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|Size||About 5000 items (15.0 linear feet)|
|Abstract||Rice Carter Ballard (c. 1800-1860) was a slave trader based in Richmond, Va., who worked in partnership with the large slave trading firm of Isaac Franklin and John Armfield in the late 1820s and early 1830s. By the early 1840s, Ballard had settled down as a planter with several plantations in the Mississippi Valley. He married Louise Berthe around 1840 and made his home in Louisville, Ky. Ballard and his wife had three children: Ella (b. 1841), and twins Ann Carter and Charlotte Berthe (b. 1847). The collection includes letters, financial and legal materials, volumes, and other material documenting Rice Ballard's life as a slave trader and planter. Letters include several from Henry Clay about court cases involving the legality of the slave trade and one from Mississippi Governor John Anthony Quitman about payment of a debt. Letters and financial records, 1820s-early 1830s, document day-to-day operations of the interstate slave trade among Ballard in Richmond, Va., John Armfield in Alexandria, Va., and Isaac Franklin in Natchez, Miss., and New Orleans, La. Records, 1840s-1860, document Ballard's administration, in partnership with Judge Samuel S. Boyd, of a number of cotton plantations in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi, especially Karnac, Magnolia, and Outpost. There are many letters from Boyd, from the overseers at the various places, and from Ballard's cotton commission merchants in New Orleans. Letters discuss the slaves, improvements on the plantations, family life, politics (including especially the Know-Nothing Party), and financial arrangements. Also included are letters to and from Louise Ballard about her life in Louisville, Ky. There are also three letters from slaves, 1847, 1853, and 1854, all from women asking Ballard for help with emancipation or with pending sales of themselves or others. Volumes and other materials in the collection supplement the letters with details of the slave trade, Ballard's other financial activities, and plantation life.|
|Creator||Ballard, Rice C. (Rice Carter), d. 1860.|
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Rice Carter Ballard was probably born around 1800 in Virginia. By the late 1820s, he was involved in the interstate slave trade, buying slaves in the southeastern states, especially Virginia and North Carolina, and selling them in New Orleans and Natchez. By 1831, Ballard was involved in a slave trading partnership with Isaac Franklin and John Armfield, who ran one of the largest interstate slave trading operations of the nineteenth century. Ballard moved from Virginia to Natchez in the fall of 1836, and by this time had formed a company called Ballard, Franklin, and Co. in Natchez, which was involved in the slave trade. Ballard was also a partner in his brother's general merchandise company, James Ballard and Co.
Ballard seems to have stopped trading in slaves by the late 1830s, but he was involved in many kinds of financial transactions. By the early 1840s, Ballard was beginning to purchase plantations in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas in partnership with Judge Samuel S. Boyd of Natchez. He spent the remainder of his life, until his death in 1860, managing these plantations.
Ballard married Louise Berthe of Louisville, Ky., in the spring of 1840. They had three children: Ella Ballard, born in 1841, and twins Ann Carter Ballard and Charlotte Berthe Ballard, born in the fall of 1847. Although his wife and children lived permanently in Louisville, Ballard spent much of his time at the plantations, especially in Mississippi. Many of Ballard's correspondents addressed him as Colonel Ballard, but it is not clear how he got this rank.Back to Top
These papers document the career of Rice Carter Ballard as a slave trader and planter from 1822 through his death in 1860. The papers are arranged into series by the type of material, but there are materials concerned with financial and legal matters in the letters series, since many letters discussed financial and legal affairs. Enclosures, including, for example, bills of exchange, have been kept with their letters in cases where the connections between letters and their enclosures were clear.
The division of the letters into subseries roughly reflects Ballard's changing activities in various stages of his life. From 1831 (and in fact before, as the financial series shows) until 1834, Ballard was a slave trader based in Virginia and working in partnership with Isaac Franklin and John Armfield. After 1843, Ballard was primarily a planter, based in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Kentucky. Subseries 1.2, which covers the years from 1835 to 1842, documents what seems to be a transitional period, when most of Ballard's correspondents were his old slave trading partners, but the letters no longer contain the day to day business of the trade. Some letters, including several from Henry Clay, discuss the legality of sales of slaves in Mississippi. This transitional subseries also contains the beginnings of Ballard's life as a planter in the Mississippi Valley, but does not have the preponderance of letters from plantation overseers, commission merchants, and business partner, Samuel S. Boyd, that subseries 1.3 contains. This last subseries, by far the longest, documents Ballard's activities as a planter and the administration of the Wagram, Magnolia, Elcho, Karnac, Laurell Hill, Golden Plains, and Outpost (or Pecan Grove) Plantations. Letters discuss the health and activities of the slaves, the weather and crops, family life, politics (including several references to the Know-Nothings), and financial arrangements. In addition to another letter from Henry Clay, now Ballard's opponent in a Supreme Court case, this subseries contains a letter from and several about John Anthony Quitman, governor of Mississippi. Also included in subseries 1.3 are three letters from slaves, 1847, 1853, and 1854. These letters are all from women slaves asking Ballard for help with emancipation or with pending sales of themselves or others.
The financial series is arranged by year, and documents the same activities described in the letters. There are two folders of legal materials, which are also closely related to the letters and financial records. The series of other papers contains material that did not fit clearly into other series, such as slave lists, medical prescriptions, printed material, and other documentation of plantation life. The volumes series, arranged chronologically by the latest date appearing in each volume, documents the same three rough phases of Ballard's life in account books of slave trading and other financial activities, and detailed plantation journals, especially for Magnolia Plantation.
There are a few items in the collection which were not produced by Ballard and which date from after his death. Letters of 1866 and 1888 and a miscellaneous document describing a trip through Belgium, have no obvious connection to the rest of the collection. One volume, Volume 34, seems to have belonged to Samuel S. Boyd and records plantation-related accounts from the years 1874-1879. Volume 35 contains grocery accounts from 1879-1880 and has no identifying name.Back to Top
Letters and enclosures, almost all to Rice C. Ballard, but including a few to other people which were forwarded to Ballard, and a few from Ballard. The letters are largely business correspondence, in the early period related to Ballard's slave trading business, then related to financial transactions and loans in Natchez, Miss., and the surrounding area, then the bulk of the series, which is concerned with Ballard's plantations in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, owned jointly with Judge Samuel S. Boyd. There is a great deal of financial material included in the letters, because of the nature of the correspondence and the mixed social and business character of most of Ballard's relationships.
Letters received by Ballard personally and by R. C. Ballard and Co. from Ballard's slave trading partners, Franklin and Armfield, and from Isaac Franklin, his nephew James R. Franklin, and John Armfield personally. Other correspondents include C. M. Rutherford, L. R. Starkes, and Joseph G. Blakey, all of whom seem to be involved in the slave trade. Ballard received most of his mail in Richmond, Va., but occasionally in Warrenton, Miss. Franklin wrote from New Orleans or Natchez, and Armfield wrote from Alexandria. Many of the letters contain notes of exchange for thousands of dollars. There is one letter from Ballard to Isaac Franklin about a business misunderstanding, dated 7 September 1832, and another from Ballard to Franklin dated 2 December 1832.
These letters discuss financial, legal, and practical aspects of the interstate slave trade. They contain instructions for when to buy and sell in Alexandria, discussion of the effect of the price of cotton on the price of slaves, reports of prices, and attitudes of the planters to the traders. In the first letter in the subseries, dated 28 February 1831 from New Orleans, Isaac Franklin expressed his anxiety about the future of the trade since the state legislatures of Louisiana and Mississippi were debating trying to close the interstate trade. "I will have a petition tomorrow before the house for our relief--should that fail god knows what will be the consequence. I will do the best I can for all concerned & if nothing better can be done I will declare myself a citizen of the state. I am much depressed & if we have to rely entirely on the Mississippi market we have more in this shipment than can be sold to advantage." On 8 December 1832, Isaac Franklin wrote Ballard from Natchez about a cholera outbreak, and described how they were sneaking dead slaves out of the slave yard at night so potential customers wouldn't know that there had been cholera among them. There are several letters which mention "fancy girls" and the prices they'll bring (1 November 1833 from Isaac Franklin); one mentions establishing a whore house (11 January 1834 from James Franklin.) Starting in June of 1834, Ballard received a number of letters from Joseph G. Blakey, which begin with receipts for money "to be paid out in negroes or returned on demand." On 27 November 1832, Ballard was sent an advertisement for a Louisiana sugar plantation.
Letters from the period of Ballard's transition from slave trader to planter. Many of the letters in this subseries are from the same correspondents who wrote Ballard earlier in his career, but the letters are more social and most are not obviously concerned with an active slave trade. There are a number of letters from individuals such as Catherine Prince requesting loans of money, and many more concerned with money lent to and owed by others. Ballard began the year 1836 in Alexandria, Va., but around September of that year he seems to have left Virginia permanently, and began to receive his mail in Natchez, Miss. There are very few letters from 1835, 1836, and 1837, and it is difficult to tell exactly how Ballard spent most of his time. By 13 May 1840, Ballard had received his first letter from Samuel S. Boyd, the judge who was to become Ballard's close friend and partner in plantation ownership. By the fall of 1840, Ballard began to receive letters from cotton commission merchants, especially Albert G. Nalle of William R. Glover & Co. of New Orleans. The cotton sales on which Nalle reports are from Brushy Bayou Plantation; it seems that this plantation belonged to Philip Burris and its cotton was being sold to pay a debt of Burris to Ballard.
