookes family. Many letters bear annotations written by Brookes that describe their contents or clarify the circumstances under which they were written. Several letters from Brookes to various people are identified as copies in these annotations.
Chiefly letters from Brookes, a student in Chapel Hill at the University of North Carolina, to his father, Jonathan Brookes, in Caswell County, N.C. These letters center around descriptions of student life, including the rebellion in 1816 over freedom of speech that resulted in the suspension of 27 students. In these letters, Brookes often expressed his religious fervor and told of the enjoyment he derived from preaching. Also included are letters from Brookes to other family members and several letters to Brookes from various acquaintances. Brookes's teaching position at Greensboro Academy and his work at Mount Carmel Baptist Church near Chapel Hill are documented. At the end of this period, under the sponsorship of the Itinerant Board of the Baptist Church, Brookes set off on a domestic mission to South Carolina.
A few letters relating to Brookes's travels and, starting in 1821, his position as rector of the Eatonton Academy in Eatonton, Jasper County, Ga. The 12 October 1821 letter offering him the rectorship also details the preaching duties that came with the job. In a letter of 25 October 1822, Brookes informed his father that he had married Lucine Walker on 22 September. The scattered letters between 1823 and 1839 are about Brookes's attempts to help his brother William secure employment; general family news passed among family members in Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia; preaching and other church related activities; and property deals, including Brookes's management of his son Walker's inheritance.
There is no material relating to his school work, which he seems to have abandoned in favor of managing his burgeoning property holdings. In 1831, he began managing his son Walker's property in Jasper and Jones counties, Ga. Letters indicate that, around the same time, he moved to Woodville, S.C. Brookes appears to have married Sarah J. Myers, the widow of James Myers (see Series 2.1) in the early 1830s and taken charge of her property in Edgefield County, S.C. From 1839 through 1841, there are materials relating to the newly founded Mercer University. A letter dated 13 December 1842 announces the engagement of Brookes as principal of the Penfield Female Seminary.
A scattering of letters about Penfield Female Academy affairs and the teaching profession in general, but chiefly letters relating to Brookes's continuing responsibilities as preacher and plantation owner. Letters in 1845 indicate that Brookes had moved back to Woodville, where he was contemplating opening a school, but this scheme appears to have gone nowhere. Whether in Woodville or in residence at the Edgefield plantations, he received letters from overseers at other properties.
Starting in 1846 and continuing at infrequent intervals into 1855, there are letters from Brookes's overseer at his Tranquila, Ga., plantation, who discussed slaves and supplies. A letter dated 17 April 1850 from an overseer gives details of the death of a slave. Letters from overseers reporting on the conditions of the slaves appear in 1863 and 1864, and there is a 20 October 1863 letter from a former overseer requesting help with obtaining an exemption from army service.
In 1848, Walker appears to have been in residence at the Jasper and Jones county, Ga., plantations from which he wrote letters about his planting activities, the slaves, the weather, and other matters. Letters in 1849 document Brookes's desire to publish an account of the South's view of slavery ("A Defense of the South Against the Reproaches and Incroachments of the North: In Which Slavery is shown to be an Institution of God.".
Beginning in 1852, letters chiefly relate to family matters, although Brookes's pastoral duties continue to be in evidence. Letters starting in 1853 hint at his work with the Southern Baptist Convention and with national movements aimed at revising and interpreting the Bible. He also seems to have assumed the role of advisor to local Baptist societies. Folder 16 contains undated letters that were written before 1864.
A scattering of letters relating to Brookes's estate and to his widow.
Deeds, receipts, bills, accounts, and other financial and legal materials of Iveson Lewis Brookes and other family members. Papers beginning in 1787 relate to Jesse Rountree, then, starting in 1814, to Rountree's executor, James Myers. These papers continue through the early 1830s when Brookes married James Myers's widow, Sarah J. Myers.
Deeds, bills, receipts, and other financial and legal materials of Jesse Rountree and, after 1814, James Myers as Rountree's executor. Early papers chiefly deal with the sale and purchase of Jesse Rountree's slaves and lands. Rountree appears to have died around 1814, and materials after that date relate to the handling of his estate by James Myers. Myers died in 1828 or 1829, and documents dated 1829 or later bear Sarah J. Myers's name.
Deeds, bills, receipts, and other financial and legal materials of Iveson Brooks and other family members, beginning in 1816 with bills relating to Brookes's years at the University of North Carolina. A document dated 6 December 1831 gives Brookes the right to manage plantation land and slaves in Jasper and Jones counties, Ga., that his son Walker, a minor, inherited from his mother's family. Beginning in the mid 1830s, most items relate to management of Walker's land and to Brookes's own properties in Georgia and in South Carolina. The Edgefield County, S.C., plantation came to Brookes through his marriage to Sarah J. Myers, widow of James Myers (see Series 2.1).
In the 1840s, there are tuition bills for Brookes's children and materials relating to the plantations, including an overseer's contract dated 30 December 1848. Receipts from cotton factors begin around 1848. In 1844, there are a few receipts for students' tuition at the Penfield Female Academy. In 1861, a document entitled "Taxables Subject to War Tax, Oct. 1, 1861"lists valuable household items and 66 slaves owned by Brookes. Folder 23 contains undated materials, including a few slave lists, that were executed prior to 1864. The last scattered papers relate to Brookes's estate.
Six fragments of sermons and notes for sermons written in Brookes's hand; a copy of the University of North Carolina commencement speech for 1819; compositions by students, probably at Penfield Female Academy.