Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers, 1784-1881, n.d. Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers Ms1997-002

Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers, 1784-1881, n.d.

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms1997-002


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Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
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Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
USA
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Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2009 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Danielle Morrison, student assistant, and Laura Katz Smith, Manuscripts Curator Special Collections

Repository
Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Ms1997-002
Title
Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers, 1784-1881, n.d.
Physical Characteristics
1 boxes; 0.4 cu. ft.
Collector
Smithfield Preston Foundation
Language
English
Abstract
The Smithfield Preston Foundation collection consists of 200 letters written almost exclusively by two generations of members of the Preston family of southwest Virginia, Kentucky, and South Carolina, to James and Sarah Preston McDowell of Rockbridge County, Virginia.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish from the Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers, Ms1997-002, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers were donated to Special Collections in May 1997.

Alternate Form Available

Transcripts and images (jpgs) of some letters are available. See the "Contents List" section of the finding aid for links.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers commenced and was completed in 1997 and 1998. Additional description was completed in 2009.


Biographical/Historical Information

Smithfield Plantation is the historic home of the Preston family, one of the founding families of Blacksburg and Montgomery County, Virginia. It was built by William Preston (1729-83), who emigrated from northern Ireland with his family in 1737. He married Susanna Smith in 1761 and settled at Greenfield in Botetourt County in 1769. Preston established himself as a leader in the Virginia frontier by serving in the militia in the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars, in the House of Burgesses representing Augusta County from 1766 to 1768 and Botetourt County in 1769, and as County Lieutenant of Fincastle and Montgomery. He was appointed surveyor of Fincastle County in 1772 and moved his family to that area. He built Smithfield, named in honor of his wife, in 1773. Smithfield was the birthplace and home of three Virginia governors, including James Patton Preston (son of William), and John Buchanan Floyd and John Floyd, Jr. (grandsons of William).

Smithfield Plantation remained in the family for generations and is currently maintained by the Montgomery County branch of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. Greenfield was a home in Botetourt County where William and Susanna Smith Preston resided in the 1760s.

A more detailed list of correspondents in the collection, with some biographical information, is available here.

For more information about the Preston family, see John Frederick Dorman, The Prestons of Smithfield and Greenfield in Virginia (Filson Club, Inc.; Louisville, Kentucky, 1982).

For more information on the Smithfield Preston Foundation, see the website.

Scope and Content

The Smithfield Preston Foundation collection consists of 200 letters written almost exclusively by two generations of members of the Preston family of southwest Virginia, Kentucky, and South Carolina, to James and Sarah Preston McDowell of Rockbridge County, Virginia. The collection also includes a will of William Campbell Preston, an obituary of John Smith Preston and his photograph, and a circular asking for funds for a memorial in honor of John Smith Preston.

Many of the correspondents are the children and grandchildren of William (1729-83) and Susanna Smith (1740-1825) Preston, settlers of Botetourt and then Montgomery County, Virginia. The letters were written by Sarah Preston McDowell's brothers and sisters, and their spouses. Other letters were written by the children of her brothers Francis Preston and James Patton Preston. Most of the letters are addressed to Sarah Preston McDowell and James McDowell or their son James McDowell and his wife Susanna Smith Preston McDowell.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged by correspondent.

Related Material

There are severeal collections in Special Collections related to the Smithfield Plantation and the Preston family:

Separated Material


Index Terms

    Persons:

  • McDowell, James
  • McDowell, James, 1795-1851
  • McDowell, Sarah Preston
  • McDowell, Susana Smith Preston
  • Preston, Francis, 1765-1835
  • Preston, William Campbell
  • Family Names:

  • McDowell family, Rockbridge County, Va.
  • Preston family, Montgomery County, Va.
  • Subjects:

  • Blacksburg (Va.)
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
  • Montgomery County (Va.)
  • Smithfield Plantation House (Blacksburg, Va.)

