Guide to the George Coke Dromgoole Papers, 1767-1974


Planter, state legislator, and U.S. Representative, from Lawrenceville (Brunswick Co.), Va. Papers of G. C. Dromgoole, son Edward Dromgoole, and other members of the Dromgoole family, including the papers of Richard B. Robinson, George's nephew by marriage. George's papers concern family, business, and political matters and include a large number of letters dealing with plantation work and the management of slaves; items on the Democratic Party before the Civil War; and letters from Edward when he was a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Richard B. Robinson's papers include correspondence, business papers, and a daybook. Edward Dromgooles papers deal largely with legal and business matters and contain plantation records, accounts of cotton sales, and letters from tenants after the Civil War, and from a student at the Virginia Military Institute in the 1870s. The collection also includes Brunswick County, Va., legal records, including justice of the peace, county, and Circuit Court minutes, orders, summonses, warrants, and depositions. There are volumes, including daybooks, plantation books, an account book for the estate of Thomas Dromgoole, and a description of Edward Dromgoole's home and family genealogy.

Collection Details

Collection Number
George Coke Dromgoole papers
Dromgoole, George Coke, 1797-1847
8 Linear Feet, 4564 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

The correspondence and papers of Edward Dromgoole, prominent planter of Brunswick Co., Va., during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and sometime lawyer at South Gaston, N.C. The letters and papers give an excellent account of plantation life and management just previous to and following the Civil War in Va., dealing mainly with such matters as the settlement of accounts and notes, the sale of slaves and cotton, the production of such crops as corn, cotton, and tobacco, land tenure, land drainage, labor agreements, etc. A large number of the letters to Dromgoole following the Civil War are from his land tenants, which discuss in great detail the problems of plantation management. A few plantation account sheets and Dromgoole's daybook showing plantation expenses (1892-1893) are included.

A few letters from M.M. Harrison, a student at Virginia Military Institute during the 1870s, to Dromgoole, his guardian, give much information on V.M.I. and some account of the death and funeral of Commodore Mathew Fontaine Maury, a professor at the Institute, in 1873.

Also included in the collection are bonds and obligations; land deeds; Justice of the Peace, County, and Circuit Court minutes; orders, summonses, warrants, and despositions of Brunswick County; articles of agreement for land tenure and labor on Dromgoole's plantations; various obituaries; land plats; the will of James Ledbetter of Brunswick County (Dec. 1, 1820); advertisements; numerous bills and receipts; promissary notes; and a memorandum book.

An item of especial interest in the collection is a copy of the petition for exemption from Confederate military service made by Dromgoole in 1864, in which he discusses the size and importance of the plantation under his management, both those of his own and of his wards.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], George Coke Dromgoole Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Letters, 1812-1844
Box 1
Letters, 1845-1869
Box 2
Letters, 1870-1920 and undated
Box 3
Letters, 1972
Box 3
Bills, Receipts, Indentures, 1760s-1840s
Box 4
Bills, Receipts, Indentures, 1840s
Box 5
Bills, Receipts, Indentures, 1850s
Box 6
Bills, Receipts, Indentures, 1850s-1860s
Box 7
Bills, Receipts, Indentures, 1860s-1870s
Box 8
Bills, Receipts, Indentures, 1880s-1910, and undated
Box 9
Miscellaneous items, undated
Box 9
Account book: "Negroes Ages," 1843-1865
Box 9
Memo book, 1892-1893
Box 9
Receipt book, 1847-1862
Volume M:926
Ledger, 1849-1862
Volume L:5928
Plantation book, 1853-1865
Volume M:924
Plantation book, 1854-1862
Volume L:923
Plantation book, 1861-1865
Volume M:925

Historical Note

Dromgoole was a large planter and politician of local prominence. He practice law, served in both houses of the State legislature, and was a delegate to the Virginia Convention of 1829 prior to his service in Congress, 1835-1841 and 1843-1847.

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The George Coke Dromgoole Papers were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 1933-1955.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library Staff, 1989

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, August 2011