Financial Documents from the Lenoir Family Papers

This is a picture of a primary source from one of many finance papers within the Lenoir Family Papers. The Lenoir family was a prominent family in North Carolina that owned plantations around North Carolina. The family’s papers have over 13,200 items in the collection. In one of the series folders there are finance documents from 1771-1793. In this specific finance paper dated November 30th ,1793, it shows a list of items that were bought and how much each of the items cost. The items included:  different pot sizes, oven sizes, skillet sizes and other miscellaneous cookware items.

Throughout all of North Carolina, including Chapel Hill many people used pots and skillets for cooking their foods. With the Lenoir family buying as many pots and ovens as they did in the 18th century illustrates that cooking and baking were a large part of their lives. In this specific finance paper, it shows the amount of money each item cost.  The currency is written at the top of page, but it is unknown what the currency is specifically. This is interesting to see that there is a use of a different currency, especially because in 1792 the Coinage Act was passed for the United States. This instated the use of the decimal system combined with the dollar be the standard unit of money (1). Before this North Carolina used many different forms of money most being foreign coins. But during the time period between the American Revolution and the Civil War money was issued by private banks (2). Many years later and what is still used today, the U.S. dollar was issued and became the way people bought everything including cookware.  This illustrates how Chapel Hill and North Carolina have grown in the way in which things are bought from the 18th century until today’s time.


Works Cited

  1. “Education.” The First and Second Banks of the United States: The Historical Basis for a Decentralized Fed: 2009 Annual Report – Philadelphia Fed,
  2. Fulghum, Neil. “Numismatics.” North Carolina Maps,
  3. “Household and Plantation Financial and Legal Papers 1721-1929 and undated,” 1793, folder 264, subseries 3.1.1, folder 264 in the Lenoir Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


-Sarah Mitchell