Richard Williams Daybook, 1847-1869

Manuscript Collection #405

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

Title: Richard Williams Daybook
Creator: Williams, Richard
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: 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.

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

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.

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.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Pitt County Historical Society

Processing Information

  • Processed by Irwin Berent, January 1981

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

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

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).

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

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.

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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