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Samuel James Rowell Papers, 1809-1928

Manuscript Collection #36

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Samuel James Rowell Papers
Creator: Rowell, Samuel James, 1857-1927
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1809-1928) including correspondence, land records, maps, diary fragments, financial papers, etc. of farmer, church leader, and local office holder.
Extent: 0.87 Cubic feet, 300 items , consisting of correspondence, land records, maps, diary fragments, financial papers, account books, and miscellaneous.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

November 27, 1967, ca. 300 items and 4 volumes; Papers (1809-1928) of Rowell family of Brunswick County, including correspondence, land records, maps, promissory notes, diary, receipts, accounts, account books, plantation records, bankruptcy papers, and miscellaneous. Deposited by Mrs. Eula Rowell Lennon, Leland, N.C.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Samuel James Rowell Papers (#36), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mrs. Eula Rowell Lennon

Processing Information

  • Processed by D. Lennon, January 1968

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Samuel James Rowell (1857-1927) was a farmer and peace officer in Northwest Township of Brunswick County, N.C. In addition to serving as justice-of-the-peace and deputy sheriff, Rowell was an active leader of Goshen Baptist Church which is still located in the area. See genealogical chart for relationship of various members of the family.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

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.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Box 1#0036.1
Correspondence, Diary Notes, Land Records, Legal Papers
Box 2#0036.2
Bankruptcy Papers, Financial Papers
Box 3#0036.3
Miscellaneous Items, Ledgers

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. To see what's been digitized in this collection, please click on the "View Digitized Objects" link, or look for hyperlinks in the container list
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