Finding Aid of the Faison Family Papers, 1834-1874, PC.2012


Finding Aid of the Faison Family Papers, 1834-1874, PC.2012


The Faisons were among the first settlers of Northampton County and owned land and a plantation near the town of Jackson, the county seat. Herod and Gulielma Shepherd Faison's seven children included Paul Fletcher who was a cadet at West Point just before North Carolina seceded from the Union. Consists of seven items (1834-1874), including Paul's two letters (April 1861) to his father regarding intention to return home and serve the Confederacy. Undated dated letter (ca. 1845) is from Annis Waddell from boarding school.

Descriptive Summary

Faison Family Papers
Call Number
Faison Family
1.00 boxes
State Archives of North Carolina

Series Quick Links

  1. Collection Contents

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.2012, Finding Aid of the Faison Family Papers, 1834-1874, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Collection Overview

Consists of correspondence, three letters, 1860-1861; one undated antebellum letter (circa 1845); and miscellaneous items consisting of a dental bill, obituary of John R. Waddell, a kinsman who died in September 1861 just before entering Civil War service, and commencement program, with the total relating primarily to the Faison Family, but also to the Waddell Family. Three of the four letters were exchanged between Paul F. Faison, a cadet at West Point, and his parents, 1860-1861, with Paul's two letters reflecting his strong sense of conflict but unwavering desire to return to his home on the eve of North Carolina's secession from the Union, 20 May 1861. The other dated letter, 15 June 1860 is from Paul's mother, Gulielma Faison and refers to political events, severe weather, crops, family news, including illness, and pride and hope in her son's future. The undated letter was written by Mrs. Faison's niece, Annis [Anistasia Waddell] a native of Hertford County. Composed while Annis was a student at St. Mary's Hall, Burlington, New Jersey, circa 1845, it reveals a young lady's views of boarding school life far from home. The obituary is that of her brother, John who died of typhoid in September 1861 before he could enter service as a lieutenant in a North Carolina regiment.
Series include Correspondence: 1860-1861 and undated [circa 1845]; and Miscellaneous Materials: 1834-1874.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by type of material or topic and arranged chronologically thereunder.

Biographical Note

Herod Faison was related to some of the first settlers of Northampton County. His own land was in the vicinity of Jackson, the county seat, and included a plantation with around seventy slaves by the year 1860. Herod Faison (circa 1796-1865) was a son of Sarah Smith and Herod Faison (circa 1760-1815). Herod Faison, Jr. was married first in 1818 to Rebecca Boykin and married second, circa 1834, to Gulielma Mariah Shepard/Shepherd (circa 1817-aft. 1880), a daughter of Sarah Carr and Solomon Sheppherd/Shepard, born likely in Nansemond County, Virginia, but settled in Hertford County. (Others included Margaret, born circa 1809, who married John Waddell of Hertford County and Sarah/Sallie born circa 1812, who married Tilman/Tilghman D. Vann). Herod was active in politics at the county and the state level as a member of the Whig Party, serving as a senator in the Assembly of 1832-34 and 1833-34 and as a representative in the House of Commons, in the Assembly of 1836-37 and 1838-39. Herod and Gulielma Faison were parents of at least seven children, including sons, John W. (b. circa 1838-); Frank Shepard (b. circa 1846); and Paul Fletcher (circa 1840- 1896), all of whom served in the Civil War as Confederate officers.

Paul Fletcher Faison was a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point until April of 1861, not long following the surrender of Fort Sumter, April 13, and the secession of North Carolina from the Union, 20 May. Faison's two letters in this collection were dated 12 April and 14 April, and written just before and while Fort Macon (Federal) was under seizure on 14 April, under the order of North Carolina Governor John W. Ellis. The letters strongly convey his conflicting thoughts, but unwavering intention to return to his home and native state. Apparently Faison enlisted in Northampton County just following North Carolina's secession and was appointed Major to rank from May 28 in the 14th Regiment, N.C. Troops (4th Regiment N.C. Volunteers). When the regiment was reorganized on 26 April 1862, Faison was defeated for reelection. Subsequently he was appointed Colonel of the 56th Regiment N.C. Troops on 31 July 1862. Based on evidence of surviving company muster rolls, Faison was accounted for or reported present through December of 1864 and he surrendered at Appomattox Court House, Va., 9 April 1865. Faison's elder brother, John W. Faison, was the Adjutant (1st Lieutenant) of the 56th Regiment and his brother-in-law, Samuel J. Calvert, was Assistant Commissary of Subsistence (Captain).

During the course of the war, Paul was wed on 3 November 1863 to Anna (Annie) Haywood (Badger) Bryan (b. circa 1841), widow of Dr. Bryan, and a daughter of Delia (Haywood) Williams Badger and former U.S. Senator George Edmund Badger of Raleigh. The couple was married by Dr. Richard Sharpe Mason, rector of Christ Church, Raleigh and later became parents of several children, including Paul Fletcher Faison, Jr., born circa 1882 (a graduate of the University of North Carolina, a lawyer, and U.S. Vice Consul and Consul in China during the period following World War I).


1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 United States Federal Census; . 2nd ed., 1924. p.192; John L. Cheney, Jr., ed. (Raleigh: N.C. Dept. of Secretary of State, 1981) 298, 300, 307, 309; Louis H. Manarin and Weymouth T. Jordan Jr., comps., , 13 vols. to date (Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Dept. of Cultural Resources, 1966-), 5:394; 13:592; Matthew M. Brown and Michael W. Coffey, comps., (Raleigh: Office of Archives and History, Dept. of Cultural Resources, 2009), 17: 228; North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868, and Marriage Collection, 1741-2000

Contents of the Collection

Collection Contents

Consists of four letters, with three dated 1861-1862 and one undated, circa 1845. Three of the four letters were exchanged between Paul F. Faison, a cadet at West Point, and his parents, 1860-1861, with Paul's two letters reflecting his strong sense of conflict but unwavering desire to return to his home on the eve of North Carolina's secession from the Union, 20 May 1861. The undated letter, circa 1845, was from Mrs. Faison's niece, Annis [Anistasia Waddell] while she was a student at St. Mary's Hall, Burlington, New Jersey.

Miscellaneous Materials,1834-1874

The miscellaneous items consist of a dental bill (1835), an obituary of John R. Waddell, September 1861, and commencement program, 1874

Subject Headings

  • Faison family.
  • Shepherd family.
  • Waddell family.
  • Paul Fletcher Faison
  • Waddell, John R.
  • Girls--Education--United States--19th century.
  • St. Mary's Hall (Burlington, N.J.)
  • Storms--19th century.
  • Students--19th century.
  • Teenage girls--Southern States--History--19th century.
  • United States Military Academy.
  • Wesleyan Female College (Murfreesboro, N.C.).
  • U.S. Military Academy, West Point
  • St. Mary's Hall (Burlington, N.J.)
  • Women--North Carolina--Social life and customs--19th century.
  • Social life and customs
  • Women
  • Nonpublic Schools
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • Hertford County (N.C.)
  • Jackson (N.C.)
  • Northampton County (N.C.)
  • Northampton County (N.C.)--Economic conditions--19th century.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Veterans
  • Faison, Gulielma Shepherd.
  • Acquisitions Information

    Received as a gift from Minor T. Weisiger, Richmond, Va., November, 2010.

    Processing Information

  • Processed and encoded by Fran Tracy-Walls, 2011; updated for publication in DOC by Fran Tracy-Walls, April 2020.