Manuscripts: Backus - Byrd
Backus family papers, 1757–1807. 7 items. Mss2B1286b. Photocopies.
Include advertisements, indentures, and receipts concerning the purchase and sale of slaves belonging to Backus family
members in Norwich, Conn.
Bagby, George William (1828–1883), papers, 1828–1917. 1,648 items. Mss1B1463a.
This collection includes business accounts for several newspapers with which Bagby, a Richmond resident, was affiliated,
as well as notes and correspondence compiled in gathering material for his writings and lectures. He produced popular
material on antebellum social life.
Of special interest are Bagby's research notes on The Old Virginia Negro. Section 1 includes a response from
William Roane Aylett for information. It discusses Aylett's views of African Americans in general, as well as offering anecdotes
concerning alcohol, childbirth, religion, and conjuring. Notes for Bagbys speech, The Old Virginia Negro, and a scrapbook
of newspaper clippings concerning African Americans, the Central Lunatic Asylum, a contemporary list of African American
associations in Richmond, mortality rates, religion, anecdotes of life in antebellum Virginia, and a summary of hypotheses
on the future of African Americans in the South make up section 15. A broadside advertisement for The Old Virginia Negro
is included in section 18. A copy of Thomas Jefferson's letter, 1805, to William Armistead Burwell relates Jefferson's views
that slavery will disappear only after much suffering (section 8).
Bagby family papers, 1808–1942. 181 items. Mss1B1463c.
Primarily concerns family members at Stevensville, King and Queen County. Section 1 features papers, 1808–1818,
of George Bagby (1786–1810) of Essex County. These include records kept as executor of the estate of Richard
Richards of Essex County containing general accounts, an inventory and appraisal of property including slaves, and
accounts of the estate sale. Section 2 contains accounts, 1825–1851, of John Bagby and Richard Bagby of King
and Queen County, including an account for the hiring out of a young slave named Alexander. Section 4 consists
of correspondence, 1860–1890, of John Robert Bagby (1826–1890), merchant of Stevensville, including a letter
to his wife, Betty Pollard (Fleet) Bagby, dated 4 July 1863 concerning the attitude of a female slave, Gracey,
towards Mrs. Bagby. Section 8 includes a letter written by Alexander Fleet concerning the hiring out of slaves
Bagby family papers, 1824–1960. 53,178 items. Mss1B1463b.
A scrapbook (item b4,085) contains notes and newspaper clippings concerning African Americans, mentioning both the race
in general and specific individuals.
Bailey family papers, 1824–1886. 285 items. Mss1B1565a. Microfilm reel C380.
William Bailey's papers reflect his mercantile interests in grain and tobacco in Halifax County. Section 4 contains an
undated list of twenty names (presumably slaves belonging to William Bailey); section 5 contains a deed of trust, 1828,
of Robert and Elizabeth Reed to William Bailey for 360 acres, twelve slaves, and miscellaneous property in Halifax County.
Bailey family papers, 1802–1980. 323 items. Mss1B1565b. Photocopies.
An addition to the collection above, section 15 includes correspondence, 1880–1893, of Annie Cameron (Ruffin)
Sims of Wilson, N.C.; of particular interest is an undated letter from Queen Bruce, a freedwoman living in Newark, N.J.
Most of the letter consists of inquiries about her former master and mistress and the health of family and friends.
Baker, William A. (1796?–1873), papers, 1803–1842. 18 items. Mss2B1788b.
Primarily concern the career of William A. Baker as a merchant in Richmond in the 1820s. Include a bond of Baker and Richard G. Smith, of Hanover County, to George W. Price for the hire of a woman slave, Fanny.
Baker family papers, 1837–1939. 162 items. Mss1B1787a.
This collection features the business and personal records of Samuel Martin Baker, Sr. (1815–1890) and his son, Samuel Martin Baker, Jr. (1844–1919), of Burnett's, a plantation at Taylorsville in Hanover County. Section 1 contains accounts of the elder Baker kept as a farmer and later a merchant and includes an account with George W. Richardson, an attorney, for defending one of Baker's slaves in Hanover County Court in 1855. Correspondence of Baker's wife, Mary Anstes (Carver) Baker, includes notes from C. R. Winston apparently concerning the same case, in which he names the defendant as the slave Harry (section 4). A letter of William D. Taylor to Baker concerns a slave who had secured firearms and was making threats locally (section 3).
Baldwin, William Gaines (1838–1861), papers, 1861. 12 items. Mss2B1954b.
Concern the service of Gaines in the Confederate Army. Letter of Samuel Baldwin to Edwin W. Baldwin concerns
William Gaines Baldwin and the punishment of a trespassing slave.
Balengar, Sary, receipt, 1777. 1 p. Mss2B1954a1.
Receipt dated 27 February 1777 issued to Curtis Corley as agent of Thomas, Lord Fairfax, for midwife services provided
to a slave woman.
Ball, William Selwyn (b. 1846), reminiscenses, 1929. 98 pp. Mss5:1B2106:1. Typescript.
Primarily concerns antebellum plantation life in Fairfax County. Pages 7–10 and a section beginning on page 65 include
songs and information on daily living. Several letters from Bedie, a former slave, appear in an appendix.
Ball family papers, 1716–1983. 1,450 items. Mss1B2105a.
Primarily the papers of George Washington Ball (1828–1912) of Washington, D.C., and his descendants. Section 1 contains
a deed, 1716, of Newman Brockenbrough and Mrs. Sarah Brockenbrough of Richmond County to William Ball, conveying
slaves. Section 13 includes extracts from "Reminiscences of a Refugee Family in the Sixties" (i.e., 1861–1863) by George
Washington Ball concerning, among other topics, slavery.
Ball family papers, 1829–1914. 117 items. Mss1B2105b.
Concerns members of the Ball family of Virginia and Maryland, and the related McNeale family of Culpeper County.
Section 1 consists of papers, 1836–1857, of Isabella (Favor) McNeale of Culpeper County. These include personal
accounts, in part concerning board for herself and an elderly slave woman named Pender, and the hiring out of Abby
and Obed. This section also contains bonds, 1842–1843, including one for the hiring out of the young slave Albert.
Section 2 consists of records, 1836–1850, of the estate of Harriet A. C. McNeale of Culpeper County kept by
Isabella McNeale as administratrix. Primarily consist of accounts, some of which concern the hiring out and sale
of the slave Sopha. Section 3 includes records, 1857, of the estate of Isabella (Favor) McNeale, featuring an
inventory and appraisal of personal property that lists several African American slave women.
Banister, John, account book, 1731–1743. 1 vol. (102 pp.). Mss4V819a5.
Kept as collector of customs for the Upper James River District of Virginia. Includes listings of duties
on cargoes of wine and alcohol, tobacco, slaves, salt, corn, molasses, sugar, animal skins, and oranges.
Banister, John (1734–1788), letter, 1781. 4 pp. Mss2B2254a2.
Letter, 11 May 1781, concerning loss of slaves as a result of the British raids near Petersburg.
Banks, Henry (1761–1833), papers, 17811817. 1,123 items. Mss1B2264a. Microfilm reel C2.
Papers of a businessman of Philadelphia, Pa., and Richmond. Correspondence, 1781–1799 (section 1), includes a letter, 1797,
from Absalom Jones requesting that Banks look into the matter of Richmond Bryan, an African American who had been owned
by the Shewel family, because Banks is familiar with that part of Virginia. Jones is willing to pay to see that Bryan receives
appropriate manumission papers.
Barbour family papers, 1741–1876. 1,353 items. Mss1B2346a. Microfilm reel C3.
Primarily the papers of Philip Pendleton Barbour (1783–1841), a prominent lawyer and later United States Supreme Court
associate justice from Orange County. His personal papers and accounts include bills of sale for slaves (sections 1 and 18),
some indicating family relationships among slaves, and most dated between 1806 and 1818. Section 39 includes an affidavit,
1806, of John Nicholas concerning the appointment of Benjamin Brown as attorney for Sam, slave of Thomas Macon, for
an unidentified felony. A statement of John Jaquelin Ambler in 1828 relates that the slave John asked for $5 and traveled
between Orange and Richmond with Ambler (section 66).
