Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Watts Collection, documents 201-225

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”.

This set of 25 documents can be divided into two groups. One set of 12, dating from 1838 to 1841, is composed of account statements and receipts, most importantly from Richard Tyree, mainly for farming activities. It also includes some legal business, notably Henry Kagey’s will; a letter from Temple Gwathmey, who was both a relative and a grain merchant; and a receipt from the University of Virginia. The second set of 13 contains documents related to the Breckinridge family. It includes a letter about the sale of James Breckinridge’s property in Washington, DC (1998.26.202; see the posting on “James Breckinridge, landowner in Washington, DC”), documents about the settlement of James’s estate in 1854-56, and numerous notes signed by John and Cary Breckinridge in 1842-43, probably loans from Edward Watts against the expected inheritance.

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about August 1838
Fifth and final page of the commissioners' distribution account of the estate of James Breckinridge, signed by commissioner James T. Logan. This page concerns primarily provisions for James’s widow, Anne (Selden) Breckinridge.

August 8, 1838
Letter from Clement Smith in Georgetown, District of Columbia, to Edward Watts near Big Lick (Roanoke), Virginia, enclosing final statements regarding the estate of James Breckinridge, namely: 1) account statement of James Breckinridge with the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank of Georgetown, District of Columbia, signed J. J. Shell, with debits and credits from 1831 to 1838, including payments to Pettigrew, Carroll, and G. W. Nelson, and a final balance of $176.33; 2) account statement of the estate of James Breckinridge with Clement Smith, showing amounts received from the sale of city lots to Thomas Swann and Dr. Henry Huntt, expenses and commissions deducted, and final balance of $1162.77

August 16, 1838
Letter from Richard Tyree, merchant in Lynchburg, Virginia, to Edward Watts in Botetourt County, Virginia, reporting on a recently received shipment of flour, discussing sales of last year's tobacco crop, commenting on weather and transportation problems, and enclosing an account statement for sales of tobacco and various purchases, including coffee, cloth, hymnals and nails; includes mention of a problem in the flour found by inspector Charles M. Mitchell, and references to Patrick, apparently a servant who acted as Watts’s wagoner and agent

Thare is only 2 Sack of your Salt come to hand from Richmond which I send by Patrick. The River is veary low. Boats carry only 4 Hhd [hogsheads] of Tobo [tobacco] to the load and Freight at 35 to 40 cents per 100. On the other side you have a Bill per articles sent for. Yrs Respectf[ull]y, Richard Tyree

Richard Tyree (1779-1852) was born in New Kent County, Virginia, but spent most of his life in the Lynchburg, Virginia, area. He married Mildred Douglas (1785-1857); they had eleven children. Richard Tyree worked as an inspector of tobacco at Liberty Warehouse in Lynchburg and passed the profession on to his descendants; in the 1850 census, he was a commercial merchant, with $20,000.00 in property.

June 8, 1838
Letter from Richard Tyree, merchant in Lynchburg, Virginia, to Edward Watts in Botetourt County, Virginia, about recent sales of tobacco and the shipment of recently purchased cotton yarn, some forwarded correspondence and a deposit made to the Bank of Virginia; mentions Patrick, Watts’s wagoner, and two unidentified correspondents named Heston and Perceval

July 20, 1839
Receipt for deposit in the Bank of Virginia of $130.51 from the sale of flour, with an account statement and cover letter from the merchant Charles M. Mitchell in Richmond, Virginia, to Edward Watts at Big Lick (Roanoke), Roanoke County, Virginia; also mentions A. W. Nolting, a noted tobacco exporter; Lewis A. Crenshaw, a clerk for Mitchell; and Heath Jones Miller, a teller at the Bank of Virginia

January 3, 1839
Account statement for 1838 from Richard Tyree, merchant in Lynchburg, Virginia, to Edward Watts, in Big Lick (Roanoke), Virginia, showing credits from the sale of tobacco and other items, and debits for salt, sugar, molasses and other household supplies, sundries, and payments to other parties, especially William Watts, son of Edward Watts; also mentions James Breckinridge Watts, William’s elder brother; Patrick, the Watts’s wagoner; and numerous individuals or companies doing business with Watts: Peck White & Co, Utz & Pettygrew, Peyton & Johnston, Morgan & McDaniel, Henry Sumpter, Samuel W. Christian, James Frelwell, William Martin, Pitzer, and Garnett

