Richard Williams Daybook

Manuscript Collection #405
Williams, Richard
Physical description
0.055 Cubic Feet, 1 volume , daybook of Pitt County physician Richard Williams.
Preferred Citation
Richard Williams Daybook (#405), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Daybook (1847-1869) including credits and debits, list of birth and deaths, sale dates of Negroes, dates of sale of slaves.

Biographical/historical information

Richard Williams was a Pitt County physician- as well as, perhaps, a surveyor- who apparently owned a number of slaves. Also, judging from the amount of foodstuffs he sold, Dr. Williams probably owned a sizable farm or plantation. He served his community- both whites and blacks- before, during, and after the Civil War (1847-1869).

Scope and arrangement

This one-hundred-page volume contains Dr. Williams' daybook and accompanying account book, as well as lists of birth, death, and sale dates of "Negroes" - presumably his slaves.

This daybook gives a good indication of the extent of Dr. Williams' practice and plantation. Its entries include a debtor's or creditor's name, the guardian's name (where applicable), the amount owed, and a description of the service rendered or material sold. Medical services include doctor's visits, cutting gums, tooth extracting, cupping, purging, "midwifing," and even making a coffin. For these services, the patient's race was noted if "Negro." Other services were mostly those performed by Williams' slaves for members of the community and they include working at "the apple mill" or making various repairs. However, Dr. Williams apparently did do some surveying. Materials bought from Dr. Williams include various medicines as well as foodstuffs, tobacco, wool, and other miscellany.

Accompanying the daybook is an indexed, name-by-name record of most of the debits and credits created in the daybook transactions.

The list of "Negro births" pertains to Dr. Williams' approximately forty slaves and includes the mother's first name, the date of birth (the earliest being 1775) and, for many of them, the date of death. Several entries give the date the slave was sold.

Administrative information
Custodial History

April 21, 1980, 1 volume; Daybook (1847-1869) of Pitt County, N.C., physician. Gift of the Pitt County Historical Society, Greenville, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Pitt County Historical Society

Processing information

Processed by Irwin Berent, January 1981

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

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

Key terms
Personal Names
Williams, Richard
Medicine--Practice--North Carolina--Pitt County--History--19th century
Physicians--North Carolina--Pitt County
Slaveholders--North Carolina--Pitt County
Slavery--North Carolina--Pitt County