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Collection Number: 00038

Collection Title: James B. Bailey Papers, 1847-1885

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.


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Size 200 items
Abstract James B. Bailey (1820-1864), his wife, Mary N. Bailey, and their children, including their son, C.O. Bailey, moved from Hickory Bend, a plantation near Montgomery, Ala., to Alachua County, Fla., near Gainesville, in 1852. There, Bailey became active in local politics as county treasurer (circa 1857), candidate for commissioner of roads, and member of the county's Central Committee, which coordinated mobilization for the Civil War. During the war, Bailey served as Superintendant of Labor for the Engineers Department of Eastern District Florida. C.O. Bailey attended West Military Institute in Nashville, Tenn. Chiefly personal and business correspondence, the collection also contains financial and legal papers, school reports, and other materials. Much of the personal correspondence is from friends and relatives in Alabama. Subjects include social and economic conditions, especially near Montgomery, Ala.; family news; slavery; and the Civil War, especially activity near Tullahoma, Tenn., reported by William H. Ogbourne in 1863, and in the letters of C.O. Bailey with the Army of Northern Virginia near Richmond in 1864.
Creator Bailey, James, d. 1864.
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 James B. Bailey Papers #38, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations series.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. A. C. Means before 1940.
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 B. Bailey (1820-1864), his wife, Mary N. Bailey, and their children, including their son, C.O. Bailey, moved from Hickory Bend, a plantation near Montgomery, Ala., to Alachua County, Fla., near Gainesville, in 1852. There, Bailey became active in local politics as county treasurer (circa 1857), candidate for commissioner of roads, and member of the county's Central Committee, which coordinated mobilization for the Civil War. During the war, Bailey served as Superintendant of Labor for the Engineers Department of Eastern District Florida. C.O. Bailey attended West Military Institute in Nashville, Tenn.

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Correspondence is from four rather distinct periods.

1847-1851. Chiefly copies of James B. Bailey's outgoing business letters, written at Hickory Bend in Alabama, which offer detailed information about his financial situation. There are also two letters to William H. Ogbourne (his brother-in-law?) severing ties between the two families because of Ogbourne's attentions to Mrs. T. H. Bailey.

1853-1859. Chiefly letters to Mary N. Bailey in Florida from friends and relatives in Alabama. These letters describe the exodus of her former neighbors, moving to Florida, Arkansas, and Texas; planting conditions for corn, peas, potatoes, and especially cotton; yellow fever epidemics in Montgomery; and other news of family and friends. Several of these letters are from William H. Ogbourne in Montgomery to his sister. Scattered business letters of James B. Bailey continue. Letters from James to Mary in 1859 document his trip north to Washington, DC, New York, and Montreal.

1860-1864. Letters from C. O. Bailey attending the West Military Institute in Nashville, Tennessee on the eve of secession; and Civil War correspondence of James and his son. In 1860, C. O. Bailey wrote from school describing Union sentiment in Nashville conflicting with the widely secessionist views of students. James B. Bailey's correspondence for this period documents his activities as a member of the Central Committee of Alachua County, particularly their responsibility for supplying uniforms to newly organized regiments in the area. Bailey died in March 1864. Letters containing the most detailed information about life in the trenches are from William H. Ogbourne, camped near Tullahoma, Tennessee in 1863, and C. O. Bailey, with the Army of Northern Virginia near Richmond in 1864.

1872-1885. Correspondence of the descendants of James B. Bailey, possibly his grandchildren. These letters focus primarily on family matters and contain little information about postwar adjustment.

Undated correspondence documents James B. Bailey's candidacy for commissioner of roads and includes letters of his postwar descendants.

Financial and Legal papers include deeds to land near Gainesville, Florida (Bailey's connection to these documents is unclear); tax receipts; and miscellaneous accounts. Civil War materials document Bailey's activities as Superintendant of Labor for the Engineers Department of Eastern District Florida, including lists of slaves assigned to the department, showing their names, ages, and owners' names. A few papers relate to Bailey's estate.

Other papers include school reports of Maggie Bailey at East Florida Seminary (1871-1872), poetry, recipes, and an undated clothing list with names and measurements possibly of Civil War soldiers.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Lisa Tolbert, June 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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