One of the main topics discussed in letters of the late 1830s and early 1840s is the possibility that slave traders will lose money on the sales of slaves purchased in Mississippi after 1833 if the Supreme Court of the United States decides that those sales were null and void. See letter from Bacon Tait to Thomas Boudar, 1 January 1840. Tait wrote to Ballard on 3 January 1840 commenting on the Mississippi federal court case Hickman v. Rose related to this subject and predicting the dissolution of the Union based on a possible Supreme Court decision that slaves were not property. There are two letters from Henry Clay in the summer of 1841 on this subject. On 23 June 1841, Clay wrote to Ballard demanding his contingent fee because the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Groves v. Slaughter as Ballard wished. "So confident am I on this point, that, I would have no hesitation to agree to refund the money if the Court should hereafter change their decision as to the responsibility of purchasers of Slaves in Mississippi." Then on 6 July 1841, Clay wrote again reaffirming his conviction that the Supreme Court of Mississippi can do nothing to influence the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Correspondents in this subseries include Bacon Tait, who wrote lively letters from Virginia; Isaac Franklin; John Armfield; Henry H. Pease, who wrote on 8 January 1838 that Robert Stevens wouldn't pay short of a suit (see the legal series for more on this suit); Joseph Alsop, who wrote on 22 October 1839 about Lewis Rawlings guardianship (see the legal series for more); R. W. Schooler; commission merchants William R. Glover and Dupuy, Tate and Nalle; Philip Burris; Edward Moore; Catherine Prince; Samuel S. Boyd; and A. Stampley, the overseer on Quattleburn Plantation.
Letters from the overseers at the Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas plantations owned jointly by Ballard and Samuel S. Boyd: Magnolia, Wagram, Karnac, Outpost, Pecan Grove, and Elcho. The overseers' letters report on the progress of planting and picking, the weather, height of the Mississippi river and state of the levees, the health of the slaves, and improvements being made on the places. There are also many letters from Boyd concerned with the management of these plantations and general news of the Natchez region, requests for Ballard to find horses for Boyd, and especially in the late 1850s and 1860, much discussion of health. Ballard got regular updates from his commission merchants in New Orleans: in 1843, Dupuy Tate and Nalle; from 1844 to 1850, Nalle and Cox; from 1850 to 1854, Nalle Cox and Co.; from 1854 to 1856, Cox, Gillis, and Boyd (James Boyd, a brother of Samuel Boyd); and from 1857 to 1860, W. Cox and Co. From the commission merchants, Ballard received receipts for cotton, notices of shipments of goods to the plantations, news of the state of the cotton market, and social and general news of New Orleans. Ballard also received letters from pork merchants in Louisville, Ky., especially Adams and Anderson.
Friends and relatives in Louisville, including Ballard's wife Louise and children, Ella, Ann, and Charlotte, wrote occasionally when Ballard was in Mississippi at the plantations. They wrote of the health of their friends, the pork packing industry in Louisville (see, for instance, W. H. Sparke's letter of 17 December 1857), and some current events. W. A. Ellis wrote on 2 May 1858 about a wave of religious enthusiasm sweeping Louisville, but reassured Ballard that his wife and children appear to be untouched by it.
Ballard's wife Louise wrote about the health of the children and social news of Louisville, and requested money for her household. When the children learned to read, they too wrote occasionally. Ella went to the Franklin Female Institute near Frankfort, Ky. in the mid 1850s, and in 1859 rumors were afoot that Ella was about to make an improper engagement. W. Cox warned Ballard on 22 March 1859; Ella replied to a letter from Ballard about it on 2 April 1859. There are comparatively few letters from Ballard's family. Ballard received updates on his family, especially from W. A. Ellis in Louisville. In May 1852, Ballard received several letters suggesting that he spend more time in Louisville because his wife was being led astray by false friends. On 1 March 1857, Ellis wrote sympathizing with Ballard's domestic worries, and implying that Louise was drinking heavily. "...Your dear children I feel for very much. Were it not for them matters could be remidied much easier, and the older they get the worse it is for them as they are more liable to be injured by the wickedness of an unnatural Mother."
There are several letters about Henry Clay and another from him, related to a case in which Clay opposed Ballard in the Supreme Court of Louisiana. Dupuy, Tate, and Nalle mentioned the case in a letter of 2 June 1843. Clay wrote Ballard on 4 July 1844 to report that the Court had decided the suit in Clay's favor and that Ballard owed Clay $4000.
Ballard was involved in some kind of financial deal with John Anthony Quitman (1798-1858), Governor of Mississippi for a term of less than a year, beginning 10 January 1850. (See the Dictionary of American Biography .) Quitman wrote Ballard on 1 February 1851, and Nalle, Cox, & Co. wrote on 9 February 1852 that Quitman had paid $10,000 that day to Ballard's credit.
