William D. Valentine Diary

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William D. Valentine was born in Hertford County, N.C. in 1806. He contracted a debilitating disease at the age of 13 that left him permanently disabled. After a brief stint as a grammar-school teacher in 1837, he became a lawyer, practicing in the courts of Hertford, Bertie, Gates, and Northampton counties in northeastern North Carolina. Valentine never married, and he spent the greater part of his life living at Oaklawn, his father's plantation just outside the village of Bethel, N.C. The collection is William D. Valentine's multi-volume diary with entries touching on on almost every aspect of public life of the area, including his evaluations of the personalities and characters of his fellow attorneys and judges. Fascinated by politics, he wrote in much detail of events on both the local and state level. Other subjects include the activities of the local Baptist and Methodist churches, especially the establishment of female colleges in the area; slaves and free blacks; the local fishing industry; local opinions on national politics; farming practices; gossip and scandals.
Volume 01: 30 January–18 December 1837

Volume 01: 30 January–18 December 1837

30 January 1837: Description of aurora borealis. 25 March 1837: Visits a bawdy house. Very shocked description. 12 June 1837: Topics of sermons heard at Bethlehem Baptist Church. 13 June 1837: Account of attempted runaway marriage between a young overseer and relative of his employer....

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96 pages: 0% transcribed
Volume 02: 6 February–25 May 1838

Volume 02: 6 February–25 May 1838

17 February 1838: Account of rape charges against a Negro by a white woman. 22 February 1838: Goes to Washington's Birthday ball and is made miserable by being ignored. 31 March 1838: Eulogy to a Lady, Miss R. of Richmond, Va. "Without they hand I may never marry." 1 April 1838: Eulogy...

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40 pages: 0% transcribed
Volume 03: 2 July 1838–1 August 1839

Volume 03: 2 July 1838–1 August 1839

4 July 1838: Celebration of Independence Day in Windsor 2 August 1838: Election day in Bertie County. Whigs expected to carry most offices. W.W. Cherry, Whig Senatorial candidate, elected. "Down goes the Jackson Dynasty." 4 August 1838: Man loading cannon in celebration of Whig victory shot...

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108 pages: 0% transcribed
Volume 04: 4 November 1839–1 December 1840

Volume 04: 4 November 1839–1 December 1840

4 November 1839: "At Jackson heard fine arguments by Messrs Badger and Iredell." 17 December 1839: Remarks on the nomination of Wm. H. Harrison by the Whig convention. 26 December 1839: Copy of a letter to newspaper editor (probably the Raleigh Register), on his views against Harrison, for...

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170 pages: 0% transcribed
Volume 05: 28 January 1841–4 February 1842

Volume 05: 28 January 1841–4 February 1842

13 Feb 1841: On N.C. being scorned and ridiculed by Virginia and South Carolina. 1 March 1841: On national hard times and tightness of credit. 4 March 1841: Harrison's Inauguartion Day. 5 March 1841: On the nomination of George E. Badger for Secretary of the Navy. 10 April 1841:...

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194 pages: 0% transcribed
Volume 06: 22 April 1842–10 July 1843

Volume 06: 22 April 1842–10 July 1843

2 May 1842: Attended general assembly of the paupers of Hertford. 3 May 1842: Describes how committee for the Free School installed by a single voter, no interest in the county. 27 May 1842: Winton visited by a phrenologist. 12 July 1842: On the possibility of the impeachment of Tyler;...

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194 pages: 0% transcribed
Volume 07: 13 April 1844–30 January 1846

Volume 07: 13 April 1844–30 January 1846

26 April 1844: Concerning the recent visit of Henry Clay to North Carolina. 2 May, 7 May, 11 May 1844: Whig activities, choosing an elector from the Edenton district. 22 July 1844: Description of political meeting at Winton, Dr. T.C. Moore, the Cool Spring Democratic Mass Meeting, speech of...

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192 pages: 0% transcribed
Volume 08: 5 February 1846–6 November 1847

Volume 08: 5 February 1846–6 November 1847

5 February 1846: Account of widespread scandal and a duel fought between Dr. Daniel Johnson, son of Charles Johnson, and a Mr. Jones over Mr. Jones' wife, the former Miss Devereux of Raleigh. 18 March 1846: Death of Whig politician John Hampden Pleaseants, killed in a duel by Thomas...

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182 pages: 0% transcribed
Volume 09: 11 February 1848–17 July 1849

Volume 09: 11 February 1848–17 July 1849

11 February 1848: Detailed account of another local scandal involving the Jones and Devereux families, which Valentine blamed on the influence of reading French novels. 4 March 1848: On the deaths of N.C. Supreme Court Justice Daniel, and John Q. Adams. 7 March 1848: The nomination of...

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192 pages: 0% transcribed
Volume 10: 27 July 1849–9 October 1850

Volume 10: 27 July 1849–9 October 1850

30 July, 7 August, 16 August, 18 August 1849: Whig political meetings, speeches of candidates Person and W.N.H. Smith, current political picture. 5 September 1849: State of local trade. 22 October 1849: Spread of the Odd Fellows Fraternity in Eastern N.C. 27 October 1849: The local...

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191 pages: 0% transcribed
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