Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Benjamin Swaim and the “Man of Business”

January 17, 2012

[A comment on this blog last month asked for information on Benjamin Swaim.  I have written about him twice; the biogrpahy of him in Volume “S” of the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography is by me, and actually contains a portion of the following paper.  This study of his life and one of his books was originally written in 1981 as an assignment for my Masters Degree courses at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Library and Information Science.  For Mr. Powell at DNCB I abstracted the basic biographical information about Swaim.  The bibliographical information is here presented to the public for the first time.  One thing I realize is not clear from this paper is that Benjamin Swaim’s legal books are the first known Randolph County imprints– that is, they are the first books printed in the county.]

SWAIM, BENJAMIN (13 May 1798 – 23 Dec. 1844), lawyer, printer, author and newspaperman, was almost certainly the son of William (10 March 1770 — 1 June 1850), and Elizabeth Sherwood Swaim (8 Nov. 1773 — 14 Aug. 1835).  They and several other branches of the numerous Swaim clan were residents of the Timber Ridge Community, east of Level Cross in Randolph County. [i]

Life and Career.
Benjamin’s early life and education are obscure, although he perhaps attended schools taught by his uncle Moses Swaim.  Benjamin first appears in the records of the North Carolina Manumission Society, when, on August 27, 1819, he attended the society’s convention and began a sixteen-year association with the abolitionist group.[ii]   In the fall of 1822, he was hired to teach day classes of Mt. Ephraim schoolhouse in Guilford County.  Swaim, a law student at the time, was considered to be a teacher of great ability.  The number of students attracted to this school was so large that an assistant teacher was needed, and his second cousin William Swaim was hired for the position.  Benjamin and William organized a debating club at the school known as the “Polemic Society,” which became a forum for local men of all ages to join in oratorical contests.   In 1823, Guilford County Sheriff and state legislator Col. William Dickey asked Benjamin to take over Dickey’s private school.  Swaim instead successfully recommended cousin William for the job.

By  Line

Benjamin Swaim then relocated to the Randolph County town of New Salem, where he opened a law practice.  New Salem was (and is) located about a mile southwest of the Swaim family farms at Timber Ridge.  It was a crossroads community located at the point where the road between Asheboro and Greensboro intersected the ancient Indian Trading Path.  Land was conveyed to trustees of a Quaker meeting house there in 1815, but an informal group had probably met there as early as 1792.  New Salem was the commercial hub of Randolph County during the first quarter of the Nineteenth Century, hosting more stores and businesses than Asheborough.[iii]  The state legislature chartered town government in New Salem in 1816, appointing commissioners Benjamin Marmon, Jesse Hinshaw, Peter Dicks, William Dennis and Moses Swaim.

Moses Swaim, a brother of Benjamin’s father William and the only non-Quaker on the board, was the first president of the North Carolina Manumission and Colonization Society.[iv]    Benjamin, also a charter member of the organization, was in 1827 elected its President as well as delegated to attend the National Convention of the Abolition Society.  His opinions on the subject of slavery are revealed in his 1829 “Report of the President”, as printed in the Greensborough Patriot.  In it, he declares that “…the hour of Negro Emancipation is fast approaching.  It must and will assuredly come.  And all that we can do is prepare for its approach by a timely and gradual improvement of their debased condition….  Aided by Divine assistance, we may fearlessly encounter all the opposition of our enemies and confidently stand forth, the advocates of truth and justice, with such unyielding firmness and determined purpose as no earthly Interest, power or prejudice can successfully resist.” Swaim was reelected President of the Manumission Society until its discontinuance in 1835.

Perhaps as early as May, 1831, Swaim began planning a serial law publication, The Man of Business or Every Man’s Lawbook , a pioneer reference work of business law and legal forms.[v]   Swaim called The Man of Business “new in character and design’, and publicly appealed for the approval of other lawyers, since “the prudent and seasonable prevention of ruinous litigation is no less a professional duty than the skillful management of it.”  Benjamin’s partner in this venture was his cousin William, had founded The Patriot, Guilford County’s first newspaper in 1829.[vi]  William Swaim printed the first volume in 1833-34.  However, the successful reception of The Man of Business , and the trouble involved in traveling repeatedly from his home to the printing office in Greensboro, led Swain to open his own shop in October, 1834.  The New Salem operation was staffed by R.J. West, printer, and John Sherwood (a cousin)[vii].  Volume II of The Man of Business was produced there in 1834-35.
In February, 1836, Swaim began editing and publishing a newspaper from his office in New Salem.  Titled Southern Citizen, it had been proposed in November, 1834 by William Swaim. [viii]  William’s prospectus, published in the Patriot, lamented the low esteem in which Southern newspapers were held, and sought to supersede his Patriot with a new “splendid, superfine” publication, “the largest and most usefull family newspaper… devoted to the interest, amusement, and edification of the American people Swaim was roundly abused in the state’s periodical press for his pretentious statements, but within a year he had attracted enough subscribers to begin preparations for publication.  His death age 33 in December, 1835 threw these preparations into disarray.  The Patriot continued to be published for the benefit of William’s estate, while Benjamin took up the challenge of publishing the Southern Citizen.

The first issue of the Southern Citizen appeared in February, 1836.  The editorial content was of an uncompromising Whig political persuasion, promoting agriculture, internal improvements, universal education, and literature. (Its motto: “What do we live for but to improve ourselves and be useful to one another?”) An unusual feature was the “Legal Department,” subtitled “Ignorance of the Law Excuseth No Man.” Here Swaim, obviously inspired by the success of The Man of Business, answered the questions of subscribers on various points of law.

In December, 1836 Swaim moved his newspaper, printing business and law office to Asheboro, the Randolph County seat.  The Southern Citizen was issued from there weekly without interruption until April of 1842, when publication was suspended.  Either debt and financial instability or the recent death of Swaim’s wife following the birth of a daughter may have contributed to the shut-down.  Publication was resumed on 14 October 1843, and continued until 17 October, 1844, when Swain sold the newspaper and printing office to John Milton Sherwood.[ix]  Whether the newspaper continued after that date is unknown.

On 7 Feb. 1829 Swain married Rachel Dicks (Aug. 1808 – 3 March 18141), daughter of Peter and Rachel Seals Dicks. They were the parents of five children: Anna Dicks (b. 17 Apr. 1830), Thomas Clarkson (10 May l832- 1 March 18kb), Matilda Rosalie (8 March 1835 — 26 Feb. 1837), Charlotte (b. 9 Dec. 1837), arid Rachel Dicks (b. 21 Feb. 1841). Benjamin Swaim’s sudden death while on a trip to Raleigh revealed the fact that he was “indebted beyond the account of his personal assets.”[x](x)  Although his executors discovered more than 300 debtors owing money to Swaim’s estate, very little money could be collected and his property was sold in a futile attempt to pay his creditors.


Swain’s legal career after 1836 consisted mainly of writing and publishing form-books and digests of North Carolina state law.  A proposed third volume of The Man of Business grew into Swain’s 540-page opus The North Carolina Justice, printed in Raleigh in 1839 [The North Carolina Justice:  containing a summary statement of the statues and common law of this state, together with the decisions of the supreme court, and all the most approved forms and precedents relating to the office and duty of a justice of the peace and other public officers].  In 1841 Swain published, “at the Southern Citizen office” in Asheboro his The North Carolina Executor . . . a safe guide to executors administrators in their practical management of estates. . .   And in 1842, Swaim likewise published  The North Carolina Road Law… with all the necessary forms and practical observations pertaining to the… responsibilities of overseers and road hands.

Swaim therefore made a career of writing and publishing form-books and digests of North Carolina state law related to various public offices and private professions.  All of his works seem to have been relatively popular;  The Man of Business was still in print in 1841 and offered for sale (along with Swaim’s Justice and Executor) in the catalog of law books of the Raleigh bookseller Turner and Hughes.  A second edition of the popular North Carolina Justice was updated by Swaim and published posthumously in 1846.  Another purported revision of The North Carolina Justice was edited by an Edward Cantwell and published by Henry D. Turner of Raleigh in 1856; although titled “Swaim’s Justice—Revised,” it was subtitled The North Carolina Magistrate, a practical guide to the laws of the state…under the Revised Code, 1854-55, and its preface states that the work is not a revision of Swaim, but a “new and original publication.”  That a “new and original publication” would wish to trade on Swaim’s name in its title twelve years after his death suggests that his reputation as a North Carolina legal authority was high.


The author of “Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina, 1820-1860” muses that “when one remembers that he was a lawyer, one is amazed that Swaim was eager to help the common man and to assist him in being his own attorney.”   Yet to some extent Swaim was following in the footsteps of legal predecessors in the state.  North Carolina’s first printer, James Davis, published in 1774 his  Office and Authority of a Justice of Peace.  And Also, the the duty of Sheriffs, Coroners, Constables, Churchwardens, Overseers of Roads and other Officers, Together with precedents for Warrants, Judgements, Executions and other legal process….  New editions by different authors appeared in 1791 and 1800 which were also subsequently revised and reprinted[xi]; Swaim’s North Carolina Justice therefore had a long pedigree.   Likewise, his Executor was preceded by Francois-Xavier Martin’s Treatise on the Powers and Duties of Executors and  Administrators according to the Law of North-Carolina, published in Raleigh by J. Gales in 1820.  However,  Swaim’s Road Law does not seem to have had North Carolina antecedents, and The Man of Business appears to have been a completely original conception.  An 1819 self-help book which could represent a parallel idea was J.H. Conway’s The North Carolina Calculator; or New Practical Arithmetic…  of utility to merchants, traders and others, in their general occupations; this was a prototype small-business accounting treatise.

Swain asserted, however, that The Man of Business was “new in character and design,” and worried that those in the legal fraternity might protest the popularizing of the law.  Though the work was “calculated to render every man his own counsellor in matters of ordinary business,” Swaim declared himself motivated by the desire “to improve the modes of doing business, and thereby to render the ends of justice more easy and accessible to all classes of the community…”  While today every state (except Louisiana) operates under the Uniform Commercial Code (a model state law package governing all commercial transactions), the nineteenth century operated under the burden of a bewildering array of local laws regulating business. Although business law is taught as a separate curriculum in modern business schools and economic departments, Swaim may have been an originator of the concept of uniform laws as a vital part of business administration and financial efficiency.  His most direct influence lay in the inspiration of imitators such as Franklin Crosby, who in 1860 in Philadelphia published Everybody’s Lawyer and Counsellor in Business:  containing plain and simple instructions to all classes for transacting their business according to law…. [xii]

Vol II Title Page

Characteristics of the Printed Page.
The Man of Business was considered by Swaim to be a periodical “published simultaneously at Greensborough and New Salem, N.C.  It will consist of four hundred and thirty-two duodecimo pages (in twelve monthly numbers) neatly printed, pressed, -folded, stitched and trimmed.”  Each monthly number consisted of 18 leaves or 36 pages made up of 9 signatures of 4 leaves each.  Four pages of type were printed at once on one side of an 8 x 13-inch sheet of rough-laid paper from the Emmanuel Shober paper mill in Salem.[xiii]

The joint publishing arrangement may have arisen from the difficulty of a single press publishing a weekly newspaper as well as a monthly magazine.[xiv]  Although the printing work for volume one was stated to have occurred at William Swaim’s Greensborough Patriot office, four versions of volume one exist.  This physical evidence indicates volume one was set in type by hand and printed four separate times, and perhaps only once in Greensboro.  Two versions of volume one exhibit a simple masthead on page one, and two begin with title pages.

The masthead design resembles a tiny newspaper masthead, with title, editor, and imprint information.  “THE MAN OF BUSINESS./ (motto)/ Benjamin Swain, Editor./ NEW SALEM, N.C. JULY, 1833/ VOL. I NO, 1/ PROSPECTUS…” Version one also includes the “TERMS” at the foot of the page, ending with “…stitched and trimmed.”  Version two does not include TERMS, ending instead with “…ordinary business.”  Version one of the ‘title page’ design ends “VOL. 1/ OCTOBER, 1834-5/ WILLIAM SWAIM, PRINTER,/ GREENSBOROUGH, N.C./ 1834.” Version two of the title page ends “VOL. 1/ OCTOBER, 1833,/ Reprinted,/ New Salem, N.C./ 1836.”

Vol II No. 6 Title Page

The imprint of version one of the title page is obviously incorrect. Volume one, number one is dated July, 1833, not October, 1834. The printer has taken the title page for volume two, printed in 1834, and replace the “II” of that “VOL. II’ with “I’, making no other corrections, This suggests that volume one originally appeared with no title or imprint information other than its masthead.  Moreover, since the title page of the 1836 reprint corrects 1834-5 to 1833, but has not corrected “October” to ‘July”, we may surmise that the type for the reprint was set from a copy of the 1834 title page, with some mistakes corrected and others overlooked. Which one of the two “masthead” versions may be original requires further study.

In volume one, number twelve, Swaim complains of the trouble and expense of traveling back and forth to the printing office, and says “I hope to find some relief in the location of the whole concern in one place… In future it will be printed and published in the town of New Salem, Randolph County, N.C., provided its patronage should be sufficiently increased to justify the purchase of a press, etc.” However, at least volume two, number one must still have been printed in Greenshorough, for in number two Swaim states “Since the appearance of the first number of this volume, I have engaged in the services of a young printer,[xv] who has recently set up, and is commencing business in this place… it is therefore hoped, and confidently expected, that the publication will, in future, go on with more promptness and regularity, as the whole concern is now at home.”

Numbers three through twelve of this volume all bear the imprint “R.J. WEST PRINTER,/ New-Salem, N.C.” No versions of the volume two title page exist. Version one bears the imprint “VOL. II/ NEW SALEM,/ OCTOBER/ 1834’5.” The page is printed in six different point sizes of type, including two versions of an unusual ball-serif italic, one slanting to the left, the other slanting right.[xvi]  Title page version two has already been mentioned, bearing the imprint “VOL. II/ OCTOBER, 1834-5/ WILLIAM SWAIM, PRINTER./ Greensborough, N.C./ 1834.”
Volume one is indexed by a simple contents list following the numbered page sequence. This is complicated by the fact that pages 37 through 48 are misnumbered 1 through 12 (noted in an Erratta on page 72), and by the fact that “Pages from 352 to 417 are erroneously numbered by mistake. The index, however, is made out as the pages are, and not as they should be…” This indexing system cannot have been very satisfactory. Volume two provides a classified alphabetical index to both volumes; it indicates both the true page number and the erroneous page number (bracketted). The mistakes were probably perpetuated due to the exigencies of legal citation, which demands that page numbering be uniform from copy to copy— even uniformly incorrect.
Swaim ends volume two hinting at a third volume which was, however, never published and probably grew into his North Carolina Justice, which appeared two years later.  He indicates throughout volume two that complete files of both volumes could be bought “in good law binding.”  Therefore, in addition to “young printer” R.J. West, Swaim also evidently secured the services of a bookbinder.  A copy of The Man of Business in the Peacock collection at Duke has the damaged label “(torn)/ BOOK BINDER/New-Salem, N.C.”  A copy of Volume 2 now in the possession of the author includes a paper label inside the front cover, imprinted “JOHN SHERWOOD/ BOOK BINDER,/ New-Salem, N.C.”  This is evidently his cousin John Milton Sherwood who was subsequently the purchaser of the Southern Citizen printing office.[xvii]

In view of the numerous pleas throughout the work asking subscribers to pay their bills, and from the fact that none of Swain’s subsequent works appeared serially, it may be assumed that his experience with subscription sales was an unhappy one.  The problems of sale and distribution of such published materials in the early nineteenth century must have discouraged many local printers from even attempting a project of the magnitude undertaken by Benjamin Swaim— nearly 900 pages of material related to the study of business law. [xviii]

Copies Examined.
UNC-CH, North Carolina Collection (call number: C347.05-M26)

Vol. I
(c.i) New Salem reprint, 1836.
Stephen B. Weeks Collection.
Number 1, p.1 ends “…ordinary business.”
(c.2) Greensborough, 1834.
Stephen B. Weeks Collection.
(c.3) No title page (t.-p.); rebound.
Gift of the N.C. Baptist Historical Commission.
(c,4) No t.-p.; ‘S’ dropped from masthead: “PROSPECTU .”

Vol. II
(c.l) Greensborough, 1834.
John Sprunt Hill Collection.
(c.2) New Salem, Oct. 1834’5.
Stephen B. Weeks Collection.
(c.3) Greensborough, 1834.
Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies.

UNC—CH, Law Library (Rare Book Room) (call number: S971m-1834)

Vol.  I
(c.1) New Salem reprint, 1836 (#241180),
Bound in calf; black label; stamped “1” on Spine.

Vol. II
(c.1) No t.-p. (#180548),
Bound in calf; red label; stamped “2” on spine.
Duke University Library, Peacock Collection (call number: 347.6—3971-P)

Vol, I
(c.1) Greensborough, 1834 (#23290)
Rebound in red library bindings
(c.2) New Salem reprint, 1836 (#23291),

Number 1, p.1, ends “…In short it will be calcu-“

Signed on t.-p.: “Wm. M.B. Arendell”

(c.3) No t.-p. (#23292)
Number 1, p. 1 ends “. . .and trimmed.”
“B.F. Swaim/ A.D. 1852” in ink on front cover.

Vol. II
(c.1) Greensborough, 1834 (#23293)
On flyleaf: “B.F. Swaim’s/ Law Book/ May the 2nd. 1852” In ink on cover: “B.F. Swaim/ 1852”
(c.2) Greensborough, 1834 (#23294)
Inside front cover: “(torn)/ BOOK BINDER/ New-Salem, N.C,”

“DICK” stamped (in ink?) on spine.

1. Arnett, Ethel Stephens, William Swaim, Fighting Editor: The Story of O. Henry’s Grandfather. Greensboro Piedmont Press, 1963.

2. Blackwelder, Fannie M. F. “The Bar Examination and Beginning Years of Legal Practice in North Carolina, 1820-1860.”  North Carolina Historical Review XXIX (April, 1952), pp. 159-170.

3. ——-, “Legal Education in North Carolina, 1820-1860.” N.C.H.R., XXVIII (July, 1951), pp. 271-297.

4. ——-, “Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina, 1820-1860.” N.C.H.R. (July, 1953), pp. 329-353

5. Davis, Jewell Faye, Bibliography of North Carolina Imprints, 1801-1820.  Washington, D.C. Catholic Univ., M.S.L.S. thesis, 1955.

6. Fox, Charlesanna M., ed., Randolph County 1779-1979. Winston-Salem: Hunter Publishing Co., 1980.

7. Gibson, Virginia E. Salmon Hall, N.C. Printer, 1800-1840, UNC School of Library Science: MSLS paper, 1967.

8. Gress Edmund F.  Fashions in American Typography, 1780-1930. New York Harper and Bros., 1931.

9.  Hall, Francis H. Public Printing in North Carolina, 1816-1861.  UNC School of Library Science: MSLS thesis, 1957.

10.  Jones, H.G.  Union List of North Carolina Newspapers. Raleigh, N.C., Dept. of Archives and History, 1966.

11.  McFarland, Daniel M, “North Carolina Newspapers, Editors and Journalistic Politics, 1815-1835.” N.C.H.R., July, 1953.

12.  McMurtrie, Douglas C.  Eighteenth Century North Carolina Imprints, 1749-1800. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1938.

13.  Paschal, George Washington.  A History of Printing in North Carolina. Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton Co., 1946.

