Guide to the Tillinghast Family Papers, 1763-1971


Family from North Carolina, Virginia, and Massachusetts. Family and business letters, personal journals, deeds, legal items, and papers (chiefly 1830-1911) of William Norwood Tillinghast (b. 1831), merchant of Fayetteville, N.C.; William A. Norwood (d. ca. 1866), judge of Hillsboro, N.C.; and of the Tillinghast and Norwood families of Massachusetts, Virginia, and North Carolina. Contains information about the mercantile activities of the Tillinghast family; social life and customs in North Carolina before 1900; business and economic conditions in the South before, during, and after the Civil War; agriculture in the South Atlantic States before 1860; the secession of North Carolina; living conditions during the Civil War and Reconstruction; events of the war in North Carolina; the South during the late 19th century; and camp life during the Spanish American War. Correspondents include Kemp P. Battle and Henry Clay Robinson.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Tillinghast family papers
15 Linear Feet, 4,910 items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

Personal, business, and legal papers of the Tillinghast family of Fayette ville, North Carolina, relating to family and business interests in New England, New York, North Carolina, and Georgia. Early corre spondence is chiefly with relatives in New England discussing cotton and tobacco prices and markets, relations with France and England, the effects of the embargo on mer chants in Taunton, Massachusetts, and social life and customs in North Carolina. There are also a copy of a letter, 1765, from Sir Francis Bernard, royal governor of Massachu setts, describing the turmoil in Boston and the activities of the Sons of Liberty; and a letter, 1781, from James Hogg requesting payment for supplies-taken from him by the army. Papers prior to 1850 focus principally on Samuel Willard Tillinghast (d. 1860), commission merchant, and his wife, Jane (Norwood) Tillinghast, daughter of Judge William A. Norwood (1774-1842) and Robina (Hogg) Norwood, (d. 1860) whom he married in 1830, dealing with mercantile accounts and business relations with firms in New York, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island; family matters; life in Chapel Hill, Hills borough, and Fayetteville, North Carolina; trips to New York to purchase goods for the store; the Protestant Episcopal Church; fires in 1831 and 1845 which destroyed Fayetteville; rumors in Fayetteville of slave insurrections in other parts of North Carolina; the settlement of the estate of William A. Norwood; education at the Virginia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, Staunton, Virginia, attended by Thomas Hooper Tilling hast (b. 1833), son of Samuel Tillinghast and Jane (Norwood) Tillinghast, and at the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, New York, attended by Thomas Hooper Tillinghast and his brother, David Ray Tillinghast; social life, politics, financial affairs, and cotton planting in Georgia; yellow fever in Georgia; railroad construction in North Carolina and Georgia; the building of plank roads; private schools in Hillsborough and Fayetteville; the gingham School, Hillsborough, and later, in Mebane, North Carolina; the temperance movement, 1842; the Whigs and the Loco-Focos in North Carolina, 1840; the speeches of Louis D. Henry (1788-1846); and the growth of Fayetteville, its prospects, and need for expanded banking facilities.

Papers, 1850-1900, relate chiefly to the children of Samuel Willard Tillinghast and Jane (Norwood) Tillinghast, especially William Norwood Tillinghast, who first worked with his father, and then established Tillinghast's Crockery Store. The papers concern the Democratic and Whig conventions in 1852; the presidential election of 1852; Franklin Pierce and slavery; business, health and social life in Savannah, Georgia; studies, literary societies, and student life at Normal College (later Trinity College), Randolph County, North Carolina, 1853-1854; college life at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, during the 1850s, and the commencements of 1852 and 1856; the Nicholas Hotel in New York, New York, 1853; life in Liberia at Monrovia as described by a former slave; commencement at the Greensboro Female College (now Greensboro College), Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1856; efforts to send Episcopal missionaries to China; the Belmont Theological Seminary, Kentucky, and the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia; secession sentiment; the Constitution; the election of 1860; confusion in Washington, D.C., April, 1861; secessionists versus unionists in North Carolina; civilian life during the Civil War; the Emancipation Proclamation; life of a Confederate soldier, including food, casualties, blockade running, conscription, the progress of the war, preaching to troops, the battle of Gettysburg, use of observation balloons by the Union Army, and Sherman's march through Fayetteville and depredations by his troops; economic conditions after the war; conditions, conduct, and wages of freedmen; the Home Institute, Sumter, South Carolina, a school for freedmen; politics in North Carolina in 1868; Governor William W. Holden and the Radicals; Chapel Hill in 1868 after the suspension of the University; education of the deaf by Thomas Hooper Tillinghast, David Ray Tillinghast, and Sarah Ann Tillinghast; business trips to New York, New York; the movement of Davenport College, Lenoir, North Carolina, to Hickory, North Carolina, where it became Claremont College; the Spanish-American War, including mobilization, camp life, artillery school on Sullivan's Island (South Carolina), yellow fever, and camp on Tybee Island (Georgia); life in Washington, D. C., ca. 1900, including Marine Band concerts and government employment; and the visit of Queen Victoria to Dublin, Ireland.

