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Collection Number: 04310

Collection Title: Elias Spencer Papers, 1844-1886

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.


Funding from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., supported the encoding of this finding aid and microfilming of this collection.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 25 items)
Abstract Elias Spencer of South Carolina was the father of Elisha Spencer, proprietor of a dry goods store in Lynchburg, Lee County, S.C. Elisha married M. A. Fraser and with her had sons Charles Spencer and William Francis Spencer (1851-1877) and daughters Jane Baxter Spencer ("Backie") and R. H. Spencer. During the Civil War, Elisha Spencer served in the Confederate States of America Army. Charles Spencer was an attorney in practice in Yorkville, S.C., during the 1870s. Backie married L. M. Crosswell and during the 1880s lived in Bishopville, S.C. The collection consists of correspondence among members of three generations of the Spencer family of South Carolina. The earliest letters, 1844, are from Elias Spencer to his son Elisha. Letters of 1846 are to Elisha's wife from her father, Robert Fraser. Two letters from 1858 were written by Elisha to his wife while he was on a business trip to Philadelphia and New York. Also included are three letters, 1864, from Elisha Spencer in a Confederate army camp near Florence, S.C., with one side of each addressed to his wife and the other to his son Charles. To his wife, Spencer lamented conditions in camp, his failing health, and his efforts to petition his way out of the army. To Charles, he wrote of more mundane matters, including what provisions to stock in the store. A letter of 7 January 1878 from Charles Spencer at Witherspoon and Spencer, Attorneys at Law in Yorkville, S.C., to his mother in Lynchburg reviews the last days and death of his younger brother, William Francis Spencer. Letters, 1883-1886, are chiefly to Backie from her parents and sister.
Creator Spencer, Elias, fl. 1844.
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 Elias Spencer Papers #4310, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (filmed 2007) available.
  • Reel 1: Entire collection
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mary Alice McDowell of York, S.C., in 1970 (Acc. 82052).
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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Elias Spencer of South Carolina was the father of Elisha Spencer, proprietor of a dry goods store in Lynchburg, Lee County, S.C. Elisha married M. A. Fraser, the daughter of Robert Fraser, and with her had sons Charles Spencer and William Francis Spencer (1851-1877) and daughters Jane Baxter Spencer ("Backie") and R. H. Spencer. During the Civil War, Elisha Spencer served in the Confederate States of America Army. Charles Spencer was an attorney in practice in Yorkville, S.C., during the 1870s. Backie married L. M. Crosswell and during the 1880s lived in Bishopville, S.C.

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The collection consists of correspondence among members of three generations of the Spencer family of South Carolina. The earliest letters, 1844, are from Elias Spencer to his son, Elisha Spencer. Letters of 1846 are to Elisha's wife, M. A. Spencer, from her father, Robert Fraser. Elisha Spencer was the proprietor of a dry goods store in Lynchburg, Lee County, S.C. Two letters from 1858 were written by him to his wife while he was on a business trip to Philadelphia and New York. Also included are three Civil War letters, 1864, from Elisha Spencer in a Confederate army camp near Florence, S.C. Each is actually two letters; one side of each is addressed to his wife and the other to his son Charles Spencer. To his wife, Spencer lamented conditions in camp, his failing health, and his efforts to petition his way out of the army. To Charles, he wrote of more mundane matters, including what provisions to stock in the store. A letter of 7 January 1878 from Charles Spencer at Witherspoon and Spencer, Attorneys at Law in Yorkville, S.C., to his mother in Lynchburg reviews the last days and death of his younger brother, William Francis Spencer (1851-1877). Letters, 1883-1886, are chiefly to Jane Baxter Spencer Crosswell ("Backie") of Bishopville, S.C., from her parents, Elisha and M. A. Spencer, and sister, R. H. Spencer.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1844-1886.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Brooke Allan, Roslyn Holdzkom, 1972-1987

Encoded by: Nancy Kaiser, July 2005

Funding from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., supported the encoding of this finding aid and microfilming of this collection.

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