Sections 74, 87, and 92 contain records of Orange County real and personal property that list slaves by name and indicate
family relationships in several instances (one in section 87 provides for a family unit to be kept together). Section 93 contains
an 1806 affidavit testifying that William Lovell had rented land to Thomas Field, a free African American, and that Field owned
a gray horse and wanted to travel to Greenbrier County.
Barbour family papers, 1810–1890. 1,368 items. Mss1B2346b. Microfilm reel C4.
This collection also relates to the family of Philip Pendleton Barbour, planters of Orange County. Two items are
specifically pertinent to African Americans. A letter, 1863 (section 6), from Joseph Hiden to Frances Todd (Johnson)
Barbour concerns a suggested cure for impudence of the hired slave Delpha, in particular, the administering of lashes.
A hiring agreement, 1846, of Dr. Sextus Barbour with Edmund Pendleton Barbour states no price for a slave's services
but does include the standard food and clothing clause and an additional clause that the boy Edwin not be allowed to
cross the Libertyville millpond or the watercourse when it is high (section 26).
Barbour family papers, 1812–1998. 125 items. Mss1B2346c.
Concern family members in Orange County and related families of Collins, Taliaferro, and Waters in Maryland and Virginia.
Section 4 includes correspondence, 1817–1842, of Governor James Barbour (1775–1842) of Barboursville, Orange County,
with various family members, in part concerning the slave trade in Virginia. Also, includes a deed (copy), 1823, of John
Taliaferro to John Seymour Taliaferro conveying slaves.
Bardin, Sally Norvell Nelson, papers, n.d., and 1915–c. 1937. 4 items. Mss2B2365b.
Include an undated slave inventory with valuations.
Barksdale, Claiborne (1782–1839), bond, 1826. 1 p. Mss2B2472a1.
Bond of Barksdale to pay Paulina Legrand for hire of the slave Isaac.
Barksdale, Eliza Lavalette (b. 1818), diary, 1836–1837. 134 pp. Mss5:1B2475:1. Microfilm reel C448.
Kept at Rough Creek, Charlotte County. Entry for Wednesday, the 11th (no month given), briefly mentions runaway slaves.
Bartley, Reuben, papers, 1787–1895. 93 items. Mss1B2848a.
Primarily concern the service of Reuben Bartley of Pennsylvania in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and on the
Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid in 1864, during which he was captured and held at Libby Prison in Richmond.
His memoir (section 1), dated ca. 1868–1869, discusses the raid and living conditions in prison, and includes comments
on various African American Union soldiers held at Libby.
Baskervill family papers, 1747–1928. 1,962 items. Mss1B2924a. Microfilm reel B3.
This collection contains a variety of fairly typical documents generated by a Mecklenburg County family of plantation owners.
There is a significant amount of general correspondence and many accounts.
Of particular interest is section 15, which holds a number of post-Civil War agreements between William Rust Baskervill
and former slaves. These agreements outline the work that various individuals had previously done as slaves and agreed to
continue to do as hired laborers. Former domestic slaves had specific parts of the house and grounds (upstairs rooms, dining
room, porches, and greenhouses) assigned to them for regular maintenance, as well as attendance on certain individuals. Men
signed the contracts for their wives, but single women signed for themselves. The tenant farmers all signed one contract.
An undated list of slaves allotted to Mary Baskervill includes valuations for fourteen men, twelve women, and four children
opposite a list of fifty slaves—names only. Another undated item consists of a list of birthdates for thirteen slaves, including
parents' names (section 20). An account book belonging to Dr. Robert Dortch Baskervill (section 22) contains two lists,
one of males belonging to Eureka plantation and one of females. The lists include parents' names and dates of birth and
death, where applicable. Later entries in the account book delineate medical accounts with freedmen and indicate plantations
with which they were affiliated, as well as who settled the accounts. Entries vary in detail from "visit for sick child" to "tooth
extraction" and matters of women's health.
Baskervill family papers, 1751–1904. 755 items. Mss1B2924b. Microfilm reels B004 and C384.
Concerns family members in Mecklenburg County. Section 10 contains agreements, 1823–1852, made by Charles
Baskervill (concerning the purchase of slaves) and Mary (Eaton) Baskervill (concerning a gift of slaves).
Baskervill family papers, 1785–1912. 35 items. Mss1B2924c. Microfilm reel C385.
Primarily contains financial and legal records of Robert Dortch Baskervill (1826–1891) and William Rust Baskervill
(1869?–1960) of Mecklenburg County. Section 7 includes an agreement, 1866, of Robert Baskervill with Louisa
(a freed African American) for her services as a servant and seamstress.
Baskervill family papers, 1787–1891. 622 items. Mss1B2924d. Microfilm reels C385–387.
This addition to the collection above contains several items of interest to researchers of African American subjects. A number of
slave lists indicate how many pairs of shoes were distributed among the slaves, 1838–1848, how many sides of leather were
required for the manufacture of the shoes, and how many items were made on the plantation and how many had to be bought
(section 5). The dates of distribution are also indicated. One list also tallies seventy-two blankets and thirty-six hats; the reverse
side has comments on the number and value of slaves owned in 1825 and in 1850. In the same section (separate folder) is
a letter, March 1865, to W. E. Baskervill from the president of the Slave Claims Board concerning the values of four unnamed
slaves belonging to Mark Alexander, W. R. Baskervill, and Charles Lewellen.
Three deeds, 18341837, cover slaves bought by Mark Alexander. The first names nine slaves; the second is for Dorcas,
a slave woman; and the third is for Billy and his wife Nancy together with their eleven children (section 24). The 1866
agreements of James T. Alexander with nine freedmen outline the conduct and duties of freedmen for operating the
plantation and the compensation for each worker (section 35).
Bassett family papers, 1728–1923. 2,271 items. Mss1B2944a. Microfilm reels C5–6 and C234–237.
The papers of the Bassett family span two centuries and six generations of merchants and plantation owners, mostly from
New Kent and Hanover counties; items of African American interest, however, date from the 1820s and 1830s.
An account book kept at Farmington, Hanover County, by Bassett Smith Claiborne includes an 1835 cotton list containing
names of thirty-two slaves and amounts of cotton picked placed next to each name. An 1816 letter of Betty Carter (Browne)
Bassett to her son, George Washington Bassett, provides a religious context in which to instruct him in the appropriate treatment
of slaves. She addresses food, clothing, housing, and labor, reminding him to follow the "golden rule" (section 21).
An 1826 pass signed by John Bassett allows Edward to go to Richmond. Also, R. Brooke signed for receipt of $5
delivered by the slave Edward (section 17). A list, 1830, of property assigned to Bassetterre, King William County, and
Farmington, Hanover County, includes farm implements, livestock, and thirty-three slaves.
Bates, Charles Edward (b. 1840), papers, 1858–1865. 44 items. Mss1B3183a.
Consists primarily of letters written by Bates to his father, Isaac Bates, concerning his service in Company E
of the 4th United States Cavalry Regiment during the Virginia Peninsula Campaign and in Tennessee and Georgia.
Section 4 contains a letter, 1862, written by Charles concerning his attitude toward the Emancipation Proclamation.
Bates, Edward (1793–1869), papers, 17781872. 82 items. Mss1B3184a. Microfilm reel C448.
Edward Bates was a lawyer, Missouri state legislator, congressman, and U.S. attorney general during Abraham
Lincoln's administration. The collection also includes records of his brother Frederick (1777–1825) in Detroit and
St. Louis and of members of the Bates family at Belmont plantation in Goochland County. The only specifically
identified African American record in this collection consists of a deed of Charles Woodson to Caroline Matilda
(Woodson) Bates for the transfer of slaves (section 8).
Bayley, Wealthy, deposition, 1791. 4 pp. Mss2B3433a1.
Deposition given by Wealthy Bayley of Accomack County concerning Southy, slave of Levin Joynes.
Baylor, John (1705–1772), bond, 1742. 1 p. Mss2B3444a2.
Covers the 22 July 1742 importation of slaves purchased from Moore & Robinson.
