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Inventory of the Cole Papers 1786-1938 Cole Papers 1786-1938. Mss. 39.1 C67

Inventory of the Cole Papers 1786-1938

A Collection in
Manuscripts and Rare Books Department
Collection Number Mss. 39.1 C67


Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary

Special Collections
Earl Gregg Swem Library
College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-8794
Phone: (757) 221-3090
Fax: (757) 221-5440

© 2000 By the College of William and Mary

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Special Collections Staff

Special Collections, College of William and Mary
Collection number
Mss. 39.1 C67
Cole Papers, 1786-1939.
3,031 items.
Cole family
Accounts, minutes, and correspondence of Henry Denison Cole, lifelong resident of Williamsburg, Virginia and other members of his family.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Publication Rights/Restrictions on Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Preferred Citation

Cole Papers, Manuscripts and Rare Books Department, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.

Acquisition Information

Gift: 1939.

Biographical/Historical Information

Henry Denison Cole (1856-1938) was the son of Robert F. Cole. Henry D. Cole operated a bookshop on Duke of Gloucester Street, served as postmaster, 1884-1889, treasurer of Bruton Parish Church, secretary of the Alumni of the College of William and Mary, judge of elections, member of the Democratic Committee, the school board, and the Board of Trustees of Eastern State Hospital.

Scope and Content Information

Included are minutes of the Wise Light Infantry Co. of Williamsburg, 1881-1882; the College of William and Mary Alumni Association, 1906-1917; papers concerning the College of William and Mary including letters, 1873, from Benjamin S. Ewell; the Williamsburg Free School Trustees, 1870-1907; and the Democratic Committee of Williamsburg.

Also accounts of the state school funds, 1894-1911; the city school funds, 1906-1911, 1919-1924; Bruton Parish Church 1897-1938; and of Robert F. Cole (father of Henry D. Cole), 1843-1856. Also lists of registered voters in Williamsburg, 1889-1896, 1902-1925, and papers relating to property in Williamsburg and the restoration of Bruton Parish Church, 1905-1906.

The collection also includes stereoptican slides and letters from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.



This collection is arranged into series.


This collection was organized into fourteen Series: 1. Papers of Williamsburg City Council, 2. Papers of Williamsburg Post Office, 3. Miscellaneous Letters, 4. Business Papers of H. D. Cole, 5. Papers of the Cole Family, 6. Papers relating to William and Mary College, 7. Wise Infantry Minute Book, etc., 8. Printed Material and Stereoptican Slides, 9. William and Mary Alumni Association, 10. Post Card and Shop Account Book, 11. Papers Relating to Schools, 12. Bruton Parish Records, 13. Williamsburg Democratic Records, and 14. Artifacts.

Index Terms


  • Ewell, Benjamin Stoddert, 1810-1894.
  • Roberts, William Thomas.
  • Rockefeller, Abby Greene Aldrich.
  • Rockefeller, John D. (John Davison), 1874-1960.
  • Tyler, Lyon Gardiner, 1853-1935.
  • Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915.
  • Subjects:

  • Schools--Virginia--Williamsburg.
  • Voting--Virginia--History.
  • African Americans--Politics and suffrage--Virginia.
  • Bruton Parish Church (Williamsburg, Va.)
  • College of William and Mary--Alumni.
  • College of William and Mary--History--20th century.
  • Democratic Party (Williamsburg, Va.)
  • Photography, Stereoscopic.
  • Virginia--Militia--19th century.
  • Virginia. Constitutional Convention (1901-1902)
  • Virginia. Militia. Wise Light Infantry.
  • Williamsburg (Va.)--History--19th century.
  • Williamsburg (Va.)--History--20th century.
  • Williamsburg (Va.). City Council.
  • Williamsburg (Va.). Post Office.

Component List

Papers of the Williamsburg City Council, 1889-1899.
Box 1
Series 1: Papers of Williamsburg City Council

Papers of the Williamsburg City Council, including manuscript draft of the first ordinance regulating automobile traffic, contract for city gas lighting system, duties of city scavenger, pro and con papers regarding bond issue for city water works and sewage disposal and doctors bills for smallpox vaccinations.

Papers of the Williamsburg Post Office, 1884-1889.
Box-folder 2:1
Series 2: Papers of Williamsburg Post Office

Papers of the post office while Cole served as postmaster.

Miscellaneous Letters, 1888-1934.
Box-folder 2:2
Series 3: Miscellaneous Letters
  • Box-folder 2:2
    Letter from E. W. Blodgett, 9 Oct[ober] 1899.
    1 item.

    Blodgett's balloon ascent and public reaction to Dreyfus case.

  • Box-folder 2:2
    Letter concerning Lynchburg, Virginia, 16 April 1911.
    1 item.

    Growth and development around Lynchburg, Virginia.

  • Box-folder 2:2
    Letters: political and personal, 1888-1936.
  • Box-folder 2:2
    Letter concerning C. H. Fine, 1911.
Business papers of Henry D. Cole, 1894-1934.
Series 4: Business Papers of H. D. Cole
  • Box-folder 2:3
    Business papers of Henry D. Cole, 1894-1934.

    Includes rent and sale contracts for Williamsburg property. Sale for standing lumber, tax returns, fire insurance policies, four certificates from Virginia governors appointing him to the board of trustees of Eastern State Hospital.

  • Box 8
    Additional Henry D. Cole business papers, 1895-1916.
    • Rent collections volume, 1901-1909.
    • Box 8
      Cole's shop volume, 1895-1916.

      Wood and periodical accounts of Cole's shop.

