Ralph Gorrell Family Papers

1827-1875 [bulk 1840-1869]. 3 boxes (61 folders), ca. 1275 items.MSS. COLL. #27

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


The Ralph Gorrell Family Papers should interest and prove useful to students and scholars of legal and social history. Numerous personal and household accounts provide an intimate glimpse of daily life in 19th century Greensboro, while abundant legal correspondence and documents highlight Ralph Gorrell’s legal career. The local Guilford County historian may appreciate the recording of local names, businesses, and events evident in this collection. Less central to the collection but likely of interest to students and scholars of Reconstruction are a letter requesting reimbursement for crops foraged shortly after the surrender and another assessing violence against freedmen and their allies.

Arrangement: This collection is arranged into six series by document type. The series are: Correspondence, 1820-1874, n.d.; Financial Documents, 1823-1874, n.d.; Legal Documents, 1829-1875, n.d.; Literary, 1817-1867, n.d.; Miscellaneous, n.d.; and Printed Materials, 1830-1890, n.d.

Provenance: The materials in this collection came from multiple donors over a number of years, with a majority being donated in 1968 and 1970. The bulk of the collection was received from A. Earl Weatherly, who acquired a trunk of papers and many loose items from the Ralph Gorrell home on Davie Street before its demolition around 1910­-1920. Three later additions consist of a variety of documents donated by Joseph Palmer Gorrell, a descendant of John T. Gorrell, who was possibly Ralph Gorrell’s nephew (1987.88.1); financial materials given by Duane Austin and probably acquired by his father, Jesse James Austin (1993.15.1); and correspondence found by David Trogdon and David Joyce in an abandoned building in Ether, N.C. (1997.1.1).

Processing: This collection was originally processed by Gary W. Parks, and the finding aid was completed on December 31, 1983. The additions were incorporated and the finding aid was revised by volunteer Ann Koppen in November 2023.


Born in Guilford County, Ralph Gorrell (1803-1875) was the son of Euphemia Steward and David Gorrell and a grandson of Ralph Gorrell “the First,” who sold the original plot of land on which Greensboro stands. Sometimes known as “the Second,” he was a leading citizen of Greensboro, an influential lawyer, and a director of the North Carolina Railroad.

Ralph Gorrell attended Greensboro Academy from about 1820 to 1821 and then the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The collection contains a number of his school compositions, demonstrating his fine penmanship and well-educated mind. According to one source, he was the first native of Greensboro to complete law instruction at the University of North Carolina. He was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1827, and he led a distinguished and wide-ranging law practice. In his most notable case, even though a slaveholder himself, he defended abolitionist Daniel Worth. He represented Guilford County in the House of Commons in 1834, 1835, and 1854, and he served as a state senator in 1856 and 1858. A member of the Whig Party, he supported public education and state aid to railroads, and he opposed secession. He was also the first president of the Greensboro Mutual Life Insurance and Trust Company.

While Ralph Gorrell’s political career is poorly documented in this collection, his long legal career, spanning from approximately 1827 through 1875, is evidenced by an abundance of legal correspondence and documents. His marriage to Mary Chisholm in 1830 and the birth of his children are easily discernible in many personal receipts, accounts, and letters. The building of the Gorrell home, a two-story Italianate-style house on Davie Street, is carefully recorded in the household receipts of the late 1850s and early 1860s. Ralph Gorrell’s death on August 14, 1875, is also evidenced in the collection. The sale of his law library by his son, William Albert Gorrell, finalized the end of his long legal career.

The eldest son of Ralph and Mary Chisholm Gorrell, Julius L. Gorrell (1831-1862) seemingly followed in his father’s footsteps, studying law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He apparently formed a partnership with his father, as correspondence in the collection indicates a collaboration. Later, like his father, he was a delegate in the House of Commons. An invitation to him there from Governor and Mrs. Ellis dates from about 1859-1861, when John Willis Ellis was Governor of North Carolina. Julius Gorrell died on July 17, 1862.

Henry Clay Gorrell (1839-1862) was a druggist by trade, but during the Civil War he joined the Guilford Grays. The collection includes his  speech on behalf of the Guilford Grays acknowledging grateful receipt of a silk banner presented to them by the Queen of Coronation Day at Edgeworth Female Seminary on May 18, 1860 (4:4). He was killed at Chickahominy on June 21, 1862, but hoping to find his son wounded or a prisoner, his father obtained a Confederate pass dated June 27, 1862, to journey to Richmond (6:3). Henry Clay Gorrell is buried in First Presbyterian Church Cemetery along with his parents and brother.

Biographical Sources: The sources for this biographical note include materials in the collection; the chapter on Ralph Gorrell in Founders and Builders of Greensboro, 1808-1908, compiled by Bettie D. Caldwell (Greensboro, N.C.: Jos. J. Stone & Company, 1925); and the article about Ralph Gorrell in the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vol. 2 D-G, edited by William S. Powell (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1986).


This collection documents the life of Greensboro lawyer Ralph Gorrell through his meticulous recording of both personal and legal affairs. More generally, it also provides a glimpse into daily life in 19th century Greensboro, as well as details concerning the local legal profession before the Civil War.

Ralph Gorrell’s early manhood (1817-1824) is covered by a number of unpublished writings, including numerous school compositions that reflect his years as a student at Greensboro Academy and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His subsequent law practice, from approximately 1827 to 1874, is represented by legal and financial documents as well as legal correspondence. The legal documents are of particular interest because of their rarity: the Guilford County Courthouse was devastated by fire in 1872, destroying many of the legal documents of pre-Civil War Greensboro. Ralph Gorrell’s family life is intimately revealed through a large number of financial receipts and accounts relating to household management.

Also of interest in this collection may be a few items relating to Reconstruction. The most notable is a letter concerning the murder of North Carolina Senator John W. Stephens and estimates of the volume of other Ku Klux Klan violence. In addition, an 1867 diary found with Ralph Gorrell’s possessions provides a glimpse into the daily life of 19-year-old Lucy Simpson (1848-1922), a daughter of William Dunlap Simpson of South Carolina.

Weaknesses: Ralph Gorrell’s wife, Mary Chisholm Gorrell, is not well-represented in this collection, and neither is his political career. In addition, the singular year 1865 is only sparsely documented, with the notable exception of a letter from Gorrell requesting payment for crops foraged from his plantation by the Union Army after surrender.

While gaps exist in this collection, supplementary materials are available. The Ralph Gorrell Papers, 1797-1884 held by the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill include correspondence between Ralph Gorrell and his family in the 1850s and 1860s. In addition, a number of letters and covers are featured in A. Earl Weatherly’s The First Hundred Years of Historic Guilford, 1771-1871 (Greensboro, N.C.: Greensboro Printing Co., 1972). Unfortunately, because of their philatelic value, these items were sold at auction in the 1970s.


1. Correspondence.  10 folders (237 items).  1820-1874, n.d.

The correspondence series spans most of Ralph Gorrell’s mature life and consists of legal and personal correspondence that is particularly rich in materials from the 1860s. It consists of four subseries – letters and covers to Ralph Gorrell and letters to his sons Henry and Julius.

Letters concerning legal matters reflect Gorrell’s long career as a Greensboro lawyer. Many items relate to individual cases, or matters concerning mining, banking, or railroad interests. Gorrell was a reporter for an early credit reporting agency, and two letters from that agency are given context by a research paper on 19th century informal credit reports. Correspondence with educational institutions and leaders, such as William Bingham of Bingham School in Mebaneville, N.C. (1868), forms a part of this series. Political figures and businessmen, such as Jonathan Worth, D.P. Weir, H.T. Weatherly, and J.M. Leach [Davidson County, N.C], House of Representatives (1873), also figure prominently.

