Guide to the William Weaver Papers, 1809-1885


Ironmaster and pioneer in scientific agriculture, from Goshen (Rockbridge Co.), Va.

Correspondence and business papers of the owner of the Bath Iron Works, Buffalo Forge, Va., containing information about the iron industry in antebellum Virginia, the use of slaves as industrial laborers, life among Weaver's workers, the supply of iron to the Confederate government, the iron industry in the Confederacy, and industrial conditions in Virginia during Reconstruction. Personal correspondence discusses the progress of the war in Virginia and Confederate politics.

Descriptive Summary

David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Weaver, William, 1780-1863
William Weaver papers 1809-1885
Language of Material
3,387 Items, 4.0 linear feet
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Collection contains business papers of William Weaver (1781-1863?), owner of the Bath Iron Works, dealing with the iron industry in Virginia, and containing information on types of items in demand; collection of debts; prices of iron, land, crops, and livestock; the hiring and use of slave labor; and diet, clothing, wages, and prices of slaves. Included are several lists of slaves, with a brief physical description and comments on their reliability as workers. Personal correspondence discusses cholera in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore, Maryland, 1832; smallpox in Lexington, Virginia; typhoid in Texas, 1853; the activities and pension of a Revolutionary soldier; state and national politics, especially under Andrew Jackson; the completion of the canal from the mouth of the Brazos River to Galveston, Texas, 1853; the election of 1860; vigilance committees in Virginia; the use of substitutes; troop movements through Lynchburg and Richmond, Virginia; food prices; the death of Thomas Jonathan Jackson; and the iron industry during the war. Letters, 1861-1863, from John Letcher (1813-1884), U. S. congressman, 1851-1859, and governor of Virginia during the Civil War, discuss his message to the Virginia General Assembly concerning state and Confederate affairs in 1861; rumors; the failure of the legislature to provide replacement troops; military actions at Gordonsville and Fredericksburg, Virginia; various Confederate and Union generals; the unlikelihood of European intervention; military activity in North Carolina; and public opinion in the North.

Administrative Information

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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

Papers, 1809-1829 Aug.
Box 1
Papers, 1829 Sept.-1830
Box 2
Papers, 1831-1832
Box 3
Papers, 1833-1835
Box 4
Papers, 1836-1860
Box 5
Papers, 1861-1869
Box 6
Papers, 1870-1874
Box 7
Papers, 1875-1885, undated.
Box 8
Bills and Receipts, 1816-1830s
Box 9
Bills and Receipts, 1840s-1860s
Box 10
Bills and Receipts, 1870s
Box 11

Historical Note

Ironmaster and pioneer in scientific agriculture, from Goshen (Rockbridge Co.), Va.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

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


The William Weaver Papers were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library from 1956 to 1957.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library Staff

Encoded by Abraham Lee, January 2010

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

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.