Baylor, John (1750–1808), letter, 1772. 3 pp. Mss2B3445a1.
Letter, 14 July 1772, from John Baylor of Caroline County to John Backhouse, Liverpool, Eng., concerning the death
of Baylor's father and the extent of his father's estate, including twenty-six slaves on a Caroline County plantation and
eighty slaves in Orange County. Names of slaves are not given.
Baylor, George Daniel, papers, 1743–1963. 29 items. Mss1B3445d.
Include two documents, August 1743, issued by Caroline County justices of the peace concerning Jack, a runaway
slave belonging to Robert Powell, believed to be in Caroline County (sections 5 and 6). An inquest, November 1743,
of the coroner of Essex County (item d8) concerns an African American found near Piscataway Creek, with presumed
stolen goods and insufficient clothing for the weather.
Baylor family papers, 1662–1962. ca. 3,000 items. Mss1B3445eFA2.
Baylor family members of Essex and Caroline counties were active in mercantile and agricultural ventures. At one
point they also owned a sawmill in Charles City County. Their agricultural efforts in the nineteenth century centered
on several plantations in Charles City, Essex, and Caroline counties.
Box 6 contains information concerning the operations at Sandy Point, Kinloch, and Port Tobago, owned by Richard
Baylor. The first folder consists primarily of bills of sale for slaves (some individuals and some in groups of up to twenty-five)
spanning 1840 to 1860. Various supporting documentation is also included (one bill of sale for Albert has the note attached
that the sale does not warrant that Albert is sound). Many of the bills of sale (and later folders that include lists) recorded the
slaves by family unit. An 1847 sale of two girls, Margaret and Maria, indicated that the purpose of the sale was to restore
the girls to their mothers, after being separated at an auction. Lists in later folders record distribution of blankets and coats
and also specialized jobs, in particular carpentry and milling. Notes on Port Tobago include hiring out and accounts for
number of days worked. In folder 4, an 1853 auction broadside advertises that slaves were for private sale and in family
units only. A folder for Sandy Point includes distribution lists, as well as a record of births and deaths for 1853 and 1854,
with notes on sicknesses and a schedule of hiring.
Box 7 contains among 1863 estate papers a tax form printed in Tappahannock, including tax on 334 slaves. An
1862–1871 account book provides information on costs of greatcoats and for whom the coats were bought, as well as
leather for shoes.
Box 20 contains farm labor agreements, 1875, for Kinloch, designating rules and such issues as holidays, sick leave,
dismissals, shares of crops, and how many hogs were allowed per family (to be raised at the family's expense). Marlbank
account books record day laborers' wages and attendance, 1905–1907.
Baylor family papers, 1737–1865. 21 items. Mss1B3445a. Microfilm reel C583.
Primarily the eighteenth-century papers of John Baylor of Newmarket, Caroline County, and later records of his
descendant Doctor Warner Lewis Baylor (1825–1894). Section five contains records compiled by Dr. Baylor while
a surgeon at the Confederate hospital at Petersburg. These items include a register of patients that includes slaves
and free African Americans, along with a second volume of case records, surgical reports, and patient registers.
Baylor family papers, 1779–1963. 50 items. Mss1B3445c. Photocopies.
A letter, 1800, from Frances (Norton) Baylor of Caroline County to Governor James Monroe (section 9) expresses
her concern that the slave Harry is to be executed without due notice given to Harry's master, so as to provide appropriate
counsel. An 1810 letter (item c38) describes the Baylors' intentions to move to Natchez, Miss., mentioning the price
of hiring slave men and women by the month.
Bayol family papers, 1830–1873. 53 items. Mss1B3455a. Photocopies.
An 1832 deed of David Townsend of Greene County, Ala., to Edward Bayol of the same county for the slave Peter, age
thirty-five years, warrants soundness of mind and body (section 4).
Beale family papers, 1815–1894. 274 items. Mss1B3658a.
Includes papers of members of the Beale and Digges families of Fauquier County. Section 1 contains accounts, 1815–1817,
of Hancock Lee (1740–1819) of Fauquier County, including a payment for hiring out the slave Hannah. Slave lists and
additional materials concerning the hiring out of slaves are located in Section 2. Numerous slave materials can be found
in section 4, including a business card and printed circular of Lucien Lewis of Richmond identifying him as a hiring agent;
hiring bonds, some for enslaved women; an account for medical care of slaves; and an affidavit of the Confederate States
Quartermaster's Office in Staunton, concerning the hiring of Joseph and John. Section 5 contains materials concerning
the estate of Sarah W. Gillison, which were compiled by William Beale of Fauquier County, including accounts concerning
the medical care and hiring out of slaves.
Beckwith, Margaret Stanley (b. 1842), reminiscences, 1844–1865. 3 vols. Mss5:1B3896:1–3.
Microfilm reel C271.
Concern her experiences at Woodbourne in Prince George County and Petersburg, and in Lincolnton, N.C. The front
endpaper of volume 1 records the tombstone inscription of the slave Lucy Locket (1774–1836). Volumes 1 and 2 contain
many scattered references to domestic slaves during the 1850s and 1860s. Volume 1 features music and lyrics for several
popular songs, including "Old Uncle Ned" and "Old Black Joe." On page 47 is an account of the ship Minot, manned by
free blacks during the Civil War.
Bedford County, affidavit, 1864. 1 p. Mss4B3904a1.
This April 1864 affidavit of Albon A. Arthur states that Benjamin Ruff has been taxed as a free Negro and has been
Beirne family papers, 1921–1945. 942 items. Mss1B3969a.
Contains correspondence between members of the Beirne family of Ashland. Folder 27 includes a letter from Clara
Haxall (Beirne) Leake to her daughter, Mary McDermott Beirne, discussing her interactions with African Americans
in Richmond and Ashland.
Bell, William Waverly (1908–1991), "'This Carries Me Back . . .': Some Recollections of My Childhood." 50 pp. Mss5:1B4138:1.
A privately printed version of a memoir (noted as second edition, June 1989) written originally in 1986. Concerns growing up in rural Surry County in the early 1900s. Also, includes observations on local African American families during that period.
Bemiss, FitzGerald (b. 1922), papers, 1952–1978. 184 items. Mss1B4252b.
Materials concerning the career of Democrat FitzGerald Bemiss of Richmond in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1955–1959, and Virginia Senate, 1960–1967, and his later service on state commissions. Scrapbooks and newspaper articles covering his legislative campaigns and service include extensive materials on school integration (section 1).
Bendall family papers, 1749–1819. 89 items. Mss1B4325a.
This collection is centered on James Bendell (d. 1814), a farmer of Sussex County who served in the militia during the
War of 1812. Of particular interest is a deed (section 1), 1806, from his mother for the slave Phebe as part of his father's
estate. Section 4 holds two bonds for the hire of slaves. An 1811 bond to Thomas Dunn concerns Vilet; an 1818
bond to John Chappell concerns Hannah, who is to receive two suits of winter clothing with her hat and blanket.
Bennett, John, papers, 1827–1880. 47 items. Mss1B4395a. Microfilm reel C387.
Much of the John Bennett collection consists of the correspondence of members of the Bennett and Rainey families, especially
between those who moved to Illinois and those who stayed in Halifax County. The correspondence deals with family health
and relationships, but a considerable amount is also political.
The correspondence in section 1 contains many political opinions, especially on Reconstruction. Harry Bennett's 1861 letter
relates that slaves are asking their masters to let them go to fight the Yankees. Alexander Boyd's letters state that slave traders
are borrowing up all the "loose money" and describe slave behavior in 1865 (slaves are "running off" or being sent away by their
masters). William Owens writes in 1865 that slavery is gone and wishes that freedmen were, too. Section 2 consists of a
power of attorney, 1835, for John Bennett to act on behalf of his sister Nancy Bennett to sell her slave James because she
is preparing to move to the West.
Berkeley, Carter (1767–1839), letter, 1802. 3 pp. Mss2B4552a2.
