The bulk of the items in this collection relate to the naval stores industry of Thomas R. Crawford of Beaufort County, NC, and Darien, GA. Included are the financial records and account books (2) of this operation which provide an excellent insight into naval stores activities during the 1850s and 1860s. Also of interest are several deeds and indentures by which Crawford obtained a considerable amount of land in Eastern North Carolina (1829-1853). There are other indentures involving the sale of slaves in the 1830s and the renting of slaves in the 1850s and 1860s.
The correspondence largely deals with the business transactions of Crawford's naval stores operation in Georgia. These transactions involve the buying and selling of Crawford's products. However, a few letters concern the adverse effect of the Civil War and the blockade on this industry. Crawford felt that the blockade would ruin his business, and, in fact, his naval stores were destroyed by Confederate forces in 1863 to prevent them from falling into the hands of Union forces. Also included are letters describing the first battle at Bull Run and reflecting on the behavior of the slaves due to the presence of Union forces in the South.
The Hill papers primarily deal with the financial matters of Lucinda Hill's estate, Beaufort County, NC, for the years 1872-1877. Many of the documents are receipts for services rendered such as the hiring of workers on the estate and the services of a medical doctor; court fees paid to Beaufort County Superior Court for the contested deed of Henry Hill; and goods such as marble for grave markers, burial caskets, and food stuffs.
R. S. Chapman's papers contain payment receipts for Craven County taxes and for goods like chemicals, a pine log raft, and lumber. Miscellaneous items such as a Confederate States of America registered bond receipt; a marriage certificate signed by R. S. Chapman, Justice of the Peace, for James Kinion and Susan Coward in Craven County; a handwritten Campbell genealogy from the 1770s-1790s; and a cure for clap and whites are also included.
The Roche folder consists of an 1832 document for the clothing requirements of slaves and the hiring out of slaves to individuals; love letters; compositions written by J. R. Roche; and poetry.