A Guide to the Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers, 1784-1881, n.d. Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers Ms1997-002

A Guide to the 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)
560 Drillfield Drive
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/

2020 (CC0).

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.
DIGITAL CONTENT
Selected letters from this collection have been digitized and are available online.
Physical Characteristics
0.6 Cubic Feet 2 boxes
Creator
Madison, Elizabeth Preston, 1762-1837; Preston, Edmonia M. (Edmonia Madison Randolph), 1787-1847; Preston, Francis, 1765-1835; Preston, John, 1764-1827; Preston, William C. (William Campbell), 1794-1860
Language
Materials in this collection and in the related digital collection, are in 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

Use Restrictions

These materials are not in copyright and personal, scholarship, and educational use is permitted. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining exhibit/display, commercial, or other use.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (specref@vt.edu or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Existence and Location of Copies

Selected letters from this collection have been digitized and are available online (most with text transcripts). See the Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers digital collection.

Preferred Citation

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

Acquisition Information

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

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. Minor updates to the finding aid, including links to the new digital location, were added in 2020.


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).

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 several collections in Special Collections related to the Smithfield Plantation and the Preston family in Special Collections and University Archives and the University Libraries. Links and descriptions can be found on the "Preston Family Resoures" LibGuide.


Index terms


Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).

Contents List

Selected letters from this collection have been digitized and are available online.

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, n.d.
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
Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, October 5, 1798
Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, May 27, 1804
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
Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, June 5, 1821
Box-Folder 2
1
Letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell, December 21, 1821
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.
Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, May 5, 1804
Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, July 11, 1827
Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston at Smithfield to Susanna McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, February 12, 1831
Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, July 16, 1831
Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, September 12, 1831
Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston at Smithfield to Susanna McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, October 16, 1831
Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston in Richmond, Virginia to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, June 8, 1832
Box-Folder 2
2
Letter from James Patton Preston at Smithfield to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, March 9, 1835
Box-Folder 2
3
Letter from Eliza Preston Madison in Stafford, Virginia to her sister Sarah Preston McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, January 10, 1784
Box-Folder 2
4
Letter from Edmonia M. Preston in Stafford, Virginia to Sarah Preston McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, May 30, 1813
Box-Folder 2
5
Letter from George C. Thompson in Shawnee Springs, Kentucky to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, June 28, 1833
Box-Folder 2
6
Letter from William Preston from Fincastle to James McDowell, January 12, 1799
Box-Folder 2
6
Letter from William Preston from Fincastle to James McDowell, January 29, 1802
Box-Folder 2
7
Letter from Nathaniel Hart in Franklin, Kentucky to James McDowell in Fairfield, Virginia, June 15, 1805
Box-Folder 2
7
Letter from Nathaniel Hart in Spring Hill, Kentucky to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia, November 23, 1834
Box-Folder 2
8
Letter from John Lewis in Covington to James McDowell in Rockbridge County, Virginia, August 5, 1804
Box-Folder 2
9
Letter from John Preston to James McDowell, August 29, 1794
Box-Folder 2
9
Letter from John Preston at Greenfield to James McDowell, March 23, 1822

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

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