Letter written 19 October 1802 at Edgewood plantation, Hanover County, to Charles Carter of Shirley plantation, Charles
City County, relating the slaves' displeasure with the supply of meat provided for them and suggesting the sale of slaves that do
not work to their potential.
Berkeley, Edmund (1824–1915), accounts, 1848–1860. 16 items. Mss1B4553a.
This small collection includes an account book and loose accounts concerning agricultural activities at Evergreen Plantation in Prince William County. The records concern, in part, blacksmith work done for neighbors and include an 1858 account with Hector Davis for the board and sale of a male slave.
Bernard family papers, 1742–1867. 74 items. Mss1B4568a.
This collection concerns the Bernard family of Gloucester and Buckingham counties. Section 12 contains an affidavit, 1841,
of William Edward Carrington and John L. Trent concerning the value of two slaves belonging to Elizabeth (Bernard) Wills.
Bernard family papers, 1821–1903. 233 items. Mss1B4568b.
Largely the papers of Overton Bernard (1798–1866), a Methodist minister of Norfolk and Portsmouth. Section 1 includes
a letter from his brother Jesse Talbot Bernard of Woodlawn, Alachua County, Fla., concerning his move from Virginia to Florida,
farming, teaching, and the treatment of slaves. The correspondence of Frances Ann (Bernard) Capps of Portsmouth in Section 4
includes another letter from Jesse Bernard concerning his career in agriculture and teaching, and disciplinary problems with slaves.
Berryman family papers, 1664–1815. 15 items. Mss2B4598c.
Include a deed, 1722, of Behethland (Gilson) Berryman to Gilson Berryman for land and slaves in Stafford County.
Besch, Edwin W., "Action at Wilsons Wharf, 1864." 4,  pp. Mss7:2F77595:1. Photocopy.
Concerns the first major clash between U.S. Colored Troops and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia at Fort Pocahontas,
Wilsons Wharf, on 24 May 1864. Includes maps.
Betts & Gregory, Richmond, circular, 1861. 1 p. Mss4B4666a1.
A printed circular, March 1861, issued by this auction house concerns prices current for the sale of African American slaves in Richmond, with listings of prices for specific categories of persons.
Beverley, Robert (1740–1800), letter, 1763. 2 pp. Mss2B4677a2.
The letter concerns, in part, the incidence of smallpox near Williamsburg among the slaves of Landon Carter.
Beverley, William (1696–1756), letter, 1737. 3 pp. Mss2B4679a1.
Letter dated 20 January 1737 to William Fairfax reporting on the boundary commissioners of the Northern Neck
Proprietary and salmon being delivered to Fairfax by the slave Pompey.
Beverley family papers, 1654–1901. 4,788 items. Mss1B4678a. Microfilm reels B5–7.
Of particular interest are several account books (section 111) that contain entries for cost of shoes, clothes, blankets, hats,
and traveling expenses, and hiring costs for the Blandfield plantation. The earliest volume records the names of male slaves
who left Blandfield to join the Union forces, 1864, and also includes a list, 1850, of names, dates of birth, and ages of Blandfield
slaves, with a note that the slaves were inoculated. The second volume in the series is an account book kept by Robert
Beverley (1769–1843) in connection with his executorship of the estate of William Augustine Washington (1757–1810),
including inventories of slaves in Westmoreland County and Port Royal. The inventories include name, age, value, to whom
sold, and some family relationships.
Beverley family papers, 1654–1929. 22,037 items. Mss1B4678b.
This collection primarily comprises material relating to the business activities of Robert Beverley (1858–1928), a prominent civic
leader in Essex County.
Section 12 contains an agreement whereby William Bradshaw Beverley (1791–1866) would sell his property in
Marengo County, Ala., to John Nelson of Greene County, Ala., along with the fifty-three slaves on the property. The
agreement names eight slaves for whom Beverley does not warrant soundness of mind; other slaves are unnamed.
Notes and an essay in section 32 concern the feasibility of racial equality for African Americans, religious training, education,
and morality (no date, but sometime after 1910). Section 136 contains a segregated list of poll tax payers for Essex County,
Beverley family papers, 1718–1780. 5 items. Mss2B46796c.
Contain notes, 1739, of William Waller concerning the ownership of slaves of the estate of William Stanard with respect to
Ann Hazlewood, discussing right of use for life and dower rights. Approximately forty slaves were involved, but no names
Birchett, Peter, receipt, 1865. 1 p. Mss2B5317a1. Photocopy.
Receipt of William Mallory to Peter Birchett for the purchase of a slave.
Bispham, William N., bond, 1854. 1 p. Mss2B5426a1.
Bond, 4 January 1854, of William N. Bispham of Warrenton to the estate of John Marshall Washington for hire of the
slave Frances and her two children. The printed form requires that the slaves be treated with humanity and not rehired.
Blackford family papers, 1836–1858. 4 items. Mss1B5645c. Microfilm reel C92.
Diaries and an account book kept by John Blackford (1771–1839) and Franklin Blackford of Ferry Hill plantation,
Washington County, Md., planters and ferry owners. John Blackford's diary, 1836–1838, records daily plantation and
ferry activities, including work done by slaves. The ferry itself was operated by slaves. An entry for 29 December 1837
notes the capture of two unnamed fugitive slaves. Franklin Blackford's diaries, 18381846, also record daily events at
Ferry Hill plantation.
Blair, John Durburrow (1759–1823), papers, 17841826. 9 items. Mss2B5753b.
Among the papers of this Richmond clergyman is an 1817 deed to his wife, Mary (Winston) Blair, for the slave girl Mary,
age eight, daughter of Lewis and his wife, Aggy. See also Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 45 (1937): 148–149.
Bland, Theodorick, letter, 1784? 2 pp. Mss2B61079a1.
This letter of Theodorick Bland to his son relates his refusal to lend out one of his blacksmiths. He is dependent on the work
they produce, and he has turned down a generous offer of a hundred pounds a year for Will and his tools.
Bland family papers, 1713–1825. 236 items. Mss1B6108a. Microfilm reel C7.
Much of this collection focuses on the activities of Theodorick Bland (17421790), a prominent eighteenth-century physician
of Prince George County, Continental Army officer, and member of the Continental Congress. Some material has been published
in The Bland Papers (1845), edited by Charles Campbell.
Section 1 contains an order, May 1723, for transporting six slaves to the West Indies and reimbursing the county for costs in
ascertaining the values of the slaves. (For additional references to the same slaves, see entry for Virginia House of Burgesses
Papers, 1711–1730, Mss3V8b, Sections 8, 10, and 12.) Section 2 includes a one-page, undated letter from a Dr. Greenway
that provides many details of attempted treatments for the slave Billy for epileptic seizures—blisters, purgings, leeching, and
electricity. Section 3 includes a deed of gift, 1784, from Theodorick Bland to his daughter-in-law Susannah Murray for two
slaves, Hannah and Rose, to accommodate an existing informal arrangement.
In section 4, James King of New York City, 1789, writes that he has not been able to persuade Bland's slaves who had escaped
to the North to return to their owner. Section 16 contains an 1825 letter from the slave Charles, the property of David Callahan
of Campbell, Ala., asking his former master, William Greenhill, to stop by if he is indeed moving to Alabama, as Charles has
heard. He also asks after his brother Jacob and requests Mr. Greenhill to tell him that his own health is good for his advanced
age. Another letter in the same section is addressed to Tom, a slave, concerning the care of horses.
Blanton family papers, 1818–1961. 352 items. Mss1B6117a.
Although most of this collection concerns the education and careers of several prominent Presbyterian clergymen, there is an
extensive narrative (forty-five typewritten pages) by Jane Minge (Friend) Stephenson reminiscing about her life as a plantation
owner's daughter at Whitehall Plantation in Prince George County. She reflects on general treatment and discipline of slaves,
provides several character sketches of slaves associated with the plantation, comments on working mothers' child care
arrangements, family living arrangements, courting and marriage, religious education, a funeral, Christmastime, clothing
and shoe distributions, and cooking and laundering, as well as life in and around Petersburg during the Civil War. Work
arrangements with former slaves after the war are mentioned briefly.