This subseries has many letters interesting for the insight they provide into slavery. On 20 March 1844 Ballard received a letter about removing a slave named Maria and her daughter, who were living with Boyd and about whom the writer, J. M. Duffield, was very concerned. Another letter of 29 May 1848 from Duffield urged Ballard to save Maria who was being whipped nearly to death. Duffield wanted to buy her before she was killed, and said that her "unfortunate child" has already been sent North to be brought up, educated, and reside forever. On 2 April 1853, Boyd wrote Ballard about the will of a man named Baldwin who had attempted to free his slaves and send them to Liberia, but Boyd reported that the will would soon be overturned and they should be able to buy the slaves cheap. [?] Crutchfield of Louisville writes on 23 February 1856: "Big Lewis made a pleasure trip to Canada about the 2nd of January last--and has forgot to come back--the river being frozen over so long has afforded an opportunity for a great number of slaves to leave Ky. You will see by our police reports--that we have one of the agents--for the under-ground Rail Road in limbo and will give him the extent of the law i suppose (which is 2 years in the State Penitentiary)--I wish now that I had sold Lewis to you last fall when I found that he was gone I immediately sold his wife and children to Alterburn and will bring all the ballance of my negroes down with me..."
Most of the letters from the plantation overseers comment on the lives of the slaves-especially their work, health, and punishments. On 4 January 1860, Henry C. Buckner reported to Ballard, "Miles left Monday morning abut sun up. I went to correct him & he struck me with his ax and would of killed me if I had not of goten out of his way I tride to shoot him but my pistole would not shoot."
A letter of 1 December 1853 from Nalle & Cox to the slave trader, C. M. Rutherford, includes an itemized list of life insurance policies for slaves. A letter to Ballard from P. B. January written on 29 November 1854 requests information about the history of a "yellow woman" purchased from Ballard some time ago by the writer's uncle; a state legislature decided that this woman was born free, kidnapped and sold into slavery, and should now have the rights of a free born person. Palmer, an overseer, wrote on 20 December 1859 begging forgiveness and mercy for "Poor Priscilla and Betty," asking Ballard not to sell them, or to let Palmer buy them. It seems that Betty may be the child of Priscilla and Palmer.
The series contains three letters from slaves. Lucile Tucker wrote on 25 June 1847 about sending a power of attorney to someone who can emancipate her without her going to New Orleans from Georgia to meet Ballard, "for life you know is very uncertain and you might die before I can see you." On 6 May 1853, the pregnant Virginia wrote Ballard from a slave trader's yard in Texas begging for his intervention and help to prevent her sale. This letter is particularly poignant because of Virginia's condemnation of a man (apparently not Ballard; perhaps Boyd) who could sell his own children as well as their mother. A letter of 8 August 1853 from the slave trader, C. M. Rutherford, reports that the slave Virginia and one of her children had been sold but that her oldest child had not. On 22 October 1854, Delia wrote (presumably to Ballard, although the recipient is not named) asking him to buy her husband.
There are a few letters from Ballard's old slave trading partners in this subseries, mostly social, but a few related to business. On 4 January 1856, John Armfield wrote for Ballard to meet him in New Orleans "when I will pay you your ballance and I hope for ever close our old firm." Armfield wrote again on 29 August 1859, mainly about their advancing age and failing health. Joseph Alsop wrote on 7 April 1860 to tell Ballard about Alsop's father's death, and giving a description of the new businesses in Fredricksburg, Va., and the prospects for the city's future.
Ballard's correspondents occasionally remarked on the political scene, both in the United States and abroad. For instance, Joseph Alsop asked in a letter of 29 January 1847, "What think you of Mr. Polk and his Mexican war? Has it not cooled your Democracy a little?" Samuel Boyd wrote in a letter of 31 August 1848, "We are all for Taylor here. How is it with you?" W. A. Ellis wrote on 16 November 1850 about "the great compromise scheme that was passed by the last Congress," and the possibility of a dissolution of the Union. There are a number of references to the Know-Nothings. Ellis wrote on 30 May 1858, "We have no news here. The Democrats seem to be disposed to organize and try and dislodge the K.N.'s from their stronghold. It can be done if managed properly and we get to our work as in days of old." The letters of W. Cox to W. H. Johnson of 3 June 1858 and of W. H. Johnson to Ballard of 15 June 1858 describe election-related disturbances in New Orleans. Johnson wrote, "Some of the most famous among the Thugs have been arrested, but have been immediately bailed out by the leading Know Nothings..." See also the "Know-Nothing Resolutions" in the miscellaneous series (folder 413).
International events appear in the letters mainly in relation to their expected effect on the price of cotton. Thus, W. Cox wrote on 24 July 1859, "The news from Europe is very gratifying--I hope the worst is now over & that cotton will improve as the season advances. All we want is peace but I fear we shall not be gratified until that villain Louis Napoleon is put down. But who will draw the lions teeth & cut off his claws?"