14.  Raleigh Register, 16 Feb. 1836, 16 March 1841, 24 Dec. 1844.

15.  Sherrill, P.M., “The Quakers and the North Carolina Manumission Society,” Trinity College Historical Society Papers, Series X, 1914.

16.  Robert N. Tompkins, ed., “Marriage and Death Notices from Extant Asheboro, N,C., Newspapers, 1836—1857”, N.C. Genealogical Society Journal (Nov. 1978);


[i]  Swaim Bible Records, published in Randolph County Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. X, #2, p.28 (1986); Sidney Swain Robins, A Letter on Robins Family History (nd.); Swaim family genealogical records (possession of Mrs. Francine Holt Swain, Liberty, N.C.)

[ii]  H.N. Wagstaff, ed., “Minutes of the N.C. Manumission Society, 1816-1831”, The James Sprunt Historical Studies, Vol. 22 (1934)

[iii]  Peter Dicks was a storekeeper in the Town, as well as the operator of a mill on Deep River some 2 miles southwest. William Dennis was a potter of slip-decorated redware whose home and kiln were sited half a mile east of town. Dr. John Milton Worth, born in the nearby Centre Friends Meeting community just north across the county line, opened his first practice in New Salem.  William Clark, a future organizer of the Union Factory, operated a “flourishing” tannery and store in the town.  (J.A. Blair, p. 50)  The Adams family, who employed Naomi Wise as a servant girl, lived just South of town.

[iv] At that first meeting, says Levi Coffin in his autobiographical Reminiscences, Moses Swaim, “a lawyer of Randolph County, delivered a lengthy and able address, which was afterward printed and widely circulated.  It was a strong abolition speech, and would not have been allowed a few years later.”  (p.74)  Moses Swaim was elected Clerk of Superior Court in Randolph County in 1837 and served for several years.

[v]  The phrase “Man of Business” had come into English writing as early as 1660, but it had only begun to assume its modern form, “business-man,” in 1829.

[vi]  William Swaim also happens to have been the grandfather of novelist O. Henry, and so has merited the monograph William Swaim– Fighting Editor by Ethel Stephens Arnett (1963). William’s cousin Lyndon Swaim later took over editorship of his newspaper. “The Life of William Swaim” was a multi-part biographical series written by Lyndon Swaim and published in the Patriot from May 18 to June 22, 1866. In transmogrified form, the Patriot survives today, becoming the Greensboro Daily News, now known as  The News and Record.

[vii]  John Sherwood (27 Sept. 1806 – 5 July 1895) was the son of Benjamin Sherwood (1783-1865) and Sally Swaim (b. 29 Sept. 1787).  Sally Swaim was the daughter of distant cousin Michael Swaim; Benjamin Sherwood was evidently a brother of Benjamin Swaim’s mother Elizabeth Sherwood Swaim.  On 26 Sept. 1835 John Sherwood was the grantee of a deed of trust (Randolph County Book 20, Page 111) encumbering property described as “one quarter acre lot in New Salem adj. B. Swaim (formerly Jesse Watkins”.  In 1837 John Sherwood was a candidate for Randolph County Clerk of Superior Court, printing circulars on June 10th , decrying prejudice against candidates who were not Randolph natives and on July 29th,  printing a diatribe against “racing candidates” and describing himself as a “man in limited circumstances, with an extensive family.”  Moses Swaim was the victor in this contest (see Deed Book 21, Page 151).

[viii]  In October 1834, Williams Swaim proposed merging the Patriot into the Southern Citizen beginning July 4, 1835.  He planned to enlarge the weekly paper with three times the editorial material, “printed in new type, on a new press.”  The prospectus of the new paper was printed Nov. 19, 1834; in it he said 2.000 subscribers would be required to begin publication.  Lyndon Swaim, “The Life of William Swaim,” in The Patriot (Greensboro, NC) published from May 18 to June 22, 1866.

[ix]  From The Southern Citizen, Vol. V, #52 (17 October 1844)—“We have recently sold out to Mr. John Milton Sherwood, a young gentleman who was partly raised in this office, and , for the past year, has been the foreman in the establishment.  He will issue the first number week after next./  This number of our paper concludes the Fifth volume of the Southern Citizen, and closes, for the present, at least and very probably forever, the Editorial Career of its present Editor and Proprietor.”

[x] From the Patriot, Greensboro, 12-28-1844:  “Died/ In Raleigh, on Monday the 22nd inst., about 12 o’clock, BENJAMIN SWAIM, of Randolph county, counselor at law, and author of several legal works.

“A friend who watched his dying bed informs us that the deceased ‘had been indisposed about two weeks ago, but had got much better, so as to consider himself well.  On Friday night he was taken with a violent cholera morbius, which proved fatal on Monday.  His suffering was intense.  He had the best medical aid, and attentive nursing, but all failed.  He retained his senses in a most remarkable degree, and submitted to his fate without a murmur- observed, after he was conscious of the near approach of death, that he had no disposition to complain of any act of Providence.  He had but few friends present, but these few gave every possible attention that could be bestowed.’

“Always under the depressing influence of pecuniary want, and afflicted from his birth with a radical defect in his sight, he labored under more of the difficulties of life than fall to the lot of most men.  But nature had endowed him with a remarkably clear intellect and a patient disposition, which enabled him to press forward in the attainment of knowledge to an extent highly creditable to himself and useful to the community.  His mind, patient to investigate, delighted to follow the old law writers through the mazes of their learning into the latent recesses of truths and right reason.  The law was his favorite study, and in it he had made uncommon proficiency for one of his age and proscribed opportunities. He enjoyed the reputation of a clear and correct legal theorist and a safe counselor.  And the practical legal works which he compiled and published will long be used and appreciated by the business public.  He was a man of inoffensive manners and most amiable disposition.  Peace be to his ashes!

“We have deemed this meager public tribute due to one who was, during a portion of our youth ‘our guide, companion, and familiar friend.’—EDS. PAT.”

[xi]  i.e., Francois-Xavier Martin, The Office and Authority of a Justice of the Peace of Sheriffs, Coroners, &c., According to the Laws of North-Carolina (1791) ; or The Office and Duty of A Justice of the Peace and A Guide to Sheriffs, Coroners, Clerks and Constables and Other Civil Officers  According to the Laws of North-Carolina (John Haywood, ed., printed in Raleigh by William Boylan in 1806; and Henry Potter, ed., published by J. Gales and Son of Raleigh in 1828 (2nd ed.).

[xii]  Interestingly, Brantley York (1805-1891), Randolph County native, teacher and founder of Trinity College, is credited with authoring The Man of Business and Railroad Calculator:  Containing such part of arithmetic as have a special application in business transactions (Raleigh: J. Nichols & Co., 1873).  The work contains legal forms edited by Richard Watt York, “A.M. and Counsellor at Law,” but it does not appear to relate to Swaim’s Man of Business in anything but title and subject matter.

[xiii]  On Feb. 7, 1838, in the midst of a financial crisis, Benjamin Swaim mortgaged his house and lot in New Salem, his household property in Asheboro, and “also the printing press, cases, gallies, and all other Materials belonging to the printing office of the Southern Citizen of Asheboro, including the Dog Press, also the Library of books belonging to the said Swaim, consisting of about 200 volumes.”  Swaim owed 4 local businessmen $770, as well as $33.87 to printer R.W. West, and $260 to Salem paper mill owner Emanuel Shober.  “Dog Press” was evidently a generic name for a traditional wooden screw-type printing press.

[xiv]  According to Ethel Stephens Arnett, William Swaim used a Ramage press to print The Patriot (Greensboro, North Carolina, The County Seat of Guilford (1955), p. 240).  Adam Ramage of Philadephia  built wooden printing presses from about 1800 until he died in 1850.  They were available in three sizes: a full-size common press, an intermediate free-standing press which he called his “screw press,” and the smallest, the “foolscap,” named for the size of sheet paper it could print.

[xv] Identified on all subsequent monthly title pages as “R.J. WEST, Printer/ New-Salem, N.C.”

[xvi]  A modern “trutype” version of this typeface is available on computers as Elephant Italic, an adaptation of early 19th century “fat face” types made by designer Matthew Carter.

[xvii]  Swaim’s reference of October 17, 1844 to the purchase of the Southern Citizen by John Milton Sherwood is the only known use of that middle name, but the buyer appears to be the same as the “John Sherwood, Book-Binder” of the Man of Business.  While Sherwood’s latter career with the Southern Citizen is not clear, he also is apparently the same man responsible for another first in N.C. journalism.  A John Sherwood, editor of The Farmer’s Advocate and Miscellaneous Reporter, published in Jamestown from Aug. 1838 to June 1842, is cited by James Oliver Cathey as publishing North Carolina’s first agricultural journal.  [see “Agricultural Developments in North Carolina, 1783-1860,” published in James Sprunt Studies in History and Political Science, Vol. 38; Chapel Hill, UNC Press, pp. 84, 102-103] .  Says Cathey, “John Sherwood… was one of the leading advocates of greater efficiency in farm operations. ‘What you undertake, do well,’ he urged.  Farmers were encouraged, in the interest of efficiency, to keep business-like records of their activities, to include notations of stock on hand, implements, methods used, weather conditions, time of planting, time and methods of culture, and of all experiments conducted…. Sherwood, in his Farmer’s Advocate, was the most forceful and persistent in advocating this feature of the reform program.”  Sherwood’s program to make farmer’s more business-like seems very much akin to Swaim’s program to codify and demystify business law.

And as regards book binding, Swaim’s estate papers indicate that Daniel Clewell of Salem in 1842 bound 29 copies of the N.C. Executor and 4 sets of the Man of Business.

[xviii] Swaim’s estate papers in the NC State Archives contain records of an auction sale of his assets held in August 1845; for sale were 185 copies of the N.C. Road Law, which sold for 5 cents each; 8 copies of the Man of Business which sold for $1.35; 53 copies of the N.C. Executor, and 1 N.C. Justice.  5 bound volumes of the Southern Citizen were sold to Joseph P. Julian.  At least one of these bound volumes survived into the 21st century, which the local owner, refusing to sell to the local historical society, auctioned it off to a paper dealer on eBay who cut the pages apart and sold them as “SLAVE ADS!!!”  Among the law books in Swaim’s sale were Haywood’s Justice; Haywood’s Manual; a Revised Statutes (of N.C.); Iredell’s Digest; N.C. Reports; Battle’s Reports; Martin’s Sheriff; N.C. Sheriffs, and “Right’s M of B.”  This last title is intriguing; if “M.O.B.” is short for “Man of Business” then this might indicate some other work related in title or subject to Swaim’s periodical.  But so far nothing under that title or author (either Right or Wright) has been found in union catalogs.

Notes on A Confederate Christmas

December 8, 2010

“Santa Claus in Camp, 1864” by Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly.

Introductory Note:
“Mrs. James Lafayette Winningham…”
On 24 May 1876 Nancy Hannah Steed married James Lafayette Winningham (ca. 1853- 1930), the son of Siebert Francis Marion Winningham and Laura Ann Lyndon.  Winningham was born at Union Factory, now Randleman, North Carolina.  [Internet geneaological research on the Winningham and Steed families was largely posted by Donald Winningham.]

“…was the daughter of John Stanley Steed and Rachel Director Swaim.”
John Stanley Steed (22 Feb 1829 – 3 May 1899) was the son of Charles Steed (15 May 1782- March 1847), who served Randolph County both as a member of the North Carolina Senate and as a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives.  His mother Hannah Raines (born circa 1788- died after 1850) married Charles Steed on 25 Jan 1806.  John Stanley Steed married Rachel Director Swaim (15 Nov 1835 – 27 Nov 1880) about the year 1852.

Paragraph 1:
“As I was born in 1857…”
Nancy “Nannie” Hannah Steed was born 14 June 1857.

“My mother always took the children home to her father’s for the holidays”
Rachel Steed’s parents were Joshua Swaim (1804-1868) and Nancy H. Polk (1808 – 14 April 1865), who married in Guilford County on 1 September 1824, but lived in the Cedar Falls area (the area west of Franklinville, south of Grays Chapel, and east of Millboro).  The Christmas of 1864 may have stuck in Nannie Steed’s memory because it was the last she would have with her maternal grandmother Nancy Polk Swaim.

Maternal grandfather Joshua Swaim was the son of William Swaim and Elizabeth Sherwood, and nephew of the Clerk of Court Moses Swaim (1788-1870).   Joshua and Nancy Swaim were buried in the old Timber Ridge cemetery near Level Cross.  Here is a link to photographs of their tombstones:

“In their home were our three young aunts and a young uncle, all full of life and fun, and about ten grandchildren.”
Nancy and Joshua Swaim of Cedar Falls had the following children, several of whom had moved West before the time of the Civil War.  Numbers 7 through 10 are Nannie’s “young aunts and uncle”:
1.  James Polk Swaim (November 21, 1825 – February 04, 1890); m. Sarah McDonald about 1848; died in  Franklin County, Ark.
2.  Elizabeth Swaim (September 30, 1827-  June 28, 1846).
3.  Margaret J. Swaim, b. March 22, 1829- February 29, 1848.
4.  Mary Swaim (b. ca. 1831); md. Mr. Glass before 1854.
5.  William Walter Swaim (February 10, 1833 – died October 17, 1905 in Eldora, Hardin County, Iowa); m. Mary Ann Davis, ca. 1859, in Hamilton Co., Indiana.
6.  Rachel Director Swaim, (November 15, 1835 – May 27, 1880); m. John Stanley Steed on October 07, 1852.  [Nannie’s Grandma Swaim]
7.  Luther Clegg Swaim (b. ca. 1837, d. ca. 1868) [Nannie’s Uncle “Luther Clegg”]
8. Susannah Swaim (b. ca. 1840); m. J.L. Coble, September 04, 1862.
9. Hannah Swaim (b. ca. 1841); m. Henry C. Green, October 06, 1864.
10. Martha Swaim (b. ca. 1847).

{The family information is Included in the Polk family genealogy, posted by Kathy Parmenter at }.

“Of us there were my three brothers and myself.”
As of this time in the story, John and Rachel Steed had the following children:  Emily, born 1853, who died in infancy; Wiley Franklin, born 1855; Nancy Hannah, born 1857; Henry Luther, born 1860; Joshua Nathaniel, b. 1862.

Paragraph 2:
“The young people had wheat or potato coffee…”
Imports of coffee and other delicacies were reduced almost to the point of nonexistence by the federal blockade of southern ports.  According to Wikipedia ( ), Roasted acorns, almonds, barley, beechnuts, beetroots, carrots, chicory, corn, cottonseed, dandelion root, figs, okra seed, peas, Irish potatoes (but only the peel), rice, rye, soybeans, and sweet potatoes have all been used as coffee substitutes.  Roasted and ground wheat as a non-caffeinated substitute for coffee was popular again in the United States during both World War I and II, when coffee was sharply rationed.   “Postum”  was the brand name of an instant-style coffee substitute made from wheat bran, corn and molasses which was popular in North Carolina in the 20th century, but production was discontinued in October, 2007.

Paragraph 3:
“In our stockings were…ginger cakes…”
Ginger is a tropical root imported from Africa, Jamaica, India or China.  It was a much-loved spice during the Civil War era; ginger beer, ginger ale, and all sorts of ginger cakes and breads were popular.  Some recipes could be rolled out, cut into shapes and hung on the tree; some were soft like bread and others were hard and crisp.  The following recipe from a Civil War reenactor group makes crisp, sugar- coated cookies suitable for putting in a stocking:

3/4 cups shortening

1 cup sugar

1 beaten egg

1/4 cup molasses

2 tsp. soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

2 cups flour

Combine shortening and sugar into a cream; add the egg and molasses and mix well. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the shortening mixture. Mix until combined. Roll into walnut sized balls and roll in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 – 10 minutes.

Paragraph 4:
“…my aunties started the eggnog…”
Various milk punches were known in Europe and brought to America, so the exact orgin of Egg Nog is obscure.  “Nog” is an old English word with roots in East Anglia dialects that was used to describe a kind of strong beer which was served in a small wooden mug called a “noggin”.   “Egg nog” is first mentioned in the early nineteenth century but an alternative British name was “egg flip,” a punch made with milk and wine, particularly Spanish Sherry.
Internet sites repeatedly cite an unnamed and unsourced English visitor who wrote in 1866, “Christmas is not properly observed unless you brew egg nogg for all comers; everybody calls on everybody else; and each call is celebrated by a solemn egg-nogging…It is made cold and is drunk cold and is to be commended.”
The English author Elizabeth Leslie regularly published cookbooks on both sides of the Atlantic from 1837 to 1857.  Her Directions for Cookery, published in 1840, introduced the concept of the “sandwich” to America.  This recipe for Egg Nogg comes from the edition of 1851:
“Beat separately the yolks and whites of 6 eggs. Stir the yolks into a quart of rich milk, or thin cream, add half a pound of sugar. Then mix in half a pint of rum or brandy. Flavor with a grated nutmeg. Lastly, stir in gently the beaten whites of three eggs. It should be mixed in a china bowl.”

Perhaps the last word on Confederate egg nog would be the recipe of Mary Custis (Mrs. Robert E.) Lee herself::

-10 eggs, separated

-2 c. sugar

-2 1/2 c. brandy

1/2 c. and 1 tsp. dark rum

-8 c. milk or cream

Blend well the yolks of ten eggs, add 1 lb. of sugar; stir in slowly two tumblers of French brandy, 1/2 tumbler of rum, add 2 qts new milk, & lastly the egg whites beaten light (very fluffy).  Allow to “ripen” in a cold but not freezing place; an unheated room or porch was the common location for Mrs. Lee.

From The Robert E. Lee Family Cooking and Housekeeping Book (UNC Press, 2002), by Anne Carter Zimmer.

Paragraph 5:
“…expressed in those days as ‘Christmas Gift’…”
The phrase “Merry Christmas” was popularized around the world following the appearance of the Charles Dickens’ story, A Christmas Carol in 1843.  Robertson Cochrane, Wordplay: origins, meanings, and usage of the English language, p.126. (University of Toronto Press, 1996).  “Christmas Gift!”  is an earlier Southern tradition, used as a greeting.   The first person saying it on Christmas morning traditionally received a gift.  See “Whistlin’ Dixie: A Dictionary of Southern Expressions” by Robert Hendrickson (Pocket Books, New York, 1993).

Paragraph 6:
“Which is it, the old bad man or the Yankees?”
She is using a euphemism for “the Devil,” a word considered to be so much a curse word at the time that a well-bred young lady was not allowed to use such language.  The Devil was on the side of the Yankees, just as God was supposed to be on the side of the Confederacy.

“Little Christmas Waifs Are We”- 19th century Christmas Card

“…the old English custom of the waifs of England.”
It is unclear whether Nannie has here conflated two distinct Christmas rituals from medieval England, or whether the traditions had previously merged in the antebellum South.
The surviving English tradition is of the Christmas “Waits,” musicians and singers who go from door to door “waiting,” or caroling.  According to the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, “wait” is the name of a medieval night watchman, who sounded a horn or played tunes to mark the hours.  By the 15th century waits had become bands of itinerant musicians who paraded the streets at night at Christmas time, and became combined with another ancient tradition, “wassailing”.  It gradually became expected that the musicians would receive gifts and gratuities from the townspeople, and often “those who went wassailing would dress up like street waifs or ragamuffins.”,320599343
One other British custom of the Christmas season was specifically aimed at soliciting alms.  “Thomasing” anciently occured on 21 December (St Thomas’s Day) when the village poor people visited the homes of their better-off neighbours soliciting food and provisions to help them through the winter. Also called “Gooding,” “Mumping,” and “Doleing,” the earliest reference is from the year 1560, but the custom gradually declined through the 19th century as poor relief was institutionalized, and laws were passed against ‘begging’.
In the South this tradition may have inspired a tradition of inviting local orphans or “waifs” to spend Christmas afternoon with rural families or in urban church socials. [ ]  In 1864 the “ crowning amusement” of Christmas day for the Davis children in Richmond was “the children’s tree,” erected in the basement of St. Paul’s Church, decorated with strung popcorn, and hung with small gifts for orphans.   (First Lady Varina Davis’s 1896 article “Christmas in the Confederate White House” makes an  interesting contrast to Nannie Steed Winningham’s story of Christmas in rural Randolph County; ).

