Austin Family Papers, 1830-1947

Manuscript Collection #382

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: Austin Family Papers
    Creator: Austin family
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Papers (1830-1947) consisting of correspondence, legal documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, letters regarding common disease and miscellaneous.
    Extent: 0.22 Cubic feet, 116 items, consisting of correspondence (1862-1910), legal documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous.
  • Description

    Correspondence between the Austin family and their friends and relatives covers the years from 1862 to 1910.

    Two letters date to the 1860s but only the March 31, 1862, letter is legible. In it a Tarboro citizen mentions the fear of a Yankee invasion, possible avenues for flight in the event of an invasion, and the plight of a family living in occupied Washington, N.C.

    The majority of the letters from the early 1870s are written by Charles J. Austin to his wife before and after their marriage. Fox hunting, illnesses, entertainment in Tarboro, and methods utilized in making and burning bricks are discussed in his letters. Other letters dating to the early 1870s discuss dressmaking in Norfolk, Virginia, school life at Chowan Baptist Female Institute at Murfreesboro, N.C., and a cure for the cold.

    Letters dating from the 1880s mention common diseases of the day and discuss land speculation in Swain, Macon, and Graham counties in North Carolina by a company formed by Mr. Robert M. Furman and State Senator Theodore W. Poole.

    Early twentieth century letters mention types of entertainment available in Tarboro and in Greensboro, N.C.

    Legal records include a partnership agreement (1846) between Robert H. Austin of Edgecombe County and William Jeffreys of Franklin County for a mercantile business in Tarboro, N.C., and articles of agreement (1848) between John H. David, Eaton Cobb, and Jesse Harrell concerning the deepening and maintenance of a canal in Edgecombe County, N.C. Also included is a document concerning the dissolving of the co-partnership of R. H. Austin, Thomas Norfleet, and Joseph Staton in Tarboro (1866); a document acknowledging receipt of items from the estate of William A. Staton by Louisa Staton for her use and the use of her children (1868); and an indenture between R. H. Austin and T. H. Gatlin (1885) relating to the rental of a store and a portion of a brick warehouse in Tarboro, N.C. Land records include a deed for land in Edgecombe County, N.C. (1866); a document acknowledging money received by several Crenshaws and Johnsons of Granville County, N.C., for the purchase of lot #23 in Tarboro, N.C., by R. H. Austin (1887); and a receipt for money obtained in the sale of lot #17 in Tarboro by R. H. Austin (1887). Slave records include two bills of sale (1830, 1858) and a receipt (1830) for the purchase of three Negro slaves by Eaton Cobb of Edgecombe County, N.C.

    Miscellaneous items date from 1865 to 1947. Included are an 1865 Confederate bond, an 1867 doctor's bill, tax receipts from the 1880s, a 1910 copy of Current Events, two United Daughters of the Confederacy programs (1928, 1929) for the William Dorsey Pender Chapter, and obituaries for Mrs. R. J. Walker, Sr. (1939) and Mrs. Harriet Yearby (1940). Other items consist of a picture of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1897, a History of the Edgecombe Guards During the War Between the States by Emily Semple Austin (1917), a copy of The Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly published by the Presbyterian Board of Publication, nineteenth century photographs of a brickyard, and a 1947 article on the history of the Austin Family printed in the Daily Southerner newspaper.

  • Biographical / Historical Note

    Robert Henry Austin (1810-1890) of Tarboro, N.C., and his wife Jannet Jeffreys had children William Henry, Charles Jeffreys, and Elizabeth. Apparently, both Robert and his son Charles operated brickyards in Tarboro. Charles married Emily S. Chisman of Hampton, Virginia, and they lived in Tarboro.

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

    March 20, 1979, 91 items; Edgecombe County, N.C., family papers (1866-1929), including correspondence, photographs, indentures, clippings, and miscellaneous. April 30, 1985, 8 items; Edgecombe County, N.C., legal papers (1830-1887). Gift of Miss Mary Howard, Tarboro, N.C.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Miss Mary Howard

    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

    Austin Family Papers (#382), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Processed by M. Elmore; M. Boccaccio, November 1990

    Encoded by Apex Data Services

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Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection, without the consent of those individuals, may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which East Carolina University assumes no responsibility.

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