Guide to the British-American Tobacco Company Records, 1842-1929

Collection Overview

The British-American Tobacco Company, Ltd., was established in 1902 by an agreement between the Imperial Tobacco Co. of Great Britain and its rivals, the American Tobacco Co. and its associates. These firms divided the world's market for manufactured tobacco products, and British-American took over trade with those territories not reserved to Imperial and American, that is, the export business everywhere outside Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Cuba, and the U. S. and its overseas dependencies. Ownership of British-American was divided between its parent companies, American holding substantially two-thirds of the stock. The headquarters was located in London, England, and the office at 111 5th Ave. in New York City handled the purchase of leaf and manufacturing in the U. S.

This collection concerns British-American's business at Petersburg, Virginia, which included the branch under its own name and also the operations of its subsidiaries and predecessors. In 1903 the company acquired the formerly independent export businesses of the T. C. Williams Co., David Dunlop, and the Cameron family who were then the largest exporters of manufactured tobacco. They also had sales within the United States, so some domestic business is represented. British-American owned all of the stock of T. C. Williams and two-thirds of Dunlop's, both of these subsidiaries continuing to function under their own names, chiefly as producers of plug tobacco. However, the manufacturing of their brands was concentrated in a single bonded warehouse at Petersburg, a situation reflected in many account books that combine records of Dunlop, Williams, and British-American. There are also several volumes from the Bland Tobacco Co. of Petersburg and the Export Leaf Tobacco Co., the latter a subsidiary of British-American that functioned as its buying agency in the U. S. Further information about these companies is given below where their records are listed. A useful source for the early history of British-American is the U. S. Bureau of Corporations, Report of the Commissioner of Corporations on the Tobacco Industry (Washington, 1909). A folder of information about the companies and their owners is filed with the Guide in a box at the beginning of the collection. The Tobacco Collection includes examples of advertising.

This set of 367 account books represents the operations of British-American at Petersburg primarily during its first twenty years, 1903-1923, of which the first ten years have the more abundant records. The accounts of one subsidiary, David Dunlop, begin in 1842, continue into the 1920's, and constitute the most substantial group within the collection. Records of T. C. Williams are confined almost entirely to the period after 1903 when it was British-American's subsidiary, although the firm originated in the 1850's. Cameron & Cameron also began in the 1850's, but its records are limited to the last twelve years of its existence, 1892-1904. There are also a few volumes for the Export Leaf Tobacco Co., the Bland Tobacco Co., and William Cameron & Brother.

The account books are extensive and include significant records, but they are quite incomplete. Only David Dunlop has a considerable series of ledgers and journals. There are no minutes from meetings of directors or stockholders. The strength of the collection before 1903 is in the Dunlop records with the addition after 1892 of some from Cameron & Cameron, principally letterpress books. After 1903 there are elaborate cost, production, sales, and stock records for British-American, Dunlop, and T. C. Williams. Correspondence is very limited but includes some important material, there being volumes for David Dunlop in 1842-1846 and 1904-1906, T. C. Williams in 1903-1906, and Cameron & Cameron in 1895-1903.

Collection Details

Collection Number
British-American Tobacco Company records
British-American Tobacco Company.
150 Linear Feet, 372 volumes, 372 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

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[Identification of item], British-American Tobacco Company Records, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. David Dunlop

The Dunlop family of Petersburg, Virginia, engaged in the manufacture and export of tobacco for more than a century, their interests dating back at least to 1820 when James Dunlop built a large factory. His brothers Robert and David also were involved in manufacturing, and the business of David Dunlop and his descendants is the one represented here by an important, although incomplete, set of records. The proprietorship of the firm varied over the years and is not always clearly defined in the existing records. The Letter Book, 1842-1846, indicates that David Dunlop was operating under his own name. He was also a partner with his brother in the firm of John A. Dunlop & Co. of Louisville, Kentucky, with whom he corresponded. A brother was in the Petersburg Company of Dunlop & Tennant (letter of July 24, 1844). The letters indicate considerable business with Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

After the Civil War the succeeding David Dunlop (ca. 1841-1902) was associated with David B. Tennant in the firm of D. B. Tennant & Co. that operated until the latter's death in 1885 , at which time he was reputed to be Petersburg's wealthiest citizen. David Dunlop continued the business under his own name and was at the time of his death one of the largest exporters of manufactured tobacco in the U. S. His products were principally plug and twist, according to Connorton's Tobacco Brand Directory of the United States in 1887 and 1899. His son David Dunlop sold the business to British-American in 1903 when it was registered in New Jersey as David Dunlop (Incorporated). He was president of the new firm and both he and R. L. Dunlop were directors. The corporation continued into the 1920s and possibly later. Information about the company can be found in: David Dunlop's obituary in Tobacco, 33, No. 26 (Oct. 31, 1902), p. 2; Joseph Clarke Robert, The Tobacco Kingdom (Durham, N. C., 1938), pp. 186-187 (which also includes an illustration of an advertising poster); and in the Report of the Commissioner of Corporations on the Tobacco Industry (Washington, 1909). The first entry in D. B. Tennant & Co.'s Journal, 1867-1880 , and those of Jan. 1, 1886 and Jan. 2, 1889, in the Journal, 1880-1890, as well as other entries, document Dunlop's association with Mr. Tennant.

The Tobacco Collection includes one or more examples of Dunlop's advertisements.