The First Confederate States Flag

Paragraph 7:
“ The Bonnie Blue Flag”
-is a marching song associated with the Confederacy.   The song was written to an Irish melody by entertainer Harry McCarthy during a concert in Jackson, Mississippi, in the spring of 1861 and first published that same year in New Orleans.  The song’s title refers to the unofficial first flag of the Confederate States, the symbol of secession from the Union bearing the “single star” of the chorus.   The “Band of Brothers” mentioned in the first line of the song is a reference to the St. Crispin’s day speech in Shakespeare’s play Henry V.
Here is the song:

“The Girl I left behind me”
-is a popular folk tune.  The first known printed text appeared in an Irish song collection in 1791; the earliest known version of the melody was printed in Dublin about 1810.   It was known in Britain as early as 1650, under the name “Brighton Camp”.  It was adopted by the US regular army as a marching tune during the War of 1812 after they heard a British prisoner singing it.
The song can be heard here:

“Hurrah for the Southern Rights, Hurrah! Hurrah!”
-Hurrah! Hurrah!/ For Southern rights, hurrah!” is actually the first two lines of the chorus of  “The Bonnie Blue Flag.”  ‘Hurrah! Hurrah! For the Southern Rights, hurrah!’ is an alternative reading of the line that is only found in Gone With The Wind, page 236.  Both undoubtedly reflect the way singers at the time added ‘the’ to mirror the same article in ‘the’ Bonnie Blue Flag.

“Hurrah! for the Homespun Dress the Southern Ladies Wear”
-”The Homespun Dress,” also known as “The Southern Girl,” or “The Southern Girl’s Song,” is a parody of The Bonnie Blue Flag that oral historians have found in variant versions all over the South.  Most authorities attribute the words to Miss Carrie Belle Sinclair of Augusta, Georgia.  See Songs of the Civil War, by Irwin Silber, Jerry Silverman; Dover, 1995, p.54.  The lyrics can be found at

Oh, yes, I am a Southern girl,

And glory in the name,

And boast it with far greater pride

Than glittering wealth and fame.

We envy not the Northern girl

Her robes of beauty rare,

Though diamonds grace her snowy neck

And pearls bedeck her hair.

CHORUS: Hurrah! Hurrah!

For the sunny South so dear;

Three cheers for the homespun dress

The Southern ladies wear!

Paragraph 8:
“…Mars Luther Clegg had drinked too much eggnog.”
“Mars,” short-hand for “Master,” was used by enslaved people as a general title of respect, in the same way that white people would use “Mister.”
Luther Clegg Swaim was born in Cedar Falls in 1837.  On February 1, 1866 he married Dorcas Aretta Odell (1828-1918), daughter of James Odell and wife Anna Trogdon.  This was the second marriage for Dorcas Odell, the sister of J.M. Odell and J.A. Odell who worked for George Makepeace in the factory stores at Cedar Falls and Franklinsville.  John M. Odell was the first Captain of the Randolph Hornets, Company M.  Her brother Laban Odell became Major of the 22nd Regiment, and was killed at Chancellorsville.  Her first husband was her second cousin, Solomon Franklin Trogdon, who died in 1860.  She had two sons in the first marriage, and a daughter with Luther Clegg Swaim before he died in 1868.  Dorcas’s son Williard Franklin Trogdon became the original geneaologist of the Trogdon family, publishing the family history which provided this information in 1926.

Paragraph 9:
“My father and my uncle owned and operated a large tannery, shoe and harness shop.”
The J. S. Steed family is the very first one listed in the Western Division of Randolph County’s 1860 census; his occupation is listed as “Tanning,”  and a 17-year-old boarder living with them is listed as “Apprentice Tanner.”  Family #2 in that census is David Porter, a buggy manufacturer and grandfather of author William Sidney Porter.  I believe the Porters lived on the southeast corner of the intersection of Salisbury Street and the Plank Road (Fayetteville Street)- where First Bank is today.

The 1860 Census  of Manufacturing for Randolph County lists “J.W. & J.S. Steed” as engaged in “Tanning… Boot and Shoe Making…[and] Harness Making.”  6 employees in 1859 cured “1400 sides of harness, sole and upper leather” worth $2000; made 40 pair of boots worth $300; 250 pair of shoes worth $500; and 50 setts of harness worth $900.

The Steeds probably lived on Salisbury between Cox and the Plank Road, but the location of his tannery is unclear.  The only tannery I am aware of that was ever located in or around Asheboro itself is the one located on the site of the present-day Frazier Park, across Park Street from Loflin Elementary School.  The branch that heads in a spring (now piped underground) on that site is called Tan Yard Branch.

“My uncle” refers to the “J.W. Steed” listed on the Census of Manufacturing; this was Joseph Warren Steed (1815-1873), who was elected Sheriff of Randolph County in 1848 after having served as Deputy to Sheriff Isaac White. Sheriff Steed, in politics a Whig, lost the election in 1864 to Zebedee Franklin Rush, the Peace Party (or “Red String”) candidate.   The oldest of Charles Steed’s three sons was Nathaniel Steed (3 May 1812 -10 Nov 1880).  In 1832 Nathaniel married Sarah (“Sallie”) Redding (9 Oct. 1811 -10 Aug. 1852), daughter of John Redding and Martha Jane Swaim.  They are buried at Charlotte Church, on Old Lexington Road west of Asheboro.  B.F. Steed, the eldest son of Nathaniel, served as Deputy to his uncle J.W. Steed.  The Steeds and Reddings were known for being very tall men, some more than six and a half feet tall.

“Early in 1864 my father… was drafted and sent to eastern Carolina, where he was in the service..”
[Some of you Civil War experts, trace his service record, please.]

Paragraph 10:
“…our faithful family physician, who on account of advancing years bad about given up his practice until the war began…”
Could this have been Dr. John Milton Worth, (28 June 1811 -5 April 1900), who studied at the Medical College in Lexington, Kentucky and practiced in Asheboro up to the time of the war?  A substantial part of Dr. Worth’s war years were spent overseeing the Salt Works near Fort Fisher, so this may be some other faithful family physician.

“On the morning of the 10th we were told we had a little brother named for his daddy…”
John Stanley Steed, Jr., born December 1864.  The Steeds would have five more children over the next 15 years.  Rachel Steed evidently died during childbirth in 1880.

A view of antebellum New Bern from the Neuse River

Paragraph 12:
“There was a man in our town called Captain Pragg, who owned a dry goods store…”
The name “Pragg” is not found in the Randolph County census records for 1860 or 1870, but “Isaiah Prag” does appear in Randolph County marriage bond records for April 19, 1865, when he married “Mrs. Jane Sugg.”  This was apparently the second marriage for each of them, as according to family genealogical records “Mrs. Sugg”‘s maiden name was Jane Adaline Andrews (1841-1907).  She may have a family connection to Lt. Col. Hezekiah L. Andrews of western Randolph, who was killed at Gettysburg.
Isaiah  Prag was born 20 October 1824 in the town of Hadamar in the state of Hesse, Germany.  He first appears in America in the 1850 census of Annapolis, Maryland, with wife Rose Adler (1827-1864), and a new baby, Mary.  Prag would ultimately have 8 children by his first wife, and 7 by his second.  By 1860 Isaiah and family have relocated to New Bern, NC, where he is in business as a “merchant.”   From June 1, 1861 to February 10, 1862, the state Quartermaster’s office paid receipts totalling $13,113.20 for purchases from Isaiah Prag.  He evidently provided most of the “dry goods” or clothing needed to equip at least two companies of Craven County volunteer troops: Company F and Company K (The Elm City Rifles):  98 suit coats and pants; 74 flannel shirts and 199 striped shirts; 218 caps, 141 pairs of “drawers” and 160 pairs of “pantaloons;” not to mention 556 overcoats- enough for 5 companies!
Isaiah Prag is also listed as an “Ordinance Sergeant” in Company B of Clark’s Special Battalion of the North Carolina Militia, but further details of his military service are not yet known.
Prag’s initial connection to Randolph County is also unclear.  It is possible that he was involved with the local factories in the production of underwear under contract to the Quartermaster.  His work supplying the army may have forced him to leave New Bern after its capture by federal forces on March 14, 1862.  It doesn’t seem likely that Prag would have been allowed to frequently cross enemy lines if his family remained in New Bern, but  Rose Adler Prag is said to have died in New Bern on July 20, 1864.
The 1870 census finds Isaiah and Jane Prag in Calvert County, Maryland.  The 1879-80 city directory of Baltimore (p. 625) lists 6 separate families of Prags, with Isaiah listed as selling furniture.  The 1880 census finds him settled in Cambridge, Maryland, the seat of Dorchester County on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay.  This is where family records place him at the time of his death, April 18, 1889.
It appears that Isaiah and Rose Adler Prag were Jewish, and may have been one of the first Jewish families to reside in Randolph County.  That may be why Isaiah gave the Steed family as valuable a gift as the ham would have been in 1864- religious dietary laws would have prevented him from eating it.
[Sources:  US Census records for the years cited; Randolph County Marriage Bonds; Miscellaneous Records of the North Carolina Quartermaster’s dealings with Isaiah Prag or Pragg, preserved in the National Archives at Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms, 1861-65 ; the Park Service online list of Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, at>; Prag family geneaology records on at .]

Paragraph 13:
“My present was a balmoral (petticoat) which she had carded, spun and woven herself…”
A Balmoral was a long woollen petticoat which was popularized by Queen Victoria at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.  Usually of striped fabric, it was worn immediately beneath the dress so that it showed below the skirt.

The woman wearing a Balmoral in this “carte de visite” is Rachel Bodley (1831-1888), the first female chemistry professor at Philadelphia’s Women’s Medical College from 1865 to 1873.

Paragraph 14:
“…a bowl of mush or … plate of thick corn pones.”
Corn Meal Mush was made two different ways, and it appears that Mr. Winningham liked both of them.  The first was prepared in rolls like sausage or in loaf pans like modern liver pudding.  The cook would cut it in slices, dredge in egg yolk, dust in flour, fry and serve with butter, molasses, syrup or powdered sugar.  The second method was to boil the corn meal in a saucepan just as if preparing raw oatmeal or grits.  It was then served hot in a bowl topped with milk, sugar, fruit, raisins, nuts or ice cream.
“Corn Pone” is corn bread made without milk or eggs, and either baked in hot coals (as described by Nannie Winningham) or fried.

Modern Corn Pone Recipe (makes 4 servings):

Ingredients:  3 cups cornmeal; 3 teaspoons salt; 2-3 cups water; 3 tablespoons lard

Directions:  Bring water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add cornmeal and salt and immediately remove from stove. Mix well.  Melt half of lard in a baking pan to coat. Stir remaining lard into corn meal mixture. Pour mixture into baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes, or until golden brown.

Reuben Wood’s Library

March 27, 2010

[Because of the length of this research paper, I divided it up into five sections; actually six now, because the footnotes wouldn’t register with the blog software, so I but them in a separate post.  I and II deal with Reuben Wood and his family and career; the footnotes follow; and II, IV and V is the inventory of his library, transcribed by me from the handwritten text in Will Book 4.  Not every title has been recovered- if you have any ideas for one of the odd titles, email me.]

With no diaries and other first-hand accounts available to tell us of daily life in 18th-century Randolph County, one of the only alternative sources is to look in the Will Books maintained by the county Clerk of Court.  The series of books, dating back to the formation of the county in 1779, preserve more than just the Last Will and Testaments of county residents; those who died without a will (“intestate”) often provide even more information.  A typical first step in the administration of any estate was compiling an inventory of the deceased’s personal property, and one of the next steps was often to sell it all at a public auction.  These inventories and sale accounts are the best window into early American domestic life we have as local historians.

While looking for something entirely different many years ago, I noticed that one of the very first inventories in Will Book 4 (the blank book was started in November, 1812) was the “Inventory and Account of the Sale of the Estate of Reubin Wood, Esq., Dec’d”, which took up 14 of the first 15 pages in the book.  I knew nothing at the time about Reuben Wood, other than he appeared to have owned a remarkable number of books, and the fact that many of them were law books indicated that he must have been an attorney.  I filed the Reuben Wood papers among the many hundreds of interesting Randolph County curiosities pending further research.

[Home spinner- a dozen yarn ends at the time]

Last fall I stumbled across it again, because one of the items of farm equipment sold at Wood’s 1812 auction sale was an unusual piece of textile production equipment.  “1 spinning machine — 9.0.0 [9 pounds sterling/ no shillings/no pence] ” was purchased by Benjamin Elliott, an Asheboro merchant who would go on, with his son Henry Branson Elliott, to convert his grist mill at Cedar Falls into Randolph County’s first textile mill.  Every estate at that time included numerous items of textile production equipment, and the Wood estate also sold “1 loom & apparatus” at 2.10.0, two spinning wheels (at 0.18.7 [probably a flax wheel] and 0.7.0 [probably a cotton or ‘walking’ wheel]), and one “flax machine” at 0.5.0 (probably a flax “brake,” an ironing-board-sized contraption that removed the hard outer husk from raw flax).

[36 yarn ends at once- more like a factory!]

The “spinning machine” was by far the most expensive piece of textile equipment, and was probably what was commonly called a “spinning jenny” or “plantation spinner,” used by slaves to mass-produce cotton yarn needed to weave clothes and domestic textiles.  This is the only reference I have seen to such a device in Randolph County estate records.  Its presence raises a number of questions:  was it meant to be used by the family’s slaves (there were nine)?  Does it indicate a long-standing family bias against imported English or European textiles?  Did Reuben Wood perhaps affect cotton “homespun” clothing, as Thomas Jefferson and North Carolina’s congressman Nathaniel Macon?  Or was this a recent acquisition indicating the effect of anti-English trade embargoes preceeding the War of 1812?  We’ll never know.

[Colonial Williamsburg coachmakers build a riding chair]

The Spinning Machine caused me to take a closer look at the Wood inventory.  One other unusual item stood out:  “1 Riding Chair”, purchased by the widow Charity Wood at the premium price of 22.0.0 Pounds Sterling!  (compare “1 Waggon,” at 15.0.0, or “1 Cart with Oxen” at 16.5.0!).  This indicated the upscale status of the Wood family just as much as the fact that Reuben Wood owned nine slaves at the time of his death.  Just recently the wheelwrights at Colonial Williamsburg reproduced a riding chair for the collection of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and explained that

[Child’s riding chair for horseback use]

“Riding chairs were popular in the 1700s… These vehicles typically had two wheels and seated one or two people…  Riding chairs were more comfortable than riding on a horse…  In a riding chair, you could move a bit, shift your weight. You didn’t have to sit on the back of a sweaty horse in August.  Also, it was easier on the horse, which didn’t have the weight of a human on its back. ”  [See ]

Not so extraordinary for the times was that a slave auction was part of the sale– in fact, the major financial aspect of the whole estate.  70.86% of the total auction proceeds of 2,272 pounds, 7 shillings, 11 pence represented the value of nine human beings (1,610 pounds, 12 shillings, 6 pence).  All but one of the nine were purchased by the widow or by family members, so this particular sale did not represent the catastrophic separation of slave families that many such auctions did.  No comparable research has been conducted in other Randolph County estates, so it is not clear whether the high proportionate value of the enslaved blacks was unusual in this case.

What was without a doubt unusual was the high proportionate value of Reuben Wood’s Library to the total value of his estate.  Almost fifteen and three-quarters percent of the total auction proceeds was made up of the price paid for books.  While that may not sound impressive, look at it this way:  when the value of enslaved people are subtracted from the total estate, the sales total just 661 pounds, 9 shillings and 9 pence; and out of that total, 357 pounds, 9 pence represented books—54% of all personal property excluding slaves.  Two hundred twenty-three separate titles are listed by name, and due to the book-binding practices of the time, it can be safely assumed that the vast majority of these titles were multi-volume sets.  My study of the collection indicates that it probably represented approximately 800 volumes, a large private library even by modern standards.

To understand how mind-boggling this percentage is, we must check out other Randolph County estate inventories.  A comprehensive comparison was beyond my available time these past 6 months, but a random check of 50 or so estates in the first four will books indicates that not one in three Randolph County decedents at the turn of the 19th century even listed books as part of their estates.  Typical of those was Joseph Hill (d. 1794, WB 2, p.18) and Barnaby McDade (d.1812, WB4, P17), both of whom list simply”1 Bible.”   Elizabeth Wright (Feb. 1813, WB4, p.22), lists “1 Hymn book” and “3 books.”  Stephen Cox (August 1814, WB4, p.92) listed “1 spelling book” which sold for 4 shillings, 7 pence and “1 Arithmetick & Testament” worth 1 shilling.

Only four take the trouble to list books by title, as did Joseph Wilson when he inventoried the Wood estate.  Haman Miller of the Farmer community, who died in  1814 (WB4, p.97), was one of the wealthiest men in the county.  His wife listed “1 Testament”, “1 Hymn Book,” and 18 assorted law books in her inventory, indicating his status as a Justice of the Peace (what we would today consider a county commissioner).  His sale listed “1 Dictionary… 1 Pilgrim’s Progress… 1 Little Boston Collection… Acts of Congress… Acts of the General Assembly… and Laws of the United States.”  Col. John Brower, another JP (d. 1814, WB4, p.100) had an estate sale which raised $2,312.48, of which just $37.41 was attributed to the sale of his 71 books, including “Dutch [German] Books,” “Acts of the General Assembly,” “Martin’s Justice,” “Hutchinson’s Works,” and “Carver’s Travels” comparable to those Reuben Woods’ collection.  William Tomlinson (1812, WB4, p.74) unhelpfully lists “1 lot of old books” and “1 lot of pamphlets” and a book on Landlord-Tenant law, but also features a volume of “Christian Philosophy” and 4 volumes of “Newton’s Works” (Sir Isaac Newton? Unclear).  In none of these estates is the proportion of books to the total anywhere near that in the Reuben Wood estate.

Before researching the man himself, I decided to look closely at the contents of his library.  As best I could, I transcribed each title, alphabetized them, and then sought to classify them by subject matter.  It became obvious that the inventory had been based on the short title embossed on the leather spine of a book or series, which was probably called out aloud by one person while being transcribed phonetically by another- a process that inevitably led to mis-spellings and odd transpositions.   I attempted to match each short title from the inventory with the author and exact title of an edition which might have been the one listed.  The most useful resource for this purpose was the British Library’s English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) of items printed before 1801 [ ]; I also used the Law Library of Congress Rare Book Collection [ ] for specialty law titles.  Three early-19th century library catalogues provided interesting comparisons:  the 1822 printed catalogue of books in the UNC-Chapel Hill Philanthropic Society library; the 1828 catalogue of the University of Virginia library; and the 1831 catalogue of Harvard’s Porcellian Club Library.

