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MS Am 2322

Carter family. Carter family papers: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Am 2322
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Carter family.
Title: Carter family papers,
Date(s): 1858-1924.
Quantity: 1 collection (2 boxes (.75 linear ft.)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Correspondence and family papers concerning the Carter family, an African-American family who were slaves on the Warner plantation in Virginia, survived the Civil War, and went on to live in the Richmond, Virginia area after the war.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

*98M-25. Purchased through Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, Inc., 19 East 76th Street, New York, NY 10021, with funds from the Harmand Teplow Fund and from the W.E.B. DuBois Institute; received: 1998 Dec. 18.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Carter Family Papers (MS Am 2322). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

The Carter family was an African-American slave family from Virginia that survived the Civil War and went on to build a life in and around Richmond. Polly Carter (d.1872) originally lived on "Master Warner 's" plantation in Gloucester County, Virginia, with her husband and two children, Albert and Alexander. Another son, Hamilton Carter, resided in nearby Richmond and was either a bondsman or a free man. During the Civil War, Hamilton was employed as dining room servant to Henry C. Beuce, the proprietor of Irving Mills. In October of 1866, Hamilton was hired by Dr. George Ross, a prominent Richmond physician. Family correspondence and public records indicate that Polly Carter also had a fourth son, Robert Henry Carter.
In 1871 Hamilton married an African-American woman, Martha Glenn, who was originally also from Richmond. They had 6 children: Cassie, Alize, Pierce, Hamilton, Jr., Mattie, and one child who died in 1881. The family lived for many years in a home they owned on the corner of 9th and Abigail Streets in the Madison Ward section of Richmond.
See internal file for additional information regarding the family.


Organized into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Includes autograph correspondence (and typescript transcripts) of the Carter family, but the majority of letters are to Hamilton Carter. Letters mostly concern news of family and friends and events of the day. Also includes: Hamilton Carter's household bills and receipts and tax receipts, as well as invitations, a tintype portrait, notes on funeral plans, menu, and other miscellany.

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