The records of David Dunlop extend for almost ninety years, and, although incomplete, they constitute the most substantial group within the collection - and the only one that dates well back into the nineteenth century. A ledger and journal of 1847-1856 and a letter book of 1842-1846 (including an invoice book, 1842-1847) are important volumes from the antebellum period. The letter book records the difficulties of businessmen during the war scare over the Oregon Question in 1845-1846 and Dunlop's reaction to that issue and to President Polk. This volume is also valuable for comment about crop conditions, marketing, etc. After the war D. B. Tennant & Co. is represented notably by its journals of 1867-1890, bills of exchange of 1870-1887, and payroll records of 1878-1879 and 1883-1886. The accounts for David Dunlop during 1885-1903 are the best preserved set. The important ledgers and journals are complete for this period, and the payroll books are almost complete. There are also broken runs of invoice and shipping books, bills of exchange, and others. The strength of the records for the two decades after 1903 is in the elaborate cost, production, and sales records in the cost sheets, details of cost, and general statements. The Leaf Department also has ledgers, journals, and books for statements, insurance, and warehouse storage.

The volume of General Statements, 1904-1905 , includes an inventory of Dunlop for Dec. 31, 1904 . This inventory is published in Nannie M. Tilley, The Bright-Tobacco Industry, 1860-1929, (Chapel Hill, 1948), pp. 690-696.

A folder of miscellaneous papers, 1902-1922 , includes a few accounts from Dunlop. The folder is filed in the first box of the collection.

Ledger, 1847-1856
Volume 1
Journal, 1847, Jan.-Jan., 1856

(Available on microfilm only. Original in Virginia Historical Society at Richmond.)

Volume 2
Letter Book, 1842 Nov.-1846 May, & Invoice Book, 1842 Jan.-1847 Jan.

(Available on microfilm only. Original in Virginia Historical Society at Richmond.)

Volume 3
Journal, 1867 Feb.-1880 Apr.
Volume 4
Journal, 1880 May-1890 Dec.
Volume 5
Invoice Book, 1882 Sept.-1885 Dec.
Volume 6
Time Book, 1878 Jan.-1879 Sept.

(Including Tobacco Accounts, Factory No. 2, 1878-1886)

Volume 7
Payroll Book, 1883 Sept.-1886 Jan.
Volume 8
Bills of Exchange, 1870 Jan.-1872 June
Volume 9
Bills of Exchange, 1874 July-1876 July
Volume 10
Bills of Exchange, 1878 Feb.-1880 Mar.
Volume 11
Bills of Exchange, 1886 Jan.-1887 June
Volume 12
Drafts, 1877 Jan.-1880 Dec.
Volume 13
Checkbook, 1868 Sept.-1870 May
Volume 14
Checkbook, 1875 July-1876 July
Volume 15
Checkbook, 1876 July-1877 June
Volume 16
Checkbook, 1877 June-1878 June
Volume 17
Checkbook, 1879 June-1880 Sept.
Volume 18
Checkbook, 1882 Apr.-Oct.
Volume 19
Checkbook, 1883 Oct.-1884 Sept.
Volume 20
Checkbook, 1884 Sept.-1885 June
Volume 21
Ledger, 1885-1904
Volume 22
Personal Ledger, 1902-1904
Volume 23
Ledger for Estate of David Dunlop, 1902-1903

(Also available on microfilm)

Volume 24
Journal, 1885 Dec.-1891 Nov.

(Available on microfilm only. Original in Virginia Historical Society at Richmond.)

Volume 25
Journal, 1891 Nov.-1896 July
Volume 26
Journal, 1896 July-1899 June

(Available on microfilm only. Original in Virginia Historical Society at Richmond.)

Volume 27
Journal, 1899 June-1904 May
Volume 28
Personal Journal, 1902 Nov.-1904 May
Volume 29
Journal for Estate of David Dunlop, 1902 Nov.-1903 Nov.

(Also available on microfilm)

Volume 30
Cashbook, 1899 June-1902 Nov.
Volume 31
Payroll Book, 1886 Jan.-1887 Mar.
Volume 32
Payroll Book, 1887 Mar.-Sept.
Volume 33
Payroll Book 1889 Jan.-Oct.
Volume 34
Payroll Book, 1889 Oct.-1890 Dec.
Volume 35
Payroll Book, 1891
Volume 36
Payroll Book, 1892
Volume 37
Payroll Book, 1893 Jan.-1894 Jan.
Volume 38
Payroll Book, 1894 Jan.-Dec.
Volume 39
Payroll Book, 1895
Volume 40
Payroll Book, 1897
Volume 41
Payroll Book, 1898
Volume 42
Payroll Book, 1899
Volume 43
Payroll Book, 1900
Volume 44
Payroll Book, 1901 Jan.-1902 Jan.
Volume 45
Payroll Book, 1902 Jan.-Nov.
Volume 46
Payroll Book, 1902 Nov.-1904 Dec.
Volume 314
Time Book, 1901 Oct.-1905 Oct.

(Gap in records: 1904 Aug.-1905 June; records of 1903-1904 are from Old St, Wythe St., and West Hill factories)

Volume 47
Purchase Book, 1886 Jan.-1895 May
Volume 48
Tobacco Received, 1897 Oct.-1902 Oct.
Volume 49
Invoice Book, 1886 Jan.-1890 Aug.
Volume 50
Invoice Book, 1890 Aug.-1894 July

(Available on microfilm only. Original in Virginia Historical Society at Richmond.)

Volume 51
Invoice Book, 1897 May-1901 June
Volume 52
Invoice Book, 1901 June-1902 Sept.
Volume 52.1
Prizing Record Book, 1899-1903
Volume 53
Shipping Book, 1887
Volume 54
Shipping Book, 1894
Volume 55
Shipping Book, 1897
Volume 56
Shipping Book, 1900
Volume 57
Shipping Book, 1902 Nov.-1903 Dec.
Volume 58
Shipments to C. R. Somervail & Co., 1901

(Including also Free Materials, 1902-1907, and Insurance Charges, 1907-1908)

Volume 59
Bills of Exchange, 1890 July-1891 Nov.
Volume 60
Bills of Exchange, 1891 Nov.-1894 Nov.
Volume 61
Bills of Exchange, 1902 Feb.-1903 Sept.
Volume 62
Drafts, 1886 Jan.-1892 Dec.
Volume 63
Checkbook, 1886 Dec.-1887 Nov.
Volume 64
Checkbook, 1887 Nov.-1888 July
Volume 65
Checkbook, 1888 Oct.-1891 Mar.
Volume 66
Checkbook, 1892 Aug.-1893 May
Volume 67
Checkbook, 1894 Feb.-Oct.
Volume 68
Checkbook, 1895 June-1896 Jan.
Volume 69
Checkbook, 1896 Aug.-1897 Apr.
Volume 70
Checkbook, 1898 June-1899 Jan.
Volume 71
Checkbook, 1899 Sept.-1900 Apr.
Volume 72
Checkbook, 1900 Apr.-Aug.
Volume 73
Checkbook, 1902 Sept.-1911 Dec.
Volume 74

2. Remarks on the Companies and Their Accounts After 1903

The structure and records of the companies after 1903 are complicated by the fact that British-American concentrated the manufacture of the brands of Dunlop, Cameron, Williams, and its other acquisitions in a single bonded warehouse at Petersburg (Report of the Commissioner of Corporations on the Tobacco Industry (Washington, 1909) , p. 361; also noted in Williams' Letterpress Book, June- Sept., 1903, p. 695). This situation is reflected in the account books. For some types of records there are separate volumes for Dunlop, Williams, and British-American. In other cases their accounts are combined, sometimes clearly labeled and sometimes not. Dunlop's Cost Sheets and Details of Cost include some figures for the brands of Williams and British-American, but the volumes are labeled as belonging to Dunlop. Some volumes clearly contain statistics for all three companies. So there are lists below of account books for Dunlop, Williams, British-American, and combinations of them, as well as for lesser groups such as the Export Leaf Tobacco Co. and the Bland Tobacco Co.

The situation is further complicated by divisions within Dunlop. Several series of accounts belonged to its Leaf Department, and they are segregated accordingly. However, the volumes were not always carefully labeled, and some books not listed for the Leaf Department may actually relate to it. It is not the purpose of this inventory to determine the exact operational structure of the businesses, especially since their records are so incomplete.

It is always possible that some unlabeled volumes have been incorrectly placed in this inventory, and the researcher should apply appropriate caution in using them. Further, titles of account books varied, sometimes in the same series, or were incomplete or absent altogether, so some titles supplied here may not technically be entirely accurate.

Letterpress Book, 1904 Aug.-Oct.

(Includes T. C. Williams, 1905 Jan.-Feb.)

Volume 75
Letterpress Book, 1906 Jan.-July

(Includes a few letters of T. C. Williams and Cameron & Cameron)

Volume 76
Letterpress Book, 1905 Sept.-1906 June

(Addressed to David Dunlop, New York)

Volume 77
Letterpress Book, 1906 July-Sept.

(Included in Invoice Book, 1907-1908, of Dunlop, Williams, and British-American)

Volume 286

Cost Sheets

The Cost Sheets contain a variety of reports, often monthly, of costs, trial balances, expenses, sales, invoices, insurance in force, etc. Brands of T. C. Williams and British-American are included.

Cost Sheets, 1906 Apr.-1907 Sept.
Volume 78
Cost Sheets, 1907 Oct.-1908 Nov.

(Additional reports of 1907 Oct. are in the combined Invoice Book, 1908 Jan.-Feb. of Dunlop, Williams, and British-American)

Volume 79
Cost Sheets, 1908 Dec.-1910 Feb.
Volume 80
Cost Sheets, 1910 Feb.-1911 Apr.
Volume 81
Cost Sheets, 1911 Apr.-1912 July
Volume 82
Cost Sheets, 1912 July-1913 Aug.
Volume 83

Details of Cost

Usually labeled “David Dunlop” and “Blue Details,” these records provide monthly cost figures by brands including the amounts manufactured and shipped and the inventories at the first and the last of the month. The brands of T. C. Williams and British-American are included.

Details of Cost, 1908 Jan.-1909 Aug.
Volume 84
Details of Cost, 1909 Sept.-1910 June
Volume 85
Details of Cost, 1910 July-1911 Mar.
Volume 86
Details of Cost, 1911 Apr.-1912 Jan.
Volume 87
Details of Cost, 1912 Jan.-Sept.
Volume 88
Details of Cost, 1912 Oct.-1913 Mar.; 1913 Dec.; 1915 Apr.
Volume 89
Details of Cost, 1913 Apr.-Nov.
Volume 90

General Statements

A considerable variety of reports, some monthly and many weekly, are included, such as: inventories of leaf; insurance in force; strips used for each brand; reports to Traffic Dept. on shipments, supplies, and leaf received; brands in use and not in use; tags in use; purchases; and various transactions.