Personal letters are primarily from Ralph Gorrell’s children to him while he was away from home. A letter from his father David relates family news while Ralph was studying law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1:3). Notes from associates and other Gorrell relatives are also present. Only two letters written by Ralph Gorrell exist in the collection. In a December 1865 letter, he requests reimbursement for items foraged from his plantation by the Union Army (1:6) and, writing J.B. Faris of Richmond, VA, Gorrell relates, “Our whole County ticket is elected … radicalism signally rebuked and our people determined not to surrender their liberties. Sic Semper tyrannis” (5 August 1870; 1:7).

Letters to Henry Clay Gorrell, all while he was a soldier, include one from his brother Julius, one from William Clarkson Porter, and several from Sallie Sherard, a student at Edgeworth Female Seminary and possibly Henry’s sweetheart. One short business note comprises the correspondence to Ralph’s other son, Julius. The Covers subseries, all from Ralph Gorrell’s correspondence, includes approximately 125 envelopes with a variety of postmarks and cancellations, as well as notations by A. Earl Weatherly on a number of them.

Of note in this series is a portion of an 1870 letter, author and recipient unknown, addressing queries about another letter the author had written to Republican U.S. Senator Joseph Abbott that had been published in The New York Tribune without permission. In this published letter, prompted by the murder of North Carolina Senator John W. Stephens, the author had provided estimates for murders, arsons, and robberies in Alamance County (likely by the Ku Klux Klan), and he attempts to clarify and correct errors in this response. The murder of Senator Stephens, a defender of freedmen’s rights during Reconstruction, led Governor Holden to declare martial law in Alamance and Caswell counties (known as the Kirk-Holden War) and then to Governor Holden’s impeachment and removal from office.

2. Financial Documents.  22 folders (783 items).  1823-1874, n.d.

The financial documents constitute the bulk of the collection and are broken into the following subseries: Accounts (1827-1874, n.d.); Bills of Sale (1868-1872); a Notebook of Receipts and Tax Fees (1837-1840, 1843-1852); Receipts (1823-1874, n.d.); and Vouchers (Incoming and Outgoing). Except for Receipts, all of these items pertain to Ralph Gorrell.

Receipts form the largest subseries and are divided into several major groups. The tax receipts from the Civil War years are particularly interesting, with an 1864 receipt accounting the number of hogs Ralph Gorrell slaughtered from 1863-1864 and the amount of bacon due to the Confederate government. Included are receipts for county and state taxes, and corporation taxes. Educational receipts dating from 1823-1825 reveal Gorrell’s education at Greensboro Academy and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, while those from 1847-1870 document his children’s education by private tutoring, at Edgeworth Female Seminary in Greensboro, and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The largest bulk of receipts are of a personal and household nature. Many of these pertain to the building and furnishing of Gorrell’s office and home, both located on a seven-acre site on Davie Street. Medical receipts and literary materials receipts are also present, as is one receipt representing his service as treasurer of his regional church organization, the Orange Presbytery.

Closely aligned to the receipts are Accounts, which record transactions with stores and other businesses with which the Gorrell family dealt. The use of staples, fabrics and clothing, foods, services such as blacksmithing and carpentry, household effects, implements, and wines and liquors are intimately revealed in this subseries. The Bills of Sale, Vouchers (Incoming and Outgoing), and A Notebook of Receipts and Tax Fees also reflect Gorrell’s careful accounting of financial matters.

3. Legal Documents.  15 folders (166 items).  1829-1875, n.d.

The subseries within this series reflect the diversity of documents Ralph Gorrell handled as a lawyer and include bonds of agreement, case material, a copybook titled “Adams on Equity,” a deed of gift, estate administrations, power of attorney appointments, promissory notes (incoming and outgoing), and summonses. Several folders contain abstracts of legal documents, including one with an undated journal of briefs.

Appointments of power of attorney to Ralph Gorrell include a letter signed by Charles Manly as treasurer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1851). Deeds of gift include a document by which David Gorrell devises to his son, John Randolph Gorrell, a 13-year-old Negro boy named Calvin (1838; 4:8). The estate administrations include documents relating to the estate of Ralph Gorrell’s brother-in-law, Calvin J. Chisholm of Montgomery County, N.C. (1838). Summonses covering the counties of Guilford and Orange span the years 1847-1871, and the folder titled “Items relating to Elizabeth and Ludowick Albright” contains promissory notes relating to a court case of 1847. Many of the legal documents are mundane and of a routine nature, characteristic of those encountered in the daily life of a lawyer.

4. Literary.  5 folders (36 items).  1817-1867, n.d.

This series includes compositions written by Ralph Gorrell while he was a student at Greensboro Academy (1820-1821) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1822-1824). Several documents are not identified with either institution but likely date from the same period because of similar structure and composition. Subjects covered include education, current and historical events, virtues, and moral principles.

The three speeches were delivered by Ralph Gorrell in 1839, his grandfather Ralph Gorrell “the First” in 1816(?), and his son Henry Clay Gorrell in 1860. A diary found in Ralph Gorrell’s trunk appears to belong to 19-year-old Lucy Simpson, the daughter of William Dunlap Simpson, who was later Governor of South Carolina and then Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court. Writing in 1867, she describes family visits and celebrations, music and Latin lessons at the local college, and dismay at the initiatives of the Republican Congress to give equal rights to newly freed African Americans (4:3).

5. Miscellaneous.  2 folders (31 items).

This series consists of fragments of writings, several listings of names, Ralph Gorrell’s signature, notes written by A. Earl Weatherly concerning Ralph Gorrell and Gorrell-related philatelic items, and miscellaneous fragments of papers, newspapers, and several stamps.

6. Printed Materials.  6 folders (24 items).  1823-1890, n.d.

This series contains diverse items such as invitations, speeches, periodicals, advertisements, and certificates. Specific items include an 1825 course catalogue from Ralph Gorrell’s junior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; his phrenological chart done at Hillsborough, N.C., February 26th (1848?); his certificate of appointment as an attorney for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1851); an invitation from Governor and Mrs. John Willis Ellis to Julius L. Gorrell (ca. 1859-1861); a Confederate pass to visit Richmond (1862); an Internal Revenue license to carry on the occupation of lawyer (1866); and an advertisement offering Ralph Gorrell’s law library for sale by his son William Albert Gorrell (ca. 1875).


