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Collection Number: 00963-z

Collection Title: P. H. Winston Papers, 1848-1879, 1930, 1938.

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 100 items
Abstract Patrick Henry Winston was a prominent lawyer of Windsor, N.C. The Williams family of Bertie and Martin counties, N.C., included H. S. (d. 1858?), Samuel (d. 1855?), Joseph J. (d. 1865?), John P. (d. 1860?), and William A. K. (fl. 1861-1873). Winston was counsel for William A. K. Williams and executor of the estate of Joseph J. Williams. The collection includes business papers of Winston, including Williams family estate papers; Winston's private business correspondence and financial and legal papers; and scattered legal items for several other clients. The papers document the management of the estates of H. S., Samuel, Joseph J., and John P. Williams; Winston's legal efforts in a case against John Williams's estate; slave sales in several North Carolina counties; medical care given slaves; the Norfolk cotton market, especially the Civil War's effect on it; and the postwar legal and financial difficulties of planters. Financial and legal items include slave bills of sale; accounts; tax and other receipts; deeds and surveys for Bertie, Franklin, and Martin County lands; loan notes; affidavits; a warrant; and a court petition. Of note is a volume, 1850-1853, containing the constitution, by-laws, and minutes of the Bertie Lyceum. There are also two letters addressed to Winston's sons in the 1930s, one from Jeff W. Lamar, who claimed to have played baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1875-1876.
Creator Winston, P. H. (Patrick Henry), 1820-1886.
Language English
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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 P. H. Winston Papers #963-z, 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
Received from F. S. Spruill of Rocky Mount, N.C., in March 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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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.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Patrick Henry Winston, lawyer of Windsor, N.C., was born in Franklin County in 1820. After attending Wake Forest College, he taught school in Bertie County, N.C., and then studied law in Washington, D.C., at the University of North Carolina, and later under Judge R. B. Gilliam in Oxford, N.C. For many years a prominent lawyer in Windsor, he held several political positions. Winston served Bertie County in the state legislature between 1850-1851 and 1854-1855; sat as a judge in the state court of claims during the Civil War; and served on the North Carolina Council of State from 1862 to 1864, being elected its president in 1864. Moving back to his native Franklin County toward the end of the war, he was a member of the state constitutional convention from that county in 1864. Winston later returned to Windsor, where he practiced law until shortly before his death in 1886. Winston had five children: Patrick Henry, Jr. (1847-1904); Francis D.; George T. (fl. 1930); Robert (fl. 1838); and Alice.

William A. K. Williams (fl. 1861-1873) was a cotton planter in Bertie County, who, in his capacity as executor of the estate of John P. Williams, employed the legal services of Winston. Before his death, John P. Williams had been the executor of the estate of H. S. Williams. John P. Williams's uncle, Colonel Joseph J. Williams, a cotton planter in Martin County, N.C., served as executor for the estate of Samuel Williams. Patrick Henry Winston acted as executor for Joseph J. Williams's estate. These papers do not suggest the relationship between Patrick Henry Winston and the other Winstons noted here.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The bulk of this collection consists of estate papers for the Williams family of Bertie and Martin counties, and documents the financial management of their estates and Patrick Winston's legal efforts on their behalf. The remaining papers are chiefly financial and legal items of Patrick Winston. Information appears on estate management; slave sales in several North Carolina counties; medical care given slaves; the cotton market, especially the Civil War's effect on it; and the postwar legal and financial difficulties of planters. No information appears on Winston's political career or personal life.

Series 1 chiefly contains legal and financial papers of Patrick Henry Winston, including slave bills of sale, 1848-1863, and a few deeds and surveys for Franklin and Bertie County lands. There are also a few miscellaneous letters. Of note is one volume, 1850-1853, containing the constitution, by-laws, and minutes of the Bertie Lyceum.

Series 2 contains the estate papers of H. S., Samuel, Joseph J., and John P. Williams and miscellaneous items pertaining to the legal affairs of other of Winston's clients. Papers include correspondence, accounts, receipts, affidavits, a warrant, a court petition, and loan notes.

Series 3 comprises two letters written to Patrick Henry Winston's sons, George and Robert, in the 1930s, one of which discusses the writer's playing baseball with the Philadelphia Athletics before the formation of the major leagues.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Personal Papers of Patrick Henry Winston, 1848-1879 and undated.

22 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Chiefly slave bills of sale, 1848-1863, with a few business letters, accounts, deeds, land surveys, and miscellaneous papers pertaining mostly to the legal and financial affairs of Patrick Henry Winston. Of note is a 37-page volume, 1850-1853, containing the constitution, by-laws, and minutes of the Bertie Lyceum, a debating society of which Winston was an active member. Letters received by Winston between 1873 and 1879 are from J. J. Pugh of Woodville, who managed Winston's plantations; E. W. Pugh, a cotton planter in Hamilton; and Edward C. Yellowby of Greenville. Topics in the letters include the poor quality of cotton crops, labor difficulties, plantation management, and the building of a railroad by the New York, Norfolk, and Charleston Railway Company through Bertie County. Deeds are for lands owned by Winston in Franklin and Bertie counties.

