James Iredell Waddell Family Papers, PC.87


James Iredell Waddell Family Papers, PC.87


Papers relate to the Waddell, Moore and connected families of New Hanover, Brunswick, Bladen, and Orange Counties, N.C., specifically those of Captain James Iredell Waddell, commanding officer of the Confederate steamer C.S.S. Shenandoah. Included are Waddell's personal and military correspondence, accounts of the course of the Shenandoah, ancestral land papers with surveys and plats, a biography of Justice Alfred Moore, a dispatch by General R. E. Lee, obituary and other clippings, and various personal items. Regarding the enslaved people there are two wills; a power of guardianship; slave bill of sale; receipt; estate division including date of birth with occupation and mother's name; a deed of trust.

Descriptive Summary

James Iredell Waddell Family Papers
Call Number
Waddell, James I. (James Iredell), 1824-1886
State Archives of North Carolina

Preferred Citation

James Iredell Family Papers, PC. 87, State Archives of North Carolina, N.C., U.S.A.

Collection Overview

The collection contains personal and military correspondence of James Iredell Waddell, commanding officer of the Confederate steamer C.S.S. Shenandoah; including his letter of resignation from the U.S. Navy, 1861, and a document from the Navy proposing to give him monies due, providing he does not join the Confederacy, 1862. There is a dispatch from the battlefield from General Robert E. Lee to President Jefferson Davis, 1 September 1862 (authenticity unknown); a commendation from the captain of the U.S.S. Release dated 1857; Captain James Iredell Waddell's account of the course of the C.S.S. Shenandoah, ca. 1875; a copy of the letter of surrender to the British government, 1865 and President Johnson's amnesty proclamation. There are letters to Waddell's father, Francis Nash Waddell, from another son, Charles, describing a reunion between the brothers in Annapolis, July 1867, with reference to the need for employment. Other post-war letters from James Iredell Waddell to his father refer to his interest in the presidency of the University of North Carolina, 1873, his public relations tour for Pacific Mail Steamship Company and visit with Alexander H. Stephens, 1877, Crawfordville, Ga. There are several items relating to the death and funeral of Charles Waddell in Petersburg, Virginia, 1874. A letter to Waddell's brother Guion describes personal sentiments, 1885; and three items from his wife's family (Iglehart) describe James Iredell Waddell's death, funeral, and tomb in Annapolis, 1886. An oversized manuscript box contains a folder with a muster list of Company E, 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Troops and June to September 1870. It includes men from Tennessee to Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia under the command of Col. G. W. Kirk. Along with the muster list is a deed, 1810, of Dr. Armond DeRossett, Wilmington, N.C. to Thomas Cowan and John McCaune, Wilmington for 100 acres in New Hanover County, N.C.

Estates papers relative to Moorefields plantation in Orange County, N.C., include a deed, 1780, from Thomas Hart to Peter Mallett for land granted to John Gray by the Earl of Granville, 1752; deed, 1785, Peter Mallett to Judge Alfred Moore; plat of Moorefields (1262 acres, no date); [cf. will, 1810, Judge Alfred Moore to son Alfred]. The will of Judge Moore bequeathes slaves (listed by first name) to several family members. There is also a will of Alfred Moore, 1837, Francis Nash Waddell, executor.

Papers referring to Brunswick County, N.C., include a promissory note, 1762, from John Burgwin to Richard Eagles for 100 acres on Eagles Island; survey, 1765, Richard Eagles' land in Brunswick County and on Eagles Island; will, 1810, Judge Alfred Moore, Moorefields and Buchoi plantations to his son Alfred, Springfield to son Maurice, land on Eagles Island to daughter Anne and Hugh Waddell, land on Eagles Island and Ballhead [sic] to daughter Elizabeth and Francis Nash Waddell; deed, 1801, Maurice Moore to Alfred Moore his father, for 640 acres and all the land on Eagles Island or "great Island opposite Wilmington"; deed, 1830, Alfred Moore, Jr. to Francis Nash Waddell and wife Elizabeth, land called Buchoi in Brunswick County, 696 acres around Eagles Island, witnessed by Haynes Waddell; a power of guardianship over enslaved African Americans belonging to Tamboy McKenzie, namely, Ceasar, Mollie and Judy, to Francis N. Waddle, 1831; and mortgage on Buchoi, 1832-1839.

