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Collection Number: 03240

Collection Title: A.H. Arrington Papers, 1744-1909.

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 FAQ 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 3.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1800 items)
Abstract Archibald Hunter Arrington, son of John Arrington (1764-1844), was a planter of Nash County, N.C., Democratic member of the 27th and 28th U.S. congresses, 1841-1845, and of the first Confederate Congress, 1861. He also served in the North Carolina Secession Convention and as a local official of Nash County. He first married Mary Jones Arrington (1820-1851); his second wife was Kate Wimberly Arrington (1834-1871). Archibald's son John Peter Arrington (fl. 1851-1895), was a sheriff of Nash County, and his brother was Samuel L. Arrington (fl. 1806-1866), who ran the family plantations in Alabama. The collection is chiefly papers relating to A.H. Arrington's agricultural and business pursuits in Nash County, N.C., and Montgomery County, Ala. They include many receipts for cotton sales; accounts with merchants; slave and freedmen documents, including records of provisions provided to slaves and freedmen, slave bills of sale and hiring agreements, lists of ages and birthdates of slaves, and sharecropping contracts; land records; wills and estate inventories; and items relating to the purchase and sale of other goods and services. There are also business letters relating to the running of the family's plantations and personal letters that discuss family matters. Items relating to Arrington's political activity include a few published speeches and some notes on laws regulating the oversight of slaves; a series of letters, 1857-1858, to Arrington from D.K. McRae (1820-1888) on the latter's gubernatorial campaign and other matters; letters to Arrington reporting on voting and political alignment in Confederate regiments; a number of form letters to Arrington, in his capacity as a local official, from postwar military governments; and other letters that briefly comment on political matters, including letters from Bartholomew Figures Moore (1801-1878) and William Theophilus Dortch (1824-1889). Also included are several 1893 endorsements collected by J.P. Arrington in his quest for an appointment as deputy collector for the Internal Revenue.
Creator Arrington, A. H. (Archibald Hunter), 1809-1872.
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 Hunter Arrington Papers #3240, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the Records of ante-bellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. R. H. Gregory, Sr., of Rocky Mount, N.C., in October 1956, and her daughter, Mrs. J. C. Marrow of Tarboro, N.C., in February 1960 and in September 1965.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Archibald Hunter Arrington (1809-1872), son of John (1764-1844) and Elizabeth Arrington (d. 1815), was a planter, U.S. and Confederate congressman, and local official of Nash County, N.C. On 24 April 1839, he married Mary Jones Arrington (1820-1851), daughter of Peter (circa 1768-1837) and Barbara Arrington (d. circa 1847), also of Nash County, N.C., with whom he had two children, Mary (fl. 1848-1883) and John Peter (fl. 1851-1895). Mary died, and, in 1855, Archibald married Kate Wimberly (1834-1871). Children of the second marriage included Thomas Mann (1857-1918), Archibald Hunter (1858-1892), Samuel Lewis (1860-1918), Robert Wimberly (1863-1928), George Wimberly (1864-1885), and Joseph Calhoun (1867-1897).

The Arringtons were one of the wealthier plantation families of antebellum North Carolina. They also owned a number of plantations and slaves in Alabama, where Archibald's brother, Samuel L. Arrington (fl. 1806-1866), lived. In addition to agricultural pursuits, Archibald was active in politics on the state and local levels. In the 1840s, he was elected as a Democrat to the 27th and 28th Congresses, but was defeated in his 1844 re-election bid. He also served in the North Carolina Secession Convention and was elected, in 1861, to the first Confederate Congress, but once again lost his bid for re election. In 1866, he served as a delegate to the Union National Convention in Philadelphia. At the local level, he served as chairman of the Nash County Court of Common Pleas, 1866-1867, and as Nash County commissioner, 1868.

Source: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography.

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The majority of the papers relate to A.H. Arrington's agricultural and business pursuits in Nash County, N.C., and Montgomery County, Ala. They include many receipts for cotton sales; accounts with merchants; slave and freedmen documents, including records of provisions provided to slaves and freedmen, slave bills of sale and hiring agreements, lists of ages and birthdates of slaves, and sharecropping contracts; overseer contracts; land records, including deeds, plats, and rental agreements; wills and estate inventories of James N. Mann, Peter Arrington, and A.H. Arrington, among others; promissory notes and records of notes due; partnership agreements and mercantile records; sales of stock; insurance policies and premiums; Confederate tax in kind documents and receipts; and miscellaneous receipts for physicians' services, educational tuition, tools, transportation, blacksmith work, and other goods and services.