General Statements, 1904 July-1905 Sept.
Volume 91
General Statements, 1905 Aug.-1906 July
Volume 92
General Statements, 1910 Feb.-1911 Oct.
Volume 93
General Statements, 1911 Oct.-1913 May
Volume 94
Voucher Record, No. 1, 1903 Aug.-1905 Apr.
Volume 95
Voucher Record, No. 8, 1923 Jan.-1929 Apr.
Volume 96
Receiving Book, 1903 July-1905 June
Volume 97
Customers Order Book, 1903-1904
Volume 98
Order Book, 1909 Nov.-1910 Oct.
Volume 99
Order Book with Amsterdam Supply Co. of New York City, 1910 May-1911 Oct.
Volume 100
Checkbook, 1903 Aug.-1904 Apr.
Volume 101
Checkbook, 1904 Apr.-1905 Mar.
Volume 102
Checkbook, 1905 Mar.-1906 May
Volume 103
Checkbook, 1906 May-1907 Nov.
Volume 104
Checkbook, 1909 May-1910 Nov.
Volume 105
Checkbook, 1912 July-1915 Feb.
Volume 106
Checkbook, 1919 Jan.-1921 Jan.
Volume 107
Personal Checkbook, 1917 July-1919 Feb.
Volume 108
Personal Checkbook, 1919 Feb.-1920 Mar.
Volume 109
Brands Stock Book, 1904-1905
Volume 110
Brands Stock Book, 1905-1906
Volume 111
Brands Stock Book, 1906-1907
Volume 112
Brands Stock Book, 1907-1908
Volume 113
Brands Stock Book, 1908-1909
Volume 114
Brands Stock Book, 1910
Volume 115
Brands Stock Book, 1911
Volume 116
Brands Stock Book, 1912
Volume 117
Stock of Redried Leaf, 1903-1905
Volume 118
Stock of Redried Leaf, 1904-1905
Volume 119
Stock of Redried Leaf, 1904-1905
Volume 120

Leaf Department

Volumes listed here are only those specifically labeled “Leaf Department” or those belonging to a series in which one or more books are so labeled. Accounts from the Leaf Department are incorporated in other account books not listed in this group.

Ledger, 1903 Aug.-1904 Dec.
Volume 121
Ledger, 1905 May-1907 Mar.
Volume 122
Ledger, 1907 Apr.-1908 Dec.
Volume 123
Ledger, 1909 Jan.-1911 Jan.
Volume 124
Ledger, 1917-1923
Volume 125
Journal, 1903 Aug.-1905 May
Volume 126
Journal, 1907 May-1910 Feb.
Volume 127
Journal, 1910 Mar.-1911 Jan.
Volume 128
Journal, 1916 Dec.-1923 June
Volume 129


One of these volumes is labeled “Invoices,” but “Statements” seems a better designation, because they, like Dunlop's cost sheets and general statements, include a variety of weekly and monthly reports as well as invoices and records of transactions for a particular day. The reports include trial balances, inventories, invoices, purchases, expenses, insurance in force, costs, and other data.

Statements, 1911 Feb.-Nov.
Volume 130
Statements, 1912 July-1913 May
Volume 131
Statements, 1913 Apr.-Dec.
Volume 132
Statements, 1913 Dec.-1914 Aug.
Volume 133
Receiving Book, 1911-1914
Volume 134
Receiving Book, 1914-1918
Volume 135
Voucher Record for Leaf Tobacco Received, No. 1, 1911 Feb.-1915 July
Volume 136
Voucher Record for Leaf Tobacco Received, No. 2, 1915 Aug.-1919 Oct.
Volume 137
Pickings Book, 1910-1912
Volume 138
Pickings Book, 1914-1919
Volume 139
Machinery and Fixtures Inventory, 1911-1914
Volume 140
Payroll Book, 1915 Sept. 29
Volume 141
Insurance Record Book, 1905-1907
Volume 142
Insurance Record Book, 1906-1911
Volume 143
Insurance Record Book, 1912-1916
Volume 144
Insurance Values, 1911-1913
Volume 145
Insurance Values, 1914-1916
Volume 146
Memorandum of Insurance Changes, 1907-1908, and Free Materials Received and Permits, 1902-1907

(Included in Dunlop's Shipments to C. R. Somervail & Co., 1901

Volume 59
Order Book Upon Supply Dept. of British-American Tobacco Co., 1912-1923
Volume 147
Stock Book, 1913-1914
Volume 148
Wrapper Stock Book, 1913
Volume 149
Wrapper Stock Book, 1913-1915
Volume 150
Old Street Stemmery Stock Book, 1909-1912
Volume 151
Old Street Stemmery Picking Room Stock Book, 1911
Volume 152

Warehouse Storage Books

The indices and contents of the Storage Books for Warehouses, 1907-1911, and of the Insurance Record Books are useful in identifying the various warehouses represented by the Storage Books. These volumes were kept by years of storage, but crop years were also recorded.