Blow, Richard (1746–1833), letterbook, 1807–1809. , 410pp. Mss5:2B6235:2.
Kept as a commission merchant in Portsmouth and Norfolk. Includes a letter dated 11 February 1807 to Miles King
concerning Plymouth Flinn, a free African American who was detained in a Portsmouth jail on suspicion of being a runaway
Blow family papers, 1653–1905. 352 items. Mss1B6235a.
The papers of the Blow family concern a family prominent in eighteenth-century Virginia shipping and as planters in
the nineteenth century. The family is geographically focused in the areas of Portsmouth, Norfolk, Sussex County, and
James City County.
Section 2 contains an 1806 letter written by Richard Blow requesting that slaves be instructed to deliver letters promptly
instead of at leisure, arranging accounts for shoes, complaining of hired slaves not coming to work on time, and hiring of slaves
unused to work, and suggesting a dose of alcohol daily for good behavior. Section 4 includes a letterbook of George Blow that
relates dates of upcoming trials for several leaders of the Southampton Insurrection (few details of the event itself are described).
An October 1831 letter records selling ten slaves to a New Orleans buyer. A commonplace book included in section 8 records
several entries about hiring out slaves.
Section 11 consists of correspondence of George Blow. An 1844 letter from his son Norborne indicates his disbelief that
runaway slaves could account for all the missing hogs in the neighborhood, the need for patrols, and slaves being flogged for stealing
when seen on neighboring estates. There is a note, August 1831, authorizing George Blow to acquire more men for patrols. In
1844 Bushrod Washington Hunter writes from Port a Praya describing skirmishes and the burning of towns on the African coast.
In September 1831 Dr. Robert Page Waller expresses his concerns and fears about slaves since the Southampton Insurrection
and suggests that whites sell their slaves in New Orleans while the prices are still good and then move to a country without African
Blue family papers, ca. 1830–1870. 4 items. Mss2B6252b.
Collection includes a letter (incomplete) of George William Washington to his future wife, Sarah A. Wright (of Loudoun County), in part concerning the sale of slaves.
Blunt, Simon Fraser (1818?–1854), papers, 1833–1921. 40 items. Mss2B6289b.
Simon Fraser Blunt originally came from Southampton County. His correspondence reflects his career as a United States naval
officer serving primarily in the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Mediterranean Sea. In 1845 journal extracts (section 3),
Blunt, while serving on the USS Truxton off the coast of Liberia, writes about the African slave trade, some of which occurs close
to the freedmen's colony of Liberia.
Boatwright family papers, 1815–1953. 448 items. Mss1B6304a. Microfilm reel C387.
The papers of this Cumberland County family contain several items of slave purchase and hiring: receipt, 1824, of Drury Boatwright
for $130 for selling Lucy to Leonard Boatwright (section 3); deed, 1827, signed by Orson Martin of Cumberland County,
transferring the slave girl Jenney to Leonard Boatwright (section 5); and two hiring bonds—S. Boatwright and J. M. Shepherd
to Benjamin Hudgins for hire of Chapion for 1862 for $75, with usual clothes, hat, and blanket, and S. Boatwright and J. A.
Boatwright to Silas S. Bryant for hire of a slave boy Tom for 1861 at $130 (section 11).
Bolling, John (1832–1905), account book, 1855–1891. ca. 200 pp. Mss5:3B6385:1. Photocopy.
Kept sporadically, this volume concerns Bolling's activities as a tobacco merchant in Asheville and Raleigh, N.C., and Richmond,
Va., and as a planter at River Side plantation in Cumberland County, Va. Several entries concern slaves.
Bolling, William (1777–1849), slave register, 1752–1890. 73 pp. Mss5:5B6387:1. Microfilm reel C388.
This register was kept at Bolling Hall plantation and Bolling Island plantation in Goochland County. It records slaves' birthdates
and mothers' names, dates of death, and names of slaves purchased with prices and sellers' names. Occasionally a note concerning
cause of death is added, but this is not consistent. One entry (for Lucinda) indicates that she is a native African.
Bolling family papers, 1748–1905. 58 items. Mss1B6386b. Microfilm reel C389.
This collection contains a single item of interest—a list of rules for employed freedmen, [1865?]. It generally concerns such matters
as care of stock, rotation of Sunday work, night work, and house rents.
Bolling family papers, 1749–1956. 663 items. Mss1B6386a. Microfilm reels C388–389.
The papers of the Bolling family of Centre Hill plantation in Powhatan County contain two series of slave bills of sale and
deeds (sections 2 and 7) dated between 1819 and 1834 and a plantation account book that holds a list of births, parents' names,
dates, and location of birth (including one on a boat in the James River). Section 7 has one bill of sale, 1833, which is a printed
form for slave sales.
Bolling family papers, 1785–1875. 34 items. Mss1B6386c. Microfilm reel C543.
Primarily consist of the papers of Robert Bolling and Robert Buckner Bolling of Centre Hill, Petersburg, concerning municipal
government and a proposed canal between the Appomattox and Staunton rivers in Virginia. Accounts kept by the Petersburg
city chamberlain, 1785–1787, concern the services of the city vendue master and include references to commissions collected
on the sale of slaves at public auction (section 2). A letter written by Robert Buckner Bolling in 1856 concerns land on Walnut
Street and in the Blandford section of Petersburg set aside as cemeteries for African Americans (section 6). In 1858 the city
common council passed an ordinance to provide water services to the poor and destitute of the city when they could not afford
such services (section 7).
Booker, Richard, inventory, 1838. 4 pp. Mss2B6447a.
Inventory of Richard Booker's property in Amelia County. Includes approximately twenty-five slaves by name and value.
One family unit is noted.
Booker, William Marshall, will, 1802. 1 p. Mss2B64471a. Typescript copy.
Will recorded in Amelia County, in which Booker leaves the slave Rachel to Judith Townes.
Boone, William, letter, 1862. 1 p. Mss2B6445a1.
In his letter of 31 December 1862, William Boone of Northampton County thanks William Drewry of Southampton County
for sending payment by Moses and requests that Drewry attend to Moses in the coming year in the same manner.
Booth, R. W., receipt, 1863. 1 p. Mss2B64478a1. Photocopy.
Printed receipt of Booth, in Richmond, to William T. Clark for the purchase of the slave William.
Bouldin family, papers, 1737–1960. 3,757 items. Mss1B6638a.
The bulk of this collection concerns Thomas Tyler Bouldin (18131891), a lawyer and planter of Golden Hills plantation in
Charlotte County. There are a variety of slave and freedmen's records.
Section 3 contains a bill of sale dated 1744 for Lucy at 35 (Henry Lucas to Clement Read). Section 7 includes a Lunenburg
County court order to bring five slaves before the justice of the peace to be tried for the theft of a quilted coat, 21 November
1763. An account book, 18661867, kept for freedmen in Charlotte County records such details as daily and monthly wages,
jobs assigned to each (such as milking and spinning), their expenses (wool, leather, sundries), and sick days (section 32).
Section 40 contains a list of slaves received on behalf of Thomas Tyler Bouldin (18391875) from the estate of Grief
Barksdale, with twenty names and family relationships indicated along with values. An added note records that one slave
woman was blind.
Section 65 contains an 1845 response to a complainant in Mississippi concerning ownership of forty-one slaves, an issue to
be resolved in the Mississippi Superior Court of Chancery. The list is not appended, but several pages into the document
references to specific slaves appear—for example, that Tom and Amy (ages thirty-eight and thirty respectively) have died
since the original transaction and that four boys (Joe, Jesse, Stephen, and Hobson, ages five to eight) had been sent to Alabama.
Bowles family papers, 1817–1874. 44 items. Mss2B6818b. Copies.
A letter from the slave Gallant in Alleghany County to his master, Benjamin Bowles, in Fluvanna County (no year given), lets
his master, family, and friends know that he is well and hopes they are, too.
Bramham, James C., compiler, "Civil War letters of Pvt. Joseph F. Shaner, C.S.A. (1841–1904)." 13 items. Mss1Sh183a.
