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Collection Number: 00972

Collection Title: James Jones Philips Papers, 1814, 1832-1892.

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 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 65 items)
Abstract James Jones Philips was a physican and scientific farmer of Edgecombe County, N.C., and his cousin Ethelred Philips (1801-1870) was a physician and farmer of Mariana, Fla. The collection is chiefly letters from Ethelred Philips to James J. Philips. Many of them contain instructions to James in his capacity as the manager of Ethelred's business affairs in North Carolina. Letters often include information on crop yields, prices, and other aspects of the agricultural economy. Ethelred commented on a variety of subjects, including succession and his sympathy for the Union, the Confederate government, censorship, the problems of democracy, and post-war problems. He also discussed religion, philosophy, and the need for church reform and modernization; health care, including reports of various epidemics, his own ill health, and the medicial benefits of brandy, which he apparently liberally prescribed for himself; and relationships with slaves and freedmen. There are also a few letters to and from James J. Philips, Jr. (d. 1865) and other family members. Also included are accounts of James J. Philips; a physician's record book, 1832-1835; and an 1871 book of accounts with laborers. There is also an account book containing estate records, 1849-1858; accounts with Ethelred Philips, 1856- 1869; and accounts with slaves and freedmen, 1859-1860 and 1867-1870.
Creator Philips, James Jones, 1798-1874.
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 James Jones Philips Papers #972, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection available on microfilm.
Additional microfilm: All or part of this collection is also 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 Ella and Hattie Battle of Battleboro, N.C., in May 1945.
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

James Jones Philips (1798-1874), was a physician and scientific farmer of Edgecombe County, N.C. His cousin Ethelred Philips (1801-1870) was a physician and farmer of Marianna, Fla.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Papers of James Jones Philips (1798-1874), physician and scientific farmer, of Edgecombe County, N.C., and his cousin Ethelred Philips (1801-1870), physician and farmer of Marianna, Fla.

The bulk of the materials are letters from Ethelred Philips to James J. Philips. Many of them contain instructions to James in his capacity as the manager of Ethelred's business affairs in North Carolina. Letters often contain information on crop yields, prices, and other aspects of the agricultural economy. Their primary value, however, lies in their portrayal of the views and opinions of an articulate, pro-Union Southerner. Ethelred Philips commented on a variety of subjects, including the political issues of the day--secession, the Confederate government, censorship, problems with democracy, and reconstruction; religion and philosophy, and the need for church reform and modernization; health care--reports of various epidemics, his own ill health, and the medicinal benefits of brandy, which he apparently frequently used himself; and relationships with slaves and freedmen. There are also a few letters to and from James J. Philips, Jr. (d. 1865), and other family members. An 1892 biographical sketch of Dr. James J. Phillips(sic) and an undated "fishing tale" are filed in Series 1.

Also included are three volumes containing medical records and accounts of James J. Philips. Volume 1 is a physician's record book (1832-1835). Volume 2 is an account book of James J. Philips with several estate records, 1849-1858, records with Ethelred Philips, 1856-1869, and accounts with slaves and freedmen, 1859-1860 and 1867-1870. Volume 3 is an 1871 book of accounts with laborers. There are also a few miscellaneous receipts.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence and Other Items, 1854-1892.

About 55 items.

The bulk of the letters in this collection are from Ethelred Philips to his cousin James J. Philips. Many of them contain instructions to James in his capacity as the manager of Ethelred's business affairs in North Carolina. Letters often contain information on crop yields, prices, and other aspects of the agricultural economy. Their primary value, however, lies in their portrayal of the views and opinions of an articulate, pro-Union Southerner. Ethelred Philips commented frequently on political issues of the day; including secession, the Confederate government, censorship, problems with democracy, and reconstruction; religion and philosophy, and the need for church reform and modernization; health care, including reports of various epidemics, his own ill health, and the medicinal uses of brandy and whiskey; and relationships with slaves and freedmen. There are also a few letters to and from James J. Philips, Jr. (d. 1865), and other family members. An 1892 biographical sketch of Dr. James J. Phillips (sic) and an undated "fishing tale" are filed in folder 3.

Folder 1

1854-1860 #00972, Series: "1. Correspondence and Other Items, 1854-1892." Folder 1

Folder 2

1861-June 1865 #00972, Series: "1. Correspondence and Other Items, 1854-1892." Folder 2

Folder 3

July 1865-1881, 1892, and undated #00972, Series: "1. Correspondence and Other Items, 1854-1892." Folder 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Medical Records, 1831-1835 and undated.

2 items.

A book of accounts (volume 1) with many of the leading families of Edgecombe and surrounding counties for physician's services and drugs. Some of the patients included may have been slaves. There is also an undated cure for what is termed "the eating cancer."

Folder 4

Volume 1 #00972, Series: "2. Medical Records, 1831-1835 and undated." Folder 4

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Account Books and Receipts, 1814, 1849-1877.

9 items.

Two account books (volumes 2 and 3) and receipts of James J. Philips. Volume 2 includes Philips's accounts as an administrator of the estate of Bennett Bunn, 1849-1851, and several other estates, 1851-1858; provisions supplied to slaves, 1859-1860; accounts with Ethelred Philips, 1856-1869; miscellaneous accounts, 1863-1865; and accounts with freedmen, 1867-1870. Volume 3 includes Philips's accounts with hired laborers and records of days lost and provisions advanced to them. The miscellaneous receipts include an 1814 court receipt for Hope Adams (apparently a distant relation), a Confederate bond, two Confederate tax-in-kind forms, and an 1881 railroad receipt.

Folder 5

Volume 2, 1849-1870 #00972, Series: "3. Account Books and Receipts, 1814, 1849-1877." Folder 5

Folder 6

Volume 3, 1871-1877 #00972, Series: "3. Account Books and Receipts, 1814, 1849-1877." Folder 6

Folder 7

1814, 1864-1865, 1881 #00972, Series: "3. Account Books and Receipts, 1814, 1849-1877." Folder 7

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Processing Information

Processed by: Scott Philyaw, May 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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