Correspondence (1838-1928) in the collection is of limited historical significance apart from the family and personal news it contains. Subjects of interest include an account of current prices in Fayetteville, N. C. (1838); experiences of a Swedish sailor while visiting in Brunswick County and in Wilmington (1884); comments on farming at Blum, Texas (1887); and a description of life near Blanton, Florida, including references to fishing, raising of livestock, and the poverty of the people (1890).
Account books and diary fragments belonging to several generations of the Rowell family cover the period from 1837 to 1919 and reflect a variety of activities. A ledger book (1837-1850) of Samuel Rowell (grandfather of Samuel James Rowell) contains birth and death records, general store accounts, tavern or inn records, records of slaves, and comments on the weather, planting of crops, and production of turnpentine. The tavern or inn records include accounts for alcoholic beverages, lodging, and livery stable service. Other ledger books (1852-1859, 1852-1875, 1871-1873) belonged to John C. Rowell and James S. Melvin and contain financial accounts, store records, birth and marriage records, and notations concerning agricultural activities.
Memo books and diary fragments written by Samuel J. Rowell and his wife Mary [Minnie] contain scriptural references and notations, family information, notes of a trip through southeastern North Carolina, and an account of logging activities at Camp High (1907) in Brunswick County.
Brunswick County land records (1809-1928, undated) are concerned primarily with property in the Hood's Creek section of the county. The papers include deeds for sale of land belonging to General Benjamin Smith (1809, 1827), deed (1860) and plat (1916) for Roan [Rowan] Plantation on the Cape Fear River, a quantity of records for land transfers in the Hood's Creek area, and a map showing property boundaries along the upper reaches of this creek [ca. 1800]. The map and plat have been placed in the oversize document case as #36.4os.
Other papers include accounts (1846-1916), receipts (1843-1924), bankruptcy proceedings (1873-1875, 1906), civil suit records (1848-1861), contracts for turpentine tree rental (1871) and for sale of timber (1913), will and estate settlement for John C. Rowell (1915, 1918), and a report on the estate of Samuel James Rowell (1928).
Miscellaneous items include a lumber and log book (published in 1882), a remedy for hog cholera, obituaries, poems, certificates, commission for Grand Lodge of N. C. Knights of Pythias (1920), insurance policies, and a copy of the play
The Pull Back, by T. S. Denison (Chicago: T. S. Denison, 1878).
The oversize folder contains the aforementioned Roan Plantation plat and map of property boundaries on Hood's Creek, a certificate of appointment of Samuel J. Rowell as a postmaster (1894), and copies of a pencil sketch (ca. 1860) of Mrs. Sarah Rowell.