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Collection Number: 03073

Collection Title: William S. Leonard Papers, 1808-1862 (bulk 1808-1829).

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 and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 161 items)
Abstract The collection includes papers created and accumulated by William S. Leonard and his brother, Isam Leonard, sons of Jacob Leonard of South Bridgewater, Mass. William came to North Carolina in 1819 with New England goods to sell, and remained for over a year in Hertford, Perquimans County, as a school teacher. The next year he and his brother opened a store in Hertford which they operated for several years, returning to Massachusetts over the summers. In 1822 they moved their business to Windsor, Bertie County, N.C. In 1825 they both became ill, William died, and Isam moved back to Massachusetts, returning to North Carolina the next year to close the business. The papers consist of letters between the brothers, correspondence with another brother, L. W. (Levi Washburn) Leonard, a Unitarian minister in Dublin, N.H., and with their father; a few letters from North Carolinians, especially Edward Wood and John S. Wood, of Hertford; and letters and other papers from commission merchants in Boston, New Bedford, New York, and elsewhere. The later items deal with efforts to collect money owed to the Leonards, and with later members of the family. There is one letter, 16 May 1862, written by a Union soldier from Massachusetts while in New Bern, N.C.
Creator Leonard, William S., 1794-1825.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
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 S. Leonard Papers, #3073, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from Margaret S. Hall of West Dennis, Mass., 1954-1955.
Additional materials purchased from Vivian McMillan of Assinippi, Mass., February 1956 and May 1963, and from Carmen D. Valentino of Philadelphia, Pa., August 1990 (Acc. 90101).
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

William S. Leonard (1794-1825), son of Jacob Leonard of South Bridgewater, Mass., came to North Carolina in 1819 with New England goods to sell, and remained for over a year in Hertford, Perquimans County, as a school teacher. The next year he and his brother, Isam, opened a store in Hertford which they operated for several years, returning to Massachusetts over the summers. In 1822 they moved their business to Windsor, Bertie County, N.C. In 1825 they both became ill, William died, and Isam moved back to Massachusetts, returning to North Carolina the next year to close the business.

The Leonards dealt in a variety of produce in North Carolina, shipping to the North wheat, corn, sweet potatoes, beeswax, tar, turpentine, staves, feathers, tallow, peas, flaxseed, and cotton. In Windor they operated a cotton gin. Among the items they sold were chairs, salt, rum, cotton gins, hardware, drygoods, and other general merchandise.

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The collection includes papers created and accumulated by William S. Leonard and his brother, Isam, and consist of letters between the brothers; correspondence with another brother, Levi, a Unitarian minister in Dublin, N.H., and with their father; a few letters from North Carolinians, especially Edward Wood and John S. Wood, of Hertford; and letters and other papers from commission merchants in Boston, New Bedford, New York, and elsewhere. The later items deal with efforts to collect money owed to the Leonards, and with later members of the family. There is one letter, 16 May 1862, written by a Union soldier from Massachusetts while in New Bern, N.C.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse William S. Leonard Papers, 1808-1862 and undated.

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, September 2009

This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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