Contents and Arrangement

Francis Ray Farm Journal, 1858-1890

1 box

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The partial journal kept by Francis Ray and his son Josiah T. Ray. It includes accounts of shoe sales (possibly shoes for plow animals), accounts of farm produce such as corn, tomatoes and onions, and some sales of honey, whiskey, brandy and guns, as well as accounts for day labor. The journal contains a last will and testament for Francis Ray, leaving his estate to Josiah Ray and requesting that Josiah support his mother Elizabeth Ray; the will also mentions daughters Catherine Ray and Nellie Ray. The journal comes from the Hawfields, a region in Thompson Township, Alamance County, North Carolina, where both people of West African ancestry and Ulster Irish immigrants settled. The journal likely includes records of Black customers and of those who were formerly enslaved (possibly including Charles Minor, Olson Stanford, and Frank Morrow). Oak Grove Plantation was nearby.


Arranged alphabetically by the name of the creator or by the date of acquisition.

Collection History


Purchased from Dan Casavant Rare Books in 2022 (AM-2022-112).


No material was separated during processing.

Processing Information

These materials were processed and described by Phoebe Nobles in March, 2022, incorporating some description provided by the dealer.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The pages of this journal have been encapsulated due to their fragile condition; one remaining board is housed in an enclosure separate from the pages. Treated in May, 2022.

Credit this material:

Francis Ray Farm Journal; General Manuscripts Miscellaneous Collection, C0140, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Box P-000190

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Existence and Location of Copies

Parts of this collection are available on microfilm, cataloged separately as RCPXM-7497696.

Subject Terms:
African American agricultural laborers -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century.
Agricultural laborers -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century.
Genre Terms:
Ledgers (account books) -- 19th century
Alamance County (N.C.)