There is also correspondence, with many of the letters relating to business matters. Among the correspondents are: Samuel L. Arrington, who lived in Alabama and assisted his brother in the management of the Montgomery plantations; a succession of overseers, concerning their contracts and reporting on plantation affairs; members of the Arrington, Williams, Mann, and related families concerning family property and inheritances; William T. Dortch, giving legal opinions on cases of bankruptcy and in property and tenant questions, and about charges of misconduct leveled against Arrington by Jesse J. Walker in 1868; and Bartholomew F. Moore, also commenting on legal cases and the postwar political climate of North Carolina. There is also correspondence with general merchant factors and commission merchants, including Lehman, Durr, & Co. and John H. Murphey of Montgomery, Kader Biggs & Co. of Norfolk, Va., and DeRosset & Brown of Wilmington, N.C.

There are also personal letters that discuss family news, including births, marriages, and deaths; courtship, especially of Kate Wimberly; illnesses of family members; education; travel; Arrington's living arrangements while serving in the U.S. and Confederate Congresses; and other matters.

Few items relate to Arrington's political activity. There are however, some materials, 1841-1845, relating to his congressional career and others concerning his experiences at the Secession Convention and in Confederate Congress. These include a few published speeches and some notes on laws regulating the oversight of slaves; a series of letters, 1857-1858, to Arrington from D.K. McRae (1820-1888) on the latter's gubernatorial campaign, his concern over political alignments, lack of adequate financing, general campaign strategy and platform, and conviction that he had a better chance of winning than Arrington would have had; letters to Arrington reporting on voting and political alignment in Confederate regiments; a number of form letters to Arrington, in his capacity as a local official, from postwar military governments; and other individual letters that briefly comment on political matters.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence and Other Personal Papers, 1824-1909 and undated.

About 720 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Chiefly business letters discussing such matters as crop prices, land purchases, slave sales, notes due, and market conditions. Also included are personal letters that discuss family news, such as births, marriages, courtship, illnesses, and deaths. Political letters are chiefly concerned with state and local politics. There is little mention of Arrington's U.S. congressional career.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. 1824-1865.

About 250 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Chiefly business letters and a few personal letters. There are a few political letters, including 21 January 1841 on railroads and local elections, 19 July 1853 requesting aid in defeating the "Raleigh clique," a series of letters in 1858 on state elections, 31 October 1861 and 1 November 1861 on voting in Confederate Army camps, and 20 January 1864 on mistakes made by the Confederate Congress. There are also some materials relating to the Secession Convention, 1861, and the Confederate Congress, 1861-1863.

In volume 1, 1824, there are copies of letters by Arrington relating to the appointment of Thomas N. Mann as political agent to Guatemala and the arrangements for his trip there aboard the U.S.S. Hornet; Mann died en route. Addressees include: James Monroe, John Q. Adams, Thomas Mann, Daniel Brent, and T. T. Tucker. Volume 2, 1841-1845, belonging to A.H. Arrington, and volume 3, circa 1861-1862, belonging to Mary E. Arrington, include miscellaneous verses and songs. Volumes 1 and 3 also include a few accounts.

Folder 1

1824 (Volume 1) #03240, Subseries: "1.1. 1824-1865." Folder 1

Folder 2

1841-1845 (Volume 2) #03240, Subseries: "1.1. 1824-1865." Folder 2

Folder 3

1840-1849 #03240, Subseries: "1.1. 1824-1865." Folder 3

Folder 4

1850-1854 #03240, Subseries: "1.1. 1824-1865." Folder 4

Folder 5

1855-1857 #03240, Subseries: "1.1. 1824-1865." Folder 5

Folder 6

1858 #03240, Subseries: "1.1. 1824-1865." Folder 6

Folder 7

1859-1860 #03240, Subseries: "1.1. 1824-1865." Folder 7

Folder 8

circa 1861-1862 (Volume 3) #03240, Subseries: "1.1. 1824-1865." Folder 8

Folder 9

1861-1865 #03240, Subseries: "1.1. 1824-1865." Folder 9

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. 1866-1909.

