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Collection Number: 03994

Collection Title: Bryan and Leventhorpe Family Papers, 1797-1940

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.

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Size 1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1,000 items)
Abstract Represented are members of the related Bryan, Leventhorpe, Davenport, and Avery families, including Edmund (1791-1874) and Ursilla (Hampton) Bryan of Rutherfordton, N.C.; their daughters, Ann Eliza (Bryan) Mills and Louise (Bryan) Leventhorpe; Louise's husband, Collett Leventhorpe (1815-1899), an English-born officer in the Confederate Army; and their descendants, including members of the Hampton family of Henry County, Tenn., and the Avery family of North Carolina. The collection includes personal and business papers of the Bryan, Leventhorpe, and related families. Material prior to 1860 includes Edmund Bryan's journal during the Creek Indian War in Alabama, 1814; annual returns addressed to him as a general in the North Carolina militia, 1827-1838; and nine letters, 1812-1816, from Israel Pickens discussing the War of 1812, taxes, and Washington, D.C., politics. There are also papers pertaining to slaves and to the Leventhorpe family's iron and gold mining interests. Scattered Civil War items concern the secession crisis, Collett Leventhorpe's career as a Confederate brigadier general in eastern North Carolina, and civilian affairs in Rutherfordton. After 1880 the papers relate principally to Judge Alphonso Calhoun Avery (1835-1913) of Burke County, N.C.; and newspaper editor Johnston Avery.
Creator Bryan (Family : Bryan, Edmund, 1791-1874)

Leventhorpe (Family : Leventhorpe, Collett, 1815-1889)
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
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 Bryan and Leventhorpe Family Papers #3994, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (filmed September 2003) available.
In addition, Edmund Bryan's journal is available on microfilm (University Publications of America, Series B).
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from A. Earl Weatherly of Greensboro, N.C., in February 1958, received from Mrs. Johnston Avery in July 1974, and merged with the Edmund Bryan Papers (#3342) and the Collett Leventhorpe Papers (#1755) in 1975.
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 Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, January 1993

Encoded by: Roslyn Holdzkom, July 2003

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.

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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 Related Collections

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Andrew Bryan (1756-1808) moved in 1788 from Virginia to Wilkes County, N.C., where he married Delphia Garnett Jones. The eldest of their nine children was Edmund (1791-1874), who married Ursilla Hampton and lived in Rutherfordton, N.C. Edmund participated in the 1814 campaign against the Creek Indians and Alabama and later became a general in the state militia. The children of Edmund and Ursilla Hampton Bryan were A. Rufus, who married Sue McCampbell; Eliza, who married first William Mills and second Ambrose Mills; Louise, who married Collett Leventhorpe (1815-1889), an English-born officer in the Confederate Army who lived at Holly Lodge in Happy Valley; Mary, who married William Davenport Jones (1839-1912) and lived at the Fountain in Happy Valley; and Edmund, who married Lavallett Pierce.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The papers consists largely of personal and business letters of Edmund Bryan and Ursilla Hampton Bryan; Edmund Bryan's friend Major William Davenport (1770-1859); Collett Leventhorpe and Louise Leventhorpe; and Judge Alphonso Calhoun Avery, whose son Johnston married Virginia Davenport Hall, a descendant of Edmund Bryan. Major correspondents include Israel Pickens, United States representative from North Carolina; A. Rufus Bryan; Louise Leventhorpe; R. H. Northrop, manager of Collett Leventhorpe's mining interests; Louisa Leventhorpe, Collett's sister in England; and Johnston Avery.

A slight journal kept by Edmund Bryan during the 1814 Creek campaign is included with the correspondence and related materials, as are North Carolina militia reports, 1827-1838. Other papers include miscellaneous clippings, chiefly about mining, and a few printed congressional speeches, 1809-1870s, and a some unascribed family history items.

Most of the papers date from the 19th century. Correspondence addressed to the Bryans tapers off in the early 1850s, and, for the next 20 years, letters mainly relate to the Leventhorpes. During the Civil War, there are materials describing a battle near New Bern, N.C., as well as accounts of activities on the home front in Rutherfordton, N.C. Between 1855 and 1879, there are personal and business letters addressed to the Leventhorpes, who traveled to Europe and New York. Leventhorpe correspondence tapers off in the 1880s, at which time Avery materials begin. Most items relating to the Averys are dated 1901-1940.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1797-1940.

About 975 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1797-1860.