Property cited in New Hanover County belonged to Dr. Samuel Green [Greenhalls], 1771, 1782; Henry Halsey, 1805; and Thomas Jennings, 1810. Other land papers include tax receipts and correspondence concerning property of Alfred Moore in Tennessee, 1831-1835 and lands of John Moore in Louisiana, 1837, 1846.

Additional items include statement and correspondence relative to estate of Alexander Hattridge, 1819, with William C. Lord, attorney; election returns, 1836, Orange County (Hugh D. Waddell, state senator); account of Miss Sarah Moore (later Mrs. Sarah DeRossett), 1837-1839; fragment of speech to North Carolina House of Commons (likely Senator Hugh D. Waddell) relative to a need for a spirit of nationalism, ca. 1831; promissory note from M. Q. Waddell (Maurice Quince Waddell) to Mander Campbell and F. N. Waddell (Francis Nash Waddell) assignees of Waddell and Callender, 1832; a few poems, including "About a Slanderer of Jefferson Davis" and "Tippecanoe"; newspaper clippings with reference to Judge Alfred Moore, Alfred Moore Waddell, General Francis Nash, Captain Francis Nash Waddell, and Charles Waddell; Greek text of Herodotus used by James Fleming Waddell in 1826; a recipe for Pococks Pickle, undated; Alfred Moore's book of John Gay's poems. There are six pages from a letterbook (1782-1783) of John Burgwin, writing in Europe about his shipping interests, confiscation of property in North Carolina, peace negotiations, with references to the education of his school-boy nephews, Hugh and Haynes. Burgwin wrote specifically to Archibald Maclaine, Mrs. John Burgwin (Eliza Bush of Bristol, England), with references to the signing of the preliminary articles of the Peace of Paris, 1782, shipping interests in Bruges, Ostend, Rotterdam, and Nantes. His concern about possible loss of property in North Carolina referred to the Hermitage plantation. Burgwin was uncle and guardian to three orphan sons of General Hugh Waddell who died in 1773.

Formerly Volumes 1 and 2 of the original log of the Shenandoah were part of the present collection, but were transferred to the Military Collection, Civil War Collection. Subsequently the volumes were transferred to the vault collection of the SANC. These have been digitized and may be viewed online in North Carolina Digital Collection. Please see the following:

Arrangement Note

The collection's series of Correspondence; James Iredell Waddell's "Course of the Confederate War Steamer Shenandoah; Slave Papers; Land Papers are arranged primarily in chronological order. The Subjects series is arranged alphabetically.


James Iredell Waddell (1824-1886), Captain of the Confederate steamer C.S.S. Shenandoah, was descended from six generations of leading military, judicial, legislative, and social figures along both his maternal and paternal lines. His parents were Elizabeth Davis Moore (1807-1869) and Francis Nash Waddell (1796-1881), distant cousins who were descended from a grandson of Governor James Moore of the Carolina colony from 1700 to 1703.
Captain Waddell's ancestors in the Carolinas were part of what was termed "The Family", an intricate, lower Cape Fear network of many intermarried families along the coast of the Carolina colony who attained social ascendancy and dominance from their arrival in the late 17th century to well into the 19th century. His genealogy in America is studded with prominent military figures from colonial, Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary War eras.

One of Captain Waddell's early ancestors in the Carolina province­, and his parents' ancestor as well­, was James Moore (ca. 1640-1706), Governor of the Province of Carolina from 1700-1703. He was said to have been a son of Rory O'More who led the Irish rebellion of 1641. Governor Moore made his military and political career prior to and during his tenure as governor of Carolina after which he was made attorney general for the province until his death in 1706. Captain Waddell's parents both were descended from Governor James Moore through the Governor's grandson, their great-grandfather, Maurice Moore, Jr., (1735-1777) a Judge on the King's Bench who resided at his plantation, Buchoi, in Brunswick County, N.C.

