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Collection Number: 01525

Collection Title: Wilmot Stuart Holmes collection, 1781-1932

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 processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 150 items)
Abstract Family correspondence, chiefly 1840-1854, and other papers of Henry McCall Holmes (1790-1854), a physician of Charleston and Greenville districts, S.C.; of his wife, Eliza Ford (Gibbes) Holmes; of their daughter, Emma Edwards Holmes (1838-1910); and of their sons, Wilmot Stuart Holmes and Henry M. Holmes. Included are Mrs. Holmes's business papers, 1854-1876, and estate book, 1854-1857, as executrix of her husband's estate, and correspondence with her father W. S. Gibbes, with her King and DeSaussure family relatives, and with Daniel Heyward; correspondence, chiefly 1864-1875, between brothers Wilmot, a commission merchant in Charleston, S.C., and Henry, a physician in Silver Springs, Fla., and Limestone Springs, S.C.; pocket account books, 1861-1874; journal, 1850, of a trip from Charleston to Wilmington, N.C., Washington, D.C., and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia; notebook, 1876, and diary, 1861-1866, of Emma Holmes while she was in Charleston (microfilm); and recollections of the Gibbes family of Charleston during the Revolution, and of the Garden family during the early Republic. Earliest papers consist of deeds, indentures, bills, and receipts. Later material consists of scattered Holmes and Pasteur family items. Also included is a letter, 1912, on the phonetics of the Cherokee language.
Creator Holmes, Wilmot Stuart.
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 Wilmot Stuart Holmes collection, #1525, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received and lent for filming by Mrs. Wilmot S. Holmes of Greensboro, N.C., in September 1948, June 1949, and January 1950, Sidney Holmes and Caroline Holmes Bivens of Greensboro, N.C., in December 1966, Calvin Homes of Knoxville, Tenn., in October 1947 and June 1950, and Caroline Holmes Bivens of Greensboro, N.C., and Portsmouth, Va., in October 1966, February 1967, May and June 1972, April 1980, and December 1982.
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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Family correspondence, chiefly 1840-1854, and other papers of Henry McCall Holmes (1790-1854), a physician of Charleston and Greenville districts, S.C.; of his wife, Eliza Ford (Gibbes) Holmes; of their daughter, Emma Edwards Holmes (1838-1910); and of their sons, Wilmot Stuart Holmes and Henry M. Holmes. Included are Mrs. Holmes's business papers, 1854-1876, and estate book, 1854-1857, as executrix of her husband's estate, and correspondence with her father W. S. Gibbes, with her King and DeSaussure family relatives, and with Daniel Heyward; correspondence, chiefly 1864-1875, between brothers Wilmot, a commission merchant in Charleston, S.C., and Henry, a physician in Silver Springs, Fla., and Limestone Springs, S.C.; pocket account books, 1861-1874; journal, 1850, of a trip from Charleston to Wilmington, N.C., Washington, D.C., and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia; notebook, 1876, and diary, 1861-1866, of Emma Holmes while she was in Charleston (microfilm); and recollections of the Gibbes family of Charleston during the Revolution, and of the Garden family during the early Republic. Earliest papers consist of deeds, indentures, bills, and receipts. Later material consists of scattered Holmes and Pasteur family items. Also included is a letter, 1912, on the phonetics of the Cherokee language.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1781-1966.

About 110 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Family correspondence of the family of Henry McCall Holmes, a physician of Charleston, S.C., and business papers of his wife, Eliza F. Gibbes Holmes of Washington Plantation, S.C., executrix of her husband's estate after his death in 1854. Earlier papers, 1781-1820, consists of deeds, indentures, bills, receipts, notes, and business communications, which are apparently the papers of Edward Pasteur, as well as the Benson and Wigginton families of Greenville district, S.C. There are scattered Pasteur family letters from 1849-1851 and in the late 1880s and 1890s.

