Correspondence in the collection consists of a single letter to Graham Robinson Shaw (1873) from a friend in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The correspondent elaborates on her views of chastity and marriage and her expected relationship to her future husband. The letter also contains comments on the difference of attitudes in the North and South toward the Civil War, plans for living at Newton in Catawba County, N.C., and dissatisfaction with the administration of Republican governor Tod R. Caldwell.
Of particular significance are the records of slave hiring (1851-1854) with the names of each slave, names of the hirers, and the price received. Also included is a brief list of birth dates for family slaves (1800-1855).
Miscellaneous legal papers include grants and deeds for land in New Hanover (later Pender) County, promissory notes, and warrants.
The collection contains several volumes of note including a cipher book, daybook, ledger, and surveyor's field book. The cipher book (1803-1806) was the property ofGeorge W. Bannerman and contains handwritten mathematical problems relating to business activities. The daybook (1844-1871) belonged to Daniel Robinson and reflects a variety of business activities. Typical entries pertain to the sale of farm products (bacon, potatoes, coonskins, etc.) while others deal with slaves' shoes, barrel-making, house rent, and land surveying. A second Daniel Robinson volume serves as a combination copy book (1837) and surveyor's field book (1840-1848). The 1837 portion contains rhymes, original verse, and penmanship practice. The major portion of the book contains surveys of land in New Hanover County prepared by Robinson as county surveyor. Although entries pertain to various sections of the county, many of the descriptions are for surveys in the Black River area of what is now Pender County. This volume also contains a record (1842) of rabbits, coons, squirrels, hawks, crows, and birds killed for bounty, records of expenses (1841) and surveying fees (1840-1843).
A later volume (1861-1894) appears to be a ledger of bookkeeping entries recorded by J. I. F. Shaw of Ivanhoe, N.C. Included are farm accounts of labor, expenses, yield, and profit on various crops, including wheat, corn, pork, beef, sheep and wool, tobacco, etc. There are also entries for a store account for the same general period.
Two final items consist of a loose-leaf notebook containing typescript copies of poems written by Daniel Robinson and a tax list (1885) for Franklin Township in Sampson County. This list contains names, race, land owned, and livestock, furniture, and equipment evaluations for all township residents.