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Collection Number: 00429

Collection Title: Lipscomb Family Papers, 1791-1926

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 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 210 items)
Abstract Lipscomb family, planters of South Carolina and Alabama, were chiefly descendants of John (fl. 1791) and Sally Lipscomb (born 1767), among them Smith Lipscomb Junior (born 1804) and his wife Sally Draper Lipscomb (1806- 1875) of Spartanburg District, S.C., and, after 1844, of Benton County, Ala. The collection is chiefly correspondence among members of the Lipscomb, Draper, and related Littlejohn families of South Carolina, Alabama, and Lamar County, Tex. Most antebellum letters relate to agricultural activities and family matters. Civil War letters from relatives and friends in the 7th and 9th Alabama regiments, 51st Alabama Regiment, and Holcombe's Legion (South Carolina Volunteers) chiefly discuss camp life, illnesses, and family matters. Letters from the Reconstruction period mention economic and social conditions and family matters. Scattered papers, 1909-1926, relate to Edward S. Lipscomb of Jacksonville, Ala. There are also account and day books, 1843-1867 and 1874, concerning various agricultural matters, cotton planting, and supplies and labor bought and sold, and a notebook listing birth dates of members of the Lipscomb family and another relating to six slaves owned by Smith Lipscomb Junior.
Creator Lipscomb 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 Lipscomb Family Papers #429, 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
Purchased before 1940.
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 Lipscomb and his son John Lipscomb (1761-1827) of Union District, S.C., settled in the District of Ninety-Six, S.C., in 1791. John and his wife Sally Lipscomb (born 1767) had several children, including Smith Lipscomb Junior (born 1804). Smith married Sally Draper Lipscomb (1806-1875) on 21 October 1824. They had at least five children, among them: Caroline (born 1825), Lucinda (born 1827), William O. (fl. 1861-1865), Edward S. (fl. 1871- 1926), and another son (probably Joshua), who died in camp while serving in the 7th Alabama Regiment in 1861. William O. Lipscomb served in Company B, 7th Alabama from 1861 to about 1862, when he transferred to the 51st Alabama Regiment (Partisan Rangers), led by John Tyler Morgan (1824- 1907). He was paroled as a member of the latter unit in May 1865.

Other members of the Lipscomb family include: Elizabeth Lipscomb Littlejohn (born 1784); Sally (born 1787); William (born 1789); and twins Edward and Sally (born 1795). Members of the Draper family include Joshua and Laurence J. One of the Drapers served in the Confederate Army as captain of Company B, 7th Alabama Regiment. Members of the Littlejohn family include Francis and Thomas. Members of the Wilkins family, either relatives or friends of the extended family, include Moses, Robert, and John.

William E. Pool, a friend or possibly relative of some of the Lipscombs and Drapers, served with the 19th Alabama Regiment. Another relative served for part of the Civil War in Holcombe's Legion, a South Carolina unit consisting of four cavalry and nine infantry companies.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Personal correspondence and financial and legal papers, chiefly consisting of correspondence, 1840-1870, of Smith Lipscomb Junior, and his wife, Sally Draper Lipscomb, of Spartanburg District, S.C., and, after 1844, of Benton County, Ala., with other members of the Lipscomb, Draper, and related Littlejohn families of South Carolina, Alabama, and Texas. Civil War letters from relatives and friends in the 7th and 9th Alabama regiments, 51st Alabama Regiment (Partisan Rangers), and Holcombe's Legion (South Carolina Volunteers), discuss camp life, illnesses, picket duty, and family matters. Letters of the Reconstruction period mention economic and social conditions and family matters. There are also papers, 1909-1926, of Edward S. Lipscomb of Jacksonville, Ala.

Volumes include account and daybooks, 1843-1867 and 1874, concerning various agricultural matters, cotton planting, and supplies bought and sold. Also included is a notebook listing birth dates of members of the Lipscomb family and one of six slaves owned by Smith Lipscomb Junior. There is also an incomplete Pennsylvania edition of an 1855 farmer's almanac.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence and Other Loose Papers, 1791-1926 and undated.

About 200 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Chiefly correspondence between members of the Lipscomb and Draper families from locations in South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, and in various additional locations (mostly Florida and Tennessee) from members serving with the Confederate army. There are scattered letters, 1866 to 1883, from members of the Draper family, chiefly about homesteading in Lamar County, Tex., and family matters. Other loose papers include financial and legal papers, including land deeds of members of the Lipscomb family in South Carolina and Alabama, and 1865 parole and citizenship papers of William O. Lipscomb.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. 1791-1860.

Items include:

An indenture, Spartanburg District, S.C., 6 September 1791, transferring 245 acres of land from Phillemon and Molly Martin to John Lipscomb.

A broadside, 26 October 1832, calling for a convention of the people of South Carolina to consider the tariff act, with imprint of Henry Deas and Henry L. Pinckney of the South Carolina legislature.