The Holmes family papers include letters, beginning in 1844 between Eliza Holmes and her father W. S. Gibbes and letters to both parents from the Holmes' children; letters, chiefly 1864-1875, between Eliza Holmes and her sons Wilmot G. Holmes who was a commission merchant in Charleston, S.C., and Henry M. Holmes who was a physician of Silver Springs, Fla., and Limestone Springs, S.C.; letters, business, and professional papers of Henry M. Holmes in Florida beginning in 1866; and business letters between the two brothers chiefly about business affairs Wilmot Holmes handled for Henry while in Limestone Springs, S.C., such as finances, accounts, and includes family news, 1874-1897. There is also a letter, 1912, to Wilmot S. Holmes giving information about the Cherokee Indian language, suggestions for place names in Western North Carolina, and a large Cherokee vocabulary written from his memory.

The papers of Eliza Ford Gibbes Holmes consist of accounts, statements, legal documents, and correspondence, chiefly with her uncles and advisers H. A. DeSaussure and Louis D. DeSaussure, about her financial affairs. Correspondence with Daniel Heyward, who had given her a bond before the Civil War for payment for slaves of a period of time, centers around the payment of this debt and his attempts to work out a compromise in which Eliza would share the loss with him. There is also a lease for a house in Charleston, 1871; correspondence to her father W. S. Gibbes; accounts of Eliza with King and DeSaussure relatives and with Daniel Heyward, 1872; and scattered business papers about the sale of real estate.

Folder 1

1781-1815 #01525, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1781-1966." Folder 1

Folder 2

1816-1843 #01525, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1781-1966." Folder 2

Folder 3

1844-1863 #01525, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1781-1966." Folder 3

Folder 4

1864-1869 #01525, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1781-1966." Folder 4

Folder 5

1870-1872 #01525, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1781-1966." Folder 5

Folder 6

1873-1874 #01525, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1781-1966." Folder 6

Folder 7

1875-1884 #01525, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1781-1966." Folder 7

Folder 8

1885-1966 #01525, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1781-1966." Folder 8

Folder 9

Undated #01525, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1781-1966." Folder 9

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Genealogical Material, Undated.

30 items.

Adams, Hammond, Holmes, Pasteur, Gibbes, DeSaussure, and Blanchard family data. chiefly compiled by Caroline Holmes Bivins. There is a printed family chart of the Holmes family of Charles Town, S.C. and Holmes family data; a list of the children of Henry and Magadeln DeSaussure and the children of their son David DeSaussure and his wife Mary; a genealogical chart of the Gibbes family of South Carolina from 1899; a copy of an inscription about the DeSaussure family on a tablet in the French Protestant (Huguenot) Church in Charleston; a pamphlet on the Heyward Washington House in Charleston with pictures of some of the rooms with annotations identifying some Holmes' furniture and portraits; selections of Alexander Garden's Revolutionary Anecdotes about Mary Anna Gibbes and John Edwards; a newspaper clippings about Captain William Wilmot in the Gibbes family folder; and numerous other family charts.

Adams and Hammond family history, compiled by Caroline Holmes Bivins include Adams family chart listing the children of Robert Adams (1852-1930) of Georgia, and his wife Eudocia Moore Hammond (1853-1936), and traces their descent from ancestors in Georgia, Virginia, and England. There are also additional information, explanations, sources, information of the homes and household furnishings of some of the persons listed, and a list of members of the Adams and Hammond families whose descendants are entitled to join the Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and other societies.

Folder 10

Adams and Hammond Families #01525, Series: "2. Genealogical Material, Undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

Holmes Family Data #01525, Series: "2. Genealogical Material, Undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

Holmes and Pasteur Family Notes #01525, Series: "2. Genealogical Material, Undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

Gibbes Family #01525, Series: "2. Genealogical Material, Undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

Blanchard and DeSaussure Families #01525, Series: "2. Genealogical Material, Undated." Folder 14

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Reminiscences and Sketches Undated.

5 items.

