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Collection Number: 04025

Collection Title: George Washington Sargent Papers, 1840-1900

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.


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Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 12 items)
Abstract George Washington Sargent, the son of Winthrop Sargent (1753- 1820) and of Mary McIntosh (Williams) Sargent, was born in Mississippi, where his father was the first territorial governor. After his marriage to Margaret Percy, he lived in Philadelphia, Pa., and Natchez, Miss., from which he managed his family's extensive property holdings in Ohio, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The collection includes ten letter books and letterpress copybooks, 1840-1862, primarily containing copies of business correspondence related to the management of Sargent's extensive property in Ohio and Mississippi, including detailed letters, 1851-1862, on plantation management, the collection of notes and mortgages, the sale of crops, and other financial matters. Also included are copies of letters from Sargent to his wife, Margaret Percy Sargent, and other members of his family. There are also an account book, 1842-1846, relating to the estate of George Washington Sargent's mother, Mary McIntosh Williams Sargent, including her land holdings in Mississippi and Louisiana, and another account book that is pasted over with political newspaper clippings, 1862-1900.
Creator Sargent, George Washington, d. 1864.
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 George Washington Sargent Papers #4025, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
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 from R. A. Van Telligen of Chicago, Ill., in April 1978.
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

George Washington Sargent (d. 1864), the son of Winthrop Sargent (1753 1820) and his second wife Mary McIntosh Williams, was born in Mississippi, where his father served as first territorial governor. He lived in Philadelphia, Pa., and, with his wife Margaret (Meg) Percy Sargent, in Natchez, Mississippi. They had at least four children: Winthrop Sargent (1825 1870), who married Sarah Ellery Gray in 1851; George Sargent; Jane Sargent Duncan, who married W. D. Duncan; and Robert P. Sargent. Jane C. Williams was George Washington Sargent's half sister.

There are biographical sketches of both Winthrop and George Sargent in Dictionary of American Biography, XVI: 368 370, where it is noted that George Washington Sargent "was brutally murdered in 1864" at Natchez, Miss.

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The collection includes ten letter books and letterpress copybooks, 1840-1862, primarily containing copies of business correspondence related to the management of George Washington Sargent's extensive property in Ohio and Mississippi, including detailed letters, 1851-1862, on plantation management, the collection of notes and mortgages, the sale of crops, and other financial matters. Also included are copies of letters from Sargent to his wife, Margaret Percy Sargent, and other members of his family. There are also an account book, 1842-1846, relating to the estate of George Washington Sargent's mother, Mary McIntosh Williams Sargent, including her land holdings in Mississippi and Louisiana, and another account book that is pasted over with political newspaper clippings, 1862-1900.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Volumes, 1840-1900.

23 items.

All volumes were created by George Washington Sargent, except for Volume 12, which may have been begun by him and continued by a relative after his death in 1864. Because of faded and smeared ink, many of the letterpress copies are difficult to read.

Folder 1

Volume 1: Letter book, 31 August 1840-10 May 1841, 48 leaves #04025, Series: "Volumes, 1840-1900." Folder 1

Business letters from George Washington Sargent at Philadelphia, Pa., chiefly about property in Ohio and Mississippi and the collection and payment of notes and mortgages.

Folder 2

Volume 2: Letter book, 10 May 1841-14 March 1843, 104 leaves #04025, Series: "Volumes, 1840-1900." Folder 2

Business letters from George Washington Sargent at Philadelphia, Pa., and Natchez, Miss., including a letter, dated 10 May 1841, to Robert Patterson, his new agent in Mississippi, describing his property in the state and outlining his expectations for its management.

Folder 3

Volume 3: Account book, 16 January 1842-1 July 1846. 9 pages #04025, Series: "Volumes, 1840-1900." Folder 3

Scattered entries for expenses and income of George Washington Sargent as trustee/executor for Mary McIntosh Williams Sargent's estate.

Folder 4

Volume 4: Letterpress copybook, 18 February 1843-October 1846, 469 leaves #04025, Series: "Volumes, 1840-1900." Folder 4

Letters from George Washington Sargent at Philadelphia, Pa., chiefly about financial/legal and plantation matters.

Folder 5

Volume 5: Letterpress copybook, 13-14 March 1843 and 21-26 September 1854, 16 leaves of text #04025, Series: "Volumes, 1840-1900." Folder 5

Letters from George Washington Sargent at Philadelphia, Pa., and Natchez, Miss., chiefly about financial/legal matters.

Folder 6

Volume 6: Letter book, 24 December 1845-17 March 1846, 32 pages #04025, Series: "Volumes, 1840-1900." Folder 6

Letters from George Washington Sargent at Natchez, Miss., chiefly about financial/legal matters related to the settlement of his mother's estate and the sale of her property in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Folder 7

Volume 7: Letter book, 17 March-10 December 1846, 18 pages #04025, Series: "Volumes, 1840-1900." Folder 7

Letters from George Washington Sargent at Natchez, Miss., chiefly about financial/legal matters related to property in Mississippi and the settlement of his mother's estate.

Folder 8

Volume 8: Letterpress copybook, 17 November 1851-20 February 1853, 304 leaves #04025, Series: "Volumes, 1840-1900." Folder 8

Letters from George Washington Sargent at Natchez, Miss., to his son Winthrop Sargent at Philadelphia, Pa., chiefly about personal, family, and financial/legal matters; and to his plantation overseer about plantation matters. Other scattered business letters are chiefly concerned with crops and landholdings.

Folder 9

Volume 9: Letterpress copybook, 20 February 1853-20 September 1854, 471 leaves #04025, Series: "Volumes, 1840-1900." Folder 9

Letters from George Washington Sargent at Natchez, Miss., similar to those in Volume 8.

Folder 10

Volume 10: Letterpress copybook, 28 September 1854-23 September 1860, 889 leaves #04025, Series: "Volumes, 1840-1900." Folder 10

Letters from George Washington Sargent at Natchez, Miss., similar to those in volumes 8 and 9. There are also letters to Robert P. Sargent, chiefly about the management of Robert's plantation.

Folder 11

Volume 11: Letterpress copybook, 27 September 1860-25 November 1862, 283 leaves #04025, Series: "Volumes, 1840-1900." Folder 11

Letters from G.W. Sargent to his overseer, chiefly about plantation matters; to Margaret Percy Sargent, Winthrop Sargent, George Sargent, Jane Sargent Duncan, and W. B. Duncan, chiefly about family, personal, and political matters; and scattered letters chiefly about financial/legal matters. Letters from October 1860 to May 1861 frequently mention the 1860 presidential election, its effect on the South, the secession crisis in Mississippi, and the disruption of family relationships by the turmoil.

Folder 12

Volume 12: Account/scrapbook, various years including 1860-1862, 1865-1866, and scattered years to 1900, 90 pages and 11 enclosures #04025, Series: "Volumes, 1840-1900." Folder 12

Account book, possibly kept by George Washington Sargent, later used as a scrapbook of political newspaper clippings concerned with, among other things, the speeches and statements of political leaders about the North and the South; slavery and emancipation; reconstruction; and other political and social matters. Enclosures, mostly 1870-1900, are newspaper clippings and loose items from the Denver, Col., area, and relate to political and social matters.

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Processing Information

Processed by: E. Neal and Erik D. France, 1978; 1991

Encoded by: Roslyn Holdzkom, October 2007

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