Contents List

Box-folder 1:1
Letter from Susanna Smith Madison [Peyton] to her uncle James McDowell, January 8, 1802.
Box-folder 1:2
Letter from J. Preston at Smithfield to James McDowell, April 15, 1795.
Box-folder 1:2
Letter from J. Preston at Smithfield to James McDowell, July 21, 1799.
Box-folder 1:3
Letter from Francis Preston in Greenfield to James McDowell, January 16, 1823.
Box-folder 1:4
Letter from William Preston from home to James McDowell, December 5, 1801.
Box-folder 1:5
Letter from Thomas Lewis Preston to William Campbell Preston, July 3, 1838.
Box-folder 1:5
Letter from Thomas Lewis Preston to Susanna Preston, October 20, 1838.
Box-folder 1:5
Letter from Thomas Lewis Preston to William Campbell Preston, November 29, 1838.
Box-folder 1:5
Letter from Thomas Lewis Preston to Susanna Preston, January 30, 1843.
Box-folder 1:5
Letter from Thomas Lewis Preston to William Campbell Preston, June 23, 1845.
Box-folder 1:5
Letter from Thomas Lewis Preston to Susanna Preston, October 4, 1847.
Box-folder 1:6
Letter from William Campbell Preston to Susanna Smith Preston McDowell, August 9, 1816.
Box-folder 1:6
Letter from William Campbell Preston to Susanna Smith Preston McDowell, April 23, 1819.
Box-folder 1:6
Letters from William Campbell Preston to Susanna Smith Preston McDowell.
Box-folder 1:7
Eight legal letters and documents of the McDowell and Preston families, 1816-1858.
Box-folder 1:8
Seven letters from William Campbell Preston to James McDowell, 1819-1845.
Box-folder 1:9
Ten letters from William Campbell Preston to Susanna S. McDowell, 1819-1847.
Box-folder 1:10
Nine letters from Francis Preston to Susanna McDowell, 1819-1833.
Box-folder 1:11
Eight letters from E.M. Preston to James McDowell (1795- 1851), Sarah McDowell and Susanna Smith Preston McDowell (1800-47), 1820-1846.
Box-folder 1:12
Two letters from Susanna Preston Hart to Sarah McDowell, 1821.
Box-folder 1:13
Twelve letters from Sarah Ballard Preston to Susanna S. McDowell and Thomas L. Preston, 1821-1844.
Box-folder 1:14
Nine letters from William Campbell Preston to Sally (Sarah B. Preston), 1821-1854.
Box-folder 1:15
Sixteen miscellaneous letters to and from the Preston and McDowell families, 1822-1859.
Box-folder 1:16
Four letters from Eliza Preston Carrington to Susanna S. McDowell, 1824-1825.
Box-folder 1:17
Thirteen letters from Francis Preston to James McDowell, 1826-1833.
Box-folder 1:18
One letter to Susanna McDowell from Ed. William Johnston, 1829.
Box-folder 1:19
Two letters from Isaac T. Preston to James McDowell, 1829, 1846.
Box-folder 1:20
Six letters from John T. L. Preston to James McDowell, 1830-1844.
Box-folder 1:21
Two letters from William B. Preston to James McDowell, 1833, 1847.
Box-folder 1:22
Thirteen letters from Francis Preston to James McDowell, 1834-1836.
Box-folder 1:23
Thirteen letters to William C. Preston from Alexander McCall, 1840-1843.
Box-folder 1:24
Three letters to William C. Preston from James Dellets(?), 1840-1843.
Box-folder 1:25
Eleven letters from William C. Preston to unidentified persons, 1841-1859.
Box-folder 1:26
One letter from Rev. B.R. Smith to James McDowell, 1843.
Box-folder 1:27
Three letters from Wade and Margaret Hampton to James McDowell, 1847-1851.
Box-folder 1:28
One letter from Robert Jefferson Breckinridge to "my dear Sally," 1848.
Box-folder 1:29
Two letters from John Smith Preston to "my dear Sally," 1853, n.d.
Box-folder 1:30
Manuscript will of William C. Preston, 1859.
Box-folder 1:31
Obituary of John Smith Preston with photograph, 1881.
Box-folder 1:32
Circular about John Smith Preston.
Box-folder 1:33
One letter from Mary Preston Lewis to James McDowell.
Box-folder 1:34
One letter from Ann Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge to Sarah Preston McDowell.
Oversize 2:1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, June 17, 1798.
Oversize 2:1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, October 5, 1798.
Oversize 2:1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, May 27, 1804.
Oversize 2:1
Letter from Francis Preston in Abington to James McDowell, January 16, 1821.
Oversize 2:1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, January 30, 1821.
Oversize 2:1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, June 5, 1821.
Oversize 2:1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, December 21, 1821.
Oversize 2:1
Letter from Francis Preston in Abington to James McDowell, March 10, 1822.
Oversize 2:1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell.
Oversize 2:2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, May 5, 1804.
Oversize 2:2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, July 11, 1827.
Oversize 2:2
Letter from James Patton Preston at Smithfield to Susanna McDowell in Lexington, Virginia. February 12, 1831.
Oversize 2:2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, July 16, 1831.
Oversize 2:2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, September 12, 1831.
Oversize 2:2
Letter from James Patton Preston at Smithfield to Susanna McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, October 16, 1831.
Oversize 2:2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, June 8, 1832.
Oversize 2:2
Letter from James Patton Preston at Smithfield to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, March 9, 1835.
Oversize 2:3
Letter from Eliza Preston Madison in Stafford, Virginia to her sister Sarah Preston McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, January 10, 1784.
Oversize 2:4
Letter from Edmonia M. Preston in Stafford, Virginia to Sarah Preston McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, May 30, 1813.
Oversize 2:5
Letter from George C. Thompson in Shawnee Springs, Kentucky to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, June 28, 1833.
Oversize 2:6
Letter from William Preston from Fincastle to James McDowell, January 12, 1799.
Oversize 2:6
Letter from William Preston from Fincastle to James McDowell, January 29, 1802.
Oversize 2:7
Letter from Nathaniel Hart in Franklin, Kentucky to James McDowell in Fairfield, Virginia, June 15, 1805.
Oversize 2:7
Letter from Nathaniel Hart in Spring Hill, Kentucky to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, November 23, 1834.
Oversize 2:8
Letter from John Lewis in Covington to James McDowell in Rockbridge County, Virginia. August 5, 1804.
Oversize 2:9
Letter from John Preston to James McDowell, August 29, 1794.
Oversize 2:9
Letter from John Preston at Greenfield to James McDowell, March 23, 1822.

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • McDowell, James
  • McDowell, James, 1795-1851
  • McDowell, Sarah Preston
  • McDowell, Susana Smith Preston
  • Preston, Francis, 1765-1835
  • Preston, William Campbell