unc logo

Collection Number: 02828

Collection Title: Chambers Family Papers, 1816-1918

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.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 100 items)
Abstract The collectionincludes manuscripts by and about members of the Chambers family of Iredell County, N.C. Volumes include the account book, 1816-1865, of Joseph Chambers (1791-1848); account book, 1841-1884, of Joseph Chambers and his son, Pinckney Brown Chambers at "Farmville," an Iredell County plantation, and at Morganton and Statesville; merchants' accounts, 1852- 1854, kept at Salisbury, N.C.; captain's record book, 1865, for Company C, 49th North Carolina Regiment, C.S.A.; three volumes of Chambers family history from 1708 to 1918; and miscellaneous letters.
Creator Chambers family.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

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 Chambers Family Papers #2828, 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 William S. Powell in 1962; Louise Norwood McNeely in 1962; Elizabeth Chambers Holt and her brother and sister in 1963; Mrs. J. M. Hall, Jr., in 1966; and Mrs. Lenoir Chambers in 1971.
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

Members of the Chambers family of Iredell County, N.C., included Henry Chambers (1708-1782), who moved from Pennsylvania to Iredell (then Rowan) County where he bought a large tract of land on Third Creek in 1754. His son, Henry Chambers (1750-1817), who farmed the land his father had purchased, and was the father of Joseph Chambers (1791-1848). Joseph Chambers was a businessman in Salisbury, N.C., before his father's death, but moved home and continued the planting operation after his father died. He apparently built the family home, called Farmville, around 1820.

Joseph's son, Pinckney Brown Chambers (1821-1905) also planted at Farmville. During the Civil War, he raised a company from Iredell and Rowan counties and served as major with the 49th North Carolina Regiment. He was wounded at the Battle of Malvern Hill. After the war, he struggled to continue farming operations at Farmville with little help. Old and infirm, Pinckney and his wife, Justina Avery Chambers, sold the farm and moved into Statesville in 1898. After his wife's death, Pinckney moved to the Charlotte home of his eldest son, Joseph Lenoir Chambers (1854-1925), where he died in 1905.

Henry Alexander Chambers (b. 1841), born David Henry Alexander Chambers, only son of Joseph Chambers (1820-1842) and Ellen Cashion Chambers (1820-1898), lived with his grandfather Henry Chambers in Iredell County until the summer of 1853, when Pinckney Brown Chambers became his guardian. Henry Alexander Chambers became a lawyer and established a practice in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1888. He married Laura Lenoir (d. 1891) in 1867 and had two sons: Henry Lenior (1871-1872) and Joseph Pinckney (1875-1920), who committed suicide after suffering a crippling stroke.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collectionincludes manuscripts by and about members of the Chambers family of Iredell County, N.C. Volumes include the account book, 1816-1865, of Joseph Chambers (1791-1848); account book, 1841-1884, of Joseph Chambers and his son, Pinckney Brown Chambers at "Farmville," an Iredell County plantation, and at Morganton and Statesville; merchants' accounts, 1852- 1854, kept at Salisbury, N.C.; captain's record book, 1865, for Company C, 49th North Carolina Regiment, C.S.A.; three volumes of Chambers family history from 1708 to 1918; and miscellaneous letters.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Loose Papers, 1837-1968.

About 90 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Chiefly papers relating to business and family property. More than half of these papers are concerned with a fund established under the will of Maxwell Chambers for the support of Arthur Curtis and Ebenezer Chambers, dwarf sons of Henry Chambers. Pinckney Brown Chambers administered the fund during the brothers' lifetimes, and his cousin Henry A. Chambers, lawyer of Chattanooga, undertook the distribution of the funds that remained after Ebenezer's death in 1904.

Other items include an 1862 letter from Pinckney Brown Chambers with Confederate forces near Goldsboro, N.C., to his wife about camp life; letters relating to real estate deals, 1870-1890; and scattered family letters, 1911-1949. There is also correspondence in the late 1940s among historian William S. Powell, Lenoir Chambers, and Elizabeth Chambers Holt about the history of Farmville. There is also a moderate amount of family history material, including a 1966 group of genealogical notes assembled by Mrs. J. M. Hall, Jr., about her Chambers family ancestors.

