Finding aid of the Greenlee Family Papers, PC.1817

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Finding aid of the Greenlee Family Papers, PC.1817

Abstract

The Greenlee family came to western North Carolina from Rockbridge County, Virginia. James Greenlee and his sister Grace were the first in the area. In addition to owning a large tract of land along the Catawba River in McDowell County, James possessed a wealth of land in Burke, Yancey, Mitchell, Buncombe, and Rutherford counties, as well as a large tract in Memphis, Tennessee. In addition to farming, he raised cattle and drove his livestock for sale in Philadelphia and Charleston. He held a variety of public offices and represented Burke County at Hillsborough, where the State Convention of 1788 considered ratification of the newly proposed federal Constitution. James Greenlee's youngest son, David Washington, sought to amass a large plantation in McDowell County. Such endeavors were continued by son, Thomas Young Greenlee, who also served in public positions including county surveyor.
These are the papers of three generations of the Greenlee family of Burke and McDowell County.The papers include a small amount of correspondence from some of the Greenlee family members, including Thomas Young Greenlee and his wife Margaret Logan, their son, John Logan, and Margaret's parents, John and Rebecca Logan. Thomas Young served as executor of his father, David Washington Greenlee's estate among others. Accordingly, estate records for David Washington are included along with bills and receipts for family members or acquaintances for which Thomas Young served as executor of their estates.The earliest records in this collection are land records beginning with a 1778 land grant in Burke County. In 1842 McDowell County was formed from Rutherford and Burke County. Prior to 1842 most of the land records are from Burke County; while after 1842 the majority of land records are from McDowell County.Thomas Young, a land surveyor for McDowell County, surveyed much of the mountains and surrounding counties; a small portion of related notes and records are included. The collection also includes sundry court records for various family members and acquaintances.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Greenlee Family Papers
Call Number
PC.1817
Creator
Greenlee family
Date
1833-1899
Extent
3.00 boxes, 1.00 oversized boxes
Language
English
Repository
State Archives of North Carolina

Restrictions on Access & Use

Access Restrictions

Available for research

Use Restrictions

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.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], PC.1817, Greenlee Family Papers, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA

Collection Overview

These are the papers of the Greenlee family of Burke and McDowell County. The papers include a small amount of correspondence from some of the Greenlee family members, including Thomas Young Greenlee, his wife Margaret Logan, their son John Logan, and Margaret's parents, John and Rebecca Logan. A portion of a journal dated 1856 belonging to John Patton Greenlee documents him assisting his father, Thomas Young with land surveying. Among the records of James M. Greenlee is a signed Oath of Allegiance to the United States in 1865. The papers of Thomas Young include legal documents from several different estates. Thomas Young Greenlee was the executor of the estates of D.W. Greenlee, Richard Bird, Ann Donahoo, and Daniel Hicks. Included in the estate records of D.W. Greenlee is an undated letter requesting that his slaves become the property of his grandchildren upon his death. A large number of tax receipts for property owned by John and Rebecca Logan, Thomas Young, and James M. Greenlee are enclosed. There are various legal writs, court documents, and court summons relating to Greenlee family members as well as others in the community. In 1842 McDowell County was formed from Rutherford and Burke County. Prior to 1842 most of the land records are from Burke County; post 1842, the majority of land records are from McDowell County. Land records include a large number of deeds, land indentures and land grants for members of the Greenlee family as well as other members of the surrounding community. The earliest land grant in the collection is dated 1778 to Ephraim McLean for 315 acres in Burke County. Land grants to James Greenlee in this collection range from 1799 to 1806 and include Rutherford, Burke, and Buncombe County. Records included indicate that Thomas Young Greenlee was a county surveyor for McDowell County in the mid to late 1800's. There are many records and field notes of land surveyed in and around McDowell County. Additionally there are land surveying records that predate Thomas Young's era beginning with surveying notes from 1779.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged into the following seven series: personal correspondence; personal miscellaneous; estate records; bills and receipts; court records, land surveying records and land records. When necessary these series are further divided into subseries. The files with in the series or subseries are arranged by topic, based on the type of material and chronologically therein. Oversized materials are also listed separately at the end of the finding aid.

