Guide to the David Bullock Harris Papers, 1789-1894


Collection contains correspondence, account books, receipts, statements, and other papers, chiefly relating to David Bullock Harris's training at West Point (1829-1833), his military career, and his tobacco business in Virginia, Kentucky, and England. Includes Civil War military papers and maps, accounts of the sale of slaves, and accounts of trade with Brazil. Also present are letters from Frederick Overton Harris, David's father, while in the Virginia House of Delegates, and from Nathaniel W. Harris, his brother and business partner. Other correspondents include P. G. T. Beauregard, D. H. Mahan, and Sylvanus Thayer.

Collection Details

Collection Number
David Bullock Harris papers
Harris, David Bullock
6.6 Linear Feet, 12 boxes, 5,075 items (including 9 volumes)
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Materials in English

Collection Overview

This collection contains the business and personal correspondence of David Bullock Harris (1814-1864), tobacco exporter and Confederate general; and of his father, wife, and children. Harris's father, Frederick Harris, while in the Virginia House of Delegates, wrote letters to his wife and later to David Bullock Harris. Otherwise the papers reflect the career of David Bullock Harris, many being concerned with the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York, while Harris was a student there, 1829-1833.

Included also are many letters relating to Harris's tobacco business in Virginia and Kentucky; and to the Civil War, with military papers and maps. There are also many letters to Harris's widow, usually from her children; many receipts and account books relating to the tobacco business; prices current; statements of J. K. Gilliat and Company, tobacco importers in London; letter of N.W. Harris, brother of David Bullock, concerning the tobacco business; letters from William T. Barrett, brother-in-law and partner of Harris in Kentucky; and letters concerning Harris's successful venture in trading with Brazil, exchanging flour for coffee.

Among the correspondents are P. G. T. Beauregard, D. H. Mahan, and Sylvanus Thayer. Added material includes an account book, 1845-1857, listing prices of slaves; personal and business correspondence and financial and legal papers, including items addressed to Miss Chattie C. McNeill, St. Paul's, North Carolina; settlement of estates of D. C. Overton, Martha Overton, and D. B. Harris; Harris's tobacco business; and the sale of slaves.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], in the David Bullock Harris Family Papers Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence and papers, 1789-1841
Box 1
Correspondence and papers, 1842-1845
Box 2
Correspondence and papers, 1846-1849
Box 3
Correspondence and papers, 1850-1851
Box 4
Correspondence and papers, 1852-1853
Box 5
Correspondence and papers, 1854-1858
Box 6
Correspondence and papers, 1859-1864
Box 7
Correspondence and papers, 1865-1872
Box 8
Correspondence and papers, 1873-1890
Box 9
Correspondence and papers, 1891-1894 and undated
Box 10
Volumes, diaries, undated
Box 11
Anonymous diary, 1854-1867
Box 12
Correspondence and papers, undated
Box 12
Account book, 1840-1865
(Catalog record describes item as 'mutilated.')

Volume M:1674

Box 12
Account book, 1842-1846
Volume M:1675
Ledger and tobacco accounts book, 1875-1882
General note

from Slab City, Goochland County, Virginia.

Volume F:1677
Tobacco Received at Cloversport, Kentucky (Ledger), 1840-1844
Volume L:1680
Tobacco received at Cloversport, Kentucky (Ledger), 1850-1852

Formerly volume L:1681

Box 11
Receipt book, 1840-1844
Volume M:1679
School notebook, circa 1849
General note

Notes on English history, the school work of Elizabeth Louisa (Knight) Harris.

Volume S:1678
Civil War military maps, 1862-1864
Oversize-folder 1

Historical Note

David Bullock Harris was a tobacco exporter and Confederate Army general from Louisa County, Virginia.

Frederick Overton Harris was David's father and served in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Nathaniel W. Harris was his brother and business partner.

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The David Bullock Harris Family papers were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 1936.

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