Folder 1

1837-1901 #02828, Series: "1. Loose Papers, 1837-1968." Folder 1

Folder 2

January-March 1902 #02828, Series: "1. Loose Papers, 1837-1968." Folder 2

Folder 3

April-December 1902 #02828, Series: "1. Loose Papers, 1837-1968." Folder 3

Folder 4

1903 #02828, Series: "1. Loose Papers, 1837-1968." Folder 4

Folder 5

January-June 1904 #02828, Series: "1. Loose Papers, 1837-1968." Folder 5

Folder 6

July-August 1904 #02828, Series: "1. Loose Papers, 1837-1968." Folder 6

Folder 7

September-December 1904 #02828, Series: "1. Loose Papers, 1837-1968." Folder 7

Folder 8

1911-1918 #02828, Series: "1. Loose Papers, 1837-1968." Folder 8

Folder 9

1921-1949; 1966-1968 #02828, Series: "1. Loose Papers, 1837-1968." Folder 9

Folder 10

Undated #02828, Series: "1. Loose Papers, 1837-1968." Folder 10

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Volumes.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. Antebellum Volumes, 1840s-1880s.

6 items.

Volumes containing chiefly antebellum entries.

Folder 11

Volume 1: Family record book, 44 pp. #02828, Subseries: "2.1. Antebellum Volumes, 1840s-1880s." Folder 11

Manuscript volume, apparently written by Joseph Chambers, 1817-1847, containing records of births, marriages, and deaths of family members, friends, relatives, and slaves.

Folder 12

Volume 2: Family record book, 50 pp. #02828, Subseries: "2.1. Antebellum Volumes, 1840s-1880s." Folder 12

Manuscript volume, apparently written by Pinckney Brown Chambers, 1845-1865, continuing and correcting entries in Volume 1.

Folder 13

Volume 3: Family record book, 180 pp. #02828, Subseries: "2.1. Antebellum Volumes, 1840s-1880s." Folder 13

Manuscript volume compiled by Henry A. Chambers, 1912-1918, but including information from earlier years: history and genealogy of the Chambers family; information on the Avery family of Burke County, N.C.; copies of records from Volumes 1 and 2; Avery family slave lists; and the beginning of Henry A. Chambers's autobiography describing his life from his birth in 1841 through his childhood.

Folder 14

Volume 4: Ledger, 229 pp. #02828, Subseries: "2.1. Antebellum Volumes, 1840s-1880s." Folder 14

Ledger of Joseph Chambers in Iredell County, and continued after his death in 1848 probably by Pinckney Brown Chambers, containing entries dated 1816-1865. Included are accounts relating to the purchase of goods and services.

Folder 15

Folder number not used #02828, Subseries: "2.1. Antebellum Volumes, 1840s-1880s." Folder 15

Oversize Volume SV-2828/5

Volume S-5: Ledger, 351 pp. #02828, Subseries: "2.1. Antebellum Volumes, 1840s-1880s." SV-2828/5

Ledger of Joseph and Pinckney Brown Chambers at Farmville in Iredell County, and at Morganton and Statesville. Included are accounts relating to the purchase of goods and services, 1841-1884. Note that some entries dated 1840s-1860s follow entries from the 1880s.

Folder 16

Folder number not used #02828, Subseries: "2.1. Antebellum Volumes, 1840s-1880s." Folder 16

Oversize Volume SV-2828/6

Volume S-6: Ledger, 850 pp. (pages 1-26 are missing) #02828, Subseries: "2.1. Antebellum Volumes, 1840s-1880s." SV-2828/6

Includes accounts, 1852-1854, apparently relating to Joseph Chambers's business at Salisbury, N.C. Entries chiefly record purchases of general merchandise.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Postbellum Volumes, 1860s-1940s.

4 items.

Volumes containing chiefly postbellum entries.

Folder 17

Volume 7: Confederate Army record book, 53 pp. #02828, Subseries: "2.2. Postbellum Volumes, 1860s-1940s." Folder 17

Contains 1865 records of Company C of the 49th North Carolina Regiment.

Folder 18

Volume 8: Account book, 96 pp. #02828, Subseries: "2.2. Postbellum Volumes, 1860s-1940s." Folder 18

Probably belonging to Pinckney Brown Chambers. Included are accounts, 1878-1896, with tenants and laborers in Statesville.

Folder 19

Volume 9: Packet of about 50 receipts, 1872-1901 #02828, Subseries: "2.2. Postbellum Volumes, 1860s-1940s." Folder 19

Relating to the distribution by Pinckney Brown Chambers of proceeds from the Maxwell Chambers Fund.

Folder 20

Volume 10: Accounts book, 87 pp. #02828, Subseries: "2.2. Postbellum Volumes, 1860s-1940s." Folder 20

Contains entries made by Lenoir Chambers in connection with the Maxwell Chambers Fund and other family finances, 1925-1947.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, September 1992

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, January 2010

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.

Back to Top