Manuscripts

Robert G. Lindsay Papers

ca. 1789-1887. 1/2 box (13 folders), 38 items.MSS. COLL. #58

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.

INTRODUCTION

The focus of this collection pertains to activities engaged in by members of the Lindsay family, chiefly during the Civil War years. From this period most of the items relate to either the Robert G. Lindsay family or Captain J. Austin Lindsay’s career with the 45th NC Regiment, Co. K.

Researchers will also find a few items of note from other periods, most notably a 1789 deed for land in Martinville and materials pertaining to the building of a home in Greensboro in 1844 for Robert G. Lindsay.

Arrangement: The Robert G. Lindsay Papers are arranged into the following four series (within each series materials are filed alphabetically): Correspondence, 1861-65; Financial, 1835-63; Miscellaneous, 1789-1887; and Printed, ca. 1863-44.

Provenance: The Robert G. Lindsay Papers were purchased by the Greensboro Historical Museum in 1987 and given accession number 87.83.1. Also associated with this collection, but having a separate accession number (83.1000.452), is a book entitled Mitchell’s Universal Atlas, which is located in the general collection. Note: The items contained in folder 4:2 were found in this atlas.

Processing: This collection was organized and the finding aid prepared by Francis D. Pitts III in July 1997.


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

The principal subjects of this small collection are Robert Goodloe Lindsay, members of his family, and J. Austin Lindsay, all of whom were associated with Guilford County. Robert G. Lindsay (ca. 1814-1886) was a third generation resident of Guilford County. His paternal grandfather, Robert Lindsay, was the first of his family to settle in the county. His father, also named Robert, and mother, the former Letitia Harper, resided in Martinville before moving to Greensboro shortly after its founding in 1808. They built a store there, and the spot where it was located came to be known as “Lindsay’s Corner.”

R. G. Lindsay, who had two brothers (Jeduthun and Jesse Harper), and two sisters (Ann Eliza and Mary), all of whom were prominent citizens in the community, was a lifelong resident of Greensboro. He attended both Yale College (1835) and the University of Virginia (1835-36), returning to Greensboro a short time thereafter, where he married the former Marianna P. Austin. In 1844 R. G. Lindsay built a home on Sycamore Street in Greensboro; he would reside there the rest of his life.

The other person with whom a number of the items in the collection are associated is J. Austin Lindsay. Most of these materials pertain to his activities while he was a soldier in the 45th NC Regiment, Co. K, during the Civil War. It appears he enlisted prior to 1 May 1862, at which time he was appointed 1st Lieutenant. Promoted to Captain in June of 1863, Lindsay was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg. He returned to duty six months later, but never fully recovered his strength. Lindsay was subsequently retired to the Invalid Corps on 2 December 1864. It is not clear what his relationship is to Robert G. Lindsay.

Biographical Sources: Sources for information on Robert G. Lindsay and J. Austin Lindsay include the following titles: Caldwell, Bettie D. Founders and Builders of Greensboro, 1808-1908. Greensboro, NC: Jos. J. Stone & Co., 1925; and Jordan, Weymouth T., Jr. (compiler). North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster. Vol. XI. Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, 1987. In addition, researchers interested in R. G. Lindsay should see his will in Guilford County’s Will Book E (a copy of which is in the first folder of the collection) as well as the vertical file and folders in the Miscellaneous Collection on the Lindsay family in Archives.


SCOPE & CONTENT NOTE

Types of materials in this collection include correspondence, a deed, a hospital transfer form, and receipts.

The Robert G. Lindsay Papers primarily consist of materials pertaining to members of the Lindsay family during the antebellum period and Civil War years. Perhaps the most important document is a builder’s proposal submitted to Robert G. Lindsay in 1844 itemizing the cost of materials to build a house (2:4) in Greensboro.

The documents in the correspondence series are notable for the information they reveal about southerners’ concerns during the war (1:1-5).

Other interesting materials are a receipt from Edgeworth Female Seminary (2:2), a receipt from Porter and Gorrell (2:5), a 1789 Guilford County deed (3:1), and a small grouping of religious pamphlets (4:2).

Researchers interested in the Lindsay family might also want to examine other materials filed in the Miscellaneous Collection under their name.


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

1. Correspondence. 5 folders (8 items). 1861-65.

All the folders in this series contain letters either to or from a member of the Lindsay family during the Civil War years. The most noteworthy items are a letter from Robert G. Lindsay to his wife while he visited in New York, in which he mentions discussions about Ft. Sumter prior to its surrender (1:5), and one to Mrs. Robt. G. (Marianna) Lindsay from her sister in Winchester, VA, in which she mentions Stonewall Jackson’s troops coming to that city in 1862 (1:4). The letter from J. H. Lindsay, Jr., Adjutant 45th NC Troops, instructs Lt. J. Austin Lindsay to report for duty (1:3).