11Correspondence-- Gorrell, Henry (1861-1862)
2-- Gorrell, Julius (1861)
3-- Gorrell, Ralph (1820-1825)
4Correspondence-- Gorrell, Ralph (1830-1836)
5-- Gorrell, Ralph (1843-1859)
6-- Gorrell, Ralph (1860-1869)
7Correspondence-- Gorrell, Ralph (1870-1874, n.d.)
8-- Gorrell, Ralph, Covers (n.d.)
9-- Gorrell, Ralph, Covers (ca. 1840s-1870s)
10-- Unknown, Murder of Sen. Stephens (1870)
21Financial Documents-- Accounts (1827-1839)
2-- Accounts (1840-1849)
3-- Accounts (1851-1855)
4Financial Documents-- Accounts (1856-1859)
5-- Accounts (1860-1868)
6-- Accounts (1870-1874, n.d.)
7Financial Documents-- Bills of Sale (1866-1872)
8-- Notebooks: Receipts and Tax Fees (1837-1840, 1843-1852)
9-- Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph -- Church (1860)
10Financial Documents-- Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph -- Educational (1823-1825, 1847-1870, n.d)
11-- Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph -- Household and personal (1823-1849)
12-- Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph -- Household and personal (1850-1859)
13Financial Documents-- Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph -- Household and personal (1860-1869)
14-- Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph -- Household and personal (1870-1874, n.d.)
15-- Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph -- Legal (1829-1849)
16Financial Documents-- Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph -- Legal (1850-1874, n.d.)
17-- Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph -- Literary materials (1828-1874, n.d.)
18-- Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph -- Medical (1841-1870)
19Financial Documents-- Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph -- Taxes (1830-1872, n.d.)
20-- Receipts, Other Gorrell family members (1834-1863)
21-- Vouchers, Incoming (1829-1871, n.d.)
22-- Vouchers, Outgoing (1856)
31Legal Documents-- Albright, Elizabeth and Ludowick (1835-1843)
2-- Bonds of Agreement (1829-1853)
3-- Caffey, James D. and Will L. Scott (1855-1861)
4Legal Documents-- Case materials (1845-ca. 1875)
5-- Copybook: "Adams on Equity" (n.d.)
6-- Deed of gift (1838)
7Legal Documents-- Estate administrations (1838, 1858, n.d.)
8-- Journal of Briefs, (ca. 1840s)
9-- Legislative abstracts (n.d,)
10Legal Documents-- Power of Attorney appointments (1855-1869)
11-- Promissory notes -- Estate settlements (1857-1865)
12-- Promissory notes -- Gorrell, Ralph, Incoming (1845-1871)
13Legal Documents-- Promissory notes -- Gorrell, Ralph, Outgoing (1843-1873, n.d.)
14-- Promissory notes -- Other Gorrell family members (1829, 1851-1860)
15-- Summonses (1847-1872)
41Literary-- Compositions -- Gorrell, Ralph (1819-1820)
2-- Compositions -- Gorrell, Ralph (1821-1824)
3-- Diary -- Simpson, Lutie (1867)
4Literary-- Speeches -- Gorrell, Henry Clay (1860)
5-- Speeches -- Gorrell, Ralph (I) (ca. 1817?)
6-- Speeches -- Gorrell, Ralph (II) (1839)
51Miscellaneous-- Gorrell family items (1854-1864, n.d.)
2-- Non-Gorrell items (1860-1864, n.d.)
61Printed Materials-- Advertisements (ca. 1875, n.d.)
2-- Catalogues, Newspapers, and Periodicals (1823-1855)
3-- Certificates (1851-1866)
4Printed Materials-- Chart (1848)
5-- Invitations (ca. 1859-1861, 1890)
6-- Speeches and sermons (1827-1854)


1:1  Correspondence – Gorrell, Henry Clay (1861-1862). 6 items. (1997.1.1)

All of these letters were written while Henry Clay Gorrell served in the Guilford Grays. A letter from William Clarkson Porter (uncle of William Sidney Porter) shortly before Henry’s death discloses Porter’s exemption from serving. An accompanying letter from Henry’s brother Julius describes Julius’s activities at home, including dining with Rev. Smith of First Presbyterian Church, as well as his effort to raise a company and obtain money and boots for Henry. Four letters from Sallie Sherard, a student at Edgeworth Female Seminary, describe concerts to benefit the soldiers, news of battles, the dwindling enrollment at school, and hope that her brother and Henry will be spared.

1:2  Correspondence – Gorrell, Julius (1861). 1 item. (1997.1.1)

This folder contains a note to Julius from the Mutual Insurance Company.

1:3  Correspondence – Gorrell, Ralph (1820-1825). 12 items. (1997.1.1)

The most important letter here is from Ralph’s father, David, describing his legal work and the family’s health. Several letters from Ralph’s cousin, Stewart Finley, describe Stewart’s efforts to find success in a few southern cities. And one letter from a friend named L. Lindsay reports on life at school in Hillsboro.

1:4  Correspondence – Gorrell, Ralph (1830-1836). 12 items.

Items are mostly legal in nature. They include: a letter from the Dialectic Society informing Ralph Gorrell that his membership fees are past due (May 1, 1830); a letter from Sam Redmond in New York commending Gorrell’s legal work; several items relating to the Wall Street (N.Y.) company of Griffin, Cleaveland and Campbell (1835-1836), an early credit-reporting firm that employed Gorrell as a reporter (and as a result he was accused of espionage in some counties); and several items relating to kinsman John S. Gorrell of Peru, Indiana (1836).

Autographs: John S. Gorrell (Peru, Indiana)
Sam Redmond (New York)

1:5  Correspondence – Gorrell, Ralph (1843-1859). 25 items.

Items are mostly legal in nature. They include: an invitation from the Greensboro Guards requesting Ralph Gorrell’s participation in an Independence Dinner (June 20, 1843); a letter from J. Worth of Asheboro, N.C., relating the details of a complicated equity case of Jesse Bray against Joab Parks, G.C. Mendenhall and others (February 16, 1845); correspondence of brother John Randolph Gorrell of Cabarrus Co., N.C., concerning the administration of David K. Gorrell’s estate by Ralph Gorrell (1853); a letter from brother Finley W. Gorrell of Purely [McNairy Co.], TN (January 6, 1854); a letter acknowledging receipt of payment for a barrel of whiskey (1857); items relating to D.P. Weir of Greensboro, N.C.; and items relating to H.T. Weatherly of Winston, N.C.

Autographs: John J. Conrad (Bethania, N.C.)
Finley W. Gorrell (Purely, Tennessee)
John Randolph Gorrell (Cabarrus Co., N.C.)
H.T. Weatherly (Winston, N.C.)
D.P. Weir (Greensboro, N.C.)
Jonathan Worth (Asheboro, N.C.)

1:6  Correspondence – Gorrell, Ralph (1860-1869). 7 items.

Items are both legal and personal in nature. Correspondents include a number of educators including: S. Lander of Greensboro Female College (1860) and Lincolnton Female Seminary, Lincolnton, N.C. (1863); L.A. Jobe, writing from Goldsboro, N.C., asking Gorrell to intercede on his behalf for a deferment from duty in the Civil War because his school “is the only Male Academy in Greensboro” (25 October 1864); and William Bingham of Bingham School in Mebaneville, N.C., who mentions his “Confederate edition of … Latin Grammar” published by Richard Sterling (June 22, 1868). Personal letters include those written by daughter Annie (January 24, 1862); son Julius in which he asks his father to help obtain a commission for him on the staff of General F.L. Simpson (February 23, 1862); and F.L. Gorrell of Winston, N.C., who writes “Cousin Ralph” to tell of the death of his (F.L.G.’s) brother Ralph, killed at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863 (July 18, 1863). A letter from Ralph Gorrell to Major General T.R. Ruger requests payment for materials foraged from his plantation by the Union Army after surrender (December 20, 1865). The included referrals reveal the challenges of obtaining the pardon necessary for reimbursement.

Autographs: William Bingham (Bingham School, Mebaneville, N.C.)
Brig. Gen. J.F. Boyd (Raleigh, N.C.)
Annie Gorrell (Greensboro, N.C.)
F.L. Gorrell (Winston, N.C.)
Julius Gorrell (Greensboro, N.C.)
L.A. Jobe (Goldsboro, N.C.)
S. Lander (Greensboro Female College, Greensboro, N.C.)
(Lincolnton Female Seminary, Lincolnton, N.C.)

1:7  Correspondence – Gorrell, Ralph, (1870-1874, n.d.). 28 items.

Items are mostly legal in nature. They include: a letter from Ralph Gorrell to J.B. Faris of Richmond, VA, in which Gorrell relates that a new county ticket has been elected and “radicalism signally rebuked and our people determined not to surrender their liberties…” (August 5, 1870); a letter from Fred H. Stith of Thomasville, N.C., regarding the Conrad Hill (Gold Mining) Companies (September 27, 1871); a letter from John W. Pemberton of Wadesboro, N.C., requesting and advising Gorrell’s service in a case (November 21, 1872); a letter from Ralph Gorrell’s son William Albert (November 29, 1872); several items relating to J.M. Leach [Davidson Co., N.C.], House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. (1873); and an 1874 telegram inquiring whether Gorrell’s presence was required at a trial.

Autographs: Ralph Gorrell (Greensboro, N.C.)
William Albert Gorrell (Greensboro, N.C.)
J.M. Leach ([Davidson Co., N.C.])
John W. Pemberton (Wadesboro, N.C.)

1:8-1:9  Correspondence – Covers, Parts I & II (1840s-1870s, n.d.). 125 items.

These two folders contain 125 covers with a variety of postmarks, stamps, and cancellations. A number of the covers have penciled notations written by A. Earl Weatherly. Most are addressed to “Ralph Gorrell, Greensboro, N.C.” and some indicate the subsequent law practice of Ralph Gorrell and his son Julius. Many additional covers addressed to Ralph Gorrell are prominently displayed in A. Earl Weatherly’s The First Hundred Years of Historic Guilford, 1771-1871 (Greensboro, N.C.: Greensboro Printing Company, 1972). Unfortunately, these covers were sold at auction in the 1970s because of their philatelic value.

1:10  Correspondence – Unknown, Murder of Sen. Stephens (1870). 1 item. (1987.88.1)

This portion of a letter reveals neither the author nor the recipient but concerns the author’s response to the senator’s murder and his accounting of Ku Klux Klan violence in the area.

2:1-2:6  Financial Documents – Accounts (1827-1839; 1840-1849; 1851-1855; 1856-1859; 1860-1868; 1870-1874, n.d.). 110 items.

The accounts display daily transactions with stores and businesses used by the Gorrell family. The use of staples, fabrics and clothing, foods, services such as blacksmithing and carpentry, household effects, implements, and wines and liquors are intimately revealed in these documents. They are chronologically arranged by the date of the receipt of money or the date sent to the family. Since they are so similar in content and form, it was not felt necessary to abstract individual accounts, but a listing of the products and businesses with dates can be found in the folder at the front of the collection. (Note: Those abstracts and indexes went with the folder listing in the 1983 version of this finding aid and may be challenging to match with folders after the reorganization in 2023.)

2:7  Financial Documents – Bills of Sale (1866-1872). 3 items.

These documents include one in which J.B. Holmes of Guilford County sells to Ralph Gorrell for $45 one milch cow and one “yok of red oxen” (March 7, 1868); A.B. Stith conveys, bargains, & sells to Ralph Gorrell et al. all that real estate situated in Davidson County known as “the Conrad Hill Gold Hill property…” (November 7, 1872); and a contract for the purchase of land from Ralph Gorrell by Piedmont Railroad.

2:8  Financial Documents – Notebooks: Receipts and Tax Fees (1837-1840, 1843-1852). 2 items.

Both items reflect Ralph Gorrell’s meticulous recording of financial transactions. The first notebook covers 1837-1840 and the second covers 1843-1852. A listing of various monies received and monies expended for taxes is recorded.

2:9  Financial Documents – Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph – Church, 1860. 1 item. (1993.15.1)

This item evidences Gorrell’s involvement in the Orange Presbytery (a group of Presbyterian churches in North Carolina) as treasurer pro tem.

2:10  Financial Documents – Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph – Educational (1823-1825, 1847-1870, n.d.). 24 items.

These receipts document the education of Ralph Gorrell and his children. Room and rent along with tuition receipts from 1823-1825 reflect Ralph Gorrell’s education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, while receipts from 1847-1848 reveal his son Julius’ education at the private Greensboro High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The education of daughters Mary and Anna are represented by receipts from the 1850s, and receipts from Eliza Henry Rose indicate the schooling of children: Charlotte, Albert, Mary, and Henry. In addition, Albert received “9 weeks English instruction” from George Paddison in March-May 1862. Three detailed expense accounts from Edgeworth Female Seminary (1850s-1860s) list the books and art and music supplies used for the education of Gorrell’s daughters. Son Ralph’s education is represented by a receipt from Samuel C. Smith (September 5, 1870).

2:11-2:14  Financial Documents – Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph – Household and Personal, (1823-1849; 1850-1859; 1860-1869; 1870-1874, n.d.). 298 items.

Household and personal receipts reflect the great diversity of services and consumable items needed by the Gorrell family in the mid-19th century. The purchase of staples, furnishings for the home, shoes for people and horses, ready-made and made-to-order clothing, and liquors are all vividly recorded. Blacksmithing, the hauling of lumber and brick, the cutting and sawing of timber, pew rent, shoeing and maintenance of the Gorrell team of horses, work done on the well, overseers’ wages, and work done on Gorrell’s office and home are some of the services performed for the family.

Receipts include: J.A. Mebane’s receipt for “laying 8850 brick” as well as an additional 400 brick (January 1, 1834); David Gorrell received money for “halling 33 load of wood at 25 cts. p. load” and for “two hundred rails at 1.50 per hundred …” (May 15, 1836); Ralph Gorrell paid $8 pew rent in the Presbyterian Church up to 1 Jany. 1842 and another dollar pew rent to 1 May 1842 (October 10, 1842); McKnight & Gibson received $164.70 from Ralph Gorrell for the brickwork and plastering of his office (December 20, 1843); H. Henderson received payment for

“Shaving while sick and for Lemons and sundry times Cutting hair … $2.60” (December 9, 1845); J. Worth received payment for 23¼ yards of tow cloth and 65 planks of heartwood –12 feet long 10 inches (February 25, 1848); and J.A. Mebane received Ralph Gorrell’s first installment of $100 for twenty shares of the North Carolina Rail Road Company stock (March 30, 1850).

J.H. Tarpley received $50 from Ralph Gorrell for sawing lumber (26 October 1860); S.F. McLean received $200 in partial payment for mason work done on Ralph Gorrell’s house (17 November 1860); J.H. Tarpley received $45 for sawing lumber (17 May 1861); John A. Pritchett received payment for altering a bedstead and for a set of chairs as well as “Coffin & Care for Julius” in July [1862?] and “To Hearse for Henry” (2 November 1861); the Greensboro Gas Light Company received payment (A.P. Eckel, Secretary) for “1 Lt. Pendant $1.50/ 1 Droplight & Shade $3.00/ Gas Consumed to Jay. 1st 1863 $2.25 / $6.75” (January 1, 1862); W.H. & R.S. Tucker & Co., Raleigh, received $10 “in full for carpeting …” (December 10, 1869); Ralph Gorrell is receipted for 1 Hot Bath Ticket as well as laundry and board at Hot Springs, Bath County, Virginia (August 26, 1872); J.A. Pritchett received monies for repairing a table and crib as well as “27 [January 1872] Coffin & Case for Ralph” (November 1872); Peter Thurston received payment for S. Thurston for “Decbr. 23d Marble Top Table $45/ Feb. 6th to Coffin & Case for Son $10/$55” (undated); and D.F. Caldwell received payment “For printing bills for sale of the Wharton Mill Property $1.00” (undated).

In addition, a number of overseers of Ralph Gorrell’s property are noted in these receipts along with their yearly wages. Overseers include: Thomas Beard (1844); Miles Pitchford (1846, 1847); Branson Okey (1853); Levi Lewis (1857); Robert Bradshaw (1858, 1860); and James A. Wyatt (1861, 1862).

