Cornelius Hart Carlton Papers, 1801-1883

Manuscript Collection #85

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Cornelius Hart Carlton Papers
Creator: Carlton, Cornelius Hart
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1801-1883) including photocopies, published article, typed copy of diary, incidents of Civil war, Carlton's views on Reconstruction period, description of execution of will in 1863-1866, music, styles of dress etc.
Extent: 0.073 Cubic feet, 3 items , photocopies of typed excerpts from a journal, a published article (1968) containing journal excerpts, and a typed copy of a diary.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

April 1, 1969, 3 items; Diary (1864-1869) and excerpts from journal of Cornelius Hart Carlton of King and Queen County, Virginia. Loaned for copying by Mr. Edward V. Carlton, Jr., Greenville, N.C. Originals deposited in the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.

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

Cornelius Hart Carlton Papers (#85), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Loaned by Mr. Edward V. Carlton, Jr.

Processing Information

  • Processed by A. Sabrosky, February 1970

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Carlton was born in 1826 at "Melvin", a plantation in King and Queen County, Virginia. During his life, he was a planter, soldier, officer in the Confederate Army, and county surveyor. He died in 1887.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The collection, consisting of excerpts from the journal and the diary (1864-1869) of Civil War officer Cornelius Hart Carlton, deals primarily with the latter part of the Civil War and the Reconstruction Period.

A number of small incidents connected with the closing months of the Civil War are mentioned in the papers, including life in the Confederate Army at this time, the surrender at Appomattox, and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Several Confederate units are mentioned, and a brief "battle history" is given of Cornelius Hart Carlton's own unit, the 24th Virginia Cavalry Regiment ("Hampton's Legion").

The most significant information contained in the papers concerns Carlton's views on the Reconstruction Period. The rivalry between the "Radical Republican" Congress and President Andrew Johnson, the enfranchisement of Negroes and disenfranchisement of many Southern whites, the Freedmen's Bureau, the actions of Federal officers and "Carpet Bagers" [sic.], the election of General Ulysses Simpson Grant to the Presidency in 1868, and the years of Grant's Administration are commented on at great length. Mention is also made of the election and later assassination of President James A. Garfield.

Carlton's journal contains a lengthy description of litigation connected with the execution of a will in 1863-1866. This is noteworthy in that, after a member of the family had lost three consecutive court cases in which he had attempted to overturn the will in question,the case was taken to the church [Baptist Association] for its consideration. The church ruled in favor of the plaintiff, in effect overruling the civil courts' decisions, and the church's ruling was accepted by all parties, albeit with bad feelings on all sides.

An early tract of a convention of the Baptist Association (1801) contains the early views of that religion on social customs and mores, including temperance, music, and styles of dress.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Department, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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