Wells, Mann, and Ledbetter Family Papers, PC.189


Wells, Mann, and Ledbetter Family Papers, PC.189


Newman Wells arrived in Rutherford County in the early years of the 19th century after migrating possibly from Rowan County and earlier from Chester County, South Carolina. His first marriage to Rebecca Edwards produced at least nine children. The family members who remained in North Carolina settled mainly, though not exclusively, in Haywood, Rutherford, and Buncombe Counties. Papers consist of correspondence (1848-1866), receipts, certifications, petitions, promissory notes, bills of sale (1795-1863), advertisements for medical treatments; two items concerning Vilet [Violet], a slave woman; and Civil War era documents including a soldier's discharge from the 25th Regiment, N.C. Troops (1862), an agriculture bond between Coleman Ledbetter and the CSA (1864), an oath of allegiance to the U.S. Constitution (1865).

Descriptive Summary

Wells, Mann, and Ledbetter Family Papers
Call Number
Wells family
1.00 boxes
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.189, Wells, Mann, and Ledbetter Family Papers, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Collection Overview

This collection contains notes, receipts, correspondence, and from the Wells, Mann, and Ledbetter families of Rutherford, Haywood, and Buncombe counties. Notes and receipts ranging from 1808-1863 are mainly related to Wells and Ledbetter family members with a few containing the Harmon and Mann name. A few receipts refer to the firm of Harmon and Wells (1819-1820), including a retail license to Anthony Harmon (1816). Correspondence ranging from 1795-1866 is a mix of letters from both families and other individuals with an unknown relationship. Of particular interest, is a battlefield letter written in 1861 from Camp Davis in New Hanover County by Joseph F. Long. He is most likely writing to his sister Nancy Long Ledbetter (whose mother was a daughter of Newman Wells). Other wartime records include a soldier's discharge from the 25th Regiment, Company C, N.C. Troops (to Coleman Ledbetter, 1861), an agriculture bond between Coleman Ledbetter and the Confederate States of America (1864), and an Oath of Allegiance to the United States Constitution (Andrew Wells, 1865). Two slave notes both related to a woman named Vilet are of notable interest. The first contains separate messages on the front and back. The front is a request for her services from a J.E. Perkins, and the back is granting permission for her pass through the cove back to her mistress. The second note is a receipt for her lost time. Miscellaneous papers include a list of school rules and a doctor's prescription, letter and advertisement for cancer treatments. Correspondents include Wells family members (brothers) in Florida, Georgia, and Texas, J. Chandler, R.W. January, Thomas N. and E.L. Long, Rebecca Long, W.L. Jones, H. Hill, Joseph F. Long, Wade Hill, and A.J. Scoggin.

The first accession of these papers in 1945 was described as follows below. Note that with the last accession of papers, received in 2012, processing archivists merged both accessions.
"Papers of Newnan or Newman Wells of Rutherford and Haywood counties (1810-1833) and Andrew Wells of Haywood Co. (1831-1879), including letters to Andrew from brothers in Florida (n.d.), Georgia (1871), and Texas (1876). A doctor's prescription and letter (1859-1860) and advertisment for traveling doctor (n.d.) concern caner treatments. Other papers refer to the firm of Harmon and Wells (1819-1820); to Anthony Harmon, including retail license (1816) and reference (1833) to his Buncombe Co. estate; and to Coleman Ledbetter of McDowell, Haywood, and Buncombe counties (1845-1872), notably a teaching certifcate (1849) and family letters."

Arrangement Note

According to family member then chronologically therein.