Another topic that appears occasionally in the collection is homeopathic medicine, of which Ballard was an advocate, especially in the spring and summer of 1858. On 9 June 1858, S. P. Johnson wrote to Ballard that he could not subscribe to or prescribe from the homeopathic doctrine. On 10 July 1858 a homeopathic doctor wrote to Ballard, "Understanding that you employ a Homeopathic Physician on your Estates in La. and that you have none at present, I wish to tender my services in that capacity." On 29 August 1858, the overseer at Lapine Plantation wrote to Samuel Boyd listing needed medical supplies, and added, "I cant brake the chills on these people with homeopathy I hav tride suffishantly." There are other examples in the collection; see for instance 25 January 1858 for another letter from a homeopathic doctor looking for a place to practice.
The two last letters in the collection, those dated 11 April 1866 and 12 October 1888, have no obvious relationship to the rest of Ballard's papers.
Arrangement: chronological, grouped by year, but unordered within years.
Receipts, notes, accounts, bills, calculations, legal statements of debt, and other financial materials from Ballard's career as a slave trader and a planter, and from his private life. The materials from the 1820s and 1830s document Ballard's activities in the slave trade; materials from the 1840s and 1850s are primarily concerned with plantation business and Ballard's frequent loans of money to his acquaintances. In 1833, Nathaniel White gave Ballard a number of receipts for money he was given to use in the purchase of slaves. The individual plantations had their own accounts with Ballard's New Orleans commission merchants, Nalle and Cox (later Nalle, Cox, and Co., and W. Cox and Co.), detailed records of which exist for much of the 1840s through 1855. Some years are much better documented than others; there is relatively little from the years 1856-1860 compared to the abundance of records from the 1840s and early 1850s. There are some interesting documents in the undated folders, including a list of the titles and prices of books purchased and "a memorandum for the negroes" which appears to be payments made to slaves for their personal poultry.
Legal materials, including court judgments and opinions, contracts and other agreements, summonses, a will, and other materials, mainly from Mississippi, Kentucky, and Virginia. There is closely related material in other series, especially letters and volumes. See especially the enclosures in the volumes series, where there are other contracts between Franklin, Armfield, and Ballard.
"R. C. Ballard's answers to the interrogatories of Mr.James Wilkins ofVirginia filed January 1st 1837," concerning payment for shaving and haircutting. James Berthe v Blanten and Bolls, 1838, Superior Court of Chancery of the State of Miss. orders Isaac Franklin, Rice C. Ballard and John Armfield to desist from further proceedings at law against Robert Stephens; copy of Supreme Court of the U.S. opinion given January term 1841 in case of Moses Groves and James Graham vs. Robert Slaughter concerning legality of sale of slaves in Mississippi in 1835-1836; document making Lewis Rawlings the legal guardian of Mary and Malvina Pendleton with note on back promising to pay Ballard $1000 dollars in their behalf; 1839 appointment of R. C. Ballard to act as agent for dissolved James Ballard and Co. closing its affairs.
Two orders, 1840, to sheriff of Adams Co., Miss., concerning suit of James Ballard and Co. and others by the Agricultural Bank of Mississippi; 1842 last will and testament of William Cotton in which he emancipates "my mulatto woman Susan and my servant man Jba in consideration of the faithful service they have rendered; " 1842 statement of Ballard and Samuel S. Boyd's partnership in Magnolia Plantation; 1843 contract between Ballard as trustee and William H. Dickson (or Dixon) for services as overseer on Golden Plains and Quattlebaum Plantations; judgment of Circuit Court of Southern District of Miss. in case of Ballard vs. Henry Turner ; various notices to Ballard concerning requisitions for roads and levees; and a March 1860 summons to jury duty.
Assortment of material, most obviously related to Ballard's plantations or business, others somewhat mysterious (the last folder in the series, for example, contains a long description of a trip in Belgium, the author and date of which are unknown). Materials that are closely related to each other are grouped together, such as slave lists and medical materials. Papers that seemed to be primarily lists of slaves, even if they contained other information, are in the first two folders. Researchers should bear in mind that the financial materials series contains many more lists of slaves in the context of sales, and the volumes series contains slave lists in R. C. Ballard and Co.'s slave trading accounts and in many of the plantation journals. Of particular interest in this series is the "Know-Nothing Resolution the counsel of Louisville would not Entertain" in folder 413.
Slave lists. 22 lists in all. #04850, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1842-1860 and undated. " Folder 408-409
Many include prices, some list ages, some give a statement of purpose, such as "Memorandom of Negroes, that went to Judg Boyds from Golden Plains." Some are records of sales; few are dated.
