Bellair Plantation Collection

Manuscript Collection #87
Bellair Plantation
Physical description
0.22 Cubic Feet, 90 items , including newspapers, periodicals, sheet music, poems, miscellaneous items, and photocopies of legal records.
Preferred Citation
Bellair Plantation Collection (#87), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Collection (1719-1910) including newspaper, periodicals, sheet music, poems, photocopies of legal records, letters, agriculture, Livestock Journal, magazine etc.

Scope and arrangement

The collection is made up primarily of miscellaneous unrelated material which had accumulated at Bellair Plantation near New Bern, N.C.

The only segment pertaining directly to the plantation consists of photocopies of legal papers which reflect the history of the property located on Batchelor's Creek south of the Neuse River. These include land descriptions from grants to John Lovick (1719, 1757), deeds showing the transfer of the property to various individuals, legal briefs and other documents resulting from disputed ownership, and eventual purchase of the property by John H. Richardson in 1838. The name "Belair" first appears in the records in an 1830 power of attorney. The plantation has remained in the Richardson family since 1838.

Also included is a copy of a 1791 letter describing a wedding celebration in New Bern, chattel mortgages (1875, 1880), a U.S. Senate Bill (1905) for restitution for Richardson property destroyed by Union forces during the Civil War, a New Bern theater notice (1877), a New Bern souvenir calendar (1903), a fictional love story set in Revolutionary War New Bern, poetry, and Mitchell's School Atlas (1856).

The remainder of the collection consists of published material pertaining to a variety of topics. In the area of agriculture, an issue of Livestock Journal (1874), The Window and Flower Gardener (1875), and seven issues of American Agriculturist (1873-1881) are included. Relative to ladies' fashions and activities, there are copies of The Delineator (1901), Munsey's Magazine (1897), Everybody's Magazine (1899-1900), and Ladies Home Journal (1899-1910). Religious publications consisting of Our Little People (1872, published by the M. E. Church, South), the Christian Herald (1893, 1894) and the Sunday School Visitor (1873, Nashville, Tennessee). Also included is a sizeable collection of sheet music along with two music books. The sheet music contains such titles as "Softly ye nightwinds" (ca. 1851), "Nags Head Polka" (ca. 1852), "The Hazel Dell" (ca. 1853), "Tomorrow" (ca. 1854), "Kiss me quick and go" (ca. 1856), "Sweet Genevieve" (ca. 1869), "President Cleveland's Grand March" (ca. 1884), "Beautiful Venice," and "Songs from the opera 'Gizelle or the Night Dancers,' " to name but a few.

Newspapers in the collection date from 1862 to 1891 and were published in New Bern, Raleigh, New York, and Louisville, Kentucky. Some of the poetry, music, magazines, and newspapers are also found in the two oversize folders.

Administrative information
Custodial History

April 1, 1969, 70 items; Newspapers, periodicals, sheet music, poems, and miscellaneous. Deposited by Mrs. G. T. Richardson, New Bern, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mrs. G. T. Richardson

Processing information

Processed by D. Lennon, January 1971

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
Lovic, John
Richardson, John T.
Corporate Names
Bellair Plantation (N.C.)
Calendar--North Carolina--New Bern (N.C.)
Plantations--North Carolina--Craven County
Playbills--North Carolina--New Bern
Popular music--United States--19th century
Louisville (Ky.)--Newspapers
New Bern (N.C.)--Newspapers
New Bern (N.C.)--Social life and customs
New York (N.Y.)--Newspapers
Raleigh (N.C.)--Newspapers
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Claims

Container list
Box 2 Magazines; Music Books
Box 3 American Agriculturist magazine (1873-1881); Poems; Mitchell's School Atlas (1856)
Folder os1 Magazines; Sheet Music and Music Books, Scrapbook of Clippings, Poetry
Folder os2 Newspapers