    • Box 8
      Notes, memos and clippings used to prepare post cards and souvenir booklets,
      120 items.
Papers of the Cole Family, 1816-1910.
Box 3
Series 5: Papers of the Cole Family
  • Box-Folder 3:1
    Subseries 1: Cole Property Papers, 1843-1910.

    Papers concerning the property of H. D. Cole, his father Robert F. Cole, his grandfather Jesse Cole and bills of the latter two.

  • Box-Folder 3:2
    Subseries 2: Papers of Robert F. Cole, 1849-1856.

    Papers of Robert F. Cole. Account books of Robert F. Cole showing accounts against Williamsburg residents.

  • Box-Folder 3:3
    Subseries 3: Newspaper clippings,

    Includes an 1816 letter.

Papers relating to William and Mary College, 1847-1901.
Box 4
Series 6: Papers relating to William and Mary College
  • Box-Folder 4:1
    Letters from Benjamin S. Ewell, 1873.
    3 items.
  • Box-Folder 4:1
    Legal papers with William and Mary seal signed by Robert Saunders, 1847.
  • Box-Folder 4:1
    Receipt to Gustavus Lobby for philosophy course signed by Silas Totten, 1851.
    1 item.
  • Box-Folder 4:1
    W. T. Roberts Letter, 20 November 1901.
    1 item.

    Letter from Roberts who was rector of Bruton Parish Church criticizing the college, president [Lyon G.] Tyler and the vice-president of the Board of Visitors as a "moral leper."

  • Box 7
    Lyon G. Tyler reply to "moral leper letter", 1901.

    Reply of William and Mary president Lyon G. Tyler to November open letter by W. T. Roberts, rector of Bruton Parish Church.

Series 7: Wise Infantry Minute Book; City-Colonial Williamsburg Agreement; and Yorktown Newspaper Clippings, 1881-1928.
Box 4
Series 7: Wise Infantry Minute Book, etc.
  • Box-Folder 4:2
    Subseries 1: Minute Book of the Wise Light Infantry of Williamsburg, Virginia, 1881-1882.
    1 bound volume.
  • Box-Folder 4:2
    Subseries 2: City-Colonial Williamsburg Agreement, 1928.
    1 item.

    Printed copy of an agreement between the City of Williamsburg and the Williamsburg Holding Company, now Colonial Williamsburg

  • Box-Folder 4:2
    Subseries 3: Yorktown Centennial Newspaper Clippings,

    Primarily of Yorktown Centennial Celebration, including 18 October 1881 edition of Army and Navy Register listing events, personages, military units and their officers.

Series 8: Printed Material and Stereoptican Slides, 1861-1911.
Box-Folder 4:3
Series 8: Printed Material and Stereoptican Slides
  • Box-Folder 4:3
    Assorted Newspaper Clippings,
  • Box-Folder 4:3
    Hickory Neck Academy Program, May 1883.
  • Box-Folder 4:3
    Jamestown Celebration Account,
    1 item.
  • Box-Folder 4:3
    Account of burning of Williamsburg Courthouse, 6 April 1911.
    1 item.
  • Box-Folder 4:3
    North Carolina Coupon Bond, 1861.
    1 item.
  • Box-Folder 4:3
    Stereoptican slides,
    125 slides.
William and Mary Alumni Association, ca. 1880-1914.
Box 5
Series 9: William and Mary Alumni Association
  • Box 5
    Scrapbook, ca. 1880-1890.

    Contains social, political, historical events and clippings on the October 1888 reopening of the College as well as other items of interest about William and Mary.

  • Box 5
    Bank Book, 1901-1907.

    Bank account book of Henry D. Cole in which pages 68-71 are devoted to William and Mary Alumni Association Executive Committee.

  • Box 5
    Account Book, 1906-1917.

    Newspaper and magazine account book of Henry D. Cole in which pages 250-257 are minutes of meetings of Alumni Association Executive Committee. Volume includes account and memorandum book of Richneck Farm.

Post card and shop account book, 1923-1935.
Box 5
Series 10: Post Card and Shop Account Book
Papers relating to schools, 1870-1924.
Box 6
Series 11: Papers Relating to Schools
  • Box 6
    Bound Volume of Minutes, 1870-1907.

    Minutes of meetings of Trustees of the Williamsburg Free School. The volume also contains miscellaneous loose papers pertaining to the school.

  • Box 6
    School funds volume, 1911-1920.

    Bound volume of accounts of school accounts and funds, both state and local.

  • Box 5
    State school funds volume, 1894-1911.

    Bound volume of accounts of state school funds.

  • Box 6
    City school funds volume, 1906-1911.

    Bound volume of accounts of city school funds.

  • Box 6
    City school funds volume, 1919-1924.

    Bound volume of accounts of city school funds.

  • Miscellaneous school board papers,

    Includes letters to the school board.

Bruton Parish Records, 1897-1930.
Box 7 and 10
Series 12: Bruton Parish Records
  • Box 7
    Contributions volume, 1930.

    Contributions to Bruton Parish Church.

  • Box 7
    Financial papers of Bruton Parish Church, 1897-1938.
  • Box 10
    Financial and business papers of Bruton Parish Church, 1924-1936.
Williamsburg Democratic Records, 1889-1925.
Box 9
Series 13: Williamsburg Democratic Records
  • Box 9
    Democratic Minute Book, 1889-1896.

    Bound volume of minutes of the Democratic Committee in Williamsburg, registered voters in the city (white and colored [sic]lists). In the back of the volume there is a collection of ballots of the period.

  • Box 9
    Registered voters, 1902-1925.
    3 bound volumes

    Lists of registered voters in the city.

  • Box 9
    Presidential campaign minutes, 1900-1904.

    Minutes having to do with Presidential campaigns.

Series 14: Artifacts

Cole family cup and saucer. 18th century Whielden agatewear.