John Richard Tillery Papers

Manuscript Collection #175
Tillery, John Richard
Physical description
0.76 Cubic Feet, 964 items , consisting of correspondence, financial records, land records, farm records, receipts, legal records, ledgers, and miscellaneous.
Preferred Citation
John Richard Tillery Papers (#175), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1853-1937, undated) consisting of correspondence, financial and legal papers, letters, records of insurance, papers on business and farming, genealogical records, etc.

Scope and arrangement

This collection contains the correspondence, financial, and legal papers of John Richard Tillery (1836-1929), a lumber dealer and farmer of Halifax County.

Included in the correspondence (1866-1909) are several items of interest. One is a letter (April 22, 1868) from the Freedmen's Bureau to Richard Tillery requesting that he settle claims with three other men. Also contained in the correspondence are five letters (1882-1888) from Walter Clark to Tillery. In one letter (October 29, 1881), Clark suggests that the new town that is to be built at the junction of the Chowan and Southern Railroad with the Scotland Neck Railroad be named Clarksville, North Carolina. And in another letter (November 3, 1888), Tillery is instructed to sell Clark's cotton at nine cents per pound. Other letters of interest include one (November 17, 1893) from the Cobb Brothers, cotton merchants of Norfolk, Virginia, to Tillery informing him of the causes of the depression of the cotton market for that year; and one (July 1, 1895) deals with the appointment of Tillery as agent for the Southern Land Industrial Company of Chicago. A final letter of interest (May 11, 1893), from Thomas Hill to Tillery, pertains to Mush Island, which is on the Roanoke River near Weldon, North Carolina. This letter describes the size of the island and its crop potential.

Also in the collection are the legal records (1853-1897) of Tillery. Included are deeds to land, which the Tillery family bought in Halifax County, crop liens, and insurance policies.

The majority of the collection consists of the financial papers and account books (1860-1935) of the Tillery family. These papers mainly reflect business and farming operations in Halifax County, including the prices of lumber products and cotton for the last half of the nineteenth century.

Miscellaneous items include genealogical records of the Tillery family, a home cure for consumption, and several railroad passes.

Administrative information
Custodial History

July 20, 1971, ca. 250 items; Consisting of correspondence, financial accounts, receipts, land records, farm records, and miscellaneous. [Changed from on deposit November 2, 1971, to gift on March 2, 2017.]

October 12, 1971, ca. 350 items; Consisting of correspondence, ledgers, financial records, legal papers, farm records, and miscellaneous. Deposited by Mr. Charles L. Tillery, Jr., Halifax, N.C. [Changed from on deposit on November 2, 1971, to a gift on March 2, 2017.]

August 12, 1997, (unprocessed addition 1), 139 items; Papers (1837-1928) of Halifax County, N. C. family, including correspondence, deeds, legal records, financial records, contracts, clippings, insurance policies, photographs, and miscellany. Donor: Mr. William L. Murphy.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mr. William L. Murphy

Gift of Mr. Charles L. Tillery, Jr.

Processing information

Processed by R. Weaver, April 1972

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
Clark, Walter, 1846-1924
Tillery family
Tillery, John Richard, 1836-1929
Cotton trade--North Carolina--History--19th century
Deeds--North Carolina--Halifax County
Lumber trade--North Carolina--Halifax County
Halifax County (N.C.)--Genealogy
Halifax County (N.C.)--History
Mush Island (N.C.)

Container list
Box 1 Correspondence, Legal Records, Financial Records (1860-1869)
Box 2 Financial Records (1870-1889)
Box 3 Financial Records (1890-1937, undated), Genealogical Material, Miscellaneous
Box 4 Journal (1881-1882)
Box 5 Journal (1890-1891)
Box 6 Invoices (1873)
Box 7 Journal (1869)