Prescriptions and other medical advice. #04850, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1842-1860 and undated. " Folder 410
Advertising cards and flyers for steamboats, a cotton gin, a grist mill, Beersheba Springs resort, a notice of an auction, an 1845 notice "To the people of Jefferson County..." warning that the representatives-elect of the city of Louisville are planning an emancipation bill (signed by many citizens, including R. C. Ballard), several Merchants' Exchange Reporter and Price Current of St. Louis (1857, 1859, 1860) and an 1858 Price Current report from Liverpool (1858).
Copies of the New-Orleans Price-Current, Commercial Intelligencer and Merchants' Transcript,, most sent by Ballard's New Orleans commission merchants, Nalle and Cox, W. Cox and Co., etc. Issues from 1842, 1847, 1853 (2), and 1858. There are many more issues in the letters series since the commission merchants often wrote to Ballard on the blank pages.
A "Know-Nothing Resolution the counsel at Louisville would not Entertain" which seems to refute the Know-Nothings' alleged hostility to slave states, a "Memorandum of horses and mules on Magnolia," a description of the Myrtle Grove Plantation, a "Memorandum of Laurell Hill," a "Description of Land in Washinton County, Miss.," a list of household linens, and other notes.
(4 items including 2 oversized papers which are housed separately).
Pedigree of a horse, diagram of a water wheel. Oversized: diagram of the layout of the slave quarters and of a slave house, "Travellers Guide. A map of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Extending from Pittsburgh to the Gulf of Mexico." By J. Duff.
A one page "History of David" and pages 3 through 22 of a long description of a trip through Belgium.
Arrangement: chronological by the latest date in each volume.
Plantation journals, accounts of cotton picked, clothes made for slaves, and other plantation records, mainly from Ballard's Magnolia Plantation, but also from Laurell, Elcho and Wagram Plantations. Financial records from R. C. Ballard and Co.'s slave trading business (both volumes and enclosures; the enclosures in Volume 4 are particularly interesting), and personal accounts of Ballard. Two volumes which appear to have been kept by or for Samuel S. Boyd (Volumes 34 and 35) contain dates in the 1870s after Ballard's death. Plantation journals contain a wide variety of information about the day to day functioning of the plantation and the lives of the overseers and slaves.
Arrangement of the volumes is chronological by the latest date in the volume. The enclosures in each volume are in a folder following that volume. Where the volume was given a title of some kind by its users, that title is given in quotations. A number of the volumes have the title "Cotton Plantation Record and Account Book." These are preprinted books with spaces for various inventories, daily journal entries, and records of cotton picked by each slave. The overseers often did not fill the books out completely, but used only some of the printed forms. These books include an essay on "The Duties of an Overseer"on the last page.
For additional volumes, see the Addition of April 2004.
"R. C. Ballard and Co." accounts, 5 pages used for financial record keeping.
"R. C. Ballard and Co. Invoice Book," contains lists of names and prices of slaves under headings such as "First Shipment List of Negroes shiped [sic] on Brig Tribune". Shipments apparently left from Norfolk, Va.
Volume 3: 1832-1833, 48p. "Negro Board Book." #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 418
Accounts kept for individuals for cost of boarding slaves.
Two notes signed by R. C. Ballard and Co. on the Bank of Richmond, 25 September 1834, and the Bank of Virginia, 30 July 1834, the latter made out for $10,000 to Franklin and Armfield.
Volume 4: 1832-1834, about 170 p. R. C. Ballard and Co. slaves bought. "Purchase Book" inked on cover. #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 420
28 pages of lists of slaves by name and price, numbered from the beginning of each year. 1832 is the earliest year noted, but there are two undated lists that precede the 1832 list. Volume contains a few other notes.
Mainly financial accounts of the slave trade, including lists of slaves purchased, "Sales of R. C. Ballard and Co. in account with Messrs. Franklin, Ballard, and Co., Natchez," record of Ballard's purchase of slaves at auction in Adams County, Miss., and two contracts for partnership in the slave trade between Ballard, Franklin, and Armfield dated 1833 and 1835. (The 1835 contract is oversized and is stored with oversized papers.)
Volume 5: 1833-1834, about 35 p. "Board Book," 1833. #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 422
Contains accounts for various individuals, including Bacon Tait, for boarding slaves. "Harbin Bill for Board of five negroes I sold for him--9.00" on first page.
Enclosure in Volume 5. Undated, 1 item. #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 423
Scrap with what may be notes for a slave boarding bill.
Volume 6: 1833-1834, 48 p. "R. C. Ballard and Co." accounts. #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 424
Book about half full of financial accounts of R. C. Ballard and Co.
"R. C. Ballard and Co. Expense Book" on second page. Itemized and dated lists of payments made by R. C. Ballard and Co., for such expenses as having a horse shoed, stage fare to Richmond, suits of clothes (apparently for slaves), etc. About a third of pages are used. A few other notes, mainly on inside covers.
"A list of balances due James Ballard & Company, 1 Jany. 1838."
