Collection Number: 04850

Collection Title: Rice C. Ballard Papers, 1822-1888

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.


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Size 15 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 5000 items)
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.
Curatorial Unit 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 Rice C. Ballard Papers #4850, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (filmed 1998) available (does not include volumes 7a or 24a or the addition of April 2004):
  • Reel 1: folders 1-39
  • Reel 2: folders 40-86
  • Reel 3: folders 87-127
  • Reel 4: folders 128-172
  • Reel 5: folders 173-217
  • Reel 6: folders 218-261
  • Reel 7: folders 262-300
  • Reel 8: folders 301-337
  • Reel 9: folders 338-368
  • Reel 10: folders 369-395
  • Reel 11: folders 396-429
  • Reel 12: folders 430-449
  • Reel 13: folders 450-462, OPF-4850/1
Provenance
Received November 1996 (Acc. 96176), January 2001 (Acc. 98841), and April 2004 (Acc. 99778).
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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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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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.

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Papers document Rice Carter Ballard (d. 1860) enslaver, human trafficker, and slavery era plantation owner from 1822 until his death in 1860.

The collection is organized into groupings of letters, financial materials, legal materials, other papers, and volumes. Some financial and legal items are found with letters with which they were enclosed.

Letters received by Ballard and by R. C. Ballard and Co. between 1831 and 1834 pertain to the interstate slave trade. Most letters in this period are from Ballard's partners in human trafficking, Isaac Franklin, James R. Franklin, and John Armfield of Franklin and Armfield. Other correspondents include C. M. Rutherford, L. R. Starkes, and Joseph G. Blakey. Ballard received most of his mail in Richmond, Va., but occasionally in Warrenton, Miss. Franklin wrote from New Orleans, La. or Natchez, Miss., and Armfield wrote from Alexandria, Va.

Letters received by Ballard between 1835 and 1842, document what seems to be a transitional period, when most of Ballard's correspondents were his human trafficking partners, but the letters no longer contain the day to day business of the interstate slave trade. Some letters, including several from Henry Clay, discuss the legality of the sales of enslaved people in Mississippi. Other letters in this time period mark the beginnings of Ballard's life as a slavery era plantation owner in the Lower Mississippi River Valley.

After 1843, Ballard was primarily a slavery era plantation owner based in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Kentucky, and he worked in partnership with Samuel Boyd. Letters received by Ballard between 1843 and his death in 1860 document 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 people enslaved on the plantations, the weather and crops, family life, politics (including several references to the Know-Nothings), and financial arrangements. During this time period, Ballard received letters from three women whom he and Samuel Boyd had enslaved, Lucile Tucker (25 June 1847), Virginia Boyd (6 May 1853), and Delia (22 October 1854). In these letters, the three enslaved women asked Ballard for help concerning emancipation or pending sales of themselves or their loved ones. Ballard also received letters from Henry Clay concerning a United States Supreme Court case and from John Anthony Quitman, governor of Mississippi.

The financial materials are arranged by year, and items document the same activities described in the letters. Receipts, notes, accounts, bills, calculations, legal statements of debt, and other financial materials from Ballard's human trafficking, his slavery era plantation ownership, and his private life. The materials from the 1820s and 1830s document Ballard's activities in the interstate 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 people who were enslaved.

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" which appears to be payments made to enslaved people for their personal poultry.

Legal materials, including court judgments and opinions, contracts and other agreements, summonses, a will, and other materials, are mainly from Mississippi, Kentucky, and Virginia. There is closely related material in letters and volumes. See especially the enclosures in the volumes, where there are other contracts between Franklin, Armfield, and Ballard.

Other papers include lists of enslaved people, medical prescriptions, printed material, and other documentation of plantation life. Materials that are closely related to each other are grouped together, such as lists of enslaved people and medical materials. Researchers should bear in mind that the financial materials and volumes contain many lists of enslaved people in the context of the interstate slave trade and plantation administration. Most of the other papers are obviously related to Ballard's plantations or business; others are somewhat mysterious (for example, a long description of a trip in Belgium, the author and date of which are unknown). Of particular interest is the "Know-Nothing Resolution the counsel of Louisville would not Entertain" in folder 413.

Volumes contain financial information concerning Ballard's human trafficking business in the interstate slave trade from 1831 to 1835 and daily operations and cotton production at Magnolia Plantation between 1846 and 1853. Plantation journals for Magnolia and other plantations including Laurell, Elcho, and Wagram contain a wide variety of information about the day to day functioning of the plantations and the lives of the people enslaved and overseers.

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 enslaved person. 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.

There are a few items in the collection which were not produced or received 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. 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 and record plantation-related accounts from the years 1874 to 1879 and grocery accounts from 1879 to 1880.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1822-1888 and undated.

About 5000 items.

Arrangement: Format and chronology.