Storage Book for Warehouses, 1907-1911
Volume 153
Storage Book for Arrington, Sect. 1, 1910-1913
Volume 154
Storage Book for Arrington, Sect. 1, 1912-1914
Volume 155
Storage Book for Arrington, Sect. 1, 1912-1914
Volume 156
Storage Book for Arrington, Sect. 2 , 1910-1914
Volume 157
Storage Book for Arrington, Sect. 2, 1912-1914
Volume 158
Storage Book for Arrington, Sect. 3, 1909-1914
Volume 159
Storage Book for Arrington, Sect. 3, 1910-1914
Volume 160
Storage Book for Arrington, Sect. 3, 1912-1914
Volume 161
Storage Book for Brown St., Northern Sect., 1908-1911
Volume 162
Storage Book for Brown St., Southern Sect. 1908-1911
Volume 163
Storage Book for Cockade City Shed, No. 1, 1910-1913
Volume 164
Storage Book for Cockade City Shed, No. 2, 1912-1914
Volume 165
Storage Book for Cockade City Shed, No. 3, 1912-1913
Volume 166
Storage Book for Cockade City Shed, No. 4, 1913-1914
Volume 167
Storage Book for Cockade City Shed, No. 5, 1913-1914
Volume 168
Storage Book for Cockade City Shed, No. 6, 1912-1913
Volume 169
Storage Book for Cockade City Shed, No. 7, 1912-1913
Volume 170
Storage Book for Cockade City Shed, No. 8, 1912-1913
Volume 171
Storage Book for Cockade City Shed, No. 9, 1913
Volume 172
Storage Book for Cockade City Shed, No. 11, 1913
Volume 173
Storage Book for Cockade City Shed, No. 15, 1913-1914
Volume 174
Storage Book for Cockade City Shed, No. 16, 1913-1914
Volume 175
Storage Book for Oaks, 1913
Volume 176
Storage Book for Oaks and Virginia, 1909-1913
Volume 177
Storage Book for Old St., No. 1, 1911
Volume 178
Storage Book for Old St., No. 1, 1912-1913
Volume 179
Storage Book for Old St., No. 2, 1911-1912
Volume 180
Storage Book for Old St., No. 2, 1912
Volume 181
Storage Book for Old St., No. 3, 1912-1913
Volume 182
Storage Book for Old St., No. 5, 1913-1914
Volume 183
Storage Book for Old St., No. 6, 1913-1915
Volume 184
Storage Book for Old St., 1913
Volume 185
Storage Book for Old St., Richmond Stemmery, No. 2, 1913-1914
Volume 186
Storage Book for Old St., Richmond Stemmery, No. 3, 1913-1915
Volume 187
Storage Book for Picking Room, 1911-1913
Volume 188
Storage Book for Stemmery, 1911-1912
Volume 189
Storage Book for Stemmery, 1912-1913
Volume 190
Storage Book for Stemming Room, 1913-1914
Volume 191
Storage Book for Out of Town, No. 1 , 1910-1914
Volume 192
Storage Book for Virginia, No. 2 , 1912-1913
Volume 193
Storage Book, 1913-1914
Volume 194

4. The Camerons

The Camerons, like the Dunlops, were Scots, and the two families were once connected by marriage as well as being associated in tobacco manufacturing. The Camerons came to Petersburg in the 1840s. There were three brothers (Alexander, George, and William) and two sisters, one of whom married Robert Dunlop. The brothers obtained positions with David Dunlop, and Alexander Cameron advanced to a partnership. In 1858 they founded the firm of William Cameron & Brother at Petersburg that continued in independent existence until 1903. Their activities expanded to Richmond where they established Alexander Cameron Co. in 1865 and Cameron & Cameron in 1889. These businesses likewise continued to 1903 when all the Cameron companies were absorbed by British-American. A significant part of the Cameron enterprises were the firms that they began establishing in Australia in the 1870s, there eventually being plants at Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Brisbane. Their trade was strong in Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, and other British dependencies. Until the creation of the American Tobacco Co., the combined Cameron properties were probably the largest tobacco manufacturing enterprises operated by Americans. Information about them is in: biographies of Alexander Cameron (1834-1915) in: The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, VII, 321-322; the Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, IV, 259-260 (and of George Cameron in the same work, IV, 154-155); and in the New York Times, Feb. 4, 1915, p. 9. See also Joseph Clarke Robert, The Story of Tobacco in America (New York, 1949), p. 131. The Tobacco Collection includes one or more items from the Cameron companies.

Cameron & Cameron

Cameron & Cameron of Richmond manufactured cigars, cigarettes, and smoking tobacco. Seventeen volumes, 1892-1904, are only a small part of the company's set of records, but they include several valuable letterpress books from the last years of its existence. The Letterpress Book, 1897-1900, has correspondence with Alfred I. Hart of Baltimore who went to the Far East and represented the firm in the markets of Hong Kong, China, and Japan, and trade with the Japanese was especially discussed. Foreign Letterpress Books, 1895-1901, concern the export business, and the Agents' Letterpress Books of 1901 and 1903 record dealings with salesmen throughout the U. S. There are no ledgers, but the Trial Balances of 1902 and 1903 are a partial substitute in those two years.

In Dunlop's General Statements, 1904-1905, are inventories at the end of 1904 for Cameron & Cameron, Alexander Cameron & Co., and William Cameron & Brother. The Letterpress Book, 1904-1905, for Dunlop and T. C. Williams includes a reference to the sending of Cameron & Cameron's books to British-American's office in New York City (p. 14).

