A Guide to the 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 Tech

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
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Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
USA
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

©2009 By Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Special Collections Staff

Repository
Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Ms1997-002
Title
Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers, 1784-1881, n.d.
Physical Characteristics
0.4 Cubic Feet 2 boxes
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:

Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Montgomery County Branch Papers, 1754-1996. Ms1962-001. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database.
John Preston Deed, 1826. Ms2005-014. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database.
John Preston Papers, 1806-1830, 1844, n.d. Ms94-034. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database.
Preston Family (Alice Preston Moore Collection) Papers, 1745-1882. Ms1962-004. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database.
Preston Family (Charles Peale Didier Collection) Papers, 1747-1897. Ms1985-020. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database.
Robert Taylor Preston Papers, 1829-1871, n.d. Ms1992-003. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database.
William Preston Land Grant, 1773. Ms1994-027. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database.
Willard Preston Genealogy, c.1998. Ms2009-121. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database.
George Green Shackelford Papers, 1899-1990 (Bulk, 1955-1989). Ms1983-003. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database.

In addition, Special Collections has a Preston Family Resources LibGuide for materials available in the department and through the University Libraries.

Separated Material


Index Terms

    Persons:

  • McDowell, James, 1770-1835
  • McDowell, James, 1795-1851
  • McDowell, Sarah Preston, 1767-1841
  • 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.)
  • Women -- History

Contents List

Box-Folder 1
1
Letter from Susanna Smith Madison [Peyton] to her uncle James McDowell, January 8, 1802
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Box-Folder 1
2
Letter from J. Preston at Smithfield to James McDowell, April 15, 1795
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Box-Folder 1
2
Letter from J. Preston at Smithfield to James McDowell, July 21, 1799
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Box-Folder 1
3
Letter from Francis Preston in Greenfield to James McDowell, January 16, 1823
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 1
4
Letter from William Preston from home to James McDowell, December 5, 1801
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

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
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Box-Folder 1
5
Letter from Thomas Lewis Preston to William Campbell Preston, November 29, 1838
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Box-Folder 1
5
Letter from Thomas Lewis Preston to Susanna Preston, January 30, 1843
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Box-Folder 1
5
Letter from Thomas Lewis Preston to William Campbell Preston, June 23, 1845
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 1
5
Letter from Thomas Lewis Preston to Susanna Preston, October 4, 1847
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

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
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 1
6
Letters from William Campbell Preston to Susanna Smith Preston McDowell, n.d.
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

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 (1800-1847), 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 letters to and from members of 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
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
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
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, n.d.
Box-Folder 1
33
Letter from Mary Preston Lewis to James McDowell,, n.d.
Box-Folder 1
34
Letter from Ann Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge to Sarah Preston McDowell, n.d.
Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, June 17, 1798
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, October 5, 1798
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, May 27, 1804
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston in Abington to James McDowell, January 16, 1821
Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, January 30, 1821
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, June 5, 1821
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, December 21, 1821
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston in Abington to James McDowell, March 10, 1822
Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, n.d.
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, May 5, 1804
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, July 11, 1827
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston at Smithfield to Susanna McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, February 12, 1831
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, July 16, 1831
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, September 12, 1831
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston at Smithfield to Susanna McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, October 16, 1831
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, June 8, 1832
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston at Smithfield to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, March 9, 1835
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Box-Folder 2
3
Letter from Eliza Preston Madison in Stafford, Virginia to her sister Sarah Preston McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, January 10, 1784
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Box-Folder 2
4
Letter from Edmonia M. Preston in Stafford, Virginia to Sarah Preston McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, May 30, 1813
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 2
5
Letter from George C. Thompson in Shawnee Springs, Kentucky to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, June 28, 1833
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 2
6
Letter from William Preston from Fincastle to James McDowell, January 12, 1799
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Box-Folder 2
6
Letter from William Preston from Fincastle to James McDowell, January 29, 1802
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Box-Folder 2
7
Letter from Nathaniel Hart in Franklin, Kentucky to James McDowell in Fairfield, Virginia, June 15, 1805
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 2
7
Letter from Nathaniel Hart in Spring Hill, Kentucky to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, November 23, 1834
Digitized Materials

Transcription

>Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Box-Folder 2
8
Letter from John Lewis in Covington to James McDowell in Rockbridge County, Virginia, August 5, 1804
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Box-Folder 2
9
Letter from John Preston to James McDowell, August 29, 1794
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Box-Folder 2
9
Letter from John Preston at Greenfield to James McDowell, March 23, 1822
Digitized Materials

Transcription

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • McDowell, James, 1770-1835
  • McDowell, James, 1795-1851
  • McDowell, Sarah Preston, 1767-1841
  • McDowell, Susana Smith Preston
  • Preston, Francis, 1765-1835
  • Preston, William Campbell