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Collection Number: 04607-z

Collection Title: James W. Crewdson Papers, 1881-1884

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Abstract James W. Crewdson, teacher, farmer, and Baptist preacher of Illinois and Kentucky, son of Samuel B. Crewdson (1802-1833) and Nancy H. Milliken Crewdson (1808- 1839), and husband of Amanda Jackson Crewdson (d. 1872) with whom he had six children and Sara C. Wylie Crewdson with whom he had one child. Crewdson's manuscript diary, 1881-1884, circa 175 p., and a volume containing a typed transcription of the diary and a typed transcription of a reminiscence of his life, circa 25 p., up to around 1872. The reminiscence contains family history and stories of Crewdson's youth, particularly his school days in Henry County, Ill., and married life, teaching, farming, and preaching in Hardin County, Ill., and, later, farming and preaching in various locations in Illinois and Kentucky, particularly Livingston County. The diary contains a short essay on Crewdson's early years, list of the "Axioms" by which he lived, and a long undated recounting of his activities, beliefs, and opinions. Beginning on 29 March 1881, there are dated entries, apparently written while the Crewdsons lived in Pinckneyville, Ky., describing their daily activities, the weather, and family and community news. These entries contain information about Crewdson's preaching schedule and the ceremonies he performed, visitations he made, crops he planted and harvested, and other matters relating to his personal and professional life. Also included are a list of marriages Crewson performed after moving to Kentucky in 1871; several recipes; school accounts for Crewdson's son Billy, 1877, and stepson, Oliver Wylie, 1877-1882; and an obituary for Crewdson's horse Charley, who died on 12 October 1881 at the age of 26.
Creator Crewdson, James W., 1828-1896.
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 W. Crewdson papers #4607-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from James C. Turner of Saline, Mich., in January 1992.
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 W. Crewdson (1828-1896) was the son of Samuel B. Crewdson (1802-1833), who was born in Virginia, but moved to Kentucky at a young age, and Nancy H. Milliken Crewdson (1808-1839) of Logan County, Ky. After their marriage in 1825, Crewdson's parents migrated west and settled on the Illinois River, below the mouth of the Sangamon in what is now Beardstown, county seat of Cass County, Ill. After his father's death, Crewdson and his family moved back to Logan County, where his mother married James Young, a widower with seven children. Crewdson's mother died two years after her second marriage and James Crewdson and his siblings then lived with relatives, chiefly their uncle, Amos Milliken, a farmer in Henry County, Tenn.

James W. Crewdson first married Amanda Jackson (d. 1872) in 1849, with whom he had six children: Belle (b. 1850); Green (b. 1852); Jennie (b. 1854); James Monroe (1857-1859); William Edward (b. 1859); and John (1862-1883). James and Amanda moved to Hardin County, Ill., where James farmed and developed an interest in the Baptist Church. In 1854, the Crewdsons were living just outside Elizabethtown, Ill., where James taught school for half the year and farmed during the other half. Around 1856, he was licenced as a preacher and preached his first official sermon.

Crewdson stopped teaching around 1861, but continued farming and preaching at Big Creek. In the fall of 1861, he ran successfully for county judge. By 1871, however, he was again on the move, this time relocating his family and now ill wife to Livingston County, Ky., where he farmed and became pastor at Good Hope. After one year, Crewdson moved back to Big Creek, where Amanda Crewdson died in 1872. In 1873, Crewdson married Sarah C. Wylie, with whom he had Helen (b. 1875).

Crewdson remained in Big Creek for five years, after which he returned to Good Hope for six years, and then went on to serve at various churches, chiefly in Illinois and Kentucky. Crewdson died in 1896.

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James W. Crewdson's manuscript diary, circa 175 pp., with entries beginning around 1881 and ending around 1884 and a volume containing a typed transcription of the diary and a typed transcription of a reminiscence of his life up to around 1872.

In the reminiscence, apparently written by Crewdson in his later years and directed to his children, Crewdson briefly summarized what he knew of his family history and recounted his youth, particularly his school days in Henry County, Ill. He also told of his early married life, teaching, farming, and preaching in Hardin County, Ill., and, later, farming and preaching in various locations in Illinois and Kentucky. The reminiscence ends with the death of his first wife in 1872.

The diary begins with a short essay on Crewdson's early years and a list of the "Axioms" by which he lived. A long undated recounting of Crewdson's activities takes up about half of the volume. This narrative also contains numerous digressions on Crewdson's beliefs and opinions, offering him much room to philosophize about the state of the world and lament about the low level of religious faith among its human inhabitants.

Beginning with an entry dated 29 March 1881, there are diary entries, apparently written while the Crewdsons lived in Pinckneyville, Ky., describing their daily activities, the weather, and family and community happenings. These entries, written sometimes five or six, but frequently ten or twelve, times per month, contain information about Crewdson's preaching schedule and the ceremonies he performed, visitations he made, crops he planted and harvested, and other matters relating to his personal and professional life. Also included in this volume are a list of marriages Crewdson performed after moving to Kentucky in 1871; several recipes; school accounts for Crewdson's son Billy, 1877, and stepson, Oliver Wylie, 1877-1882; and an obituary for Crewdson's horse Charley, who died on 12 October 1881 at the age of 26.

Appended to the volume of typed transcriptions are a short family tree and photocopies of eight family photographs, both added by Martha Sue Wilson Turner Endres, great-granddaughter of James W. Crewdson and compiler of the transcriptions.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, February 1992

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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