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Shirley Plantation records- addition 1

 Unprocessed — Multiple Containers
Identifier: ViU-2022-0068

Content Description

This addition to the Shirley Plantation records includes letters, receipts, plantation journals, account books, presidential appointments and pardons, and a carte de visite documenting the life of the residents of the Shirley Plantation in particular those of Hill and Robert Carter. A bulk of the materials are receipts and letters between Robert E. Lee and Hill Carter. Also of significant interest are the plantation journals documenting the years 1816 to 1872, account books documenting the years of 1816 to 1879, and a hireling account book that tracked the rental of enslaved people from 1822 to 1848. Also included are presidential appointments to members of the Carter family by Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, and Woodrow Wilson. The Shirley Plantation is Virginia's first plantation, founded in 1613, and the oldest family-owned business in North America owned by the Hill Carter family. The plantation was built on the Indigenous land of the Algonquian-speaking Weyanoke peoples and has a long history of using the labor of indentured servants starting in 1616 and the enslaved Africans and their descendants with records dating back to 1622.

Acquisition Type



Purchased from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 26 April 2022.

Restrictions Apply



  • c.1799-1879



1.63 Cubic Feet (1 half legal document box, two flat box small (os), one flat box medium (os), and one flat box large (os) )


Box 1 contains correspondence, receipts, a hireling account book, and a carte de visite of Lee. Box 2 contains plantation journals from 1816 to 1845. Box 3 contains plantation journals from 1839 to1872. Box 4 contains account books from 1816 to 1879. Box 5 contains presidential appointments and pardons and a Confederate States of America naval appointment.