Major General Hugh Waddell (1734-1773), who immigrated to North Carolina from Lisburn, County Antrim, Ireland, in 1753, was Captain Waddell's earliest paternal ancestor in the North Carolina colony. Soon after his arrival, Hugh Waddell enlisted as a lieutenant in the service of the acting Governor, Matthew Rowan, a commission obtained through his family's association with the next governor of North Carolina, aristocrat Arthur Dobbs of County Antrim. Lieutenant Waddell was serving as clerk of Governor Dobbs' council in 1755, and his service on the council was concurrent with the beginning of his distinguished military career. For example, in 1754 he served under Colonel James Innis in the Virginia campaign; built and commanded Fort Dobbs from 1755 to 1756; served under Colonel George Washington in the capture of Fort Duquesne in 1758; and led an armed resistance to the Stamp Act in 1765 and an expedition against the Regulators in 1771. Such a career earned him a reputation as having served longer in the military service of the crown than any other officer of the province, and as such was its most prominent soldier. In 1762 Hugh Waddell married Mary Haynes (1738-1776), a daughter of Roger Haynes (ca. 1700-ca. 1738) and his wife, Margaret (née Marsden) Haynes (ca. 1710-ca. 1770), who lived at their plantation, Castle Haynes in New Hanover County (now called "Castle Hayne"). Castle Haynes became General Waddell's and his wife's home as well. Between lulls in his military service to the North Carolina colony General Waddell also represented Rowan County in the legislature of the province until his death just prior to the Revolution. General Waddell's son, John Burgwin Waddell (1770-1830), married Sarah Nash (1773-1837), a daughter of Brigadier General Francis Nash (1740-1777) of Virginia and Hillsborough, North Carolina. General Nash, given command of the North Carolina brigade of the Continental Army under General George Washington, was killed at Germantown during the American Revolution. Sarah Nash's mother was Sarah Moore (1757-1783), daughter of Anne Grange (b. ca. 1729) and her husband, Maurice Moore, Jr., a Judge on the King's Bench who was also killed at Germantown.

Captain Waddell's mother, Elizabeth Davis Moore, was a daughter of Alfred Moore, Jr. (1782-1837) and Rebecca Williams (1785-1816). Like her husband, Elizabeth's earliest Moore ancestor in the Carolinas was Governor James Moore (ca. 1640-1706). The line of descendancy between Elizabeth and Governor Moore included the governor's son, Colonel Maurice Moore (1682-1743) who in 1725 founded Brunswick Town at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Maurice's grandson, Alfred Moore (1755-1810), was Elizabeth's grandfather and an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1799 to 1804. Prior to his appointment to the Court, Justice Moore had distinguished himself in public service as a lawyer, Revolutionary soldier, legislator, attorney general, and state superior court judge. President John Adams appointed Moore as an Associate Justice to the Court to replace the deceased James Iredell of North Carolina who had been appointed by President Washington. Born in New Hanover County to Anne Grange and Maurice Moore, Justice Moore was the grandson of Colonel Maurice Moore. He was the principal leader in the mid-1720s migration of the aristocratic Goose Creek planters of the Charles Town area to the Cape Fear River area, North Carolina, and the founder of Brunswick Town, N.C., in 1726.

Captain James Iredell Waddell was born in July 13, 1824 in Pittsboro, Chatham County, N.C., and reared in the home of his paternal grandparents, Sarah Nash Waddell (1773-1837) and John Burgwin Waddell (1770-1830). Sarah and John resided between their two homes, their plantation in Brunswick County called Belleville, and their home in Pittsboro in Chatham County. Sometime around the death of his grandfather in 1830, Waddell went to live with his grandmother in her home in Pittsboro, thus affording his early education at the nearby Hillsborough Academy in Orange County. In 1841 he obtained an acting midshipman's commission in the United States Navy. In 1846 he served in the Mexican War aboard the Somers in the Gulf of Mexico. Distinguishing himself as a navigator, he was later transferred to Annapolis to take advanced navigation courses. In 1848, Captain Waddell married Anne Sellman Iglehart (1824-1891) of Annapolis, Arundel County, Maryland. The couple had one child, a daughter, Anne Harwood Waddell, who died when an infant in 1863. From 1850 on, the couple lived in Annapolis, Maryland with Anne's father, James Iglehart, Jr., a merchant and widower whose wife, Rachel Ann (née Harwood) Iglehart, had died many years earlier. Anne's brother, James Iglehart, III, was killed at Gettysburg in 1863.

