Nathaniel Dever (also spelled Deaver) was of French descent and came to Buncombe County, NC, probably in the 1790s. The family later migrated to Illinois and then Missouri, where Nathaniel died. His three daughters returned to North Carolina with their uncle, William, while their mother remarried and moved with her two sons to Texas. One of the daughters who returned to North Carolina married Abraham Wiggins, while another daughter married T.J. Cooper. Both these families settled in Graham County, NC.
The collection includes four items of correspondence (1842-1870?). One letter, written in 1842, was from Arabella Dever Cooper to "T.J. Cooper and Lady and Abraham Wiggins and Lady"; this item is a typed copy of the original.
Two of the letters were written by members of the family serving in the Civil War:
(1) W.H. Dever, a member of General John Wharton's Texas Rangers, to Amanda Wiggins, April 2, 1863.
(2) John H. Wiggins, a member of the 39th North Carolina, to his father, August 1863.
The remaining letter is undated, but may have been written during the Reconstruction period, possibly between 1865 and 1870. The letter was written by Annie Dever to an unidentified cousin.
The collection also includes a bill of sale for land in Cherokee County, NC, to C.M. Hitchcock, one of the largest land owners in the county. Attached is a copy of an earlier bill of sale for the same land. The two documents are dated 1855 and one was signed by Thomas Bragg, Governor of North Carolina at the time.
The remaining item in the collection is a page from The Baptist Banner, published in Atlanta, GA. The paper is undated but was probably published in January, 1863.
For more on the Dever, Wiggins, Cooper, and Hitchcock families, see the history of Cherokee County by Margaret Walker Freel, entitled Our Heritage.
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