unc logo

Collection Number: 01254

Collection Title: William Page Papers, 1783-1825

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.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 3.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2500 items)
Abstract William Page of Retreat Plantation, St. Simons Island (Glynn Co.), Ga., grew rice and Sea Island cotton. Page also owned Colonel's Island, Ga. The collection is primarily business papers related to ownership of land; purchase of articles for plantation and personal use; purchase and hire of slaves; settlement of the estates of John Timmons, Thomas Cater, and Joseph Dopson; the upbringing of Thomas Cater's son, Benjamin; shipment and marketing of cotton; and accounts of commission merchant Hugh Ross in Savannah, other merchants in Savannah, Darien, and Brunswick, Ga., and the firms of B. & I. Gray & Co. and William Christie in Liverpool, England.
Creator Page, William, 1764-1827.
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 William Page Papers #1254, 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
Gift of Mrs. J. Randolph Anderson in 1947.
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

Major William Page was a native of South Carolina. His title came from service with General Frances Marion in the American Revolution. Page and his wife, Hannah Timmons Page, moved to Georgia in the 1790s. They lived first in Bryan County, and then moved to St. Simons Island. Page managed plantations belonging to Pierce Butler until 1802, when Butler found a replacement in Roswell King. The Pages then bought and began development of James Spalding's plantation on the southern end of St. Simons. This plantation, which they named "Retreat," was eventually passed on to Page's only child, Anna Matilda Page, d. 1859, who in 1824 married Thomas Butler King. Page also bought other land in Georgia, including Colonel's Island.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

This collection consists primarily of business papers of William Page. The bulk of the papers deals with the business of shipping and marketing Page's cotton. There are letters, accounts, bills, and receipts of commission merchants in Savannah, Georgia, and Liverpool, England. Additional papers concern the affairs, especially the shipping and marketing of cotton, of estates for which Page was executor, particularly the estate of Thomas Cater. Only a few items in this collection document Page's family and personal life, the actual cultivation of crops on his plantation, or the lives or work of slaves or overseers on the plantation.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1786-1825 and undated.

About 1000 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. 1786-1812.

About 500 items.

Chiefly business correspondence of William Page from merchants, neighbors, and relatives. The earliest letters are letters in 1786 and 1787 of James Belcher, Savannah, to John Scott, Charleston, about ownership of Colonel's Island. In the 1790s there are letters of Joseph R. Dopson and Thomas Cater to William Page. Page later became executor of the estates of both men.

The major correspondents in the years before 1813 were Hugh Ross, commission merchant of Savannah, who wrote about the sale of Page's crops and purchase of supplies for Page; Joseph Clark of Sapelo Island, who wrote about the estate of Thomas Cater; and William Timmons of Charleston, South Carolina, a cousin of Page's wife, who wrote to Page about business in South Carolina.

Beginning in 1809, there is considerable correspondence about shipping and marketing cotton. Much of this correspondence deals with the embargo law and the difficulty of trade between England and the United States. A letter from Harrison and Latham Co. of Liverpool dated 1 May 1809, for example, expresses the hope that the non-intercourse bill would be repealed and direct trade between the United States and Great Britain would be reopened. During the years 1809, 1810, and 1811, there is correspondence indicating that Page shipped his cotton to England by way of Amelia Island, Florida. Letters from Harrison and Latham and from B.& I. Gray Co. of Liverpool advised Page of the prices of cotton and other American produce in Great Britain. A letter from Rudolphus Bogert, a New York merchant from whom Page purchased goods, advised Page in December 1811 that New York was not a good market for Sea Island cotton.

Letters from Joseph Clark to William Page in 1804 concern the estate of Thomas Cater. In 1805, Page agreed to manage the plantation belonging to the estate of Cater. There are a few letters in 1810-1812 concerning the education of Benjamin F. Cater, for whom Page was appointed guardian late in 1811.

Folder 1

1786-1802 #01254, Subseries: "1.1. 1786-1812." Folder 1

Folder 2

1803-1804 #01254, Subseries: "1.1. 1786-1812." Folder 2

Folder 3

1805 #01254, Subseries: "1.1. 1786-1812." Folder 3

Folder 4

1806 #01254, Subseries: "1.1. 1786-1812." Folder 4

Folder 5-6

Folder 5

Folder 6

1807 #01254, Subseries: "1.1. 1786-1812." Folder 5-6

Folder 7-8

Folder 7

Folder 8

1808 #01254, Subseries: "1.1. 1786-1812." Folder 7-8

Folder 9-13

Folder 9

Folder 10

Folder 11

Folder 12

Folder 13

1809 #01254, Subseries: "1.1. 1786-1812." Folder 9-13

Folder 14-18

Folder 14

Folder 15

Folder 16

Folder 17

Folder 18

1810 #01254, Subseries: "1.1. 1786-1812." Folder 14-18

Folder 19-21

Folder 19

Folder 20

Folder 21

1811 #01254, Subseries: "1.1. 1786-1812." Folder 19-21

Folder 22-25

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

1812 #01254, Subseries: "1.1. 1786-1812." Folder 22-25

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. 1813-1815.

About 200 items.

Primarily letters from, to, or about William Page's ward, Benjamin F. Cater. Cater had been sent to school in New Jersey in 1810, first at Bordenton, then at Morristown. Before 1813, a few letters about Cater were mixed in with Page's business correspondence. During the years 1813, 1814, and 1815, there is little business correspondence and much correspondence concerning the education, expenses, and problems of Benjamin Cater. In one notable letter dated 12 May 1813, William Page advised Cater of the importance of education to his future and advised him on the course of his career. Letters in 1814 and 1815 document the difficulty of finding a position in a mercantile business during these war years. From September 1814 through 1815, the majority of the letters deal with Benjamin Cater's problems arising from a paternity case against him.

Folder 26-27

Folder 26

Folder 27

1813 #01254, Subseries: "1.2. 1813-1815." Folder 26-27

Folder 28-29

Folder 28

Folder 29

1814 #01254, Subseries: "1.2. 1813-1815." Folder 28-29

Folder 30-35

Folder 30

Folder 31

Folder 32

Folder 33

Folder 34

Folder 35

1815 #01254, Subseries: "1.2. 1813-1815." Folder 30-35

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.3. 1816-1825.

About 300 items.

Chiefly business correspondence, along with limited personal correspondence, of William Page. Following the end of the War of 1812, Page's business correspondence resumed. The major correspondents are John McNish, merchant of Savannah, and William Christie of Liverpool, England. The main subjects of the correspondence are the purchase of supplies and the price and shipping of cotton from Georgia to England.

Three notable letters dated 19 June, 1 August, and 14 August 1817 from Samuel Boyd, Page's overseer on Colonel's Island, to Page in New York report on the weather, the health of the slaves, and the crops at Colonel's Island and at St. Simons.

Letters and a copy of an advertisement of a reward in 1818 and 1819 document Page's efforts to recover two runaway slaves.

Correspondence between Anna Matilda Page and B. King and Co. of Darien, Georgia, in 1822 and 1823 about lumber and other supplies for the plantation is also included. At the time these letters were written William Page was apparently in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Additional correspondence of Anna Matilda Page King and letters of William Page to her from New York and Newport may be found in the Thomas Butler King Papers (#1252), Series 1. Additional correspondence of William Page is in the William Audley Couper Papers (#3687).

Folder 36-40

Folder 36

Folder 37

Folder 38

Folder 39

Folder 40

1816 #01254, Subseries: "1.3. 1816-1825." Folder 36-40

Folder 41-43

Folder 41

Folder 42

Folder 43

1817 #01254, Subseries: "1.3. 1816-1825." Folder 41-43

Folder 44-45

Folder 44

Folder 45

1818 #01254, Subseries: "1.3. 1816-1825." Folder 44-45

Folder 46

1819 #01254, Subseries: "1.3. 1816-1825." Folder 46

Folder 47

1820-1821 #01254, Subseries: "1.3. 1816-1825." Folder 47

Folder 48

1822 #01254, Subseries: "1.3. 1816-1825." Folder 48

Folder 49

1823 #01254, Subseries: "1.3. 1816-1825." Folder 49

Folder 50

1824-1825 #01254, Subseries: "1.3. 1816-1825." Folder 50

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.4. Undated

4 items.

Undated letters and fragments. One is a short letter from Anna Matilda Page to her mother. The others concern purchases of a coat and a machine, and problems with mail service to and from St. Simons and Jekyll Island.

Folder 51

Undated letters and fragments #01254, Subseries: "1.4. Undated" Folder 51

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated.

About 1500 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Accounts, invoices, bills, receipts, other financial papers, and legal papers of William Page and of the estates which he administered. These papers are filed chronologically by the latest date on them. Business correspondence, including correspondence with accounts or other financial material enclosed, is filed in Series 1, Correspondence.

Nearly all of the papers for the period 1790 1800 are papers of the estate of Joseph R. Dopson in the Beaufort District of South Carolina. These include accounts for sales of rice in Charleston, an inventory of the estate dated 8 July 1796, a bill for jailing a runaway slave, tax receipts, and other papers. A few papers of the Dopson estate may be found in later years.

In files for the late 1790s are a few papers of the estate of John Timmons, including an "appraisement of Negroes belonging to the estate of John Timmons at the request of William Page, one of the executors," dated 19 April 1798.

