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Torrance and Banks Family Papers

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Torrance and Banks Family Papers

Torrance and Banks family papers

Summary Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte
Banks family
Horton, George Moses, 1798?-ca. 1880
Torrance family
Torrance and Banks family papers
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1800-1900
Date [inclusive]
13.5 Cubic feet
General Physical Description note
16,200 items + 28 microfilm reels
Papers of Hugh Torance (1743-1816) and his descendants, including especially his son, James Galbraith Torrance (sic) (1784-1847), and his grandson Richard Allison Torrance (1833-1927), concerning their extensive mercantile, planting, and milling operations at Cedar Grove plantation in northern Mecklenburg County, N.C. Includes account books, Revolutionary War service records, family correspondence, land and estate records, information on slaves, contracts with overseers, two acrostics by George Moses Horton ("the slave poet of Chapel Hill"), and poems and notes by area schoolmaster Peter Stuart Ney, whom some believe to have been Marshall Michael Ney, one of Napoleon's generals. Also includes correspondence with family members who operated plantations in Coffeeville and Yalabusha counties, Miss. (1830s-40s) and Fort Bend County, Tex. (1850s-60s) and relatives who served as Presbyterian missionaries in Japan and China (ca. 1900); James Torrance's records as treasurer (1818-47) of Hopewell Presbyterian Church and as a trustee (1836-39) of Davidson College; Richard Torrance's records as census enumerator (1880) for Lemley's Township and as Mecklenburg County tax collector (1889-96); papers of Richard's daughter, Delia, and her husband, Howard A. Banks; evangelistic tracts; pamphlets and ephemera relating primarily to agriculture; and a microfilm copy of the papers.

Preferred Citation note

Torrance and Banks Family Papers. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Biographical/Historical note