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Letters, 1831-1834 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 1-16

About 100 items.

Letters received by Ballard personally and by R. C. Ballard and Co. from Ballard's partners in human trafficking in the interstate slave trade, Franklin and Armfield,, Isaac Franklin, James R. Franklin, and John Armfield. Other correspondents include C. M. Rutherford,L. R. Starkes, and Joseph G. Blakey, all of whom seem to be involved in the interstate 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 enslaved people, reports of prices, and attitudes of the planters to the traders. In a letter 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 (see folder 8), Isaac Franklin wrote Ballard from Natchez about a cholera outbreak, and described how they were sneaking the dead bodies of enslaved people out of the "slave yard" at night so potential customers wouldn't know that there had been cholera among them. Several letters mention sex trafficking of enslaved women with references to the "fancy girls" and the prices they'll bring (1 November 1833 (see folder 12) from Isaac Franklin); one mentions establishing a house for prostitution. (11 January 1834 (see folder 13) 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.

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.

Folder 17-57

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Letters, 1835-1842 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 17-57

About 400 items.

Letters from the period of Ballard's transition from human trafficker to slavery era plantation owner. Many of the letters in this time period are from the same correspondents who wrote Ballard earlier in the early 1830s, but the letters are more social and most are not obviously concerned with daily operations of the interstate 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 enslaved people 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 people 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 enslaved people 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 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 legal materials for more on this suit); Joseph Alsop, who wrote on 22 October 1839 about Lewis Rawlings guardianship (see legal materials 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 Quattlebaum Plantation.

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.

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Letters, 1843-1860, 1866,1888 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 58-337

About 2700 items.

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 enslaved people, 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.

Letters in this time period provide insight into the institution of slavery. On 20 March 1844 Ballard received a letter about removing an enslaved woman 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 the people he enslaved and send them to Liberia, but Boyd reported that the will would soon be overturned and they should be able to buy the enslaved people 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 enslaved people--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 (see folder 201) from Nalle & Cox to the slave trader, C. M. Rutherford, includes an itemized list of life insurance policies for enslaved people. 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.

In this time period Ballard received letters from three enslaved women. Lucile Tucker wrote on 25 June 1847 (see folder 112) 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 (see folder 191), 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 (see folder 196) from the slave trader, C. M. Rutherford, reports that Virginia Boyd 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 human trafficking partners in this time period, 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 other papers (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.

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.

Folder 338-405

Folder 338

Folder 339

Folder 340

Folder 341

Folder 342

Folder 343

Folder 344

Folder 345

Folder 346

Folder 347

Folder 348

Folder 349

Folder 350

Folder 351

Folder 352

Folder 353

Folder 354

Folder 355

Folder 356

Folder 357

Folder 358

Folder 359

Folder 360

Folder 361

Folder 362

Folder 363

Folder 364

Folder 365

Folder 366

Folder 367

Folder 368

Folder 369

Folder 370

Folder 371

Folder 372

Folder 373

Folder 374

Folder 375

Folder 376

Folder 377

Folder 378

Folder 379

Folder 380

Folder 381

Folder 382

Folder 383

Folder 384

Folder 385

Folder 386

Folder 387

Folder 388

Folder 389

Folder 390

Folder 391

Folder 392

Folder 393

Folder 394

Folder 395

Folder 396

Folder 397

Folder 398

Folder 399

Folder 400

Folder 401

Folder 402

Folder 403

Folder 404

Folder 405

Financial materials, 1822-1860 and undated #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 338-405

About 1600 items.

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 enslaved people. 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 1840sand 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 enslaved people for their personal poultry.

Folder 406

Legal materials, 1837-1839 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 406

"R. C. Ballard's answers to the interrogatories of Mr. James Wilkins of Virginia 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 enslaved people 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.

Folder 407

Legal materials, 1840-1860 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 407

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.

Folder 408-409

Folder 408

Folder 409

Lists of enslaved people #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 408-409

Many lists include prices; some list ages. Others describe movement of people between plantations and record sales. Most of the 22 lists are undated.

Folder 410

Prescriptions and medical advice #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 410

Folder 411-412

Folder 411

Folder 412

Printed material #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 411-412

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, and 1858. There are many more issues in letters because the commission merchants often wrote to Ballard on the blank pages.

Folder 413

Miscellaneous #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 413

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 Washington County, Miss.," a list of household linens, and other notes.

Folder 414-415

Folder 414

Folder 415

Miscellaneous #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 414-415

Pedigree of a horse, diagram of a water wheel, "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.

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-4850/1

Oversize papers #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " OPF-4850/1

Diagram of the layout of the quarters and house for enslaved people.

Folder 416

Volume 1: Account book,1832 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 416

"R. C. Ballard and Co."accounts, 5 pages used for financial record keeping. 32 p.