In files for the late 1790s are a few papers of the estate of John Timmons, including an "appraisement of Negroes belonging to the estate of John Timmons at the request of William Page, one of the executors," dated 19 April 1798.

Financial and legal papers relating to the estate of Thomas Cater and to Page's guardianship of Benjamin Cater begin in 1804 and continue until 1818. Benjamin Cater's release to Page as executor and administrator of the estate is dated 23 March 1818. Page's dismissal from executorship is dated 1 May 1818.

Bills from Hugh Ross for household and plantation supplies are found in files from 1801 through 1816. Page purchased tools, blankets, gunpowder, medicine, toys, brandy, shoes, boots, and other goods through Ross. Although Page did business primarily with Hugh Ross, there are also bills for supplies bought from other merchants, including George Harral in Darien, Andrew Low in Savannah, George Abbott in Frederica, Alexander Habersham in Savannah, Isaac Abrahams in Brunswick, Small & McNish in Savannaah, Andrew Manson in Brunswick, and Rudolphus Bogert in New York. After 1816, Page did business primarily with John McNish of Savannah.

Ross's account of 4 May 1803 shows that he sold cotton in Liverpool and rice in London for Page. The majority of Ross's accounts with Page show sales of cotton on Page's behalf or on behalf of the estate of Thomas Cater, which Page administered. There are also some accounts of British firms for cotton sold for Page & Ross. There are accounts with Harrison Nephew & Co. in Manchester, England in 1805 and 1806, and with various merchants in Liverpool, including Harrison & Latham, B. & I. Gray, Gray and Wilson, and William Christie, for sales of cotton. Receipts for cotton from masters of ships sailing to England are also filed with financial and legal papers.

Throughout the financial and legal papers are bills, receipts, and accounts of Page as treasurer of the Academy of Glynn County.

Page's tax returns for 1804-5-6 filed in 1806 and for 1809, and his return for himself and those for whom he acted as agent in 1811 indicate the amount and value of the property Page owned and managed.

Page's purchase of Colonel's Island and his payments are documented by a memorandum of agreement between Page and Leighton Wilson dated 31 May 1811 and by receipts for payments to Wilson in later years. Also included is a memorandum of agreement between Page and Samuel Boyd in 1812 in which Boyd agreed to manage Page's Colonel's Island planting concerns.

An advertisement of 17 November 1818 offered a reward of $350 for return of a runaway slave.

Undated financial and legal papers include bills, receipts, and accounts, legal papers related to the Cater estate, a few bills of Miss Page and Mrs. Page, a list of house expenses and Negro expenses, and a paper titled "Estimated Value of Hampton & Butlers Island."

Folder 52

1790-1794 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 52

Folder 53

1795-1796 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 53

Folder 54

1797-1798 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 54

Folder 55

1799-1800 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 55

Folder 56

1801-1802 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 56

Folder 57

1803-1804 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 57

Folder 58

1805 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 58

Folder 59-60

Folder 59

Folder 60

1806 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 59-60

Folder 61

1807 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 61

Folder 62

1808 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 62

Folder 63-69

Folder 63

Folder 64

Folder 65

Folder 66

Folder 67

Folder 68

Folder 69

1809 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 63-69

Folder 70-75

Folder 70

Folder 71

Folder 72

Folder 73

Folder 74

Folder 75

1810 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 70-75

Folder 76-80

Folder 76

Folder 77

Folder 78

Folder 79

Folder 80

1811 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 76-80

Folder 81-87

Folder 81

Folder 82

Folder 83

Folder 84

Folder 85

Folder 86

Folder 87

1812 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 81-87

Folder 88-91

Folder 88

Folder 89

Folder 90

Folder 91

1813 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 88-91

Folder 92-95

Folder 92

Folder 93

Folder 94

Folder 95

1814 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 92-95

Folder 96-101

Folder 96

Folder 97

Folder 98

Folder 99

Folder 100

Folder 101

1815 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 96-101

Folder 102-104

Folder 102

Folder 103

Folder 104

1816 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 102-104

Folder 105-106

Folder 105

Folder 106

1817 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 105-106

Folder 107-111

Folder 107

Folder 108

Folder 109

Folder 110

Folder 111

1818 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 107-111

Folder 112

1819 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 112

Folder 113-114

Folder 113

Folder 114

1820 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 113-114

Folder 115

1821 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 115

Folder 116-118

Folder 116

Folder 117

Folder 118

1822 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 116-118

Folder 119

1823 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 119

Folder 120

1824-1825 #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 120

Folder 121-122

Folder 121

Folder 122

Undated #01254, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Papers, 1790-1822 and undated." Folder 121-122

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Other Papers, undated.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Linda Sellars, June 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Back to Top