Collection Number: 05624-z

Collection Title: James McNeill Papers, 1846-1866 and undated

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 35 items
Abstract The James McNeill Papers consist of letters written between 1846 and 1866 by James McNeill in Lauderdale and Kemper counties, Mississippi. The letters reveal that James McNeill was a Democrat, a slaveowner, and invested in several businesses, including lumber, cotton and corn crops, and buying and selling land in Mississippi and North Carolina. McNeill also wrote about family matters, settlers enacting vigilante justice against Mexicans in San Antonio, Tex., and the futility of the Civil War. There are transcriptions of the letters and background biographical information about McNeill family members.
Creator McNeill, James, 1811-1878
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
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 James McNeill Papers #05624-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received as a gift from Elaine McNeill DeMunbrun of Cibolo, Tex., in May 2015 (Acc.102224).
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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James McNeill was born 26 August 1811 near Hope Mills, Cumberland County, N.C., the oldest of Margaret Black and Daniel McNeill's five children. He married Rebecca Ann Newberry on 20 February 1834 and with her had eight children. James and Rebecca McNeill moved from North Carolina to Mississippi in 1836 or 1837. The 1840, 1850, and 1860 censuses show him living in Lauderdale County, Miss. At the end of 1859, he moved to Fort Stephens in Kemper County, Miss., but by 1860 he was back in Lauderdale County. He served as justice of the peace around 1840 in Mississippi. He was guardian of several children while he lived in Mississippi and he owned six slaves as of 1860. He and Rebecca bought and sold lots of land in the Lauderdale area before they left for Texas in 1866. The 1870 census shows him living in Burnham, Ellis County, Tex. He ran a ferry on the Trinity River at Trinidad, Tex. He died 8 November 1878 and is buried in Texas.

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The James McNeill Papers consist of ten letters written between 1846 and 1866 by James McNeill in Lauderdale and Kemper counties, Miss., to his sister, Ann Peterson McNeill McMillan (1816-1898), and to Ann's husband, William MacMillan (1802-1893), in Cumberland County, N.C. The letters reveal that James McNeill was a Democrat, a slaveowner, and invested in several businesses. He built and operated a lumber mill, planted some cotton and corn crops, and bought and sold land in Mississippi and North Carolina. McNeill also wrote about family matters, the disposition of his father's estate, settlers enacting vigilante justice against Mexicans in San Antonio, Tex., the futility of the Civil War, wartime prices for food and livestock, and his distress over the separation of the family for a move to Texas. He occasionally quoted Robert Burns and complained of crippling pain in his writing hand. There are transcriptions of the letters and background biographical information about McNeill family members.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse James McNeill Papers, 1846-1866 and undated.

35 items.

Folder 1

Letters, 1846-1866 #05624-z, Series: "James McNeill Papers, 1846-1866 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

Transcriptions #05624-z, Series: "James McNeill Papers, 1846-1866 and undated." Folder 2

Photocopies and transcriptions of original letters.

Folder 3

Biographies #05624-z, Series: "James McNeill Papers, 1846-1866 and undated." Folder 3

Family tree, list of original letters, biographical information on James McNeill, Daniel McNeill, Malcolm McNeill, Archibald McNeill.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Nancy Kaiser, March 2016

Encoded by: Nancy Kaiser, March 2016

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