Brownrigg Family Papers

1720-1872, 1936
Manuscript Collection #597
Brownrigg family
Physical description
0.11 Cubic Feet, 60 items , consisting of correspondence, legal documents, estates records, accounts, promissory notes, shipping records, receipts, an apprenticeship bond, tombstone records, and tax lists.
Preferred Citation
Brownrigg Family Papers (#597), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1720-1872, 1936) including correspondence, legal documents, estate records, accounts, promissory notes, shipping records, receipts, an apprenticeship bond, tombstone records, tax lists.

Biographical/historical information

Richard Brownrigg (1734-1771) was born in Wicklow, Ireland, and immigrated to North Carolina before 1760. In 1760, he married Sarah Campbell (1744-1797) and had at least one son, Thomas (1767-1826). Records found in the collection indicate that Richard Brownrigg was a Chowan County Justice of the Peace (1769).

Scope and arrangement

Correspondence in the collection mainly concerns commercial activities. A letter to Edenton silversmith Thomas Agnis (1762) asks about the progress being made on a pair of silver buckles. Several letters to Edmund Hoskins of Edenton (1817) contain information from commission merchants in Baltimore, Md., and New York on prices of wheat, flour, corn, and naval stores. Another letter (1819) requests bills for the purchase of Negroes from an Edenton estate.

Legal documents, all pertaining to Chowan County or Edenton, include a deposition (May 1761) by Joseph Hewes, signer of the Declaration of Independence, concerning a dispute he witnessed between two sea captains over wages for a voyage to Philadelphia. Also included are legal proceedings (1756) concerning the ejectment of a tenant before his lease had expired, attachments to estate property for debts (1765, 1769), warrants to appear in court (1763), an apprenticeship bond for a tobacconist (1789), a deed (1832), and a coroner's inquest for a suicide (1828). An affidavit (April 14, 1827) concerns credit problems with the administration of the estate of John B. Blount by his son Thomas Blount. The affidavit mentions James Iredell's role in the affair, as well as complications with the State Bank and the Bank of Edenton. Promissory notes and a bond (1811) refer to the case mentioned in the affidavit.

Chowan County and Edenton financial and estate records include audits of the accounts of the estate of Brownrigg (1778, 1783) and a settlement of the accounts of the estates of Brownrigg and David Meredith (1797). A doctor's account with Nathaniel Bond (1827-1828) gives the date of treatment, medicine used, patient's name and costs, including the treatment of slaves. Other financial records include costs for the hire of Negroes (1826-1828, 1854-1855), a receipt for the sale of a slave for $650 (1850), and several promissory notes from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

An account book (1818-1825) of Edmund Hoskins of Edenton lists accounts with the Branch Bank of Edenton, doctors' bills, and debts owed to and by the estate of Richard Hoskins (1823). Also listed are the labor expenses for cutting wheat (1824); the sale of a Negro woman and her children (1825); and the costs of corn seed, bricks, and labor.

Miscellaneous materials include one share of stock in Edenton and Plymouth Steamboat Company (1819); lottery tickets and a tuition account for Edenton Academy (1804, 1808); a list of liquors purchased for the election of 1808; a tavern bill (1798) for the Red Lion Tavern in Edenton; shipping lists for pickled pork bound for Antigua (1720) from Roanoke and tobacco bound for Richmond (1819) from Plymouth; and pew rents for St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Edenton (1812-1818).

Genealogical notes in the collection consist of a letter (1936) requesting information about Richard Brownrigg of Ireland and tombstone records of Wingfield Cemetery near Edenton.

The oversize folder contains three seamen's contracts (1799, 1800, 1818) for the brigs, BETSEY and VICTORY, and the schooner JAMES MONROE for voyages from Edenton to Jamaica and from Edenton to New York. The contracts set forth conditions of the voyage and list people's names, ranks, and wages. Other materials include a detailed 1772 inventory of the property of Richard Brownrigg, including room by room lists of furniture and other personal property; a 1778 account of the sale of part of Brownrigg's property; a 1768 list of taxables taken by Richard Brownrigg, giving the names and the number of whites and blacks; and an 1827 Chowan County deed.

Administrative information
Custodial History

June 23, 1990, 58 items; Papers (1720-1860, 1936) of Chowan County, N.C., family, including correspondence, tax lists, estates records, tombstone records, deeds, accounts, promissory notes, an apprentice record, and shipping records. Deposited by Richard Dillard Dixon, Jr., Edenton, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Loaned by Richard Dillard Dixon, Jr.

Processing information

Processed by V. Jones, Jr., April 1991

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
Hewes, Joseph, 1730-1779
Hoskins, Edmund
Iredell, James, 1788-1853
Family Names
Blount family
Brownrigg family
Apprentices--North Carolina--Chowan County
Banks and banking--North Carolina--Chowan County
Cemeteries--North Carolina--Chowan County
Commission merchants--Maryland--Baltimore
Commission merchants--New York (State)--New York
Deeds--North Carolina--Chowan County
Medicine--North Carolina--Chowan County
Merchant mariners--Salaries, etc.
Private schools--North Carolina--Chowan County
Shipping--North Carolina--Chowan County
Slave trade--North Carolina--Chowan County
Slaves--Medical care--North Carolina--Chowan County
Edenton (N.C.)--Church history

Container list
Folder os1 Deed (20 Dec. 1827) Richard T. Brownrigg to William Badham
Folder os1 Inventory of the estate of Richard Brownrigg (3 August 1772)
Folder os1 Account of sale of part of the Estate of Richard Brownrigg (26 June 1778)
Folder os1 3 Seamen's Contracts (1799, 1800, 1818)
Folder os1 List of Taxables for 1768 taken by Richard Brownrigg