An item, 3 October 1844, announcing the next day's election "to fill the vacancy of John B. Richards to comand [sic] the Second Battalion, ninth Brigade and 37 Ridgement [Regiment] of the South Carolina Militia..."; Samuel Littlejohn, Smith Lipscomb, and John Philips are listed as "Managers," and B. F. Bates and G. M. Stewart as candidates. On the reverse, undated, is a list of five subscribers, including William Poole, to be taught basic education by Joshua Draper Junior.

A letter, 11 June 1846, probably from Sally Draper Lipscomb in Benton County, Ala., to "Dear Brother" in South Carolina, mostly about family matters. Evidently of limited education, she described the area in which she and her immediate family lived, their house, and their living conditions.

A letter, 12 April 1851, from "Bailey King" Draper at Jefferson City, Ala., to Caroline Lipscomb at Jonesboro, Alexandria P.O., Benton County, Ala., in which social events (including a wedding) in the vicinity are described, and mentioned personal and family matters.

A letter, 13 December 1851, from Edward Lipscomb at Spartanburg District, S.C., to Smith and Sally Draper Lipscomb at Cedar Springs P.O., Benton County, Ala., about the declining health of Sally Lipscomb and other family matters, and about the crop conditions in the vicinity.

A letter, 20 March 1852, from Elizabeth Lipscomb Littlejohn at Spartanburg District, S.C., to Smith Lipscomb, giving her view of the health of their mother, and conditions in the neighborhood. A leaf of paper signed by Smith Lipscomb and dated 22 March 1858, providing the location and size of his farm (Section 9, Township 14, Range 7 East; 321.92 acres) and the birth dates and ages of six slaves.

Folder 1

1791-1807 #00429, Subseries: "1.1. 1791-1860." Folder 1

Folder 2

1827-1849 #00429, Subseries: "1.1. 1791-1860." Folder 2

Folder 3

1850-1858 #00429, Subseries: "1.1. 1791-1860." Folder 3

Folder 4

1860 #00429, Subseries: "1.1. 1791-1860." Folder 4

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. 1861-1926.

Items include:

A letter, 15 September 1861, William O. Lipscomb at Warrington, Escambia County, Fla., with the 7th Alabama Regiment, to Smith Lipscomb at Benton County, Ala., about the death by illness of Joshua Lipscomb, and about his own accidental gunshot wound to the hand. Subsequent letters mention the same subjects, and the impossibility of attaining a furlough.

A letter, 23 September 1861, from W. E. Poole at Camp Jones, Huntsville, Ala., with the 9th Alabama Regiment, to "Miss Millia" Lipscomb and family at Benton County, Ala., chiefly about personal matters, including his acute fear of infection from camp sickness, especially after attending the burial of three soldiers from Pensacola, Fla., and one from the 4th Alabama Regiment. He also mentioned his high opinion of "the Huntsville ladies" and his low opinion of the young men back home who "wont [sic] Fight for ther [sic] country."

A letter fragment, 23 November 1861, from Captain Draper of the 7th Alabama Regiment, at Tinersville, Hamilton County, Tenn., to Smith and Sally Draper Lipscomb at Benton County, Ala., expressing his opinions about the war and the condition of his company; it is mostly philosophical in tone.

A letter, 28 January 1862, from "an itinerant preacher of the Methodist Episcopalian Church South," at "Misilanes, Arizonia," to D. Treadwell, Esquire, regarding the death of the latter's son (E. A. Treadwell?) in the Confederate army from smallpox.

A letter, 11 May 1862, from Thomas S. Lipscomb at Camp Capers, S.C., with Holcombe's Legion (South Carolina Volunteers), to Smith Lipscomb, regarding his ill health, his movements from camp to camp, illness in his immediate family, illness in Holcombe's Legion, insufficient food, fears in Charleston, and the general effects of the war in South Carolina.

A letter, 26 November 1862, from William E. Pool at Saint Marie's Hospital, Dalton, Ga., to Caroline Lipscomb about his convalescence, the hardships of campaigning, difficulties and adventures in attaining food, and personal matters.

A letter from Joshua R. Kirby at a camp near Cumberland Gap, Tenn., circa 1862, regarding his health, the health of his "very large regiment" (not named), picket duty, camp life, preparing food, and reading his Bible. He also mentioned that Thomas Littlejohn "stands the camps fine."

A letter, 10 March 1863, from William O. Lipscomb at Fosterville, Tenn., mentioning incidents of picket duty, Colonel John Tyler Morgan of the 51st Alabama Regiment (Partisan Rangers), and personal matters.

A letter, 23 September 1863, from William O. Lipscomb in the Chattanooga valley, Tenn., that begins: "I sit my self this Morning to drop you a fue [sic] lines to let you no [sic] that we are yet withe [sic] the living...." He mentioned the general chaos, especially in the Union Army, in the wake of the Battle of Chickamauga, including capture of 40-50 wagons and 300-400 prisoners.

A letter, 20 October 1864, from Francis Hunt at Hunts Station, Tex. (or Tenn.), mentioning the poor condition of freedmen. "Over half are now dead. None are going to them ['the Yankees'] now they have learned that it don't pay...." He also mentioned family and personal matters.