Papers after 1900 are primarily those of Anne Troy (Wetmore) Tillinghast (d. ca. 1948), wife of John Baker Tillinghast (d. 1914), and of her daughter, Anne Wetmore Tillinghast, pertaining to public schools and education in North Carolina; various educational organizations such as the North Carolina Teachers' Assembly and the North Carolina State Primary Teachers' Association; nursing with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War I; United War Work Campaign; the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive; the Armistice celebration, the Protestant Episcopal Church, especially the 1920s through the 1940s; the Commission of Young People's Work in the Diocese of East Carolina; Young People's Conference, 1926; the Young People's Service League; St. Mary's School and Junior College, Raleigh, North Carolina; the Richmond (Virginia) Division of the College of William and Mary (now Virginia Commonwealth University); St. Paul's Girls' School, Baltimore, Maryland, where Anne Wetmore Tillinghast was recreational director; financial difficulties during the Depression; the Tar Heel Society of Maryland; the North Carolina Society of Baltimore; Anne (Wetmore) Tillinghast's membership on the Cumberland Board of Public Welfare, the board of trustees of the Fayetteville City Schools, and the Thompson Orphanage Jubilee Committee (Charlotte, North Carolina); labor and financial difficulties at the Erwin Cotton Mills, Erwin, North Carolina, and the 1934 strike; restoration of Bath, North Carolina; employment on the Works Project Administra-tion's recreational program; the recreation department of Fayetteville; the death of Anne (Wetmore) Tillinghast; life in the U. S. Foreign Service, 1962-1966, in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, Egypt, India, and Sweden; and other personal and family matters.

Other papers and volumes include school exercises; essays by Samuel Willard Tillinghast on education in Fayetteville, the Female High School in Fayetteville, the militia, and John C. Calhoun; bills and receipts relating to the mercantile business of Samuel Willard Tillinghast; an account book, 1783, of an "Adventuring Company" with references to voyages to Jamaica, Hamburg, and Lisbon; an account book of the Ray family; Sunday school records of St. John's Episcopal Church, Fayetteville; journal, 1804 and 1816, of Paris Jencks Tillinghast, Sr., father of Samuel Willard Tillinghast, concerning life in early Fayetteville, tobacco, river traffic and warehouses, Scottish immigration, opposition to slavery, and his shipping interests; logbook, 1804, of Daniel Jencks Tillinghast (d. 1804), son of Paris Jencks Tillinghast, Sr., regarding a voyage to the Far East for coffee and sugar; journal, 1812-1813, of William Holroyd Tillinghast (d. 1813), son of Paris Jencks Tillinghast, Sr., concerning prices, embargoes, the scarcity of goods, orations at Fayetteville Academy in 1813, and military and naval actions; letter books, 1824-1831 and 1852-1861, of Samuel Willard Tillinghast regarding his mercantile business with northern companies, including the sale of cotton, tobacco, and beeswax and his partner ships with Cyrus P. Tillinghast and, later, with D. A. Ray; a sales book, 1832-1845, from the auctioneering firms of Thomas Sanford and Co. and Samuel Willard Tillinghast at Fayetteville, containing accounts for sales of a great variety of goods, the personal effects of Henry L. Jones and of Mrs. David Smith in 1833, and of slaves in 1832, a task book, 1849-1851, for turpentine operations relating to the use of slaves and purchases of clothing for them; invoice books, 1853-1861 and 1877-1880, of Tillinghast's Crockery Store operated by William Norwood Tillinghast; the journal,1861, of Emily Tillinghast, daughter of Samuel Willard Tillinghast, describing home life during the early months of the Confederacy; the funeral service of Edward Peet, teacher at the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb; the February, 1865, issue of The Fanwood Chronicle edited by David Ray Tillinghast at the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb; invoice books, 1866-1883, of the Fayetteville Gas Light Company of which William Norwood f Tillinghast was secretary and treasurer; photocopy of a letter (56 pp.) of Sarah Ann Tillinghast describing making clothing for the Fayetteville company of the 1st North Carolina Infantry during the Civil War, and detailing the activities of the Union soldiers when Sherman captured Fayetteville; an account by Robina Tillinghast of Sherman's march through Fayetteville; statement, 1892, of the Reverend Job Turner, a missionary among the deaf; account, 1926, of the founding and history of the North Carolina Historical Commission in which Susan (Tillinghast) West took part; two family Bibles; legal papers including wills, land deeds and indentures, and marriage bonds; financial papers, including receipts, profit and loss statements, and material regarding the life insurance policy of John Baker Tillinghast; papers relating to the estate of John H. Culbreth, 1930s; genealogical material; invitations; programs; funeral booklet; autograph album; records of St. John's Episcopal Church, 1930s and 1940s, of the St. John's Young People's Service League, and of the St. John's Woman's Auxiliary; writings and addresses; poetry; words to songs; religious writings, especially relating to St. John's Episcopal Church; clippings; annual celebrations of the battle of Moore's Creek; scrapbooks; notebooks; and pictures.