This compilation includes 12 original letters, 1861–1865, of Joseph Shaner of Lexington, who served in the Rockbridge
Artillery, C.S.A. One letter dated 15 February 1865 discusses the possibility of recruiting African Americans into the Confederate
Army later in that month.
Branch & Company, Richmond, records, 1837–1976. ca. 125,000 items. Mss3B7327aFA1.
This massive collection details the operations of a prominent post-World War II Richmond investments firm and its nineteenth
-century antecedents: Thomas Branch & Brother of Petersburg, a commission merchant firm and auction house (1836–1848);
Branch & Sons of Petersburg, also commission merchants (1853–1872); and the banking and investments firm of Thomas
Branch & Co. of Richmond (1865–1946). The Petersburg companies, and some related subsidiaries documented in
this collection, were heavily involved in the auction sales of estates, personal property, and slaves, evidence of which survives
throughout the companies early records. These include letterbooks (beginning in 1846), financial journals (beginning 1849),
ledgers (beginning 1837), daybooks (same year), and cash books (beginning 1848). Also, two volumes of auction sales record
books cover the period 1847–1867, while a receipt book (miscellaneous), 1858–1868, also records sales of estates, personal
property, and slaves. A detailed finding aid in the repository is available to assist researchers in locating and requesting specific
Brand, Benjamin (d. 1843), papers, 1779–1863. 1,254 items. Mss1B7332b. Microfilm reels C515–517.
Papers of a merchant and landholder of Hanover County and Richmond. Two letters identified in section 4 pertain to African
Americans. The first, 1809, from Elkanah Talley, gives Brand permission to correct the behavior of the hired slave Nead for going
to "that place" in town on Sunday nights. The second, also 1809, is from John Walker Tomlin, who complains that the slave Lewis,
whom he hired from Brand, is impertinent and wants to work for others instead.
Brand, Benjamin (d. 1843), papers, 1790–1838. 417 items. Mss1B7332a. Microfilm reels C514–515.
This collection covers in significant detail Brand's activities as an officer of the Virginia Colonization Society, as well as his activities
with the Richmond Mining Company. Most of the papers relating to colonization appear in sections 4 through 10. Sections 5 and
9 comprise accounts; sections 4, 7, and 8 are correspondence; and sections 6 and 10 contain various materials, such as broadsides,
lists, newspaper clippings, certificates, and bills of lading.
A considerable amount of Brand's correspondence (section 4), mostly dating from the 1820s, involves Lott Cary, a free African
American who had loaded tobacco on the Richmond docks. Although acquiring only limited education, he bought his own freedom
, then emigrated to Liberia, where he became a prominent citizen and minister. He writes of the health and education of the general
population, crops grown and trade in coffee and spices, ivory and flour, books needed, and trading especially with the ships Cyrus
and Hunter. He describes convicts' choice of slavery or emigration, concern over trading alcohol, public opinion in Baltimore and
Philadelphia, Haitian emigration, education of women, the need for a doctor and teacher in the community, blockading the slaver
ships, and misrepresentation and misinformation about Liberia in American reports. Joseph King's letters tell more about Lott
Cary; Hugh Nelson lists emigrants and their trades; Richard Smith makes references to the Female Colonization Society of
Richmond and Manchester; and John Taliaferro requests additional copies of the society's publication to be distributed in King
Section 7 is primarily concerned with the settlement of Lott Cary's estate, 18311832. Caroline Lundy also writes of scarlet
fever taking hold of much of Richmond, including African Americans in the tobacco factories. John McPhail notes an Augusta
County family (names and ages) bound for Liberia. Joseph Shippard writes from Liberia asking for the Mechanic's Pocket
and about building a Presbyterian church and school. Section 8 contains notes of a town meeting in Monrovia about suppression
of the slave trade and outfitting a vessel to patrol the coast.
Accounts in section 5 relate to passage to Liberia or subscriptions to the society. A note in the 1823–1826 folder includes
weights, measures, and values for a variety of items traded with Liberia (tobacco, lumber, and ivory). Printers' accounts for
society publications are also included. Other items that figure prominently in trade are coffee, flour, and blacksmithing supplies.
(Section 9 also contains job press accounts for publications.)
Section 6 consists of a variety of materials, from lists of subscribers to lists of emigrants, in particular from Richmond
and Sussex County. There is also a list of books (about twenty-five titles) sent to Lott Cary for a school in Liberia, a song by
Jonathan Watt sung by emigrants as they left for Liberia, 1822 vital statistics for the community at Cape Montserado including
returns to America, and statistics on the free and slave status of the African American population in Virginia in 1820. Also included
are notes on land allotment in Liberia, the history of the colonization society and its purpose, clippings of
reports and addresses from the 1820s, and proslavery commentary on St. Paul's biblical
context for slavery. Section 10 contains an 1825 broadside exhorting ministers to set aside the first Sunday in July for
contribution to the society and clippings on emigration to Haiti.
Brand, Benjamin (d. 1843), papers, 1807–1833. 27 items. Mss2B7332b.
Correspondence and accounts of a commission merchant in Hanover Town and Richmond. Includes a letter dated 17 March
1819 to Martin Dawson concerning the sale of slaves; and a receipt issued in 1820 by John, the head-man of a canal boat, for
the shipment of flour.
Brannock, James (1798–1854), letter, 1850. 1 p. Mss2B7351a1.
In this letter of 15 September 1850, James Brannock of Guilford County, N.C., requests a neighbor to consider buying Amos,
an excellent shoe- and bootmaker and shop foreman. Brannock will be moving to Tennessee, and Amos would like to stay
with his wife, a free woman.
Braxton, Carter, account, 1820–1829. 1 p. Mss2B7397a2.
This account of Carter Braxton with Thomas C. Braxton records an amount of $40.40 for building three log slave cabins
at Pine Top Quarter. A January 1822 entry for $100 covers two years' hire of Zachariah before Carter Braxton purchased
him in December 1821.
Breckinridge, James (1763–1833), papers, 18051831. 110 items. Mss1B7425a. Microfilm reel C8.
Lawyer and congressman from Virginia, of Grove Hill, Botetourt County. Papers include correspondence with Francis Crutchfield
and Robert Gamble.
Much of the correspondence in section 1 concerns farm and plantation management, agricultural products, and mercantile
affairs. Correspondence with Crutchfield reveals that transport services were provided by African Americans in August 1812
and March 1819; between January and April 1822 letters concern arrangements for hiring a slave for carpenter's services;
in September 1823, Gamble discusses the health of African Americans in his household; and in December 1825, Gamble
refers to the reduced African American work force in his industrial operations, some free and some hired, and his own slaves
making up the remainder.
Breckinridge family papers, 1740–1902. 331 items. Mss1B7427a. Microfilm reel C9.
James Breckinridge (1763–1833) is the focus of this Botetourt County family collection. Much of it consists of correspondence
and a variety of accounts, but the estate records for a Jefferson County, Fla., property contain slave lists, 1834–1838, for the
Weelaunee plantation of Robert Gamble of Jefferson County, Fla. (sections 6–7). The lists contain names (some with surnames)
and values of approximately fifty slaves. Section 11 includes papers, 1846, pertaining to fulfillment of the mortgages on the
above-mentioned slaves and clarification of family relationships.
Brent, Martha Buxton Porter (b. 1849), memoirs, 1934.  pp. Mss5:1B7526:1.
Primarily concerns the history of the related Luke, Porter, Pritchard, and Buxton families of Norfolk and Portsmouth, with particular emphasis on Martha Brent's upbringing as the daughter of famed U.S. and Confederate shipbuilder John L. Porter, her education and religious life, and the family's movement around the South before the Civil War. Part of the story relates to events involving the family's African American slaves.
Briery Presbyterian Church, Prince Edward County, papers, 1850–1894. 3 items. Mss4B7666a.
Includes an account of the church with Doctor Francis Joseph Mettauer dated 1 January 1851 concerning his medical treatment
of a male slave named Fred.
Brinson, Betsy, papers, 1894–1999. ca. 2,000 items. Mss1B7725bFA2.
