Andrew Gibson Papers

ca. 1760-1824. 1/2 box (23 folders) ca. 31 items.MSS. COLL. #40

NOTE: The numbers cited in parentheses throughout the inventory, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.


This is a minor collection of documents, which offers only minimal information on Andrew Gibson and his family. Most of the items relate to Andrew Gibson, except for the items in Series 3, which concern James and Joseph Gibson (there is one 1819 document, 4:10, signed by Joseph, as Justice of the Peace). The materials include correspondence, misc. financial accounts, deeds, a military roster, and poetry.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged by document type and subject, then by document type. The series are: Correspondence, Financial, Gibson, James & Joseph, Legal, and Literary.

Provenance: Most of the documents in this collection bear no accession number, although a few (as noted on the folder) came in under 1976.168.30. A note made by an unidentified Museum volunteer indicated that the unnumbered items had been found in the residence of Robert M. Sloan, on West Market Street, when it was being “torn down” (actually moved) to make way for the U.S. Post Office. As will be noted in the copy of Joseph Gibson’s Will (1857 WB C, p. 466) filed in the “Table of Contents” folder in the document box, Robert M. Sloan was the executor of Joseph Gibson’s Estate.


Andrew Gibson, an apprentice silversmith from Edinburgh, Scotland, settled in Guilford County in 1775. He and his wife, Jane, had seven children including four boys (Joseph, James, Moses, and John F.), and three daughters (Elizabeth, Jane, and Nancy). The daughters all eventually married: Elizabeth Causey, Jane Thompson, and Nancy W. Clapp. Son Joseph (May 19, 1785 – Jan. 25, 1857) was a Guilford County Justice of the Peace, whose wife was named Mary Ann. The town of Gibsonville is named for him.

For more information on the Gibson’s, especially Joseph (including quotations from his letters) see: Blackwell Robinson, History of Guilford County, North Carolina… (1976) pp. 133-134. The names of Andrew’s children, and additional information, is found in his Will (Guilf. Co. Will Book B,p.172), on GHM Film #5 “Wills”


There is little to be learned about the Gibson family, except for the obvious fact that Andrew Gibson was prominent, involved in many land transactions, and was active in upholding his rights to goods and property.

The correspondence is scant, and the bulk of the material relates to legal and financial transactions. The most interesting documents concern a Bond (4:2) in which Elizabeth Gibson Causey seeks protection from her husband’s physical abuse through the help of her father Andrew. Another item, which is undated (although a document on the verso is dated 1814) concerns a Subscription list (4:8) binding individuals to financial and physical support for the construction of a “Meeting House” on Andrew Gibson’s land. It is not certain exactly what this structure was.

Although sparse, the financial series offers researchers a look into day-to-day accounts and types of goods commonly purchased. One receipt lists such items as worsted stockings, paper, and cambric. (2:1) Also listed are watch parts and a 5-gallon jug of brandy. (2:3-2:4)

One item, although not dated, might relate to the War of 1812, being a roster(3:1) of men who served under Capt. James Gibson.

The most extensive document is a multi-page extract of deeds, relating to the McCulloch Tract of land (Henry Eustace McCulloch, and the numerous individuals who purchased acreage from McCulloch during the 1760s (see the note by Blackwell Robinson, History of Guilford County, North Carolina… (1976) p. 61).


1. Correspondence. 4 folders (4 items). 1818-1819, n.d.

The letter from John Campbell (1:1) is written from “Mason Hall” (no place given) and concerns money owed to Andrew Gibson. Garrison Henry writes to Gibson (1:2) concerning a watch he wants Gibson to send by stage to him. Jesse Smith’s letter (1:3) concerns the money he owes Gibson, which will be late coming because of “the turn of times.”

2. Financial. 5 folders (10 items). c. 1797-1818.

The most interesting items in this series is an account of Gibson with John Y. Savage of Raleigh, listing various watch parts Gibson purchased in 1818, as well as a long list of watch and clock parts that Savage had on hand for sale to Gibson if he was interested. Other financial documents concern flour and wheat (2:2), liquor (2:4), dry goods such as sewing notions and fabric, and vouchers showing the payments to witnesses for their attendance at Guilford County court cases.

3. Gibson, James & Joseph. 3 folders (5 items). 1814-1824, n.d.

These documents relate directly to Andrew’s sons. The Military Roster is undated, however on the verso is a legal document signed by James in 1814.

