unc logo

Collection Number: 01558

Collection Title: Langdon, Young, and Meares Family Papers, 1771-1877

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.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 75 items)
Abstract The collection includes family papers, chiefly 1830-1860, of related Wilmington, N.C., families. The collection includes letters, 1821-1838, from William Belvidere Meares (1787-1841) to his brother-in-law, James Alves of Henderson, Ky., about interests in slaves and a plantation; and letters, 1847-1859, from Paul H. Langdon and Samuel Langdon, U.S. Army officers, and Richard F. Langdon, a U.S. Navy officer, to their mother in Wilmington and to each other, written from Fort Laramie, Wyo., Stockton and Mare Island, Calif., and other places in the West about travels to these places and conditions there. Volumes include a merchant's account book and a diary, 1859-1860, 1862, 1867, of Armand De Rossett Young as a youth on Lyrias Plantation near Wilmington, chiefly concerned with studying and hunting.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

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 Langdon, Young, and Meares Family Papers #1558, 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 Mary Meares of Wilmington, N.C., in November 1948, September 1950, November 1950, and June 1954.
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.
Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Related Collections

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

William Belvidere Meares (1787-1841) of Sampson County and Wilmington, N.C., was married to Catherine Davis, whose older sister Maria Davis was married to James Alves of Henderson, Ky. Meares and Alves had a number of business interests together, particularly in horse breeding, slaves, and a plantation. Thomas Davis Meares (1848-1927), a grandson of William B. Meares, was a courier for Confederate General Wade Hampton during the Civil War. He married Jane L. Young in 1871.

Samuel Langdon came to Wilmington, N.C., from New England in the early 1800s and married Mary Jane Halsey. Their sons Paul (b. 1826) and Samuel (fl. 1847-1859), both U.S. Army officers, and Richard (b. 1828), a U.S. Navy officer, all traveled to California in the 1850s and wrote letters home about their travels in the West and their business interests. At one point both Paul and Richard were at Mare Island Navy Yard in California, where Richard was secretary to the commandant, Commodore David G. Farragut (1801-1870).

Armand D. Young, Sr., of Lyrias Plantation, N.C., was evidently the brother-in-law of Paul, Samuel, and Richard Langdon. He was probably the father of Armand De Rossett Young (fl. 1859-1867), who kept a diary in his youth at Lyrias Plantation. As noted above, Jane L. Young, daughter of Armand D. Young, Sr., married Thomas Davis Meares in 1871.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes family papers, chiefly 1830-1860, of related Wilmington, N.C., families. The collection includes letters, 1821-1838, from William Belvidere Meares (1787-1841) to his brother-in-law, James Alves of Henderson, Ky., about interests in slaves and a plantation; and letters, 1847-1859, from Paul H. Langdon and Samuel Langdon, U.S. Army officers, and Richard F. Langdon, a U.S. Navy officer, to their mother in Wilmington and to each other, written from Fort Laramie, Wyo., Stockton and Mare Island, Calif., and other places in the West about travels to these places and conditions there. Volumes include a merchant's account book and a diary, 1859-1860, 1862, 1867, of Armand De Rossett Young as a youth on Lyrias Plantation near Wilmington, chiefly concerned with studying and hunting.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. Meares Family, 1821-1838, 1877.

11 items.

Mostly letters from William Belvidere Meares (1787-1841), Wilmington and Sampson County, N.C., to his brother-in-law James Alves, with whom he had some cooperative business interests. The letters relate to horse breeding, plantation management, settlement of estates, the hiring out of slaves, and other financial matters; they also give news of family, friends, and social activities in North Carolina. Also included are two letters, 1877, to Thomas Davis Meares (1848-1927), the grandson of William B. Meares; one letter is from Charles Phillips, an old teacher of T.D. Meares, and the other from George D. Shadburne of San Francisco, concerning the 1876 presidential election.

Folder 1

Meares family correspondence #01558, Subseries: "1.1. Meares Family, 1821-1838, 1877." Folder 1

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. Langdon Family, 1829-1863 and undated.