This collection is comprised of research and administrative materials compiled by Dr. Brinson in the course of her work for the American Civil Liberties Union's Southern Women's Rights Project, the Virginia Women's Cultural History Project, the Richmond branch of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), and Virginia Commonwealth University's Women's Studies Task Force, and while conducting her dissertation research. Also, includes her research on a variety of subjects relating to women's history, including the history of African American women in Richmond, the history of Richmond during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, labor history in the South, especially in relation to discrimination against women and African Americans, the influence of women on Virginia's history over four centuries, racism and sexism in American culture, and biographical information on notable Virginia women. A supplementary finding aid is available for this collection online and in the repository.
Broad Run Baptist Church, Fauquier County, records, 1762–1873. 77 pp. Mss4B7805a1. Typescript (carbon copy).
Included in the church records are listings of baptisms and comments on the conduct of slaves who were members of the church.
Brooke family papers, 1851–1927. 10 items. Mss2B7908c.
In this Richmond family collection there are about three pages of minutes of several meetings that took place in Richmond in 1884
and 1885 for the purpose of forming a Presbyterian church and Sunday school for African Americans under the leadership of the
Reverend William H. Lee.
Brown, Aubrey Neblett (1908–1998), papers, 1944–1995. 730 (ca.) items. Mss1B8122aFA2.
Collection primarily concerns Presbyterian minister and editor Aubrey N. Brown's involvement in activities designed to foster
improved race relations in the southern United States, including his membership on and presidency of the Virginia Council on
Human Relations and the Richmond Area Council on Human Relations. Includes organizational records, correspondence,
newspaper clippings, and pamphlets concerning school desegregation, racial integration, and the Civil Rights Movement in
general. Also, includes articles and other materials concerning Brown's editorship of the Presbyterian Outlook of Richmond,
especially concerning the magazines treatment of racial issues.
Brown, Robert D., and Abrigail Collins, "First Mount Olive Baptist Church," 1996. 2 pp. Mss7:4F5197:1.
A brief history of the church, located in King and Queen County, including sketches of pastors who have served and the
contributions they have made to the growth of this African American congregation.
Brown, Thomas (1785–1867), letter, 1827. 2 pp. Mss2B8153a1.
Letter, November 1827, of Thomas Brown at Ephraim plantation in Westmoreland County to Richard T. Brown in which
he expresses relief that most of the slave sales have been settled; two men have been asked if they wish to go with their wives.
Brown family papers, 1801–1889. 335 items. Mss1B8157a.
The Brown family collection comprises chiefly papers of planter Robert Lawrence Brown (1820–1880) of Nelson County.
Section 11 contains three items, all pertaining to the same group of five slaves—a notice of sale, a deed of trust, and an
unexecuted deed for two of the slaves. Ages are given, and note is made of recording in Nelson County court in September 1842.
Bruce, Louise Este (Fisher) (1866–1945), papers, 1786–1974. 1,103 items. Mss1B8305a.
Collected papers include a receipt, 1819, of Edmund Milton to William Milton for plantation and slaves in Rapides Parish, La.,
and an emancipation certificate, 1829, for Jacob Bush and his wife Polly, ages forty-eight and forty-five respectively, signed by
William Milton of Cincinnati, Ohio (section 2). An 1814 apprenticeship indenture binds James (an African American, son
of Betty) to William Harrison of Cincinnati, Ohio, to learn the farmer's trade (section 4). Arranged by the overseers of the
poor, the agreement provided for James to be released in 1834 at the age of twenty-one.
Several additional items relate to African Americans, among them a 1919 letter of Margaret Loughborough concerning an
antebellum maid charged with the care of her mistress's belongings while in the free city of Philadelphia. An image of the family's
African American maid is included in a scrapbook (item a821, section 30).
Bruce, Robert (b. 1836?), affidavit, 1836.  pp. Mss2B8305a1.
Affidavit dated 5 October 1863 at Fort Smith, Ark., of a Prince Edward County native concerning enlistment in the U.S.
Army (Dept. of the Missouri, 1st Colored Kansas Infantry Regiment [later became the 79th Infantry Regiment]).
Bruce family papers, 1665–1926. 1,398 items. Mss1B8306b. Microfilm reels C390–393.
The papers of this Charlotte County family consist chiefly of several large correspondence series, providing details of life at Staunton
Hill and Berry Hill plantations. Section 12 contains several 1835 lists of slaves by quarters—Branch Quarter, River Quarter,
and Charlotte Quarter and Mill—giving name, age or approximate date of birth, family relationships, and dates of death. Section
13 contains a deed that conveys railroad stock, fifty slaves, and other property from Sally Bruce of Woodbourne in Halifax
County to Elvira and Charles Bruce in 1843.
The letters discussed below (from section 8) were all written to or by Charles Bruce (1826–1896). This is a large series, in
which several letters provide considerable insight into opinions and attitudes of slaveholders in the mid-nineteenth century. In
August 1850, Sarah (Bruce) Seddon writes from Washington, D.C., and describes incidents from everyday life that illustrate
the tensions between northern and southern attitudes. She expostulates on abolitionists, the press, Congress, several prominent
politicians (Foote, Badger, Seward, Hale, Giddings, and Clay) and expresses concern that slaves who do not escape while in
Washington will take abolitionist ideas with them when they return home. She quotes an African American woman's comments
on a street incident.
In August 1862, Thomas Seddon makes several very general statements on the overall character of African Americans and the
need to have them moved before the invaders arrive. In 1889, Seddon explains why he prefers not to seek a political position above
the local level, in particular his concern about the Republican party and the need to disfranchise the African American population.
In June 1847, James Coles Bruce says that Charles has too many slaves on his place and that he must either sell some of them
or buy more land to keep them occupied. In September 1845, he relates that pestilence has taken several slaves at Berry Hill. His
letter of February 1858 contains a considerable amount of political discussion, particularly his view that slaveholders should represent
the South because he believes that is the best way to have the slaveholders' interests protected. He refers to the southern tradition
of Jefferson and Washington. His letter of April 1863 urges Charles to make the food rationing stretch farther, if necessary, by
reducing the number of persons to feed, in particular, old slaves.
In a seven-page undated letter to the Richmond Times, Charles Bruce comments generally on racial aspects of politics
and government in the Reconstruction period. He is particularly concerned about the occurrence of bribery in elections. He
addresses the advantages of the Australian ballot and its educational requirements and his opinion of the education of African
Bruce family papers, 1828–1938. 92 items. Mss1B8306c. Photocopies.
Section 4 includes several slave lists, 18501860, for Berry Hill and Wilbon plantations in Halifax County.
Bryan, Corbin Braxton (1852–1922), scrapbook, 1772–1924. , 360,  pp. Mss10:no. 118. Microfilm.
Includes 1854 slave lists from Eagle Point, Gloucester County, and Carysbrook, Fluvanna county. Original volume in private hands.
Bryan, Joseph (1845–1908), papers, 1866–1908. 157 items. Mss1B8407a.
Papers of a prominent Richmond attorney, newspaper publisher, and Confederate veteran. Section 4 contains a typescript
copy of a letter from Julia Boggs (Dent) Grant to Lewis Warrington Wise concerning slaves she owned with her husband,
Ulysses S. Grant.
Bryan family papers, 1757–1922. 8 items. Mss2B84d.
Include a letter, 1783, of John Byran, at Harewood, Berkeley County (later Jefferson County, W. Va.), to Francis Willis, of Gloucester County, concerning the death of Willis's sister-in-law Susannah (Perrin) Holding Washington and the future of the enslaved population at the Harewood plantation.
Bryan family papers, 1803–1895. 5 items. Mss2B84b.
Includes a letter dated 16 May 1895 from Corbin Braxton Bryan (1852–1922) to Joseph Bryan of Richmond, containing
comments on African American education.
Bryan family papers, 1880–1966. 113 items. Mss1B8408e.