Biographical and Historical No

James Greenlee (1740-1813) James Greenlee was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia in 1740, to Mary Elizabeth and James Greenlee, natives of Ireland. James lived on the Dan River in Surry County before the Revolutionary war but later sold that property and moved to Morganton in Burke County. He owned large amounts of land in Burke County as well as the surrounding counties of Yancey, Mitchell, Buncombe, and Rutherford Counties. His property included land along the Catawba River near Old Fort. James raised cattle and farmed, and he owned many slaves. He held several public positions including land inspector, justice in Burke County, member of the North Carolina Convention in 1788, and the first coroner of Burke County. James married Mary McDowell Mitchell of Charleston, South Carolina in 1770, and they had 8 children. David Washington Greenlee (1787-1865) David Washington Greenlee was born in Morganton, Burke County in 1787, to Mary M. and James. He was the youngest of eight children. He married Mary Howard McEntire around 1814. "The Glades" a home on the Catawba River in McDowell County between Marion and Old Fort was purchased for the couple as a wedding present by David Greenlee's parents. It became a part of a large plantation owned by David Washington Greenlee. He was known to be a Whig in politics and an active member of the Siloan Presbyterian Church. He died in 1865 and is buried at Ebenezer UMC Cemetery in Old Fort, McDowell County. David and Mary had four children: James McEntire, Thomas Young, Martha Matilda, and Mary Jane. Thomas Young Greenlee (1818-1903) Thomas Young Greenlee was born in Burke County in 1818, to Mary and David Washington of Burke and McDowell County. Thomas Young owned land in Burke County and later McDowell County. Aside from farming, he held many county offices at one time or another. He was County Surveyor for McDowell County in the mid to late 1800's where he surveyed much of the mountains, and surrounding counties of Burke, Mitchell, Yancey, and Rutherford. Thomas Young died in 1903 and is buried at Ebenezer UMC Cemetery at Old Fort in McDowell County. Family of Thomas Young Greenlee Thomas Young Greenlee married Margaret Logan Greenlee (b.1821)around 1839. Her parents were John and Rebecca Logan of Old Fort. Thomas and Margaret had seven children; James Logan (b.1840), John Patton (b.1842), Margaret Rebecca (b.1846), Mary Matilda (b.1855), William Harvey (b.1860), Robert Lee (b.1863), Lillian Logan (b.1865). James Logan attended Davidson College for a while before the Civil War. Both James and John enlisted in the Confederate Army in May 1862, and they served with North Carolina troops assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia commanded by Robert E. Lee. James Logan was wounded at the second battle of Manassas and later died of Typhoid fever at Uppersville, Virginia, in September 1862. John Patton was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines in 1862. After recuperating at home he returned to Virginia where he was captured and imprisoned for six months. He never fully recovered from the wounds he sustained and lived out the rest of his life in a deprived mental condition at the Morganton Hospital. James M. Greenlee (1816-) James M. Greenlee was born in Burke County in 1816, to Mary and David Washington of Burke County. He was an older brother of Thomas Young. James M. was married to Eliza Ann Morris; his second wife was Harriet Rice. Little else is known of James M. Greenlee. Sources Sources consulted in addition to the contents of the collection: United States Census: 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, American Civil War Soldiers, The Heritage of Burke County 1981 (The Burke County Historical Society, Morganton), 203-204, Bibliographical information found within papers.

Contents of the Collection

1. Personal Correspondence,1837-1863

Scope and Content:

Correspondence is primarily associated with the family of Thomas Young Greenlee. The earliest letters are written to Margaret Logan Greenlee before her marriage to Thomas Young. A few of the letters are from Eliza Greenlee, presumably the first wife of James M. Greenlee [brother to Thomas Young]. Two letters are courtship letters from Thomas wishing her to pledge her devotion to him. The remainder of letters are from a cousin in Monroe County, Tennessee. This correspondence is addressed to both her and her mother and father, John and Rebecca Logan.

Letters written to Thomas Young Greenlee are from son, James Logan while he is away at school. In his earlier letters James Logan is attending school at Dyartsville in McDowell County; while his later letters are from Davidson College. Most of the correspondence is general information about school life and requesting money to cover books, clothing, and tuition and family inquiries back home.

Correspondence to James Logan Greenlee comes mostly from friends, either from home or school mates. One letter written to him at Davidson College is from his father reporting on the family back home.

Thomas Young Greenlee Correspondence,circa 1855-1860
Box PC. 1817.1
Margaret Logan Greenlee Correspondence,1837-1840
Box PC. 1817.1
Logan Greenlee Correspondence,1859-1860
Box PC. 1817.1
Miscellaneaous Correspondence,1806-1863
Box PC. 1817.1

2. Person Miscellaneous,1834-1910

Scope and Content:

There is a wide array of items in this series relating to the personal lives of the Greenlee family. A collection of poems and writings by Margaret Logan Greenlee before her marriage to Thomas are included, as well as a portion of a diary kept be her son, John Patton. In his diary, he is primarily writing about helping his father with his land surveying. Another item related to John Patton Greenlee is a transcribed newspaper obituary from the Charlotte Oberserver in 1910 recognizing him as a Confederate veteran and the oldest patient in Morganton Hospital. Other items include receipts for personal items or travel and writings from an unknown source.