Biographical/Historical note

Wells FamilyNewman Wells (ca. 1770-1844) is thought to have been born in Chester County, S.C. Various family accounts state that he married his first wife, Rebecca Edwards (1770-1811) in Rowan County, N.C. At least nine children were born of this union, including Thomas (ca. 1794-1847); Lucretia, (ca. 1796-1851); Elizabeth Wells (ca. 1802-1863); Andrew (1804-1884); Joseph (1804-1877); and John (1810-) The family was living in Rutherford County when Rebecca died in 1811. Newman Wells married his second wife, Mary Bryson (1770-1856), sometime around 1820 and moved to Haywood County. Both Newman and Mary are buried in Haywood County.Andrew and Joseph Wells are believed to have been twins. Andrew, married to Eliza Ann Deaver Wells, worked as a farmer in Haywood County. Eliza died in 1860 of what was thought to be cancer, leaving behind six children. Andrew is buried in Haywood County. Thomas and Joseph, married to Harriet Wells, moved to Rockdale County, Georgia where both are buried. Lucretia married first Anthony Harmon, 1816, in Rutherford County, and married second David Robert Mann, 1826, in Haywood County. Elizabeth married Gloud Finley Long (b. ca. 1795), Rutherford County. One of their daughters, Nancy Lucretia Long (b. ca. 1825) in Rutherford County, married Coleman W. Ledbetter (ca. 1819-1898), who died at Canton, Haywood County. Lucretia and Elizabeth Wells's youngest brother, John Wells, lived and raised a family in Texas. Long FamilyGloud Finley (ca. 1795-1858) and Elizabeth (Wells) Long (ca. 1802-1863) were the parents of at least eight children. Many of their children and spouses are buried at the Bethel Community Cemetery, Haywood County, or the Brick Church Cemetery, Leicester, Haywood County. They include Isabella Harriett Long Brendle (ca. 1821-1858), married to Joseph Henry Brendle (ca. 1818-1897); Thomas N. Long (ca. 1823-1890) married to Elizabeth Catherine Hawkins (ca. 1825-1906); Nancy Lucretia Long Ledbetter (ca. 1825-1891) [see below]; Mary Elizabeth Long Wells (ca. 1828-1970), married to Julius Montraville Wells (ca. 1823-1873); John Finley Long (ca. 1830-1863), married to Clarissa A. Hargove; Jonathan Plott Long (ca. 1834-1864), married to Naomi A. Burnette; Rebecca Clementine Long Hargove (ca. 1836-1909) married to Rufus Pinkney Hargrove (ca.1830-1903); and Joseph F. Long (ca. 1838-), married to Elvina Mull (ca. 1838-1927).Joseph F. Long enlisted in Haywood County at age 22 on 29 June 1861, and served as private with the 25th Regiment N.C. Troops, Company F. According to the Roster of North Carolina Troops, Joseph was present or accounted for until he deserted on 28 January 1864, but returned to duty later. He was hospitalized at Petersburg, Virginia , 23 August 1864, with a gunshot wound of the left hand; subsequently he was recorded as absent, wounded, or sick through February of 1865. The collection appears to have one letter from by him from Camp Davis, New Hanover County, to his sister (not named). Joseph's brother, Lieutenant Jonathan Plott Long, was part of the 62nd N.C. Infantry, Company I. He died as a prisoner of war and was buried at Johnson's Island Confederate Cemetery, Marblehead, Ottawa County, Ohio.Ledbetter FamilyColeman Ledbetter (ca. 1819-1898) may have been born in Rutherford County. In 1847 he married Nancy Lucretia Long. On the 1840 United States Census they were shown living in Cleveland County and were the parents of two young children. He seems to have taught school for a period of time, farmed, and possibly worked in other occupations. He enlisted in Haywood County in a company known initially as the "Haywood Invincibles." By the time Ledbetter entered service as a private, 22 March 1862, he was 43 years of age, and part of Company C of the 25th Regiment. He was recorded as being present or accounted for until his discharge on 4 June 1862 for disability.

Contents of the Collection

1. Newman Wells,1795-1838

Scope and Content:

Promissory notes, tax receipts, miscellaneous receipts, judgement and summons, and petition to transfer still.