2. Financial. 5 folders (16 items). 1835-65.

The financial series consists primarily of receipts acknowledging payment for tuition, services or goods. In this group can be found items from the University of Virginia and Yale College (2:3); Raleigh publisher W. L. Pomeroy for two copies of Hardee’s Tactics (2:1); Porter and Gorrell (2:5); and a receipt for Capt. J. A. Lindsay’s pay by the Confederate army (2:1).

Other noteworthy items are an itemized proposal to build a house in Greensboro for Robert G. Lindsay in 1844 (2:4) and a receipt sent to him from the Edgeworth Female Seminary (2:2).

3. Miscellaneous. 1 folder (7 items). 1789-1887.

The bulk of the miscellaneous series consists of items that appear to be unrelated to any of the other materials in the collection. Many of the documents in this series are receipts of transactions conducted outside of North Carolina. There is, however, a 1789 deed recording the transference of property in the town of Martinville in Guilford County (3:1).

4. Printed. 2 folders (7 items). ca. 1863-64.

The printed series consists of a small collection of Civil War-era items. In folder 4:1 is a standardized form that approves the transfer of Captain J. A. Lindsay from the General Hospital in Staunton, Virginia, to a hospital in Danville, Virginia. In folder 4:2 are five pamphlets and one cover from a pamphlet pertaining to religious concerns.


FOLDER LISTING

Series
Folder
Contents
11Correspondence-- Anderson, James (1865)
2-- Harris, Jason C. (1863)
3-- Lindsay, J. H. (1863?)
4Correspondence-- Lindsay, Mrs. M. [from her sister] (1862)
5-- Lindsay, Robert G. (1861)
21Financial-- Lindsay, J. Austin (1863-65)
2-- Lindsay, Robert G. -- Edgeworth Female Seminary (1859-60)
3-- Lindsay, Robert G. -- Education (1835-36)
4Financial-- Lindsay, Robert G. -- House building (1844-62)
5-- Lindsay, Robert G. -- Miscellaneous (1862-63)
31Miscellaneous (1789-1887)
41Printed-- Lindsay, J. Austin -- Hospital transfer form (1863)
2-- Religious pamphlets (ca. 1863-64)


Index to the Robert G. Lindsay Papers
(ca. 1789-1887)

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.

Anderson, H. J.: 3:1 (1868)
Anderson, James: 1:1 (1865)
Anderson, Robert: 1:5 (1861)
Architecture: 2:4 (1844)

Ballard, John: 3:1 (1865-67)
Bowen, T. J.: 3:1 (1857)

Cary & Ames (MA): 3:1 (1869)
Civil War: 1:1-5; 2:1; 4 (1861-65); 45th NC Regiment, Co. K, 1:3; 2:1 (1863)

Danville (VA): 4:1 (1863)

Edgeworth Female Seminary: 2:2 (1859-60)
Education: 2:2-3 (1835-60)

Farnsworth, Simon: 3:1 (1868)
Ft. Sumter (SC): 1:5 (1861)

General Hospital (VA): 2:1 (1863)
Gorrell, Robt.: 3:1 (1789)
GSO: conditions during Civil War, 1:2 (1863); houses, 2:4 (1844-62)

Hamilton, Hana: 3:1 (1789)
Hamilton, John: 3:1 (1789)
Harris, Jason C.: 1:2 (1863)

Jackson, Stonewall: mention of troops in Winchester, VA, 1:4 (1862)

Kelley, Elisha: 3:1 (1869)

Lindsay, J. Austin: 1:3; 2:1; 4:1 (1863-65)\
Lindsay, J. H.: 1:3 (1863?)
Lindsay, Mrs. Robert G.: 1:1,4 (1862-5)
Lindsay, Robert G.: 1:5; 2:2-5 (1835-63)

McNairy, Robt.: 3:1 (1789)
Martinville (NC): 3:1 (1789)
Moore, J. H.: 3:1 (1867

Pomeroy, W. L.: 2:1 (1861)
Porter & Gorrell (GSO): 2:5 (1863)

Religion: 4:2 (ca. 1863-64)

Schools: 2:2-3 (1835-60)
Schrader, John: 3:1 (1789)
Scott, W. B.: 3:1 (1887)
Staunton (VA): 4:1 (1863)

U.S. Express Co. (NY): 3:1 (1887)
University of Virginia: 2:3 (1835-6)

Wilson, Richard: 3:1 (1789)
Winchester (VA): 1:4 (1862)

Yale College: 2:3 (1835)