Hugh Torance (1743-1816) hailed from Five-Mile-Town, Parish of Clogher, County Tyrone, Ireland (Ulster). He is buried in the Hopewell Presbyterian Church cemetery in northern Mecklenburg County, N.C. Torance and his brother Albert immigrated to America around 1763. (According to Richard Banks, direct descendant of Hugh Torance and donor of this collection, Torance probably indentured himself during the years 1763-69 to pay for his passage overseas.) Hugh Torance purchased a 319-acre farm in Tyberne Township, Cumberland County, Pa., about 1770. In 1811 he deeded this property to his brother, James, who had also immigrated from Ireland. Torance migrated from Pennsylvania to Rowan County, N.C. about 1773. He had extensive mercantile interests in Rowan County prior to 1774. (Richard Banks surmised that his ancestor initially peddled goods on consignment to southbound immigrants, then traveled down the Great Wagon Road to sell to the settlers of Rowan and Mecklenburg counties.) During the period 1774-75 his mercantile activities centered around Sherrill's Ford and Davidson Creek in western Rowan County and extended as far as present-day Statesville. Albert Torrence (m. Elizabeth Hackett, 10/27/1791; d. 1825), perhaps the youngest of the Torrances, settled in Rowan County. He owned a plantation at Trading Ford on the Yadkin River and a store in Salisbury. From 1778 through about 1784 Torance resided in Rowan County. By 1787 he took up residence in Mecklenburg County, although financial dealings continued between him and his brother Albert in Salisbury. In 1780, Torance suspended his mercantile activities to join Capt. Galbraith Falls's militia company, a light cavalry company called the Partisan Rangers. Torance served as disbursing agent and participated in the siege of Charleston, S.C. Wage certificates show that he made payments to members of his company until 1792. (Because of the devaluation of American paper money, patriot soldiers often accepted certificates of service to be redeemed at a later time, when paper money would be more stable.) According to family tradition, Torance fought in the Battle of Ramsour's Mill, Lincoln County, N.C. (6/20/1780), a decisive battle in which Falls was killed. Although no records exist, Torance probably continued to fight through the fall of 1781. His business records do not resume until 1782. Torance married (5/28/1783) Isabella Kerr Falls, widow of Capt. Galbraith Falls. James Galbraith Torrance (b. 11/19/1784) was their only child. [Hugh spelled his name "Torance" to distinguish himself from Albert's son Hugh Torence, a Salisbury merchant, while Albert used "Torrence". James Galbraith changed from "Torrence" to "Torrance" after his marriage to Margaret Allison to distinguish himself from his cousin James Torrence, a Charlotte merchant.] Isabella's children from her previous marriage were William (b. 8/9/1763); John; Anne (m. Robert Young); Margaret (m. Thomas McKnight); Martha (m. James Stewart); Isabella; Resonna (m. George Davidson); and Jane (m. John Simonton). Torance bought from John McDowell and his son of Burke County 667 acres on McDowell Creek in northern Mecklenburg County, near what is now Huntersville, in 1779. The deed states that the McDowells had acquired this land in three tracts: two from Henry Eustace McCollough and one from Thomas Irwin(?). In 1796, Torance acquired from the trustees of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill an additional 480 acres on McDowell Creek. This property had also belonged to McCollough, but was confiscated by the state as a penalty for his Tory affiliations during the Revolutionary War. By 1796 Torance had acquired 1300 acres. In 1799 he received grants of 50, 70, and 60 acres of land on McDowell Creek apparently as reward for his war service. Torance began building a two-story brick house on his land in 1794. By 1796 he had nearly completed the structure, which stood exactly where the Cedar Grove plantation, a local historic property, now stands. Purchases for the house are well documented in the papers. Hugh Torance died on February 14, 1816; Isabella died only two weeks before him at seventy-six years. At the time of their deaths, they owned 1,400 acres in Mecklenburg County, 3,800 acres in Tennessee, and 33 slaves. James Galbraith Torrance (1784-1847) was three years old when his father, Hugh Torance, moved to the McDowell Creek property in Mecklenburg County. He spent many of his early years at the home of his uncle Albert in Salisbury, probably because of the superiority of educational opportunities there. After completing his education in 1805, he set up an extensive store at Cedar Grove with some $4,000 worth of goods purchased from Philadelphia [see part 1, folder 15, item 21 (Banks's notation) hereinafter cited as 1-15-21]. In 1825, James Galbraith sold his mercantile business to Samuel McCombs of Charlotte [see part 1, series 2, daybook ledger]. Banks speculates that Torance's daughters persuaded their father to sell the business because they considered mercantile activities unrefined for a planter. By 1810, Torrance had surpassed his father in agricultural, mercantile, and community activities. He purchased 386 acres in 1810. Governor William Hawkins appointed him a justice of the peace in 1812 [1-1-9]. In 1818 he became treasurer of Hopewell Presbyterian Church [see part 1, series 2, Hopewell Church account book]. After about 1818, Torrance turned to a more extensive cultivation of cotton, although he had been selling cotton as early as 1805 [1-8-1, 16]. He sometimes sold cotton in Fayetteville, N.C., but more often freighted it by wagon to Camden or Cheraw, S.C., then to Charleston, S.C. Debtors sometimes reduced their accounts by freighting cotton for him (1-8-6). Torrance was married three times. His first wife was Nancy Davidson (m. 2/9/1809; d. 11/11/1818), daughter of General Ephraim Davidson (son of George and Penelope Reece Davidson) and Jane Brevard Davidson (daughter of John and Jane McWhorter Brevard), from Mount Mourne, present-day Iredell County, N.C. Their five children were: 1) Jane Adeline (1811-3/1820); 2) Catherine Camilla (b. 1814) married William A. Latta of York County, S.C. (6/24/1834). She attended Salem Female Boarding School (11/10/1825-12/6/1827, with her sister Isabella Malvina) in Salem, N.C., and Lucretia Sarazen's school in Philadelphia (9/18/1830-5/28/1831). Children were Willie and Margaret; 3) Isabella Malvina (1818-12/22/1893) married Franklin L. Smith (9/9/1835), a planter in Mississippi. One daughter, Jane Camilla (1835-1901), married Rufus Reid (d. 7/15/1854). A son, James Rufus Reid, who died at Manassas, Va. (11/1/1861); and son Franklin S. Reid (d. 11/27/1862); 4) Hugh Torrence Jr. married Jane Powell; one daughter, Isabella; 5) James Franklin (1816-69). Hugh Jr. and James were planters in Coffeeville, Miss. On April 14, 1821, Torrance married Mary Latta (12/29/1799-11/26/1824), daughter of James Latta, emigrant planter of the Hopewell community. They had two children: 1) William Latta (1/20/1822-5/26/1852) was one of the first students of Davidson College and later attended the University of Pennsylvania medical school; 2) Jane Elizabeth (1823-12/3/1844) married William S. M. Davidson (1817-73). She attended Salem Boarding School. One son: James Torrence (1843-74). In 1827 Torrance married his third wife, Margaret Allison (1798-1880), daughter of Richard and Letitia Neil Allison from near Statesville. Their children were: 1) Letitia A. (b. 1828) married Dr. Ed. S. Bratton (9/7/1847). They lived in Yorkville, S.C.; 2) Mary A. (b. 1829) married Robert M. Bratton (4/23/1849), secondly, Dr. Sidney Witherspoon; 3) Delia (b. 1831) married John R. Johnston of Zuela plantation in Gaston County, N.C. (6/17/1856); 4) Richard Allison (1833-1927) [see expanded biographical note below]; 5) Sarah Jane (b. 1836) married Dr. John Brown Gaston Jr. of Montgomery, Ala. (10/11/1857), where they resided; 6) John Andrew (1/28/1839-12/21/1904) did not marry. He attended Hillsborough Military Academy, 1860-61. At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted in the 7th North Carolina infantry. In March, 1862, the 7th participated in the defense of New Bern, N.C. In May, 1862, the regiment (along with the 28th, 33rd, and 37th N.C. regiments) joined the newly formed Branch (Second) Brigade in Virginia, commanded by Brig. Gen. Lawrence O'B. Branch. The brigade fought in most of the major engagements of the war, including Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg (including Pickett's charge). On April 28, 1863, Torrance received a promotion to second lieutenant in the 37th N.C. (Lane's Brigade after Branch's death). John Torrance fought with Lee's army until its surrender at Appomattox Court House. After the war he resided near the Cedar Grove plantation, where he operated the Torrance mill until his death. For his wife Margaret, Torrance built Cedar Grove, their elegant plantation home, which still stands on the site on which the Hugh Torance house formerly stood. Master carpenters David Hampton and Jacob Shuman began building the house in 1831; the house was completed in 1833 (1-19-45A). Probably designed by an architect, the 5,000 square feet house is a Greek Revival style featuring stepped gables, ornate moldings, and a Quaker staircase. Bricks for the house were manufactured on the site. Education was well respected in the Torrance household. A charter member of the Davidson College Board of Trustees (1836), Torrance paid $100 on a $500 subscription to the "Manual Labour School," as Davidson College was first known. He continued payments on his subscription until 1839. He was a member of the Davidson College building committee and also served on a financial committee. During the period 1841-44, he paid $60 annual interest on a pledge to endow a professorship at the college. He fulfilled his endowment pledge in 1845 by giving a certificate for ten shares of stock in the Bank of North Carolina [see part 1, folder 37, Davidson College receipt book]. School teachers in the northern Mecklenburg area included Alexander Garden (1826), John Manchette (1827), Benjamin and Thomas Cottrell (1828), John Little (1829), S. D. Wharton (1847), Robert A. Sadler (1821) [1-24-5] and Peter Stuart Ney, under whom Richard Torrance studied (1840-45). His daughters attended Salem Female Boarding School operated by John C. Jacobson and Benjamin Reichel. The records show that in 1830, Torrance advertised a Hopewell Academy in the Catawba Journal, although details of the academy are not known. In 1824 Torrance extended his business activities by building a water-powered mill for grinding flour and lumber [1-18-26, 30]. Andrew Killion constructed the original mill at the confluence of McDowell and Torrence creeks [1-21-34]. Completed in 1825, the mill received an extensive gear repair in 1830 [1-19-8]. It was rebuilt in 1844-46 [1-21-108]. At the time of Torrance's death (1847), he owned 3,273 acres and 71 slaves. Margaret Allison Torrance managed the Cedar Grove plantation until her son Richard Allison Torrance took over after the Civil War. Richard Allison Torrance (12/7/1833-5/22/1927) was the eldest son of James Galbraith and Margaret Allison Torrance. As a young boy, Torrance studied under schoolmaster Peter Stuart Ney--whom some scholars believe to have been the famous Marshal Ney, one of Napoleon's field commanders from 1840 to 1845 [1-24]. From 1851 to 1855 he attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Seeking greater economic opportunity, Torrance ventured to Texas in 1856, where he purchased 640 acres on the Brazos River in Fort Bend County. In 1860 he had acquired nineteen slaves; by 1868 he paid tax on 678 acres. At the outbreak of the Civil War he joined Terry's 8th Texas Rangers, a cavalry company that fought under General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Torrance was wounded at Murfreesboro, and he lost a leg due to a gunshot wound suffered at Mossy Creek in 1863. After the amputation of his leg, he was discharged with the rank of captain. He convalesced at Cedar Grove following his discharge from the Confederate Army, then returned to his plantation in Texas. In 1866, he was elected a county commissioner in Fort Bend County. Severe economic conditions, aggravated by the shortage of agricultural laborers, forced him to sell his plantation and return to Mecklenburg County in either 1868 or 1869. He and his family lived with his mother at Cedar Grove. After her death, he inherited the property and continued to farm it until his death in 1927. In 1877 he was elected a justice of the peace in Lemley's Township in northern Mecklenburg County and in 1879 served as Mecklenburg County commissioner. In early May, 1880, Torrance applied for a position as census enumerator for Lemley's Township. He was appointed on May 13, 1880, as the enumerator for the 114th Census Division of the 3rd Supervisor's District. He also served as Mecklenburg County Tax Collector from 1889 to 1896. Torrance suffered the loss of an arm in a cotton gin accident in 1883. According to family legend, a former slave ripped a drive belt off the gin with his bare hands, thus saving Torrance's life. He married Bettie E. Reid (1836-61), daughter of Rufus L. Reid of Mount Mourne, on November 26, 1856. (Rufus, a successful merchant and planter, built Mount Mourne in northern Mecklenburg County, considered one of the finest frame houses of the period.) In 1861 Bettie contracted "coast fever" and died suddenly, leaving Torrance with two young daughters: Minna Eugenia (b. 1857) and Margaret Elizabeth (b. 1858). He then married Patience Eliza Gaston (1/20/1843-6/10/1916), daughter of Dr. John Brown and Polly Buford Gaston of Chester County, S.C., on October 3, 1865. She stayed at Cedar Grove with her mother-in-law while Torrance returned to Texas until his permanent resettlement in North Carolina in the late 1860s. They had nine children: 1) Richard Allison Jr. (8/21/1866-12/31/1943) married Lititia Nance. They settled in Lincoln, Neb., where he established himself in "throwaway advertising"; 2) Gaston (b. 9/30/1868) lived much of his early life with his aunt Mary Buford Gaston, who probably reared him. He attended the University of Virginia medical school (1896); and studied at the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane in Philadelphia (1898) and at the Philadelphia Polyclinic and College for Graduates in Medicine. Around 1900, he relocated to Birmingham, Ala., where he established a surgical practice. He married Anne Wilkerson; 3) Mary Buford (b. 1869) married Lynford Lardner Moore. He studied at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia (1893). From 1895 to the early 1900s, they worked in Japan and China as Presbyterian missionaries. After returning to the United States, Moore continued as a minister and apparently did not pursue a medical practice; 4) Delia Isabel (12/27/1871-8/31/1962) married (1903) Howard A. Banks [editor, Asheville Gazette-News (1904), Hickory Democrat (1911-15), and the Sunday School Times (1923); and city editor, The Charlotte News (1907); in 1915, became private secretary to the Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, and represented the department at the San Francisco Pan American Exhibition]. In 1900, Delia worked for the Charlotte firm of Clarkson and Duls as a stenographer. She also worked as an assistant teacher in the public schools before she married. Their son, Richard T. Banks, is the present owner of Cedar Grove and donor of this collection; 5) Susan Camilla (b. 12/26/1874) married Charlotte banker and entrepreneur John W. Zimmerman; 6) James Galbraith (b. 11/26/1876) married Sophia Dunlap. He worked as a salesperson for Southern Mill Supply Company; 7) Kate (b. 12/24/1878) married Harry L. Sanders, a Charlotte entrepreneur; 8) Hugh (9/16/1881-3/11/1966) married Louise Levi (8/16/1888-2/26/1977). They lived in Florida, where he grew vegetables; and 9) William A. (5/16/1884-5/22/1940) did not marry. He attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and worked as an automobile salesperson. Richard Allison Torrance died on May 22, 1927 and was buried in the Hopewell Presbyterian Church cemetery. At the time of his death, the Cedar Grove land holdings numbered 1,200 acres, which were divided into eleven plots for his eleven children. Delia Torrance Banks received Cedar Grove.

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Scope and Contents note

Part 1 of the Torrance and Banks Family Papers constitutes the initial effort of a two-part microfilming project to ensure the permanent preservation of the collection. The original records were the property of Richard Torrance Banks, grandson of Richard A. Torrance and current owner and resident of the Cedar Grove estate near Huntersville, N.C. The papers, which were filmed on three reels of microfilm (January, 1983), are primarily from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Torrance and Banks family papers were acquired from Richard Banks, descendant of Hugh Torance and current owner and resident of Cedar Grove. The bulk of the material in Part 1 is from the eighteenth century and from the early nineteenth century. The records focus on Hugh Torance and his son James Galbraith Torrance. The papers are arranged alphabetically by subject, which were designated by the donor, Richard Banks. Folder titles have been retained verbatim except for the addition of inclusive dates or other pertinent data. Originally, items within folders were arranged serially following a folder-item system devised by Banks. These folder-item numbers are pencilled onto most of the documents; the first number refers to the folder in which the item is located; the following number refers to the document number. All items have been left in the subject folders as Banks arranged them and are chronological therein. Many of the folders include Banks's typescript synopses of the documents. It is an invaluable aid to research and can be used despite the rearrangement of the documents, since most of the documents have the corresponding key numbers pencilled onto them and since original folder number have been retained.

