Draper Manuscripts: King's Mountain Papers, 1756-1887

Container Title
Series: 16 DD (Volume 16)
Scope and Content Note

Original manuscripts, 1753-1833, with a few pieces of later correspondence, 1842-1846. The majority of the early manuscripts are from the papers of the Shelby and Campbell families, but a few appear to have been removed from collections of other contemporaries.

Evan Shelby's papers include a letter (1771) to his sons Isaac and John on his settlement on the Holston; additional receipts and accounts, 1753, 1773-1774, largely relating to military supplies; and a report [1774] on horses and goods taken by the Shawnee from residents of Fincastle County, Virginia. Among papers, 1787-1823, of Isaac Shelby are a few business letters, a petition (1793) from the Transylvania Presbytery meeting at Cane Run Church for a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” for success in war against the Indians, letters (1818) to Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun concerning the negotiations by Shelby and Jackson for land purchase from the Chickasaw, and numerous additional documents (1812-1813, 1823) involved in the Shelby-Campbell dispute over events at King's Mountain. Letters by James Robertson to Isaac Shelby (1793) and to John Sevier (1812) concern relations with southern Indian tribes and national politics.

Papers pertaining to the Campbells include a letter (1781) by William Campbell to Daniel Smith announcing Campbell's decision to seek a seat in the Virginia General Assembly; a letter (1829) by David Campbell giving an account of the first settlement of Campbell's Station, Tennessee, in 1787; a letter (1833) by John W. Campbell to Peyton S. Symmes concerning John C. Symmes; and the holograph manuscripts for narratives on the battle of King's Mountain by Arthur and David Campbell and for the biographical memoir on William Campbell written by Arthur (of which copies have also been noted in 8 DD and 10 DD).

An interesting exchange of letters between Sevier and Dr. Benjamin Rush in 1800 discussed Sevier's suggestion that ventilation by ice-cooled air might possibly prevent the summer scourge of yellow fever. Among other miscellaneous documents of note are a congressional resolution (1780) on Oconastota's visit to Congress signed by Charles Thomson; an obituary sketch of Andrew Lewis [1781] in the handwriting of William Fleming; a marriage license (1801) issued by Joseph Dickson for James McCaul and Susannah Jenkins; and pension documents (1825) for Charles Pelham. Among other writers of letters and documents were John Campbell, William Casey, Robert Deny, Alexander Gordon, Harmon Perryman, James Shelby, Jr., Samuel Spencer, Adam Stephen, and James Winchester. Other recipients included such men as John Brown, Arthur Campbell, and Joseph Martin. A few letters to Draper and to David Campbell in the early 1840s conclude the volume. Interspersed among the original papers are occasional copies of letters Draper obtained from the Public Records Office in London, England, and from the Horatio Gates Papers in the New-York Historical Society.