Poems and Writings of Margaret Logan Greenlee,1834-1839 and undated
Box PC. 1817.1
A part of John Patton Greenlee's diary,circa. 1856
Box PC. 1817.1
Signed oath of allegiance to the U.S. by J. M. Greenlee,1865
Box PC. 1817.1
Transcribed copy of article appearing in Charlotte Observer about John Patton Greenlee,circa 1910
Box PC. 1817.1
List of the names given at Old Fort Township for election for President and Vice President and members of Congress,1868
Box PC. 1817.1
Miscellaneous,1834-1859
Box PC. 1817.1

3. Estate Records,1806-1896

Scope and Content:

Thomas Young Greenlee was the executor for several estates including his father, David Washington Greenlee. Others were Richard Bird, Ann Donahoo [whom he may have inherited from the estate of Richard Bird], Daniel Hicks, and his wife's parents, John and Rebecca Logan. Most of the estate papers are notes, receipts, judgments, and other court documents.

Power of Attorney from D.W. Greenlee to T.Y. Greenlee,May 21, 1864
Box PC. 1817.1
D.W. Greenlee Estate,1819-1896
Box PC. 1817.1
Miscellaneous Notes and Receipts -- John and Rebecca Logan,1820-1855
Box PC. 1817.1
D.W. Greenlee naming grandchildren executors and administrators of his slaves, circa 1860's
Box PC. 1817.1
Release, Estate of D.W. Greenlee,1871
Box PC. 1817.1
Estate of Richard Bird,1806-1849
Box PC. 1817.1
Estate of Richard Bird,1850-1859
Box PC. 1817.1
Estate of Ann Donahoo,1822-1852
Box PC. 1817.1
Estate of Daniel Hicks,1833-1870
Box PC. 1817.1
Rebecca Logan Tax Receipts,1833-1853
Box PC. 1817.1

4. Bills and Receipts,1808-1886

Scope and Content:

The bills and receipts in this series are related to Thomas Young Greenlee and his brother, James M. Greenlee. Items are mainly tax receipts, receipts for land purchases and lists of notes.

Receipts relative to TY Greenlee debt to Flemming heirs,1808-1873
Box PC. 1817.1
Tax Receipts for Thomas Y. Greenlee,1850-1867
Box PC. 1817.1
Bills and Receipts,1806-1886
Box PC. 1817.1
Tax Receipts for James M. Greenlee,1840-1885
Box PC. 1817.1
Receipts for the purchase of land from the North Carolina Treasury Office, Burke County,1808-1836
Box PC. 1817.1
List of Notes and Property,for 1864
Box PC. 1817.1
List of notes,1826-1884
Box PC. 1817.1

5. Land Surveying Records,circa 1870's-1880's

Scope and Content:

Records included indicate that Thomas Young Greenlee was a county surveyor for McDowell County in the mid to late 1800's. This series contains many records and field notes of land surveyed in and around McDowell County. Additionally there are land surveying records that predate Thomas Young's era beginning with surveying notes from 1779.

Court Orders of T.Y. Greenlee, County Surveyor,1880-1883
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Surveying Records--Thomas Y. Greenlee,1877, 1880
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Surveying Records, T.Y. Greenlee,circa 1870's-1880's
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Surveying Records, Plots of Survey,circa 1870's-1880's
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Surveying Courses, Notes and Boundaries,1779-1883
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Surveying Courses, Notes and Boundaries,circa 1870's-1880's
Box PC. 1817.2

6. Court Records,1802-1894

Scope and Content:

Court Records mainly consists of judgments, summons, power of attorney, and deposition papers for Greenlee family members and acquaintances. Of particular interest is a report on the case of Sarah Spencer vs. James Greenlee, Burke County, 1828. This document provides the profits for hire of the slaves that are listed and amount of money due to the defendant. The report lists slave names, age, and value, hire amount, and expense on each.

