Correspondence from the Coltrane family and other individuals dates from 1853 through 1908
Civil War letters include an 1861 letter from the 11th Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers at Camp Rhett, Manassas, Va., discussing the shipment of liquor by the Southern Express Railroad to Manassas Junction. Stephen Coltrane of the 4th Regiment of the South Carolina Cavalry wrote in 1864 of personal matters and of his regiment's position in Virginia, hardships, and loss of horses. An 1862 non-military letter describes health; churches, schools; and prices of land, produce, general merchandise, horses, and wagons in Ozark, Missouri.
Antebellum and postbellum commentary relate to business and personal matters. Information on early schools is included in an 1860 account book of expenses for the Methodist Protestant Female College in Jamestown, N.C., and an 1889 letter mentioning classes at a school in Liberty, N.C. Business matters include an 1859 letter from Asheboro, N.C., on the price of stoves. An undated letter briefly notes a dye house for cotton in Greensboro, N.C., and a 1908 letter mentions the need for a millwright to make a burr flour-mill. The 1908 letter also describes travel by horse and buggy in North Carolina.
Legal records include bills of sale for slaves bought by the Coltrane family in Randolph County (1828-1864) and land plats (1806-1873), some of which are from Randolph County. An 1859 Court of Equity case deals with a land and mineral rights dispute involving the Gardner Hill Mining Company in Guilford County. Financial records include a pocket account book (1848-1859) concerning agriculture in Randolph County.