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Collection Number: 03309

Collection Title: Thomas Edward Cox Books, 1829-1854

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 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 7 items)
Abstract Edward Cox (d. 1853) owned six farms in Henrico County, Va. His son, Thomas Edward Cox, physician and farmer in Henrico County, was educated at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. He married Frances Eleanor Grant, probably in the 1840s, and had one surviving child, Martha Ellen. The collection includes two farm account books of Edward Cox, and two physician's ledger/notebooks and three farm account/daybooks of his son, Thomas Edward Cox. These volumes chiefly document the farming activities of Thomas Edward Cox at his Laurel Spring farm in Henrico County, Va., on the James River, just below Richmond, 1853-1854. Accounts for wheat and flour sold and for supplies purchased and records of slave and other labor used are included. Considerable information also appears on Thomas Edward Cox's medical practice in Henrico County in the 1840s and early 1850s, and limited information on his family and personal life can be culled from his daybook entries. Edward Cox's farming activities, including his use of slave labor in the late 1820s receive some attention, but nothing appears on the elder Cox's life, otherwise.
Creator Cox, Thomas Edward, 1815-1855.
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 Thomas Edward Cox Books #3309, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
This collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J .
Acquisitions Information
Received from by Elizabeth Bosher Purcell (Mrs. T. C. Purcell), granddaughter of Thomas Edward Cox, in October 1957.
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Edward Cox (d. 1853), who married Elizabeth Adeline Harris, owned six farms in Henrico County, Va. Among these farms was Laurel Spring, which his son Thomas Edward Cox purchased upon his father's death.

Thomas Edward Cox, a physician as well as a farmer in Henrico County, was born in 1815. Thomas Edward Cox was educated at William and Mary Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. He practiced medicine and farmed in Henrico County in the 1840s and 1850s until his death in 1855. Residing at Laurel Spring on Osborne's Turnpike Road along the James River below Richmond, he grew grains and some cotton on the farm and raised livestock.

Cox married Frances Eleanor Grant, probably in the 1840s, and had three children, two of whom died in infancy. One daughter, Martha Ellen, survived. She married Robert Simple Bosher.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes two farm account books of planter Edward Cox, and two physician's ledger/notebooks and three farm account/daybooks of his son, planter and physician Thomas Edward Cox. These volumes chiefly document the farming activities of Thomas Edward Cox at his Laurel Spring farm in Henrico County, Va., on the James River, just below Richmond, 1853-1854. Accounts for wheat and flour sold and for supplies purchased and records of slave and other labor used are included. Considerable information also appears on Thomas Edward Cox's medical practice in Henrico County in the 1840s and early 1850s, and limited information on his family and personal life can be culled from his daybook entries. Edward Cox's farming activities, including his use of slave labor in the late 1820s receive some attention, but nothing appears on the elder Cox's life, otherwise.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Books, 1829-1830, 1844-1854.

7 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Account books, ledgers, and daybooks pertaining to the farming activities of Edward and Thomas Edward Cox and the medical practice of Thomas Edward Cox. The volumes are arranged chronologically by the earliest date appearing in them, except for Volume 7, which was originally thought to contain only 1854 entries, but actually contains some entries for 1853 as well.

Folder 1a

Volume 1: Book of Edward Cox and daybook of Thomas Edward Cox, 1829-1854 #03309, Series: "Books, 1829-1830, 1844-1854." Folder 1a

Account book kept by Edward Cox, 3 January 1829-21 April 1830, also containing daybook entries by his son, Thomas Edward Cox, 1 July 1854-20 December 1854. Edward Cox's accounts (154 pages) are primarily for wheat and flour he sold and for groceries, hardware items, stationery supplies, and miscellaneous items he purchased.

A few accounts (13 pages) appear for Thomas Edward Cox in 1853. These accounts, 27 December 1853-January 1854, list his stocks, cash, bills payable and receivable, personal property, savings, groceries, farming implements, and outstanding loans. Some of the accounts pertain to his purchase of Laurel Spring and to his father's estate.

Thomas Edward Cox made almost daily entries in this volumes during the summer and fall of 1854 concerning transactions at Laurel Spring. These entries continue a daybook Cox started in January 1854 (see Volume 6). He frequently discussed gardening, planting, harvesting, and livestock on the farm; described visits he made to sick patients; noted his financial transactions; and mentioned visits to and from friends and relatives, trips to church, and trips he made into town. Of note in the 55 pages of entries he made is one (p. 190) in which he mentions a balloon ascension he witnessed at the University of Virginia by a Mr. Elliot.