Folder 417

Volume 2: Invoice book, 1831-1833 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 417

"R. C. Ballard and Co. Invoice Book," contains lists of names and prices of enslaved people under headings such as "First Shipment List of Negroes shiped [sic] on Brig Tribune". Shipments apparently left from Norfolk, Va. 40 p.

Folder 418-419

Folder 418

Folder 419

Volume 3: Account book and enclosures, 1832-1834 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 418-419

"Negro Board Book". Accounts kept for individuals for cost of boarding enslaved people. 48p.

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.

Folder 420-421

Folder 420

Folder 421

Volume 4: Account book and enclosures, 1831-1839 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 420-421

R. C. Ballard and Co. "Purchase Book" inked on cover. 28 pages of lists of enslaved people 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. About 170 p.

Enclosures are mainly financial accounts of the interstate slave trade, including lists of enslaved people purchased, "Sales of R. C. Ballard and Co. in account with Messrs. Franklin, Ballard, and Co., Natchez," record of Ballard's purchase of enslaved people at auction in Adams County, Miss., and two contracts for partnership in the interstate slave trade between Ballard, Franklin, and Armfield dated 1833 and 1835. (The 1835 contract is oversized and is stored with oversized papers.)

Folder 422-423

Folder 422

Folder 423

Volume 5: Account book and enclosure, 1833-1834 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 422-423

"Board Book," 1833. Contains accounts for various individuals, including Bacon Tait, for boarding enslaved people. "Harbin Bill for Board of five negroes I sold for him--9.00" on first page. About 35 p.

Scrap with what may be notes for a boarding bill.

Folder 424

Volume 6: Account book, 1833-1834 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 424

"R. C. Ballard and Co." accounts. Book about half full of financial accounts of R. C. Ballard and Co. 48 p.

Folder 425

Volume 7: Account book, 1831-1835 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 425

"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 enslaved people), etc. About a third of pages are used. A few other notes, mainly on inside covers. 150 p.

Folder 425a

Volume 7a: Account book, 1836-1838 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 425a

"A list of balances due James Ballard & Company, 1 Jany. 1838. about 40 p."

Folder 426

Volume 8: Account book, 1837-1838 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 426

R. C. Ballard and Co. accounts. "Coml Bank of Natchez in a/c with R. C. Ballard Co." Only 3 pages used. 24 p.

Folder 427

Volume 9: Notebook, 1833, 1839 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 427

Notebook, containing various calculations and notes. Inside and outside covers and 4 other pages used. 18 p.

Folder 428

Volume 10: Account book, 1837-1839 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 428

"Bank Book," 1837. Empty except for 2 pages with "Commercial Bank in a/c with William Cotton." About 55 p.

Folder 429

Volume 11: Journal, 1838-1840 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 429

Magnolia Plantation journal. "McNeales Book" on cover. Contains a variety of very detailed records of Magnolia Plantation, including a list of enslaved people, 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 enslaved people 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.About 300 p.

Folder 430

Volume 12: Record book, 1836-1841 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 430

"James Ballard and Co. with Commercial Bank," dated records mostly for "cash,"and other financial notes. About 60 p.

Folder 431

Volume 13: Account book, 1834-1842 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 431

Accounts of R. C. Ballard and Co. 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. About 140 p.

Folder 432-433

Folder 432

Folder 433

Volume 14: Account book and enclosure, 1835 and 1841-1842 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 432-433

Accounts of Charles Roberts and Joseph Berthe with R. C. Ballard and a few other notes. 8 pages used. 40 p.

Bill for a few items "Thos Hall to Richard E. Smith."

Folder 434

Volume 15: Account book,1839-1843 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 434

Accounts of various people with R. C. Ballard, and other financial notes. 150 p.

Folder 435

Volume 16: Memorandum,1843 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 435

Overseer's expenses 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 an enslaved woman by overseer William Buck, and Edward Moore in a/c with Magnolia Plantation. 40 p.

Folder 436

Volume 17: Journal,1843 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 436

"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. About 50 p.

Folder 437

Volume 18: Account book, 1843-1845 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 437

"R. C. Ballard in account with W. A. Britton." 6 pages roustaboutused. about 50 p.

Folder 438

Volume 19: Journal, 1843-1846 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 438

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 enslaved people, 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 enslaved person each day, cotton shipments, and other plantation information. About 120 p.

Folder 439

Volume 20: Journal, 1846-1847 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 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. About 300 p. (pages numbered)

Folder 440

Volume 21: Account book, 1846-1847 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 440

J. H. Cox in account with Magnolia. 3 pages used. Wages for service as overseer, payment for "catching boy," etc. About 60 p.

Folder 441

Volume 22: Journal,1849 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 441

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." About 100 p.

Folder 442-443

Folder 442

Folder 443

Volume 23: Cotton book and enclosure, 1848-1851 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 442-443

Magnolia Plantation cotton book, kept by overseers John P. Wilson,Rice B. Read, and J. Westbrook; lists amount of cotton picked by each enslaved person each day, diary of day picking started, etc.

