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Seals Family Papers


This collection consists of correspondence and papers of the family of William and Jane Seals of Richmond County, N.C., ranging from 1842-1956.Correspondence dates from 1862 to 1904 and includes letters written home by sons, William, James, John, and Harris from Civil War encampments and trenches; letters written by some of the sons as they seek work during the economic depression of the 1870s; and various letters concerning family and business matters. The collection also includes bills for cotton seed and receipts from baled cotton of Alexander and Porter T. Seals and cotton insurance for Porter T. Seals (1872-1956); deeds, grants, and land papers (1842-1945) relating to the land of Alexan ... (more below)

Title

Seals Family Papers

Collection Number

PC.1772

Date(s)

1842 - 1956

Language

English

Physical Description
Items
244
Genre/Physical Characteristic

Includes letters (correspondence), business records, land grants, deeds, and receipts

Physical Description
Items
452.00
Letters
72.00
Abstract

This collection consists of correspondence and papers of the family of William and Jane Seals of Richmond County, N.C., ranging from 1842-1956.

Correspondence dates from 1862 to 1904 and includes letters written home by sons, William, James, John, and Harris from Civil War encampments and trenches; letters written by some of the sons as they seek work during the economic depression of the 1870s; and various letters concerning family and business matters. The collection also includes bills for cotton seed and receipts from baled cotton of Alexander and Porter T. Seals and cotton insurance for Porter T. Seals (1872-1956); deeds, grants, and land papers (1842-1945) relating to the land of Alexander and Porter T. Seals in Richmond County, N.C.; burial association, funeral, and literary papers (1878-1956); and bills and receipts (1866-1946).

Physical Location

For current information on the location ofthese materials, please consult the Public Services Branch, State Archives of North Carolina.

Creator

Seals Family

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


Available for research.


Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.


Processed by George Stevenson, September 12, 1989

Encoded by Fran Tracy-Walls, February 25, 2003


William Seals, a small farmer, appears to have lived in South Carolina, the native state of his wife Jane (called Jincey in the letters) from the 1820s until the outbreak of the Civil War. Their numerous progeny seem all to have been born in that state: William, Jr., Harris, James, John, Robert, Thomas, Travis, Alexander, Rachel, Ann, and Leuicy. Several of the sons served in the Civil War. Although a Civil War service record has been found only for John (enlisted in Co. F, 18th Regt., N.C.T., at the age of 18 in June 1861), pension applications show that Harris, who was wounded in the right wrist and thigh, and Alexander, who had his left forefinger shot off, both served in Co. D 26th Regt., N.C.T. Letters in the collection show that William was in service with troops in Southampton County., Va., in Dec., 1862, and, at Fort Clifton, near Petersburg, Va., in Dec., 1863. Similarly, James writes to his wife from Sullivan's Island, S.C., where he was under the command of Gen. Evans, and he may have been with a South Carolina regiment. Sons Robert and Thomas were of an age to have served, and might have enlisted in regiments of their native state, South Carolina.


William Seals, a small farmer, appears to have lived in South Carolina, the native state of his wife Jane (called Jincey in the letters) from the 1820s until the outbreak of the Civil War. Their numerous progeny seem all to have been born in that state: William, Jr., Harris, James, John, Robert, Thomas, Travis, Alexander, Rachel, Ann, and Leuicy. Several of the sons served in the Civil War. Although a Civil War service record has been found only for John (enlisted in Co. F, 18th Regt., N.C.T., at the age of 18 in June 1861), pension applications show that Harris, who was wounded in the right wrist and thigh, and Alexander, who had his left forefinger shot off, both served in Co. D 26th Regt., N.C.T. Letters in the collection show that William was in service with troops in Southampton County., Va., in Dec., 1862, and, at Fort Clifton, near Petersburg, Va., in Dec., 1863. Similarly, James writes to his wife from Sullivan's Island, S.C., where he was under the command of Gen. Evans, and he may have been with a South Carolina regiment. Sons Robert and Thomas were of an age to have served, and might have enlisted in regiments of their native state, South Carolina.


[Identification of item], PC.1772, Seals Family Papers, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Gift of Mrs. Margaret W. Zink, Clarks Hill, Indiana, 1987.