32 items.

Mostly letters from Paul H. Langdon and his brothers Richard and Samuel to their mother Mary Jane Halsey Langdon in Wilmington and to each other. Letters from Paul include descriptions of barracks life at Fort Monroe, Va., Detroit, Mich., and Jefferson Barracks, Mo.; there are also descriptions of his travels across the country and of his life and business interests at Fort Laramie, Wyo., as well as family news and discussions of his plans for the future. Letters from Richard include descriptions of Acapulco and California, particularly the area around San Francisco and the Navy Yard at Mare's Island.

Also included are a letter, 1863, to "Ellen," probably Ellen Halsey; a letter, 1858, to Richard F. Langdon from David G. Farragut, consisting of a testimonial to the excellent service of R. F. Langdon in the several positions held by him while Farragut was at Mare Island Naval Yard; and a letter, undated, to Richard F. Langdon from Virginia Farragut, concerning mostly news of mutual friends.

Folder 2

1829-1852 #01558, Subseries: "1.2. Langdon Family, 1829-1863 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

1853-1863 and undated #01558, Subseries: "1.2. Langdon Family, 1829-1863 and undated." Folder 3

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.3. Young Family, 1860-1871.

4 items.

Letters to Jane L. Young on the occasion of her marriage to Thomas Davis Meares in 1871 and to Armand De Rossett Young of Lyrias Plantation, including one letter to each from Griffith John McRee (1819-1872), who was a friend of the family.

Folder 4

Young family correspondence #01558, Subseries: "1.3. Young Family, 1860-1871." Folder 4

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Papers.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. Langdon, Halsey and Young Families, 1820-1871.

21 items.

Accounts, bills of sale and other items pertaining to members of the Langdon and Halsey families, particularly Samuel Langdon and his wife Mary Jane Halsey Langdon, and some papers pertaining to Armand D. Young.

Folder 5

Langdon, Halsey, and Young family papers #01558, Subseries: "2.1. Langdon, Halsey and Young Families, 1820-1871." Folder 5

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Miscellaneous Items.

6 items.

Mostly poems, unattributed to any member of the three families. Also included is a surveyor's plat map of land in Bladen County, N.C.

Folder 6

Miscellaneous items #01558, Subseries: "2.2. Miscellaneous Items." Folder 6

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Volumes

4 volumes.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.1. Oversize Volume, 1811-1813.

1 volume.

A merchant's account book or parts of more than one, 1811-1813, with pictures, newspaper clippings, etc. pasted over a few of the sheets.

Folder 7

Folder number not used #01558, Subseries: "3.1. Oversize Volume, 1811-1813." Folder 7

Oversize Volume SV-1558/1

Volume S-1 #01558, Subseries: "3.1. Oversize Volume, 1811-1813." SV-1558/1

Merchant's account book/scrapbook.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.2. Other Volumes, 1837-1867.

3 volumes.

The diary of Armand De Rossett Young (fl. 1859-1867) and volumes not clearly attributed to any member of the three families. The diary, 1859-1860, 1862, 1867, chiefly concerns Young's studies and hunting at Lyrias Plantation near Wilmington, N.C. Other volumes include a record, 1837-1856, of texts of sermons preached at St. James's Episcopal Church in Wilmington, N.C., showing who preached on what dates and citing the Bible passages on which the sermons were based, and a scrapbook containing clippings, poems, essays, articles, pictures, recipes, etc. pasted in a shipper's account book. The shipper's accounts, 1808, consist of receipts and other records of cargoes, chiefly rum and lumber, to be shipped from Wilmington (25 pp).

Folder 8

Volume 2 #01558, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1837-1867." Folder 8

Armand D. Young diary.

Folder 9

Volume 3 #01558, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1837-1867." Folder 9

Record of sermons.

Folder 10

Volume 4 #01558, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1837-1867." Folder 10

Scrapbook/shipper's accounts.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Rebecca Hollingsworth, January 1992

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, December 2009

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.

Back to Top