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Scope and Contents note

Part 2 of the Torrance and Banks Family Papers constitutes the final effort of a two-part microfilming project to ensure the permanent preservation of the collection. The papers, which were filmed on eleven reels of microfilm (May-July, 1983), are primarily nineteenth century, but they extend into the mid-1920s. The records of Richard A. Torrance, his wife, Eliza Gaston Torrance, and his younger brother, John Andrew Torrance, predominate, although most of the Richard Torrance children are represented. The papers came to Special Collections in considerable disarray, especially since Banks, who had organized the records of Part 1, had not worked with the papers of Part 2. As such, the Special Collections staff decided to arrange most of part 2 according to the individuals who generated or received specific items, with publications and other material not clearly identified with one person making up the remainder of this part of the Torrance and Banks Family Papers.

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Scope and Contents note

Part 3 of the Torrance and Banks Family Papers is comprised of original material donated outright by Richard Torrance Banks. These items were not microfilmed. This part of the collection documents Richard Allison Torrance's service as Mecklenburg County Tax Collector (1889-96) and as Census Enumerator for Lemley's Township in northern Mecklenburg County (1880).

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte

9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC, 28223

Revision Description

 Additions processed by James Kusik and David Rhoton, 2002 2002

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Mr. Banks has relinquished to the public all rights associated with ownership of copyright and literary property rights that he, as a Torrance descendant, may have in the papers. Researchers should be aware, however, that copyright restrictions may apply to papers in the collection for which Mr. Banks does not own the copyright. Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. The photographic images of Cedar Grove and the Hugh Torance House and Store (1938) may be reproduced. Credit line should read: Frances Benjamin Johnston, photographer. Reproduction of originals in the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gifts of Richard Banks, 1983 and 1989; Lettie Ferrer, 1991.

Processing Information note

Additions processed by James Kusik and David Rhoton, 2002.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Banks Family Papers (Mss 164). Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission Reports (Mss 77): Cedar Grove and Hugh Torance House and Store; and Torrance Mill. Davidson Family Papers (Mss 188). Hugh Torance House and Store, Inc. Records (Mss 157). Copies of the microfilm are also deposited in the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County and the libraries of Davidson and Queens colleges.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Cedar Grove House (N.C.).

Family Name(s)

  • Banks family
  • Torrance family

Geographic Name(s)

  • Mecklenburg County (N.C.)
  • United States--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives, Confederate

Personal Name(s)

  • Ney, Peter Stuart, d. 1846
  • Torrance, Hugh, 1743-1816
  • Torrance, James, 1784-1847
  • Torrance, Richard Allison, 1833-1927


  • African American poets
  • American poetry--African American authors

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Collection Inventory

Part 1 

 Series 1 Subject Files 1765-1982 

Box Folder

Financial records--Hugh Torance and Albert Torrence (1777-1842) [reel 1] 1777-1842 

Scope and Contents note

Receipts and financial records concerning their mercantile businesses (10/1777); a military pass (n.d.); licenses of James Galbraith Torrance to operate a carriage (1813); retailer's licenses (1815-16); and deed of sale of a mule outlining its breeding lineage (10/8/1842). Also includes a typescript copy of the will of James Galbraith Torrance, as well as background and genealogical material.

1 1
Oversize Folder

Financial records--Hugh Torance and Albert Torrence--Oversize material 1812 

Scope and Contents note

Appointment of James Galbraith Torrance as justice of the peace, signed by Governor William Hawkins (12/18/1812); and "A Statement of the Revenue of North-Carolina," maintained by the North Carolina Comptroller's Office (1826).

24 1/1
Box Folder

Deeds--Hugh Torance [reel 1] 1765-1799 

Scope and Contents note

Includes general description by Richard Banks. Includes debt note (11/12/1794) to Lydia Knox, Hugh Torance, and John Sharp containing tracts of estate of Captain James Knox.

1 2A
Oversize Folder

Deeds--Hugh Torance--Oversize material 1768, 1795-99 

Scope and Contents note

Land deeds, many including survey plats. Includes grant (1768) to James Peel from King George III [signed by N.C. governor William Tryon]; state grant (1793) of 50 acres to J. McKnitt Alexander, deeded to Torrance in 1796; deed to Torance for 180 acres of lands confiscated from Henry Eustace McCollough and given to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (1795); survey plat by J(ohn) McK(nitt) Alexander of Hugh Torance land on McDowell Creek (1796); land grants (1796) to Alexander signed by Samuel Ashe; and grant to Torance (1799).

24 2A
Box Folder

Deeds--Hugh Torance [reel 1] 1802-19, 1829-30, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Includes John (Huey) to Torance (3/2/1802) witnessed by William Graham and John McKnitt Alexander; and survey for Peel (3/31/1804); Other deeds mention William Kerns as executor of estate of Mathew McLure (12/17/1812) and legatees of Josiah Monteith (8/15/1828).

1 2B
Oversize Folder

Deeds--Hugh Torance--Oversize material 1795, 1803-04, 1819 

Scope and Contents note

Includes will of James Peel, Sr. (2/7/1803).

24 2B
Box Folder

Deeds--James Galbraith Torrance [reel 1] 1809-1830 

Scope and Contents note

Includes a gold mining lease (3/13/1830) outlining conditions for mining.

1 3A

Deeds and estate records--James Galbraith Torrance [reel 1] 1832-1859 

Scope and Contents note

Includes court order for the private examination of Margaret Black, wife of James L. Black (November Session, 1832); original and typescript copies of Torrance's will (1845); and a records of the division of Torrance's lands to his heirs (6/19/1849); and photocopies of records from the North Carolina State Archives concerning settlement of the estate (1848-52) and guardianship of his children (1841-59).

1 3B
Oversize Folder

Deeds and estate records--James Galbraith Torrance--Ooversize material undated 

24 3B
Box Folder

Mortgages--Hugh Torance [reel 1] 1777-1817, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Notes of debt, including Torance to Joseph McDowell (8/18/1777).

1 4
Oversize Folder

Mortgages--Hugh Torance--Oversize material 1795 

Scope and Contents note

Note of debt from Torance to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill for 409 pounds (8/1/1795).

24 1/4
Box Folder

Lawsuit papers--Isabella Kerr Falls Torance [reel 1] 1817 

Scope and Contents note

Documents concerning a civil suit initiated by the children of Captain Galbraith and Isabella Kerr Falls regarding a slave. Includes typescript biography and notes concerning Isabella Torance; original and typescript copy of a complaint for the Falls heirs by Archibald Henderson (4/4/1817); and answer of James Galbraith Torrance (1817) including an inventory, vendue list, and memorandum of sale of property of Falls's estate. The case was settled in the Supreme Court in 1827.

1 5

Hugh Torance--General [reel 1] 1804-10, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Debt notes, notes for collection, bills, receipts, and records of commercial transactions. Includes list of goods purchased in Charleston, S.C. (1796); agreement between Samuel Strong and Matthew Whitlow (11/1805); vendue list of estate of Benjamin Wilson (9/16/1800); receipt for distribution of estate of James Knox. Letter (7/4/1806) concerns cotton prices in Charleston, S.C.; letters from Montgomery County, Ky. (5/7/1806, 1/22/1807, 11/31/1806) mention former Mecklenburg County neighbors and prices of cotton and other commodities; and letters relating to business activities Torance managed for Samuel Strong. Statement of account and other records (1809) concern business Torance managed for Thomas Black.

1 6

Early references to Hugh Torance as a merchant in Rowan County [reel 1] 1774-1778 

Scope and Contents note

Records of Torance's mercantile activities around Sherrill's Ford and Davidson Creek. Bills, receipts, list of outstanding debts (1774-75), and a typescript copy of a list of debts (1778).

1 7

Hugh Torance and James Galbraith Torrance--Cotton and lumber sales [reel 1] 1805-1850 

Scope and Contents note

Receipts for sales of cotton and purchases of lumber.

1 8

Latta Family references [reel 1] 1783-1842 

Scope and Contents note

Receipts, financial notes, cotton receipts; deposition of Charles McDowell concerning cattle at Pleasant Garden, Burke County, N.C. (1873); letter (9/9/1842) from Robert Latta, West Feliciana Parish, La., contains a graphic description of the sudden illness and death of a relative.

