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Collection Number: 01793

Collection Title: William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

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 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.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 155 items)
Abstract William Richardson Davie was a lawyer, state legislator, Revolutionary officer, member of the United States Constitutional Convention, Federalist governor of North Carolina, and peace commissioner to France, and was influential in the founding of the University of North Carolina. He moved from Halifax County, N.C., to Lancaster District, S.C., in 1805. These papers include letters to, from, and about Davie and his family. Two long narratives pertain to Davie's Revolutionary War experiences as a cavalry officer in North and South Carolina and as commissary general to Nathanael Greene. Other papers, of scattered dates, relate to Davie's varied activities and to his family and the related Crockett family, with only a few items later than 1805. Also present is a copy of a report of William Richardson, Presbyterian minister, on his mission to the Cherokee Indians, 1758. Collection is, in part, photostatic and typed transcript copies. The Addition of March 2009 consists of a land survey and a land grant signed by Davie. The Addition of November 2012 consists of a 14 June 1787 letter from Davie to Mary Edwards concerning the case of "Bayard versus Singleton," which helped establish the principle of judicial review.
Creator Davie, William Richardson, 1756-1820.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
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 William Richardson Davie Papers, #1793, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from the North Carolina Historical Society, prior to 1940.
Additional materials received from Preston Davie, 1950; the Masonic Lodge of Hillsboro, N.C.; John W. Clark; Archibald Henderson; and transferred from the North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Addition of March 2009 (Acc. 101079) received from Robert H. Moore.
Addition of November 2012 (Acc. 101697) purchased from Rick Eldred.
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.
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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

William Richardson Davie (1756-1820) was a lawyer, state legislator, Revolutionary officer, member of the United States Constitutional Convention, Federalist governor of North Carolina, and peace commissioner to France, and was influential in the founding of the University of North Carolina. He moved from Halifax County, N.C., to Lancaster District, S.C., in 1805.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection, in part, photostatic and typed transcript copies, includes letters to, from, and about William Richardson Davie and his family. Many items are related to military matters, some mention politics and a boundary controversy with South Carolina. Two long narratives pertain to Davie's Revolutionary War experiences as a cavalry officer in North and South Carolina and as commissary general to Nathanael Greene. The narratives discuss Augustine Prevost's expedition against Charleston, S.C.; the Battle of Stono; the battle at Ramsours; the post at Rocky-mount attacked; the battle of the Hanging-Rock; Horatio Gates's defeat; Thomas Sumter's surprise and defeat; the Battle of Wahab's Plantation; action at Charlotte, N.C.; and the Battle of Guilford.Other papers, of scattered dates, relate to Davie's varied activities and to his family and the related Crockett family, with only a few items later than 1805. Also present is a copy of a report of William Richardson, Presbyterian minister, on his mission to the Cherokee Indians, 1758.

The Addition of March 2009 consists of a land survey and a land grant signed by Davie.

The Addition of November 2012 consists of a 14 June 1787 letter from Davie to Mary Edwards concerning the case of "Bayard versus Singleton," which helped establish the principle of judicial review.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 1a

Folder 1

William Preston Richardson report, 1758-1759 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 1

Photostatic copy. William Preston Richardson, Presbyterian minister, report on his mission to the Cherokee Indians from West Virginia through North Carolina and South Carolina to Fort Prince George, S.C., and Fort Loudoun, Tenn. He describes in diary form his travels and attempting to preach to the Cherokees.

Folder 2

1767-1779 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 2

Folder 3

1780 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 3

Folder 4

1781 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 4

Folder 5

1782 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 5

Folder 6

1783 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 6

Folder 7

1784 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 7

Folder 8

1785 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 8

Folder 9

1787 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 9

Folder 10

1788 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 10

Folder 11

1789-1790 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 11

Folder 12

1791 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 12

Folder 13

1793-1794 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 13

Folder 14

1795-1796 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 14

Folder 15

1798 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 15

Folder 16

1799 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 16

Folder 17

1800 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 17

Folder 18

1801-1803 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 18

Folder 19

1807 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 19

Folder 20

1808-1809 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 20

Folder 21

1812-1816 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 21

Folder 22

1817-1818 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 22

Folder 23

1819 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 23

Folder 24

Undated papers and printed material #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 24

Folder 25

Genealogy #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 25

Folder 26

Number not used #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 26

Folder 27-28

Folder 27

Folder 28

Revolutionary sketches by William Richardson Davie #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 27-28

Remembrances of of William Richardson Davie, 1779-1781, written in two parts. Recounts participation in military activities in North Carolina and South Carolina from the battle of Stono, June 1779, through his service as commissary general to General Nathanael Greene during operations in North Carolina and South Carolina, July 1781. At the beginning of the narrative, Davie was serving as a cavalry officer under Count Casimir Pulaski in the army of Benjamin Lincoln. Later he led an independent volunteer company in North Carolina and then was a colonel of cavalry. Topics discussed are Augustine Prevost's expedition against Charleston, S.C.; the Battle of Stono; the battle at Ramsours; the post at Rocky-mount attacked; the battle of the Hanging-Rock; Horatio Gates's defeat; Thomas Sumter's surprise and defeat; the Battle of Wahab's Plantation; action at Charlotte, N.C.; and the Battle of Guilford.

Folder 29

Preston Davie correspondence #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." Folder 29

Includes correspondence of Preston Davie chiefly with library staff at the University of North Carolina related to William Richardson Davie and his papers.

Extra Oversize Paper Folder X-OPF-1793/1

Appointment as brigadier general, 19 July 1798 #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." X-OPF-1793/1

Original and photostat copy of William Richardson Davie's appointment as a brigadier general, signed by John Adams.

Image P-1793/1

Photograph: William Richardson Davie oil portrait reproduction #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." P-1793/1

Image P-1793/2

Photograph: William Richardson Davie pastel portrait reproduction #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." P-1793/2

Image P-1793/3

Postcard: William Richardson Davie's house, Halifax, N.C. #01793, Series: "William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819." P-1793/3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of March 2009: Land Grant and Survey, 1798-1799 (Acc. 101079)

2 items.
Oversize Paper Folder OPF-1793/1

Land grant and survey #01793, Series: "Addition of March 2009: Land Grant and Survey, 1798-1799 (Acc. 101079)" OPF-1793/1

Land grant with accompanying survey. The land grant and survey concern the sale of 30 acres of land in Guilford County, N.C., to William Spruce. The survey was conducted on 1 August 1798 by John Starrat. The land grant was signed by William Richardson Davie, then the Federalist governor of North Carolina, in Raleigh on 7 June 1799.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of November 2012: Letter from William Richardson Davie to Mary Edwards, 14 June 1787 (Acc. 101697)

1 item.
Folder 30

Letter from William Richardson Davie to Mary Edwards, 14 June 1787 #01793, Series: "Addition of November 2012: Letter from William Richardson Davie to Mary Edwards, 14 June 1787 (Acc. 101697)" Folder 30

Written while William Richardson Davie was a member of the Constitutional Convention and addressed to Mary Edwards of New York. The letter concerns the case of "Bayard versus Singleton," which dealt with the property of a Tory that had been confiscated and sold by the state of North Carolina. The case became important in the establishment of the principle of judicial review; this letter discusses some details of its development in civil procedure.

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, October 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.

Updated by: Danielle Fasig, January 2013, because of additions.

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