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Collection Number: 01076-z

Collection Title: Latta Family Papers, 1799-1879

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 62 items
Abstract The collection includes chiefly bills and accounts for purchases, mostly 1799-1816, legal papers, and a few business letters of James Latta (1755-1837), farmer and merchant of Mecklenburg County, N.C., and York District, S.C.
Creator Latta family.
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 Latta Family Papers #1076-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 Dr. Chalmers Davidson 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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James Latta (1755-1837), merchant and plantation owner, was born in Ireland. He emigrated to the United States, probably in 1785, and soon established himself as a merchant in York County, S.C., and Mecklenburg, Iredell, Lincoln, and Rowan counties, N.C. His first wife died in Ireland while he was in the United States. In 1795, he married Jane Knox (1776-1864). She gave birth to three daughters, Elizabeth, Mary, and Nancy. From 1799 to 1800, James Latta contracted to have a plantation house, Latta Place, built for his new family in Mecklenburg County, N.C.

By 1812, Robert Latta, James's son with his first wife, was able to become a merchant in Yorkville, S.C. Robert acquired much wealth and a considerable business reputation. He remained in South Carolina for most of the rest of his life.

James Latta's daughters married prominent planters of the region. Elizabeth married Benjamin Wilson Davidson of Mecklenburg County, N.C., and, after the death of her husband, married her sister Nancy's widower Major Rufus Reid of Iredell County, N.C. Mary married James Torrance of Mecklenburg County, N.C.

James Latta died in 1837. His wife survived him and their daughters and died in 1864.

(Sources:J. B. Alexander, Biographical Sketches of the Early Settlers of the Hopewell Section, 1897; and Maurice Moore, Reminiscences of York, reprint edition, 1981.)

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Chiefly financial and legal papers, 1799-1836, of the Latta family of Mecklenburg County, N.C., and York County, S.C., and a few other items.

Most items pertain to James Latta (1755-1837), merchant and farmer of Mecklenburg County, N.C., and York County, S.C. These include bills, receipts, accounts, promissory notes, items with references to slave ownership, and other business papers, 1799-1836. Also included are a 1799 cure for "yellow water;" an 1808 letter signed by James Latta concerning money owed to him; an 1809 sworn deposition of John Armstrong; an 1812 letter from David McEwen, a Tennessee business associate of James Latta; an 1814 account of Mary Latta's expenses as a student at Salem Boarding School; an 1816 business letter from John Matthews, a Tennessee business associate; an 1822 will of James Latta naming his wife Jane, his son Robert, and several grandchildren; an 1826 letter from C. W. Cozens, a South Carolina business supplier and family friend; an 1848 letter from Mary Smith to her daughter-in-law, Isabella Reid, regarding family matters; and an 1878 letter to Emma C. Reid from her sister Floy, containing mostly family information.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Timothy A. Long, September 1992

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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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