Guide to the Thomas Carroll Papers, 1844-1914

Collection Overview

The papers of Thomas Carroll span the years 1844 to 1914 with the majority of the papers dating from 1844 to 1887. They consist primarily of correspondence and accounts relating to his plantation, general store, and guardianship of orphans.

Carroll was a planter during the antebellum, Civil War, and postwar periods. After the mid-1870's he lived in Virginia and elsewhere in North Carolina, renting his farm to tenants. The correspondence documents his plantation business, especially trade with commission merchants between Norfolk, Virginia, and New York City and in Liverpool, England. There are also references to slaves, freedmen, tenant farmers, the cotton trade, and the agricultural economy and Reconstruction in North Carolina and other Southern states where family members lived. The Account Book, 1844-1867, contains lists of slaves and transactions involving slave hiring, overseers, workers, wages, midwives, a Petersburg merchant, educational expenses, and goods and services for numerous persons including architect Jacob W. Holt. The financial papers also document slaves, slave hiring, overseers, and educational expenses.

Carroll was the guardian of several orphans who included children of Congressman Joel Holleman. Financial papers and the Account Book, 1844-1867, contain guardianship accounts.

Two volumes from Carroll's general store document his mercantile business before the Civil War. The ledger accounts include free blacks, a shoe shop, Jacob W. Holt, and many slaves. The other volume contains inventories of goods and debts.

Descriptive Summary

Thomas Carroll papers 1844-1914
Carroll, Thomas
0.4 linear feet, approximately 155 items
Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Durham, North Carolina 27708-0185
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

For more information on the copyright interests involved in this collection, please consult a reference librarian.

Contents of the Collection

1847-1900 and undated
(2 folders)
Thomas Carroll, Account Book, 1844-1867
Carroll and Cheatham, Ledger of General Store, 1856-1862 (bulk 1856-1859)
General Store Inventories and Accounts Receivable and Payable for Successive Firms of Carroll and Montgomery, Thomas Carroll, and Carroll and Cheatham, 1847-1858 (Also includes cash account, 1885, of a merchant).

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Thomas Carroll Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.


The papers of Thomas Carroll, planter and merchant of Ridgeway, Warren County, North Carolina, were acquired by purchase in 1938 and donations in 1975 and 1985. The status of copyright interests in these papers is unknown. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Manuscript Department.

Processing Information

Encoded by Alvin Pollock, Electronic Text Unit, UC Berkeley Library

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.