Additional information on topics found in this collection may be found in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS) at  http://www.ncarchives.dcr.state.nc.us


The 36 letters in the collection fall naturally into three small groupings of the following date ranges: 1862-1864; 1870-1877; and 1887-1904. Additionlly, there are 208 items that fall into the following categories: Cotton Crop and Insurance, 1872-1956; Deeds, Grants, and Land Papers, 1842-1945; Burial Association; Funeral; Literary Papers, 1878-1956;Bills and Receipts, 1866-1946.


The 36 letters in the collection fall naturally into three small groupings of the following date ranges: 1862-1864; 1870-1877; and 1887-1904. Additionlly, there are 208 items that fall into the following categories: Cotton Crop and Insurance, 1872-1956; Deeds, Grants, and Land Papers, 1842-1945; Burial Association; Funeral; Literary Papers, 1878-1956;Bills and Receipts, 1866-1946.


  • Seals, Alexander.
  • Seals, Jane.
  • Seals, Porter T.
  • Seals, William.
  • Seals, William, Jr.
  • Scotch Fair.
  • Cotton growing--Costs.
  • Depressions--1873--Georgia--Paulding County.
  • Depressions--1873--United States.
  • Funeral rites and ceremonies.
  • Insurance, Agricultural.
  • Mourning etiquette.
  • Soldiers--Southern States--Correspondence
  • Soldiers, Black.
  • Songs.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Military life.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--African-Americans.
  • Fort Clinton (Va.)
  • Marlboro County (S.C.)
  • Marlborough District (S.C.)
  • Paulding County (Ga.)
  • Petersburg (Va.)
  • Richmond County (N.C.)

Physical Description
36 letters
Physical Description
Letters
72.00

The first group includes letters written home by William, James, John, and Harris' Seals from Civil War encampments and trenches. For the most part, the letters relate to supplies from home. The Feb. 25, 1864, letter from Harris to his father written in the trenches at Petersburg, Va., says their rations are limited to a small loaf and enough bacon for a single meal each day, and hopes that if his brother Alex has, as he hears, to come into the army he'll stay away from "this unlucky place." An October 12, 1864, letter from him, however, suggests Alex come to his regiment if Alex is drafted. John's letter to his father written from Petersburg on Aug. 29 [1864] gives a brief description of two fights with black troops.

The next group includes letters written by some of the brothers as they sought work in Paulding County, Georgia, during the economic depression of the times. The younger William's letter of Jan. 4, 1871, announces that he and brother James have got safely to the home of their aunt and uncle, Leuicy and John D. Norton, at Brownsville, Ga., but that two men (one white and one black) were killed on his route. The brief imprisonment of their brother Robert in Georgia is dealt with in the letters as is the killing (in N.C.) of their brother Thomas. Most of the letters in this small group were written by William who seemed determined to keep in touch and hoped to return in time for the Scotch Fair; since he did not return until the end of October, 1871, it is uncertain whether he attended the fair that year or not.

The last twelve letters relate chiefly to Alexander Seals, and concern family and business matters.

Box: PC1772  
1862-1864
1862-1864

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
9 letters

18785
1870-1877
1870-1877

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
15 letters

18786
1887-1904
1887-1904

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
12 letters

Physical Description
56 items

Bills for cotton seed and receipts for baled cotton of Alexander and Porter T. Seals, and cotton crop insurance for Porter T. Seals.

Physical Description
24 items

All relate to the land of Alexander and Porter T. Seals in Richmond County, N.C.

Physical Description
10 items

These materials include a Dec. 8, 1878, invitation to the funeral of Polly Smith (mother of P.T. Smith) and burial association assessments and receipts for Porter T. Seals. A  "Song Ballett" is inscribed to Miss Mary Ann Bennett from William Seals, Battery No. 10, near Richmond, on Oct. 31, 1862, commencing "My dearest dear the time draws near/When you and I must part." A second song,  "The Fair Indian Lass" is in the metre of  "Old Woman, Old Woman."

Physical Description
118 items

The items are, for the most part, merchants' and tax receipts.