Trial Balances, 1902
Volume 195
Trial Balances, 1903
Volume 196
Foreign Letterpress Book, 1895 Mar.-1898 Oct.
Volume 197
Foreign Letterpress Book, 1898 Oct.-1901 Dec.
Volume 198
Agents' Letterpress Book, 1901 Feb.-Nov.
Volume 199
Agents' Letterpress Book, 1903 Mar.-Nov.
Volume 200
Letterpress Book for Alfred I. Hart, 1897 Oct.-1900 Nov.
Volume 201
Letterpress Book, 1896 Nov.-1898 Feb.
Volume 202
Sales Book, 1901 Mar.-1903 Jan.
Volume 203
Sales Summary, 1903
Volume 204
Credit Notes, 1903 May-1904 June
Volume 205
Inventory Book, 1892-1896
Volume 206
Inventory Book, 1903 July-1904 Jan.
Volume 207
Checkbook, 1894 Feb.-Dec.
Volume 208
Checkbook, 1902 Mar.-Oct.
Volume 209
Checkbook, 1904 Jan.-May
Volume 210
Cashbook, 1901 Jan.-1904 May
Volume 211

William Cameron & Brother

This single volume is identified with the company by checking the brand names in the book in Connorton's Tobacco Brand Directory of the United States 1899.

Lump Book, 1904
Volume 212

5. T. C. Williams Co.

The T. C. Williams Co. of Richmond, Va., dates back to the 1850s when it first appears in the city directories as a tobacco manufacturer. It was incorporated in 1889. By 1903 it had become one of the largest tobacco exporters in the U. S., sending abroad nearly five million pounds of chewing tobacco a year and a small amount of smoking tobacco. Williams was a formidable rival of the British in Australia, South Africa, and elsewhere. This rivalry ended in 1903 when British-American bought the export business, which thereafter operated as a subsidiary at Petersburg under the name of T. C. Williams Co. The Continental Tobacco Co. purchased the domestic business that was taken into the American Tobacco Co. in the merger of 1904 . Information about the firm is in: the New York Times, April 11, 1903, p. 1, and May 8, 1903, p. 3; the Report of the Commissioner of Corporations on the Tobacco Industry (Washington, 1909); and Joseph Clarke Robert, The Story of Tobacco in America (New York, 1949), p. 130.

The Tobacco Collection includes one or more advertising items for this company.

The thirty volumes, 1903-1913, record operations of the firm during its first decade as a subsidiary of British-American. The set of books is very incomplete. Three important volumes are the Cost Sheets for 1903-1904 and 1905-1912 that contain a variety of reports, often monthly, such as trial balances, costs, inventories, transactions, etc. Stock records are numerous, especially those for brands. An inventory of Dec. 31, 1904, is included in Dunlop's General Statements of 1904-1905.

The company's business records may have been sent to the office in New York; see the reference in Dunlop's Letterpress Book of Jan.- July, 1906 (p. 890).

Letterpress Book, 1903 June-Sept.

(The principal formulas for domestic brands that were turned over to the Continental Tobacco Co. are given on pages 1005-1031)

Volume 213
Letterpress Book, 1905 Jan.-Feb.

(Included in Dunlop's Letterpress Book, 1904 Aug.-Oct. Several Williams' letters are in Dunlop's Letterpress Book, 1906 Jan.-July

Volume 75
Journal, 1903-1915
Volume 213.1
Cost Sheets, 1903 Apr.-1904 Aug.

(Statements of shipments to foreign countries are at end of this volume)

Volume 214
Cost Sheets, 1905 Aug.-1908 Dec.
Volume 215
Cost Sheets, 1908 Dec.-1912 July
Volume 216
Invoice Book, 1903 Apr.-1904 Sept.
Volume 217
Invoice Book, 1904 Sept.-Oct.
Volume 218
Materials Purchase Register, 1904 Jan.-Aug.

(1 p. of 1903 Nov. included)

Volume 219
Checkbook, 1904 Aug.-1905 Jan.
Volume 220
Press Room Order Book, 1897 Sept.-1900 May

(Some tobacco labels are fastened into this book)

Volume 221
Stock of Redried Leaf, 1903-1904
Volume 222
Leaf Stock Book, 1908-1910
Volume 223
Stock Book for Cigar Tobacco, 1903-1907
Volume 224
Brands Stock Book, 1904
Volume 225
Brands Stock Book, 1904-1905
Volume 226
Brands Stock Book, 1905-1906
Volume 227
Brands Stock Book, No. 2, 1905-1906
Volume 228
Brands Stock Book (A-N), 1906-1907
Volume 229
Brands Stock Book (O-W), 1906-1907
Volume 230
Brands Stock Book (A-N), 1907-1908
Volume 231
Brands Stock Book (O-Z), 1907-1908
Volume 232
Brands Stock Book (A-N), 1908-1909
Volume 233
Brands Stock Book (O-Z), 1908-1909
Volume 234
Brands Stock Book (A-N), 1910
Volume 235
Brands Stock Book (O-Z), 1910
Volume 236
Brands Stock Book (A-L), 1911
Volume 237
Brands Stock Book (M-Z), 1911
Volume 238
Brands Stock Book (A-M), 1912
Volume 239
Brands Stock Book (N-Z), 1912
Volume 240
Brands Stock Book, 1913
Volume 241
Journal, No. 8, 1913 June-1915 Sept.
Volume 242
Payroll Book for Lump Room, 1903 Sept.-1904 Sept.
Volume 243
Payroll Book for Lump Room, 1904 Sept.-1905 Aug.
Volume 244
Payroll Book for Stemming Room, 1904 Oct.-Dec.
Volume 245
Brands Stock Book, 1904-1905
Volume 246
Brands Stock Book, 1905-1906
Volume 247
Brands Stock Book (A-L), 1906-1907
Volume 248
Brands Stock Book (M-W), 1906-1907
Volume 249
Brands Stock Book (A-I), 1907-1908
Volume 250
Brands Stock Book (M-W), 1907-1908
Volume 251
Brands Stock Book (A-L), 1908-1909
Volume 252
Brands Stock Book (M-Z), 1908-1909
Volume 253
Brands Stock Book (A-L), 1910
Volume 254
Brands Stock Book (M-Z), 1910
Volume 255
Brands Stock Book (A-L), 1911
Volume 256
Brands Stock Book (M-Z), 1911
Volume 257
Brands Stock Book (M-Z), 1912
Volume 258
Brands Manufactured and Shipped, 1913
Volume 259
Cost Sheets, 1904 July-1905 July
Volume 260
Cost Sheets, 1912 July-1915 Aug.
Volume 261
Cost Sheets (Copies received at office in New York City), 1903 Aug.-1908 Dec.
Volume 262

