unc logo

Collection Number: 00143

Collection Title: David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916

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 and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 3.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 3800 items)
Abstract David Miller Carter was a lawyer and landowner of eastern North Carolina; Confederate colonel and military judge; legislator, 1862-1865; resident of Washington, N.C., until he moved to Raleigh in 1874. The collection includes papers relating to land ownership and legal business mixed, after 1849, with family and personal correspondence and letters from political leaders of both parties. Civil War items relate to Carter's activities as military judge and other matters. Scattered papers deal with the Bank of Washington, the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Company, the sale of slaves to Carter, and a wide variety of affairs in North Carolina. Correspondence of Carter's wife, Harriett Armistead Ryan Benbury Carter (1833-1877), is also included. Later papers are those of Carter's daughters, Sarah Lindsay Carter and Laura Armistead Carter (died 1935).
Creator Carter, David Miller, 1830-1879.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

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 David Miller Carter Papers, #143, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received prior to 1940. Additional material received from Mrs. Laura Schaeffer Schnorrenberg of Asheville, N.C., May 1964; and transferred from the Schnorrenberg Family Papers, #4002, January 1977.
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
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.
Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Related Collections

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

David Miller Carter (1830-1879) was a lawyer and landowner of eastern North Carolina; a Confederate colonel and military judge; a legislator, 1862-1865; and a resident of Washington, N.C., until he moved to Raleigh in 1874. Carter was the son of David Carter and Sarah Lindsay Spencer Carter of Hyde County, N.C. He was educated at the University of North Carolina, graduating in 1851. He practiced law in Washington, N.C., as the partner of Richard Spaight Donnell prior to the Civil War and after the war as the partner of Edward Jenner Warren.

Carter served in the Civil War as captain, later lieutenant colonel, in the 4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment. In June 1863 he was appointed provost marshal of the 2nd Corps, commanded by Richard S. Ewell, serving also as judge of the military court attached to that corps, and in July 1863 he was commissioned a colonel in the cavalry and assigned to serve as the presiding judge of the military court attached to the 3rd Corps, commanded by A. P. Hill. He resigned in August 1864 on the grounds of his membership in the North Carolina General Assembly.

Carter served as a member of the North Carolina House of Commons from Beaufort County in the legislatures of 1862-1863 and 1864-1865. He did not hold political office thereafter but for several years was interested in politics and corresponded with political leaders. In the years 1865-1867 his correspondents were chiefly Republicans, with whom he was evidently in sympathy, but he opposed Radical Reconstruction and the calling of the North Carolina constitutional convention of 1868 and broke with Republicans in late 1867. His political correspondence thereafter was chiefly with Democrats and Liberal Republicans. In 1872 he ran for United States Congress against the Republican incumbent, Clinton L. Cobb, of Pasquotank County, who won. Carter's active participation in politics seems to have ceased after this campaign.

Carter's first wife was Isabella Perry, daughter of David B. Perry of Rosedale, near Washington, N.C. She died in mid-1866 and in May 1869 he married Harriet Armistead Ryan Benbury, widow of John A. Benbury of Albania, N.C. She was the daughter of Emily Baker Turner and Joseph Jordan Ryan and the step-daughter of David Outlaw and grew up in the Outlaw home in Windsor, N.C.

Carter and his wife Isabella had three children, Sarah Lindsay, David Miller Junior, and one who died as an infant. The Benburys had a daughter Emily and an infant boy who died. Carter and Harriet had three daughters, Harriet, who died as an infant; Laura Lindsay; and Frances Spencer. Emily Benbury married Dr. Hubert Haywood and lived in Raleigh. David M. Carter Junior married Ella Mann and lived in Hyde County and later in Washington, N.C. Sarah L. Carter married Theodore F. Davidson of Asheville, N.C., in December 1893. Frances Spencer Carter married Martin Wilhelm Schaeffer of Dresden, Germany, in 1899.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection is chiefly personal correspondence and other items related to David Miller Carter's legal practice, financial and business interests, land holdings, and military service. There are also papers and correspondence of Carter's wife, Harriett Armistead Ryan Benbury Carter, and his daughters, Sarah Lindsay Carter and Laura Armistead Carter. Antebellum papers are related to ownership of land and property including enslaved persons. Civil War items relate to Carter's activities as military judge and other matters. After the war, many of the items relate to North Carolina and national politics, including Carter's relationship with both the Republican and Democratic parties and his unsuccessful 1878 congressional bid. Scattered papers deal with the Bank of Washington, the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Company, and a wide variety of affairs in North Carolina.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 1a

