unc logo

Collection Number: 01689

Collection Title: Nicholas Washington Woodfin Papers, 1795-1919, 1950

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

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.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 150 items)
Abstract Nicholas Washington Woodfin was born in Buncombe County, N.C., in 1810. In February 1831, he was admitted to practice law in the county courts, and soon after settled in Asheville, N.C. In 1840, Woodfin married Eliza Grace McDowell; the couple had three daughters. For ten years starting in 1844, Woodfin represented Buncombe and Henderson counties in the state senate. He was active on the Asheville school board and in the Episcopal church, and acted as the Buncombe County delegate to the North Carolina Secession Convention. During the Civil War, he was superintendent of the North Carolina Salt Works. Afterwards, he returned to the practice of law and died on 23 May 1876. The town of Woodfin, N.C., in Bumcombe County, is named for him. The papers include photocopies of deeds, legal papers, very scattered family and political correspondence, clippings, and speeches on agriculture, and other items of Buncombe County, N.C., lawyer and legislator Nicholas Washington Woodfin, his wife Eliza G. McDowell Woodfin, and other family members, chiefly 1840s-1870s. Included are a photocopy of the bill of auction for the Woodfin Mansion House and Grounds in Asheville, N.C., to be sold 13 August 1879, and a biographical sketch of Woodfin written by J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton in February 1950. There are also photocopies of county deeds; family and business letters; Civil War letters; obituaries; clippings; indenturies; estate papers; family history materials; remarks made at a presentation of Woodfin's portrait in Asheville in 1950; land warrant from Governor Patrick Henry to William Gibbs (apparently unrelated to the rest of the collection); three letters, 1853-1855, from slaves or ex-slaves who had gone to California with members of the family to work in the gold fields; letters of John W. Holland, including a few dated 1898-1901 when he was serving in the United States Army in the Philippines; and an original 1862 letter from Woodfin to Governor Clarke about the defense of eastern Tennessee.
Creator Woodfin, Nicholas Washington, 1810-1876.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
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 Nicholas Washington Woodfin Papers #1689, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy available.
  • Reel 1: Series 1 and additions of May 1960 and February and May 1962
Acquisitions Information
Received from Jessie Reed Burnett in March 1950 and from Perry Deane Young in May 1960 and February and May 1962; purchased from B. and L. Rootenberg in November 2006 (Acc. 100547).
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.
Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Nicholas Washington Woodfin was born in Buncombe County, N.C., on 29 January 1810. In February 1831, he was admitted to practice law in the county courts, and soon after settled in Asheville, N.C. In 1840, Woodfin married Eliza Grace McDowell; the couple had three daughters. For ten years starting in 1844, Woodfin represented Buncombe and Henderson counties in the state senate. He was active on the Asheville school board and in the Episcopal church, and acted as the Buncombe County delegate to the North Carolina Secession Convention. During the Civil War, he was superintendent of the North Carolina Salt Works. Afterwards, he returned to the practice of law and died on 23 May 1876. The town of Woodfin, N.C., in Bumcombe County, is named for him.

(Details from Samuel Ashe's The Biography of North Carolina (volume II, 1905, pages 481-86) and townofwoodfin.org.)

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The papers include photocopies of deeds, legal papers, very scattered family and political correspondence, clippings, and speeches on agriculture, and other items of Buncombe County, N.C., lawyer and legislator Nicholas Washington Woodfin, his wife Eliza G. McDowell Woodfin, and other family members, chiefly 1840s-1870s. Included are a photocopy of the bill of auction for the Woodfin Mansion House and Grounds in Asheville, N.C., to be sold 13 August 1879, and a biographical sketch of Woodfin written by J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton in February 1950. There are also photocopies of county deeds; family and business letters; Civil War letters; obituaries; clippings; indenturies; estate papers; family history materials; remarks made at a presentation of Woodfin's portrait in Asheville in 1950; land warrant from Governor Patrick Henry to William Gibbs (apparently unrelated to the rest of the collection); three letters, 1853-1855, from slaves or ex-slaves who had gone to California with members of the family to work in the gold fields; letters of John W. Holland, including a few dated 1898-1901 when he was serving in the United States Army in the Philippines; and an original 1862 letter from Woodfin to Governor Clarke about the defense of eastern Tennessee.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Original Deposit, 1950.

2 items.

Photocopy of the bill of auction for the Woodfin Mansion House and Grounds in Asheville, N.C., to be sold 13 August 1879, for division among Woodfin's three daughters, and a biographical sketch of Woodfin written by J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton in February 1950 to be attached to the portrait of Woodfin hung in the Asheville YMCA. (The portrait was donated to the Southern Historical Collection in November 1949 by Mrs. Oscar Mauldin. As of June 2006, it was hanging in Room 901-H in the Manuscripts Department.)

Folder 1

Original deposit #01689, Series: "1. Original Deposit, 1950." Folder 1

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Additions

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962.

About 150 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Processing Note: Additions were merged and arranged chronologically.

Photocopies of county deeds; family and business letters; Civil War letters; obituaries; clippings; indenturies; estate papers; family history materials; remarks made at a presentation of Woodfin's portrait in Asheville in 1950; land warrant from Governor Patrick Henry to William Gibbs (apparently unrelated to the rest of the collection); three letters, 1853-1855, from slaves or ex-slaves who had gone to California with members of the family to work in the gold fields; letters of John W. Holland, including a few dated 1898-1901 when he was serving in the United States Army in the Philippines.

Folder 2

1795-1839 #01689, Subseries: "Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962." Folder 2

Folder 3

1840-1849 #01689, Subseries: "Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962." Folder 3

Folder 4

1850-1859 #01689, Subseries: "Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962." Folder 4

Folder 5

1860-1875 #01689, Subseries: "Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962." Folder 5

Folder 6

1875-1899 #01689, Subseries: "Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962." Folder 6

Folder 7a

1900-1919 #01689, Subseries: "Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962." Folder 7a

Folder 7b

1950, undated and miscellaneous #01689, Subseries: "Additions of May 1960, February 1962, and May 1962." Folder 7b

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of November 2006 (Acc. 100547), 1862.

1 item.

Original letter from Nicholas Washington Woodfin to Governor Clarke about the defense of eastern Tennessee.

Folder 8

1862 #01689, Subseries: "Addition of November 2006 (Acc. 100547), 1862." Folder 8

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff and Amy Johnson, September 2007

Encoded by: Amy Johnson, September 2007

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

Back to Top