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Collection Number: 01668

Collection Title: Dillon and Polk Family Papers, 1805-1927

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.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 200 items)
Abstract Dillon and Polk families resided in Tennessee and Virginia. The collection is chiefly family correspondence, 1866-1912, of Frances Polk Dillon (1844-1912); her sisters, Sarah Rachel Polk Jones (1833-1905), Emily Donelson Polk Williams (1837-1892), and Mary Brown Polk Yeatman (1835-1890) of Maury County, Tenn.; her husband, Colonel Edward Dillon (1835-1897), of Botetourt and Rockbridge counties, Va.; and other relatives throughout the South. THe majority of the letters were written by and to the women of the Dillon and Polk families. Most concern domestic life and family matters. Papers, 1805-1863, including letters from Colonel Dillon to his mother while he was in the U.S. and Confederate armies, 1859-1863, and personal correspondence of earlier members of the Polk and Dillon families, including Edward Dillon (fl. 1805-1815) and Mary Eastin Polk (1810-1847). Correspondents include John Randolph of Roanoke (1773-1833) and Andrew Jackson (1767-1845).
Creator Dillon family.

Polk family.
Language English
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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 Dillon and Polk Family Papers #1668, 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 Mrs. Robert Scott Spilman of Charleston, West Virginia, November 1949.
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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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.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

The collection contains family correspondence, 1866-1912, chiefly relating to Frances Polk Dillon (1844-1912); her sisters, Sarah Rachel Polk Jones (1833-1905), Emily Donelson Polk Williams (1837-1892), and Mary Brown Polk Yeatman (1835- 1890) of Maury County Tennessee; her husband, Colonel Edward Dillon (1834-1897), of Botetourt and Rockbridge counties, Virginia; and other relatives throughout the South.

Other papers include letters from Colonel Dillon to his mother while he was serving in the U.S. and Confederate armies, 1859-1863, and the personal correspondence of earlier members of the Polk and Dillon families. Among the latter are Edward Dillon (fl. 1805-1815) and Mary Eastin Polk (1810-1847). Among their correspondents are John Randolph (1773-1833) and Andrew Jackson (1767-1845).

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of personal letters (bulk 1866-1912) of an elite southern family. The majority of the letters were written by and to the women of the Dillon and Polk families. Most concern domestic life and family matters. There are occasional political references in Series 1, and incidental mention of business affairs are scattered throughout the collection. The five Civil War letters relate mainly to Colonel Dillon's dissatisfaction with his rank and his chances for promotion. There are also notes, dated 15 June 1877, concerning Dillon's recollection of General Van Dorn's operations in 1863.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. General Correspondence, 1805-1863.

About 55 items.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. Randolph-Dillon Correspondence, 1805-1815 and undated.

About 25 items.

Letters to Edward Dillon (fl. 1805-1818) from John Randolph (1773-1833) of Roanoke, Virginia, Judith Randolph (fl. 1808-1810), Ann C. (Nancy) Randolph Morris (fl. 1805-1815), and Creed Taylor (1766-1836). Also included is Dillon's copy of a letter to John Randolph, 11 March 1805. Letters are generally about family matters and personal business. Those from John Randolph include some descriptions of political life in Washington.

Folder 1

Randolph-Dillon correspondence,1805-1815 and undated. #01668, Subseries: "1.1. Randolph-Dillon Correspondence, 1805-1815 and undated." Folder 1

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. Mary Eastin Polk Correspondence, 1821, 1829-1844, and undated.

About 20 items.

Chiefly letters of Mary Eastin Polk (1810-1847) and her immediate family. Letters are generally about family life and personal business. They also include descriptions of Andrew Jackson's 1829 arrival in Washington, and letters from Jackson to Polk about health and family matters, 1841.

Folder 2

Mary Eastin Polk correspondence, 1821, 1829-1844, and undated. #01668, Subseries: "1.2. Mary Eastin Polk Correspondence, 1821, 1829-1844, and undated." Folder 2

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.3. Edward Dillon Correspondence, 1859-1863.

About 10 items.

Chiefly letters from Colonel Edward Dillon (1834-1897) to his mother. Early letters describe his experiences in the U.S. Army in northern California at the Round Valley Indian Reservation and Fort Bragg. The five Civil War letters relate mainly to Dillon's dissatisfaction with his rank and his chances for promotion. See also notes in Folder 6, 15 June 1877, about Dillon's recollection of General Van Dorn's operations in 1863.

Folder 3

Edward Dillon correspondence, 1859-1863. #01668, Subseries: "1.3. Edward Dillon Correspondence, 1859-1863." Folder 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Frances Polk Dillon Correspondence, 1866-1912, 1927 and undated.

About 145 items.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. 1866-1912.

About 120 items.

Chiefly letters to Frances Polk Dillon (1844-1912) from her family: her husband Colonel Edward Dillon; her sisters, Mary Brown Polk Yeatman (1835-1905), Sarah Rachel Polk Jones (1833-1905), Emily Donelson Polk Williams (1837-1902); her children, Edward Dillon (born 1871), Lucius Polk Dillon (born 1873), John Cunningham Dillon (born 1875), and Eliza Polk Dillon (born 1878). Letters are chiefly about family matters.

Folder 4

1866-1868 #01668, Subseries: "2.1. 1866-1912." Folder 4

Folder 5

1869-1874 #01668, Subseries: "2.1. 1866-1912." Folder 5

Folder 6

1875-1882 #01668, Subseries: "2.1. 1866-1912." Folder 6

Folder 7

1883-1889 #01668, Subseries: "2.1. 1866-1912." Folder 7

Folder 8

1890-1893 #01668, Subseries: "2.1. 1866-1912." Folder 8

Folder 9

1902-1912 #01668, Subseries: "2.1. 1866-1912." Folder 9

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Undated 1866-1912 and 1927.

About 25 items.

Undated letters and fragments to Frances Polk Dillon. Letters have been arranged by correspondent when possible. The 1927 letter is a travel description of India to "Mother" from "Nini."

Folder 10-11

Folder 10

Folder 11

Undated 1866-1912 #01668, Subseries: "2.2. Undated 1866-1912 and 1927." Folder 10-11

Folder 12

1927 #01668, Subseries: "2.2. Undated 1866-1912 and 1927." Folder 12

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Processing Information

Processed by: Scott Philyaw, July 1991

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, November 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.

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