1 9

Hugh Torance House--Lawsuit papers and plans [reel 1] 1795-1800 

Scope and Contents note

Civil suit records, bills, receipts, invoices for materials and construction and furnishings of the house, built 1796 on the site on which the present Cedar Grove house stands.

1 10

Hugh Torance--Revolutionary War papers [reel 1] 1780-1784 

Scope and Contents note

Receipts, payroll receipts; record (4/1/1784) mentions Henry Savage, Richard Cathey, Will Cathey, Henry Sewell, Jessica Baker, and John Forrister; specie certificate (4/13/1784?: no. 6707) for William Thompson mentions Joseph Ker, William Thompson, Joseph Bryan. A note (1780) to Will Cathey mentions Savage. From the records, the following members of Falls's Partisan Rangers are noted: Thomas Jones, William Wells, Will Burton, Thomas McClellan, Henry Savage, Richard Cathey, Joseph Kerr, Barnabas Baker, Henry Sewell, Jessica Baker(?), Christofer Baker, John Forrister, William Thompson and Will Cathey.

1 11

Slave records [reel 1] 1799, 1823-62, 1867 

Scope and Contents note

Of particular interest is an overseer's contract (1862) of Margaret Allison Torance that outlines daily routines for field hands. Notebooks of James G. Torrance list slaves (1836, 1839, 1840, 1844-47). A postwar contract (6/14/1867) binds the services of a woman, probably a former slave, to Margaret Allison Torrance. Also includes a letter (1799) to Hugh Torance by his brother Albert, detailing Albert's trouble with a slave named Abraham.

1 12

Hugh Torance and James G. Torrance--Tax receipts [reel 1] 1836 

Scope and Contents note

Includes typescript list of year of receipt and sheriff or tax collector.

1 13

James Galbraith Torrance--General material [reel 1] undated 

Scope and Contents note

Bills and correspondence, including an answer (n.d.) to a protest by S. W. Knox and others against a public road from Huntersville by the Torrance Mill to Gilead Church; and Torrance's letter (7/14/1801) to his parents while attending school in Salisbury.

1 14

James Galbraith Torrance--Before death of Hugh Torance in 1816 [reel 1] 1809-1815 

Scope and Contents note

Bills, receipts, one-day and ten-day notes of debt. Includes a performance bond (12/8/1812) between William Kerns and Torrance.

1 15A

James Galbraith Torrance--Purchases made in Philadelphia for Torrance Store [reel 1] 1805 

Scope and Contents note

Invoices and receipts of goods purchased. Includes typescript preface by Richard Banks.

1 15B
Oversize Folder

James Galbraith Torrance--Purchases made in Philadelphia for Torrance Store--Oversize material 1805 

24 1/15B
Box Folder

James Galbraith Torrance [reel 1] 1816-1820 

Scope and Contents note

Cotton receipts, receipts, one-day notes and a judgment against Samuel Wilson (6/1818).

1 16

James Galbraith Torrance--Lease of land for working gold mine [reel 1] 1829-1831 

Scope and Contents note

Lease (1829) of land from Margaret McKnight and children and Thomas Kerns outlining conditions under which mining would proceed. Other records consist of bills and receipts for mining-related activities.

1 17

James Galbraith Torrance [reel 1] 1818-1830  (Bulk, 1820-1830)

Scope and Contents note

Bills, receipts, debt notes, warrants for debt collection, judgments, list of warrants for collection. Includes bill of complaint (9/12/1820) of James Henderson, Jean Venable, James Henderson Jr. against Torrance, and executor of William Henderson. Mentions "Seceeding (sic) Meeting House called Gilead" called the Associate Seceding Party. The document requests nullification of the manumission of a slave. Other records include an order (1/4/1822) to sell property to satisfy a judgment; a petition (1823) of Hugh F. McKnight against Torrance and William J. Wilson concerning the release of slaves; records (1818-24) of Torrance in account with the heirs of Thomas McKnight; printed instructions (1/4/1822) for using Eastman's Patent Cylinder Straw Cutter; estate records of James McGowan (1825-26, 1829); complaint of Torrance against Hugh Wilson (11/1811); finding (1827) of a committee appointed to settle the estate of Benjamin Wilson; appointment (3/14/1829) of Eli Congo as guardian of Cinthea E. and Edgar Spear, orphans of Joseph Spear. A letter (5/3/1829) concerns the care taking of Torrance's land in Tennessee.

2 18

James Galbraith Torrance [reel 1] 1811-1837  (Bulk, 1830-1834)

Scope and Contents note

Financial notes and civil court records. Includes a bill (8/4/1830) for mill repairs; a deposition (7/9/1850) of Margaret S. Black; pamphlet (3/22/1820) containing direction for use of "Roman or Parker's Cement"; bills, receipts, invoices for construction of Cedar Grove; mill book of Torrance (1821-37) contains lists of names for whom millwork was done, accounts of sawing, lists of timber sawn, accounts of corn and wheat grinding (1831-34); receipts for tuition payments (7/1834); debt notes; receipts from A. J. Leavenworth for tuition at the (Charlotte?) Female Academy (1833-34); and a list of bank shares (1811-34). A letter (n.d.) relates a mad dog scare in Statesville, N.C.

2 19

James Galbraith Torrance [reel 1] 1835-1840 

Scope and Contents note

Bills, receipts, invoices, notes; receipts for repair of machinery (for mill?); and a letter (12/31/1836) specifying lumber sizes for a garden railing.

2 20

James Galbraith Torrance [reel 2] 1840-1842 

Scope and Contents note

Receipts, including mill, bills, 88-day notes; 12-month note; tuition bills (1842); and a letter (attached to invoice, 3/7/1840) comments on hard economic times and low prices (with examples).

2 21A

James Galbraith Torrance [reel 2] 1843-1844 

Scope and Contents note

Receipts, including an account (11/30/1843) with a shoemaker related to setting up one of Torrance's slaves as a shoemaker; note (9/14/184?) concerning the shipment of goods on the schooner Tioga. A letter (12/10/1843) comments on the cotton market and Charleston Medical College.

2 21B

James Galbraith Torrance [reel 2] 1845-47, 1981 

Scope and Contents note

Include receipts, 88-day notes, one-day notes; pamphlet (1846) of statements of the Bank of North Carolina (1834-45); a railroad freight bill (8/26/1846); receipt for a "smut machine" (6/18/1847); typescript copy of Torrance's will (7/2/1845); estate records of Torrance (1851-52); and a newspaper clipping, "Memories of McDowell Creek" (1981), in which Thomas Franklin Irvin Jr. recalls some of the history of the community.

2 22

Letters from the West and elsewhere [reel 2] 1828-47, 1858 

Scope and Contents note

Folders 23A through 23D contain correspondence on the following main topics (the letters are arranged chronologically): Hugh Torrance, Coffeeville, Miss. (1837 45): describes the crudity of living conditions, travel, finances, Mississippi economy, slavery, cotton, litigation, crops, illness, and local conditions. James Franklin Torrance, Luiscunco Valley, Galotbusha, Yalabusha, and Cottage, Miss. (1837-47): describes frontier life, Mississippi climate, sickness, cotton, local economy and conditions, finances, family matters, land litigation, and crops. William A. and Camilla Torrance Latta, Yorkville, S.C. (1837-43): concerns family affairs and sickness. Franklin L. and Isabella M. Smith (1828-46): describes a stage ride from Georgia to Montgomery, Ala. (1/14/1837), frontier life in Coffeeville and Luiscunco Valley, Miss., sickness, economy, and cotton. Miscellaneous correspondence in this group includes a letter (12/20/1846) from William L. Torrance to James Galbraith Torrance commenting on the University of Pennsylvania, study under an eminent surgeon, Dr. Turner, life in Philadelphia, and important surgical operations; and a letter from Jasper County, Ga. (2/10/1828) concerning finances

2 23A-D

School documents--Salem, N.C., Philadelphia, etc. [reel 2] 1825-1852 

Scope and Contents note

Includes bills from John C. Jacobson's Female Boarding School (1834-36, 1838-39); bill from Benjamin Reichel's Salem Female Boarding School; bill (1830) for Lucretia Sarazen's school in Philadelphia; and a bill for advertising Hopewell Academy in the Catawba Journal. Letters (1835-37) describe life at Salem Academy. Letters (1852) to Betsey E. Reid, later wife of Richard A. Torrance, at Salem Academy comment on cotton picking, mention mill, failure to receive fall goods because of a railroad bridge washing out, and report the death of James L. Davidson. Includes letters (1836-1839) from Jane Elizabeth Torrance to her parents describing her experiences at the Salem Boarding School. Also of interest are articles of agreement for employment (1/29/1827) between schoolmaster Robert A. Sadler and James Galbraith Torrance and others.