Twenty-eight titles have so far defied my analysis- either no specific title was given [“A Lott of Books”/ “A Dutch Book”/ “A French Grammar”]; or the original listing is perhaps in error [Grolisque?  Canuclad?]; or the information given was vague or inadequate [“A Small View,” “Christ”?], or I have been unable to match the title to any known comparable book [“Astrolhology,” “Sullivant’s Lectures,” “Thiston’s Memorials,” “Jennings Works,” etc].

Undoubtedly more titles will become clear with additional research, but some things are obvious.  At least 67 titles were those used by a working lawyer, representing what appears to be one of the largest private law libraries in Piedmont North Carolina.  Four books were reference works [such as Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary] and six were in German or French.  Sixteen were Classical Literature, with Greek and Roman authors in translation.  Ten related to religion, with a strong bias toward Presbyterianism, with a large number of titles from the Scottish Enlightenment.  Another 18 can be classified as contemporary philosophical and ethical works, including Locke, Helvitius, Lavater, Chesterfield and Edmund Burke.   Twenty-one titles would then have been classified as “Political Economy,” titles that were standard currency among the Founding Fathers: Junias, Burke, Adam Smith, Burlemaqui, Joseph Priestly, Thomas Paine.  Twenty-eight titles were in the realm of History and Biography: not just ancient history, but a number of contemporary works indicating an interest in foreign policy, especially of France, Ireland, Scotland, India, and Prussia.  Finally, twenty-three titles were purely for entertainment, with classics of English Literature such as Paradise Lost, The Spectator, and The Rambler; early novels such as Clarissa Harlow, Tristam Shandy and Tom Jones; and a number of volumes of poetry.  Oddly missing are standard titles and authors such as Shakespeare [neither plays nor sonnets], Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Homer’s Iliad or Odyssey.  Perhaps these titles were in the “1 Lott of Books” which sold for the amazingly large price of 37 pounds, 2 shillings and 6 pence- more than the Riding Chair, more than “1 Bay Horse, 26.10.0” and half the price of “1 Negro Girl, Eleanor, 75.0.0”.

Reuben Wood’s Library II

March 22, 2010

When I turned toward researching Reuben Wood himself, I was surprised to discover that a genealogical sketch of his life had been written by none other than Senator Sam Ervin, Jr., of Morganton, a great-great-great-grandson of Reuben Wood.  An entry in the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, summarized a manuscript written by Senator Sam, which stated :

“My mother’s… great-great-grandfather, Reuben Wood [was] an old-time lawyer of Randolph County, North Carolina, who practiced as a trial lawyer in virtually every superior court and county court of pleas and quarter sessions which sat in the vast region lying between his home in Randolph County and Jonesboro, Tennessee.”

It appears that Reuben Wood was the first resident of Randolph County actually licensed to practice law in Randolph County. How had this man been so thoroughly forgotten in his own home county?

Reuben Wood’s father, John Wood (b. 23 May 1716- May 3, 1794), was a native of Middleborough, Massachusetts. He had four children by his first wife Sarah Clement, one of whom, Zebedee Wood (26 Feb 1745- 11 July 1824), became Reuben’s partner in Randolph County government.  Soon after the birth of Zebedee, John Wood moved his family to the town of Mendam in Morris County, New Jersey, where his next son was born and Sarah died, perhaps from complications in childbirth. With four children under ten, John Wood quickly remarried and father four more children by his second wife Sibbel [Sybil] Wilborne. Reuben Wood (circa 1755- July 1812) was born to John and Sybil in New Jersey, but his brother David, who arrived in 1759, was born in North Carolina, indicating that the family had moved once again.

Surely the boy Reuben came to North Carolina with his family; but the “History of Morris County, New Jersey” lists a Reuben Wood from Mendham as a member of Captain Cox’s Company of the 3rd New Jersey Regiment in 1776. Perhaps he returned to attend school—Princeton is close by—and lived with his mother’s relatives. Even if so, both Reuben and Zebedee were soon involved with the militia in Randolph County. Zebedee Wood was one of Randolph County’s first militia captains in 1779, at a time when the militia captain’s district was the fundamental governing unit of the county.  In 1779 Reuben served as lieutenant (second in command) of Captain Thomas Clark’s infantry company, which “rendezvoused at Salisbury & marched to Charlestown under Col. Archibald Lytle a Continental Col. & joined General Lincoln” in the defense of Charleston. Whether Reuben was still there when Charleston fell to the British in May, 1780, is unknown, since in November 1779 he had married Charity Hinds, probably a sister of his militia commander Captain John Hines, whose “Light Horse” Company Wood joined as lieutenant in 1780.  Hinds was one of the most active captains in the new county, and spent a great deal of time in 1781 and 1782 jousting with the Tory guerrillas led by Colonel David Fanning.

By 1782 Wood was no longer serving in Hinds’ company; he must have taken time in the early 1780s to further his education.  There is no mention of him in county court records before1782, and those minutes are missing between 1783 and 1787; but suddenly when Book 3 opens in September 1787 Reuben Wood is listed as “State’s Attorney,” the equivalent of the modern District Attorney.  The educational gap between 19 year-old militia lieutenant in 1779 to State’s Attorney by 1787 was not as deep then as now; no law schools and graduate degrees were available, so a prospective lawyer apprenticed to his trade by “reading” law with an established attorney. It could not have hurt his chances for employment that brother Zebedee was by then one of the Justices of the Peace who ran the county court.

[Rowan County Courthouse in Salisbury]

Where Reuben Wood received his legal education is an open question, but closely available was his immediate predecessor as Randolph County State’s Attorney. When the county was formed in March 1779, one of the very first orders of business was to hire as State’s Attorney Spruce Macay [McKay] (?-1808), who also served as the Rowan County State’s Attorney. Macay was the son of Rowan County Sheriff James Macay, and graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1775. He served as State’s Attorney in Rowan until 1785, when he may also have resigned his Randolph position. Macay left the practice of law in 1790 when he was elected a Superior Court Judge, but in the 1780s at least one soon-to-be-famous lawyer read law with him: Andrew Jackson (1767-1845). The 17-year-old Waxhaw native moved to Salisbury to live with McKay and study the law in 1784. After two years with Macay, Jackson moved on to study one more year with another Salisbury lawyer John Stokes (March 20, 1756 – October 12, 1790), a crotchety veteran who would emphasize his points in court by banging the silver knob that replaced a hand he lost in the Revolution. In September 1787 Jackson was licensed to practice law in Rowan County, and on December 11, 1787, “Andrew Jackson, Esquire, produced a license from the Honorable the Judges of the Superior Court of Law & Equity Authorizing him to practice as an Attorney in the Several County Courts.  Took the Oath prescribed and proceeded to practice in said Court.” One of the Justices of the Peace sitting at that session of court was Zebedee Wood, and Reuben had been practicing as States Attorney for the County since at least June of that year. So perhaps Reuben Wood and Andrew Jackson were classmates in the law office of Spruce Macay; that they were practicing members of the Randolph County Bar at the same time is a fact.

[Bust of Andrew Jackson, ca. 1812]

Reuben Wood temporarily resigned his office as States Attorney several times in the 1788 so that other attorneys could handle particular cases. One of his replacements in 1788 was John Louis Taylor (1769-1829), a Fayetteville resident and graduate of William and Mary. Taylor became a Superior Court Judge in 1797 and in 1810 was appointed the first Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Part of the reason Wood couldn’t represent Randolph full time was that he had also been appointed State’s Attorney in Burke County for the years 1788 and 1789. Burke County then encompassed all of western North Carolina, including the huge undeveloped territory which would become Tennessee. Burke County’s quarter sessions began on the first Monday of the month, so Wood may have had trouble getting back home in time for the regular second Monday beginning of Randolph Court.

[Burke County Courthouse]

There are claims among some secondary sources that Reuben Wood and his brother Zebedee were both attorneys. I have seen nothing to indicate this, and the confusion apparently begins with a misreading of the suffix “Esq.” which court records attach to both their names. In modern American useage “Esq.” [an abbreviation for ‘Esquire’] indicates that the subject is a lawyer. In the 18th century America it was used to denote anyone who held an office of trust under state government, such as Justices of the Peace, Sheriff, Clerk of Court, Register of Deeds, etc., also including all attorneys. In English useage of the time, “Esquire — A rank next below that of Knight… this title is held by all attendants on the person of the Sovereign, and all persons holding the Sovereign’s commission being of military rank not below Captain; also, by general concession, by Barristers at Law”. Reuben Wood was entitled to the honorific as an attorney; Zebedee Wood as both a militia captain and as Justice of the Peace. According to NC law at the time, an attorney was not allowed to practice as an attorney if he accepted a commission as a Justice of the Peace, so obviously in the Wood family, brother Zebedee was the politician and brother Reuben the lawyer.

That didn’t mean that they didn’t serve together at times. Both were among the county’s delegates to the North Carolina Constitutional Conventions of 1788 and 1789.
The first, meeting in Hillsborough, considered the arguments of Federalist party managers and overwhelmingly rejected ratification of the proposed U.S. Constitution. The Anti-Federalists, who feared a strong central federal government, objected to the document without some guarantee of basic personal freedoms. Ratification was rejected by a vote of 184-84, with six members abstaining to vote. Interestingly, Reuben Wood was Randolph County’s sole abstention; the rest of the county delegation voted unanimously to reject.

The second convention, meeting in Fayetteville, ratified the Constitution upon the promise of the future Bill of Rights. An attempt to add amendments to the Constitution strictly limiting the Federal government’s control over the states was defeated 187-82. Then the Constitution was ratified by a vote of 194-77. On this occasion, Reuben Wood voted with the majority both times, and Zebedee Wood voted with the losing Anti-Federalists. Nathan Stedman, their Randolph County co-delegate who had voted against ratification in 1788, abstained from both votes- therefore not siding with either brother!

[Early Buncombe County Courthouse]

Their tours of service together didn’t end with the Constitutional Conventions- in 1791 both brothers were elected to represent Randolph County in the General Assembly: Reuben in the House of Commons and Zebedee in the State Senate. The next year Reuben continued his long-distance commutes to court, as he was hired by the Justices sitting at the organizational meeting of the Buncombe County Court to serve as that county’s first State’s Attorney. With Randolph court being held beginning on the second Monday of each quarter, and Buncombe court being held beginning on the third Monday of each quarter, Wood’s travel time on horseback must have made continual service in both next to impossible. But riding the circuit of the county courts became Wood’s professional life. As Sam Ervin writes in the DNCB:

[Jonesboro,”The Oldest Town in Tennessee”]

“With horse and saddlebags, Wood attended virtually all of the courts that sate in the vast territory between his home in Randolph County and North Carolina’s westernmost county town, Jonesboro, which now lies within the boundaries of Tennessee. He was among the lawyers considered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1788 for appointment as attorney for the Washington District, embracing practically all of the territory that subsequently became the state of Tennessee.” The man Reuben Wood lost the Tennessee District Attorney job to: his brother at the bar, Andrew Jackson, who used it as his springboard into state politics and ultimately, the Presidency.

[President Andrew Jackson, 1844]

Reuben Wood resigned the Buncombe County position in April of 1795.  He was at least 40 years old at the time, and either the harsh demands of life in the saddle or his growing family must have dictated that he stay closer to home. The number his books which were authored or published in the 1790s also argue that he then had more time to read and expand his library. Starting in the 1780s Reuben and Charity Wood had a family of eight children, four sons and four daughters, half of whom were still living at home at the time of the Census of 1810. With more than 600 acres of land to tend in the Polecat Creek/ Sandy Creek area, with eight children, and with the head of the family often gone for weeks or months at a stretch, it’s understandable that Reuben Wood gradually became a substantial slave owner.

[Burke County looking towards Tennessee]

Senator Sam Ervin observed of his ancestor, “Unlike most of his contemporaries at the early NC bar, he devoted his chief efforts to the law rather than to politics. As a consequence, he became noted as a wise counselor and skillful advocate.” Wood’s politics in truth may not have been suitable for either federal or state politics: his vote in the 1788 constitutional convention did not benefit the Federalist positions of James Iredell/ Alfred Moore/ William R. Davie, who later received appointments from Washington and Adams; his vote in 1789 also would not have endeared him to the Jeffersonian party where his brother Zebedee had voted the straight line. One political plum that Reuben Wood did receive late in his career was an appointment by the legislature as a “Counselor of State” from 1800 through 1806, which apparently was a something of an “in-house counsel” position giving advice to the Governor.

It’s possible that one reason he accumulated such a large personal collection was so that he could accept young men as law students.  When Andrew Jackson switched over to study law with John Stokes, he was following Spruce Macay’s recommendation to study with the man whose law library “exceeded any other in the region.” Wood’s collection would certainly have given him that reputation; even in 1821 the library of the Dialectic Society at the University in Chapel Hill was just a little more than twice its size.  Looking at the men who married his daughters gives us some evidence that Wood set about training a new generation of lawyers.  Joseph Wilson (1782-1829), a Quaker native of Guilford County, was Reuben Wood’s only confirmed student; he was licensed to practice law in 1804 and settled in Stokes County, where he served in the legislature. From 1812 until his death he served as State’s Attorney in the western district of North Carolina, the same job Reuben Wood had started twenty years before. Wood became so identified with bringing law and order to Western North Carolina that he was subsequently known as “the Great Solicitor.” Wilson’s brother Jethro Starbuck Wilson also likely studied with Wood; he married Wood’s daughter Laura (, became a lawyer and went into practice in Charlotte. Further along the distaff side of the family tree, Senator Sam Ervin’s mother Laura Theresa Powe was the great-grandaughter of Mary and Joseph Wood’s daughter Laura Theresa Wilson (1808-1848), a family line which included five additional lawyers.

It’s not clear that any of Reuben Wood’s own sons followed him into the practice of law.  In fact, their relationships do not appear to have been close.  Oldest son John L. Wood was excluded from the draft will his father wrote, and appears to have left Randolph County for the western territories at an early date. When his father died, he was contacted in Tennessee, and his descendants settled in Arkansas.  Son Albert L. Wood was left only a life estate in part of the family property by his father, and soon followed his brother West; his family settled in Missouri.  There is some indication Joseph Wood became a frontier doctor; his family settled in Texas.  Youngest son Edwin may have been his father’s favorite; could he have been working to follow his father into the law?  Unfortunately, Edwin only survived his father by two years, the only one of the children to die so young.

Some sudden illness apparently came upon Reuben Wood in the summer of 1812; as is the case with many lawyers, his own personal affairs were not in good order.  He owed a number of outstanding debts, and he was owed payment for work done for clients on credit.  He drafted a will, obviously on his sick bed, which was not properly signed or witnessed, and was never probated.  Reuben Wood died at home in late July, 1812. Though he had wanted young Edwin to settle the estate, his brother-in-law Joseph Wilson took over, appointing guardians for the three minor children, settling the widow’s petition for dower support, conducting the inventory and the sale of Wood’s personal property. It is unknown how long Charity Wood survived her husband. All of the children had left Randolph County and all of Reuben’s real property had been sold by 1825, and so far no reliable records mention Charity. The location of the burial plot of Reuben Wood, Edwin Wood and perhaps Charity Wood is also unknown. Brother Zebedee and his family, who lived not far away from Reuben, are buried at Shiloh Methodist Church, near Julian.

Trying to reconstruct a man’s private and professional life almost 200 years after his death is not an easy task even when sources are plentiful. With the early founders and leaders of Randolph County, the sources are scattered, many puzzle pieces are missing, and without personal letters, journals or diaries, intellectual opinions and internal motivations are hard to imagine from the bare legal records that remain. Reuben Wood’s library offers a rare window into his mind, his interests, and his education- the only insight available, since absolutely nothing remains of his home, his grave, his physical existence. Perhaps the list of his books in Will Book 4 really is Reuben Wood’s most appropriate memorial.

Thankfully, the internet has now made research into Reuben Wood’s library much easier than it was just a decade ago. A study of the books Wood read and chose to purchase adds color to the picture of him outlined by Senator Sam Ervin in 1972: not just a hard-working, circuit-riding trial lawyer, but a philosopher of the law, a deep thinker on topics of constitutions and government, economics, and ethics. Well-educated in the classical tradition, and committed to educating others, he established a tradition of professional and public service that has endured down to the present day. Even after uncovering, sifting, and organizing all this information about Reuben Wood, it still surprises me that he and his brother Zebedee have been so completely forgotten by the county they served. A contemporary of the Founding Fathers, Reuben Wood should have been remembered as our Randolph County Adams, Jefferson or Madison. This is an attempt to correct that oversight.

Footnotes to Reuben Wood’s Library

March 20, 2010

[Wordpress doesn’t like footnotes. It strips them out of the text and they vanish. Here are all the footnotes from both sections, but they’ve lost their connections to the text. Believe me, there was a mountain of research behind these blog entries. If you want a copy of the whole research paper, with the footnotes in the correct places, email me directly. Otherwise, you can puzzle through the footnotes here:];brand=default;

Or perhaps this was his travelling law library. Thomas Jefferson had a special travelling book collection which he’d take with him when travelling to and from Monticello; it was a stackable set of wooden boxes which, when opened up like “Lawyer’s Bookcases”, made its own bookshelf.

Dictionary of North Carolina Biography. Volume 6, T-Z. Edited by William S. Powell. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1996. (DcNCBi 6).

Samuel J. Ervin, Jr., “The Woods of Plymouth County, Massachusetts and Randolph County, North Carolina”. Unpublished manuscript given to the Randolph County Public Library, 13 Oct. 1972, by the author. [Quoting his “Prefatory Note”]. Henry Wood, great-great-grandfather of John Wood, was one of the Pilgrims who came to Massachusetts on the Mayflower in 1620.

Spruce McCay, States Attorney, was the first to be licensed to practice in the Randolph County court on 14 June 1779. He was a resident of Salisbury. On the same day, Nathaniel Williams became was the first licensed trial attorney, and his brother James Williams was the second on 15 Dec. 1779. They were evidently from Hillsborough. A William Locke was licensed on 9 Sept. 1782; then there is an information gap, after which Reuben Wood is already practicing on 13 Sept. 1787. See the Randolph County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions Minute Books 1 and 3. Book 2 has been missing and presumed destroyed for more than 100 years.

From John Wood Jr. was born May 23, 1716 in Middleboro, MA. He died May 3, 1794 in Randolph Co, NC. He married Sarah Clemons (born March 2, 1717) at Taunton MA on 28 Apr 1738. They lived at Middleboro MA until 1744, when he and Sarah took Letter of Transfer from the First Church and went to Berkley, Bristol County. They had four children, the first three are in Middleboro Records. Sarah was born in Freetown, MA, daughter of John CLEMONS Jr. & Judith WITHERELL; she died in Morris Co. , New Jersey. Wood ‘s second wife was Sibbel Wilborn/Wilborne who died August 13,1791. Her connection to the Wilborn/Welborns of Randolph County is not known, but they were close neighbors to John, Zebedee and Reuben.

“The Woods of Randolph County,” Randolph County Genealogical Journal, Vol. IV, #2, Winter 1980.