Autographs: D.F. Caldwell
Thomas Caldwell
David Gorrell
John A. Mebane
J.H. Tarpley
Jonathan Worth

2:15-2:16  Financial Documents – Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph – Legal (1829-1849; 1850-1874, n.d.). 200 items.

Many of these items reflect the long legal career of Ralph Gorrell. A standard phrase in many is “Received … by the hands of Ralph Gorrell, Esq.,” indicating that Gorrell often served as an intermediary. Among the types of legal receipts are those relating to pension allotments, collection of monies, guardian allotments, claims against bonds, settlements from judgments, and receipt of monies from estates.

F.W. Gorrell received $56.44 “part payment of a Legacy due [him] from the Ears [i.e. Heirs] of Prudence Stewart, Decd.” (August 6, 1832); James Gorrell received $49.37, the balance of a note from Robert D. Gorrell (March 18, 1834); J.A. Mebane received costs in the case of H. Trotter & wife & others against Zadock Tuckers & others [Guilford County Court of Equity] (April 25, 1840); Peter Adams receipts the collection of monies against two claims by Ralph Gorrell (November 17, 1840); John A. Britter, Treasurer of Caldwell Institute, received $21 for tuition for Harriett Craig, ward of Dr. Treadwell (September 1841); George C. Mendenhall (on behalf of William Wiley) received $35, the amount agreed by compromise in the suit William Wiley vs. William P. Steinbach [Guilford County Superior Court] (30 November 1853); and Lyndon Swaim [Clerk of the Circuit Court] received $16.36, costs up to May Term 1854 (May 1854). Several items from 1852 relate to the administration of Euphemia Gorrell’s estate by David K. Gorrell and the administration of David K. Gorrell’s estate by Ralph Gorrell.

Jonathan Worth received $50, his half of the fee from William Hudson in the suit Charlotte Hudson vs. Charles Boling & others in Randolph County (May 7, 1861); Cyrus P. Mendenhall records the receipt of bonds of varying amounts from Ralph Gorrell, who was acting as “Chairman of the Committee on the Sinking Fund of the North Carolina Rail Road Company” (15 July 1863); J.H. Tarpley gets $26.50 as the share of Sarah Rich (or Busick) in the judgment received against J.M. Donnell (November 30, 1866); James T. Morehead received $25 “for attending to the suit John T. Mabry against James C. Tenrentine (Turrentine?) in the Supreme Court” (May 30, 1868); and Abram Clapp, Clerk of the Superior Court, received of Ralph Gorrell “former Clerk and Master in Equity” $50 for the “Hiram Lindsay lots of the lands of Robert S. Croson…” (October 1, 1872).

Several items relate to the administration of Julius L. Gorrell’s estate by Ralph Gorrell (1863). One item records the yearly rent for Gorrell’s office in 1860, and several items are receipts from the Southern Express Company for parcels containing varying amounts of money.

Autographs: Peter Adams
Luke Blackmur
John A. Britter (Caldwell Institute, Greensboro)
Abram Clapp (Superior Court, Greensboro)
F.W. Gorrell
James Gorrell
J.A. Mebane
George C. Mendenhall
Cyrus P. Mendenhall
James T. Morehead
K.M. Morrison
Lyndon Swaim (Circuit Court, Greensboro)
J.H. Tarpley
Jonathan Worth

2:17  Financial Documents – Receipts, Ralph Gorrell – Literary Materials (1828-1874, n.d.). 55 items.

These receipts reflect the diversity of reading material in the Gorrell household, and a number record the purchase of law books that formed the nucleus of Gorrell’s law library, which was later offered for sale by his son, William Albert Gorrell (6:1). Subscriptions to newspapers and periodicals are also present, including: The Greensboro Patriot (Greensboro); National Intelligencer [Washington, D.C.]; North Carolina Journal; Plough Boy; The Presbyterian (Philadelphia, PA); Raleigh Register (Raleigh, N.C.); Richmond Whig (Richmond, VA); Semi-Weekly Register; Semiweekly Standard; The Sentinel (Raleigh, N.C.); Thompson’s Bank Note Reporter; and The Times (Greensboro).

Literary agents and book dealers include: Gales & Seaton; Joseph Gales & Son; Weston R. Gales; T. & J.W. Johnson (Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA); Syme & Hall; J. Thompson (Wall Street, New York); and Turner & Hughes. Also contained in this folder are several receipts that record the purchase of textbooks for the education of Gorrell’s children, including: Smith’s Eng[lish]Gram[mar] (75¢), bought from Sterling and Albright (7 November 1865) and “for Albert To 1 Andrews Sallust $1.75 To 1 First Greek Book $2.00” purchased from R. Sterling & Son (February 25, 1867).

2:18  Financial Documents – Receipts, Ralph Gorrell – Medical (1841-1872). 11 items.

The medical receipts highlight visits by doctors to members of the Gorrell family as well as those they enslaved. A number of medications and curatives are mentioned. R.K. Denny carefully accounts his “visit and med. for Caroline all night” and his “visit and med. for Laury all night,” both on February 2, 1854, and his “visit and med for Cherry and Dan” on October 30, 1854, in his receipt of September 1, 1855. These people were apparently enslaved by Ralph Gorrell. W.T.O. Harris carefully recounts the final days of David K. Gorrell with the following notations: “May 25 [1852] To prescription & close attention from 10 o’clock A.M. $3.00, [May] 28 [1852] Burial & Burial expenses … $25.00, Recd. of Ralph Gorrell adm. of D.K. Gorrell, decd. $48.50 in full of my act. for medical services, burial expenses … W.T.O. Harris” (October 29, 1853). A.C. Caldwell received $5 against his bill for medical attendance to Julius L. Gorrell by Ralph Gorrell, adm. of said Julius (March 4, 1864).

Autographs: A.C. Caldwell
R.K. Denny
W.T.O. Harris
W.C. Porter
H.H. Staples
H.T. Weatherly
D.P. Weir

2:19  Financial Documents – Receipts, Gorrell, Ralph – Taxes (1830-1872, n.d.). 33 items.

This folder contains some interesting documents, particularly from the early 1860s. They include receipts for the payment of town, county, and state taxes, as well as the payment of office, license, and corporation tax(es). Several items relate to the administration of the estates of David K. Gorrell, Julius L. Gorrell, and Henry Clay Gorrell. Also represented are William Albert Gorrell (fragment) and Abner Gorrell. Autographs of Greensboro sheriffs, town constables, and local officials, as well as tax assessors and collectors, are featured

The items include: Ralph Gorrell paid $2.26 “his tax for 1830” (1830); Ralph Gorrell, acting as administrator, paid David K. Gorrell’s tax for 1852, $2.40 (1852); Ezra Willis, Collector, received Ralph Gorrell’s corporation tax of $8.40 for 1858 (1 June 1858); Sheriff C.A. Boon received from Ralph Gorrell, as administrator, Julius L. Gorrell’s taxes “$9.80 of which sum $3.60 is State Tax and $6.20 is County Tax for 1862” (May 30, 1863); and Ralph Gorrell paid the sum of $50 as a “p­ractising lawyer.” This document indicates that every “person who is engaged or intending to engage in any business is subject to this Form of Registry,” and is signed by W.W. Young, Collector (186-).

Several documents relate to the Confederate States of America. These include: “Form of List or Return to be exhibited by every farmer, planter, or grazier … of all the hogs he may have slaughtered since the [24th] April 1863…” on which Ralph Gorrell indicated that he had slaughtered 40 hogs, consisting of 4,900 pounds of pork, assessed at a value of $882 and of which 294 pounds of bacon were due the Government of the Confederate States (April 20, 1864); “Form of the estimate and assessment of agricultural products … 1863” on which Ralph Gorrell indicated that he grew wheat, corn, oats, sweet potatoes, cured hay, cured fodder, and wool (20 April 1864); and James W. Dick, Collector, received from Ralph Gorrell, $16.75, tax assessed on his cattle (30 Aug. 1864).

Sheriffs – C.A. Boon (Greensboro, ca. 1860s)
J.W. Doak (Greensboro, ca. 1830s)
R.H. Stafford (Greensboro, ca. 1860s)
W.A. Winbourne (Greensboro, ca. 1850s)
Town Constables – W.J. Hayes. (Greensboro, ca. 1860s)
James. R. Pearce (Greensboro, ca. 1870s)
Mayor – R.M. Sloan (Greensboro, 1871) [probably not his autograph]
Tax Collectors – James W. Dick (ca. 1860s)
Ezra Willis (ca. 1850s)
W.W. Young (ca. 1860s)
Tax Assessors – M.S. Sherwood (1864)

2:20  Financial Documents – Receipts, Other Gorrell Family Members (1834-1863). 12 items.

Some receipts concern the administration of daily and personal affairs by Albert Gorrell, Henry Clay Gorrell, and Julius L. Gorrell. Several items relate to C.J. Chisholm, Ralph Gorrell’s brother-in-law, and several concern David K. Gorrell, including his tax receipt for 1851. Items concerning David Gorrell’s administration of Euphemia Gorrell’s estate (1852) are also included. Especially interesting is a receipt from the tailor George W. Harrell to H.C. Gorrell for “Taking measure of uniform” (August 26, 1861).

2:21  Financial Documents – Vouchers, Incoming (1829-1871, n.d.). 31 items.

This folder contains items relating to the payment of monies, the rendering of services, or the handing over of bonds. These documents usually contain the phrases “please pay to” or “please send to” and reveal Ralph Gorrell in his capacity of legal representative. Jacob Suts requests the money due to Frederick Suts “for his pention as a solder” (April 23, 1842); Dulcina Turner requests that Gorrell hand over the bond he holds on Samuel Turrentine (June 3, 1851); R.H. Fontaine requests that Gorrell pay “Wesley forty-six (46) cents, the balance of beef bought by Mrs. Gorrell last July” (September 28, 1866); W.S. Allen requests that Col. James Irvin be paid the amount of judgement and cost ($36.30) in a named case (14 June 1868); and A.F. Coble asks Gorrell to “get me one pair of shoes of No. 8 tolerable heavy” (undated).

2:22  Financial Documents – Vouchers, Outgoing (1856). 1 item.

Included in this folder is Ralph Gorrell’s request that Doct[or] D.P. Weir pay Ellis Mitchell $14.55 (February 23, 1856), as well as his license tax of $5 “upon the business or occupation of Lawyer for the term of twelve months” (January 1, 1871).

3:1  Legal Documents – Albright, Elizabeth and Lud[o]wick (1835-1843). 4 items.

This folder contains several promissory notes in which L. Albright promises to pay Elizabeth Albright (1835, 1836, and 1843). These documents relate to the legal case of 1847, as mentioned in the “Legal Documents – Summonses” folder (3:15), in which Elizabeth sues for payment with interest.

3:2  Legal Documents – Bonds of Agreement (1829, 1834, 1853). 5 items.

These documents reflect a diversity of interests and aspects of Ralph Gorrell’s life and legal profession. They include: William R.D. Lindsay and John Hoskins are “held and firmly bound unto Ralph Gorrell … in the sum of [$30,000],” having previously composed the merchandising firm, with Gorrell, of Lindsay, Hoskins & Gorrell, they have now “purchased the stock on hand and the interest of … Ralph Gorrell in the late firm” (September 3, 1829); “Bonds for Ralph Gorrell, Esq.,” an itemization of bonds held by various individuals (1829); Henry Asbury and Daniel C. Wickliffe stand indebted to Ralph Gorrell for [$760] because of a complicated equity case that is detailed in the bond (3 November 1834); Branson Okey is bound as overseer to Ralph Gorrell from 17th [January 1853] to [January 1] 1854, for which he was paid $120 plus board and washing (January 8, 1853); and W.S. Gilmer is bound unto Ralph Gorrell for [$500] and concerns the distribution of shares from the estate of David K. Gorrell (November 12, 1853).

3:3  Legal Documents – Caffey, James D., and Scott, Will L. (1855-1861). 18 items.

Most items relate to the administration of Caffey’s estate by Will L. Scott. Several accounts of James D. Caffey’s are also in this folder. Documents include: J.D. Coffey (J.W.?) promises to pay Whetsett & Wall [$12.61] for Value Recd. (February 19, 1857); W.A. Winbourne, Sheriff received $9.65 from Will L. Scott, Administrator of James D. Caffey, “being the County and State taxes of said Caffey for the year 1857” (May 21, 1859); Mary E. Coffey in a bond of agreement is bound unto Will L. Scott, Adm. of James D. Coffey, for [$1,134.70]. She has received her distribution share of $567.35 (1 Sept. 1860); Lyndon Swaim, Clerk of the Circuit Court received costs of [$16.95] in the case of W.L. Scott vs. Mary E. Caffey & others (January 18, 1861); and a number of receipts from 1858 reflect Will L. Scott’s administration of the estate and mention Caffey’s (Coffey’s) minor children – Michael, Thomas, Jane & John Coffey. See also 3:15 “Legal Documents – Summonses,” for several documents regarding this administration.

Autographs: Lyndon Swaim (Clerk of the Circuit Court, Guilford County)
W.A. Winbourne (Sheriff, Guilford County)

3:4  Legal Documents – Case Materials (1845-ca. 1875). 14 items.

These documents relate to cases in which Ralph Gorrell apparently served as legal representative. Several items list the relatives (apparent heirs?) of a (deceased?) person. Included is a “Magistrate’s Judgment” which was “Printed and for Sale at ‘Patriot & Times’ Office, Greensboro, N.C.” This document involves the case of A. Wilson against B.Y. Rayl, Adm. of A. Rayl, deceased, and is dated June 28, 1869. Other cases and judgments include: Allen Gorrell vs. Henderson Parish. Allen Gorrell is asking for $10 rent and “for the acceptance of the premises within dates afsd.” (February 1874); and the case of Arabella C. Royl against B.Y. Royle and Adda R. Royle. Ralph Gorrell was attorney for the plaintiff. It was ordered that the “above action be referred to J.W. Payne as a Commissioner of this Court to take an Amount of the administration of the defendant B.Y. Royle on the estate of W.Q. Royle and report to this Court at the next term the amt. of assets which have come into the hands of the said Administrators …” B.Y. Rayle was also required to file inventories and list of sale. A.W. Tourgée was the presiding judge in this action (undated).

Autograph: A.W. Tourgee (Judge, 7th Judicial District, [Greensboro, N.C.])

3:5  Legal Documents – Copybook: “Adams on Equity” (n.d. ). 1 item.

Sixty-seven handwritten pages with the rest of them blank. Contains an “Introduction,” and selections from Books II-IX. Chapter Headings include “Of trusts,” “Process and Appearance,” “Evidence,” and “Hearing and Decree.” (The Adams could be John Quincy Adams, who was particularly interested in equity and equality and their distinctions.)

3:6  Legal Documents – Deed of Gift (1838). 1 item.

In this document, David Gorrell of Guilford County conveys to his son John Randolph Gorrell a Negro boy named Calvin, aged 13 (December 18, 1838).

Autographs: David Gorrell
David K. Gorrell
James A. Gorrell

3:7  Legal Documents – Estate Administration (1838, 1858). 3 items.

