Scope and Contents
The papers of George W. Smith (1814-1860), a merchant, justice of the peace, land agent, and presidential elector in the town of Ripley, Jackson County, West Virginia. There are also papers regarding other family members. The collection serves as a narrative and record of business, local politics, and social conditions in West Virginia before and after statehood. It includes business and personal correspondence, financial and legal papers, business and political ledgers, and ephemera.
The majority of the business and personal correspondence in this collection consists of incoming letters to George W. Smith from his family and business associates. There are a few letters from Nehemiah Smith, a delegate in the Virginia Assembly, some of which discuss efforts to route a proposed turnpike from Staunton to Ripley (ca. 1833-1842); and letters from Confederate prisoners of war, six from Point Lookout prison in Maryland (1864-1865), and one from Elmira, New York (1864).
The financial and legal papers report in depth on the economy during the period, including information regarding taxes, subscription costs, property sales and assessment, and merchandise purchases by a general store owner.
There are two business ledgers that record the day to day sales of livestock and general merchandise, and a ledger of names of voters living in various precincts in southwestern (West) Virginia.
Ephemera includes Civil War picket passes, tickets, advertisements, stock information, and a map of New York (1855); some items are of graphic interest (such as pamphlets, steamboat bills, and railroad tickets).
George W. Smith was an agent for land in Jackson, Wirt, Putnam, and Roane Counties.
There are four record series in this collection:
Series 1. Correspondence; 1818-1885, undated; box 1, folders 1-27 through box 2, folders 1-33.
Series 2. Financial and Legal Papers; 1830-1877, undated; box 3, folders 1-19 through box 4, folder 1.
Series 3. Ledgers; 1849-1867; box 4, folder 2
Series 4. Ephemera; 1855-1908, undated; box 4, folders 3-8.
1.5 Linear Feet (Summary: 1 ft. 5 1/2 in. (3 document cases, 5 in. each); (1 doc case, 2 1/2 in.))