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Cuttbert Bullitt letter

Identifier: SC 01800

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Content Description

A letter from 1796 composed by Cuthbert Bullitt, a lawyer and plantation owner in Prince William County, Virginia. The letter describes Cuthbert Bullitt's interaction with enslaved workers on the plantation and his analysis of the character and value of each person. The letter amounts to a single sheet folded to 6" x 7 3/4" with ink prose.


  • Creation: December 29, 1796

Conditions Governing Access

The 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 / Historical

Written in 1769, Cuthbert Bullitt, writes a letter describing details of chattel slavery in Prince Edward County. In addition, the letter reflects Bullitt's opinions on the characteristics and value of the enslaved people on his plantation. Bullitt was a delegate to Virginia's 1776 Provincial Congress, a prosecuting Commonwealth Attorney of the County, a state court judge, and a delegate to Virginia Ratifying Convention of 1788. The letter was written to James Keith, a resident of Fredericks County, Virginia in the eighteenth century. Keith's nephew John Marhsall became the Cheif Justice of the United States in 1801.


0.1 Linear Feet (1 legal sized folder)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased with the John M. Presson Estate Fund

Processing Information

The collection received container level processing. This finding aid may be updated to reflect new descriptions and acquisitions to the collection.

Guide to the Cuthbert Bullitt letter
Kendall McKinley
November 2022
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository