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Collection Number: 01052

Collection Title: William Eaton Papers, 1725-1893

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 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 90 items)
Abstract William Eaton was a planter of Halifax and Warren counties, N.C. The collection includes deeds, bill, receipts, letters, and other papers pertaining to the Eaton and Bell families of Warren County, N.C. Included are colonial land grants, deeds, indentures, and receipts; accounts, 1850-1857, of William Eaton; letters, 1853, to William Eaton's daughter, Ella Rives Eaton Bell, from John McGill, Roman Catholic Bishop of Richmond, Va., written while he was in Paris, France, describing the wedding of Napoleon III and referring to Levi Silliman Ives (1797-1867); letters, 1853-1856, to Ella Rives Eaton Bell from Teresa and Beatrice Orsini of Rome, Italy; legal papers, 1870-1876, of the Eaton and Bell families, including the wills of William Eaton and his wife, Martha P. Eaton; and business papers, 1880-1893, of Peter Hansborough Bell (1812-1898) and Ella Rives Eaton Bell, living in Littleton, N.C. Peter Hansborough Bell, a native Virginian, had been in Texas during its war for independence and the Mexican War. He was governor of Texas from 1849 to 1853 and served in Congress from 1853 to 1857.
Creator Eaton, William, 1785-1862.
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 William Eaton Papers #1052, 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
Gift of Mrs. B. B. Brown of York, Ala., in 1946.
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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William Eaton (1785-1862) was a planter and landowner of Halifax and Warren counties, N.C. His daughter Ella Rives Eaton married Peter Hansbrough Bell (1810-1898), and they settled in Halifax County in 1857. Bell, a native Virginian, had been in Texas during its war for independence and the Mexican War. He had been governor of Texas from 1849 to 1853 and served as U.S. congressman from Texas, 1853-1857.

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The collection contains deeds, bills, receipts, letters and other papers pertaining to the Eaton family of Warren County, N.C. Included are colonial land grants, deeds, indentures and receipts, some as early as 1725, involving William Eaton, his brother Thomas Eaton, Edward Young, Frederick Cooke, Allen and Wiley Jones, and others; a copy of the North Carolina state constitution, adopted December 18, 1776; accounts, 1850-1857, of William Eaton; letters, 1853, to Ella Rives Eaton in Rome, Italy, from John McGill, Roman Catholic Bishop of Richmond, written while he was in Paris, France, and including a description of the emperor's wedding and references to Levi Silliman Ives (1797-1867); letters, 1853-1856, to Ella Rives Eaton from Teresa and Beatrice Orsini of Rome; legal papers, 1870-1876, of the Eaton and Bell families, including the wills of William Eaton and his wife Martha P. Eaton; and business papers, 1880-1893, of Peter Hansbrough and Ella Rives Eaton Bell of Littleton, N.C.

Two of the colonial land grants from 1749 are filed with the oversize papers.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Rebecca Hollingsworth, June 1992

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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