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Guide to the Robert Leslie Papers, 1783-1934 and undated, bulk 1814-1872

Abstract

Merchant, of Petersburg, Va. Correspondence, accounts, invoices, statements, and legal papers (chiefly 1814-1872) of Leslie, a member of the Virginia mercantile firm of Leslie and Shepherd, and a slave owner. The papers before 1819 largely concern the processing and sale of cotton, tobacco, rice, and western lands. Most of the papers after 1819 pertain to tobacco manufacture in the Richmond-Petersburg area. Other topics include Leslie’s career, family, and travels in England; his western landholdings and efforts to develop the West; his slaveholding and attitude toward it; mercantile prices and U.S.-British trade; and absentee landlordship referring to the maintenance of American property owned by Englishmen. Later material includes scattered correspondence and business papers of Leslie’s nephews, Robert L. Watson and John McGill, whom Leslie had admitted to partnership in the firm.

Descriptive Summary

Collection Number
RL.00806
Title
Robert Leslie papers
Date
1783-1934 and undated, bulk 1814-1872
Creator
Leslie, Robert, ca. 1794-ca. 1879
Extent
23.7 Linear Feet, Approximately 15,398 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

Correspondence, accounts, invoices, statements, and legal papers, chiefly spanning the years 1814-1872, of Robert Leslie, a member of the Virginia mercantile firm of Leslie and Shepherd, and a slave owner. The papers before 1819 largely concern the processing and sale of cotton, tobacco, rice, and western lands. Most of the papers after 1819 pertain to tobacco manufacture in the Richmond-Petersburg area. Other topics include Leslie’s career, family, and travels in England; his western landholdings and efforts to develop the West; his slaveholding and attitude toward it; mercantile prices and U.S.-British trade; and absentee landlordship referring to the maintenance of American property owned by Englishmen. Later material includes scattered correspondence and business papers of Leslie’s nephews, Robert L. Watson and John McGill, whom Leslie had admitted to partnership in the firm.

Restrictions on Access & Use

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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

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

1. Correspondence Series, 1783-1934, bulk 1814-1872

35 boxes

Arranged chronologically.

1783-1815
Box 1
1816-1820
Box 2
1821-1826 Feb.
Box 3
1826 Mar.-1827 Apr.
Box 4
1827 May-1828 Feb.
Box 5
1828 Mar.-Dec.
Box 6
1829 Apr.-Sept.
Box 7
1829 Oct.-1830 Aug.
Box 8
1830 Sept.-1831 July
Box 9
1831 Aug.-1832 May
Box 10
1832 June-1833 Feb.
Box 11
1833 Mar.-Oct.
Box 12
1833 Nov.-1834 Apr.
Box 13
1834 May-Nov.
Box 14
1834 Dec.-1835 Apr.
Box 15
1835 May-1835 Oct.
Box 16
1835 Nov.-1836 June
Box 17
1836 July-1837 May
Box 18
1837 June-1838 Feb.
Box 19
1838 Mar.-Dec.
Box 20
1839 Jan.-Nov.
Box 21
1839 Dec.-1840 Sept.
Box 22
1840 Oct.-1843 Sept.
Box 23
1843 Oct.-1845 Dec.
Box 24
1846-1848
Box 25
1849
Box 26
1850 Jan.-1851 Aug.
Box 27
1851 Sept.-1853 Apr.
Box 28
1853 May-1854 Dec.
Box 29
1855-1857
Box 30
1858-1860 Aug.
Box 31
1860 Sept.-1869
Box 32
1860-1872 Sept.
Box 33
1872 Oct.-1889
Box 34
1890-1934
Box 35

2. Financial Papers Series, 1820s-1899 and undated

12 boxes

Arranged chronologically.

Bills and receipts
Box 36
1820s
Box 36
1820s-1830s
Box 37
1830s
Box 38-41
1840s
Box 42
1840s-1850s
Box 43
1850s
Box 44
1850s-1860s
Box 45
Undated papers
Box 46-47
Volumes, cashbooks, 1850-1899
Box 47

3. Addition (1987)

1 box
Chiefly handwritten correspondence.
Box 1

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

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

Provenance

The Robert Leslie papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1950.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library staff

Encoded by Ted Holt, Nov. 2009