3 24A

School documents--Peter Stuart Ney [reel 2] 1840, 1843, 1844 

Scope and Contents note

Includes acrostic poems (1/8/1840; 7/1840; 7/5/1844) using names of Torrance family members; letter from Ney (1843) to James Torrance thanking him for the attendance of his son Richard at Ney's school; note from Ney (4/5/1844) concerning schooling of one of the Torrance children; and a bill (8/23/1844) from Ney. (The poem of July, 1840 contains on the opposite page a poem in Ney's shorthand that might be a transliteration.) The copybook of Richard Allison Torrance contains acrostic poems by Ney, possible transliterations of Ney's shorthand, and art work by Ney. Also contains copies of publications concerning Ney's identity by J. Edward Smoot (1929); LeGette Blythe (1937); and Charles W. Allison (1946). The first two works refer to Ney's relationship with Richard Allison Torrance.

3 24B
Box item

Margaret Allison Torrance [reel 2] 1831-38, 1855-60 

Scope and Contents note

Folder 1:25A contains bills, receipts, and invoices; a letter (8/1831) concerns the purchase of fabric, comments on travel to Philadelphia and New York, and mentions visiting the steam ship Hibernia; a tax evaluation or census list (n.d.) for "Lemley's Beat", containing entries for the names Knox through Westmoreland; and genealogical records, which include a typescript note of Richard Banks concerning the Allison genealogy, a family recording of births, deaths, and marriages, and a reprint (n.d.) from the History of the Alison or Allison Family in Europe or America A.D. 1135-1893. Folder 1:25B contains a letter (10/4/1855) that comments on volume of the northern trade; and a letter (5/15/1860) that mentions a mail strike by railroad workers.

3 26
Box Folder

[folder not in use] 

3 27

Delia Isabel Torrance Banks [reel 2] 1888-1923, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Many of the letters offer glimpses of the newspaper career of her husband, Howard A. Banks, including his work in the Asheville Republican Party (11/3/1904). Letters comment on cotton prices (1903); Henry Menzies of Statesville, N.C. (12/1/1917); the World's Sunday School Convention Banquet in Philadelphia (5/10/1923). Other records include a schedule for opening the Carolina, Clinchfield, and Ohio Railroad (5/1912); and a toast (n.d.) for a women's club by Kate Gaston of Chester, S.C.

3 28

Delia Torrance [reel 2] 1850, 1854 

Scope and Contents note

Includes invoices of account with John Allison (3/19/1854) with his ward Delia (daughter of James Galbraith Torrance) and with the firm of Spratt and Allison (1/15/1850).

3 29

Patience Eliza Gaston Torrance [reel 2] circa 1840, 1861, 1868, 1900-02, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Folder 2:30 includes letters to Torrance commenting on Rockfort, Tex. and conditions of life there (2/15/1868, incomplete); land litigation (2/1900); life at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (9/4, 9/10/1902); sale of the Torrance Mill equipment (1901); and construction of tenant houses (10/19/1901). Also includes an account book (ca. 1900) containing notes for repairs and financial entries; a mail order brochure for women's underwear (1899); and bills, receipts, and invoices for rent and items purchased. Folder 2:31 contains a letter (ca. 1840) describing life in Coffeeville, Miss., and a typescript lease (ca. 1900) to her house on West Eighth Street, Charlotte.

3 30-31

John Andrew Torrance [reel 2] undated 

Scope and Contents note

Of interest are instructions for a steam bath (n.d.); a poem (n.d.); a remedy for addiction (n.d.); land boundaries of James Hunter (no map) (n.d.); a flyer of the Mecklenburg County Iron Works with price list for parts for the Centennial Cotton Press (n.d.); a flyer for Scott's Preserving Powder (n.d.) and Scott's Chill and Fever Tonic (n.d.) (with testimonials by Charlotteans); flyer with woodcuts of Cotton Presses of the Barbour Machine Works (n.d.); flyer for machining equipment (n.d.); and flyer for saw and planing mills (n.d.). Other records include bills and receipts.

3 32

[contents of this folder have been combined with folder 32] 

3 33

Richard Allison Torrance [reel 2] 1916, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Records include a lineage chart and general genealogical information concerning Richard Allison Torrance (n.d.) and a typescript lineage of a branch of the Gaston family with line of John Gaston; a typescript reminiscence of Torrance (8/26/1916) relates his lineage, comments on Peter Stuart Ney (under whom Torrance studied), comments on attending the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (1851-55) and farming on the Brazos River in Texas (1856), Civil War service with the 8th Texas Rangers cavalry, skirmishes, capture of Murfreesboro and subsequent combat wounds, battles of Murfreesboro and Chickamauga; and a typescript reminiscence of Jack Alexander of Huntersville, N.C. (1978) discusses Jim Stenhouse, Joe Davidson, and Richard Allison Torrance.

3 34

Richard Allison Torrance [reel 2] 1899, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Includes an 18-page pamphlet (1899), Longstreet's Charge at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by James I. Metts [NOTE: original has been cataloged and is available in the rare book collection]; a portion of a document certifying Torrance's membership in a Masonic lodge (n.d.); a Civil War (n.d.) letter commenting on Torrance; a hand-drawn map of local creeks flowing into the Catawba River (n.d.); flyers (n.d.) containing use directions for the Eclipse Gas Stove and of the Regal Shoe Company.

3 35

Sarah Jane Torrance [reel 2] 1848-1854 

Scope and Contents note

Two-page statement of financial account between John Allison and Sarah Jane Torrance.

3 36

Davidson College and Davidson Family Connections [reel 2] 1836-1845 

Scope and Contents note

Includes an account book of receipts for subscription payments by James Galbraith Torrance (1836-39); receipts for boarding and for endowment of a professorship (1838-45); a note signed by W. L. Davidson concerning the estate of Capt. Knox (1796); oath (2/10/1808) of Thomas Mason in a civil suit of Galbreath Simonton; complaint (4/30/1822) of William Davidson against William Beaty; warrant (5/26/1823) of William Davidson vs. John Monteith and William Buie with response (5/26/1823); promissory notes (1840); loyalty oath of James T. Davidson (8/31/1865); speech (of William L. Torrance?; n.d.) to Davidson College; account records of James Galbraith Torrance to J. V. Davidson; and two flyers (ca. 1922-24) supporting the reconstruction of a building at Davidson College that had been destroyed by fire.

4 37

Latta Letters [reel 2] 1809-1825 

Scope and Contents note

Includes prescription (1809); invoices; Robert Latta to James Latta (1821) announcing the marriage of Eliza Dilworth; and an overseer's agreement (1825). [photocopies from Duke University Manuscript Collection]

4 38

Medical/Dental bills including remedies and recipes [reel 2] 1829-1845 

Scope and Contents note

Includes invoices for doctor's services (5/13/1841, n.d.); remedies for rheumatism, asthma, scrofula, and an emetic; and recipes for soft gingerbread and others.

4 39

Medallions [reel 2] 1835, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Four medallions, primarily romantic in nature, with the exception of one (1835) transcribed with the Lord's Prayer.

4 39

Banks and Allison kin [reel 2] 1875-1919, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Includes information on the ancestry of Margaret Allison Torrance and of Mary Green Mack, a descendant of John Banks, the first of the family to come to America.

4 40

Letters about ancestors [reel 2] 1893-1987 

Scope and Contents note

Letters from relatives concerning genealogy and genealogical material.

4 41A-B

Miscellaneous genealogical information [reel 2] 1778-84, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Includes typescript architectural description of Cedar Grove plantation by Jack O. Boyte (probably for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission) (n.d.); list of taxable property in Rowan County (1778); typescript copy of the memorandum of sale of Capt. Falls's estate (1784); and typescript copy of a vendue list of the estate of Falls (1781).

4 42

 Series 2 Account Books and Journals 1805-1870 


Account book 1--Store account book of James Galbraith Torrance [reel 3] 1805-1807 

Scope and Contents note

232pp., indexed by accountee. Includes typescript list prepared by Banks of names and accounts surviving. [NOTE: Banks had inserted a note, which was inadvertently omitted from filming: "1805-Account book for store operated by Hugh Torance and his son James G. Torrance. (Book shows James Latta's account.) Original."


Account book 2--Store ledger indexed by accountee [reel 3] 1821-1866  (Bulk, 1821-1829)

Mixed materials   2
Texts (document genres)   1

Scope and Contents note

230pp., after 1830 accounts are primarily those of Margaret Allison Torrance beginning 2/1/1848 (p. 204); also guardianship account of John Allison for John, Sarah, Sarah Jane, and Delia Torrance (pp. 395, 405, 415) and Mary (p. 425) for 1847-48. Also concerns the estate of James Galbraith Torrance, including names and birth dates of slaves given to a minor heir. Includes entry for David Hampton, one of the master carpenters who built Cedar Grove (1831-33).

Box Folder

Account book 3--"Account of moneys received from the people of Hopewell Church" [reel 3] 1818-1847  (Bulk, 1818-1822)

Scope and Contents note

Account book of James Galbraith Torrance as treasurer of Hopewell Presbyterian Church. Includes collections made on seats and furniture, monies due on seats, monies "paid on at Sunday times," stipends collections, returns of deficiencies, pledges, and statements to treasurer. Includes numerous loose papers.

