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Collection Number: 00016

Collection Title: Archibald Davis Alston Papers, 1804-1893

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 section for more information.


This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 296 items)
Abstract Archibald Davis Alston, lawyer and planter of Halifax County, N.C. Deeds, wills, gold mining accounts, tobacco sales records, notes, bills, receipts, and family correspondence of Sarah M. Alston (fl. 1840s) of Halifax County, N.C.; her son, A. D. Alston and his wife; their son, A. D. Alston, Jr. (fl. 1870s), of Warrenton and Louisburg, N.C.; and of Elizabeth Crawford Davis Alston (fl. 1834-1846). Family letters, 1843-1859, are from Ariella Alston Hawkins (fl. 1843-1859) and her family in Matagorda County, Tex., and from Edgar M. Alston (d. 1848) in Galveston, Tex. There are no Civil War letters. Business correspondence, 1874-1882, of A. D. Alston, Jr., concerns mining properties.
Creator Alston, Archibald Davis, b. 1817.
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 Archibald Davis Alston Papers #16, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. M. A. Pleasants of Louisburg, N.C., in October 1948.
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Willis Alston (1769-1837), of Halifax County, N.C., was active in state and national politics from 1790 to about 1830. He and his second wife, Sarah M. Potts Alston, had five children: Charles, Ariella, Leonidas, Missouri, and Edgar. Ariella Alston married James B. Hawkins, and they moved to Matagorda County, Tex.; Missouri Alston married Archibald Davis Alston of Warren County.

Archibald Davis Alston (b. 1817) was the son of Thomas Nicholas Faulcon Alston and his wife Elizabeth Crawford Davis Alston.

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Correspondence, financial and legal materials, and other papers pertaining to the Alston family of Warren, Nash and Halifax counties, N.C., and to the Hawkins family of Matagorda County, Tex.

Most family letters are to Sarah M. Alston of Nash County from her son Edgar M. Alston of Galveston, Tex., and from her daughter Ariella Alston Hawkins of Matagorda County, Tex. These letters primarily concern family news and life in Matagorda County; there are also a few letters, 1846-1848, commenting on the Mexican War, including one, 1846, to Sarah Alston from Memucan Hunt describing Edgar M. Alston's service with the 2nd Regiment, Texas Mounted Riflemen. Also included are letters to Charles, Missouri, and Archibald D. Alston from Ariella and James B. Hawkins; letters from Sallie Hawkins and Willis Alston to their grandmother Sarah M. Alston; a letter, 1835, from E. Mitchell, reinstating Archibald Alston as a student at the University of North Carolina; and business correspondence, 1870s, of A. D. Alston, chiefly concerning mining properties in Franklin County, N.C.

Financial and legal items include wills, indentures, promissory notes, bills, receipts, and other items pertaining to Willis Alston, Elizabeth C. Alston, A. D. Alston, and other members of the Alston family. Materials concerning Willis Alston are mostly indentures; also included is Alston's will, 1835. Materials concerning Elizabeth C. Alston are mostly household accounts and records of tobacco sold. Papers of A. D. Alston include a contract, 1848, and accounts, 1848-1870, relating to a gold mining operation in Franklin County, N.C; accounts, 1854-1855, concerning Alston's administration of the estate of Philip G. Alston; contracts, 1869, with a freedman, Oscar Clements; household accounts; and records of cotton sold. There are also a few items pertaining to Sarah M. Alston and Leonidas Alston, including Sarah Alston's will, 1858.

Other papers include newspaper clippings from 1848 and 1874, a few unsigned essays, and an undated recipe for cucumber catsup.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Rebecca Hollingsworth, February 1992

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

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