Sunday, April 3, 2011

Watts Collection, documents 76-100

Checklist of documents in the Watts Collection at the Historical Society of Western Virginia, Roanoke, Virginia. To consult these documents, go to and click on “Visit HMWV's Virtual Collection!” The documents can be found by a keyword search, or by catalog number using “Click and Search”.

            The documents in this group have dates between 1831 and 1833, with one exception: 1998.26.92, a letter from William Preston Peyton dated 1856. There is no apparent reason for its location in the collection. The remaining documents fall primarily into two groups. The larger, containing 14 items, consists of account statements, receipts, and similar business papers, for the most part quite short. Some relate to the operation of Oaklands, such as the receipt for payment of the 1833 tithes, which gives the number of people, both white and black, who were taxed, and the number of acres of the Watts estate (1998.26.95). Two statements from Holcombe & Tyree, merchants in Lynchburg, Virginia, are of interest in part because the firm continued to deal with the Watts family for many years, both as sellers of miscellaneous supplies and as purchasers of products from the farm (1998.26.79, 96).
            A second, smaller group of documents includes six letters from or about George Hancock, who had moved from the Roanoke area to Kentucky; one of the letters  reports on the political climate and describes the rapid growth of the city of Louisville (1998.26.82). Two items  concern Edward Watts’s purchase of land from the Noffsinger family, which had moved West; it will take some time to complete this business (1998.26.89, 91). Finally, there is a letter from Rowland Madison, who was in Ohio (1998.26.77); and a letter from Edward Watts’s brother-in-law, Temple Gwathmey (1998.26.85).

April 7, 1831
Bill for purchases by Edward Watts from Howel Davies in Lynchburg, Virginia, listing a number of items, most of which are painting supplies, with the price of each, and the total cost, and receipted at the bottom

July 22, 1831
Letter from Rowland Madison at Sciota River, Ohio, to Elijah McClanahan in Big Lick (Roanoke), Virginia, discussing an arrangement to conclude a business deal, including the possibility that McClanahan could stop at Madison's sister's house in Danville, Kentucky, on his way to Missouri, or that he could deposit the money in a Richmond bank; letter ends with expression of pleasure at the conversion of Andrew Lewis

my best respects to Cousin and all friends I should take great pleasure to see Uncle A. I hope he will forever live close to God and at last receive the crown lai[d up] for those who love and serve the Lord. Respectfully your obt svt, R. Madison

August 30, 1831
Account settlement of Elijah McClanahan with Edward Watts, itemizing obligations and payments dating from 1812 to 1831, leaving a balance due to Watts of $81.61

Account of Edward Watts with Holcombe and Tyree, merchants, probably in Lynchburg, Virginia, for the sale of agricultural products on Watts’s behalf and the purchase of farm supplies by Watts

February 26, 1831
Account of Dennis Carrol with Edward Watts, including charges for milling flour and for other foodstuffs, with receipt for partial payment

February 12, 1831
Incomplete letter from George Hancock, near Louisville, Kentucky, to Edward Watts in Botetourt County, Virginia, regarding business matters, including the settlement of Richardson's debts to Hancock; a possible conflict among the heirs to the Hancock estate, notably the children of General William Clark and his wife Julia Hancock; the payment of a debt to Sheffey, involving Hancock's brother-in-law William Croghan; and the revision of the terms of an arrangement between Hancock and John Tompkins

June 23, 1831
Letter from George Hancock, near Louisville, Kentucky, to Edward Watts in Botetourt County, Virginia, regarding business matters, principally debts owed to Hancock by Richardson and Wilson, concluding with news about political opinions in Kentucky and the rapid growth of the city of Louisville

I have been through several counties of the lower part of this state and find them warmly engaged in politics. There have been many changes from the Jackson side. Chilton will be elected by at least 800 votes. Tompkins & Yancy will have a close election. Tompkins (Clay) however it is thought will be elected. Thruston in this district it is thought will defeat Wickleff. Notwithstanding every mail has been loaded with circulars and the "Globe" from Washington, to be circulated through the county. There probably never was more excitement in Ky than at this time. Our city is improving very rapidly. There are 400 large brick buildings going up this summer. We have three daily papers, three publishd twice a week and one every Saturday. To give you some idea of the comercial importance of the place I will take the liberty to send you some of them. Please present my respectfull remembrances to your family and believe me, Yours truly, Geo. Hancock

November 1832
Receipt from the Clerk of Botetourt County Court, Virginia, to Edward Watts for recording a deed from Noffsinger and his wife

October 1832
Receipt from the Clerk of Botetourt County Court, Virginia, to Edward Watts for copying a deed from Spalls to Pate and Company

July 1, 1832
Letter from Temple Gwathmey, in Richmond, Virginia, to his brother-in-law Edward Watts, in Big Lick (Roanoke), Virginia, regarding tobacco shipments and sales, including a transfer of a crop from J. W. Scott, and quoting recent prices; also some news of family

I have a letter from Mrs Morris today. She & all there as well as all at our house are well. Fine dry tobacco & tobacco of body sells very well. I sold Mr Old's crop of 6 hhds at 13 # average, wheat 116 ct. In haste yrs truly, Temple Gwathmey. Carter has gone to Paris for 3 or 4 months to learn to speak French. He was in fine health in May. T. G.