Folder 1

1713-1789 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1790-1799 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

1800-1815 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

1816-1829 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

1830-1836 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

1840-1849 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7

1850-1852 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 7

Folder 8

1853 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

1854 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

1855 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

1856 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

1857 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

1858 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

1859 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

1860 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 15

Folder 16-17

Folder 16

Folder 17

1861 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 16-17

Folder 18

1862 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 18

Folder 19

1863 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 19

Folder 20-21

Folder 20

Folder 21

1864 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 20-21

Folder 22

1865 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 22

Folder 23-26

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

1866 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 23-26

Folder 27-32

Folder 27

Folder 28

Folder 29

Folder 30

Folder 31

Folder 32

1867 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 27-32

Folder 33-38

Folder 33

Folder 34

Folder 35

Folder 36

Folder 37

Folder 38

1868 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 33-38

Folder 39-45

Folder 39

Folder 40

Folder 41

Folder 42

Folder 43

Folder 44

Folder 45

1869 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 39-45

Folder 46-52

Folder 46

Folder 47

Folder 48

Folder 49

Folder 50

Folder 51

Folder 52

1870 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 46-52

Folder 53-63

Folder 53

Folder 54

Folder 55

Folder 56

Folder 57

Folder 58

Folder 59

Folder 60

Folder 61

Folder 62

Folder 63

1871 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 53-63

Folder 64-74

Folder 64

Folder 65

Folder 66

Folder 67

Folder 68

Folder 69

Folder 70

Folder 71

Folder 72

Folder 73

Folder 74

1872 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 64-74

Folder 75-84

Folder 75

Folder 76

Folder 77

Folder 78

Folder 79

Folder 80

Folder 81

Folder 82

Folder 83

Folder 84

1873 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 75-84

Folder 85-90

Folder 85

Folder 86

Folder 87

Folder 88

Folder 89

Folder 90

1874 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 85-90

Folder 91-97

Folder 91

Folder 92

Folder 93

Folder 94

Folder 95

Folder 96

Folder 97

1875 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 91-97

Folder 98-103

Folder 98

Folder 99

Folder 100

Folder 101

Folder 102

Folder 103

1876 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 98-103

Folder 104-111

Folder 104

Folder 105

Folder 106

Folder 107

Folder 108

Folder 109

Folder 110

Folder 111

1877 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 104-111

Folder 112-117

Folder 112

Folder 113

Folder 114

Folder 115

Folder 116

Folder 117

1878 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 112-117

Folder 118

1879 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 118

Folder 119

1880 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 119

Folder 120

1881-1884 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 120

Folder 121

1885-1887 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 121

Folder 122

1888-1898 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 122

Folder 123

1907-1916 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 123

Folder 124-126

Folder 124

Folder 125

Folder 126

Undated #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 124-126

Folder 127

Essays and compositions of David Miller Carter #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 127

Folder 128

Letters to Sallie L. Carter, undated #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 128

Folder 129

Miscellaneous, undated #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 129

Folder 130-132

Folder 130

Folder 131

Folder 132

Legal papers, undated #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 130-132

Folder 133

Surveys, land plots, etc. #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 133

Folder 134

Printed items #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 134

Folder 135

Transcriptions, 1862-1879 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 135

Extra Oversize Paper Folder X-OPF-143/1

Oversize papers #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." X-OPF-143/1

Folder 136

Volume 1: Memorandum and account book, 1844-1856 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 136

Volume 2: Notebook, 1864-1866 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 136

Folder 137

Volume 3: Trial docket, Pitt County (N.C.) Superior Court, 1875 #00143, Series: "David Miller Carter Papers, 1713-1916 and undated." Folder 137

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, December 2009

This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

Back to Top