Folder 1

Personal Papers of Patrick Henry Winston #00963-z, Series: "1. Personal Papers of Patrick Henry Winston, 1848-1879 and undated." Folder 1

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Papers from the Law Practice of Patrick Henry Winston, 1858-1879.

79 items.

Chiefly estate papers for several members of the Williams family of Bertie County. The papers apparently came into the hands of Winston because he served as attorney for William A. K. Williams in a dispute over the estate of John P. Williams, and because Winston himself acted as executor for the estate of Joseph J. Williams. Miscellaneous items also appear related to the legal affairs of other clients. Papers include correspondence, accounts, receipts, affidavits, and miscellaneous legal documents.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. Estate Papers of H. S. Williams, 1858-1859.

2 items.

Petition to the court to sell slaves, dated November 1858, and tax receipt, 1859, for the estate of H. S. Williams. Both items are in the name of John P. Williams, estate executor.

Folder 2

Estate Papers of H. S. Williams #00963-z, Subseries: "2.1. Estate Papers of H. S. Williams, 1858-1859." Folder 2

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Estate Papers of Samuel Williams, 1856-1864.

32 items.

Tax receipts, accounts, and correspondence kept by Joseph J. Williams, executor for Samuel Williams, pertaining mostly to the financial affairs of Williams's heirs, Anne Williams, Samuel Williams, and Charity Williams Anthony. Accounts are mostly for boarding and medical expenses (including medical treatment of slaves) and groceries and dry goods purchased. Correspondence is with Norfolk commission merchants Odum & Clements and James Gordon & Co., and concerns expenditures they made for the Williams heirs and the cotton market. Of note is a letter, dated 27 January 1862, from Gordon & Co. describing in detail the effect of the Civil War on the sale of cotton abroad, the prospect for England and France entering the conflict, and other war news.

Folder 3

Estate Papers of Samuel Williams #00963-z, Subseries: "2.2. Estate Papers of Samuel Williams, 1856-1864." Folder 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.3. Estate Papers of Joseph J. Williams, 1866, 1872-1873 and undated.

6 items.

An account of William W. Anthony with Williams's estate for 1866; an 1866 letter from B. F. Moore concerning a note he held against Joseph Williams; receipts for state and county taxes paid for the estate by Patrick Henry Winston in 1872 and 1873; and two undated survey maps for lands possibly owned by Williams in Bertie County.

Folder 4

Estate Papers of Joseph J. Williams #00963-z, Subseries: "2.3. Estate Papers of Joseph J. Williams, 1866, 1872-1873 and undated." Folder 4

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.4. Estate Papers of John P. Williams, 1860-1873.

30 items.

Accounts, receipts, and legal papers kept by William A. K. Williams, executor of the estate of John P. Williams. Accounts are for hardware and dry good items purchased and doctor bills accrued (including medical attention to slaves) by John Williams. Accounts also appear for the schooling of John Williams's daughter, Ella. Receipts are mostly for taxes. Of note are several pages of accounts William A. K. Williams kept with the estate, 1860-1871; his correspondence with Patrick Henry Winston; and affidavits taken by Winston in reference to a case against the estate of John P. Williams.

Folder 5

Estate Papers of John P. Williams #00963-z, Subseries: "2.4. Estate Papers of John P. Williams, 1860-1873." Folder 5

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.5. Miscellaneous Legal Papers, 1858-1872.

10 items.

Letters, receipts, loan notes, a warrant, and miscellaneous items related to the legal affairs of Winston's clients and associates, among whom was G. H. Gregory of Roanoke, Va. Of note is a power-of-attorney, dated March 1858, naming D. W. Bagley as agent for the Green Swamp Company of Washington County.

Folder 6

Miscellaneous Legal Papers #00963-z, Subseries: "2.5. Miscellaneous Legal Papers, 1858-1872." Folder 6

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Other Items, 1930, 1938.

2 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

A letter of 23 December 1930 from Charles L. Van Noppen of Greensboro, N.C., to George Winston of Chapel Hill, N.C., wishing him holiday greetings, and a fragment of a letter dated 1938 from Jeff W. Lamar of Jacksonville, Fla., to his old roommate, Robert Winston, of Aiken, S.C. Lamar described his life since he had last seen Winston, focusing on his health problems and business affairs, and mentioning his playing baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics before the formation of the major leagues.

Folder 7

Other Items #00963-z, Series: "3. Other Items, 1930, 1938. " Folder 7

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jill Snider, 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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