Menu

Guide to the Aitken Family Letter and Will, 1775, 1793

Summary

The Aitken family was of Scottish descent. John Aitken, senior, lived in Rashiehill, Scotland. One of his sons, James Aitken, was eventually ordained as a Presbyterian minister in Elizabeth town (Elizabeth City), North Carolina. Collection comprises a letter written by James Aitken to his parents from Wilmingtown (Wilmington), North Carolina, on 1775 June 5, as well as a last will and testament for John Aitken, Senior, as recorded in 1793. In his letter, James describes local people as "genteel" and respected for their "education and good behaviour," and goes on to describe local planters and their various crops, long distances ridden, the situation for Presbyterians and his upcoming ordination and resettlement, his plans to obtain a plantation and purchase or hire slaves, preparations for war with Great Britain, and payment of his debts. In his will, John Aitken, Senior, names his son, John, as his successor, and outlines the distribution of his money, land, and property. The will is witnessed by Charles Lang and William Muirhead.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11611
Title
Aitken family letter and will
Date
1775, 1793
Extent
1.8 Linear Feet, 2 items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Collection comprises a letter written by James Aitken to his parents from Wilmingtown (Wilmington), North Carolina, on 1775 June 5, as well as a last will and testament for John Aitken, Senior, as recorded in 1793. In his letter, James describes local people as "genteel" and respected for their "education and good behaviour," and goes on to describe local planters and their various crops, long distances ridden, the situation for Presbyterians and his upcoming ordination and resettlement, his plans to obtain a plantation and purchase or hire slaves, preparations for war with Great Britain, and payment of his debts. In his will, John Aitken, Senior, names his son, John, as his successor, and outlines the distribution of his money, land, and property. The will is witnessed by Charles Lang and William Muirhead.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

warning Use & Permissions

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.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Aitken Family Letter and Will, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Letter and will
Oversize-folder 1
 

Historical Note

The Aitken family was of Scottish descent. John Aitken, senior, lived in Rashiehill, Scotland. One of his sons, James Aitken, was eventually ordained as a Presbyterian minister in Elizabeth town (Elizabeth City), North Carolina.


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The Aitken Family Letter and Will were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2017.

Processing Information

Processed by Alice Poffinberger, April, 2018

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2017-0219