Notes and Receipts,1803-1838
Box Folder PC.189.1 1
Judgement and Summons,1806-1829
Folder 2
Petition and Certification,1795, 1822
Folder 3

2. Andrew Wells,1827-1876

Scope and Content:

Correspondence, directions for treatment of cancer, tax receipt, tax assessment of agricultural products, miscellaneous receipts, promissory notes, and Oath of Allegiance.

Correspondence includes letters from brothers in Florida, Georgia, and Texas.

Notes and Receipts,1827-1879
Folder 4
Promissory Note to Eliza Long,1857
Folder 5
Folder 7
Oath of Allegiance,1865
Folder 6

3. Coleman Ledbetter,1841-1872

Scope and Content:

Promissory note, judgment, examination to teach school, slave receipts, correspondence, tax assessment of Agricultural products, Soldier's Discharge, and Confederate States of America Agriculture Bond.

Notes and Receipts,1846-1864
Folder 10
Vilet [Violet], Woman Slave, Notes Regarding,1844
Folder 11
Confederate soldier's disability certificate, discharge, 25th Regiment, North Carolina Troops,1862
Folder 13
Exam to Teach School,1849
Folder 12
Confederate States of America, Bond of Payment, Agriculturist,1864
Folder 14
Court Records,1841-1872
Folder 15
Folder 16

4. Joseph Wells,1817-1846

Scope and Content:

Receipts include tax receipts and payments for debt and promissory notes.

Notes and Receipts,1817-1846
Folder 8

5. John F. Wells,1873

Notice to Vacate Land, Signed by John F. Wells,1873
Folder 9

6. Anthony Harmon,1811-1823

Scope and Content:

Receipts include tax receipts and payments for debt and promissory notes. A few receipts refer to the firm of Harmon and Wells, including a retail license to Anthony Harmon.

Notes and Receipts,1811-1823
Folder 17

7. David Mann,1828-1854

Scope and Content:

Receipts include tax receipts and payments for debt and promissory notes.

Notes and Receipts,1828-1854
Folder 18

8. Miscellaneous,1849-1864

Scope and Content:

Contents contains advertisments for medicines, school rules, newspaper clipping, and various papers belonging to individuals with an unknown relationship to the primary family.

Medical Advertisements,ca. 1860
Folder 19
School Rules,ca. 1849
Folder 20
Oath (form), List for Taxation,ca. 1800's
Folder 21
Newspaper Clipping of Gideon Welles,ca. 1860's
Folder 22
Folder 23
Receipt for Confederate Bond,1864
Folder 24
List of Accounts,ca. 1800's
Folder 25

Subject Headings

  • Harmon, Anthony
  • Ledbetter, Coleman William
  • Long, Joseph F.
  • Mann, David
  • Wells, Andrew
  • Wells, John F.
  • Wells, Joseph
  • Wells, Newman
  • Harmon family
  • Long family
  • Mann family
  • Wells family
  • Advertising
  • African Americans
  • Cancer
  • Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Confederate States of America.Army. North Carolina. Infantry Regiment, 25th
  • Correspondence.
  • Distilling industries--North Carolina
  • Harmon and Wells [Merchants]
  • Medicine
  • Reconstruction (1865-1876)
  • Schools--North Carolina
  • Slaves--North Carolina--Cleveland County
  • Buncombe County (N.C.)
  • Camp Davis (New Hanover County, N.C.)
  • Cleveland County (N.C.)
  • Haywood County (N.C.)
  • McDowell County (N.C.)
  • Rutherford County (N.C.)
  • Acquisitions Information

    First accession was a gift of Mrs. Leslie B. Clark, Asheville, N.C. 1945; addition was a gift of Sue Aceves, Whispering Pines, N.C., 2012.

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Jennifer Davis, NCGS Intern; and Fran Tracy-Walls
  • Finding Aid by Jennifer Davis, NCGS Intern; and Fran Tracy-Walls. Revised and updated by Fran Tracy-Walls, August 2019 and April 2020 for publication in Discover Online Catalog (DOC).