Genealogical information on the John Wood family is posted on at least a dozen family trees at www. The first mention of John Wood in North Carolina records is from Guilford County Deed Book 1, Page 92, where he witnessed a deed from Joseph Hinds to Simon Hines for 30 acres on Polecat Creek on 5 March 1770. There are no land purchases by John Wood on record in Rowan County (which included part of Randolph from 1755-1771) or in Guilford County (1771-1779). The first deed to John Wood is found in Randolph Deed Book 2, p.76, for 330 acres on Polecat Creek on the Trading Road. Witnesses were Joseph Hinds and Jesse Wilborn. On the other hand, Zebedee Wood’s first purchase, 100 acres on Sandy Creek formerly belonging to Herman Husbands, was recorded 6 April 1774 in Guilford County Deed Book 1, p.253. See also North Randolph Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. 3, #3, page 144.

The History of Morris County, New Jersey, published by W.W. Munsell & Co., 1882. Cited without a page number on

Princeton, then “the College of New Jersey”, is 34 miles due south of Mendam, NJ.

Randolph County Court Minutes refer to Capt. Wood’s tax district (1779, 1780, 1781); in Sept. 1781, Christian Brower was appointed Constable “for Capt. Zebedee Wood’s dist.”

Revolutionary War Pension Application of Andrew McPheeters, # S16950, Transcribed by Will Graves, 2/26/09. McPheeters was a resident of Grainger County, Tennessee, in August 1832 who swore “that in the last of October 1779 he substituted for a 3 months tour of duty in the place of Samuel Clark under Capt. Thomas Clark Lieut. Reuben Wood Ensign Simeon Garian we rendezvoused at Salisbury & marched to Charlestown under Col. Archibald Lytle a Continental Col. & joined General Lincoln at Charlestown he remained at Charlestown until the expiration of his service…”

A long tradition among Wood decendants is that Reuben married “Charity Haynes from South Carolina.” Both the Joseph and John Hinds families were neighbors of John, Zebedee and Reuben Wood, and Zebedee and Reuben served with both Hinds in the Revolution. Genealogical sources say that Hinds and Haynes are different ways of spelling the same family name. Hinds family papers found in Tennessee and transcribed in the Fall, 2007 issue of the Randolph County Genealogical Journal, p.16: “List of Capt. John Hinds Co. that completed a Tower of duty in the Regiment of horsemen, commanded by Co. Luttrell by order of the Board of War in the year 1780…  John Hinds, Capt.; Reuben Wood, Lieut.; Wm. York, Ensign; Wm. Alred, Sgt…” The following marriage license was kept in the same group of John Hinds family papers and must indicate a connection to his family: “State of North Carolina/ Randolph County

To any Minister of the Gospel Regularly called to any Congregation—or to any Justice within this State—You or any of you are hereby authorized an impowered to Solemnize the rights of Matrimony between Reuben WOODS and Charity HINDS agreeable to Act of General Assembly in that Case made and provided.  Given under my hand at office this 18th day of November Anno domini 1779.

Absalom TATOM CCC ”

long tradition among Wood decendants is that Reuben married “Charity Haynes from South Carolina.” Both the Joseph and John Hinds families


A List of The Company Who Served Under Capt. John Hinds in Randolph County by Coll. Collier, Ordered in 1781: John Hinds Capt.; Wm. York, Lt.”

RC Ct of P&QS Minutes, 9-13-1787: Reubin Wood, Atty at Law, serving as States Attorney.

“Spruce McCay” appointed States Attorney. 6-14-1779 (RCCt P&QS Minutes,p. 5) Paid $100 pds for attendance at 4 courts as States Attorney (3-14-80, p.18). His DCNB entry (Vol 4, p. 119) recounts the facts of his life. and . . After North Carolina ratified the Constitution, Stokes was appointed by President Washington to serve as the state’s first U.S. District Court Judge.

RC Ct of P&QS Minutes, 12-11-1787.

There is another possibility for Reuben Wood’s supervising attorney: Waightstill Avery. Spruce Macay (licensed 1778) and John Stokes (licensed 1784), may have studied with Avery (1741-1821), the first Attorney General of North Carolina. He graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1766, taught there for a year, then read law with Lyttleton Dennis, a prominent Maryland attorney. He moved back to North Carolina in 1769, finally settling in Charlotte. He served on the committee that drafted the state constitution of 1776. He moved to Burke County after the war and practiced law in the western district. In 1788 he was a nominee, along with Reuben Wood, for the state’s attorney job there. See his DNCB article, in volume 1.

RC Ct of P&QS Minutes, 9-15-1787, “Reuben Wood, Esquire, attorney for the State in said county resigns his appointment… and John McNairy, Esquire, appointed in his Room.”; 6-9-1788, Reuben Wood appointed attorney for the state; 6-12-1788, Reuben Wood, Esquire, resigned his appointment as attorney for the state and John Louis Taylor appointed in his room.” Taylor’s brother-in-law was another future Supreme Court Judge, William Gaston.

Boutell, Charles (1899) English Heraldry, page 120.

Zebedee Wood was sitting on the county bench on 13 Sept. 1787, and must have been appointed at some time between 1783 and then. RCCt P&QS, Minutes 1787-, p.2.

Delegates in 1788 from Randolph:  William Bowden, Zebeedee Wood, Edmund Waddill, Reuben Wood, Nathan Stedman, Thomas Douglas, Jeff Henley, William Bailey. In 1789 only Zebedee Wood, Reuben Wood, and Nathan Stedman returned.

Proceedings and Debates of the Convention of North Carolina, convened at Hillsborough on Monday the 21st day of July, 1788, for the purpose of Deliberating and Determining on the Constitution Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia… (Edenton: Printed by Hodge & Wills, 1789).

Minutes of the North Carolina Constitutional Convention at Fayetteville, pp. 46-49;

N.C. Manual.

Records of Buncombe County Court from April Term 1792 Til April Term 1796, Inclusive.

North Carolina, Buncombe County
April 16th AD 1792.
Agreeably to a commission to us directed the county Court of said county was begun opened and held at the house of Col. William Davidson Esquire…. On the motion that an attorney for the State in Buncombe county be appointed, Reuben Wood Esqur was duely Elected.”

Ibid, DNCB, vol. 6.

No comprehensive family history exists. The story of the three daughters who remained in North Carolina is set forth in the Ervin manuscript. has fragmentary records from the older boys, who all migrated West. My reconstruction of the family, from Federal Census and other records, is as follows: John L. and Sarah, called “Sally,” must have been the oldest as they are named after Reuben’s parents, following the custom of the day. John L. (b. Apr. 1783) was in TN at time of father’s death, married Sophia McDaniel and settled in Arkansas; Sarah (c.1780- c.1820) married Augustine Willis; Mary (called “Polly”, c.1785-Oct. 1834, married Joseph Wilson); “Dr.” Joseph (c.1789-d.Texas after 1850, in the home of his son Reuben D. Wood).; Alfred L. (Feb. 1791-1861, married Nancy Proffitt and died in Missouri); Edwin (c.1795-1814); Evelina (, md. Augustine Willis in 1822 after death of Sally); Laura or “Laury” (, md. Jethro S. Wilson, brother of Joseph Wilson).

The census of 1790 shows him owning 2 slaves; 1800 – 9; 1810 – 11; and there were 9 sold at his estate auction.

Biography of John Stokes, DNCB Vol. 5, p.454.

The 1821 catalogue of the Dialectic Society Library shows that it had about 500 titles, with a total of 1673 books. . Wood’s library had 225 titles, with perhaps 700 books. The Di and Phi libraries had more books than the University library at the time.

Joseph Wilson was elected to the NC House of Commons from Stokes County in 1810, ’11, and ’12. North Carolina Manual, 1913.

See Samuel A’Court Ashe,  Biographical history of North Carolina from colonial times… Vol 7, p.499: “AMONG the celebrated lawyers in western North Carolina of the olden time, the name of Joseph Wilson stands preeminent. His ancestors on the paternal side were Scotch; they came to North Carolina about 1730, and settled in Perquimans, near Edenton. William Wilson, of this family, moved first to Guilford County, then to Randolph County, where he married Eunice Worth. She was of English descent, and like himself was of the Society of Friends. They were the parents of Joseph Wilson, the subject of this sketch, who was born in 1782. His early education was directed by Rev. David Caldwell. He chose the profession of law and studied under Reuben Wood, a lawyer of note in Randolph County, whose daughter Mary he married. He was licensed to practice law in 1804 and settled in Stokes County. By native talent, force of character and application, he soon rose to the uppermost ranks of his profession. He was elected to the legislature in 1810. 1811, 1812, and was distinguished as a firm advocate of American rights in the troubles and controversy then existing between this country and England.  In 1812 he was elected solicitor of the mountain district, then embracing nearly the entire western part of the State.”

See also .

The Wilson brothers were Quaker descendants of John Worth of Nantucket; see

671. Joseph WILSON (235.Eunice5, 69.Joseph4, 9.Joseph3, 2.John2, 1.William1) b. abt. 1780, New Garden, North Carolina, m. Mary WOOD, b. abt. 1780. Children:

1258. Abigail WILSON b. abt. 1800, New Garden, N.C., m. 1818, Thomas SIMONS, b. abt. 1800.
1259. Samuel WILSON b. abt. 1801, New Garden, N.C, m. 1819, Ruth THORNBURY, b. abt. 1801, (daughter of Thomas THORNBURY and Miriam THORNBURY).
1260. Sarah WILSON b. abt. 1815, m. Coatsworth P. CALDWELL, b. abt. 1815.
+ 1261. Laura L. WILSON b. abt. 1817.

674. Jethro WILSON (235.Eunice5, 69.Joseph4, 9.Joseph3, 2.John2, 1.William1) b. abt. 1786, New Garden, N.C., m. Laura WOOD, b. abt. 1786. Children:

+ 1263. Jethro WILSON b. abt. 1810.
+ 1264. Evalina WILSON b. abt. 1813.
+ 1265. Cornelia E. WILSON b. abt. 1815.
+ 1266. Orianna WILSON b. abt. 1818.
1267. William J. WILSON b. abt. 1820, m. Mary CATHEY, b. abt. 1820.

Laura Theresa Wilson (1808-1848) md. 1. Marshall Tait Polk (atty of Charlotte, younger brother of James Knox Polk); 2. Dr. William Caldwell Tate (1808-1869) of Morganton; her daughter Catherine Elvira Tate (1848-1918) md. Willam Ellerbe Powe (1829-1903); their daughter Laura Theresa Powe (1868-1956) md. Samuel James Ervin (1855-1944), an attorney in Burke Co. for 65 year; their son Samuel J. Ervin, Jr. was the well-known “country lawyer” who as chairman of the U.S. Senate committee investigated Watergate; his son Samuel J. Ervin III was a U.S. District Court Judge; his son Samuel J. Ervin IV is yet another Burke County attorney….

It is unclear whether Augustine Willis (b.1770), the quondam husband of both Sarah and Evalina Wood, may have been a lawyer. Someone of the same name represented Halifax County, NC in the General Assembly in 1779 and 1786, but it appears that the parents of our Augustine Willis were John Austin Willis II and Mary Hayes Plummer. See . A son of Sally and Augustine was born in Maury County, TN in 1810; this is the same county where her brother John L. Wood lived at the time their father died. The Willis family subsequently moved to Madison County, Miss., where Augustine married the widowed Evalina Wood Moore in 1822.

Randolph County Deed Book 12, Page 156: I, John L. Wood of the State of Tennessee, Maury County, here… Quitclaim unto Alfred Wood and Edwin Wood of the State of North Carolina, Randolph County… all the Right, Title and interest that I have… as heir to any part of a tract of land on Sandy Creek formerly the property of Reuben Wood, Dec’d. –viz., the tract on which he Died… November 28, 1812. John L. Wood, Seal. Witness: Joseph Wood. Filed Feb. 1813.

Edwin Wood died before his father’s estate was closed; his own estate was probated 10 Feb. 1814 (RCGJ, op.cit., p.10).

In his estate file in the state archives in Raleigh is the “Will of Reuben Wood” dated 6-25-1812 which was not probated by the court (RC Gen. Journal, op.cit, pp.7-8).  The signature, if that’s what it was, is nearly illegible and there were no witnesses. There might have been some competency issues with probating the will; it named as Executor his minor son Edwin Wood, which Wood should have known was a legal impossibility; it specifically disinherited oldest son John L. Wood and fails to mention his youngest daughters Laury and Evelina.

From The Star, 7 Aug 1812: “Died In Randolph County, Reuben Wood, Esquire, Attorney at Law.” File at: .

Alexander Gray, Guardian of Edwin Wood;  Jesse Harper Guardian of Laury Wood, Joseph Wilson, Guardian of Evelina Wood. Gray, the wealthiest man and largest slaveholder in the county, would soon become a militia General during the War of 1812; Jesse Harper was the Clerk of Superior Court.

Charity Wood’s Petition for Dower, RCGJ, op.cit, p. 8, Nov. 1812

When Reuben died he possessed of 350 acres on Polecat Creek and 300 acres on Sandy Creek adj. Isaac Lane, Alfred Wood, John Brower and Jacob Brower. The property was divided among the children. The last 300 acres of the Wood property, the portion of Alfred, John and Joseph, were sold to Joseph Staley in 1821 (DB 14:108) and 1825 (DB19:202).

RCGJ, op.cit., p.7.

Painfully researching each title through the ponderous volumes of the Library of Congress’ National Union Catalog, as I did in Library School in 1981, would have been impossible to do and keep a paying job today. The British Library’s Short Title Catalog is a modern miracle!

Reuben Wood’s Library III

March 17, 2010

Reuben Wood’s Library, Listed in Estate Sale

223 titles sold at his auction, November 1812

Transcribed from Randolph County, NC, Will Book 4, beginning at Page 2, by Mac Whatley.

Reference Works -4

Johnston’s Dictionary    0.10.0
[Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language: In Which the Words are Deduced from their Originals and Illustrated in their Different Significations by Examples from the Best Writers;  (London: published 15 April 1755) was the most influential English dictionary prior to the publication of the Oxford English Dictionary 173 years later.]
Atlas                     2.13.0
Domestic Medicine    0.9.0
[Buchan, William. Domestic Medicine, or A Treatise on the Prevention and Cure of Diseases By Regimen and Simple Medicines. Exeter: J.B. Williams, 1785.  Homeopathic remedies and preventative medical practices advocated by a Scottish physician.]
Murrays Introduction             0.5.0
[Lindley Murray (1745-1826), Murray’s Introduction to English Grammar: Compiled for the Use of the Youth in Baltimore Academy, Tammany Street: To Which is Added, An essay on Punctuation.  Baltimore: Printed by S. Engles & Co. at the Academy Press, 1806.]
Art of Speaking            0.10.0
[James Burgh, The art of speaking: containing, I. An essay; in which are given rules for expressing properly the principal passions and humours, which occur in reading and public speaking; and II. Lessons taken from the ancients and moderns (with additions and alterations, where thought useful)… Printed by Joseph Bumstead, for Ebenezer Larkin, 1793 (2nd ed.), 322pp.]

English Literature – 23

Akinses Letters    1.0.0
[John Aikin, M.D. (1747-1822), Letters from a Father to his Son, on various topics, Relative to Literature and the Conduct of Life.  London, 1796-1800.  Aikin was a prominent Unitarian-Universalist.  Porc-Aiken’s Letters, 12mo.]
Bells Poems                    0.2.1
[George Bell, A collection of poems on various subjects. By George Bell, Wright in Jedburgh.  Edinburgh: printed by William Turnbull, 1794; 34pp. 12mo.]
Blairs Letters                2.0.0
[Possibly Letters on Dr. Blair’s sermons.  Edinburgh:  printed for C. Elliot, and W. Coke, Leith, 1779; 35pp. 8vo.  “Dr.Blair” would be Hugh Blair (1718-1800), Scottish professor and Presbyterian preacher.]
Churchills works         0.2.7
[The Works of C. Churchill.  In 4 Volumes.  London: Printed for John Churchill (Executor of the Late C. Churchill) and W. Flexney.  5th ed., 1774.  Charles Churchill, 1731-1764, was an 18th c. poet and satirist.)]
Clarisa Harlow            2.3.0 [probably The history of Miss Clarissa Harlowe, comprehending the most important concerns of private life, and shewing wherein the arts of a designing villain, and the rigour of parental authority, conspired to complete the ruin of a virtuous daughter. Abridged from the works of Samuel Richardson, Esq. Author of Pamela and Sir Charles Grandison. Philadelphia, 1798.  Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) published the very popular early novel “Clarissa, Or, The History of a Young Lady” in 1748 in 8vol,
and there are many editions.  Only those published in the 1780s and 90s appear to use the title “Clarissa Harlowe”.]
Critical Essa on poetry        0.5.6
[perhaps William Duff (1732-1815), Critical observations on the writings of the most celebrated original geniuses in poetry. Being a sequel to the Essay on original genius. By W. Duff, A.M.  London, 1770; 372pp. 8vo.]
Eppagoniad             0.4.2
[William Wilkie (1721-1772), Epigoniad (1757), an epic poem on the Epigoni, sons of the seven heroes who fought against Thebes.]
Paradise Lost            0.8.0

[John Milton, Paradise Lost, A Poem in Ten Books. London, 1667.]
Hudibras                1.0.0
[Samuel Butler, Hudibras, In Three Parts.  Written in the Time of the Late Wars. First Ed., London, 1684.  First American edition. Troy (NY): Wright, Goodenow, & Stockwell, 1806. 12mo, 286pp.  CH Phil Soc has “Butler’s Hudibras”]
Goldsmiths Essas    0.10.0
[The Bee, A Select Collection of Essays, on the Most Interesting and Entertaining Subjects.  London: 1759.]
The London Magazine        1.1.0
[The London magazine: or, Gentleman’s monthly intelligencer.  London: printed by C[harles]. Ackers in St. John’s Street, for J[ohn]. Wilford, behind the Chapter-House in St. Paul’s Church-Yard; .T[homas]. Cox [sic] at the Lamb under the Royal-Exchange; J[ohn]. Clarke at the Golden-Ball in Duck-Lane; and T[homas]. Astley at the Rose over-against the North Door of St. Pauls, 1732-36; 4 vol.]
Peter Pindar            1.0.0
[perhaps John Wolcott, writing as Peter Pindar: Odes to Kien Long, The  Present Emperor of China; with The Quakers, A Tale… London, 1792- price 3 shillings.  Wolcott was a satirical comic author in late 18th c. society.  Uva- Pindar’s (Peter) Works, London, 1797, 3 vol. 12mo.]
The Pleasures of Memory 0.8.6
[Samuel Rogers, The Pleasures of Memory with Other Poems. First Ed., London: 1793]
The Rambler           2.2.0
[Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) , The Rambler, 4 volumes, published in London, 1750-52;  perhaps the 1791 London 12vo edition “printed for J. Hodges, W. Millar, R. Tonson, T. French, J. Ottridge.”]
The Rambler            0.3.0
[2nd copy?  perhaps an older edition, in bad condition…]
Sterns Works            1.5.0

[The Collected Works of Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) were first published in 1779.  He was best known as the author of Tristram Shandy, but also wrote A Political Romance and A Sentimental Juorney Through France and Italy, as well as multiple volumes of sermons.]