Details of Cost

These volumes provide cost and inventory figures for the various brands, but not in the detail of the earlier books of David Dunlop.

Details of Cost, 1915
Volume 263
Details of Cost, 1917
Volume 264
Details of Cost, 1919
Volume 265

Daily Sales

Daily sales of the brands of each company with cumulative figures for the month.

Daily Sales, 1904 June-Dec.
Volume 266
Daily Sales, 1905 Sept.-Mar.
Volume 267
268 Daily Sales, 1906 Mar.-Sept.
Volume 1906 Vol.
Daily Sales, 1907 Apr.-Sept.
Volume 269
Daily Sales, 1908 Feb.-July
Volume 270
Daily Sales, 1910 Apr.-June, and 1912 July-Aug.
Volume 271
Daily Sales, 1913 Jan.-May
Volume 272
Daily Sales, 1913 May-Sept.
Volume 273
Daily Sales, 1914 June-Oct.
Volume 274
Daily Sales, 1914 Oct.-1915 Feb.
Volume 275
Daily Sales, 1915 Feb.-July
Volume 276
Daily Sales, 1915 July-Dec.
Volume 277
Daily Sales, 1915 Dec.-1916 June
Volume 278
Daily Sales, 1916 June-Sept.
Volume 279
Daily Sales, 1916 Sept.-1917 Feb.
Volume 280
Daily Sales, 1917 Feb.-June
Volume 281
Daily Sales, 1917 June-Oct.
Volume 282
Daily Sales, 1917 Oct.-1918 May
Volume 283
Daily Sales, 1918 May-Oct.
Volume 284
Invoice Book, 1905 June-Dec.
Volume 285
Invoice Book, 1907 Jan.-1908 Jan.

(Includes Dunlop letters of 1906 July-Sept.)

Volume 286
Invoice Book, 1908 Jan.-Feb.

(Including some Dunlop cost records of 1907 Oct.)

Volume 287
Invoice Book, 1909 Nov.-1910 Mar.
Volume 288
Factory Order Sheets, 1915 July-Dec.
Volume 289
Shipping Book, 1902 Nov-1903 Dec.
Volume 58
Shipping Book, 1904 Jan.-Nov.
Volume 290
Shipping Book, 1905 Sept.-1906 Jan.
Volume 291
Shipping Book, 1906 June-Oct.
Volume 292
Shipping Book, 1906 Oct.-1907 Feb.
Volume 293
Shipping Book, 1907 Feb.-June
Volume 294
Shipping Book, 1907 June-Sept.
Volume 295
Shipping Book, 1907 Sept.-Dec.
Volume 296
Shipping Book, 1907 Dec.-1908 Mar.
Volume 297
Shipping Book, 1908 Mar.-June
Volume 298
Shipping Book, 1908 Nov.-1909 Feb.
Volume 299
Shipping Book, 1913 Jan.-1914 Nov.
Volume 300
Petersburg Sales, 1913-1915
Volume 301
Wrapping Material Stock Book, 1904-1906
Volume 302
Wrapping Material Stock Book, 1906-1910
Volume 303
Wrapping Material Stock Book, 1910
Volume 304
Wrapping Material Stock Book, 1911
Volume 305
Wrapping Material Stock Book, 1912
Volume 306
Wrapping Material Stock Book, 1913
Volume 307

Payroll and Time Books

These books of wages and hours presumably belonged to the factory at Petersburg that manufactured all the brands of British-American and its subsidiaries. Brand names of the different firms occasionally appear in the volumes. The Time Books have three different formats - apparently for different parts of the operations - and like volumes are listed together. The tables of contents of the two Payroll Ledgers of 1918 list the Leaf Department and Factories No. 1 and No. 2, and the workers in the factories are divided into various categories, some of which are divisions within the plants.

Time Book, 1903 Sept.-1904 Sept.
Volume 308
Time Book, 1905 June-1907 Jan.
Volume 309
Time Book, 1908 Dec.-1910 Oct.
Volume 310
Time Book, 1901 Oct.-1905 Oct.