September 1-7, 1839
Account statement for 1835 to 1839 between Thomas A. Lovelace and Edward Watts, with both credits and debits for various goods, including pork, bacon, lard, flour, corn, wheat, hemp, tar and boat timber; and payments to or from third parties, including Richard Tyree and Dr John Hook Griffin; along with an authorization from Lovelace to John M. Petty to dispose of the crops named within, and a receipt from Edward Watts acknowledging Lovelace's right to crops not yet harvested; also mentions Jno Gordon, David Bower, Bramblett, Gish, Foster, and Sally, a slave whose broken arm was tended by Dr Griffin

June 20, 1832 – October 18, 1840
Last will and testament of Henry Keaggy ( usually spelled Kagey) of Botetourt County, Virginia, dividing his land and goods among his sons Henry Kagey and Christopher Kagey and his daughters Anne Kagey, wife of Henry M. Frantz, and Mary Kagey, wife of Jacob Strickler, and providing for the support of his widow, Catherine Landis (Graybill) Kagey, with several codicils; the document includes a metes and bounds description of the land, mentions furniture and German books, and a bond executed to the testator by Samuel Strickler and Benjamin Hupp in 1818, replaced or repaid over the lapse of time, leading to the codicils; witnesses to the will were Charles Oliver, Edward Watts, Michael Zigler, John Smith, and Peter Smith; also named were Leonard Houty, John Gish, William Carvin, John Strayer, Zachariah Barly, James Breckinridge Watts, and Christian Gish

In testimony of this being my last will & testament I have hereunto set my hand & seal this 20th day of June 1832. signd sealed and acknowledgd as his last will & testament, Henrich Kagaÿ {seal} in presence of Charles Oliver, Edwd Watts, Michael Zigler, John Smith, Peter Smith

The testator’s name is spelled in many variants, the most common being Kagey. It derives from a Swiss-German name, Kägi. In this document, Edward Watts consistently writes Henry Keaggy, but when the testator signed, which he did four times, the signature looks like Henrich Kagaÿ. The testator was born in 1758 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and died in July 1844 in Roanoke County, Virginia. He married Catherine Landis Graybill (or Grabill, derived from Krehbiel), born in 1758 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, died in 1838 in Roanoke County, Virginia; they had five children.

September 16, 1839
Letter and account statement from Temple Gwathmey, in Richmond, Virginia, to Edward Watts, in Big Lick (Roanoke), Roanoke County, Virginia, reporting first on sales of some tobacco, and then on news of the family and friends, including his son Robert “Carter” Gwathmey, Carter’s wife Emily Stone (Smith) Gwathmey, their ailing infant daughter Evelina Smith Gwathmey, and Carter’s brother William Watts Gwathmey; the death of Robert Beverley Randolph and the poor health of his children, Charles Randolph, Nancy Anne (Randolph) Kennon, and Lavinia H. Randolph; and the activities of Temple Gwathmey's wife Caroline (Heth) Gwathmey; named in connection with business were Rogers, J. Sizer & Son, Baron d'Hautrieve, J. S. Apperson, and the writer’s own company, R. & T. Gwathmey  

[Charles their only son is going to Philadelphia to have an operation] performed on his back, which the Doctors say, there is 10 chances to 3 <that it> will kill him, & both of the Daughters are in extremely delicate health. Caroline is now with Mrs. Kennon, she took Carter's little daughter with her, whose health she writes me is much improved by the country air. The few friends of yours left in the city are well, but the [town is pretty much deserted.]