About 450 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Letters chiefly relating to agricultural pursuits, especially cotton production and sales. Letters also discuss postwar economic conditions, the U.S. government's 1866 seizure of Arrington's Alabama cotton and other political and family matters, such as education and health. Correspondents include William T. Dortch, who offered legal opinions on cases of bankruptcy, property and tenant questions, and charges of misconduct leveled against Arrington by Jesse J. Walker in 1868; and Bartholomew F. Moore, also commenting on legal cases and the postwar political climate of North Carolina, including the impeachment of Governor Holden in 1870-1871. In 1893, there are a series of letters endorsing J.P. Arrington's application for the job of deputy collector for the Internal Revenue.

Folder 10

1866 #03240, Subseries: "1.2. 1866-1909." Folder 10

Folder 11

1867 #03240, Subseries: "1.2. 1866-1909." Folder 11

Folder 12

1868 #03240, Subseries: "1.2. 1866-1909." Folder 12

Folder 13

1869 #03240, Subseries: "1.2. 1866-1909." Folder 13

Folder 14

1870 #03240, Subseries: "1.2. 1866-1909." Folder 14

Folder 15

1871-1872 #03240, Subseries: "1.2. 1866-1909." Folder 15

Folder 16

1873-1880 #03240, Subseries: "1.2. 1866-1909." Folder 16

Folder 17

1881-1887 #03240, Subseries: "1.2. 1866-1909." Folder 17

Folder 18

1888-1909 #03240, Subseries: "1.2. 1866-1909." Folder 18

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.3. Undated.

About 20 items.

Miscellaneous invitations, a list of property belonging to W. R. Cathcart, and other items.

Folder 19

Undated correspondence #03240, Subseries: "1.3. Undated." Folder 19

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Land Records, 1744-1897.

About 80 items.

Deeds, rental agreements, plats and surveys, and other real property records of the Arringtons and related families. The majority of these records are for property in North Carolina and Alabama.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. North Carolina, 1744-1897.

38 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1.1. 1744-1859.

23 items.

Colonial and antebellum land records of the Arringtons and related famili es, including deeds, rental agreements, plats and surveys, and other real property records. Most of this property was in or near Nash County, N.C.

Folder 20

1744-1799 #03240, Subseries: "2.1.1. 1744-1859." Folder 20

Folder 21

1800-1859 #03240, Subseries: "2.1.1. 1744-1859." Folder 21

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1.2. 1867-1897.

15 items.

Postwar land records of the Arringtons, including deeds, rental agreements, plats and surveys, and other real property records. Most of this property was located in or near Nash County, N.C.

Folder 22

1867-1897 #03240, Subseries: "2.1.2. 1867-1897." Folder 22

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Alabama, 1820-1860.

41 items.

Antebellum land records of A.H. Arrington and others, including deeds, land grants, rental agreements, plats and surveys, and other real property records. Most of this property was located near Montgomery, Ala.

Folder 23

Alabama, 1820-1860 #03240, Subseries: "2.2. Alabama, 1820-1860." Folder 23

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Financial and Legal Papers, 1789-1909 and undated.

About 1000 items.

Arrangement: topical and chronological.

Chiefly papers relating to the Arrington family's agricultural and business pursuits in North Carolina and Alabama. Included are cotton receipts; slave and freedmen documents; overseer contracts; wills and estate inventories, notably those of James N. Mann, Peter Arrington, and A.H. Arrington; promissory notes and records of notes due; partnership agreements and mercantile records; insurance policies and premiums; Confederate tax-in-kind documents and receipts; other miscellaneous receipts; and documents relating to the military government of postwar North Carolina.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.1. North Carolina and Surrounding States, 1789-1909.

About 545 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.1.1. 1789-1868.

About 230 items.

Chiefly papers relating to Arrington's agricultural and business pursuits in Nash County, N.C., including receipts for cotton sales; accounts with merchants; slave documents, including records of provisions provided to slaves, slave bills of sale and hiring agreements, lists of ages and birthdates of slaves; overseer contracts; wills and estate inventories, notably those of James N. Mann, Peter Arrington, and A.H. Arrington; promissory notes and records of notes due; partnership agreements and mercantile records; insurance policies and premiums; Confederate tax-in-kind documents and receipts; and miscellaneous receipts for physician's services, educational tuition, tools, transportation, blacksmith work, and other goods and services.