Two items relate to Calvin J. Chisholm of Montgomery County, N.C.; he was probably Ralph Gorrell’s brother-in-law as the brother of his wife, Mary Chisolm Gorrell. One document grants Ralph Gorrell the administration of Chisholm’s estate (July 3, 1838) and the other recounts the “Sale of Negroes and other property…” (ca. 1838). Also included in this folder is an 1858 deed of sale to P.H. Hogan resulting from the settlement of the estate of Samuel Parke.

3:8  Legal Documents – Journal of Briefs (ca. 1840s). 1 item.

This item lists a number of cases, with notations concerning precedents and citations from legal works. An example follows: “Wharton vs. Rossi / State vs. Wall 8 Ire[dell] 11 / Same vs. Same 9 Ire[dell] 11/ State vs. Eskridge 5 IN 411/ State vs. Johnston 7 IN 77.” Badly charred in places, very delicate.

3:9  Legal Documents – Legislative Abstracts (n.d.). 4 items.

This folder contains an act authorizing the Guilford County Commissioners to build a new jail utilizing materials from the old jail (ca. 1808); an act for erecting a courthouse (n.d.); a draft of a recommendation to the General Assembly of North Carolina that the proposed lunatic asylum be erected in Greensboro (n.d.); and one fragmented resolution concerning the Quartermaster-General of North Carolina.

3:10  Legal Documents – Power of Attorney Appointments (1855-1869). 6 items.

Items relate to Ralph Gorrell’s capacity as legal representative. Included in this folder: letter from Charles Manly requesting Ralph Gorrell to accept commission as an Agent and Attorney of the University of North Carolina (March 1, 1855); document of appointment of power of attorney from Susannah Duncan, wife of deceased Arnold Duncan, of Chambers County, Alabama (12 May 1856); appointment of Ralph Gorrell as the attorney of Robert H. Gillaspie and Findley W. Gorrell, both of McNairy County, Tennessee (May 17, 1856); appointment of Ralph Gorrell as attorney by James W. Baker of Johnson, North Carolina (July 4, 1860); document from Emily Griffis in which she transfers to Ralph Gorrell all her “interest right and title in and to a certain judgment & decree in the County Court of Guilford obtained & recovered by myself & other heirs & children Luban Griffis, decd. against Washington Young administrator …” and she further “obligate[s] & bind[s herself] not to revoke this power of attorney” (18 November 1867); and Henrietta M. and Emma G. Rankin appoint Ralph Gorrell their legal representative and request him to make settlement with their former guardian, E.N. McAddo (December 14, 1869).

Autographs: Findley W. Gorrell
Charles Manly

3:11  Legal Documents – Promissory notes – Estate settlements (1857-1861). 3 items. (1993.15.1)

These promissory notes are specific to three different estate settlements handled by Ralph Gorrell.

Autographs: Wilie Bailey
H.M. Barton
M.E. Gorley
Theofulus White

3:12  Legal Documents – Promissory Notes – Gorrell, Ralph, Incoming (1845-1871). 16 items.

These documents are legal notes that promise payment to Ralph Gorrell within a specified amount of time. Several are printed and read: “ __ day[s] after date, _____ promise to pay Ralph Gorrell $_____.” Documents include: Daniel H. Lambert promises to pay Ralph Gorrell and Julius L. Gorrell [$20] for value received (6 Aug. 1860).

3:13  Legal Documents – Promissory Notes – Gorrell, Ralph, Outgoing (1843-1873, n.d.). 54 items.

These documents are legal notes that promise payment from Ralph Gorrell. Most were signed by Ralph Gorrell, and his name was crossed or cut out when the obligation was paid. Some are printed forms that have been filled in with the appropriate information, and a number of these printed forms are promissory notes to “Jesse H. Lindsay, Cashier … Greensborough Branch of the Cape Fear Bank … [Greensborough, N.C.]” Other documents include: Ralph Gorrell promises to pay James S. Gorrell [$153.78] (September 16, 1853); Ralph Gorrell promises to pay H. & J. Lindsay [$41.66] for rent of office for the year 1854 (January 5, 1855); Ralph Gorrell, as principal, and Jesse H. Lindsay, as security, promise to pay Jesse H. Lindsay, cashier, [$375.00…] “Negotiable and Payable at the Greensborough Branch of the Cape Fear Bank” (October 1855); Henry C. Gorrell and Ralph Gorrell promise to pay Julius L. Gorrell [$79.50] (March 6, 1859); and Julius L. Gorrell and Ralph Gorrell promise to pay H. & J. Lindsay [$50] for “the rent of an Office in the Town of Greensboro for the year 1862…” (January 1, 1862).

Autographs: Henry C. Gorrell
Julius L. Gorrell
Ralph Gorrell
Jesse H. Lindsay

3:14  Legal Documents – Promissory Notes – Other Gorrell family members (1829, 1851-1860). 11 items.

These promissory notes are to or from Gorrell family members, including Henry Clay Gorrell, Albert T. Gorrell and possibly Mary Chisholm Gorrell. Documents include: William Dunn promises to pay John B. Martin, Guardian of Calvin & Mary Chisholm [later Gorrell?] [$25.50] for the hire of a Negro girl named Rachel (November 4, 1829); A.T. Gorrell promises to pay Wiley Gorrell & Davis [$50] for value received (December 12, 1853); Albert T. Gorrell and T.C. Scott, as principal and security respectively, promise to pay Jesse H. Lindsay, cashier, Greensboro Branch of the Cape Fear Bank [$200] (April 1854); and H.C. Gorrell promises to pay R.G. Lindsay [$35.45] for value received (January 30, 1860).

Autographs: Albert T. Gorrell
Henry Clay Gorrell

3:15  Legal Documents – Summonses (1847-1872). 26 items.

These legal documents were apparently sent to Ralph Gorrell in his capacity as legal representative, requiring him to present the defendant in court. Several summonses come from Orange County (1847) and relate to the case of Elizabeth Albright vs. Ludowick Albright. For items relating to this case, also see 3:1 “Legal Documents – Albright, Elizabeth and Ludowick.” Summonses from Guilford County (1859) concern Will L. Scott, administrator of James D. Caffey (Coffey?). For additional items concerning this case, see 4:13 “Legal Documents – Items Relating to Will L. Scott and James D. Caffey (Coffey?).” Typically, these items provide the names of the defendant and plaintiff, the justice of the peace, and other court authorities, as well as the location (county) of the case and the date. Usually, the judgment is also included.

Autographs: Peter Adams (Reuben Ross & Joseph Mitchell vs. R.G. Lindsay, May 29, 1847)
Abram Clapp (Clerk of the Superior Court, Guilford County, 1871)
A. Dilworth (Justice of the Peace, Guilford County, 1859)

4:1-4:2  Literary – Compositions – Gorrell, Ralph (1819-1824, n.d.). 32 items.

These folders contain compositions written by Ralph Gorrell while he was a student at Greensboro Academy, 1820-1821, and later at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1822-1824. Several are not identified with either institution but likely date from approximately the same period because of similar structure and composition. Topics include: education (“The more diligent you are the more Learned you will be,” July 20, 1820; “On the Study of Mathamaticks,” March 26, 1823); current and historical events (“War Between France and Spain…,” April 9, 1823; “Queen Caroline Arrived in England,” undated); virtues and moral principles (“They Who Seek Wisdom Shall Certainly Find Her…,” January 22, 1820; “Temperance Preserves Health,” March 3, 1820; “Abstain from base things,” February 27, 1821).

4:3 Literary – Diary of Lucy Simpson (January-July 1867). 1 item.

