Guide to the Pope-Carter Family papers, 1791-1967


Pope and Carter familes of Giles, Maury, and Williamson Counties, Tennessee. Chiefly correspondence, together with writings, legal and financial papers, and other material, of the related Pope and Carter families of Giles, Maury, and Williamson counties, Tenn. Letters (1820-1865) pertain to agriculture, steam boating on the Mississippi River, selling goods to Choctaw Indians, pioneering in Texas, travels of a planter's wife, Confederate military service, Columbus, Miss, and related Clark, Rivers, Rodes (or Rhodes), and Trotter families. Twentieth century material centers on the career of Col. William Rivers Pope, especially during World War I, when he was a regimental commander in the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Pope-Carter Family papers
4 Linear Feet, 1,370 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

Papers of the Pope and Carter families contain the letters, 1900-1939, of William Rivers Pope, officer in the United States Army, including a few letters dealing with his service in the Philippines, 1900-1901, and a large number of letters concerning his experiences in France in World War I from June, 1918, to June,1919, as commander of the 113th Infantry Regiment in the Meuse-Argonne offensive and commander of the military police in the area of the American Embarcation Center, LeMans, France.

World War I letters comment on the overall war effort, the peace, characteristics of soldiers, the role of the Negro soldier in the war, and the people and countryside of France. Letters, 1919-1939, deal for the most part with personal and family matters and refer to a few events of Pope's later military career, particularly his part in the stratosphere flight sponsored by the National Geographic Society and the Army Air Corps, 1934-1935.

The collection also contains letters, 1818-1821, to Dr. Benjamin Carter (1792-1865), a physician in Tennessee, from his brother John Conyers Carter (1793-1828), a lawyer in Camden, South Carolina, concerning family and professional matters, the panic of 1819 and other economic and political issues, internal improvements, and problems of the judicial system in South Carolina; and letters, 1831-1834, from his cousin John Carter, a lawyer and former congressman, pertaining to family affairs and life in Camden. Letters from members of the Clark family in Columbus, Mississippi, to members of the Pope family in Tennessee, 1827-1834, describe working on steamboats on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, mercantile business in Columbus, and trading with the Choctaw Indians.

Correspondence, 1833-1834, between Gustavus Adolphus Pope in Mississippi and his family in Tennessee concerns the agricultural situation, prices for cotton and other crops, public land policy, and attitudes on slavery and religion. Correspondence, 1836-1855, among members of the family of William Rouse Pope, including Lesey Jane (Webster) Pope and William Leonidas Pope, concerns the settling of estates, family matters, and the prospects for settling in Texas, including farming conditions, opportunities for employment, land transfers, and social and religious life, Letters, 1853-1865, of Sarah Myra (Rodes) Rivers Trotter to her daughter, Cynthia (Rivers) Carter, discuss family gossip, travels, homemaking concerns, social events, and the impact of the Civil War. Other Civil War letters include those of Benjamin Franklin Carter to his wife, Cynthia (Rivers) Carter, and the letters of William Leonidas Pope and Gustavus Adolphus Pope.

Writings include a manuscript entitled "Recollections of the [Civil] War," by Cynthia (Rivers) Carter, 1899; "History of the Military Police Corps, American Embarcation Center, A. E. F.," 1919; and "Brief History of the Twenty-Ninth Division, 1921." Legal papers, 1796-1892, pertain mainly to the Carter family and contain land grants, deeds, indentures for land, wills, court decisions, and court authorizations for the sale of slaves.

Financial papers, 1791-1868, relate for the most part to the affairs of the Pope family in the 1820s and 1830s and include accounts, promissory notes, tax receipts, and receipts for purchases. Genealogical material in the collection includes Cynthia (Rivers) Carter's account of the family of her grandfather, Tyree Rodes, and a few items concerning the genealogy of slaves owned by the Carter family. Clippings, 1934-1935, pertain to the military career of William Rivers Pope, as do the newspapers and other printed material.

Volumes include the notebook of Dr. Benjamin Carter, 1827, mainly concerning money owed him; two account books, 1834-1837 and 1836-1845, of William Rouse Pope, and one account book, 1851-1876, of Gustavus A. Pope; diary and memorandum book of James R. Pope, containing an account of his participation in the battle of Shiloh, 1862; anonymous notebook, 1873-1900, containing copies of legal documents; publications; and maps of various areas of France, including LeMans, the MeuseArgonne, and Verdun.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], Pope-Carter Family Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, 1818-1917
Box 1
Correspondence, 1918 Jan.-Oct.
Box 2
Correspondence, 1918 Nov.-1919 March
Box 3
Correspondence, 1919 April-1933
Box 4
Correspondence, 1934-1939 and undated.
Box 5
Transcripts of Correspondence, 1819-1901 June and undated.
Box 5
Transcripts of Addresses and Writings
Box 5
Addresses and Writings, 1877-1899, 1919-1967 and undated.
Box 5
Recollections of the Civil War, Cynthia Rivers Carter (1899-duplicate copies)
Box 5
Transcripts of Legal Papers
Box 6
Legal Papers, 1778-1892 and undated.
Box 6
Commissions, Diplomas, and Certificates
Box 6
Transcripts of Financial Papers
Box 6
Financial Papers, 1791-1868 and undated.
Box 6
Box 7
Genealogy of Slaves
Box 7
Sheet Music, 1846-1935 and undated.
Box 7
Clippings, 1863-1935 and undated.
Box 7
Box 7
Miscellany, 1800-1936 and undated.
Box 7
Notes by Mrs. L. J. Livingston on the Nineteenth-Century Portions of the Collection
Box 7
Transcripts of Miscellany
Box 7
William Rouse Pope: Account Book, 1834-1837
Box 8
William Rouse Pope: Accounts with Ann L. and Sarah E. Baugh, 1836-1845
Box 8
Cynthia Carter: Legal Notebook, 1873-1900
Box 8
Gustavus Adolphus Pope: Account Book, 1851-1876
Box 8
J.R. Pope, 1860
Box 8
"In Memoriam of Mrs. Jane E. Rodes"
Box 8
"Sociability Songs--For Community, School, Home," owned by Col. W.R. Pope
Box 8
Infantry Journal, 1927 August (reference to Col W. R. Pope's 113th Infantry's Participation in capture of Etrayes Ridge in First World War)
Box 8
"Colonel W.R. Pope March" by Tech. Sgt. Ferretti (sheet music)
Box 8
Land disposition map, August 23, 1846
Oversize-folder 1
Legal Papers
Oversize-folder 1
Croix de Guerre citation, 1924
Oversize-folder 2
Military appointment certificates, 1901-1921 (signed by McKinley, Roosevelt, Wilson and Harding)
Oversize-folder 2
Field Maps (France), 1918, undated
Oversize-folder 2
Commissions, Diplomas, and Certificates, 1901-1935
Oversize-folder 3
Maps of France, 1911-1919
Oversize-folder 3

Historical Note

Pope and Carter families of Giles, Maury, and Williamson Counties, Tennessee.

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The Pope-Carter Family papers were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase from 1967 to 1975.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library Staff

Encoded by Abraham Lee, February 2010