A few scattered Papers, 1789-1839, are of John Arrington (1764-1844), Peter Arrington (circa 1768-1837), and other Arrington relatives. The volumes are chiefly account books. Volume 5 includes the estate accounts of James N. Mann (d. 1853); Volume 11, the estate accounts of Barbara Arrington (d. circa 1847); Volume 7, an inventory of notes due A.H. Arrington; and Volume 8, the birthdates of slaves and family members, along with occasional death and purchase dates. Several of these volumes include information from the immediate postwar period and the early years of Reconstruction. Also included are the following wills: John Arrington, 10 June 1830; Peter Arrington, 8 June 1837; Richard Arrington, 17 November 1838; John Bowden, 13 February 1854 copy of an 1825 will; Raford Boon, 16 March 1854 copy; and A.H. Arrington, 24 August 1859 draft.

Folder 24

1729-1829 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 24

Folder 25

1830-1839 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 25

Folder 26

1840-1849 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 26

Folder 27

1850-1853 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 27

Folder 28

1854 (volume 4) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 28

Folder 29

1854-1856 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 29

Folder 30

1853-1857 (volume 5) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 30

Folder 31

1856-1857 (volume 6) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 31

Folder 32

1854-1858 (volume 7) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 32

Folder 33

1857-1858 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 33

Folder 34

1758-1859 (volume 8) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 34

Folder 35

1859 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 35

Folder 36

1860 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 36

Folder 37

1861-1862 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 37

Folder 38

1846-1865 (volume 9) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 38

Folder 39

1855-1865 (volume 10) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 39

Folder 40

1863-1865 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 40

Folder 41

1847-1868 (volume 11) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.1. 1789-1868." Folder 41

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.1.2. 1866-1895.

About 315 items.

Laborer contracts and accounts with freedmen; general orders of the Second Military District, North Carolina and South Carolina, to local county officials; state and local election returns for 1868; cotton accounts; insurance papers; and documents, 1872-1882, relating to the settlement of A.H. Arrington's estate. Volumes 12-17 are laborers' accounts; Volumes 18 and 19 include information on the settlement of A.H. Arrington's estate; and Volume 20 includes the sheriff accounts of J.P. Arrington.

Folder 42

1866 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 42

Folder 43

1867 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 43

Folder 44

1868 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 44

Folder 45

1868 (volume 12) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 45

Folder 46

1869 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 46

Folder 47

1869 (volumes 13 and 14) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 47

Folder 48

1870 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 48

Folder 49

1871 (volume 15) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 49

Folder 50

1871-1873 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 50

Folder 51

1872 (volume 16) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 51

Folder 52

1874 (volume 17) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 52

Folder 53

1872-1875 (volume 18) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 53

Folder 54

1872-1880 (volume 19) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 54

Folder 55

1873-1880 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 55

Folder 56

1872-1882 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 56

Folder 57

1883-1895 (volume 20) #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 57

Folder 58

1881-1897, 1909 #03240, Subseries: "3.1.2. 1866-1895." Folder 58

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.2. Alabama and Other Old Southwest States, 1840-1868 and undated.

About 450 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.2.1. 1840-1865.

About 295 items.

Chiefly papers relating to Arrington's agricultural and business pursuits in Montgomery County, Ala., including receipts for cotton sales; accounts with merchants; slave documents, including records of provisions provided to slaves and bills of sale and hiring agreements; overseer contracts; promissory notes and records of notes due; mercantile records; and miscellaneous receipts for physician's services, educational tuition, tools, transportation, blacksmith work, and other goods and services.

Folder 59

1840-1851 #03240, Subseries: "3.2.1. 1840-1865." Folder 59

Folder 60

1852-1856 #03240, Subseries: "3.2.1. 1840-1865." Folder 60

Folder 61

1857-1859 #03240, Subseries: "3.2.1. 1840-1865." Folder 61

Folder 62

1860 #03240, Subseries: "3.2.1. 1840-1865." Folder 62

Folder 63

1861-1865 #03240, Subseries: "3.2.1. 1840-1865." Folder 63

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.2.2. 1866-1868.

About 145 items.

Laborer contracts and accounts with freedmen, cotton accounts, merchant accounts, and miscellaneous receipts. Volume 21 contains laborer accounts.

Folder 64

1866 #03240, Subseries: "3.2.2. 1866-1868." Folder 64

Folder 65

1866-1867 (volume 21) #03240, Subseries: "3.2.2. 1866-1868." Folder 65

Folder 66

1867-1868 #03240, Subseries: "3.2.2. 1866-1868." Folder 66

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.3. Undated.

11 items.

Miscellaneous accounts and receipts.

Folder 67

Undated #03240, Subseries: "3.3. Undated." Folder 67

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Scott Philyaw, May 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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