Bushall Family Papers

Manuscript Collection #450
Bushall family
Physical description
0.22 Cubic Feet, 69 items , consisting of correspondence, account book and diary fragments, bylaws, genealogical notes, and miscellany.
Preferred Citation
Bushall Family Papers (#450), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1848-1970) including correspondence, account book, diary fragments, bylaws, genealogical notes, letters, and miscellany.

Biographical/historical information

William James Bushall (1843-1891), son of Rachel Ward and Marmaduke Bushall of Carteret County, N.C., worked as a printer. At the beginning of the Civil War he enlisted in the 10th Regiment of North Carolina Artillery, and in April, 1863, was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant. At the end of the war he married Annie Piver and resided near Beaufort, N.C., where he managed a farm and cotton gin for W. H. Piver, his father-in-law. By 1884 the Bushalls had moved to Washington, D.C., where their eldest daughter, Annie May Bushall, received much of the correspondence in this collection.

Scope and arrangement

The bulk of the early correspondence (1884-1893) consists of brief letters from Miss Lena Clyde Davis of Beaufort, who related family news. The letters mention births, marriages, deaths, and Miss Davis's school-related and social activities. She also mentions church activities, her interest in music, and Christmas and birthday gifts she received. The letters provide some insight into the development of Miss Davis's personality during adolescence and young adulthood (age fourteen to twenty-three).

Also found in the correspondence is a letter (1882) from Jesse Piver to his sister, Mrs. W. J. Bushall, in which he recounts a visit to Philadelphia, Pa., and makes negative comments about the Republican party in the South. Other letters (1916, 1922-1926,1945-1946, 1961) contain family news and genealogical information on the related Carteret Co., N.C., Guthrie, Ward, Shepard, Leecraft, and Bushall families. World War II letters give coastal North Carolina war news including the stationing of soldiers on the beach (January 26, 1942), eating canned fish because fishermen are afraid to go fishing (March 11, 1942), and the sinking of ships as well as discussing the number of bases in south Georgia. The Truman-Dewey presidential campaign is also mentioned in 1944 correspondence and a letter from the latter part of the war comments on the scarcity of consumer goods (August 24, 1944).

The diary notations (1863), which are written in a fragment of an unidentified account book (1848), contain information concerning the removal of pontoons at Franklin, Va., and the construction of a bridge over the Blackwater River by Company H of the 10th Regiment of North Carolina Artillery (May, 1863). A fuller diary fragment (1867), the most substantive item in the collection, pertains to William James Bushall's farming activities near Beaufort, N.C. It describes problems with hired labor, both black and white, and discusses general activities related to farm management and raising cotton. A few entries express Bushall's personal views concerning politics.

Miscellaneous items include the articles of government of the Oceanic Hook & Ladder Company of Beaufort (1866?) and genealogical notes pertaining to the Bushall, Ward, and Shepard families of eastern North Carolina. A fragment of The Political TextBook, or Encyclopedia contains a few diary entries concerning Bushall's farming efforts (May-June, 1867) and a draft of a letter he wrote, probably to t president of the Oceanic Hook & Ladder Company (undated). Also included is a burial permit (1891), a Thanksgiving Day menu for the Langren Hotel in Asheville, N.C. (1913), and family photographs.

Administrative information
Custodial History

October 6, 1982, 42 items; Papers (1848-1893) of Beaufort, N.C., family, including a diary (1867), correspondence (1884-1893), an account (1848), diary entries (1863), genealogical notes, and an article of government for Oceanic Hook & Ladder Co. (undated).

December 2, 1982, 8 items; Correspondence (1882), genealogical notes and a photograph.

September 8, 1983, 8 items; Correspondence (1942-1944) and a menu (1913).

December 3, 1984, 11 items; Correspondence (1924-1970), genealogical material, photographs, and miscellaneous. Gift of Mr. Ward L. Cornwall, Denver, Colorado.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mr. Ward L. Cornwall, Denver

Processing information

Processed by J. Smith, October 1982

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
Bushall family
Davis, Lena Clyde--Correspondence
Corporate Names
Confederate States of America. Army. North Carolina Infantry Regiment, 10th. Company H
Agriculture--North Carolina--Beaufort--History--19th century
World War, 1939-1945--North Carolina
Beaufort (N.C.)--Social life and customs--19th century
Carteret County (N.C.)--Genealogy
North Carolina--Genealogy
Philadelphia (Pa.)--Description and travel
Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865