About 375 items.
Folder 1-3

Folder 1

Folder 2

Folder 3


Many early documents are legal papers relating to buying and selling slaves, especially by Andrew Bryan. In 1812, there are accounts relating to Andrew Bryan's estate. From 1812 to 1816, there are letters from Israel Pickens to William Davenport about the War of 1812, taxes, and Washington, D.C., politics, and, in 1814, there are a few reports that appear to be from Edmund Bryan about his service in the Creek War. Also in 1814 is a slight journal, kept by Edmund Bryan, in which he described his participation in the 1814 campaign against the Creek Indians in Alabama. Bryan wrote of the march of the 7th Regiment, North Carolina detached Militia from Salisbury, N.C., to Fort Jackson, Ala., 1 March-24 April 1814; from Fort Jackson to Camp Pearson, Ala., 21-28 March, where breastworks were built; from Camp Pearson to Fort Decatur, 1-21 June; from Fort Decatur to Fort Hawkins, Ga., 8-10 August; and from Fort Hawkins back to Salisbury, ca. 18 August. The journal also includes a few poems, apparently written by Bryan, and a sketch of a fort

Folder 4-6

Folder 4

Folder 5

Folder 6


Many documents relate to business affairs deals of Delphia Bryan and William Davenport and other family members, many having to do with buying and selling slaves. Also included are Edmund Bryan's reports of the North Carolina militia, 1827-1838. There are also many family letters, most of which were addressed to Ursilla Hampton Bryan. These include letters from Ursilla Hampton Bryan's sister in Henry County, Tenn., in the 1820s and 1830s about family affairs; from her brother Noah Craton Hampton, Jr., in the printing business at Sommerville, Tenn., 1837-1838, about his desire to get an education; from her daughter Ann Eliza Bryan while visiting in Wilkesboro in 1840 and Raleigh in 1841; and from her son-in-law William E. Mills from Raleigh describing the 1842 state legislature. Also included is a copy of the act incorporating the town of Rutherfordton, N.C., 19 February 1841.

Folder 7-9

Folder 7

Folder 8

Folder 9


Family and business papers of Bryan and Davenport family members include an agreement, 18 February 1843, to transfer slaves in partial payment for construction of William Davenport's home; letters from William E. Mills to Ursilla Hampton Bryan describing his activities in 1847 and 1848 in Florida, where he had gone for his health; a typed copy of the naturalization records, 1847 and 1849, of Collett Leventhorpe; and correspondence about the marriage of Collett Leventhorpe and Louise Bryan in 1849 and relating to Collett Leventhorpe's seeking an appointment as consul to Palermo, Italy in 1851.

Folder 10-17

Folder 10

Folder 11

Folder 12

Folder 13

Folder 14

Folder 15

Folder 16

Folder 17


Materials relating to the iron and gold mining operations of Collett Leventhorpe at the Rutherford Mines and at Pioneer Mills in Cabarrus County, N.C., include detailed letters about equipment installed at the mines and work performed. There are also a few family letters. In November 1858, there is a letter from Alice H. Dickinson of Wilmington, N.C., about efforts to raise money to preserve Mount Vernon. There are also a few letters relating to the 1860 local and national elections.

Folder 18

Undated before 1861

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1861-1940.

About 600 items.
Folder 19-22

Folder 19

Folder 20

Folder 21

Folder 22


Correspondence relating to the Civil War, including the secession crisis, the election of North Carolina regimental officers, a battle near New Bern, N.C., in 1862, the problem of obtaining adequate clothing for the Confederate troops, and activities concluding the war. Also letters from Louise Leventhorpe to her husband about activities in and around Rutherfordton, N.C., during the war.

Folder 23-26

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26


Personal and business correspondence of Collett and Louise Leventhorpe, especially letters from Collett's sister Louisa Leventhorpe in England and from his cousin Alice Leventhorpe. Collett and Louise traveled in Scotland and England during this period.

Folder 27-31

Folder 27

Folder 28

Folder 29

Folder 30

Folder 31


Correspondence about road building and North Carolina politics. Materials relating to the death of Edmund Bryan in 1874.

Folder 32-35

Folder 32

Folder 33

Folder 34

Folder 35


Correspondence relating to the death of Thomas L. Jones, United States representative from Florida; the 1876 national election; and the sale of Collett Leventhorpe's engraving machine.

Folder 36-39

Folder 36

Folder 37

Folder 38

Folder 39


Business correspondence of Collett Leventhorpe, including letters relating to his purchase of land near Lenoir, N.C.

Folder 40-44

Folder 40

Folder 41

Folder 42

Folder 43

Folder 44


Personal correspondence of Judge and Mrs. Alphonso Calhoun Avery and their son Morrison Avery.

Folder 45-49

Folder 45

Folder 46

Folder 47

Folder 48

Folder 49


Letters from Louisa Leventhorpe about the death of her brother Collett in 1889. Letters from Johnston Avery to his parents about his school work.

Folder 50-52

Folder 50

Folder 51

Folder 52


Letters, including several of Johnston Avery, who became editor of the Lenoir News-Topic in 1929.

Folder 53

Undated after 1860

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Papers, 1809-1870s.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Microfilm and Images

Reel M-3994/1-2




  • Reel 1: Folders 1-18
  • Reel 2: Folders 19-56
Image Folder PF-3994/1


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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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