Beverley (Chapman's) Mill Old DocumentsThese documents were provided by Mr. James Lee of The Plains, Virginia. Mr. Lee inherited a number of documents from the 1830s and 1840s from his great, great aunt Sarah Ann Strother, sister to the wife of the last John Chapman to own the Chapman (Beverley) Mill. He has generously agreed to let us use several on our web site. Many of the documents have to do with John Chapman's siblings and their mother, Susanna Pearson Chapman, widow of George Chapman. These documents give a fascinating insight into milling and a family's life during this time period.
Muslin BagThis hand sewn cotton muslin bag was found in a box of family heirlooms belonging to Mr. James Lee. Charles A. Chapman along with his uncle Nathaniel, ran the mill after the death of George Chapman in 1829. The documents provided by Mr. Lee were from the period 1833 - 1842. Dozens of receipts, contracts, bills and letters from this seven-year period were found in the pockets of this muslin bag. Though shown in two separate photos here, the bag is actually one long piece with four pockets that was probably hung up on a nail. Note the hand written labels on each pocket.
List of slavesWith Charles A. Chapman's signature.
It is believed that these slaves belonged to Charles A. Chapman and were most likely part of his estate known as "Meadowville" in Fauquier County. It is likely this document falls within the 1833-1842 time period. Charles Chapman sold "Meadowville" to George W.F. Smith in 1842 and moved to Missouri. The reason for the numbers by each name is unclear.
Flour InspectionOn May 13, 1834 Inspector K?land inspected 12 barrels of "fine" flour for B.E.H? of Thorofare Mill. Chapman's Mill was apparently also known as Thoroughfare Mill. Much of the flour at this time was sent to either the port of Georgetown or Alexandria where it was shipped abroad to Europe or South America. Alexandria was still part of D.C.
Alexandria, D.C. to B.E.H. of Thoroughfare Mill as it was known at the time.
May 13, 1834.
Note from Susanna Pearson Chapmanto her son, Charles A. Chapman, no date
You, in your note Invited me to Call on W Davis for five Dollars, he said your note was to get him, to renew a note, I wish you to give me an order on John for ten, or fifteen dollarsWas this a case of miscommunication or is W Davis being manipulative? Mrs. Chapman is persistent in her desire for money for her other son John. It was common practice then for a third party to be involved in financial transactions with a second party if the third party owed money to the first party with whom the second party was dealing. One wonders if this was an embarrassing situation for Mrs. Chapman.
your Mother Sus Chapman
A Slave receipt1836, A receipt from Helen M. Chapman to Charles A. Chapman for moneys received for the sale of a slave
Received of Charles A. Chapman eight hundred dollars being the money for which he sold a servant girl of mine for which sum the said Charles A Chapman deposited with Thomas Foster and I hereby agree to accept Thomas Foster hand? to me for the said Sum of eight hundred dollars which is to be a discharge to the sd Charles A. Chapman for and on ac count of the ? aid debt of eight hundred dollars. ? on the 17th 1836
? ?" Helen M Chapman
On the backA note found on the back of the slave receipt above.
H. M Chap man ? to CA. Chap= =man
First posted May 1, 2002
Last update Jan 25, 2020