Volume 8: 1837-1838, 24 p. R. C. Ballard and Co. accounts. #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 426
"Coml Bank of Natchez in a/c with R. C. Ballard Co." Only 3 pages used.
Notebook, containing various calculations and notes. Inside and outside covers and 4 other pages used.
"Bank Book," 1837. Empty except for 2 pages with "Commercial Bank in a/c with William Cotton."
Magnolia Plantation journal. "McNeales Book" on cover. Contains a variety of very detailed records of Magnolia Plantation, including a list of slaves, livestock, etc., belonging to the plantation, a daily account of "Employment of the Hands" starting on 1 January 1838. In December 1838, there is a Recapitulation of the events of the year, including sicknesses and deaths among slaves and livestock, then an inventory of the plantation for the beginning of 1839 and journal for 1839, then daily journal through 31 December 1840. Kept by overseer McNeale, then W. Buck by 1840.
"James Ballard and Co. with Commercial Bank," dated records mostly for "cash,"and other financial notes.
Volume 13: 1834-1842, about 140 p. Accounts of R. C. Ballard and Co. #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 431
Record of expenses for 1834, 1839-1842 records of accounts of individuals such as Joseph Alsop, Thomas Anderson, Frances Poindexter with R. C. Ballard and Co.
Accounts of Charles Roberts and Joseph Berthe with R. C. Ballard and a few other notes. 8 pages used.
Bill for a few items "Thos Hall to Richard E. Smith."
Accounts of various people with R. C. Ballard, and other financial notes.
Overseer's rxpenses for Magnolia Plantation, "A memorandum of all the expence of this farm articles purchased by myself," list of "supplyes layed in by the proprietor," and note about purchase of slave woman by overseer William Buck, and Edward Moore in a/c with Magnolia Plantation.
"Planters Bank Trustee," paper darkened so that much of contents are barely legible. "List of Negroes on Golden Plains" then "List of Negroes & c. Providence Plantation" with ages and some prices, lists of some livestock, are all clearly legible.
"R. C. Ballard in account with W. A. Britton." 6 pages used.
Magnolia Plantation journal, kept by overseers W. H. Dixon, M. B. Stampley, and Isaac Folkes, including lists of marriages, births, and deaths of 1844, lists of slaves, who lives in which house, children and mothers, daily journal of plantation activities for much of 1844 and 1845 and spring of 1846, cotton picked by each slave each day, cotton shipments, and other plantation information
Volume 20: 1846-1847, about 300 p. (pages numbered) #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 439
Magnolia Plantation journal. "Cotton Book" on cover, kept by "J. H. Cox" from 25 May 1846 through 1 January 1847, containing lists of work done and repairs on the plantation during 1846, daily journal for 1847 begins on p. 55; lists of births, deaths, physicians' visits, on p. 118; rules about morning and evening bells, on p. 127; list of cotton shipped, p. 155; text of marriage ceremony, and various other lists.
J. H. Cox in account with Magnolia. 3 pages used. Wages for service as overseer, payment for "catching boy," etc.
Clothes book of Magnolia Plantation. Mainly day by day lists of clothes made, specifying shirts and pantaloons, and seamstress. Other financial records, records of shipments received at Magnolia. Note that "Charlotte Buckner died the 14 day of May 1849 . She was the seamstress on Magnolia died of Cholera."
Magnolia Plantation cotton book, kept by overseers John P. Wilson, Rice B. Read, and J. Westbrook; lists amount of cotton picked by each slave each day, diary of day picking started, etc.
Enclosure in Volume 23. 2 January 1851. #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 443
Brief letter to John P. Wilson about shipment of pork from Heisenbuttle and Maynadier.
Magnolia Plantation journal, kept by overseers Loyd Stevenson, John P. Wilson, Rice B. Read, lists of slaves, livestock, tools, etc., daily journal from 1 January 1850.
Enclosures in Volume 24. (5 items,) #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 445
Brief letters to John P. Wilson, list of Magnolia cotton, advertisement for Ayer's Cathartic Pills.
Volume 24a: 1850-1851, about 90 p. #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 445a
Laurell Plantation book, including "A List of Negroes That Belongs on Laurell Plantation"; lists of "men hands" and "women hands" and their tools; and a journal with entries 1 January 1850-29 January 1851.
Magnolia Plantation journal, kept by overseers John P. Wilson then H. Shaw, contains lists of slaves, livestock, land in cultivation, and other lists, journal from 1 January 1851 through 31 December 1852. R. C. Ballard made a few daily entries (e.g. 22 October 1851.)
Laurell Plantation journal, kept by John H. Bailey, containing journal for 1851 And 1852 and daily lists of amounts of cotton picked by slaves in 1852, some other plantation records. About half of book is blank.
