William Edward Snowden Letter, PC.5308

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William Edward Snowden Letter, PC.5308

Abstract

William Edward Snowden was an Episcopal minister who held positions throughout eastern North Carolina in the mid-19th century. This letter, dated 2 August 1843, was written to William's brother John Snowden in New York City while William was living in Nags Head. The letter discusses daily life in Nags Head, ongoing developments with William's ministerial career and salary, and the family's efforts to grow corn and wheat, family illnesses, and John's love life.

Descriptive Summary

Title
William Edward Snowden Letter
Call Number
PC.5308
Creator
Snowden, W.E. (William Edward), 1817-1888
Date
2 August 1843
Language
English
Repository
Outer Banks History Center

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 the 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 these materials.

Preferred Citation

PC.5308, William Edward Snowden Letter, Outer Banks History Center, Manteo, NC, U.S.A.

Collection Overview

The William Edward Snowden Letter, 2 August 1843, was written to William's brother John Snowden in New York City while William was living in Nags Head. The letter discusses daily life in Nags Head, ongoing developments with William's ministerial career and salary, and the family's efforts to grow corn and wheat. He also discusses his new baby with his wife, Harriet, and Harriet's ongoing struggles with the effects of a prolapsed uterus, possibly caused during childbirth. He asks for news of his brother, Thomas, and his sister, May, as well as their mother. The letter also discusses John's love life and his recent courtship of an anonymous woman. A transcript is included with the letter.

Biographical/Historical

William Edward Snowden was born in Elizabethport, New Jersey, 8 August 1817 to Irish immigrants Thomas and Elizabeth Snowden. Snowden attended the Trinity School in New York and graduated from Columbia College in 1838. He then entered the General Theological Seminary in New York for a short time before being sent to North Carolina due to his ill health. He settled in Perquimans County and became chaplain to the family of Joseph and Sarah Skinner. He then was made a deacon at St. Paul's Church in Edenton, North Carolina, in June 1841, and ordained as an Episcopal priest in May 1842. He married the Skinners' daughter, Harriet Augusta Skinner, 1 August 1842. The family then lived in Nags Head for a time, subsistence farming until Snowden could find steady employment. He served as a missionary in Beaufort County from 1841 to 1844 and as rector of St. Peter's Church in Washington, North Carolina, from 1844 to 1848.

In 1848, Snowden became a co-founder of the Holy Trinity Church in Hertford and served as its first rector. He remained in this position until 1867. The family then moved to Beaufort, where he served as rector of St. Paul's Church until 1872. Late in life, Snowden moved back to the Northeast, where he held positions at churches in Maryland, New York, and Connecticut. Snowden's health began to decline in the 1880s after suffering multiple bouts of pneumonia. He eventually lost his sight before dying in Cornwall, New York, 5 November 1888.

Contents of the Collection

Collection Contents
William Edward Snowden Letter, 2 August 1843
William Edward Snowden Letter

Subject Headings

  • Snowden family
  • Snowden, Harriet Augusta Skinner, 1822-1885.
  • Snowden, John
  • Nags Head (N.C.)--History--19th century
  • Acquisitions Information

    Donated by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, June 2015.

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Samantha Crisp, January 2020.