Sheritons Poems        0.6.0

[Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the Irish playwright and author of The Rivals and The School for Scandal, doesn’t seem to have written poems…]

Spectator                        0.3.8
[The Spectator, an influential daily literary magazine edited by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele and first published 1711, and reprinted many times later in the century.  Each ‘paper’, or ‘number’, was approximately 2,500 words long, and the original run consisted of 555 numbers. These were collected into seven volumes, and a revival published in 1714 was collected to form an eighth volume.]
Thomsons Seasons        0.7.6
[James Thomson, The Seasons (1730), a very popular book-length poem]
Tom Jones            1.18.0
[Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling.  London, 1763.  many editions.]
Temple of Nature        1.0.0
[Erasmus Darwin, The Temple of Nature: Or, The Origin of Society: A Poem, with Philosophical Notes.  1802.  Charles Darwin’s grandfather- poet, philosopher, naturalist and one of the leading intellectuals of 18th c. England.]
Tristam Shandy            0.13.0
[Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.  orig. 9 vol. 1759-1767.  many editions.]
Youngs Knight Thoughts    0.5.3
[Edward Young, The Complaint; or, Night-Thoughts on Life, Death, & Immortality. 1st Ed. 1745; partial 1797 ed. by Richard Edwards was illustrated by William Blake.]

Classical Literature – 16

Ciceros Morals                    0.11.3
[Marcus Tullius Cicero, The morals of Cicero. Containing, I. His conferences de finibus: or, concerning the ends of things good and evil. In which, All the Principles of the Epicureans, Stoics, and Academics, concerning the Ultimate Point of Happiness and Misery, are fully discuss’d. II. His academics; or, conferences concerning the criterion of truth, and the fallibility of human judgment. Translated into English, by William Guthrie, Esq.  London: Printed for T. Waller, at the Crown and Mitre, opposite Fetter-lane, in Fleet-street, 1744; 44pp., 8vo.]
Clarks Nepos               0.5.0
[Cornelius Nepos (c. 100-24 BC) was a Roman writer and biographer. Cornelii Nepotis Vita excellentium imperatorum: cum versione Anglicâ, in qua Verbum de Verbo, quantum fieri potuit, redditur: notis quoque Anglicis, & indice Locupletissimo; Or, Cornelius Nepos’s Lives of the excellent commanders. With an English translation, as Literal as possible: with English notes, and a large index. By John Clarke, Master of the Publick Grammar School in Hull. In Pursuance of the Method of Teaching the Latin Tongue, laid down by him in his Essay upon Education.  London, 1734; parallel English and Latin texts, 280pp. 8vo.;15th ed. 1797.]
Clark Salest            0.7.6
[Sallust (86-34 B.C), C. Crispi Sallustii Bellum Catilinarium et Jugurthinum; cum versione libera. Præmittitur dissertatio, … et vita Sallustii, auctore … Joanne Clerico. I.E. The history of the wars of Catiline and Jugurtha, by Sallust; with a free translation. To which is prefixed a large dissertation … as also, the life of Sallust, by … Mons. Le Clerc. By John Clarke.  London: 1755.  245pp. 8vo. Parallel English and Latin texts.   Part of Benjamin Franklin’s printed inventory left with Mr. Hall in 1748 were “Clark’s Grammar; Clark’s Erasmus; Clark’s Esop; Clark’s Sallust; Clark’s Justin; Clark’s Horus.]
?Juvaniles Letters        1.10.0
[Juvenal wrote Satires…
Deonizeas?            0.2.6
[possibly Dyonisus, translated into blank verse, from the Greek of Dr. Wells’s edition, containing both antient and modern geography. By B. D. Free, M.A. and a student of Lincoln’s-Inn.  London: 1785? 66p. 12 mo.  This is apparently an adaptation of Edward Wells’ ‘Treatise of antient and modern geography’, first published in 1701, however, no Greek language edition is known.]
Duncans Cicero        1.15.0
[(Marcus Tullius) Cicero’s Select Orations, Translated Into English with the Original Latin, from the Best Editions, on the Opposite Page; and Notes, Historical, Critical and Explanatory Designed for the Use of Schools as Well as Private Gentlemen.  By William Duncan, Professor of Philosophy in the University of Aberdeen.  New Haven: Sidney’s Press, 1811.  Duncan’s first edition featuring parallel text was published in Edinburgh in 1801.]
Davidson’s Horace        1.3.6
[The odes, epodes, and carmen seculare of Horace, translated into English prose; with … notes, and a preface to each ode… London: Printed for Joseph Davidson, 1740.  400pp., 8mo.]
Davidson’s Virgil                1.6.0
[The works of Virgil translated into English prose, As near the Original as the different Idioms of the Latin and English Languages will allow. With the Latin text and order of construction in the opposite page; and Critical, Historical, Geographical, and Classical Notes, in English, from the best Commentators both Ancient and Modern, beside a very great number of notes intirely new. For the Use of Schools as well as of Private Gentlemen. In two volumes. London: printed for Joseph Davidson, at the Angel in the Poultry, Cheapside, 1743.  2 vol. 8 mo.]
Davidson’s Ovid                    0.12.6
[Ovid (43 B.C.-17 or 18 A.D) The epistles of Ovid translated into English prose, as near the original as the different idioms of the Latin and English languages will allow. … For the use of schools as well as of private gentlemen.  London: Printed for Joseph Davidson, 1746 (et. seq.).  Or an American edition:  Ten select books of Ovid’s Metamorphoses; with an English translation, compiled from the two former translations, by Davidson and Clarke; a prosody table and references, (after the manner of Mr. Stirling) pointing out, at one view, the scanning of each verse; and Davidson’s English notes.  Philadelphia: Printed by William Spotswood, 1790.  4 vol., 12 mo.]
A Greek Grammar            0.2.0
[perhaps Caleb Alexander (1755-1828), A Grammatical System of the Greek Language, Printed at Worcester, Massachusetts : at the press of, and for Isaiah Thomas, 1796.]
Guide to Classical Learning    0.6.0
[Joseph Spence Spence (1699-1768), A Guide to Classical Learning. London : printed for J. Dodsley, in Pall-Mall, and R. Horsfield, in Ludgate-Street, 1764. (Last ed. 1786).]
Latin Grammar                    0.2.6
[Davidson, James. Short introduction to Latin grammar for the use of the the university and academy of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Exeter, [N.H.]: By and for J. Lamson, 1794. 12mo; 108 pp.  First published in 1781 and the most successful Latin grammar of late 18th-century U.S.; there were ten editions published before 1800.  James Davidson was a professor at the school later known as The University of Pennsylvania. Since Wood owned three other translations by Davidson, I’m hypothesizing this generic title describes the same author’s Latin Grammar.]
Oveds Art of Love        0.12.0
[Ovid, Ars Amatoria (“The Art of Love”), is an erotic tale set in Rome, 8 AD.]
Plutarchs Lives            6.2.6
[Mestrius Plutarchus (circa  45 – 125 A.D.), Priest of the Delphic Oracle, wrote a very lengthy book of “biographies” of Gods and Heroes which is one of the most popular Greek works of all time. The first printed edition of Plutarch was published in Paris in 1572, and was made up of 13 volumes.  Sir Thomas North prepared the first English edition of Plutarch’s Lives in 1579, and Shakespeare borrowed heavily from it to write his plays.  Wood’s version could be any one of many editions, but the high price paid indicates that it was a complete multi-volume set.
Wartrons Virgil                1.17.6
[Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) (70 – 19 BC); The Works of Virgil in Latin and English, 4 vols. [vol. i, The Eclogues and Georgics, tr. Joseph Warton], London 1753.  Joseph Warton (1722–1800) translated Virgil’s ten pastoral poems known as the Ecologues into rhymed couplets.] (David Watson was also a mid-18th c. translator…)

Youngs Dictionary            0.15.0
[Rev. William Young (d. 1757), A new Latin-English dictionary: Containing all the words proper for reading the classic writers, with the Authorities subjoined to each Word and Phrase. To which is prefixed, a new English-Latin dictionary, Carefully Compiled from the best Authors in our Language. Both Parts greatly improved, beyond all the preceding Works of the same Nature; supplying their Deficiencies, and comprising whatever is useful and valuable in all former Dictionaries. By the King’s Authority. Designed for the General Use of Schools and Private Gentlemen. By the Rev. Mr. William Young, Editor of Ainsworth’s Dictionary.  London, 1757; 1,024pp., 8vo.]

Reuben Wood’s Library IV

March 16, 2010


Law Library – 67

Adamses Defence            0.10.0
[John Adams (1735-1826), A Defence of the Constitution and Government of the United States of America, London, 1787. 3 vol. 8vo.- UVa]
Adkins Reports              6.5.0
[Akyn’s Reports, London, 1781.  3 vol. 8 vo.;  Aleyn’s Reports, London, 1790 1vol fol]
Attornies Pocket Book            0.6.0
[The Attorney’s Compleat Pocket Book.  London : printed by his Majesty’s Law-Printers; for P. Uriel, T. Caslon, E. Brooke, and W. Stuart, 1780 (First edition 1741).  “By the Author of the Attorney’s practice epitomized” (another legal handbook published in 1743 and thought to have been written or edited by Edward Sayer, Esq.).
Blackstones Commentaries    4.6.0
[BLACKSTONE, William. COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND. Oxford: Clarendon, 1767-9. 4 vols, 4to.  “Until the Commentaries, the ordinary Englishman had viewed the law as a vast, unintelligible and unfriendly machine; nothing but trouble, even danger, was to be expected from contact with it. Blackstone’s great achievement was to popularize the law and the traditions which had influenced its formation. He has been accused of playing to the gallery, of flattering the national vice of complacency with existing institutions. The charge is in many respects just; but it is no small achievement to change the whole climate of public opinion. The law might be as much an ass after Blackstone as before, but it was a familiar ass… If the English constitution survived the troubles of the next century, it was because the law had gained a new popular respect, and his was due in part to the enormous success of Blackstone’s work.” PMM 212. Eller 1,2,4. ]
Blackstones Reports           3.15.0
[Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780), Reports of cases determined in the several courts of Westminster Hall, from 1746 to 1779. 2 vols. 1781.]
Bescaria on Crimes        0.10.6
[Cesare Bonesana, Marchese Beccaria (1738-1794).  Originally published in Italian in 1764: Dei delitti e delle pene. First American Edition: An Essay on Crimes and Punishments. Written by the Marquis Beccaria, of Milan. With a commentary attributed to Monsieur de Voltaire. Philadelphia: Printed and sold by R. Bell, next door to St. Paul’s Church, in Third-Street. MDCCLXXVIII (1778).]
Burrises Justice              2.0.0
Burrows Reports             5.10.0
[Burrow’s Reports, London, 1790.  5vol. 8 vo. -UVa]
Coke Littleton            6.5.0
[Sir Edward Coke, The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England, or, a Commentary upon Littleton.  Vol. 1 (of 4) published 1628.]
Coopers & Douglass Reports  4.0.0
Constitutions of England            0.10.0
[Jean Louis de Lolme (1740-1806), The constitution of England, or, An account of the English government : in which it is compared both with the republican form of government and the other monarchies in Europe / by J.L. de Lolme, advocate, member of the Council of the Two Hundred in the Republic of Geneva.   1st ed., London, 1775; New-York : Printed by Hodge & Campbell, 1792. 400pp, 12mo.]
Crown Circuit Companion        0.15.0
[W. Stubbs, The Crown Circuit Companion, [London] : In the Savoy: printed by E. and R. Nutt, and R. Gossling, 1738 (1st ed.); reprinted regularly, latest edition for Wood was 1799.
Cruis’s Essas on fines       0.8.6
[Cruise, William (d. 1824), An Essay on the Nature and Operation of Fines and Recoveries.  London : printed by W. Strahan and W. Woodfall, Law Printers to His Majesty, 1783.  Reprinted regularly in the 1790s, with a Dublin edition in 1788.]
Criminal Law                        1.0.0
[could be Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780), The law of crimes and misdemeanors. With the means of their prevention and punishment. Exhibiting, the pleas of the state against the offenders of society, under the following heads. I. The general nature of crimes and punishments. II. The persons capable of committing crimes. III. Their several degrees of guilt, as principals or accessories. IV. The several species of crimes, with the punishment annexed to each by the law. V. The means of preventing the perpetration of crimes. VI. The method of inflicting those punishments, which the law has annexed to each several crime and misdemeanor. Containing a valuable code of criminal law; being the complete book, of the celebrated Judge Blackstone’s commentaries on public wrongs.  Philadelphia: Printed and sold by Robert Bell, in Third-Street, 1772; 386pp. 4vo.]
Debates in Convention        0.10.0
[?probably Debates and other proceedings of the Convention of Virginia : convened at Richmond, on Monday the 2d day of June 1788, for the purpose of deliberating on the constitution recommended by the Grand Federal Convention, to which is prefixed the federal constitution. Petersburg : Printed by Hunter and Prentis, 1788-1789. 485pp., 8vo.  The 2nd ed. was Richmond : Ritchie & Worsley and Augustine Davis, 1805.]
Debates in Congress    0.5.0
[?perhaps Debates in the Congress of the United States, on the bill for repealing the law “for the more convenient organization of the courts of the United States”; during the first session of the Seventh Congress. And a list of yeas and nays on that interesting subject.  Albany, Printed for Collier and Stockwell, 1802.  800 pp. 8vo.  The daily proceedings of the US Congress were not yet regularly printed by 1812.]
Durnsford States Reports    12.10.0
[? expensive!
Edgeworths Trials              0.10.0
English Laws                  5.0.0
[expensive!  Possibly Sir William Dugdale (1605-1686), Historical memorials of the English laws, or Origines juridiciales, or, Historical memorials of the English laws, courts of justice, forms of tryall, punishment in cases criminal, law writers, law books, grants and settlements of estates, degree of serjeant, Innes of court and chancery. Also a chronologie of the lord chancelors and keepers of the great seal, lord treasurers, justices itinerant, justices of the Kings bench and Common pleas, barons of the Exchequer, masters of the rolls, Kings attorneys and sollicitors, & serjeants at law, by William Dvgdale; 1st ed. 1666; London, 1790. 2vol folio.]
Elements of Jurisprudence    0.10.0
[Richard Wooddeson (1745-1822), Elements of jurisprudence treated of in the preliminary part of a course of lectures on the laws of England.  London: printed for T. Payne and Son, at the Mews Gate, 1783; 122pp. 4vo. (Dublin ed. 1792)]
Fastirs Crown?       0.15.0
A report of some proceedings on the commission for the trial of the rebels in the year 1746, in the county of Surry: and of other crown cases: to which are added discourses upon a few branches of the crown law : by Sir Michael Foster, knt. London, W. Clarke and sons, 1809; The 3d ed., with an appendix containing new cases. With additional notes and references by his nephew, Michael Dodson.  500pp. 8vo.  UVa has Foster’s Crown Law, Dodson, London, 1809. 1 vol. 8vo. / not in ESTC.]
Gilberts Law of Evidence        0.10.0

[Sir Geoffrey Gilbert (1674-1726), The law of evidence: with all the original references, carefully compared. To which is added, a great number of new references, … And now first publish’d from an exact copy taken from the original manuscript. With a compleat table to the whole. By a late learned judge.  Dublin, 1754; 260pp. 4o.]
Haywoods Reports 1 & 2 Vol    1.19.0
[John Haywood (1762-1826), Reports of cases adjudged in the Superior Courts of Law and Equity of the state of North-Carolina, from the year 1789, to the year 1798. By John Haywood, Esquire, one of the judges of the Superior Courts of Law and Equity.  Halifax [N.C.] : Printed by Abraham Hodge, 1799; 524pp. 8vo.  A second volume was published in 1806.]
Hales Crown Law              2.10.0
[Sir Matthew Hale, Pleas of the crown, or, A brief but full account of whatsoever can be found relating to that subject. 1st ed., London : Printed for Richard Tonson …1678; or London, Emlyn, Wilson and Dougherty, 1800.  2 vol. 8 vo.]
Hawkins Crown pleas            3.5.0
[William Hawkins (1673-1746), A treatise of the pleas of the crown; or, A system of the principal matters relating to that subject, digested under proper heads. By William Hawkins … The seventh edition: in which the text is carefully collated with the original work ; the marginal references corrected ; new references from the modern reporters added ; a variety of manuscript cases inserted ; and the whole enlarged by an incorporation of the several statutes upon subjects of criminal law, to the thirty-fifth year of George.  First ed. 1728; 7th ed, London, G. G. and J. Robinson [etc.] 1795- 4 vol. 8vo; expensive]
Hines practice                    1.0.0
Impies Pleader                1.0.0
[John Impey (d. 1829), The modern pleader, containing the several forms of declarations in all actions, with notes thereon; Also, A Collection of Choice and Useful Precedents, for Declarations in the Superior Courts, in the Action of Account, and Common Assumpsit, with those on Promissory Notes. To Which Are Added, A Variety of useful Notes and Observations; the several Cases determined in those Actions, with the Evidence necessary to Support Each Declaration; a Table of Names of Cases cited, and a copious Index; the whole made easy and useful to Students, and to the Practisers In Town And Country; Furnishing the Latter with the necessary Instructions for their Agents. By John Impey, Inner-Temple, Author Of The Instructor Clericalis. In The Courts Of King’s Bench And Common Pleas, AS Also The Office Of Sheriff.  London: printed for the author, by His Majesty’s law-printers, and sold by Joseph Butterworth, No. 43, Fleet-Street, 1794; 510pp. 8vo.]
Impies Practice                2.5.0
[John Impey (d. 1829), The new instructor clericalis, stating the authority, jurisdiction, and modern practice of the Court of King’s Bench. With directions for commencing and defending actions, entring [sic] up judgments, … To which are added, the rules of the court, … The whole illustrated by useful notes and observations … Also, the office of sheriff, … By John Impey. London: 1782 (650pp. 8vo.
Instructor Clerecalas        0.7.0
[Robert Gardiner, Instructor Clericalis, being a collection of choice and useful precedents for pleadings both in the Kings-Bench and Common-Pleas.  London, 1705, 1721 et. seq.. 7 vol. 8vo. original ed. UVa]
Jesse Surveying                    0.7.0
[Zachariah Jess, A compendious system of practical surveying, and dividing of land: concisely defined, methodically arranged, and fully exemplified. The whole adapted for the easy and regular instruction of youth, in our American schools. Compiled by Zachariah Jess, schoolmaster in Wilmington. Copy right secured according to law.  Wilmington, Del.: Printed by Bonsal and Niles–for the compiler, 1799; 300pp. 8vo.  Incl. Table of logs, 59, [1] p. at end; Evans, 35670. Rink, E. Technical Americana, 2390 ]
Jennings Works                2.2.6
Kelings Reports                0.5.1
[William Kelynge (d. 1774), A report of cases in Chancery, the King’s Bench, &c. in the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth years of his late Majesty King George the Second; during which Time Lord King was Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, and the Lord Raymond and Lord Hardwicke were Lord Chief Justices of England. To which are now added about seventy additional cases. By William Kelynge, of the Inner Temple, Esq.  London, 1764;  2 vol. 2o. -1st ed. 1740; UVa had 1764 ed.]
Laws of the United States    1.11.6
[?UVA- Laws of the United States, by Colvin, 1 vol. 8vo.]
Laws of North Carolina       1.11.0
[Laws of the state of North-Carolina. Published, according to act of Assembly, by James Iredell, now one of the associate justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.  Edenton [N.C.], Printed by Hodge & Wills, printers to the state of North-Carolina, 1791.  740pp., folio.]
Laws of North Carolina        0.6.6
[a second, beat-up copy of Iredell?]
Law of Copartnership        0.10.0
Leachs Crown Law            1.5.0
[Thomas Leach (1746-1818), Cases in crown law, determined by the twelve judges, by the Court of King’s Bench, and by Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer and general gaol delivery, from the fourth year of George the Second to the twenty-ninth year of George the Third. By Thomas Leach, Esq. of the Middle Temple, Barrister at Law.  Dublin:  Printed by P. Byrne, 108, Grafton-Street, 1789; 475pp. 8vo. (UVa has 1815, 2 vol. 8vo.)]
Linch Laws Philadelphia        0.16.6
Loveless on Bills of Lading        1.0.0
[Peter Lovelass (1786-1812), A full, clear, and familiar explanation of the law concerning bills of exchange, promissory notes, and the evidence on a trial by jury relative thereto; with a description of bank notes, and the privilege of attornies. By Peter Lovelass, of the Inner Temple, gent. Author of the Law’s disposal.  [Philadelphia] Printed by Joseph Crukshank, no. 91, High-Street, between Second and Third-Streets, 1791 (3rd ed.), 146pp. 8vo.]
Lofts Reports                    2.5.0
[Great Britain, Court of King’s Bench, Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King’s Bench from Easter term 12 Geo. 3. to Michaelmas 14 Geo. 3. to Michaelmas 14 Geo. 3. (both inclusive.) With some select cases in the Court of Chancery, and of the Common Pleas, which are within the Same Period. To which is Added, the Case of General Warrants, and a Collection of Maxims. By Capel Lofft, Esquire, of Lincoln’s Inn.  London: printed by W. Strahan and M. Woodfall, Law Printers to His Majesty, 1776; 1,000pp 2o.;  UVa-Lofft’s Reports, London, 1776.  1 vol. fol.]
MacNallies Evidence        1.11.0
[Leonard MacNally, Esq., The Rules of Evidence on Pleas of the Crown, Illustrated from Printed and Manuscript Trials and Cases. London: J. Butterworth, 1802.]
Martins Revisal            2.16.0
[Francois Xavier Martin, ed., Martin’s Revisal of Iredell’s Laws of the State of North Carolina (originally publ. 1790), New Bern, 1804.]
Martains Reports                0.5.0
[Francois Xavier Martin,  Notes of a few decisions in the Superior courts of the state of North Carolina [1778-1797] and in the Circuit court of the United States for the district of North Carolina” [1792-1796] ]
Midfords Pleadings            0.16.0
[John Mitford, Baron Redesdale (1748-1830), A treatise on the pleadings in suits in the Court of Chancery by English bill. In two books.  London : printed for W. Owen, 1780; 134pp. 8vo.]
Modern Reports                  2.5.0
[Modern Reports Leach London, 1793.  12 vol. 8vo.- UVa]
Montisques Spirit of Laws        2.0.0
[Charles, Baron de Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws (1748; first English trans. 1750), a very influential treatise on political and legal theory.]
Montisques Laws            2.15.0
[Another copy? both are expensive!]
Peak Evidence                    0.15.0
[Thomas Peake, A Compendium of the Law of Evidence.  Philadelphia: Printed and Sold by P. Byrne, 1802.]
Perkins Conveyances           0.7.0