4 43A

Account book 4--Store account ledger [reel 3] 1807-1840  (Bulk, 1824-1840)

Scope and Contents note

Includes list, laid in a leaf, of goods, goods sent to Statesville; list of pork slaughtered, some sawmill entries and slave records, especially corn allotments. Includes an account of bricks sold by James Galbraith Torrance to Count Rivafavoli(?) (1831).

4 43B

Account book 5--Running list of debts, notes, and accounts for collection [reel 3] 1823-1829 

4 43C

Account book 6--Account of sawing [reel 3] 1827-1830 

4 43C

Account book 7--Cotton accounts [reel 3] 1843-1844 

4 43C

Account book 8 [reel 3] 1846-1847 

Scope and Contents note

Accounting of bushels of corn and wheat ground; list of lumber sawn; and bill for repair of sawmill.

4 43C

Account book 9 [reel 3] 1846-1868 

4 43D

Account book 10 [reel 3] 1848-1870 

Scope and Contents note

Includes lists of pupils at Cedar Creek; list of shoes (1846); account of livestock (1848); account of corn sold (1856-58, 1863); account of wheat grown (1863); entries for school supplies; deposits in Bank of North Carolina; miscellaneous expenses; accounts of hides (1856, 1861-62). Includes names of slaves and condition of service for an overseer.

4 43D

Return to Table of Contents »

Part 2 

 Series 1 Subject Files 1832-1927 

Box Folder

Richard Allison Torrance--Correspondence [reel 1: 1856-58] 1856-1914 

Scope and Contents note

Reflects viewpoints and lifestyle of a prominent and successful Mecklenburg County planter. Topics includes birth, marriage, illness, death, and similar family concerns; and agriculture, especially cotton farming in Texas, to which Torrance emigrated in 1856, and in Coffeeville, Miss., in which his elder half-brother Hugh lived. His business affairs and those of his wife, Bettie, receive much treatment in the early letters. Civil War correspondence reflects North Carolina's involvement in the conflict, Mecklenburg County volunteers, and life on the home front. Letters (1895-1904) from Mary Buford Torrance and Lynford L. Moore concern their activities as Presbyterian missionaries to Japan and China.

5 44A-49
Oversize Folder

Richard Allison Torrance--Correspondence 1844, Apr 

Scope and Contents note

Letter to Torrance from a cousin in Statesville, N.C.

24 1/44A
Box Folder

Richard Allison Torrance--Correspondence [reel 1: 1856-58] 1916-1925, undated 

6 50-51

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts--Chronological [reels 1-2: 1912-16, 1921] 1847-1909 

Scope and Contents note

Documents lifestyle of an upper-class Mecklenburg County family, as well as containing valuable information about early Charlotte mercantile and public service organizations [see folders 62-101 below]. Many Charlotte firms are depicted in steel engravings.

6 52-59

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts--Chronological [reels 1-2: 1912-16, 1921] 1912-1916, undated 

7 60

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts--Correspondence [reels 1-2: 1912-16, 1921] 1921-1923, 1926 

7 61

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, A 

7 62

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, T. H. Austin 

7 63

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, A. W. Austin 

7 64

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, B 

7 65

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Bonney & Van Ness 

7 66

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Burwell and Dunn 

7 67

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, C 

7 68

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Charlotte, City of--Tax 

7 69

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Charlotte Electric, Railway, Light, and Power Company 

7 70

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Charlotte Gas and Electric 

8 71

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Charlotte Gaslight Company 

8 72

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Charlotte Observer 

8 73

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Charlotte Water Works 

8 74

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, D 

8 75

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, J. L. Davis and Company 

8 76

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, E-G 

8 77-79

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Gilreath & Company 

8 80

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Gray Drug Company 

8 81

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, H 

8 82

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, George S. Hall [reel 2] 

8 83

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, I-J [reel 3] 

8 84

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, J. F. Jamison 

8 85

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, F. G. Johnston Dairy 

8 86

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, K-L 

8 87

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Little, Long and Company 

9 88

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, M 

9 89

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Mecklenburg County Tax 

9 90

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Ed Mellon 

9 91

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, N-S 

9 92-95

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph 

9 96

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, Southern Public Utilities Company 

9 97

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, L. L. Surratt & Company 

10 98

Richard Allison Torrance--Bills and Receipts, T-Z 

10 99-101

Richard Allison Torrance--Financial Records [reels 3-4] 1862-1924, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Promissory notes and debt mortgages, records relating to the sale of cotton, bank receipts, and tenant-farming figures. Includes a document (1896) concerning guardian bonds of E. K. P. Osborne, guardian of " the Alexander heirs"' and a list of lumber sawn (2/1913).

10 102-104

Richard Allison Torrance--Confederate Financial Records 1861-1864 

Scope and Contents note

Includes Confederate currency.

10 105
Oversize Folder

Richard Allison Torrance--Confederate Financial Records--Oversize Material 

Scope and Contents note

Six $1,000.00 bonds issued 2/20/1863.

24 1/105
Box Folder

Richard Allison Torrance--Legal Records 1832-1923 

Scope and Contents note

Includes copy of James Latta's will (1840); estate-sale list (1852) of the property of Torrance's brother, William; Torrance's will (3/1862); oath of amnesty (1866); share of stock in the Fair of the Carolinas (1871); petition (1887) to drain McDowell Creek; typescript complaint (1892) of F. T. Osborne for E. Johnsie Alexander, et al vs. E. K. P. Osborne, E. A. Osborne, R. B. McDowell, Richard and John Andrew Torrance, W. C. Maxwell, F. R. Durham, and others; and list (1905) of property of the John Andrew Torrance estate. Also includes land records, debt mortgages, and legal summonses.

10 106

Richard Allison Torrance--Cotton Records 1862-1898 

Scope and Contents note

Includes accounts of slaves, list of tenants working for Torrance, and amounts of purchases by tenants.

10 107-108
Oversize Folder

Richard Allison Torrance--Cotton Records 1864 

Scope and Contents note

Includes a Confederate tax assessment on agricultural products.

24 1/107
Box Folder

Richard Allison Torrance--Cotton Records 1901-1910, undated 

11 109-113

Richard Allison Torrance--Military and Miscellany circa 1850-93 

Scope and Contents note

Includes photocopies of his Confederate military records; and minutes of the Lemley's Township (Mecklenburg County, N.C.) board of trustees (1875-77?).

11 114A

Richard Allison Torrance--George Moses Horton--Acrostics (Original) circa 1854 

Conditions Governing Access note

See Librarian in Special Collections Reading Room for access to original.

Scope and Contents note

Acrostic poems to Mary McClean and Sophia Alexander (ca. 1854) by George Moses Horton, slave-poet of Chatham County, N.C. These were commissioned by Torrance while a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Box Folder

Richard Allison Torrance--George Moses Horton--Acrostics (Photocopy) circa 1854 

Conditions Governing Access note

Photocopy of original. See Librarian for access to original.

11 114C

Richard Allison Torrance--Account Books [reel 11] 

Scope and Contents note

Relate to his business and agricultural interests and activities.

Box Folder

Patience Eliza Gaston Torrance--Correspondence [reels 4-6] 1858-1879 

Scope and Contents note

Concerns births, deaths, illness, marriages, and the education and careers of her children; as well as crops, especially cotton; and postwar economic and social difficulties. Postwar letters comment on freedman, and new social order, and the difficulty of obtaining agricultural laborers; postwar life of Richard Torrance on his Brazos River plantation; Reconstruction politics; and frontier violence in Richmond, Tex. A letter (1895) from Gaston Torrance describes the fire that destroyed the University of Virginia rotunda and the attempts of students to extinguish it. Letters from Mary Buford Torrance and Lynford L. Moore follow their careers as missionaries in Japan and in China (1895-1904), including one (11/10/1900) discussing the Boxer Rebellion. Other letters from Gaston Torrance follow his education and practice in Birmingham, Ala., while letters from Delia Torrance Banks follow the editing/publishing career of her husband, Howard A. Banks (though offering little concerning his stint as personal secretary to the Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels).

11 116-123

Patience Eliza Gaston Torrance--Correspondence [reels 4-6] 1886-1902 

12 124-132

Patience Eliza Gaston Torrance--Correspondence [reels 6-7] 1902-1915 

13 133-142

Patience Eliza Gaston Torrance--Correspondence [reels 6-7] undated 

14 143

Patience Eliza Gaston Torrance--Bills and receipts 1902-15, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Documents much the same information as described in the Richard Torrance records, i.e., information concerning purchases for the Torrance household, as well as information about Charlotte businesses.

14 144

Patience Eliza Gaston Torrance--Legal and financial records 1900-15, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Documents her business concerns.

