Dresbach Family Papers

1839-1870, 1923-1931
Manuscript Collection #499
Dresbach family
Physical description
0.073 Cubic Feet, 48 items , consisting of correspondence, financial papers, and a genealogy.
Preferred Citation
Dresbach Family Papers (#499), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Collection includes two folders of 48 items primarily of correspondence, letters and financial documents for a transport business that shipped commodities by riverboat.

Biographical/historical information

Known members of the Dresbach Family include Jacob, his wife Mary and their son Joseph, all who resided in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jacob, who also had a brother named Joseph, spent much of his time on business trips between Cincinnati, Vicksburg and New Orleans. Jacob's business involved shipping commodities by riverboat. Jacob died of typhus fever in August 1845. Jacob and Mary's son Joseph would go on to fight in the Civil War as part of Co. B, 23rd Army Corp., in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Scope and arrangement

This collection consists of correspondence and financial papers of the Dresbach family. The first period covers 1839-1870 and includes correspondence of Jacob Dresbach and his son Joseph. Letters are mainly between Jacob and his wife and other relatives. The letters concern family affairs and Jacob's business of shipping commodities by riverboat. He mentions cargos consisting mostly of foodstuffs shipped on unnamed flatboats. Topics mentioned also include the barter of tobacco for maple sugar and coffee (Feb. 6, 1840). A letter sent August 3, 1845 from Joseph to his sister-in-law Mary informs her that her husband had died of tuypus (sic) fever.

There is one letter from the Civil War period (Mar. 1864) from Mary to her son Joseph, who was attached to Co. B, 23rd Army Corp., in Knoxville, Tenn. The letter speaks of General Longstreet's movements and troop strength. There is a letter from the postwar period (1870) which talks of the difference in living in the North and in the South, including a reflection of racial attitudes at the time. Of particular interest is a broadside found with the correspondence. The broadside (removed to an oversized folder) advertises The First Grand Gift Concert of The Montpelier Female Humane Association at Alexandria, Virginia on July 15, 1875.

The second group, correspondence of Walter Dresbach, Greenville, N.C., begins in 1923. There are two very lengthy letters consisting of genealogical information of the Woods and Dresbach families copied from the town records of Groton, Mass. This genealogical material runs from 1775-1917.

In addition to these two groups of correspondence there are financial papers which include tally sheets for cargos shipped by Jacob Dresbach and various bills, receipts, and insurance papers.

Administrative information
Custodial History

January 9, 1985, 48 items; Papers (1840-1928) of a Cincinnati, Ohio, family including correspondence, receipts, and a genealogy. Gift of Mr. J. Larkin Little, Greenville, N.C.

September 15, 1987, (unprocessed addition 1), 4 items; Correspondence (1842-1845). Donor: Mr. J. Larkin Little.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mr. J. Larkin Little

Processing information

Processed by C. Bentley September 1985 Marty Tschetter January 2011

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
Dresbach family
Longstreet, James, 1821-1904
Family Names
Woods family
Groton (Mass.)--Genealogy
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives