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Collection Number: 00230

Collection Title: Edward Dromgoole Papers, 1775-1840

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 reprocessed 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 2.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1,350 items)
Abstract Edward Dromgoole was an Irish immigrant who settled in Maryland, ca. 1770; became a Methodist minister, ca. 1772; and, after 1777, was a minister, merchant, and planter in Brunswick County, Va. Also represented are his sons Edward Dromgoole, Jr. (1788-1840), Methodist minister, physician, and planter of Brunswick County and Northampton County, N.C., and George Coke Dromgoole (1797-1847), lawyer, Virginia legislator, militia general, and Democratic U.S. representative. The collection includes chiefly correspondence and other papers, mainly 1840-1848, of Edward Dromgoole and sons Edward, Jr., and George. Pre-1807 papers are mainly letters from other Methodist ministers pertaining to the state of religion in Maryland and Virginia. Included is a letter, 17 September 1783, from John Wesley. From 1807 to 1830, there are family letters concerning religion, land holdings, and plantation business. Included is correspondence from friends who had moved to Ohio with family and regional news, descriptions of the financial prospects there, and exhortations to the Dromgooles to migrate. Later papers are mainly letters to George Dromgoole concerning state and national politics, Democratic Party business, conventions, elections, John C. Calhoun, an 1838 duel, the annexation of Texas, the Mexican War, and monetary issues. There are also letters from two generations of college students at various schools and correspondence among the Dromgooles concerning family business.
Creator Dromgoole, Edward, 1751-1835.
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 Edward Dromgoole Papers #230, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (filmed 1966) available.
  • Reel 1: 1776-1819
  • Reel 2: 1820-1839
  • Reel 3: 1840-1846
  • Reel 4: 1871, undated; Volumes from Series 3; also Bruce Cotton volume (original held in NCC)
  • Reel 5: Materials added in 1974
Acquisitions Information
Received from Bruce Cotton in 1939 and 1942 and Mrs. Cecil Wood in 1941.
Additional Descriptive Resources
An older description with additional details in available on request.
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

The Dromgoole family of Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, included:

Edward Dromgoole, Sr. (1751-1835), a linen weaver of Sligo, Ireland, who migrated to America in 1770. He converted from Catholicism to Methodism in 1772, becoming a minister soon thereafter, and rode the Brunswick County, Va., and other circuits until 1786. In 1777 he married Rebecca Walton and settled his family on "Canaan," his plantation in Brunswick County. He and Rebecca had five children who lived to maturity, including: Thomas (1779-1817?); Rebecca (1783 1847); Polly (d. 1833); Edward (1788 1840); and George Coke (1797-1847).

Edward Dromgoole, Jr. (1788-1840), a Methodist preacher, physician, and planter in Brunswick County, Va., and Northampton County, N.C. He also, for a time, ran his father's store, Sligo, at Canaan plantation. He married Sarah C. Pelham around 1812 and they had eight children, three of whom lived to maturity, including Peter, who disappeared after migrating west in 1833; Isabella; and Edward III.

George Coke Dromgoole (1797-1847), who attended the University of North Carolina and The College of William and Mary, 1816 1820, before commencing a legal and political career. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1823-1826; was a member and Speaker, of the Virginia State Senate, 1826-1835; and was a Democratic Representative in the U.S. Congress, 1835-1841 and 1843-1847. In addition he was the Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, 1830-1832 (although this is not represented in the papers), and a brigadier general in the Virginia militia, 1835-1838. Dromgoole never married. Later in life he became a planter, was executor of the estates of Edward Dromgoole, Jr., and Sr., and managed family business affairs.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Chiefly correspondence and other papers, mainly 1840-1848, of Edward Dromgoole, Methodist minister, merchant, and planter of Brunswick County, Va., and sons Edward Dromgoole, Jr., and George Dromgoole. Pre-1807 papers are mainly letters from other Methodist ministers pertaining to the state of religion in Maryland and Virginia. Included is a letter, 17 September 1783, from John Wesley. From 1807 to 1830, there are family letters concerning religion, land holdings, and plantation business. Included is correspondence from friends who had moved to Ohio with family and regional news, descriptions of the financial prospects there, and exhortations to the Dromgooles to migrate. Later papers are mainly letters to George Dromgoole concerning state and national politics, Democratic Party business, conventions, elections, John C. Calhoun, an 1838 duel, the annexation of Texas, the Mexican War, and monetary issues. There are also letters from two generations of college students at various schools and correspondence among the Dromgooles concerning family business.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1775-1871.

