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Collection Number: 03760-z

Collection Title: James B. Blackford Papers, 1822-1879

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 75 items
Abstract Chiefly unrelated 19th-century letters from several different states collected by James Baylor Blackford of Richmond, Va. Topics include politics, military affairs, education, travel, migration within the United States, home life, religion, business, and agriculture. Included are letters referring to political events in Missouri, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and North Carolina; preparations for war with Mexico; employment of slaves in Mississippi and discipline of slaves in Texas; the education and social lives of teachers and students in Georgia, Maryland, and North Carolina; travel experiences of visitors to Mississippi, Tennesee, North Carolina, and South Carolina; experiences of men and women who migrated to Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, and California; domestic and family news from people in North Carolina, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia; and business and agricultural activities and prospects in Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, and California.
Creator Blackford, James B., collector.
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. Blackford Papers #3760-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from James Baylor Blackford of Richmond, Va., in 1966 and 1967.
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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This collection contains several dozen, mostly unrelated letters collected by James B. Blackford in 1966-1967. All dated letters were written between 1820 and 1880 and contain relatively detailed information on a range of mid-19-century activities, including politics, military affairs, education, travel, internal migration, home life, religion, business, and agriculture. Letters were written from many different states, with Middle Atlantic, Southern, and Midwestern states most heavily represented.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse James B. Blackford Papers, 1822-1879.

Folder 1

1822-1839 #03760-z, Series: "James B. Blackford Papers, 1822-1879." Folder 1

Letters of particular interest include: 21 October 1822, from a teacher in Georgia to her father in Connecticut regarding her responsibilities and recommending a course of study for her younger sister; 16 October 1833, from a traveler in Mississippi referring to the rental of several of his slaves to pick cotton during a layover experienced while avoiding travel in a region plagued by yellow fever; 23 November 1834, from a Louisville, Ky., planter to a friend in Virginia about the quality of land in Kentucky and prices of crops and herds raised; and 15 October 1835, from a slave owner in Shackelford [Tex.?] concerning possible charges brought against a slave for beating a slave owned by the writer.

Folder 2

1840-1845 #03760-z, Series: "James B. Blackford Papers, 1822-1879." Folder 2

Letters of particular interest include: 12 June 1840, from a Whig supporter in St. Louis describing a political murder in the region and controversy between the "Locofocos" (Democrats) and the Whigs; 18 March 1842, from a Baltimore man to his sister in Mississippi about religion, marriage possibilities, and intellectual and social activities in Baltimore; 26 August 1844, from a Baptist minister in Vicksburg, Miss., to a minister in New York reporting missionary success in his region, but expressing concern about the impact of the abolition movement on missionary efforts; 22 February 1845, from a planter in Cahaba, Ala., to his mother in Connecticut about his efforts to establish a plantation; and 30 August 1845, from a planter in Wilkinson County, Miss., concerning local news and the possibility of war with Mexico.

Folder 3

1846-1849 #03760-z, Series: "James B. Blackford Papers, 1822-1879." Folder 3

Letters of particular interest include: 14 May 1846, from a soldier at Fort Moultrie, S.C., to his brother near Baltimore, Md., concerning preparations for war with Mexico and comments about officers; 30 June, 20 September, and 25 October 1846, from Charles M. King of Nashville, Tenn., to friends in Germantown, Pa., about his work as a journeyman carpenter and life around Nashville; 23 August 1847, from a New Yorker traveling through North and South Carolina and describing social customs of the region and especially a Baptist camp meeting; 24 January 1848, from a man in Littleton, N.H., to James Johnson in Washington, D.C., about prudent political strategy in Littleton for an upcoming election, including support for the Wilmot Proviso; and 18 January 1849, from a North Carolina legislator about approval of a bill to support the building of the railroad from Goldsboro to Charlotte.

Folder 4

1850-1879 and undated #03760-z, Series: "James B. Blackford Papers, 1822-1879." Folder 4

Letters of particular interest include: 16 January 1851, from a student near Salem, N.C., to her uncle in Raleigh describing social life in and around Salem; 4 July 1853, from a South Carolina soldier to the secretary of war asking for a commission based on several decades of service; 24 February 1854, from a Shelbyville, Tex., planter, to a relative in Georgia giving general observations about health and crop and cattle prices in the region; 19 May 1872, from a Suison, Cal., woman who wrote about family and friends and encouraged her Virginia relatives to move to or visit California; and 16 June 1879, from a South Carolina minister imploring a woman to accept his marriage proposal.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Timothy A. Long, April 1993

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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