November 26, 1832
Receipt from William Anderson, surveyor of Botetourt County, Virginia, to Jeremiah Whitten, for a survey of 64 acres including the Big Lick Tavern

May 20, 1832
Memo of payment from Edward Watts to a bank of money received from Charles Johnston and other sources for Joshua R. C. Brown

December 12, 1832
Receipt from John Brandyburg of Scruggs and Bagby, merchants in Lynchburg, Virginia, for ten barrels of flour received from Edward Watts, with the calculation of the payment due

August 28, 1832
Letter from John H. Noffsinger in Carlinsville, Illinois, to Edward Watts in Botetourt County, Virginia, regarding the sale of Noffsinger's mother's land in Virginia, asking Watts to obtain the deed from Daniel Stoner and pay him for the sale; the letter includes a signed receipt from Stoner

The interest of Mr Coffman in that same tract of land perhaps I can git it for you if he has not sold it. I have some land in Ketucky neare Mr Coffman. Perhaps can make an exchange with him if you feel so dispost to give the same price 200 doll. Let me no. I am yours with respect, John H. Nofsinger

July 9, 1832
Memo of delivery of hemp from William A. Watson to William Anthony Strickland, for Edward Watts, giving the quantities weighed and delivered

January 8, 1832
Letter from John H. Noffsinger in Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, to Edward Watts, in Big Lick (Roanoke), Botetourt County, Virginia, agreeing to the sale of land belonging to the Noffsinger family and requesting that the documents be sent to Illinois for signature

March 4, 1856
Letter from William Preston Peyton in Abingdon, Virginia, to James Coles Bruce, asking to be released as security on a loan to William Madison Peyton, stating that his own situation has changed since the original loan agreement fifteen years earlier, and that William Madison Peyton has agreed to substitute his home Elmwood as the security; cites Edward Watts as authority for its value

If there is no incumbrance on Col Peyton's homestead Elmwood of a later date than my mortgage & he will secure the debt of $6,000 & int. on this estate, it will be as good a debt as any on earth. The 640 acres he lives on can't poss[ibly] be worth less than $40,000 and how much more I don't know. Old Genl Watts will tell you so & he puts a lower estimate on land than any gentleman in Roanoke. All you want I suppose is to have the debt secure past all shadow of doubt. If you feel that the debt is entirely secure by the real estate, will you release me? If Col Peyton fails to amply secure this debt on real estate & you fail to take the necessary legal steps to collect the debt, then in that case I will plead this notice as good reason why I shouldn't be held responsible for the claim. Please let me hear from you. I will remain here till this affair is settled. Very Resp[ectful]ly, Wm P. Peyton

April 23, 1830
Order from William Crogham to Edward Watts to pay money to George Hancock on bonds that Hancock had assigned to Crogham, with Hancock's receipt for payment in full dated October 6, 1833

June 20, 1833
Agreement for Jonathan Tosh to rent a house and smithy from David Bower from September 1, 1833, until December 25, 1834, for $70

Receipt from the Sheriff of  Botetourt County, Virginia, to Edward Watts for payment of tithes, including for 61 slaves, 32 horses, 1 coach, and 2012 acres of land; signed by the deputy sheriff, William Kyle; includes clerk’s tickets charged to the estate of General James Breckinridge and Temple Gwathmey

Edward Watts
To Botetourt Shff                                             Dr
1833    To 1 white & 47 Bl tithes               $26.95
                                                61 slaves      15.25
                                                32 horses       1.86
                                                1 coach          2.50
            2012 A[cre]s Land                          22.42
            Recd payment for J. Hannah           68.98
            B.C. Wm Kyle D.S.

July 10, 1833
Statement of the account of Edward Watts with Holcombe and Tyree, merchants in Lynchburg, Virginia, showing credits from sales of tobacco, debits for purchases of dry goods, salt, sugar and mackerel, and for cash deposited in the Farmers' Bank; includes purchases made from John Hollins, W. & J. C. Crain, and T. Robinson & Co, and purchases made by Elizabeth (Breckinridge) Watts

Mr Edward Watts
In a/c with Holcombe & Tyree
June 24      By Sales of 2 Hhds Tobo
                  Marlins 337.142.1578 @ 8.25          $123.25
                  Refd 87.142.1634 @ 4.60                   _71.87
                                                                              197.12 [sic]
                  Coms $4.93 Notes $1.00                     __5.93

probably December 26, 1833
Letter from George Hancock in Louisville, Kentucky, to Edward Watts in Botetourt County, Virginia, regarding the collection of a debt from Major William Edmundson

November 30, 1833
Letter from Yeatman Woods and Co in Nashville, Tennessee, to George Hancock in Louisville, Kentucky, regarding the collection of a debt from Major William Edmundson

November 1, 1833
Letter from George Hancock in Louisville, Kentucky, to Edward Watts, in Botetourt County, Virginia, regarding the collection of a debt from Major William Edmundson, the note for which has been refused by Yeatman Woods and Co, a bank in Nashville, Tennessee

May 20, 1833
Letter from George Hancock near Louisville, Kentucky, to Edward Watts, in Botetourt County, Virginia, regarding the collection of a debt from Major William Edmundson for payments on Fotheringay; also mentions a debt owed by Wilson, and a possible trip by Hancock to Virginia

More to come later.

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