Pothier on Obligations            0.15.0
[Robert Joseph Pothier, A treatise on obligations, considered in a moral and legal view, translated from the French of Pothier; 2 Vol., Newburn, N.C., Martin and Ogden, 1802. (Translation of Traité des obligations, by Francois Xavier Martin himself.]
Powell on Contracts        1.5.0
[John Joseph Powell, Essay Upon the Law of Contracts and Agreements.  1st edition– London, 1792.  1st American edition– Walpole: Printed at the Press of Thomas & Thomas by Cheever Felch, 1802.]
Raymonds Reports            5.0.0 
[ expensive!   Robert Raymond, Baron Raymond (1673-1733), Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the courts of King’s Bench and Common Pleas, in the reigns of The late King William, Queen Anne, King George the First, King George the Second. Taken and collected by the Right Honourable Robert Lord Raymond, Late Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King’s Bench.  London, 1743; 2 vol., 1600pp., 2o.  There is a separate volume containing cases from the reign of Charles II, and subsequent editions bringing it into the reign of George III.]
Samuel Chases Trials    0.10.0
[Report of the Trial of the Hon. Samuel Chase, One of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, Before the High Court of Impeachment, Composed of the United States Senate… with the Necessary Documents and Official Papers From his Impeachment to final Acquital.  Baltimore, 1805. Chase was a Federalist Justice appointed by George Washington.]
Sanders on uses & trusts   1.5.0
[Francis William Sanders, An Essay of the Law of Uses and Trusts, and on the Nature and Operation of Conveyances at Common Law, 1792 (3rd ed. 1813)]
Solicitors Guide                0.10.0
[Richard Boote (d. 1782), The solicitor’s guide and tradesman’s instructor, concerning bankrupts. Containing The Law relating thereto; with plain Directions whereby every one may see how he may be affected by, and in what Manner act under a Commission of Bankrupt; whether he be Debtor, Creditor or Assignee: Also the Bankrupt is shewn his Interest and Duty, and the Method to obtain his Certificate, and the Solicitor (or his Clerk) enabled to proceed under a Commission with Ease and Expedition. To which is annexed the various forms of proceedings, viz. Memorandums, Depositions, Examinations, Affidavits, Letters of Attorney, Orders of Dividend, Certificate, Bill of Fees, &c. with Instructions relating to the same. By the author of The solicitor’s practice in the High Court of Chancery epitomized.  London: J. Worrall, 1760 (1781, 1794; 72pp. 8vo.), or Richard Edmunds, The solicitor’s guide to the practice of the office of pleas in His Majesty’s Court of Exchequer, at Westminster; in which are Introduced Bills of Costs in Various Cases, and A Variety of useful Precedents, With a Compleat Index to the Whole. By Richard Edmunds, One of the Attornies of the said Office.  London, 1794.  332pp. 8vo.
?Statutes of England            0.7.6
[not UVa- Statutes at Large, from 9 Henry III to 5 George IV. London, 41 vol.! 8vo.]
Taylors Reports        1.0.0
[NC Supreme Ct publ. by FX Martin]
Thomas Cooper                0.0.6
[Thomas Cooper (1759-1839 was an English academic and lawyer who was tried and imprisoned in 1799 under the Alien and Sedition Act for writing an article libeling President John Adams.  He was appointed a professor of law at the University of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson and taught at other universities.  This could be Account of the Trial of Thomas Cooper (Philadelphia, 1800), or his The Bankrupt Law of American Compared with that of England (1801), or one of this earlier works on politics.]
?Thomas Murrays Trial            0.8.0
[xLOC; no Thomas Murray anything in ESTC]
Trial of Thos. Walker        0.10.0
[Thomas Walker (1749-1817), The whole proceedings on the trial of an action brought by Thomas Walker, merchant, against William Roberts, barrister at law, for a libel. Tried by a special jury at the assizes at Lancaster, March 28, 1791, before the Hon. Sir Alexander Thomson, Knight, One of the Barons of his Majesty’s Court of Exchequer. taken in short hand by Joseph Gurney.  Manchester, 1791; 208pp. 8vo.
Trials per pais                  0.15.0
[Giles Duncombe, Trials per pais. Or The law of England concerning juries by nisi prius, &c. With a compleat treatise of the law of evidence.  London, 5th ed., 1718; 532pp. 8vo. (Dublin and Philadelphia, 1793).]
Vatals Law of Nations  1.10.0
Virginia Debates            1.10.0
[Virginia Convention (1788) Debates and other proceedings of the Convention of Virginia, convened at Richmond, on Monday the 2d day of June, 1788, for the purpose of deliberating on the Constitution recommended by the Grand Federal Convention. To which is prefixed, the Federal Constitution.  Petersburg, 1789.  3 vol. 8vo.]
Wards Law of Nations        1.5.0
[Robert Ward, An Enquiry into the Foundation and History of the Laws of Nations in Europe from the Time of the Greeks and Romans, to the Age of Grotius.  2 vol., London, 1795.]
?Wats on Cross & Rasaw ?    0.15.0
Wilsons & Sulkeld Repts    10.0.0
[Great Britain. Court of King’s Bench Reports, 1688-1712.  Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King’s Bench: with some special cases in the courts of Chancery, Common Pleas, and Exchequer, alphabetically digested under proper heads; from the first year of K. William and Q. Mary to the tenth year of Q. Anne. By William Salkeld, late Serjeant at Law. With two tables; one of the Names of the Cases, the other of the Principal Matters therein contained. In one volume complete. Allowed and approved of by the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, and all the Judges. Being the most useful Collection of Cases for Justices of Peace, and also for Barristers, Students, and all Practisers of the Law.  London: printed by W. Strahan and M. Woodfall, Law Printers to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty; for Edward Johnston, in Ludgate Street, 1773; 3 vol. folio.  UVa- Salkeld’s Reports, Evans, London, 1795. 3 vol. 8vo.]
Wooderans Institutes        5.2.6
[ John Wood, Rector of Cadleigh,  Institutes of ecclesiastical and civil polity. By the Reverend John Wood, B.D. Rector of Cadleigh, in Devonshire, and formerly of Sidney-Sussex College, Cambridge.  London: Printed for B. Law, Numb. 13, Ave-Maria-Lane, 1773; 142pp. 8vo.; UVa- Wood’s Institutes, London 1772,1 vol. fol.; or Wooddeson’s Lectures on the Laws of Eng. Lond 1793… 3 vol. 8vo.]

Reuben Wood’s Library V

March 15, 2010

Political Economy – 21

Anecdotes of Junias        1.0.0
[Anecdotes of Junius: to which is prefixed the King’s reply.  Southampton: 1775; 54pp. 8vo; Dublin, 1788.]
Ans. to Pains Age of R         0.6.0
[Probaby Joseph Priestley, An Answer to Mr. Paine’s Age of Reason, Being a Continuation of Letters to the Philosophers and Politicians of France on the Subject of Religion; and of the Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever.  London:  1794.]
Beaties Elements        2.19.7
[James Beattie, Elements of Moral Science, 2 vol., 1790-1793.  Beattie (1735-1803) was another figure in the Scottish Enlightenment.]
Burgh Political Desquisitions        3.0.0
[James Burgh, Political Disquisitions: or, An Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses.  Illustrated by, and established upon FACTS and REMARKS extracted from a Variety of AUTHORS, ancient and modern, CALCULATED To draw the timely ATTENTION of GOVERNMENT and PEOPLE to a due Consideration of the Necessity, and the Means, of REFORMING those ERRORS, DEFECTS, and ABUSES; of RESTORING the CONSTITUTION, and SAVING the STATE. London, 1774.]
Burlemark                1.5.0
[Burlamaqui, J[ean] J[acques].  The principles of natural law…. Translated into English by Mr. Nugent. The third edition, revised and corrected. London: J. Nourse, 1780. 8vo, 312 pp.; Vol. 2 published 1784.  An examination of the philosophy of natural law by a Swiss jurist, first published in 1747 and first translated into English in 1748. The Encyclopædia Britannica says of Burlamaqui that “his fundamental principle may be described as rational utilitarianism” (IV, 836); his works are considered a primary source of the theory voiced by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.]
Desertatian                    0.7.6
[could be many things- I picked this one, based on other titles in the collection and Wood’s interests: Thomas Paine (1737-1809), Dissertation on first principles of government. To which is added, the genuine speech, translated, and delivered at the tribune of the French Convention, July 7, 1795. By Thomas Paine, author of Common sense, Rights of man, &c. Philadelphia: re-printed by E. Conrad, no. 100, Fourth, the second door above Race-Street, and sold by the booksellers, 1795; 42pp. 8vo.]
Essas on Trade           0.4.0
[perhaps Richard Cantillon, Essay on the Nature of Trade in General, written in French c. 1730 and first published in English 1755.]
Fable of the Bees                0.9.0
[Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees: or Private Vices, Publick Benefits. London: J. Roberts, 1714.  A very early text on economics and productivity.]
Godwins Political Justice    1.5.0
[William Godwin, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Modern Morals and Manners.  London: 1793.  The book was another response to Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France (as was Paine’s Age of Reason).  It is “a critique of political institutions. Its vision of human perfectibility is anarchist in so far as it sees government and related social practices such as property monopoly, marriage and monarchy as restraining the progress of mankind.”]
Junias                0.15.0
[See below.  CH Phil Soc has a copy of “Heron’s Junius”; see Robert Heron, Junius, Philadelphia: Published by Samuel F. Bradford, 1804.  (Heron (1764 – 1807) was a Scottish writer and French translater at the University of Edinburgh.]
Juniases Letters        0.10.0
The letters of Junius: Stat nominis umbra, with Notes and Illustrations; Historical, Political. Biographical and Critical, By Robert Heron, Esq.  London: 1804.  Vol 1: 316 pp.  The Letters of Junius were a series of letters contributed to the Public Advertiser and first published in book form in 1772.  The letters were written to warn the British public that their historic rights and liberties were being infringed upon by the government.  The real identity of the nom de plume “Junius” has never been established.]
Kaimes Criticism            2.12.6
[Henry Home, Lord Kames, Elements of Criticism, 2 vol., 1762.  One of the leading figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, he proposed a “science of criticism” to standardize criticism of art, rhetoric and literature.]
Monroes politics                    0.13.0
[Possibly one of the few books authored by James Monroe and published before his presidency: A view of the conduct of the executive in the foreign affairs of the United States, as connected with the mission to the French Republic, during the years 1794, 5, and 6…. Philadelphia, 1797.  8vo; 400 pp.; or the first British edition: London: James Ridgway, 1798. 8vo (21.5 cm, 8.5″); 126pp. Sabin 50020; Howes M-727.]
Nicholson’s Philosophy        1.18.0

[William Nicholson, An Introduction to Natural Philosophy, 1781.  Nicholson (1753-1815) was an early English scientist, chemist and inventor.  He translated numerous French scientific texts into English.]
Pains Age of Reason        0.5.6
[Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology.  Paris: 1794.  A critique of institutionalized religion that challeged the legitimacy of the Bible and led to a revival of deism. Published in three parts in 1794, 1795 and 1807, it was one of the first American bestsellers.]
Smiths Wealth of Nations    2.10.0
[Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1st ed. London 1776.]
Telemachus            1.0.0
[Possibly Francois Fenelon’s The Adventures of Telemachus, Son of Ulysses (1699), a scathing attack on the French monarchy.]
Utopia & Government    0.2.6
[Possibly Sir Thomas More, A Fruitful and Pleasant Work of the Best State of a Public Weal, and of the New Isle Called Utopia (1st English ed., 1551).
Wrights of Women            0.7.6
[Probably Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.  1st American Ed. Philadelphia, 1792; 2nd Boston: Peter Edes for Thomas & Andrews, 1792. 8vo (21.6 cm, 8.5″). 340 pp. Evans 25054.]
Federalist                    2.17.6
[,Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), The Federalist: a collection of essays, written in favour of the new Constitution, as agreed upon by the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787.  Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Each essay signed: Publius. New York:1788, 2 vol. 12mo.  First complete edition in book form.]
Murch’t? Book Keeping    0.5.6
[John London, merchant, A complete system of book-keeping, after the Italian method: in two parts. Part I. relating to theory, contains Rules for that Purpose never printed before in any Language; so few and short as to be learnt almost in an Instant, and retained without burthening the Memory; and so plain and perfect as that three Hours, or less, are sufficient to teach this whole Branch of it by them. – As also an Explanation of the Manner of keeping Accounts in two Sorts of Specie, namely, Domestic and Foreign for one and the same Article: without which neither Merchants who send Consignments abroad, or receive any Goods from thence for their own Accounts; nor Proprietors of Estates in Ireland, or else-where abroad, who reside here, can keep regular Accounts, and vice versa. – To which is added the Manner of keeping Bank, India, and other Stock after the Italian Method. – As likewise some Candid Animadversions on the erroneous and Imperfect Method of Book-Keeping taught and practised among us, contained in an Essay on Book-Keeping, &c. by Wm. Webster. Part II. relating to practice, contains a Plan of Commerce adapted to the Rules aforesaid, giving proper Examples of every Manner in which a Merchant can engage in Trade, and of the various Cases which may occur to him therein. -As also Directions how to apply the Italian Method of Book-Keeping, on the one Hand, to the Use of Warehousemen, Shopkeepers, &c. and of Proprietors of Estates, Stewards, &c. on the other. – Together with the Form of an Epitome, or Monthly Abstract of a Merchant’s Books of Account; very proper to carry always about him, not only for disburthening his Memory, and enabling him to carry on his Business with a less Capital, but to shew him the State of his Affairs, if his Books should be destroyed by Fire, or any other Accident. By John London, late of Tiverton, Merchant.  London, 1758; 2 vol. 4o.

Religion -10

A View of the Times            0.5.6
[Philalethes (Charles Leslie), A View of the Times: Their Principles and Practices in the first volume of the Rehearsals. London: W. Bowen, 1750.  The politics of the succession of the house of Hanover and its impact on the Church in England.]
1 Large Bible 1.0.0
Blairs Sermons            0.15.0
[Hugh Blair, Sermons, in 5 volumes published 1777-1801.  Blair (1718-1800) was a Presbyterian preacher and Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Edinburgh, one of the primary figures of the “Scottish Enlightenment.”]
Butlurs Analogy            0.12.0
[Joseph Butler (1692-1752), The Analogy of religion; natural and revealed, to the constitution and course of nature; to which are added, two brief dissertations on personal identity and on the nature of virtue. London: 1736.  300pp.]
Christ —–                0.3.6
[could be many things…
Davieses Sermons        2.0.0
[Samuel Davies (1723-1761), Sermons on the most useful and important subjects, adapted to the family and closet. By the Rev. Samuel Davies, … In three volumes. … To which are prefixed, a sermon on the death of Mr Davies, by Samuel Finley, D.D. and another discourse on the same occasion, together with an elegiac poem … by Thomas Gibbons, D.D.  London: 1766.  3vol. 8vo. Philadelphia ed. 1794.]
Evidence of Chris. Religion    0.3.3
[Susanna Newcome, An Enquiry into the Evidence of the Christian Religion; London, 1732;  or, Soame Jenyns, A View of the Internal Evidence of the Christian Religion; London, 1776.]

The Fashionable World    0.6.3
[Hannah More (1745-1833), An estimate of the religion of the fashionable world. By one of the laity.  London: T. Cadell, 1791; 270pp 8vo. CH Phil Soc has a copy; Porcellian Society 1831]
The history of the church    0.1.0
[Probably Joseph Priestly, A general history of the Christian church, from the fall of the Western Empire to the present time…. Northumberland [PA]: Pr. for the author by Andrew Kennedy, 1802–03. 8vo (21.6 cm, 8.5″). 4 vols. I:475pp. II: 539 pp. III:488 pp. IV: 480 pp.   Vol 1&2 were first published in 1790.  Shaw & Shoemaker 2933 & 4913.  The volumes are usually marked on the spine “History of the Church”.]

Phisical theology [Enquiry?]           0.7.7
[Henry Constantine Jennings (1731-1819) A physical enquiry into the powers and properties of spirit, and, how far by analogical inferences resulting from experimental and natural phænomena, the human intellect may be enabled to attain to any rational conception of omnipotence. [Chelmsford] printed by Clachar, Gray, & Co., 1787; 90 pp. 8vo.]