About 1,200 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

1775-1806 Mainly letters to Edward Dromgoole, Sr., from other Methodist ministers describing their work on the circuit, Methodist business and politics, the work of the spirit in the region, and revivals. Prominent correspondents include Francis Asbury, Robert Lindsay, Thomas S. Chew, and John Hagarty. There is one letter, 27 September 1783, from John Wesley (1703-1791) in Bristol, England. (3 folders).
1807-1815 Mostly correspondence from friends, mainly members of the Pelham family, who migrated to Ohio to get away from slavery. Their letters urge Edward Dromgoole, Sr., to remove his family to the North, the land of liberty. They contain mostly family news on health and weather, but also include descriptions of social and religious life and customs in their area, including camp meetings and revivals, and occasional remarks on financial prospects in Ohio. Edward Dromgoole, Jr., travelled to Ohio during this period and wrote letters to family members at home. The Dromgoole family was also related to the Davis family and some correspondence deals with the business relationship between the families. Edward Dromgoole, Jr., bought land in Ohio and his father in law, Peter Pelham, took care of it for him; in return, Edward Dromgoole, Jr., was Pelham's lawyer in Virginia and helped him to collect money owed to him there. Interspersed, there are letters from Dromgoole's friend, James H. Key, a plantation owner and fellow Methodist in Virginia, who tried to convince him to remain in the South. Key's letters contain some comment on religion and slavery. (4 folders).
1816-1829 Correspondence of Edward Dromgoole, Sr., Edward Dromgoole, Jr., and George Coke Dromgoole on various subjects. There are still some letters to Edward, Sr., from fellow ministers and old friends on personal news and religious conditions. James H. Key continued to be a regular correspondent. Also, there are letters from the Pelhams and members of other families in Ohio regarding the Dromgoole land there and family news. Edward, Sr., also received reports from his son, George Coke Dromgoole, and grandson, A. D. Sims, on their progress at school. Much of the the family and business correspondence is directed to Edward, Dromgoole, Jr. There are letters between him and the Pelhams, in particular Peter Pelham, on the Dromgoole lands in Ohio and concerning the Pelhams' business affairs in Virginia. Their letters discuss economics, slavery, and potential land deals. There are also several letters to Edward, Jr., concerning Pelham's will and estate after the latter's death in 1822. In addition there are letters from Dromgoole to his family when he was on several trips to the North to preach, visit, and take care of family land business. After 1824 the bulk of the correspondence is addressed to George Coke Dromgoole. Earlier, there are letters describing his progress at school, his study of law, and his social life. As of December 1823, he was in Richmond, Va., serving as a Democratic State legislator. His correspondence includes comments on legislative and party business, and politics generally. In addition, there is business correspondence with his nephew, A. D. Sims, and with his brother, Edward Dromgoole, Jr., whom he accompanied on trips to Ohio. Throughout the period there is much correspondence among the Dromgooles on health, politics, religion, and family business matters. (5 folders).
1830-1840 Primarily correspondence with George Coke Dromgoole on state and national politics; conventions, including the Free Trade convention of 1831; Democratic Party matters; constituents' requests; and occasionally on his business with his plantation and the family lands in Ohio. Of special interest is a duel which he fought in 1838, which he won but which hurt him politically. There is additional correspondence with his brother concerning their yearly trips to Ohio and on plantation business. Also included are a few letters on the Dromgooles' view that Methodism needed to be reformed, and letters to George from various nephews on their progress at school. Edward Dromgoole, Jr., died in September 1840, and there is some material on his accounts and estate. (7 folders).
1840-1871 Much of this is George Coke Dromgoole's correspondence regarding the estate of Edward Dromgoole, Jr., plantation business, land in Ohio, the collection of debts, and his guardianship of his brother's infant son. The political material decreases but there are letters on John C. Calhoun; the annexation of Texas; party politics, particularly in 1843 1844; the Mexican War; and, in early 1847, the question of whether Dromgoole should run for office again. Interspersed are letters of cousins W. Simpson, R. Sims, R. Jones, and Edward Dromgoole III, on college and post graduation plans. George Coke Dromgoole died in 1847 and there are a few letters to R. Sims and Edward Dromgoole III as executors of the estate. (10 folders)
Folder 1