Clothes book, contains general records of Magnolia Plantation and Laurell Plantation from 1849, lists of winter and summer clothes made for each place with names of seamstresses from 1850, 1851, and 1852, and some notes on sacks and clothes given out in 1853.
1 list of names.
"Cotton Plantation Record and Account Book,"Magnolia Plantation. Three receipts and a shipment notice pasted in inside front cover. Kept by overseer H. H. Williams, daily journal entries for some days in July and August 1853, daily records of cotton picked.
"Cotton Plantation Record and Account Book,"Magnolia Plantation, kept by overseer John N. Nolley, six receipts pasted in front few pages, journal kept from 8 February to 7 August 1854, daily records of cotton picked by each slave, some other notes.
"Cotton Plantation Record and Account Book,"Magnolia Plantation, kept by overseers John N. Nolley then J. B. Wilson, seven receipts pasted in front cover, journal part of book not used, but daily records of cotton picked filled out from 1 August 1855, lists of weights of cotton bales, some supplies, and other records.
"Cotton Plantation Record and Account Book,"Magnolia Plantation, kept by overseer J. B. Wilson, receipts pasted in inside cover and front pages, minimal journal entries starting 8 April 1856 going through end of July, daily records of cotton picked, some other notes.
Letter, 1857, to R. C. Ballard from Bittner and Mather; list of bundles of bedding, coops of chickens, etc. under heading "Magnolia Plant.," bill for bricks, 1856.
"Cotton Plantation Record and Account Book,"Elcho Plantation., kept by overseer J. B. Wilson, only a few journal entries but daily record of cotton picked on Elcho, list of slaves at back, some other notes.
Volume 33: [1856-1858?], about 100 p. #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 457
Wagram Plantation journal (Chicot Co., Ark.), paper darkened and much ink faded to the point of near illegibility, mostly blank. List of slaves at beginning.
Volume 34: 1872-1875, about 200 p. (pages numbered but loose and incomplete) #04850, Series: "5. Volumes, 1831-1880 and undated. " Folder 458
Financial records, apparently of Samuel S. Boyd. Mentions Forest Hill and Karnac plantations.
Containing various calculations related to Forest Hill and Karnac. ("E Boyd ajt. Est. SS Boyd")
Grocery accounts, dated lists of items purchased and cost.
Notebook. Contains various records of expenses, calculations, etc.
Notebook from leather wallet with "Containing notes for 1842" inked on it. Contains financial notes and calculations.
The Addition of April 2004 is arranged in the same way as, but has not been incorporated into, the original deposit of materials.
Volumes containing financial information concerning Ballard's slave trading business and operations at Magnolia Plantation.
Volumes containing financial information concerning Ballard's slave trading business and operations at Magnolia Plantation. A ledger contains account information from R. C. Ballard and Co.'s slave trading business, 1831-1834; two plantation journals document daily operations at Magnolia Plantation, 1848-1849; and two cotton books document cotton production at Magnolia Plantation, 1846-1851 and 1853.
Volume 38: Ledger: Ballard and Co., 1831-1834 #04850, Subseries: "5. Volumes, 1831-1853." Folder 463
Ledger containing account information documenting the purchase, shipment, and sale of slaves. Includes the names and prices of slaves, payment records, shipping information, and expenses.
Volume 39: Journal: Magnolia Plantation, 1848 #04850, Subseries: "5. Volumes, 1831-1853." Folder 465
Journal containing daily entries that document work done on Magnolia Plantation in 1848. Also includes a list of all slaves, along with age and a brief description; lists of births and deaths; a list of slaves issued spades, shovels, hoes, and axes; a list of shoes distributed; and a listing of farm animals and tools.
Volume 40: Journal: Magnolia Plantation, 1849 #04850, Subseries: "5. Volumes, 1831-1853." Folder 466
Journal containing daily entries that document work done on Magnolia Plantation in 1849. Also includes a list of all slaves, along with age and a brief description; lists of births and deaths; a list of slaves issued spades, shovels, hoes, and axes; a list of shoes distributed; a listing of farm animals and tools; and a list of all items bought for use on the plantation.
Volume 41: Cotton Book: Magnolia Plantation, 1846-1851 #04850, Subseries: "5. Volumes, 1831-1853." Folder 468
Documents cotton production at Magnolia Plantation, 1846-1851. Includes lists of the amount of cotton each person picked per day, with brief descriptions of conditions; records of cotton shipments; and a list of garments made in 1848.
Volume 42: Cotton Book: Magnolia Plantation, 1853(V-4850/S-42) #04850, Subseries: "5. Volumes, 1831-1853." Folder 469
Volume documenting cotton production at Magnolia Plantation, 1853. Includes a listing of the amount of cotton each person picked per day, with brief descriptions of conditions, and a list of the weight and number of each bale.
The Addition of April 2004 is arranged in the same way as, but has not been incorporated into, the original deposit of materials.Back to Top