The author of this letter, Temple Gwathmey (1783-1848), married on 4 September 1811, at Flat Creek, Campbell County, Virginia, Anna Maria "Nancy" Watts (c. 1794-1819); she was a sister of Edward Watts. The Gwathmey family were merchants and bankers in Richmond, Virginia.
            The passage quoted concerns the family of the recently deceased Robert Beverley Randolph (1786-1839); in 1808 he married Lavinia Heth (1791-1815). He bought an estate on the James River, enlarged the house, and renamed it Norwood. With his father-in-law Henry "Harry" Heth, he managed the near-by Midlothian coal mines. 
             Caroline was Temple Gwathmey’s second wife, née Caroline Heth, whom he married in 1829. She was related, probably as an aunt, to the Randolph children. Mrs. Kennon was one of the Randolph daughters. Carter was the writer’s son, Robert Carter Gwathmey (1816-1859). The girl in frail health was Evelina Smith Gwathmey (1838-before 1850).

January 1839
Receipt from Thomas A. Lovelace to Edward Watts for $200 paid on account

March 1839
Account statement from Robert C. Mitchell, clerk of Bedford County Court, Virginia, to Isaac McDaniel for $1.94 of expenses in a suit on behalf of Catharine McDaniel against Meador

September 14, 1839
Account statement and receipt from the University of Virginia to William Watts for $230 of expenses, itemized, and signed by Willis Harrison Woodley

January 5, 1839
Account statement of Thomas A. Lovelace with Edward Watts for a one-seventh share of income from crops, 1836 through 1838, including tobacco, hemp and corn

about March 1841
Statement of amount of wheat produced month by month in 1839 and 1840, with some indications of the producers' names—Mays, Reade, and Burke—and the disposition of the wheat—sold to Petty

about 1856
Statement to Edward Watts of his account with Cary Breckinridge as executor of James Breckinridge, covering 1841 to 1856, showing mostly payments on bonds from Cary and John Breckinridge into the account and to Edward Watts out of the account

about 1854
Draft of accounts in the names of Cary Breckinridge and John Breckinridge from 1842 to 1854, showing payments and receipts to several individuals and businesses, apparently related to the estate of James Breckinridge

about 1854
Draft of an account statement from 1843 to 1854, with the name Breckinridge, listing bonds and interest due, probably from the estate of James Breckinridge or John Breckinridge

April 5, 1843
Note from John Breckinridge to Edward Watts for $300, payable on demand, witnessed by William Watts

April 5, 1843
Note from John Breckinridge to Edward Watts for $60, payable December 25, 1843, for the hire of a slave named Selden, witnessed by William Watts

On or before the 25th day of December 1843 I promise for myself and heirs to pay to Edward Watts the sum of sixty dollars ($60) for the hire of a Negro named Selden. Witness my hand and seal this 5th day of April 1843, John Breckinridge {seal}

The signer of this note, John Selden Breckinridge (1809-1844), was a brother of Edward Watts’s wife, née Elizabeth Breckinridge; John never married. Nothing more is known of the slave Selden, who had obviously been named after the family of John’s mother, Anne (Selden) Breckinridge.

about 1843
Receipt from Edward Watts to Cary Breckinridge for three payments totaling $750.00, including cash, check and proceeds from the sale of lots in Washington, District of Columbia

April 5, 1843
Note from John Breckinridge to Edward Watts for $55, payable on demand, witnessed by William Watts

July 16, 1842 - February 6, 1843
Note from Cary Breckinridge to Edward Watts for $1101.27, payable on demand for value received, witnessed by William Watts, with notations of two partial payments

On demand for value received I bind myself, my heirs and legal representatives to pay to Edward Watts the sum of eleven hundred and one dollars and twenty seven cents ($1101.27c) with interest thereon from the 14th day of November 1841 until paid. Witness my hand and seal this 16th day of July 1842, Cary Breckinridge {seal}

Cary Breckinridge (1796-1867) was a brother of Edward Watts’s wife, née Elizabeth Breckinridge.

July 16, 1842
Note from Cary Breckinridge to Edward Watts for $1101.27, due November 14, 1844, witnessed by William Watts

July 16, 1842
Note from Cary Breckinridge to Edward Watts for $1101.27, due November 14, 1843, witnessed by William Watts

July 16, 1842
Note from Cary Breckinridge to Edward Watts for $1101.27, due November 14, 1842, witnessed by William Watts

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