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Guide to the Abel Beach Nichols Papers, 1835-1850

Abstract

Abel Beach Nichols (1796/7-1868) was a merchant, farmer, slave owner and dealer from Bedford County, Virginia.

The collection includes a small account book A. B. (Abel Beach) Nichols used to record financial transactions that occurred in Alabama from 1835 to 1836. Nine pages contain handwriting and several pages near the front and back of the book have been removed. Of particular interest are two pages with the heading, A list of the sales of negroes in the State of Alabama in 1835 & 1836, followed by a tabular listing of the number of slaves, their names, from whom purchased, cost, date, to whom sold, time, and amount. In all, Nichols bought and sold 42 slaves for a profit of $21,430.58. Headings such as A list of bonds bought in Alabama ... and Bond on ... in Alabama for articles sold are found on subsequent pages. Also included in the collection are two letters addressed to A. B. Nichols. The 1846 letter, from Pollard Hopkins & Co., describes efforts regarding the sell or hire of Nichols' slave, Henry, and the writer's intention to buy Henry a horse and dray, thereby giving him the means to eventually buy his freedom. The 1850 letter, from Henry, respectfully explains arrangements for acquiring the title to himself.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Nichols, Abel Beach, 1796?-1868.
Title
Abel Beach Nichols papers, 1835-1850
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.1 Linear Feet, 3 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The collection includes a small account book that A. B. (Abel Beach) Nichols used to record financial transactions that occurred in Alabama from 1835 to 1836. Nine pages contain handwriting and several pages near the front and back of the book have been removed. Of particular interest are two pages with the heading, "A list of the sales of negroes in the State of Alabama in 1835 & 1836," followed by a tabular listing of the number of slaves, their names, from whom purchased, cost, date, to whom sold, time, and amount. In all, Nichols bought and sold 42 slaves for a profit of $21,430.58. Headings such as "A list of bonds bought in Alabama ..." and "Bond on ... in Alabama for articles sold" are found on subsequent pages. Also included in the collection are two letters addressed to A. B. Nichols. The 1846 letter, from Pollard Hopkins & Co., describes efforts regarding the sell or hire of Nichols' slave, Henry, and the "writer's" intention to buy Henry a horse and dray, thereby giving him the means to eventually buy his freedom. The 1850 letter, from Henry, respectfully explains arrangements for acquiring the title to himself.

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

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

Account book, 1835-1836
Folder 1
Letter from Pollard Hopkins & Co., 1846
Letter from Henry, 1850

Historical Note

Abel Beach Nichols (1796/7-1868) was a merchant, farmer, slave owner and dealer. Originally from Bridgeport, Connecticut, he settled in Liberty (present day city of Bedford), Bedford County, Virginia, in 1820. In 1824 he built a store in Bedford Court House where goods imported from New York were sold, and a few years later began construction of his country house, Three Otters, which is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nichols is recorded in the U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedules as owning 48 slaves in 1860.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Abel Beach Nichols Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The Abel Beach Nichols Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2008.

Processing Information

Processed by Danielle Moore, September 2010

Encoded by Danielle Moore, Semptember 2010

Accession 2008-0259 is described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.