This diary was found in Ralph Gorrell’s trunk and possibly belonged to the daughter of William Dunlap Simpson, who later served as Governor of South Carolina and Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court. The 19-year-old Lucy (Lutie) describes her daily activities visiting relatives, attending celebrations, including weddings, and attending college classes in music and Latin. Also included is her birthday resolution for self-improvement, revealing her spiritual and moral goals. The diary began as an accounts book kept by her father in 1859, with only a few pages completed, and Lutie adopted the book in 1867. Towns referred to are mostly in South Carolina.

4:4  Literary – Speech – Gorrell, Henry Clay (1860). 1 item.

This speech was delivered by Henry Clay Gorrell on May 5, 1860, at Edgeworth Female Seminary, when he accepted a silken banner presented to the Guilford Grays.

4:5 & 4:6  Literary – Speeches – Gorrell, Ralph I and II (ca. 1817, 1839). 2 items.

Both speeches were apparently delivered as part of July 4th celebrations. The earlier speech was, according to an A. Earl Weatherly notation, “Delivered by Ralph Gorrell, July 4, 1817” – which would have to be Ralph Gorrell Sr., who died in 1816 (and the date of the speech is therefore probably off by a year). And the latter speech was “An Address Delivered by Ralph Gorrell before the Greensboro Guards & other citizens of Guilford County on the 4th of July, 1839.”

5:1  Miscellaneous – Gorrell Family Items (1854-1864, n.d.). 9 items.

These items relate to members of the Gorrell family. Includes: several autographs of Ralph Gorrell; transcription of a letter in the collection from L.A. Jobe, Goldsboro, N.C., to Ralph Gorrell (25 October 1864) – see the original in Correspondence – Letters, 1860-1869 (1:6); a handwritten copy (perhaps the original) of an apparent newspaper article concerning Mr. Gorrell’s amendment to the free suffrage bill and Mr. Hill’s argument in the Senate by “Ordo” and labeled “The Standard, 3 Dec” [ca. 1854?]; photographic copy of a 1798 document requesting that any lawful official arrest the “Body of him the said Jesse Smith” and present him to me or a justice of the peace and signed by Ralph Gorrell (“the First”; 1798); and a ‘sign-up’ sheet from “Young America,” Greensboro, June 17, 1858, which is hosting a picnic “complimentary to the Young Ladies of Greensboro on the 29th Inst.” The pledge was $2.00 and was signed by 31 people, including H.C. Gorrell; G.W. and John F. Howlett; J.A. and A.D. Lindsay, and Harper Lindsay Jr.; Samuel P. Weir; W.C. Porter; John A. Gilmer Jr.; C.G. Sterling; R.L. Weatherly; George J. and Thomas J. Sloan; and J.T. Morehead. Also included is a certificate of correct measure, stating that Gorrell’s half bushel and quart measures had been tested and agreed with the standard measure (1862).

Autographs: John A. Gilmer Jr.
Henry Clay Gorrell
Ralph Gorrell “the First” (1798)
Ralph Gorrell [The Second] (1803-1875)
G.W. Howlett
John F. Howlett
A.D. Lindsay
Harper Lindsay Jr.
J.A. Lindsay
J.T. Morehead
W.C. Porter
George J. Sloan
Thomas J. Sloan
R.L. Weatherly
Samuel P. Weir

5:2  Miscellaneous – Non-Gorrell items (1860-1864, n.d.). 22 items.

These items are peripherally relatable to the Gorrell family, and some are fragmented. Includes: application for a patent on a “new and improved plow” by William F. Godsey, of Guilford County (might be written by Ralph Gorrell as legal representative); a “recipe” for dyeing wool red; several listings of the names Charles Fisher, F. Fries, R.M. Saunder(s), and Alexander McRae; fragments of receipts, letters, and notations; and several items that are A. Earl Weatherly notations.

6:1  Printed Materials – Advertisements (ca. 1875, n.d.). 4 items.

The dispersal of Ralph Gorrell’s extensive law library is advertised by his son William Albert Gorrell (ca. 1875) in one document. See 2:17 for receipts pertaining to the purchase of these books. Also included is the apparent proof (4½ x 3¼) for Ralph Gorrell’s calling card, which designates him as Attorney at Law/ Greensboro, N.C.; a broadside that announces “The Cultivator/ The/ Cheapest & Best Agricultural Paper…”; and an advertisement for a shoe company that found greater use as a notecard.

6:2  Printed Materials – Catalogues, Newspapers, and Periodicals (1823-1855). 7 items.

Includes a course catalogue for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1823; 1987.88.1); “Annual Report of the Treasurer of the University of North Carolina” (1843); the catalogue of the “State and National Law School, at Ballston Spa, New York” (1851); American Agriculturist, Vol. XIII, No. 3 (September 17, 1854); The Little Pilgrim, edited by Grace Greenwood, Vol. I, No. 12 (December 1854); Southern Cultivator, Vol. XII, No. 12 (December 1854); and The Inventor, Vol. I, No.1 (September 1855). Several are inscribed “C.A. Gorrell.”

Autograph: C.A. Gorrell

6:3  Printed Materials – Certificates (1851-1866). 3 items.

Ralph Gorrell is granted permission by Provost Marshall, Col. William Pannill, Confederate States of America, to visit Richmond “upon honor not to communicate in writing or verbally, for publication, any fact ascertained, which if known, to the enemy, might be injurious to the Confederate States of America” (June 27, 1862); an Internal Revenue license is granted to Ralph Gorrell, Town of Greensboro, to carry on the occupation of Lawyer and $10 paid in Tax was collected by S.S. (?) Thompson, Deputy Collector, 5th Collection District, North Carolina (June 25, 1866); and a Certificate of Appointment of Ralph Gorrell as an “Agent and Attorney of the Board for the County of Guilford…” by the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina [Chapel Hill] and signed by Charles Manly (February 22, 1851).

Autographs: Charles Manly (University of North Carolina [Chapel Hill])
S.S. (?) Thompson, Tax Collector (1866)

6:4  Printed Materials – Chart (1848). 1 item.

This folder contains the “Phrenological chart of Ralph Gorrell Given by Professor Hebard. Hillsborough N.C. Feb. 26th 1848.”

6:5  Printed Materials – Invitations (ca. 1859-1861, 1890). 2 items.

One document announces the wedding of Alice L. Weatherly to William F. Davidson by Alice’s aunt, Mrs. C.C. Gorrell in Greensboro, N.C. (December 17, 1890); the other is a request to J.L. Gorrell, Esq., House of Commons, from Governor & Mrs. Ellis (ca. 1859-1861).

6:6  Printed Materials – Speeches and Sermons. 7 items.

All of these items are political, educational, or religious. Many are inscribed “C.A. Gorrell.” Includes: Hon Archibald D. Murphey’s “An Oration Delivered in Person Hall, Chapel Hill, on the 27th June, 1827, the day Previous to the Commencement under the appointment of the Dialectic Society”; Rev. Austin Dickinson’s “The American National Preacher, or, Original Monthly Sermons from Living Ministers…” Volume IV, Number 9 (February 1830); Hon William Gaston’s “Address Delivered Before the Philanthropic and Dialectic Societies at Chapel Hill June 20, 1832”; Rev. J. Grammer’s “A Sermon on the Death of Gen. William H. Brodnax … 1834”; Hon. T. McKissock’s speech “on the Texas and New Mexico Question … House of Representatives…” (August 14, 1850); Hon. T.J.D. Fuller’s speech on the Homestead Bill (House of Representatives) (March 30, 1852); and E.W. Ogburn’s “To the Voters of Guilford Co. N.C.”(August 2, 1854).

Autograph: C.A. Gorrell