1775-1787 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 1

Folder 2

1788-1798 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 2

Folder 3

1802-1806 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 3

Folder 4

1807-1808 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 4

Folder 5

1809-1810 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 5

Folder 6

1811-1813 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 6

Folder 7

1814-1815 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 7

Folder 8

1816-1818 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 8

Folder 9

1819-1820 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 9

Folder 10

1821-1823 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 10

Folder 11

1824-1828 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 11

Folder 12

1829-1830 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 12

Folder 13

1831-1832 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 13

Folder 14

1833-1835 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 14

Folder 15

1836-1837 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 15

Folder 16

1938 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 16

Folder 17

1939 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 17

Folder 18-19

Folder 18

Folder 19

1840 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 18-19

Folder 20

1941 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 20

Folder 21

1942 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 21

Folder 22

1943 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 22

Folder 23

1944 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 23

Folder 24

1945 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 24

Folder 25

1946 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 25

Folder 26

1947 #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 26

Folder 27

1848; 1862; 1871; undated #00230, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1775-1871." Folder 27

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Legal and Financial Papers, 1766-1862.

About 100 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

1766; 1778-1830 Financial and legal documents, mainly of Edward Dromgoole, Sr. Dromgoole was the executor of several estates, including those of John Walton and Thomas Watson, and there are bills and receipts related to the settlements. In addition there are a number of marriage licenses from the 1790s, lists of taxes on land and slaves, and assorted receipts, deeds, and indentures.
1831-1862 Most of the material for this period consists of the papers of George Coke Dromgoole and Edward Dromgoole, Jr., including materials concerning the estate of their brother, Thomas, and their father. There are also assorted tax sheets, as well as an oath of loyalty to the Confederate States of America, and a pass to travel outside of the Confederacy.
Folder 28

1766; 1778-1799 #00230, Series: "2. Legal and Financial Papers, 1766-1862." Folder 28

Folder 29

1800-1862 and undated #00230, Series: "2. Legal and Financial Papers, 1766-1862." Folder 29

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Other Papers, 1793-1845.

22 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Various writings, many undated and unsigned, including: poetry, student essays, and transcriptions of extracts from church histories. Also included are clippings; notes on political meetings, one in 1815 and one in 1840; and some genealogical material. In addition, there is an essay entitled "War Record of Gov. Z. B. Vance."

Folder 30

1793-1845 and undated #00230, Series: "3. Other Papers, 1793-1845." Folder 30

Folder 31

"The War Record of Governor Z. B. Vance" #00230, Series: "3. Other Papers, 1793-1845." Folder 31

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Volumes, 1766-1840.

16 items.

Folder 32

Volume 1: Accounts of W. John Walton, 22 August 1766-26 February 1772. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 32

Folder 33

Volume 2: Miscellaneous writings by Edward Dromgoole, Sr. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 33

Including a letter to Thomas S. Chew; "Sketch of Henry Metcalf"; Diary, 21 June-26 July 1784; and meditations "On the Death of My Son Edward".

Folder 34

Volume 3: "Sligo" accounts for merchandise, 11 July 1785-26 May 1786. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 34

Folder 35

Volume 4: "Sligo" accounts for merchandise, 26 May 17862 June 1786. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 35

Folder 36

Volume 5: Letters to Edward Dromgoole, Sr., 1777-1790. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 36

Correspondents include, W. Gill, W. Tucker, William Cowan, and Sarah Jones, on religious topics.

Folder 37

Volume 6: "Sligo" accounts for merchandise, 1 October 1791-19 December 1791. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 37

Folder 38

Volume 7: "Sligo" accounts for merchandise, 19 December 1791-9 March 1792. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 38

Folder 39

Volume 8: "Sligo" accounts for merchandise, 10 March 1792-29 May 1792. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 39

Folder 40

Volume 9: "Sligo" accounts for merchandise, 1 May 1792-1 September 1792. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 40

Folder 41

Volume 10: "An Account of Sales of the Estate of John Walton," 4 February 1796. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 41

Folder 42

Volume 11: Steward's Book for Greensville Circuit, 28 July 1798-24 October 1805. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 42

Folder 43

Volume 12: George C. Dromgoole's Arithmetic Notebook, 5 July 1813. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 43

Folder 44

Volume 13: "Cotton's Virginia and North Carolina Almanac," 1821-1840 and notes probably kept by Edward Dromgoole, Jr. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 44

Folder 45

Volume 14: "Notes on the Art of Preaching," undated #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 45

Presumably by Edward Dromgoole, Sr.; directions for weaving cloth; and remedies, undated.

Folder 46

Volume 15: Poetry, including at least one item by Sarah Jones, undated. #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 46

Folder 47

"Inventory of John Walton's Estate, undated." #00230, Series: "4. Volumes, 1766-1840." Folder 47

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Processing Information

Processed by: Tracy K'Meyer, July 1991

Encoded by: Eben Lehman, February 2006

This collection was reprocessed 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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