Four manuscript writings, "Life Sketches of the Revolution," "Reminiscences," and "Tales of a Grandmother, No. 1 and No. 2" and a bound typescript volume of three. "Life Sketches of the Revolution" consists of short, unsigned incidents of the days of the Revolutionary War concerning the family of Robert Gibbes in Charleston, S.C., their taking refuge in their island home when the British army invaded Charleston in 1780, and in turn having that retreat captured by the enemy. There is an anecdote of a young daughter, Mary Anne Gibbes, who escaped with the family from the main house to the slave quarters nearby but returned to rescue a small child left behind in the flight.

"Life Sketches of the Revolution" also includes an account of the family of Dr. Alexander Garden, physician and naturalist, who was a friend of Linneaus (Karl Von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist), and was the man for whom the gardenia was named. The narrative tells of the friendship between the Gibbes and Garden families, of the marriage later between a son, Alexander Garden, and Mary Anne Gibbes, and of the separation of that son from his own family because of his participation in the Revolutionary War on the side of the colonies. The writer made an error by confusing the Reverend Alexander Garden, who was rector if St. Phillip's and appointed commissary of the Bishop of London, and Alexander Garden, M.D., who was the son of another Alexander Garden who was a minister. The latter came to South Carolina about 1754 and practiced medicine there until his return to Europe. He died in London in 1791.

"Reminiscences" by Emma Edwards Holmes tells of a remarkable escape of her grandmother, Anna Frances DeSaussure, wife of Wilmot Stuart Gibbes, and mother of Eliza Ford Gibbes. The account is of a tornado in Charleston, 1811, which tore down a whole corner of the DeSaussure house, pinning Anna under furniture close to the spot where a slave maid was completely crushed.

"Tales of a Grandmother" is also by Emma Edwards Holmes and the first part tells about Mary Anna Gibbes and her rescue of John Fenwick during the Revolutionary War and about Captain William Wilmot's friendship with the Gibbes family and his death in a skirmish in 1782. The second part tells of the Garden family after the Revolutionary war and of the death of Alexander Garden.

Folder 15

Reminiscences and Sketches #01525, Series: "3. Reminiscences and Sketches Undated." Folder 15

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Volumes, 1850-1876.

6 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Volumes of Henry M. Holmes, his wife Eliza Ford Gibbes Holmes, their daughter Emma Edwards Holmes and their son Henry M. Holmes.

Folder 16

Volume 1: 1850, 16 pp. Pocket account book of Henry H. Holmes with Dr. Henry M. Holmes. #01525, Series: "4. Volumes, 1850-1876." Folder 16

Volume 2: 1850, 48 pp. Journal of Henry McCall Holmes from a trip from Charleston to Wilmington, N.C., Washington, D.C., and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. #01525, Series: "4. Volumes, 1850-1876." Folder 16

Folder 17

Volume 3: 1851, 1854-1857, 50 pp. Estate book for Henry McCall Holmes with Eliza Ford Gibbes Holmes, Executrix, containing a copy of his will, 1851; an inventory of Holmes's slaves and other possessions; the executrix's accounts, 1854-1857; and an account of the Legatees with Wilmot G. Holmes, attorney for the Legatees, Charleston. #01525, Series: "4. Volumes, 1850-1876." Folder 17

Folder 18

Volume 4: 1856-1874, 50 pp. Pocket account book of Henry M. Holmes for cash spent for general merchandise, traveling, Confederate uniform items, and miscellaneous personal expenditures. #01525, Series: "4. Volumes, 1850-1876." Folder 18

Volume 5: 1862-1872, 120 pp. Copies of orders for the Confederate States Army, and miscellaneous letter book. #01525, Series: "4. Volumes, 1850-1876." Folder 18

Folder 19

Volume 6: circa 1876, 33 pp. Notebook of Emma E. Holmes containing a copy of a translation of a piece of a journal of Maria Theresa, 1792, notes on French grammar, and a list of books read in 1876. #01525, Series: "4. Volumes, 1850-1876." Folder 19

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Microfilm, 1850-1866.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne Ruffing, September 1996

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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