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John White Papers

Identifier: MS 00125

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence, personal and managed accounts, and legal papers of John White. Ranging in date from 1757-1843, with the bulk of the papers taking place from 1810-1830. From these papers, it appears that John White was a lawyer who practiced in Northampton County, North Carolina and the surrounding area. The buying, selling, and loaning of enslaved persons is a pervasive theme in his personal papers. As a result of his work managing accounts, he has many warrants placed on him for his arrest as a result of the accounts that he managed. In addition to numerous small accounts, the largest accounts White managed were those of Thomas Deberry Hollamon and Etheldred Smith. Outside of managing the accounts of others, White was a farmer and ran, with the help of Ann Johnson, what appears to be an inn where alcohol was sold and individuals could obtain transportation. This collection primarily occurs in the area surrounding Murfeesboro, North Carolina and Northampton County, North Carolina. More specifically, the location of Bryan’s Cross Roads is referenced on multiple occasions and is confirmed to be a location in Northampton County, North Carolina during this time by the North Carolina Postal History Society.


  • Creation: 1757-1843


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical/ Historical:

John White is mentioned in the 1820, 1830, and 1840 United States Census. These records confirm his residence in Northampton, North Carolina and his ownership of many enslaved individuals. It is from these government records that his inferred date of birth is around 1795. However, outside of these census records, there is little other record of John White. Based on the papers, it is presumed that Jane Laura/ Laura Jane was the spouse of John White, but there is no marriage record between the two, or a record of his nor her death.


3.5 Linear Feet



Processing Information

This collection was originally a part of the Schuyler Otis Bland Papers. It was separated and made its own collection in 2018.

Guide to the John White Papers
Christina Luers, CA and Mattie Clear, SCRC Student Assistant, 2018.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository