Richard Williams Daybook, 1847-1869

Manuscript Collection #405

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: Richard Williams Daybook
    Creator: Williams, Richard
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Daybook (1847-1869) including credits and debits, list of birth and deaths, sale dates of Negroes, dates of sale of slaves.
    Extent: 0.055 Cubic feet, 1 volume , daybook of Pitt County physician Richard Williams.
  • Description

    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.

  • Biographical / Historical Note

    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).

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

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

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Pitt County Historical Society

    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

    Richard Williams Daybook (#405), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Irwin Berent, January 1981

    Encoded by Apex Data Services

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