History and Biography – 28

The American Revolution        0.18.0

[(SNOWDEN, RICHARD) The American Revolution; Written in the Style of Ancient History.  Philadelphia Jones, Hoff; Jacob Johnson 1793; 1794 First edition First editions. 2 volumes. 12mo. xii, 226; (xii), 216pp. Sabin 85589.]
Antient Europe        2.0.0
William Russell (1741-1793). The history of ancient Europe, from the earliest times to the subversion of the Western Empire, with a survey of the most important revolutions in Asia and Africa, in a series of letters from a gentleman to his son, intended as an accompaniment to Dr. Russell’s History of modern Europe.   Porcellian Society 1831 has Russell’s Ancient Europe, 2 vols. 8vo.]
Baran Trink        0.11.0
[The Life of Baron Frederic Trenk, Containing His Adventures; His Cruel and Excessive Sufferings the Ten Years Imprisonment, at the Fortress of Magdeburg, by Command of the Late King of Prussia; Also Anecdotes, Historical, Political and Personal. Translated from the German by Thomas Holcroft.  Dublin, 1790.  First Biography Franz van der Trenck, 1711-1749, Austrian soldier and father of military music.]
Belknaps History of N.H.    2.10.6
[Jeremy Belknap, History of New Hampshire, 3 vol., 1784-1792.  Belknap (1744-1798) was called American’s best native historian by Alexis de Tocqueville.]
Carvins Travels            0.10.0
[Jonathan Carver (1710-1780), Three years travels, through the interior parts of North-America, for more than five thousand miles … together with a concise history of the genius, manners, and customs of the Indians … and an appendix, describing the uncultivated parts of America that are the most proper for forming settlements. By Captain Jonathan Carver, of the provincial troops in America.  Philadelphia: Printed by Joseph Crukshank, 1789; 300 pp. 12vo.]
Charles the 12th           0.5.0
[Probably Voltaire’s History of Charles XII, biography of the Swedish King, skilled military leader and politician (1682-1719).  The first English translation, by Tobias Smollett, was published in London in 1762.  An American edition was printed in Frederick, MD, in 1808.]
Galery of Portraits        0.7.6
[possibly Mirabeau, Gabriel-Honoré de Riquetti, comte de (1749-1791) Gallery of Portraits of the National Assembly, supposed to be written by Count de Mirabeau. Translated from the French. In Two Volumes.  Dublin: 1790.  2 v. 12 mo.]
Goldsmiths Rome            0.8.6
[Oliver Goldsmith, The History of Rome from the Earliest Times, (2 vol.), 1769.]
Goldsmiths England    0.6.6
[Oliver Goldsmith, An History of England in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son.  4 Vol. London: 1792.
Guthries Grammar            3.11.0
[William Guthrie, A New Geographical, Historical and Commercial Grammar (1770); “one of the most popular books of any kind published in Britain in the late 18th century.  It went through at least thirty editions….[and] “was known to everyone from the schoolboy to the philosopher.” Laird Okie, Augustan Historical Writing, p. 186.  An octavo size, 1,000 page combination travel book and almanac-like history and geography book.]
History of the Admirals   2.5.0
[possibly John Campbell (1708-1775), Lives of the British admirals: containing a new and accurate naval history, from the earliest periods. By Dr. J. Campbell. With a continuation down to the year 1779, … Written under the inspection of Doctor Berkenhout. The whole illustrated with correct maps; and frontispieces … In four volumes. London: 1779; 4 vol. 8vo. First ed. 1742.]
History of Caesar            0.8.0
[possibly, The Gallic and civil wars of Cæsar, translated into English, by the Rev. John Pullein Hawkey.  Dublin, 1788.]
History of Man            1.15.0
[Henry Home, Lord Kames,
Sketches of the History of Man. Edinburgh: W. Creech: London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1774. 4to (27.5 cm, 10.9″). 2 vols. I: 519pp. II: 507pp.]
?History of Rome                3.15.0
Humpries Works                0.10.0
[David Humphreys (1752-1818),  The miscellaneous works of Colonel Humphreys, late minister plenipotentiary to the court of Madrid.  New-York : Printed by Hodge, Allen, and Campbell, 1790. 748pp., 8vo; 2nd ed. 1804; Porc-
Humphreys’ Works, 8vo.]
Jefferson Notes                    1.6.0

[Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia; first ed. Paris 1784; first English ed. London 1787.]Volneys Travels in Amer.            1.7.0V
[C.F. Volney, “Description of the Climate and Soil of the United States of America,” 1803 (he visited 1795-1798).
Knoxes Essas            1.10.0
[possibly Alexander Knox (1757-1831), Essays on the political circumstances of Ireland, written during the administration of Earl Camden; with an appendix, Containing Thoughts ON The Will Of The People. And a postscript, Now First Published. By a gentleman of the north of Ireland. Dublin: 1798.  236 pp. 8vo.  Porc. 1831 has
Knox’s Essays, 3 vols. 12mo.]
The Life of Caesar                0.2.6
[either Samuel Clarke (1599-1682), The life & death of Julius Cæsar, the first founder of the Roman empire. As also the life and death of Augustus Cæsar in whose raign our Blessed Lord, and Saviour Jesus Christ was borne. London, 1665 (100pp. 4vo.); or Charles Coote (1761-1835), Life of Caius Julius Cæsar: drawn from the most authentic sources of information. London:  printed for the author; and sold by T. N. Longman, 1796.  284pp. 12mo.]
The Life of Oliver Cromwell  0.7.0
[Isaac Kimber, Edmund Gibson, Sir Thomas Pengelly and Edmund Waller,
The Life of Oliver Cromwell: Lord-Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.  London, 1743. 407pp.]
Millers Retrospect            1.15.6
[A Brief Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century. Part First; In Two Volumes: Containing A Sketch of the Revolutions and Improvements in Science, Arts, and Literature, during that Period. By Samuel Miller, A. M. One of the Ministers of the United Presbyterian Churches in the City of New-York, Member of the American Philosophical Society, and Corresponding Member of the Historical Society of Massachuesetts. Vol. I. Published According to Act of Congress. New-York: Printed by T. and J. Swords, no. 160 Pearl-Street, 1803.]
Modern Europe        5.5.0
William Russell (1741-1793). The History of Modern Europe, with an account of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; and a View of the Progress of Society from the Rise of the Modern Kingdoms to the Peace of Paris in 1763, in a Series of Letters by William Russell, L.L.D.  London: 5 vols., 1779-1786. 2nd American Edition: Philadelphia, 1802.  Procellian Society 1831 has Russell’s Modern Europe, 6 vols. 8vo.]
Powells history of 20 Months    0.10.0
[Probably Francis Plowden,
A short history of the British Empire during the last twenty months: viz, from May 1792 to the close of 1793. Two 1794 editions: G. G. and J. Robinson (London), or Dublin: Printed by P. Byrne, Grafton-Street, both approximately 390pp.]
Robertson’s Antient India       1.0.0
[William Robertson, An Historical Disquisition Concerning the Knowledge which the Ancients had of India (1791).  Robertson (1721-1793) was a Scottish historian and professor at the University of Edinburgh.]
Robertson History of Scotland    1.10.0
[William Robertson, The History of Scotland during the Reigns of Queen Mary and of King James VI… with A Review of the Scottish History Previous to that Period, 2 vol., 1794.  Robertson’s best known work.]
Robertson’s Charles 5th    3.15.0
[William Robertson, The History of the Reign of Charles V, 4 Vol., 1792.]
Robertsons History of America        0.18.0
[William Robertson, The History of America (4 vol., books 1-8, 1792; Books 9-10, 1796).]
The United Irishman         0.3.0
[This title appears to be the same as an anonymous work of fiction found in the University of Michigan library: The United Irishman: a tale; founded on facts …
Printed for the author, 1798.  Although listed as only 17 pages long, a later edition printed in Dublin by J. Cumming and Co. in 1819 appears to have been issued in two 12mo. volumes, copies of which are found at Villanova and the New York Public Library.  OCLC 37303059.   It could alternatively be a pamphlet found at Cornell authored by “Publicola,” A letter from a father to his son, a United Irishman: in the barony of Ards, in the county of Down. Printed in the year, 1797 (24 pages).

The Irish Rebellion of 1798 was led by a republican revolutionary group, the United Irishmen, which was inspired by the American and French revolutions to revolt against British rule over Ireland.  Since 1691 a minority of Protestant settlers loyal to the British crown had ruled the majority population of native Catholics.  The Society of United Irishmen was a joint group of protestants and Catholics who advocated for political reform and home rule.  An uprising and bloody guerilla war in the summer of 1798 was suppressed by British troops.  The French revolutionary government provided military support until their supply ships were defeated by the Royal Navy, leading to the collapse of the rebellion.  Sectarian massacres and atrocities were followed by increased political repression and the Act of Union of 1800, which removed the last vestige of Irish autonomy.  The struggle for Irish nationalism was supported by Thomas Jefferson and his “Democratic-Republican” followers, with whom Reuben Wood appears to have sympathized.]

Volneys Ruin                            1.3.0
[C.F. Volney, The Ruins, or Meditations on the Revolutions of Empires, first publ. in France in 1791; repub. in US in 1802]

Philosophy and Ethics -18

Anarcharsies in Greece    1.7.0

[Abbe Jean-Jacques Barthelemy, Travels of Anacharsis the Younger in Greece.  1st ed. 1788 in French; 1799 ed. in English in 8 vol.  An imaginary travel journal of Anacharsis, a Scythian philosopher who traveled through Greece in the early 6th century BC.  The book fueled a passion for all things Greek in the early 19th century.]
Bennetts Letters            0.10.0
[John Bennett, curate of St. Mary’s Manchester, Letters to a Young Lady, on a variety of useful and interesting subjects, calculated to improve the heart, to form the manners, and enlighten the understanding.  Warrington, 1789.  2 vol. 12mo.  1st American edition Newburyport [Mass.] Printed and sold by John Mycall, 1792.]
Burke on the Sublime        0.16.0
[Edmund Burke, A Philosophical inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, 1757.]
Chesterfields Letters    2.0.0
[Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl Chesterfield, Letters to His Son on the Fine Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman. 1746.
Condorsett                      0.5.0
[Condorcet, Progress of the Mind, Fr. Paris, 1795- UVa]
Essa on Truth                0.17.0
[James Beattie, An Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth, 1770?)
Edwards on free will        0.11.0
[Jonathan Edwards, An Inquiry into the Modern Prevailing Notions of the Freedom of the Will which is Supposed to be Essential to Moral Agency, Virtue and Vice, Reward and Punishment, Praise and Blame. 1st ed., 1754]
Harrises Hermes            0.12.6
[Hermes: or, a Philosophical Inquiry concerning Language and Universal Grammar. By James Harris, London, J. Nourse and P. Vaillant, 1751.]
Helvisias on Man            1.10.6
[CH Phil Soc has a copy of Helvetius on Man]
Holmes Sketches         2.0.0
[possibly Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696-1782), Six sketches on the history of man. Containing, the progress of men as individuals. … With an appendix, concerning, the propagation of animals, and the care of their offspring. By Henry Home, Lord Kaims, author of the Elements of criticism.  Philadelphia, 1776.  266pp. 8vo.]
Lavatur                        0.16.0
[Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741-1801), Swiss poet and physiogonomist.  Christian mystic. no editions in English?  Maybe this was another “Dutch book”]
Laille? Locke? on Human Understanding    0.10.0
[John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.  London: 1690; First American edition: “An abridgment of Mr. Locke’s essay concerning Human Understanding.” Boston: Pr. by Manning & Loring for J. White, Thomas & Andrews, D. West, et al., 1794. 12mo (17.3 cm, 6.8″). 250 pp.  An inquiry into how we acquire ethical knowledge.]
Priestley’s Letters            1.10.0
[Joseph Priestley, Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever, 1780; multi-volume set of books on metaphysics]
Paleys Philosophy                1.10.0
[William Paley, Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, 1785; very influential and popular (15 ed. before author’s death in 1805) work; the author was a strong supporter of the colonies during the Revolution and advocated abolition of the slave trade.]
Senakes? Morals                    0.7.0
Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (ca. 4 B.C.-65), Seneca’s morals by way of abstract: Of benefits, Part I; Of a happy life; Of anger and clemency, Part. II; the third, and last part. Digested into XXVIII. epistles.  London: printed by Tho. Newcomb for Henry Broome, at the Gun in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1678 (3 vol); 1st American ed. Printed at Boston : by I. Thomas and E.T. Andrews, at Faust’s Statue, no. 45, Newbury-Street, 1792; 395pp. 12vo.]
Watts Logic            0.4.0
[Isaac Watts, Logic, or the use of Reason in the Inquiry After Truth with a Variety of Rules to Guard Against Error in the Affairs of Religion and Human Life, as well as in the Sciences; 1st ed. 1724.]
Zimmerman on pride            0.15.0
[ZIMMERMANN, Dr J[ohann]. G[eorg]. ESSAY ON NATIONAL PRIDE. To Which Are Added Memoirs of the Author’s Life and Writings. Translated From the Original German of the late Celebrated…By Samuel Hull Wilcocke. London: Printed for C. Dilly, 1797. 8vo, xl, 260, (23 as index)pp. Full mottled calf, red morocco spine label, gilt lettered, ex library, front joint starting, foxing to first and last few leaves, some loss at spine head and tail, otherwise a good copy. $150. ¶ First Edition, second (most desirable) English translation. Johann Georg Zimmermann was trained as a medical doctor; in 1768 he was appointed “His Britannic Majesty’s Physician” at Göttingen. He was later physician to Frederich II of Prussia, and after the death of “The Great” wrote two books concerning him. He was best known, however, as a popularizer of current philosophical and ethical ideas. Originally published in German in 1758 under the title Von dem Nationalstolze, the present volume, written during the Seven Years War, concerns patriotism and well argues a distinction between true and false national pride. A prior unauthorized English translation, issued in 1771, was rejected by Zimmermann; highly inaccurate, Zimmermann considered the translator “not only an ignorant fellow but a cheat” (Preface). Given current events, a most appropriate theme for study. Scarce. Lowndes p.3025.]
Zimmerman on Solitude        0.6.0
[ZIMMERMANN, [Johann Georg von]. SOLITUDE Considered with Respect to its Influence upon the Mind and the Heart, Written Originally in German by M. Zimmermann… Translated from the French by J.B. Mercier. The Second Edition. London: C. Dilly, 1791. 8vo, (4), vii, (1), 380pp. Half calf, red morocco label, marbled boards rubbed, joints weak, edges scuffed, overall very good. $125. ¶ An English translation of Zimmermann’s popular Über die Einsamkeit (1784). A successful physician, appointed in 1768 “His Britannic Majesty’s Physician,” Zimmermann (1728-95) was known as a popularizer of current philosophical ideas. In this work he discusses the edifying aspects of solitude. NUC lists UC Berkeley only.]

Foreign Language -6
Dutch books                0.11.6
A Dutch Book               0.2.6
a French Book              0.2.6
a French grammar         0.1.7
A french Grammar         0.8.0
A Large French book     0.6.6

Miscellaneous -5

1 lott of books                 37.2.6
1 book                             0.5.0
A book                             0.5.0
A Lott of papers                0.4.6
A Lott of News Papers        0.8.1

Unknown– 23

?A Small View                    0.3.0
?Astrolhology                     0.6.2
?Balance Garden [Balancie Garder?]  1.0.0?
Beauties History        1.0.0
[xBeatties? ?UVA, 1828- Le Beau’s History of the decline of the Roman Empire, Fr. Moestricht, 1780.
Canderie?  Conderse?  Condense?                0.6.1
[CH Phil Soc has Condorcet on the Mind]  Candide?
Canuclad                1.0.0
Cerise? Cevis’l? Travels                0.7.6
[Antoine-Marie Cerisier was a French journalist living in Amsterdam who worked with John Adams in the 1780s, but not sure if this is him…]
?Curvins (Curwin’s?) Speeches    0.17.6
?Davises Researches    0.17.6
?Grolisque ?                     0.7.1
?History of India            3.15.0
?Loyal Captiene &etc                   0.9.1
?Lysie’s Poems        0.3.6
[prob. not the Greek speech writer Lysias… he wrote orations]
Milses Philosophy                                      1.5.0
?Morgans Essas & Robertsons Illuminations    2.12.0
Nickerson Religions        0.7.6
[?nothing before 1800 Nic- / Relgions
?Bye Laws Poetry? Pailny?           0.2.6
?Sarrows overtis? Overtur?           0.10.0
?Spies of Parris?                0.1.0
Sullivants Lectures            1.2.6
?Thistons Memorials                0.7.6 (Whiston? Twiston?
?The Theory of Commerce    1.1.0


British Library- English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) printed items before 1801.

The Law Library of Congress Rare Book Collection

The printed Catalogue of the Dialectic Society Library (1821, at UNC-CH), gives the short titles of 1673 books.

The printed Catalogue of the the Philanthropic Society (at UNC-CH), Printed by J. Gales, Raleigh, 1822. .

UVA library catalogue, 1828;brand=default;

Porcellian Club Library, 1831

Trinity College Bell

April 26, 2009

The Bell on display under the Trinity College gazebo on the site of the original Trinity College and High School was made by the Henry McShane & Co. Bell Foundry of Baltimore, MD, in 1879.

The Bell and the Gothic style papyrus-leaf columns that the gazebo stands upon are the only surviving Trinity College artifacts in Trinity. Both appear to date to the post-Civil War renovation and expansion of the original 1855 brick Trinity College building.

The photo above, from the Duke University Archives, shows the building from the south in 1861, with President Braxton Craven and the all-male student body posing in their new role as commander and cadet corps of the “Trinity Guard.” The three-story brick building appears similar to any of the five cotton mills built on Deep River from 1838-1850, and in fact the college building was the focal point of Trinity in exactly the same manner as the factory was the raison-d’etre of any mill village. One major difference is that the windows of the college are much larger than the windows in any factory.

Organizing the home guard unit was Craven’s last-ditch effort to keep his student body from enlisting in the army en mass; during the war, however, he and the students were put on active duty guarding the Confederate prisoner of war camp at the former Salisbury Cotton Mill.

The 1855 college building was expanded between 1872-1874 with a large wing that fronted the road which is now NC62. The new wing set at a cross-angle to the 1855, so that the whole made a T-plan. The new wing contained classrooms and a chapel; the balcony of the chapel was supported by the papyrus columns which were re-used in the 1924 Trinity High School building.

The 1874 college building’s pointed windows and door openings gave it a vague Gothic Revival style which was popular for educational buildings and would be carried to its pinnacle in North Carolina in the 1924 West Campus at Duke University in Durham.

My favorite picture of Trinity College is the only one that shows the campus and grounds, a drawing on the cover of an 1883 commencement program. Whether this garden actually existed is unclear (the photo above only shows a field or wild flower meadow), the 1883 drawing shows a lively Victorian knot garden, with extensive flower beds and gravel walks.

When Trinity College was moved to Durham in 1892, the old college buildings were turned into a private college preparatory school, which became a public school in the early 20th century. In 1924 a special school tax district was established in Trinity and a new elementary school and high school building was built on the site of the college. That was in turn torn down in 1981, and the historic site is now a parking lot. The gazebo is squeezed between NC 62 and the fence around the lot.

Trinity Civil War Trail Marker II

April 25, 2009

The Trinity College marker on the North Carolina Civil War Trail was dedicated today.

The marker itself was erected in December, but today was the beautiful warm day to get a good crowd together.

The marker is located beside the gazebo made from the old Trinity College chapel columns which shelters the old Trinity College bell, returned to Trinity by Duke University about 15 years ago.

The story of the Gothic papyrus-capital columns, salvaged from the Trinity High School auditorium, is told in the entry on Trinity High School (TR:16) in my architecture book.

The original Trinity College building had some pointed church-like windows which perhaps suggested the Gothic style which became popular for residences around Trinity and Archdale.

One still stands on the west side of NC62 in Trinity (TR:11 in my book).