William & Mary | Earl Gregg Swem Library Special Collections Database


Richard Blow Papers, 1772-1872

Richard Blow Papers, 1772-1872
Mss. 65 B625
48.0 Boxes
Scope and Contents

Papers, 1772-1872, of the Blow family. Chiefly business papers, 1772-1820, of Richard Blow of Portsmouth and "Tower Hill," Sussex County, Va. and his son George Blow, Sr. and George Blow, Jr. of 'Tower Hill' and Williamsburg, Va. Richard Blow was a partner in stores in Virginia and North Carolina (trading as Richard Blow and Co., Briggs & Blow, Baker & Blow [South Quay, Nansemond County, Va.], Blow & Barksdale [Petersburg, Va.], and Blow and Scammel). He was also a plantation owner that operated in part by slave labor and he shipped the goods produced by the plantation by sea, often to European markets. His correspondence and papers during this period provide a model source on plantation management, sea trade, trade during the American Revolution, and trade during the War of 1812. Includes correspondence, plantation accounts, ship accounts, and legal papers.

Subjects covered in the collection include trade, tobacco, prices, Whiskey Rebellion, thoroughbred horses, banking (Bank of the United States and Farmers Bank of Norfolk), Dismal Swamp Canal, the Embargo of 1807-1809, and the War of 1812. There are letters from merchants in Great Britain and in the West Indies.

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The collection is arranged chronologically.
Blow, Richard (1746-1833)
Blow family
Blow, George, Jr.
Blow, George, Sr. (1787-1870)
Bank of the United States (1816-1836)
Banks and banking--Virginia--History--19th century
Canals--Southern States
Dismal Swamp Canal
Embargo, 1807-1809
Farmers Bank of Norfolk
Horses--North Carolina
Legal documents
Merchants--Great Britain
Merchants--North Carolina--History--18th century
Merchants--North Carolina--History--19th century
Merchants--Virginia--History--18th century
Merchants--Virginia--History--19th century
Merchants--Virginia--Nansemond County
Merchants--Virginia--Sussex County
Merchants--West Indies
Plantation life--Virginia
Slavery--Virginia--18th century
Slavery--Virginia--19th century
Tobacco--Southern States--History--18th century
United States--History--War of 1812
Whiskey Rebellion, Pa., 1794
Williamsburg (Va.)--History--18th century
Financial records

Detailed Description

Full Finding Aid/Box List

Administrative Information

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.
Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.
Acquisition Note
 Source: Mrs. and Mrs. Edward Jeffcott, Mrs. F.S. Sargeant, and Mrs. George W. Blow.
Gift; 137 items, 1/26/1942; gift; 717 items, 2/18/1942; gift 12,193 items on 5/22/1946; gift 2,655 items on 5/22/1947; gift 21 items on 3/3/1948; gift 197 items on 5/29/1948; and gift 150 items on 3/20/1961; gift ALS from Hugh Nelson to Richard Blow, 20 June 1794 & ALS from William Archer to Richard Blow, 17 March 1808, on 3/11/1983.
Related Materials

Blow Family Papers (Mss. 65 B63), Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary; and Richard Blow Papers (PH 28), Rockefeller Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.


Mss. 2008.18 Blow Family Genealogy

Related Publications
Fredrika J. Teute, "The Commerical Endeavors of a Virginia Merchant During the Confederation Period: The Rise and Fall of Richard Blow" (M. A. Thesis, College of William and Mary, 1978).
Preferred Citation
Richard Blow Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
Collection Material Type:
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