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Collection Number: 01704

Collection Title: Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925.

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 and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 460 items)
Abstract Members of the Wirt family of Virginia, Maryland, and Florida include William Wirt (1772-1834); his wife Elizabeth Gamble Wirt and their children; Wirt's son-in-law Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough (1805-1877) of Florida; and James McCutcheon Baker (1837-1900) of Pensacola, Fla., who married Wirt's granddaughter. The collection contains personal and family correspondence of William Wirt (1772-1834), of Virginia and Maryland, lawyer, author, and United States attorney general, and of his descendants, including letters, 1802-1822, concerning Wirt's biography of Patrick Henry and his other writings and business and financial affairs; family correspondence, 1824-1832, chiefly between Wirt and his son, William Cabbell Wirt, at school in Massachusetts; letters of condolence at Wirt's death; family letters from the Wirt children to their mother and to each other; family and naval correspondence, 1838-1867, of Wirt's son-in-law, Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough (1805-1877), serving with the United States Navy in Brazil, Europe, and Washington, D.C.; and papers, 1861-1919, of James McCutcheon Baker (1837-1900), of Florida, who married Wirt's granddaughter, concerning his Confederate naval career and postwar sea voyages, chiefly letters to his family in New Orleans. Papers after 1900 are of Baker's wife and children. Volumes include William Wirt's reminiscences of his early years, written in 1825 and 1833; Mrs. Wirt's lettercopy books, 1834-1841; and a lettercopy book, 1848-1849, of a female relative teaching school in Pensacola, Fla. Also included are fragments of William Wirt's manuscript on Patrick Henry.
Creator Wirt family.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
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 Wirt Family Papers, #1704, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Gifts of Mrs. Edward M. L'Engle, Jacksonville, Fla., 1950; Mrs. John Cates, Baltimore, Md., 1950; Mrs. Pauline Coad, Savannah, Ga., and Mrs. Paul Cavanaugh, Staten Island, N.Y., 1962
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
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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Members of the Wirt family of Virginia, Maryland, and Florida include William Wirt (1772-1834); his wife Elizabeth Gamble Wirt and their children; Wirt's son-in-law Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough (1805-1877) of Florida; and James McCutcheon Baker (1837-1900) of Pensacola, Fla., who married Wirt's granddaughter.

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The collection contains personal and family correspondence of William Wirt (1772-1834), of Virginia and Maryland, lawyer, author, and United States attorney general, and of his descendants, including letters, 1802-1822, concerning Wirt's biography of Patrick Henry and his other writings and business and financial affairs; family correspondence, 1824-1832, chiefly between Wirt and his son, William Cabbell Wirt, at school in Massachusetts; letters of condolence at Wirt's death; family letters from the Wirt children to their mother and to each other; family and naval correspondence, 1838-1867, of Wirt's son-in-law, Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough (1805-1877), serving with the United States Navy in Brazil, Europe, and Washington, D.C.; and papers, 1861- 1919, of James McCutcheon Baker (1837-1900), of Florida, who married Wirt's granddaughter, concerning his Confederate naval career and postwar sea voyages, chiefly letters to his family in New Orleans. Papers after 1900 are of Baker's wife and children. Volumes include William Wirt's reminiscences of his early years, written in 1825 and 1833; Mrs. Wirt's lettercopy books, 1834-1841; and a lettercopy book, 1848-1849, of a female relative teaching school in Pensacola, Fla. Also included are fragments of William Wirt's manuscript on Patrick Henry.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 1a

Folder 1

1802-1815 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1816-1827 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

1828-1829 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

1832-1834 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

1835-1838 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

1839-1843 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7

1844-1849 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 7

Folder 8

1850-1858 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

1859 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

1861-1863 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

1865-1865 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

1866-1867 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

1868-1869 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

1870-1874 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

1875-1879 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 15

Folder 16

1880-1887 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 16

Folder 17

1888-1889 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 17

Folder 18

1890 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 18

Folder 19

1891 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 19

Folder 20

1892-1899 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 20

Folder 21

1900-1909 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 21

Folder 22

1910-1917 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 22

Folder 23

1924-1925 #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 23

Folder 24

Undated and miscellaneous #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 24

Folder 25

Biographical and genealogical data #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 25

Folder 26

Childhood remininscences of William Wirt #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 26

Folder 27-28

Folder 27

Folder 28

Letterbook, 1834-1841, Mrs. William Wirt #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 27-28

Folder 29

Letterbook, 1848-1849, Miss Josephine M. Hutton #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." Folder 29

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-1704/1

Fragments of manuscript on Patrick Henry #01704, Series: "Wirt Family Papers, 1802-1925 and undated." OPF-1704/1

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Adam Fielding, Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, September 2010

This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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