Between 1850 and 1857 Waddell served on the U.S.S. Germantown and U.S.S. Release, patrolling the waters around South America. In 1857 he was again transferred to Annapolis to teach navigation. In 1859 Waddell was assigned to duty in the Pacific, where he remained until the Civil War began. Waddell resigned his commission and joined the Confederacy and was commissioned a lieutenant in March 1862 in the Confederate navy and was soon ordered to Europe. In October 1864 Waddell took command of Sea King, a British merchant ship that had been purchased by the Confederacy and refitted as a maritime raider. Rechristened C.S.S. Shenandoah, it set a course for the Pacific with orders to destroy the New England whaling fleet. The Shenandoah was enormously successful, capturing thirty-eight ships and destroying thirty-two.

The cruise of the C.S.S. Shenandoah, which had been a glorious adventure for Waddell and his crew, ended on a note of tragic irony. On 23 June 1865 they learned from newspaper accounts aboard a captured ship of Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox the previous April. However, the same dispatches contained Jefferson Davis's Danville proclamation urging the South to fight on. Waddell and his men proceeded to act on this perceived order. Only in August did they receive definite word that the war was over.

Without a government the C.S.S. Shenandoah was most vulnerable to charges of piracy, and Waddell regarded surrender to the United States as impossible. Deciding that their chances were better in Europe, he set a course by way of Cape Horn for Liverpool, 17,000 miles away. On 6 Nov. 1865 the C.S.S. Shenandoah, the last Confederate cruiser and the only one to sail around the world, reached Liverpool and surrendered to the British government.

Remaining in England until adverse public opinion towards him in the United States subsided, Waddell returned in 1875 and took a position as captain of the San Francisco for the Pacific Mail Company. In 1877, while commanding the San Francisco, he struck an uncharted reef, and the ship sank without losing a passenger. Returning to Annapolis, he took command of a small police force that controlled the oyster fleets in the Chesapeake Bay.

Waddell died of a brain disorder, 15 March 1886, and was buried at St. Anne's Church (Episcopal), Annapolis, Md. He was survived by his wife, the former Ann S. Iglehart.

Contents of the Collection

1. Correspondence, 1851-1881

Correspondence, 1851-1856., 1851-1856
Correspondence, Military and related, 1851-1881., 1851-1881
Correspondence. Envelopes.

2. James Iredell Waddell Paper. "Course of the Confederate War Steamer 'Shenandoah'", ca. 1875., ca. 1875

Scope and Content:

Handwritten account of the course of the Confederate steamer, , written after the death of General R. E. Lee, presumably by Captain James I. Waddell.

3. Slave Papers, 1771-1837

Scope and Content:

The slave papers included in this series include the first names of a number of African American persons, alive during the period of 1771 to 1831, and hopefully beyond. The counties where they were enslaved include Brunswick, New Hanover, Bladen, and Orange, with most in eastern North Carolina. The slaveholders were primarily members of the Moore and Waddell families. The document types include wills, estate lists of slaves on inventories, a slave bills of sale, deed of trust, and a power of guardianship of slaves.

Will of Samuel Green, New Hanover County, 1771., 1771
Will of Hon. Alfred Moore, Sr., Brunswick County, 1810. , 1810
Estate inventory list of those enslaved and devised to Sarah Waddell (Orange County?), 1830., 1830
Power of Guardianship of Slaves, Brunswick County, 1831., 1831
Will of Goodin E. Bowen, Bladen County, 1832., 1832
Deed of Trust, 1833, Brunswick County, 1833., 1833
Slave Bill of Sale and Receipt for Jerry, Enslaved, African American Male, Orange County, 1836 and 1837., 1836-1837

4. Land Papers, 1765-1846

Deeds, Indentures, Surveys. Brunswick County, 1765- ca. 1836.
Deeds, Plats, Surveys, for Grayfield (later Moorefield), 1779 - ca. 1835., 1779-ca. 1835
Indentures. New Hanover County, 1783-1810., 1783-1810
Deed, Writ of Fieri Fascias, Bladen County, ca. 1810 (Fragment)., ca. 1810
Deeds and related correspondence; Tax Receipts for Tennessee properties of Alfred Moore, Sr., 1821-1846
Deed, Armand DeRossett, 100 acres in New Hanover County, 1771. See oversize box., 1771