(Gap in records: 1904 Aug.-1905 June; records of 1903-1904 are from Old St., Wythe St., and West Hill factories)

Volume 47
Time Book, 1906 Apr.-1908 Feb.
Volume 311
Time Book, 1908 Feb.-1909 Dec.
Volume 312
Time Book, 1909 Dec.-1911 July
Volume 313
Payroll Book, 1902 Nov.-1904 Dec.
Volume 314
Payroll Book, 1918 Sept.-Nov.
Volume 315
Payroll Book, 1918 Dec.
Volume 316
Payroll Ledger Factory No. 1, 1918
Volume 317
Payroll Ledger Factory No. 2, 1918
Volume 318
Work Sheet Stock Book, 1905-1906
Volume 319
Work Sheet Stock Book for Fillers, Wrappers, and Casings, 1908-1913
Volume 320
Leaf Stock Book for Factory, No. 2, 1906-1907
Volume 321
Leaf Stock Book for Factory, No. 4, 1908-1909
Volume 322
Leaf Stock Book for Factory, No. 5, 1910
Volume 323
Leaf Stock Book for Factory, No. 6, 1911
Volume 324
Leaf Stock Book for Factory, No. 7, 1912
Volume 325
Leaf Stock Book for Factory, No. 8, 1913
Volume 326
Leaf Stock Bock for Daily Factory Reports, No. 1, 1905-1906
Volume 327
Leaf Stock Book for Daily Factory Reports, No. 2, 1906-1907
Volume 328
Leaf Stock Book for Daily Factory Reports, No. 3, 1907-1908
Volume 329
Leaf Stock Book for Daily Factory Reports, No. 4, 1909
Volume 330
Leaf Stock Book for Daily Factory Reports, No. 5, 1910
Volume 331
Leaf Stock Book for Daily Factory Reports, No. 6, 1911
Volume 332
Leaf Stock Book for Daily Factory Reports, No. 7, 1912
Volume 333
Leaf Stock Book for Daily Factory Reports, No. 8, 1913
Volume 334
Stock Book, 1903
Volume 335
Stock Book, 1904-1905
Volume 336
Stock Book, 1916 (Including some entries of 1915 Dec.)
Volume 337
Stock Book, 1917 (Including some records from 1915-1916)
Volume 338
Brands Stock Book, 1903
Volume 339
Brands Stock Book, No. 1, 1904
Volume 340
Brands Stock Book, No. 2, 1904
Volume 341
Casing Stock Book, 1909
Volume 342
Casing Stock Book, 1910
Volume 343
Casing Stock Book, 1911
Volume 344
Casing Stock Book, 1912
Volume 345
Casing Stock Book, 1913
Volume 346
Casing Cost and Distribution Stock Book, 1913
Volume 347
Record of Tobacco Prized, 1903-1904
Volume 348
Record of Tobacco Prized, 1905-1908
Volume 349
Record of Tobacco Prized, 1905-1910
Volume 350
Record of Tobacco Prized, 1906-1911
Volume 351
Record of Tobacco Prized, 1908-1910
Volume 352
Record of Hogsheads of Leaf Sent to Warehouses, 1911-1912
Volume 353
Old St. and Wythe St. Leaf Accounts, 1904-1905
Volume 354
Record of Dutiable and Taxable Materials Received in and Exported from the Bonded Manufacturing Warehouse, 1906-1909
Volume 355
Record of Drawback Entries for Granulated Sugar and Nulomoline, 1912-1913
Volume 356

8. Export Leaf Tobacco Company

The Export Leaf Tobacco Co. was listed in 1918 and 1924 as a substantial subsidiary of British-American that operated as the latter's tobacco buying agency. It was still listed in 1967 in Moody's Manual of Investments where it was described as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. that was in turn owned entirely by British-American. Information about Export Leaf Tobacco Co. can be found in: the city directories of Petersburg and Richmond; Reavis Cox, Competition in the American Tobacco Industry, 1911-1932 (New York, 1933 ); and in Nannie May Tilley, The Bright-Tobacco Industry, 1860-1929 (Chapel Hill, 1948).

Less than a dozen volumes represent the operations of Export Leaf, and it is not always certain what functions the accounts were meant to record or to which department and city they belonged. In 1919 there was a department at Richmond, according to the city directory, and several volumes are labeled “Richmond Stemmery” , “Richmond Storage,” and “R. S.” In the Petersburg directory for 1915-1916 the company was referred to as a tobacco stemmer and repriser, and several volumes are labeled “Petersburg Dept.” In any case, these books relate more to storage, inventory, and processing than to the firm's activity as a buying agent for British-American.

There is a large collection of papers of the Export Leaf Tobacco Company at East Carolina University.

Receiving Book, 1914-1915
Volume 357
Transfer Book, No. 4, 1913 Oct.-Nov.
Volume 358
Wrapper Dept., Picking Results, 1912-1914 (Mostly 1913-1914)
Volume 359
Leaf Used in the Stemming Room, 1913
Volume 360
Leaf Used in the Stemming Room, 1913-1915
Volume 361
Leaf Used in the Stemming Room, 1915-1916
Volume 362
Leaf Used in the Stemming Room, 1916
Volume 363
Storage Book, 1913
Volume 364
Storage Book, 1913-1914
Volume 365

9. Bland Tobacco Company

The Bland Tobacco Co. of Petersburg, a manufacturer of plug tobacco, appeared in the city directories in the later 1890s. It was dissolved after the American Tobacco Co. purchased its entire capital stock in 1904. Bland was a small factory For its trial balance of early 1905 listed capital stock of only $50,000. The company is noted in the Report of the Commissioner of Corporations on the Tobacco Industry (Washington, 1909), p. 185.

There are only two volumes for this company, but one of them includes significant information about it.

Statements, 1904 Sept.-1905 Jan.

(Includes trial balances Monthly cost details, closing entries, sales, expenses, etc.)

Volume 366
Checkbook, 1904 June-Dec.
Volume 367

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The British-American Tobacco Company Records were purchased by Duke University in 1945.

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