4. Legal. 10 folders (10 items). 1760-1821.

The legal series is the most voluminous, containing interesting documents relating to: wife abuse in 1817 (4:2); the vast McCulloch family tracts of land in the Piedmont region (4:5); and an interesting, undated subscription list (4:8) for the construction of a “Meeting House” on Andrew Gibson’s property.

5. Literary. 1 folder (1 item). n.d.

This is an undated poem entitled “Guilford County,” sent to a W. B. Welkins.


11Correspondence-- Campbell, John (1818)
2-- Henry, Garrison (1819)
3-- Smith, Jesse (n.d.)
4-- unknown
21Financial-- Accounts, misc. (1814; n.d.)
2-- Accounts -- Robert Adam, 1797 re. flour & wheat
3-- Accounts -- John Y. Savage (Raleigh, N.C., 1818)
*re. watch parts
4-- Bills/Receipts -- Joseph Smith (1814) re. brandy
5-- Vouchers -- A. Gibson vs. Lynch (1802-1807)
*re. Payments for travel to court
31Gibson, James -- Military Roster (n.d.) "A List of men enrolled under the command of Capt. James Gibson"
2Gibson, Joseph-- Deed, 1822 -- John Noah to Joseph Gibson
3-- Receipts, 1814-1824
41Legal-- Agreement -- A. Gibson to John Noah (1815)
2-- Bond -- William Causey, (1817) re. Causey's abuse of his wife, Elizabeth Gibson Causey
3-- Deeds -- John Armstrong to Henry E. McCulloch (1795)
4-- Deeds -- John Isley to A. Gibson (1798)
5-- Deeds (extracts) -- re. McCulloch Tract, 1760--1767
6Legal-- Notice -- Gibson vs. Perkins (1806)
7 -- Notice - Taxes, 1817-1819
* Abner Hanner, Sheriff (1820)
8-- Subscription List, n.d. -- re. "Meeting House" on Andrew Gibson's property
9-- Writ -- A. Gibson vs. Jesse Smith (1821)
*William Denton (Justice of Peace)
10-- Writ -- A. Gibson vs. William Suits (1819)
* Joseph Gibson (Justice of Peace)
51Literary-- Poetry -- "Guilford County" (To W. B. Welkins)

Index to the Andrew Gibson Papers
(ca. 1760-1824)

Note: The numbers following the name/subject entry — e.g. 1:1 — indicate in which Series:Folder (or, if no “:”, Series only) that name/topic can be found.

Adam, Robert: 2:2 (1797)
Armstrong, John: deed (1795), 4:3

Campbell, John: 1:1 (1818)
Causey, Elizabeth Gibson: abuse by husband (1817), 4:2
Causey, William: bond (1817), 4:2
Clocks and watches: 1:2; parts (Raleigh, 1818), 2:3
Courts, Guilford County: travel costs (1802-07), 2:5

Denton, William: Justice of Peace (1821), 4:9

Flour and flour mills (1797): 2:2

Gibson, Andrew: subscription for Meeting House built on property (n.d.), 4:8
Gibson, James: military roster (c. 1814), 3:1
Gibson, Joseph: 3:3; deed (1822), 3:2; Justice of Peace (1819), 4:10
Guilford County: court costs (1802-07), 2:5
Guilford County: Justice of Peace, (Joseph Gibson, 1819), 4:10 (William Denton 1821), 4:9; Sheriff, (Abner Hanner, 1820), 4:7

Hanner, Abner: Sheriff (1819), 4:7
Henry, Garrison: 1:2 (1819)

Isley, John: deed (1798), 4:4

Liquor: 2:4 (1814)

McCulloch, Henry E.: deed (1795), 4:3
McCulloch Tract: deed extracts (1760-67), 4:5
Military: roster of Capt. James Gibson’s troops, 3:1

Noah, John: agreement with Andrew Gibson (1815), 4:1; deed (1822), 3:2

Poetry: “Guilford County,”  5:1

Raleigh, N.C.: 2:3 (1818)

Savage, John Y. (Watch maker): 2:3 (1818)
Silversmith: Andrew Gibson
Smith, Jesse: 1:3; writ (1821), 4:9
Smith, Joseph: 2:4 (1814)
Suits, William: writ (1819), 4:10

Taxation: notice (1820), 4:7

Welkins, W. B.: poem to, 5:1
Wheat (1797): 2:2
Women: abuse of (1817), 4:2