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Collection Number: 02489-z

Collection Title: Johnston and McFaddin Family Papers, 1839-1890

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 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 90 items
Abstract Members of the Johnston and McFaddin families lived in Alabama. Most items refer to Thomas M. Johnson, cotton planter of Greensboro, Ala., with land in Greene, Hale, and Marengo counties, Ala., and Noxubee, Winston, and Kemper counties, Miss. In 1860, Johnston became administrator of the Marengo County plantation of his son-in-law, Robert H. McFaddin, and guardian of the children of Robert and Mary A. McFaddin. The collection includes financial Papers, slave lists, legal documents, business and personal correspondence, and a few miscellaneous items chiefly relating to the Johnston and McFadden families. Many documents relate to Thomas M. Johnston's property taxes and those levied against the estates of Robert H. and Mary A. McFaddin. Several slave lists and other items relating to plantation life are included. In 1866 and 1868, there are agricultural contracts between Johnston and freedmen for agricultural work. In 1866-1868 there are several letters from the Stonewall Institute in Dallas County, Ala., about the education of Johnston's grandsons, and, in May 1869, a letter from St. Mary's School in Raleigh, N.C., about the education of his granddaughters. There are also several items relating to others with unclear connections to the Johnstons and McFaddins, including a 1839 legal order against members of the Green family in Lincoln County, N.C., and a few letters, 1873-1875, about business investments to Mrs. V. F. Dalton of Uniontown, Ala.
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 Johnston and McFaddin Family Papers #2489-z, 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. George H. Rowan of Jacksonville, Ala., in October 1942.
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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Thomas M. Johnston was a planter of Greensboro, Alabama, who held land in Greene, Hale, and Marengo counties, Alabama, and in Noxubee, Winston, and Kemper counties, Mississippi. In 1860, Johnston became administrator of the Marengo County plantation of his son-in-law, Robert H. McFaddin (also spelled McFadden). Johnston also was guardian of the children of Robert and Mary A. McFaddin. This collection consists of financial Papers, slave lists, legal documents, business and personal correspondence, and a few miscellaneous items chiefly relating to the Johnston and McFaddin families. There are, however, several items relating to others, including a 1839 legal order against members of the Green family in Lincoln County, North Carolina, and a few 1873-1875 letters to Mrs. V. F. Dalton of Uniontown, Alabama. The connections among the Greens, Mrs. Dalton, and the Johnstons and McFaddins are unclear. The education of the McFaddin girls in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1869 may be part of a North Carolina link.

Items are arranged chronologically as described below.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Johnston and McFaddin Family Papers, 1839-1890.

Folder 1

1839-1860 #02489-z, Series: "Johnston and McFaddin Family Papers, 1839-1890." Folder 1

1839: Legal order, dated October 9, relating to a debt owned by W. B. and D. W. Green, Lincoln County, N.C.

1841-1860: Papers, chiefly lists and tax statements, relating to land in Greene County, Alabama, and Noxubee, Winston, and Kemper counties, Mississippi, held by Thomas M. Johnston. For 1859-1860, there are lists of Johnston's holdings in Marengo County, Alabama, and a list of taxable property in Marengo County belonging to the estate of Robert H. McFaddin. Most 1860 items have to do with slaves. They include two tax lists, dated 1 March 1860, describing slaves owned by Johnston as of that date, and several items from May 1860 that show the distribution of slaves among various plantations.

Folder 2

1862-1869 #02489-z, Series: "Johnston and McFaddin Family Papers, 1839-1890." Folder 2

1862-1863: Items include a 29 August 1862 newspaper clipping about Confederate tax in Greene County and financial papers and tax statements relating to Johnston's property and to property in the estates of Robert H. and Mary A. McFaddin, including several lists and descriptions of slaves. In a 9 May 1863 letter, Johnston wrote to W. C. Oliver of Eutaw, Alabama, advising him on the procedure for selling a slave and stating that he was prepared to destroy all books and papers should the enemy appear. In October 1863, there are two receipts for the sale of cotton from McFaddin's estate to business houses in Selma and Mobile, Alabama.

1865: Statements for cotton sold at Le Havre, Liverpool, Mobile, and New York and several copies of "Merchants' and Planters' Prices--Current."

1866-1869: Two contracts, 1 January 1866 and 31 January 1868, of Johnston with freedmen for work on Canebrake (also spelled Canebreak) Plantation in Hale County, Alabama. There are also miscellaneous letters and market reports relating to the selling of cotton in Mobile, Liverpool, and New Orleans and a 15 October 1868 circular from the S. J. Murphy and Company of Mobile telling about the condition of the cotton crop and urging crop diversification. In several letters, 1866-1868, D. C. B. Connerly of the Stonewall Institute in Dallas County, Alabama, discussed the education of his grandsons, and there is a 15 January 1868 letter from Lida McFaddin to Connerly about her brothers. Also included are 8 May 1868 tax statements for Johnston and for the McFaddin estate and a letter, dated 1 May 1869, from Albert Smedes of St. Mary's School in Raleigh, North Carolina, to a Doctor G. Drake, stating that Smedes had learned that Drake was to replace Johnston as guardian of Mary and Carrie McFaddin and enclosing a bill for their schooling.

Folder 3

1873-1890 #02489-z, Series: "Johnston and McFaddin Family Papers, 1839-1890." Folder 3

Several letters to Mrs. V. F. Dalton of Uniontown, Perry County, Alabama, from Marcus A. Wolff of St. Louis, Missouri, concerning her financial affairs, hard times in the South, and family news. Wolff was apparently involved in real estate and handling Mrs. Dalton's business affairs. There is also a letter to Mrs. Dalton from a minister in Corinth, Mississippi, concerning the activities of his church.

Extra Oversize Paper Folder X-OPF-2489/1

Two maps, 1980 #02489-z, Series: "Johnston and McFaddin Family Papers, 1839-1890." X-OPF-2489/1

A map of Tredegar, Alabama, and one of the Cahaba Coal Field in Alabama.

Folder 4

Undated #02489-z, Series: "Johnston and McFaddin Family Papers, 1839-1890." Folder 4

Recipe for dypepsia pills. Plat for land "around Blunt Springs."

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Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, May 1991

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, January 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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