A letter, 29 November 1864, from H. R. Moore at Bay Springs, Miss., to Smith Lipscomb, regarding the devastation wrought by the Union Army ("the thieving scamps"), "broken" and wounded men at home, contemplation of joining the Confederate army, his wish to remove his cotton "should [general John Bell] Hood relieve our oppressed country," and family matters.

A parole slip, 2 May 1865, for "Wm. Lipscomb, Co. D, 51st Alabama Cavalry," (Partisan Rangers) at Ashville, S.C. [N.C.?]. There is also his oath of allegiance, 23 September 1865.

A letter, 11 April 1871, from Edward and Elizabeth Lipscomb at Spartanburg, S.C., to Smith Lipscomb Junior, discussing difficult economic conditions and family matters. The writers complained about expensive taxes levied by "our negro legeslator [sic]," and mentioned activities of the "K.Ks" (the Ku Klux Klan) in Union and Chester counties, S.C.

A number of letters and other loose papers from South Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama, from members of the Lipscomb and related families concerning family and personal matters, social and economic conditions, and agriculture during the Reconstruction period.

There are also several clippings.

Folder 5

1861-1865 #00429, Subseries: "1.2. 1861-1926." Folder 5

Folder 6

1866-1872 #00429, Subseries: "1.2. 1861-1926." Folder 6

Folder 7

1873-1879 #00429, Subseries: "1.2. 1861-1926." Folder 7

Folder 8

1880-1890 #00429, Subseries: "1.2. 1861-1926." Folder 8

Folder 9

1909-1926 #00429, Subseries: "1.2. 1861-1926." Folder 9

Folder 10

Undated #00429, Subseries: "1.2. 1861-1926." Folder 10

Folder 11

Clippings #00429, Subseries: "1.2. 1861-1926." Folder 11

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Account and Daybooks and Other Volumes, 1826-1874.

10 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Folder 12

Lipscomb family notes, 1826-1854 #00429, Series: "2. Account and Daybooks and Other Volumes, 1826-1874." Folder 12

Contains birth dates of members of the Lipscomb family, "Negro Polly," and horses. (8 p.)

Folder 13

Daybook, Benton County, Ala., 1843-1847 #00429, Series: "2. Account and Daybooks and Other Volumes, 1826-1874." Folder 13

Miscellaneous notes concerning agricultural work and other day labor. (13 p.)

Folder 14

Daybook, Smith Lipscomb Junior, Alexandria, Benton County, Ala., 1852-1854 #00429, Series: "2. Account and Daybooks and Other Volumes, 1826-1874." Folder 14

Notes concerning agricultural work, mostly with cotton and corn crops, and other day labor. (54 p.)

Folder 15

Daybook, Smith Lipscomb Junior, 1853-1854, 1874 #00429, Series: "2. Account and Daybooks and Other Volumes, 1826-1874." Folder 15

Wheat, coffee, cotton, sugar, potatoes, and wood borrowed, bought, or sold. 1874 notes concerning cattle. (15 p.)

Folder 16

Farmer's almanac, Pennsylvania edition, 1855 #00429, Series: "2. Account and Daybooks and Other Volumes, 1826-1874." Folder 16

Pages 7 to 30, covering part of February to December 1855, with monthly calendars, notes, and monthly tables of dates entitled "Court of Quarter Sessions, and Court of Common Pleas" for Pennsylvania counties. (fragment, 23 p.)

Folder 17

Cotton book, James Kirby, 1859, 1861-1862, 1866-1867 #00429, Series: "2. Account and Daybooks and Other Volumes, 1826-1874." Folder 17

Notes on cotton baled, wrapped, weighed, hauled, bought, and sold. (16 p.)

Folder 18

Account book, 1861-1864 #00429, Series: "2. Account and Daybooks and Other Volumes, 1826-1874." Folder 18

Notes on cotton, sugar, corn, beef, and other supplies bought and sold. There are brief references, August 1862, to Colonel J. T. Morgan of the 51st Alabama Partisan Rangers (p. 8, 10). There is "a liste of the children in the Alexandria township," Benton County, Ala., circa 1864 (p. 30-33), showing the number of children for each head of household. (40 p.)

Folder 19

Enclosures to account book, 1861-1864 #00429, Series: "2. Account and Daybooks and Other Volumes, 1826-1874." Folder 19

There is a receipt for crops gathered, 5 August 1859; on the reverse is a receipt for the purchase of a mule, 12 February 1864. There is an undated fragment of a song, "Chilly Waters," and on the reverse, lyrics to "Phillipians."

Folder 20

Account book and notes, 1861-1864 #00429, Series: "2. Account and Daybooks and Other Volumes, 1826-1874." Folder 20

Accounts of wheat, corn, cotton, payments received and owed; notes on distances travelled, days of school taught in 1863 (p. 20), and birth dates of members of the Wilkins family (p. 28) in very faded pencil. (28 p.)

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jane Adkins, January 1960; Erik D. France, May 1991

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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