5. Subject Files, 1762-1887

Account of Sarah Moore, 1837-1839., 1837-1839
Bill of Complaint, New Hanover County, 1842., 1842
Biography of Alfred Moore, Sr. Undated. (Photocopies of original from PC.774.1).
Business Papers, 1820-1835., 1820-1835
Clippings regarding the Waddell family, 1877-1918., 1877-1918
Certificate of Confirmation of Guion Waddell, 1873., 1873
Dispatch composed by General Robert E. Lee to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, 1 Sept. 1862., 1862
Election Returns, Orange County, 1836., 1836
Engraving of President Andrew Jackson. No date.
Estate Paper, Lorenzo D. Whitford, Craven County, 1865., 1865
Form (blank), Pleas and Quarter Sessions, ca. 1840., ca. 1840
Letterbook pages from John Burgwin, 1782 (Fragment; six pages)., 1782
Memorial to James Iredell Waddell with information on James Iglehart, ca. 1887., ca. 1887
Muster roll of Company E, 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Troops and June to September 1870., 1870
Poetry. No date.
Promissory Notes, 1762 and 1832., 1762-1832
Recipe for Pococks Pickle. No date.
Research on Confederacy's purchase of steamer ships, ca. 1875., ca. 1875
Speech (fragment) to House of Commons, North Carolina, ca. 1831 (likely by Hugh D. Waddell, Speaker of the Senate)., ca. 1831
Testimonial by Alfred Moore to the character of Francis Nash Waddell, 1836., 1836
Will of Alfred Moore, Junior, Orange County, 1837., 1837
Textbook (Herodotus's History) and Poetry Book by John Gay.
Miscellaneous Notes. Two items, no dates.

Subject Headings

  • Waddell, James Iredell
  • Waddell, Charles
  • Waddell Family
  • Stephens, Alexander Hamilton
  • Moore, Alfred
  • Waddell, Hugh
  • Burgwin, John
  • Maclaine, Alexander
  • Bowen, Goodin E.
  • Lee, Robert Edward
  • Moore, Alfred Scales
  • Hattridge, Alexander
  • Turner, Josiah
  • Worth, Jonathan
  • Kirk, G. E.
  • Moore family
  • North Carolina Railroad
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Shenandoah (Cruiser)
  • Release (Ship)
  • Pacific Mail Steamship Company
  • Confederate States of America. Army. North Carolina Infantry Regiment, 2nd. Company E
  • North Carolina. General Assembly
  • Judges
  • Legislators
  • Generals
  • Colonels
  • Manassas (Va.), Second Battle of, 1862
  • Warships
  • Officer
  • Plantations
  • Universities and colleges
  • Funeral Rites and Ceremonies
  • Capitulations, Military
  • British
  • Military campaigns
  • Public relations
  • Landowners
  • Slaveholders
  • Slave Patrols
  • Fraud
  • Administration of estates
  • Property losses
  • Land
  • Wages
  • Navies
  • Annapolis (Md.)
  • Brunswick County
  • Eagles Island
  • New Hanover County (N.C.)
  • Greene County
  • Orange County (N.C.)
  • Tennessee
  • Louisiana
  • Europe
  • Bladen County (N.C.)
  • Acquisitions Information

    From Biennial Reports: 1914-1916, 10 items received from Mrs. A. M. Waddell, Wilmington, N.C.; 1916-1918, nine letters of Captain James Iredell Waddell presented by Guion Waddell, Mooresfield, N.C.; 1918-1920, forty-three pieces relating to the Moore and Waddell families presented by O. C. Irwin of Morganton, N.C.; 1928-1930, copy of report from James I. Waddell to Secretary of the Treasury Thomas Corwin, 1851, presented by Mrs. Mary Parker Battle, Wilson, N.C.

    Processing Information

  • Arrangement and description by Fran Tracy-Walls and Stephen C. Edgerton, contract archivist paid by funds from the Frances H. Wynne Endowment, administered by the N.C. Genealogical Society, 2020. The arrangement and description supercede previous processing by Ellen Z. McGrew, private manuscripts archivist, 1966.