Court Summons--Thomas Y. Greenlee,1872, 1876
Box PC. 1817.1
Court Summons from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals,1882
Box PC. 1817.1
Miscellaneous Legal Writs, McDowell County,1839-1883
Box PC. 1817.1
Report on the case, Sarah Spencer vs. James Greenlee, Burke County,1828
Box PC. 1817.1
Legal Writs, Iredell County,1842, 1849
Box PC. 1817.1
Deposition of Elizabeth Witherspoon, Caswell County,1850
Box PC. 1817.1
Power of Attorney, McDowell County,1851-1894
Box PC. 1817.1
Examination of Rebecca Ann Derreberry,1851
Box PC. 1817.1
David Cot vs. James Woods,1802
Box PC. 1817.1

7. Lands Records,1798-1899

Scope and Content:

Land records make up a large portion of this collection. Deeds and land grants span the course of over a century from 1778 to 1899, and while most are for land located in Burke and McDowell Counties, deeds containing land in surrounding counties are also included in these papers. Miscellaneous land records include advertisement of land for sale, lists of property, and permission to James H. to have a tannery on his land.

Miscelaneous land records,1822-1866

Advertisement for land for sale, McDowell County,1866
Box PC. 1817.2
James M. Greenlee List of Land in Burke County,1837
Box PC. 1817.2
Lists of Taxable Property,1832
Box PC. 1817.2
Permission to James H. Greenlee from the State of NC to have a tannery on his land,June 20, 1859
Box PC. 1817.2
Note regarding land boundary,1822
List of Land and property for Thomas Hemphill,circa prior 1863
Box PC. 1817.2
Old Fort, NC, Land Plats,undated
Box PC. 1817.3
Miscellaneous Land Records--Thomas Y. Greenlee,1857
Box PC. 1817.2

Deeds, Indentures, and Land Grants,1778-1899

Land Grant, Burke County,1778
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Grant, Burke County,1795
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Indentures--D.W. Greenlee,1824-1836
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Grants--James M. Greenlee,1843-1844
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Grant, Burke County,1783-1809
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Indentures, Burke County,1806-1836
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Grant, Burke County,1809, 1815
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Indentures, Burke County,1794-1850
Box PC. 1817.2
Deed, Burke County,1836
Box PC. 1817.2
Bonds to Make Deeds, Burke County,1812-1835
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Indenture and Warranty Deed, McDowell County,1850, 1899
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Grant, McDowell County,1862
Box PC. 1817.3
Bonds to make deeds, McDowell County,1856-1870
Box PC. 1817.2
Deed, McDowell County,1891
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Indentures, Buncombe County,1813, 1834
Box PC. 1817.3
Deed, Forsythe County,1893
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Grants--James Greenlee,1799-1804
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Indenture--James Greenlee,1798
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Indentures--James M. Greenlee,1840-1843
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Indenture--James M. Greenlee,1844
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Indentures--D.W. Greenlee,1840, 1846
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Indentures--Thomas Y. Greenlee,1849, 1857
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Indentures--Thomas Y. Greenlee,1853-1897
Box PC. 1817.2
Land Grant & Indentures--John Logan,1813-1851
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Grant and Land Indentures--John Logan,1815-1845
Box PC. 1817.2

8. Oversized Materials,1798-1899

Land Grant, Burke County, 1778
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Grant, Burke County,1795
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Grant, Burke County,1783-1809
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Grant, Burke County,1809, 1815
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Indenture and Warranty Deed, McDowell County,1850, 1899
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Grant, McDowell County,1862
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Indentures, Buncombe County,1813, 1834
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Grants--James Greenlee,1799-1804
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Grants--James M. Greenlee,1843-1844
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Indentures--James M. Greenlee,1840-1843
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Indentures--D.W. Greenlee,1824-1836
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Indentures--Thomas Y. Greenlee,1849, 1857
Box PC. 1817.3
Land Grant & Indentures--John Logan,1813-1851
Box PC. 1817.3

Subject Headings

  • Greenlee, David Washington, 1787-1865
  • Greenlee, James Logan, 1840-1862
  • Greenlee, James M, 1816-
  • Greenlee, James, 1740-1813
  • Greenlee, John Patton, 1842-1919
  • Greenlee, Margaret Logan, 1821-1885
  • Greenlee, Thomas Young, 1818-1903
  • Logan, John, 1770-1857
  • Logan, Rebecca, 1780-1859
  • Greenlee Family
  • Logan Family
  • Greenlee Family
  • Bird Family
  • Donoho Family
  • Hicks Family
  • Logan Family
  • Courts--North Carolina
  • Estates--North Carolina
  • Land grants
  • North Carolina--Politics and government--19th century.
  • Burke County (N.C.)
  • Marion (N.C.)
  • McDowell County (N.C.)
  • Morganton (N.C.)
  • Old Fort (N.C.)
  • Burke County (N.C.)
  • McDowell County (N.C.)
  • Deeds
  • Surveying
  • Acquisitions Information

    Nina M. Greenlee, Old Fort, N.C., July 1993

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Jennifer Davis, NC Genealogical Society Intern.