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Cabell Family Papers

Identifier: Mss. 65 C12

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Accounts, surveys and correspondence, chiefly 1743-1823, of members of the Cabell family of Albemarle and Amherst counties, Virginia.

Includes accounts and land transactions, 1733-1754, of Dr. William Cabell (1699-1774) as well as letters written to him concerning medical treatment.

Also includes accounts, surveys of Amherst County and correspondence with commission merchants of William Cabell (1730-1798); and surveyor's license and surveys of William Cabell (b. 1759).

Also includes correspondence, 1796-1820, of William H. Cabell (1772-1853); correspondence of William S. Crawford, clerk of Amherst County; and correspondence relating to the will of Patrick Henry, Jr. including a list of books purchased from the estate of Patrick Henry (1736-1799).

Prominent correspondents in the collection include Joseph Carrington Cabell, John Marshall, Philip Norborne Nicholas, Wilson Cary Nicholas, Edmund Pendleton and Peyton Randolph.

There are manuscript volumes of the field survey books of Dr. William Cabell; entry survey books for Goochland and Albemarle Counties, and lists of court cases by William S. Crawford as well as surveys signed by Joshua Fry and surveying business conducted by the College of William and Mary.

Surveyor’s Notebooks from the Cabell Family papers in Swem Library’s microforms area, 1 reel, call number TA522 .V8 C3.


  • Creation: 1693-1913
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1743-1823


Language of Materials


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 reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

There were three generations of William Cabells who were surveyors. Dr. William Cabell (1700-1774) was a physician and assistant surveyor of Goochland and Albemarle Counties, Virginia under Joshua Fry and William Mayo. His son William Cabell (1729/30-1798) was also assistant surveyor of Albemarle County and surveyor of Amherst County, Virginia. His son and the third William Cabell (b. 1759) was surveyor of Amherst County, Virginia.


7 Linear Feet

Arrangement of Materials:

This collection is organized into two series, 1. Papers, and 2. Manuscripts. This collection is arranged chronologically by date.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:

When available, microfilm, photocopies, digital surrogates, or other reproductions must be used in place of original documents.

Acquisition Information:

Purchased: 3,192 items, 07/18/1941.

Related Materials:

Letters, 1885-1890, from William Cabell, England, to Alexander Brown, are located in the Cabell-Brown Collection within the Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.

Cabell-Brown Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary. Cabell- Brown Papers, 1885-1890.12 items.Collection number: Mss. Sm Coll Cabell-Brown

The letters of Alexander Brown have been separated into two inventories, located within Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary, that are related to the Cabell Fmaily papers.

Alexander Brown Papers (I), Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.

Alexander Brown Papers (II), Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.


Additional information may be found at

Guide to the Cabell Family Papers
Special Collections Staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository