C. W. Hollowell Family Papers, PC.5028


C. W. Hollowell Family Papers, PC.5028


Christopher Wilson (C. W.) Hollowell (1821-1892) was a plantation overseer and enslaver in Pasquotank County in the 19th century. In addition to planting, one of Hollowell's business interests was the Nags Head Hotel, in Nags Head, North Carolina. This collection consists of personal and business papers of C.W. Hollowell and other members of the Hollowell and Gatling families, records of Hollowell's acquisition and operation of the Nags Head Hotel, and a small amount of records related to the African American men and women that Hollowell enslaved on his plantation.

Descriptive Summary

C. W. Hollowell Family Papers
Call Number
Hollowell, C. W. (Christopher Wilson), 1821-1892
1853-1997 (bulk 1853-1947) 1853-1947
0.800 cubic feet, 2 Box
Outer Banks History Center

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.5028, C. W. Hollowell Family Papers, Outer Banks History Center, Manteo, N.C., U.S.A.

Collection Overview

The C. W. Hollowell Family Papers, 1853-1997 and undated (bulk 1853-1947), contains personal and business papers relating to various members of the Hollowell and Gatling families. Included in the collection is correspondence, receipts, accounts of sales, insurance documents, records relating to the acquisition of the Nags Head Hotel, correspondence to Parthenia Gatling Hollowell and Margaret Hollowell, genealogical notes compiled by Margaret Hollowell, newspaper clippings and ephemeral items such as wedding invitations and graduation announcements.

Of note in the collection are three documents relating to numerous Black men and women who were enslaved by the Hollowell family at their Bayside Plantation. These consist of two account books kept by C.W. Hollowell, one of which tracks payments made to formerly enslaved men and/or their sons who apparently worked for Hollowell in the 1880s. A second account book logs "Women's tasks," most of which focuses on cotton, wool, and other textile-related work products contributed by women enslaved by the Hollowells. It is unclear whether these materials were picked or processed by the women or recorded for another purpose. Included in this book is a list of enslaved men who received new stockings in 1859-1860 and a note reflecting four months of houskeeping services by "Mrs. Casa" in 1856, for which she was paid $4 per month. A third document is a list of names compiled by Margaret Hollowell sometime around the 1930s, which she indicates refer to formerly enslaved people and "sons of the old slaves" who were paid by her father to continue working after the Civil War ended, even, as Margaret Hollowell notes, "those almost too feeble and old."

Biographical Note

Christopher Wilson (C. W.) Hollowell (1821-1892) was born in Perquimans County, North Carolina but moved to Pasquotank County to manage the plantations of his cousin, John Hollowell and James C. Johnston, owner of Hayes plantation. He later built the plantation house "Bayside" for his first wife Alpine Douglas Bodine (1830-1867), whom he married in 1855. The house still stands on Weeksville Road, south of Elizabeth City. Four children were born to this union. The Hollowells were enslavers, and according to the 1860 census, C.W. Hollowell forced about 40 Black men, women, and children to work on the Bayside plantation until the Civil War ended. Many of these formerly enslaved individuals remained on the plantation as Hollowell's employees after the war, despite many of them being "almost too old and feeble" to continue working.

In 1870, Hollowell married Parthenia Weeks Gatling (1848-1937) of Perquimans County and they proceeded to have five children. In addition to planting, one of Hollowell's business interests included the Nags Head Hotel in Nags Head, North Carolina.

Contents of the Collection

1. Correspondence, 1856-1946 and undated

Business Correspondence to C.W. Hollowell, 1868-1891
Box 1
Correspondence: C. W. Hollowell and Parenthia Weeks Gatling Hollowell, 1870-1888
Box 1
Correspondence to Parenthia Weeks Gatling Hollowell, 1869-1919 and undated
Box 1
Correspondence to Margaret Hollowell, 1909-1946
Box 1
Fragments of Papers: Hollowell and Gatling Family, undated
Box 1
Other Family Correspondence, 1866-1945
Box 1
Personal Correspondence to C.W. Hollowell, 1856-1890
Box 1
Correspondence to C.W. Hollowell, Jr., 1898-1907
Box 1

2. Business Papers, 1853-1939 and undated

Bank Books, circa 1900-1921
Box 1
C. W. Hollowell Receipts, 1853-1885
Box 1
Receipts, Nags Head Hotel Company, 1889-1891
Box 1
Receipts, inventories, and notes, 1865-1902 and undated
Box 1
Property Tax Receipts, 1880s-1925
Box 1
C. W. Hollowell, Insurance on Crops, 1871-1875
Box 1
Accounts of Sales of Wheat and Corn, 1857-1858
Box 1
A. E. Jacobs, Invoices, 1881-1884
Box 1
Documents Related to C.W. Hollowell's Acquisition of the Nags Head Hotel, 1870-1890
Box 1
Names and Accounts of African American Individuals Enslaved by the Hollowell Family (Most Post-Emancipation), 1856-1888 and undated
Box 1
Deeds, Hollowell Family, 1929-1939
Box 1

3. Personal Papers, 1859-1997 and undated

John Gatling Hollowell Term Reports, UNC, and Frank Hollowell, Elizabeth City Academy, 1894-1899
Box 2
Frank Hollowell, Jr., Athletic Award, High School Diploma, and Navy Commission, 1936-1948
Box 2
Wedding Invitations, Graduation Announcements, and other invitations, 1859-1943
Box 2
Newspaper Clippings [Photocopies], 1887-1962
Box 2
Seaboard Airline Classification of Passenger Equipment, 1947
Box 2
Photographs, undated
Box 2
"A Trip to Fredericksburg, VA" by Virginia H. Hollowell, circa 1933
Box 2
Ephemera, 1870s-1942 and undated
Box 2
Genealogical Notes Compiled by Margaret Hollowell, 1909-1940s and undated
Box 2
Genealogical Notes Compiled by Virginia Newsome Overman, 1997 and undated
Box 2

Subject Headings

  • Graham, Alpine Douglas Hollowell, 1867-
  • Hollowell, Alpine Douglas Bodine, 1830-1867
  • Hollowell, Christopher Wilson, 1821-1892
  • Hollowell, Christopher Wilson, Jr., 1871-
  • Hollowell, Frank W., 1879-1952
  • Hollowell, Frank W., Jr., 1920-2008
  • Hollowell, John A.
  • Hollowell, John Gatling, 1876-
  • Hollowell, Margaret, 1872-1951
  • Hollowell, Mary Wilson, 1864-1917
  • Hollowell, Parthenia Weeks Gatling, 1848-1937
  • Parker, Eugenia Hollowell, 1859-1943
  • Gatling family
  • Nags Head Hotel Company
  • Slaves--North Carolina--Pasquotank County
  • Nags Head (N.C.)
  • Pasquotank County (N.C.)
  • Acquisitions Information

    Purchased by the Outer Banks History Center Associates from Joe Woolard in 1996.

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Sarah Downing prior to 2001.
  • Revised by Samantha Crisp, July 2022.