Collection includes papers of Episcopal clergyman Corbin Braxton Bryan (of Millwood and Petersburg) among which are a commonplace book, 1920–1921, and date book, 1921, kept while rector of Grace Church, Petersburg, the latter of which includes a list of African American seminarians at the Bishop Payne Divinity School (section 1). The collection also includes diary entries, January–February 1943, of Clayton Briggs Townsend (of Petersburg) concerning his service as an officer in the United States Army Transportation Corps, presumably with the 379th Port Battalion, an African American unit, and covering the unit's trip to Casablanca, Morocco, on board the converted steamship liner Monterey, and activities there in unloading supplies for the North Africa Campaign (section 4). An incomplete, typescript copy of an undated memoir of Sarah Jane Brown (Scott) Worthington concerns her early life in Perquimans County, N.C., the move of her family (free and enslaved) by her father, William Copeland Scott, to a plantation named Ingleside in Princess Anne County, and experiences during the Civil War in Princess Anne and Norfolk, including her interactions with the enslaved population on the family plantation (section 5).
Bryce, Virginia, scrapbook, 1909–1932.  pp. Mss5:7B8435:1.
Includes newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and broadsides, in part concerning African Americans in Henrico County.
Buchanan, Andrew, power of attorney, 1784.  pp. Mss2B8515a1.
Executed in Glasgow, Scot., to David Buchanan, in part concerning the sale of land and slaves near Hatcher's Run in Dinwiddie
Buchanan, Neill, letter, 1789. 1 p. Mss2B8517a1.
Letter of 10 May 1789 to Dr. Wilson of Petersburg relates the misunderstanding of the sale of Esther, who was sold but intended
to be a gift to another. Buchanan states that he will not interfere should there be a chancery suit to set matters straight.
Buck, Julia E. Johnson (1887–1977), papers, 1952–1977. 91 items. Mss1B8555a.
Collection consists primarily of letters written by Julia E. (Johnson) Buck, an African American domestic worker employed
by the Hofheimer family of Norfolk. Most are written to Elise Bessie (Hofheimer) Wright concerning affairs of the Buck and
Hofheimer families, social activities, advice on marriage and child rearing, and the declining health of Mrs. Buck and her
husband, Clarence Harrison Buck (d. 1971).
Buford family papers, 1816–1844. 34 items. Mss2B8648b. Microfilm reel B49.
This Mecklenburg County family collection includes two items of particular interest. One is an 1836 deed (item b28) of John
H. Craddock selling his interest in the slave woman Judah to John Buford. Judah belonged to Craddock's father-in-law,
Abraham Hatchett of Nottoway County. The second item is an 1816 slave list (items b33b34) containing twenty-two
names, ages, valuations, and prices. The folder containing items b3b8 includes an 1825 receipt of William B. Thompson
to Capt. A. Buford for the slave girl Susan. An 1824 printed receipt accounts for advertising a slave sale in the Petersburg
Intelligencer (see items b9b15).
Bumpass, William, agreement, 1786. 1 p. Mss2B8807a1.
This agreement with James McReynolds, dated 29 April 1786, concerns the sale of Sam, an African American slave of Campbell County, who is described as a “blacksmith by trade.” The sale is made to secure payment of a debt.
Burke family papers, 1810–1888. 50 items. Mss1B9177a. Microfilm reel B8.
The Burke family of Nottoway and Prince Edward counties included several members who performed military service. After
the Civil War, A. U. Wright, as agent for the Freedmen's Bureau, gave permission for Mrs. Tatum of Farmville to keep Rosie,
because Mrs. Tatum promised to feed and clothe the girl and the girl wanted to stay (section 3, August 1865).
Burrus family papers, 1802–1869. 60 items. Mss1B9468a.
Primarily concerns family members in Orange County. Section 1 contains a letter to William Tandy Burrus from Frances
(Tandy) Burrus of Christian County, Ky., concerning sending the slave Peter to Kentucky. Section 3 contains several pieces
of information pertaining to African Americans, including two receipts: the first dated 1864 for the purchase of a slave girl,
Mary, and the second, 1866, for the hiring of free African Americans. There is also a letter, 1866, from W. C. Adams of
Upson County, Ga., to Robert Banks Burrus concerning Reconstruction and African American freedmen.
Burtt, William, letter, 1788. 1 p. Mss2B9575a1.
Letter, 2 December 1788, written in Amherst County to William Cocke, Buckingham County, relating arrangements for food,
clothing, and ferry passage for several slaves.
Burwell, Ann (Powell), commonplace book, 1746–1839. 1 vol. Mss5:5B9585:1. Microfilm reel C393.
Contains lists, 1746–1839, of slaves owned by Armistead Burwell and John Burwell, including ages or dates of birth. One
list includes names of mothers.
Burwell family papers, 1770–1965. 2,141 items. Mss1B9585a. Microfilm reels B9 and C394–395.
The papers of this plantation family contain several items pertaining to the operation of the plantations Carter Hall, Island, and
Spout Run in Frederick County (now Clarke County). Section 9 contains an 1840 deed for the slave Wat, age sixty, for $300.
Section 12 holds a list, probably 1862, of George Harrison Burwell's property, including names, ages, and valuation for approximately
100 slaves. In the same section are two affidavits of appraisals of wagons, each set of wagon and gear being identified by
the slave in charge of it. In section 6, Samuel Wilkeson acknowledges receipt of a donation to the American Colonization Society.
Burwell family papers, 1813–1928. 569 items. Mss1B9585b.
An additional group of Burwell family papers contains a page of notes (section 15) prescribing the terms for hiring slaves in Granville
County, N.C., ca. 1848. The first paragraph deals with the clothing to be supplied; the second with occupational restrictions and
distance restrictions. It also prescribes terms for rehiring and medical expenses incurred.
Burwell family papers, 1825–1976. 33 items. Mss1B9585c.
Primarily consists of papers relating to family members in Powhatan County, in the mid- to late nineteenth century. Includes
a letter dated 8 April 1865 from Doctor Blair Burwell (1830–1915), while serving as surgeon of the 8th Virginia Infantry Regiment,
Confederate States Army of Northern Virginia, to Virginia Beverly (Pickett) Burwell, which mentions slaves at Indian Camp
plantation in Powhatan County.
Butler, James Thomas (1822–1895), diary, 1862–1864.  pp. Mss5:1B9773:1.
Kept as a merchant in Richmond and as a planter in Caroline County. Includes lists of wages for overseers and costs of
slave labor, and records Butlers successful attempt to hide from Federal Army troops during the period of the Battle
of North Anna River, with the aid of family members and local slaves.
Byrd, William (1674–1744), letterbook, 1735–1736. 72 pp. Mss5:2B9966:3. Microfilm reel C62.
This correspondence has been published in The Correspondence of the Three William Byrds of Westover, Virginia,
16841776 (1977). Of particular interest is a letter of 6 December 1735 from Peter Beckford in which Beckford
states that the colony does not have such a large number of African Americans that the public safety should be a matter
of concern. A letter of 20 February 1736 complains to Byrd that convicts and felons from England should not be
sent out on ships because they come to Virginia to trade illegally with local slaves. A letter of 12 July 1736 suggests
that the importation of slaves be prohibited, because the number of African Americans in the colony is so great that
racial tensions are endangering public safety.
Byrd family papers, 1805–1871. 285 items. Mss1B9968b. Microfilm reel C273.
This collection focuses on several family members from Frederick County and Winchester. A letter, 30 July 1850, from
Dr. John Roberts of Fall Hill, Spotsylvania County, to Richard Evelyn Byrd asks Byrd to make inquiries at the Winchester
jail as to whether a certain African American being detained there might be a runaway slave (section 7). No name or
description is provided. Notes from the 1840s about the descendants of Juliet, slave of John Russell, concentrate especially
on her issue alive at the time of Russell's death (section 14). A letter, 28 August 1831, written by William Byrd Harrison
to Ann Harrison Byrd from Petersburg describes what he has heard of the Southampton Insurrection. It includes general
impressions and a few anecdotes. He also asks about arrangements for the purchase of William.
Byrd family papers, 1795–1826. 29 items. Mss1B9968c. Microfilm reel C274.
The collection includes an unexecuted 1826 bond for the hiring of an unnamed slave for the year 1827 (section 5). The articles
of clothing to be provided to the slave are carefully specified, as are provisions for the payment of tax on the slave.
Updated June 4, 2009
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