Brief 1851 letter to John P. Wilson about shipment of pork from Heisenbuttle and Maynadier. About 100 p.

Folder 444-445

Folder 444

Folder 445

Volume 24: Journal and enclosures, 1850-1851 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 444-445

Magnolia Plantation journal, kept by overseers Loyd Stevenson,John P. Wilson, Rice B. Read, lists of enslaved people, livestock, tools, etc., daily journal from 1 January 1850. About 130 p.

Brief letters to John P. Wilson, list of Magnolia cotton, advertisement for Ayer's Cathartic Pills.

Folder 445a

Volume 24a: Journal,1850-1851 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 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. About 90 p.

Folder 446

Volume 25: Journal,1851-1852 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 446

Magnolia Plantation journal, kept by overseers John P. Wilson then H. Shaw, contains lists of enslaved people, 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.) about 200 p.

Folder 447

Volume 26: Journal,1851-1852 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 447

Laurell Plantation journal, kept by John H. Bailey, containing journal for 1851 And 1852 and daily lists of amounts of cotton picked by enslaved people in1852, some other plantation records. About half of book is blank. About 160 p.

Folder 448-449

Folder 448

Folder 449

Volume 27: Record book and enclosure, 1849-1853 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 448-449

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.About 80 p.

Folder 450

Volume 28: Account book, 1853 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 450

"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. about 130 p.

Folder 451

Volume 29: Account book, 1854 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 451

"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 enslaved person, some other notes. About 130 p.

Folder 452-453

Folder 452

Folder 453

Volume 30: Account book and enclosure, 1855 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 452-453

"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. About 130 p.

Folder 454-455

Folder 454

Folder 455

Volume 31: Account book and enclosures, 1856 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 454-455

"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. About 130 p.

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.

Folder 456

Volume 32: Account book, 1857 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 456

"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 enslaved people at back, some other notes. About 150 p.

Folder 457

Volume 33: Journal,[1856-1858?] #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 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 enslaved people at beginning. about 100 p.

Folder 458-459

Folder 458

Folder 459

Volume 34: Record book and enclosures, 1872-1875 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 458-459

Financial records, apparently of Samuel S. Boyd. Mentions Forest Hill and Karnac plantations.

Contains various calculations related to Forest Hill and Karnac. ("E Boyd ajt. Est. SS Boyd")About 200 p. (pages numbered but loose and incomplete)

Folder 460

Volume 35: Account book, 1879-1880 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 460

Grocery accounts, dated lists of items purchased and cost. About 70 p.

Folder 461

Volume 36: Notebook,undated #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 461

Notebook. Contains various records of expenses, calculations, etc. 14 p.

Folder 462

Volume 37: Notebook,undated #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 462

Notebook from leather wallet with "Containing notes for 1842" inked on it. Contains financial notes and calculations. 8 p.

Folder 463-464

Folder 463

Folder 464

Volume 38: Ledger and enclosure, 1831-1834 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 463-464

Ballard and Co. Ledger containing account information documenting the purchase, shipment, and sale of enslaved people. Includes the names and prices of enslaved people, payment records, shipping information, and expenses.

Folder 465

Volume 39: Journal,1848 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 465

Magnolia Plantation journal containing daily entries that document work done on Magnolia Plantation in 1848. Also includes a list of all enslaved people, along with age and a brief description; lists of births and deaths; a list of enslaved people issued spades, shovels, hoes, and axes; a list of shoes distributed; and a listing of farm animals and tools.

Folder 466-467

Folder 466

Folder 467

Volume 40: Journal and enclosures, 1849 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 466-467

Magnolia Plantation journal containing daily entries that document work done on Magnolia Plantation in 1849. Also includes a list of all enslaved people, along with age and a brief description; lists of births and deaths; a list of enslaved people 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.

Folder 468

Volume 41: Cotton book,1846-1851 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " 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.

Oversize Volume SV-4850/42

Volume 42: Cotton book, 1853 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " SV-4850/42

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.

Folder 470

Enclosures for volume 42 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Folder 470

Reel M-4850/1-13

M-4850/1

M-4850/2

M-4850/3

M-4850/4

M-4850/5

M-4850/6

M-4850/7

M-4850/8

M-4850/9

M-4850/10

M-4850/11

M-4850/12

M-4850/13

Microfilm copy of collection, 1822-1888 #04850, Series: "Papers, 1822-1888 and undated. " Reel M-4850/1-13

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Processing Information

Processed by: Meg Phillips, September 1997

Encoded by: Jackie Dean, September 1998

The Addition of April 2004 is arranged in the same way as, but has not been incorporated into, the original deposit of materials.

Updated by: Laura Hart, June 2021

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