Correspondence in the collection includes a letter detailing a family excursion to the Outer Banks (1909), including details of costs, sightseeing, and the steamer ride over.
Legal papers consist of two unsigned rental agreements (1866) concerning the cultivation of lands by newly freed blacks, describing the amount of land to be cultivated, crops to be planted, work expected of the tenants, and the amount to be repaid to the landlord. An agreement concerning Nags Head Hotel (1889) details the specifications for a three-story, seventy-eight-room hotel on the sound shore of Nags Head. Labor costs for the project are noted.
The bulk of the collection consists of financial records including inventories, accounts, receipts, ledgers, and promissory notes. Among them are listings of items taken or damaged by Union soldiers passing through Pasquotank County, N.C., between 1863 and 1864, including a $400 horse, over 6,500 pounds of fodder, and over 500 bushels of corn. An account relating to the expenses of the estate of James C. Johnston, as well as inventories for Poplar Plains, Body, and Salem plantations (1865) are included. Receipts concern lumber purchased (1891) and produce sold (1894), as well as taxes (1899) for Pasquotank County.
Ledgers and accounts pertain primarily to C. W. Hollowell's business interests. One ledger records the amounts of barrel staves received at different places along the Perquimans River from 1848-1852, as well as receipts for the Wardens of the Poor of Pasquotank County (1857-1859 in ledger #578.1.e; 1862-1864 in ledger #578.2.a on pp. 50-51, 81, and 86). Farm ledgers (1859-1866) list amounts of crops received from various fields; slaves' shoe sizes (ca. 1863), giving name of slave, length of foot, and shoe size; inventories of livestock (hogs, cattle, and sheep, with the number of hogs killed and number of sheep sheared); and accounts of crops sown, harvested, and sold. Memoranda mention wounded soldiers who stayed with Hollowell in 1862, a pass to leave Elizabeth City, N.C. (1863), and home remedies for the chills.
Other account books note allotments of food to freed blacks (1866), rates for ditching, expenses of farms, cost of building a house, work accounts, and wage agreements. Also included are lists (ledger #578.2.a on pp. 47, 56-58) of slaves taken by Union troops in 1862 and 1863, giving name, age, and valuation, and a list (ledger #578.2.a on p. 298) of slaves who remained on various plantations of James C. Johnston throughout the Civil War.
After the Civil War, accounts of individual workers appear, often with brief job and wage descriptions. If time was lost during the year, it was often noted with the reasons, i.e., weddings, weather conditions, illness, fishing, etc. Types of jobs included are field hands, blacksmiths, carpenters, and house hands. Accounts (1855-1892) for crops for various years are included as are accounts for a cotton gin, molasses mill, and fishery.
A final account book lists accounts for the Nags Head Hotel and the Steamer
CLARENCE. Accounts of residents/guests of the hotel are given with hometown of the guest noted, as well as accompanying persons. Costs of advertisements in various papers and subscription costs of periodicals are presented.
Mrs. Hollowell's ledger (1892-1937) gives statistical information for various churches, receipts for produce, interest on Liberty Bonds (1922-1936), egg production, workers' accounts, and contributions to several church-related causes.
Miscellaneous material includes French and Latin exercises (ca. 1893), a business card, a plot map of the Sand Field on one of Hollowell's farms (undated), a religious broadside, and a map of Elizabeth City Colony Lands (ca. 1920).