14 145

Patience Eliza Gaston Torrance--Account and receipt books 1891-1913 

14 146

Patience Eliza Gaston Torrance--Miscellany undated 

14 148

John Andrew Torrance--Correspondence 1852-1893 

Scope and Contents note

Reflects family interests, especially the activities of his nieces and nephews, i.e., Richard Torrance's children, as well as Reconstruction politics and a letter (12/19/1865) commenting on a speech to the "darkies" by a "Yankee captain." Letters from Gaston Torrance reflect his education and early medical career; letter (3/1865) comments on the plundering of John Brown Gaston's home in Chester, S.C., by Union soldiers; and letter (9/20/1873) with schematic diagram of the gear arrangements for the cotton gin and sawmill of the Torrance mill. Letters (1886-1903) from Maggie Witherspoon Calgy, daughter of Mary A. Torrance Bratton Witherspoon, from Calgy Manor in Gallatin, Tenn., describe family affairs and life there. A letter (1/26/1897) from Dr. Lynford L. Moore details a trip to the Southern Presbyterian Mission in Chin Chiang, China.

14 149-151

John Andrew Torrance--Correspondence 1894-1905, undated 

15 152-157

John Andrew Torrance--Bills and receipts [reel 7] 1857-1879 

15 158-162

John Andrew Torrance--Bills and receipts [reel 7] 1880-1883 

16 162

John Andrew Torrance--Bills and receipts [reel 8] 1884-1904 

16 163-170

John Andrew Torrance--Financial records 1864-1901, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Include Confederate tax returns (9/1864), which includes a list of slaves; other records includes debt mortgages and promissory notes, a list (1871) of livestock of the Cedar Grove plantation and their estimated value, records of the sales of cotton, and tenant accounts. Also includes a number of chattel mortgages.

17 171-176

John Andrew Torrance--Legal records 1860-97, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Include contracts (1866-68) for the lease and farming of his land, including contracts with John F. Brown (12/8/1866) and with freedmen Tom Wilson and Tom Bratton (1/1/1869). A executor's notice (9/1880) concerns Torrance as executor for his mother's estate (Margaret Allison Torrance). Includes agreement (1882) between Torrance and Talbott & Sons for a steam engine for the Torrance mill.

17 177

John Andrew Torrance--Military records 1863-1864 

Scope and Contents note

Documents his service in the 7th and 37th N.C. Infantry regiments. [in part, photocopies]

17 178

John Andrew Torrance--Skirmish map circa 1862 

Scope and Contents note

Troop dispositions around New Bern, N.C., which probably relates to the Battle of New Bern, as the 7th North Carolina entrained in New Bern just prior to the battle (3/13/1862).

17 179

John Andrew Torrance--Miscellany undated 

17 179

John Andrew Torrance--Account books [reels 10-11] 

Scope and Contents note

Document his financial, agricultural, and mill activities.

17 180

John Andrew Torrance--Account books [reels 10-11] 

17 181A-C

James Galbraith Torrance records 1829-47, undated 

18 181D

Davidson Family records 1841, 1864, 1888 

Scope and Contents note

Includes letter (1841) describing a Boston court case about a brawl between (Harvard?) college students and local townspeople perhaps related to a Locofoco political rally also mentioned therein.

18 183

Margaret Allison Torrance Records 1849-74, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Include bills and receipts; delineation of land boundaries (1849); debt mortgages; and amount of cotton picked by slaves (1852). Other records include Confederate requisitions for corn (1864) and fodder (1865) and Confederate tax return with lists of slaves (1864). A letter (10/1/1863) from son Richard comments on the Battle of Chickamauga and describes the capture of McMinville and Shelbyville, Tenn., by the troops of General Nathan B. Forrest. Others describe the fierce fighting around these areas and the drowning of a valued slave.

18 184-186

S. E. Bratton records 1848, 1866-69 

Scope and Contents note

Include bills, receipts, and financial records of the husband of Mary Torrance Bratton.

18 187

John Allison records 1850-1860 

Scope and Contents note

Reflects his activities as administrator of his sister's estate (Margaret Allison Torrance) after the death of her husband, John Galbraith Torrance, in 1847. Records include accounts (1849-54) for Margaret's children, Mary Witherspoon, John, Delia, and Sarah. Receipts (1860) document John Andrew Torrance's attendance at Hillsborough Military Academy. Also includes cotton account records and sales receipts.

18 188

Bettie E. Reid Torrance 1855-1861 

Scope and Contents note

Includes letter (2/18/1858) from husband Richard concerning his Brazos River plantation.

18 189

Margaret E. Torrance 1874, 1877, undated 

18 190

Mary Buford Gaston 1868-1917, undated   

Scope and Contents note

[sister of Eliza Gaston Torrance] includes letters from nephew Gaston Torrance discussing preaching and church activities in Birmingham, Ala., (4/8/1891) and describing a trip to London and Paris to observe physicians (10/29/1906). Other letters describe evangelistic activity in Fort Howard, Wis., (2/6/1893) and comment on Dwight L. Moody services in Charlotte (3/18/1893).

18 191

Mary Buford Torrance Moore [reels 8-9] 1876-1907, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Includes an account of the life of missionary Joseph Nesima and letters reflecting the missionary work of Mary and her husband, Dr. Lynford L. Moore.

18 192A-B

Mary Buford Torrance Moore--Letters to parents 1895-1903, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Includes accounts of her travels and missionary activities in China.

19 193A-E

Mary Buford Torrance Moore--Letters to siblings 1875, 1895-96 

Scope and Contents note

Includes letters to her brothers and sisters describing her travels and missionary activities.

19 193F

Mary Buford Torrance Moore--Letters to siblings 1897-1901, undated 

20 193G

Mary Buford Torrance Moore--Letters from family 1874, 1894-1900 

Scope and Contents note

Includes correspondence from parents, brothers and sisters.

20 193H

Kate Torrance Sanders 1865, 1893-1927 

Scope and Contents note

Includes bills, reports of her attendance at Presbyterian College (1896-98), and her geometry notebook.

20 194-196

Delia Isabel Torrance Banks 1895-1932, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Relates to her activities as a public school teacher and stenographer and the newspaper career of her husband, Howard A. Banks.

20 197-198

James (Jim) Torrance 1888-1903 

Scope and Contents note

Includes Charlotte school report cards (1893) and receipts.

20 199

Gaston Torrance 1888-1903 

Scope and Contents note

Relates to his medical career.

20 200

Susan Torrance Zimmerman 1891-1923 

Scope and Contents note

Includes letter (6/29/1900) from Delia Banks concerning her husband's publication of the Hickory Democrat. Howard A. Banks discusses the death of Isaac Irwin Avery in a letter (4/8/1904).

20 201

Hugh Torrance 1892-1907 

Scope and Contents note

Includes Charlotte public school report cards (1892).

21 202

William A. Torrance 1895, 1900-02, 1916, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Contains a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student's handbook (1902-03).

21 203

Minna Torrance diary 1896 

Scope and Contents note

Photocopy of her account of a camping trip (1896) to the North Carolina mountains by the Torrance family.

21 204

Richard A. Torrance 1891, 1904 

21 205

Miscellaneous correspondence 1851-1921 

21 206

Religous ephemera 1861-1916, undated 

21 207A-B

Circulars and flyers [reel 9] 1866-1923, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Folder 208 includes flyers from local businesses such as E. B. Springs & Co. (1891-93); Southern States Trust Co. (1902) and American Trust Co.; Wittkowsky & Rintels (1878); Brown, Weddington & Co. Hardware (1894); Miller Dry Goods; and the Bee Hive. It also includes two circulars (1873 and 1876) from Davenport Female College in Lenoir, N.C. Folder 209 includes flyers relating to fertilizers, patent medicines, machinery, and artifical limbs.

21 208-209

Circulars and flyers--Oversize material 1866-1923, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Folder 208 contains flyers from local businesses--Bee Hive, Belk Bros., James C. Cochrane, S. S. McNinch & Co., and R. M. White & Sons. Folder 209 includes flyer regarding artifical limbs and cotton presses and related machinery.

24 208-209

Notes and speeches undated 

21 210

Recipes and domestic records 1903, undated 

21 212

Social and business cards 

21 213

Clippings 1865-93, undated 

21 214

Clippings 1900, 1913 

Scope and Contents note

Includes one partial issue of the Charlotte Daily Observer (1900); and two issues of The Montgomery Advertiser (1913).

24 214


22 215


Scope and Contents note

Includes miscellaneous, unidentified and/or undated letters and letter fragments, newsclippings, postcards, photographs, receipts, stationery, and other items.