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How to Cite

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

Contents of the Collection

Box 1
Correspondence, 1763-1840
(3 folders)
Box 1
Correspondence, 1841-1847
Box 2
Correspondence, 1848-1852
Box 3
Correspondence, 1853-1854
Box 4
Correspondence, 1855-1859
Box 5
Correspondence, 1860-1865
Box 6
Correspondence, 1866-1868
Box 7
Correspondence, 1869-1882
Box 8
Correspondence, 1883-1898
Box 9
Correspondence, 1899-1910
Box 10
Correspondence, 1911 Jan.-Sept.
Box 11
Correspondence, 1911 Oct.-1919
Box 12
Correspondence, 1920-1934 May
Box 13
Correspondence, 1934 June-1936 July
Box 14
Correspondence, 1936 Aug.-1943
Box 15
Correspondence, 1944-1948
Box 16
Correspondence, 1949-1964
Box 17
Correspondence, 1965-1971 and undated
Box 18
Correspondence, undated
Box 19
Legal and financial papers
Box 20
Addresses and writings
Box 21
Miscellany, 1803-1970 and undated
Box 22
Miscellany, undated
Box 23
Clippings, 1866-1971 and undated
(6 folders)
Box 23
Printed materials, 1862-1929
(2 folders)
Box 23
Pamphlets, programs, articles, ads, 1930-1969 and undated
(3 folders)
Box 24
(2 folders)
Box 24
Family Bibles

Comprises two family Bibles, one from Thomas H. Tillinghast, the other from Paris Tillinghast. Both contain genealogical information, regarding the Tillinghast and Huske families.

Thomas H. Tillinghast Bible, 1860

The Holy Bible : containing the Old and New Testaments, translated out of the original tongues, and with the former translations diligently compared and revised. New York : American Bible Society, 1858. Inscribed to Thomas H. Tillinghast from his grandmother Robina Norwood, aged 88, July 11, 1860. Pasted in following page 1026 are six pages of family genealogy. An additional 5 pages of genealogy were laid in.

Box 25
Paris Tillinghast Bible, 1850

The Old Testament / translated out of the original Hebrew, and with the former translations diligently compared and revised : together with the Apocrypha / done by the special command of King James I of England.Philadelphia : Printed and published by M. Carey, imprint on title page is lacking, probably 1813. New Testament has separate title page, following page 834, imprint 1814. Bible was inscribed to W. W. Huske from his grandmother, A.P. Huske. Sewn in following page 676 are 10 pages of genealogical history for the Tillinghast and Huske families. A few other genealogical entries were written onto the surrounding pages, for lack of space on the sewn in pages.

Box 25A
Women's Auxiliary St. Elizabeth Chapter, Mrs. W.N. Tillinghast, 1937-1938
(2 items)
Box 26
League notes of Mrs. W.N. Tillinghast, undated
Box 26
Bank books
(3 items)
Box 26
Address books
(2 items)
Box 26
Box 26
Records from St. John's Episcopal church
Box 26
Notes from Sewanee Summer Training School, 1936
Box 26
William Holryd Tillinghast memo, 1812-1813
Box 27
Ships log or diary of training voyage to Java, Daniel Jencks Tillinghast, 1804
Box 27
Journals of Paris Jencks Tillinghast, Sr., 1803-1804, 1816
Box 27
Bookkeeping exercise book ledger, Walter Hogg, 1783
Box 27
Emily R. Tillinghast diaries, 1859, 1861, 1871
(3 items)
Box 27
Account books
(3 items)
Box 27
Sunday school grade and minute books, 1853-1857
(3 items)
Box 27
Latin lines book
Box 27
Task book, 1849-1851
Box 28
Anne Wetmore school notes, 1899-1905
(2 items)
Box 28
Branch Cranje outline of life of Christ
Box 28
Susie B. Tillinghast autograph book, 1895-1892
Box 28
Memorial register for William Norwood Tillinghast Jr.
Box 28
Scrapbook “Our Little Susie”
Box 28
Account book of William Norwood Tillinghast
Box 28
Fayetteville Gas Light Company invoice book, 1866-1883
Box 29
Tillinghast Crockery Store invoice book, 1853-1861
Box 29
Tillinghast Crockery Store invoice book, 1877-1880
Box 30
Samuel Willard Tillinghast and Company letterbook, 1852-1861
Volume L:5736
Thomas Sandford and Co. sales book, 1832-1838
Volume F:5737

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The Tillinghast Family Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1958, and gift in 2014.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library staff, 1958

Encoded by Elizabeth Shesko, May 2011

Updated to include 2014-0194 by Alice Poffinberger, November 2014

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 4-30-1958, 2014-0194