Guide to the Jacob Van Lear Papers, 1815-1889


The bulk of this collection consists of receipts for dry goods, and farming equipment, including a S.C. bill for taxes on horses and slaves. There are also a few family letters, and two wills signed by Jacob Van Lear in 1820 and 1821.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Jacob Van Lear papers
1807-1907 and undated
Van Lear, Jacob, 1789-1876
1.0 Linear Feet
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Materials in English

Collection Overview

The majority of the collection is financial papers. These are arranged chronologically, with one folder per year. Most of the financial papers are invoices, bills, accounts, receipts, and taxes. Some of the receipts are for slaves, equipment for his farm, and basic goods. The collection also contains court papers, contracts, and wills; letters of condolence for the death of Claudia, Van Lear's daughter; an historical essay about a Reverend J. Watts; correspondence with Van Lear's brother-in-law, James Tate; and four undated recipes for medicine.

More Biographical / Historical Info


The collection is arranged into five general topics which are: Financial Papers, Correspondence, Legal Papers, Recipes, and one essay. Materials are arranged chronologically within each topic.

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use & Permissions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Jacob Van Lear Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Financial Papers, 1807-1847
(40 folders)
Box 1
Financial Papers, 1835-1907 and undated
(56 folders)
Box 2
Correspondence, 1815-1905 and undated
(2 folders)

First folder is 1815-1868. Second folder is 1873-1905 and undated.

Box 2
Legal Papers, 1829-1891
Box 2
Essay about Reverend J. Watts, undated
Box 2
Recipes, undated
Box 2

Historical Note

Jacob Van Lear was a resident of Augusta Co., Va. He married Jane Berry Tate, and the two had seven children, Claudia, John, William, Samuel, Mary, Eveline, and James.

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The Jacob Van Lear Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1959 and 1970.

Processing Information

Processed by Ben Saalfeld, April 2016

Accessions described in this guide include: 1959-0046, 1970-0165