22 216A-B

Pamphlets [reel 10] 1845-circa 1915 

Scope and Contents note

Arranged chronologically, concern medicine, patent medicines (many other patent medicine advertisements can be found in the pocket-size account books of Richard, Eliza, and John Torrance), clothing, and machinery [itemized list in folder]. Those of local interest include: Annual Report Of The Atlantic, Tennessee & Ohio Railroad Co. (1877); (ca. 1894); S. S. Mcninch & Co., Manufacturer(')s Agents For Buggies, Surreys, Phaetons, Road Wagons, Carts, Farm Wagons, Charlotte And Catawba Fertilizers (ca. 1890); By-Laws, Rules, Regulations And Water Rates Of The Charlotte Water Works (1899); Smart Clothes. Ed Mellon. Charlotte, N.C. (Autumn-Winter, 1901-02); The Charlotte National Bank (1903); and Trading Stamp Book Issued By The Charlotte Trading Stamp Co. (ca. 1915). [NOTE: the originals were not transferred to UNC Charlotte by the donor and are only available on microfilm.]

22 217

Pamphlets 1842, 1876-77, 1890 

Scope and Contents note

Arranged chronologically, concern agriculture and agricultural equipment, including The Cotton Question (1876) and Cotton Prospects (1877) published by the Southern Fertilizing Co. of Richmond, Va.

25 245

 Series 2 Photographs 

Box Folder

Photographs, Unidentified / Unknown People undated 

25 246-248

Horton Acrostic, Film Strip Negative 

25 249

Photographs--Prints (P) 

Box Folder item

Richard Allison Torrance, "88 yrs. old" circa 1922 

P22 3 P87/1

Copy of miniature portrait of James Galbraith Torrance, made for Richard A. Torrance by J.H. Van Ness & Son Studio, Charlotte 1894 May 

P22 3 P87/2

Dr. Gaston Torrance, Birmingham, Ala. circa 1910 July 

P22 3 P87/3-4

Dr. Gaston Torrance (right) and his brother-in-law, Dr. J.A. Crowther of Savannah, Ga. Taken at the University of Virginia 1896 Mar 

P22 3 P87/5

Delia Torrance Banks at her home on Banbury Lane in Ben Avon Heights, Penn. circa 1930 

P22 3 P87/6A

Howard Alexander Banks circa 1930 

P22 3 P87/6B

View of houses on Ben Avon Heights, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pa. undated 

P22 3 P87/7

Delia Torrance Banks, daughter of Richard A. Torrance and wife of Howard Banks undated 

P22 3 P87/8

Mary Buford Torrance at her home in Kochi, Japan 1896 Nov 23 

P22 3 P87/9

Mary Buford Torrance in Kobe, Japan 1895 Oct 14 

P22 3 P87/10

Moody Bible Institute 1895 March 

Scope and Contents note

Class of 1895 "March, 1895" [?]

P22 3 P87/11

Letita Torrance and Dr. Samuel Edward Bratton 1847 Sept. 

Existence and Location of Copies note

[copy of original given to York County Historical Commission]

P22 3 P87/12

Mary Buford Gaston, "sister of Patience Eliza Gaston Torrance, wife of R.A. Torrance" undated 

P22 3 P87/13

Billy Dan Calgy and dog, Dave undated 

P22 3 P87/14

John A. Preston, "Your friend and pastor" 1896 Feb. 

P22 3 P87/15

"Aunt Ivy" 1910-01-20 

Scope and Contents note

[Photographer: Jay F. Storck, Cleveland OH]

P22 3 P87/16

Bettie Reid Torrance undated 

P22 3 P87/17

James Galbreath Torrance undated 

P22 3 P87/18

Hugh Torrance House, near Huntersville, N.C. 1938 

Scope and Contents note

[reproduced from the Library of Congress]

PL2 6 PL87/1

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Part 3 

 Series 1 Tax Collector's Records 1889-1896 

Scope and Contents note

This series documents Richard Allison Torrance's tenure as Mecklenburg County tax collector. During this period, taxes were levied on three levels (with some year-to-year variations) as follows: 1) County Tax [a. real and personal property; b. income; c. polls; d. convict; e. road; f. general county purposes]; 2) School Tax [a. property; b. bank stock; c. railroad; property; d. polls; e. dogs]; and 3) State Tax [a. property; b. state general; c. pension; d. polls; e. income].

 Series 1.2 Cancelled Checks 1889-1895 

Scope and Contents note

This series concerns the bank account of Tarrance as Tax Collector.

Box Folder

Cancelled Checks 1889-1891 

22 235

Cancelled Checks 1892-1895 

23 236-238

 Series 1.3 Tax Ledgers 

Arrangement note

This series is comprised of nine ledgers, arranged, as far as possible, chronologically and numbered one through nine. An index has been attached to the first leaf of each volume. Ledgers 1, 4, 5, 7 are daybooks (Books 1-4), or books of original entry, in which information concerning taxpayers was entered on a daily basis as taxpayers listed or paid their assessment. Formats for these ledgers consist of ledger page number, date of entry, name of taxpayer, township number (Mecklenburg County consisted of fifteen or sixteen townships at this time), tax assessment, amount paid, and running subtotals. Note that the first entries in several of the later ledgers have been brought forward from earlier ledgers. A number of ledgers contain loose papers that relate to information in the ledgers themselves. These papers have been left in the ledgers. Entries for tax years, which usually began in September, sometimes run for as many as four or five years, apparently from the difficulty of collecting late returns. Ledgers 2, 3, and 6 are Township Listings. They appear to be books of second entry in which taxpayers were listed by township in which the property had been assessed. Typical information includes ledger page number, township, assessment, amount paid, daybook ledger page number, and running subtotals. Township books also contain lists of receipts not accounted for, lists of insolvent and dead, accounts with subordinate tax collectors, and Torrance's personal accounts.

Volume item

Daybook, Book 1 1889-1890 

Scope and Contents note

Contains additional entries relating to the tax collector's bank account.

1 Ledger 1
Box Folder item

Township Listing, Book 1, Taxes 1889 

23 240 Ledger 2

Township Listing, Book 2, Taxes 1890-1891 

23 241 Ledger 3
Volume item

Daybook, Book 2, Taxes 1889-1891 

2 Ledger 4

Daybook, Book 3, Taxes 1891-1892 

3 Ledger 5
Box Folder item

Township Listing, Book 3, Taxes 1892 

23 242 Ledger 6
Volume item

Daybook, Book 4, Taxes 1893-1894 

4 Ledger 7
Box Folder item

Miscellaneous Tax Ledger, Taxes 1890-1893 

Scope and Contents note

Probably a reminder notebook for Torrance. Contains a list of taxable bank stock (1890); list of real estate (1890); list of polls (1890); orders and releases of county commissioners (1891); credits to go before the commissioners (1891); accounts not settled (1891); and a list of taxpayers to go before the commissioners (1892-93).

23 243 Ledger 8

Liquor and Other Taxes, Taxes 1889-1893   

Scope and Contents note

Lists of wholesale and retail liquor dealers in Mecklenburg County, pool and billiard tables, operas and theaters, public ferries, itinerant photographers, museums, peddler, circuses, and an optician. Entries also concern the tax collector's bank account, accounts with deputies, and Torrance's cash account.

23 244 Ledger 9

 Series 1.1 Foldered Tax Records 1890-1896 

Arrangement note

This subseries has been arranged into three categories for each tax year: (a) Orders by County Commissioners [releases from payment of taxes for cripples and indigents, for infirmity or age, or for errors in listing]; (b) Lists and Schedules [lists of lots sold for taxes, lists of insolvents, lists of late returns, settlement of the tax collector with the Finance Committee of the County Commissioners, and abstracts of taxes]; and (c) Miscellaneous Records. The majority of records pertain to Charlotte Township.

Box Folder

Taxes 1890 

22 218

Taxes--Orders by County Commissioners 1891 

22 219

Taxes--Lists and Schedules 1891 

22 220

Taxes--Miscellaneous 1891 

22 221

Taxes--Orders by County Commissioners 1892 

22 222

Taxes--Lists and Schedules 1892 

22 223

Taxes--Miscellaneous 1892 

22 224

Taxes--Orders and Releases 1893 

22 225

Taxes--Lists and Schedules 1893 

22 226

Taxes--Sales of Property 1892 

22 227

Taxes--Miscellaneous 1893 

22 228

Taxes--Orders and Releases 1894 

22 229

Taxes--Lists and Schedules 1894 

22 230

Taxes--Certificates of Sales 1894 

22 231

Taxes--Miscellaneous 1894 

22 232

Taxes 1895 

22 233

Taxes undated 

22 234

 Series 2 Census Enumerator's Records 1879-1880 

Scope and Contents note

This series documents Richard Allison Torrance's tenure as census enumerator for Lemley's Township.

Box Folder

Census Enumerator's Records 1879-1880 

Scope and Contents note

Primarily instructions to enumerators. Items include a copy of the census law of 1880 (3/3/1879), certificate of appointment (5/14/1880), and what appears to be Torrance's working draft of the schedule of inhabitants of Lemley's Township for 1880.

23 239
Box item

Certificate 1879 

Scope and Contents note

Certificate authorizing R.A. Torrance as the census enumerator for Lemleys Township District, Mecklenburg County.

24 1/239

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