There is also one enclosure, a sheet bearing miscellaneous calculations.

Folder 1b

Enclosure from Volume 1 #03309, Series: "Books, 1829-1830, 1844-1854." Folder 1b

Folder 2

Volume 2: Physician's ledger and notebook of Thomas Edward Cox, 1844-1853 #03309, Series: "Books, 1829-1830, 1844-1854." Folder 2

Ledger and notebook of Thomas Edward Cox, 30 August 1844-29 January 1853. This 231-page volume contains accounts with patients for medicines and visits. There are also a few notes Cox made on the symptoms of his patients, the treatments he administered, and the medicines he prescribed. In the beginning of the volume, there is a list of servants at Laurel Spring in 1847, as well as accounts with them for Cox's medical services, and a record of vaccinations. An index to the accounts, 1849-1853, is on pages 108 and 109.

Folder 3

Volume 3: Farm account book of Edward Cox, 1847-1853 #03309, Series: "Books, 1829-1830, 1844-1854." Folder 3

Edward Cox's accounts for wood, straw, and manure. The volume records over 1,200 trips made by wagoners, who would haul wood, straw, or other items from farms, probably to Richmond and return with manure or other items. It is unclear whether Cox was buying or selling these items or both. One entry near the end of the volume records shoes given to slaves. Accounts in this 223-page volume cover the period 17 May 1847-16 June 1853.

Folder 4

Volume 4: Physician's ledger and notebook of Thomas Edward Cox, 1844-1853 #03309, Series: "Books, 1829-1830, 1844-1854." Folder 4

Physician's ledger of Thomas Cox, 1 January 1853-20 December 1854. The 92-page volume contains a one page index and 82 pages of accounts with patients for medicines and visits (the remaining 10 pages are blank). Of interest are notes in the beginning of the volume concerning how to enter financial transactions in an account book (p. iv).

Folder 5

Volume 5: Farm and personal account book of Thomas Edward Cox, 1853-1854 #03309, Series: "Books, 1829-1830, 1844-1854." Folder 5

Fifty three pages of farm and personal accounts kept by Thomas Edward Cox, 9 December 1853-2 June 1854. Accounts are for sundries, groceries, farming implements, wood, furniture, livestock, clothes, dry goods, and miscellaneous items Cox purchased, and for gardening and blacksmithing services he hired.

Folder 6

Volume 6: Farm account and daybook of Thomas Edward Cox, 1854 #03309, Series: "Books, 1829-1830, 1844-1854." Folder 6

A record book designed for use on farms and plantations, containing printed instructions (19 pages) about farm management, regulations, and crop cultivation and blank forms to be filled in (book published by J. W. Randolph, Richmond, Va., 1852). About 27 pages of this 131-page farm record contain daybook type entries by Thomas Edward Cox that pertain to affairs at his Laurel Spring farm. These entries are dated between 1 January 1854 and 26 June 1854 (see volume 1 for a continuation of these entries). Cox recorded his farm activities, weather conditions, household matters, family and social occasions, church attendance, health, and frequent trips to town.

The volume also includes inventories of slaves on the farm and of stock and implements owned by Cox, and contains notes on Cox's purchase of Laurel Spring. Pages 51-64 give accounts of groceries and sundries bought, labor hired, and financial transactions made. These accounts are dated 31 January 1854 to 30 September 1854. Pages 128-131 contain miscellaneous notes on planting, livestock, and meat and meal allowances to slaves and white farm hands. About 30 pages of the volume are blank.

Folder 7

Volume 7: Farm and personal account book of Thomas Edward Cox, 1853-1854 #03309, Series: "Books, 1829-1830, 1844-1854." Folder 7

This volume contains 137 pages of accounts of cash spent. Items purchased include furniture, books, groceries, medicines, farm implements, and livestock. Other entries relate to bills payable and receivable, loans, family expenses, and gardening costs. It includes accounts for labor. Accounts are dated 9 December 1853-9 November 1854. At the front of the volume, a 14-page (i-xiv) index and an "Inventory of Effects, May 1st, 1854" appear. The inventory lists Thomas Edward Cox's personal and real estate worth at $6,250.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jill Snider, 1991

Encoded by: Roslyn Holdzkom, August 2006

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, November 2009

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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