The War of 1812 pay vouchers are now available online through our Digital Collections. There are approximately 4,700 vouchers representing 31 counties. The vast majority of the vouchers were issued for military service by detached militia, either those called out to defend the coast in 1813 or companies ordered to rendezvous at Wadesboro in 1815. A few vouchers were issued for supplies or services rendered, such as carpenters and blacksmiths. Vouchers typically provide the name, rank, county, commander, and sum of payment for each soldier. The vouchers were issued and signed by the governor and redeemed by the state treasurer. When a voucher was redeemed, it was cancelled by punching a hole through it. Occasionally, all or part of the name or other important information is obscured. When searching this collection, keep in mind that misspellings or alternate spellings of last names were common. First names were often abbreviated so that Benjamin, Charles, and Alexander become Benjn., Chs., and Alexr. Researchers interested in locating an ancestor who served in North Carolina during the war should also visit the State Archives search room to view muster rolls, account books, and pay and receipt rolls that provide information about individual soldiers. Check out this circular for more about War of 1812 materials at the State Archives.
For those interested in military history, we are pleased to announce that our collection of World War II posters has been completely cataloged and scanned, and will soon be appearing in our Digital Collections.
And finally, as of this exact moment 4,201 of the 5,000 War of 1812 Pay Vouchers are now available online. Aaron Cusick and I are going to try to have this collection all online before we leave for the holiday tomorrow afternoon but, regardless, we are well ahead of the deadline we set for ourselves of having these materials online by the end of April. The credit for that mostly falls to Aaron who did a fantastic job scanning and indexing these materials.
Stay tuned for more information about our next digital projects. We have several that are just in the beginning planning stages and I’ll pass along the information on those once we’ve ironed out a few more of the details.
It’s been far too long since I’ve given you an update one what’s going with our online projects. First of all, we’re testing out the built in landing pages for the tool that runs the North Carolina Digital Collection. What that means for you is that there are now new landing pages for:
Both Black Mountain College and Women, Marriage and the Law are collections that have been around for a while but neither have ever had landing pages to introduce what the collections are and what you should (and shouldn’t) expect to find in them. War of 1812 Pay Vouchers is a new project that one of our archivists, Aaron Cusick, began loading in February. Currently 1,709 of the 5,000 vouchers are available online and we hope that the whole collection will be available very soon.
And now for the Bill of Rights – if you were one of the many people who attended the event this Monday, thank you for helping us celebrate this anniversary for one of our most important treasures. If you weren’t able to attend the event, the Department of Cultural Resources has a new YouTube video about the document and Monday’s celebration.
Don’t forget that we’re about to have another anniversary, this time for the Carolina Charter of 1663. If you missed joining us for the Bill of Rights celebration, perhaps you can join us as we spotlight the Carolina Charter on Monday, March 25, at the State Capitol. We’ll hope to see you there.
If you are unfamiliar with the Archives Information Circulars (or the AICs, as they are sometimes known), they are essays written by members of the Archives staff on a specific subject of research. They also serve as guides to the materials in our collections relating to that subject. Currently there are nineteen circulars available online that cover everything from: colonial records, marriage bonds in North Carolina, African-American resources, Tennessee records available in our collections, records relating to Native Americans, and materials that show North Carolina’s contributions to various war efforts.
The circulars are available in PDF format and are maintained by our Public Services Branch, the same unit that runs our Search Room and responds to requests for copies or research. Please visit the Services page for a complete list of Archives Information Circulars.
Destitute Patriots examines the contributions and sacrifices of the citizens of Bertie County in the context of North Carolina’s preparations for and participation in what has been called the “Second War of U.S. Independence.” Militiamen and regular army troops from the county suffered greatly during war from a lack of basic military equipment and supplies; yet, they offered their services to the perpetuation of the nation, its sovereignty, and the associated freedoms that had been earned almost three decades earlier in the Revolutionary War. The book’s title refers to the fact that many of these men did not receive their military pay until several years after the end of the war.
Gerald W. Thomas, a native of Bertie County, is a former congressional auditor and retired federal executive. He is the author of Divided Allegiances: Bertie County during the Civil War (1996) and Bertie in Blue: Experiences of Bertie County’s Union Servicemen during the Civil War (1998). Mr. Thomas is currently preparing a history of Bertie County during the Revolutionary War.
Destitute Patriots: Bertie County in the War of 1812 (paperbound; pp. xiii, 233; illustrations; index; 2012) sells for $25.62, which includes tax and shipping. Order from the Historical Publications Section (AB), Office of Archives and History, 4622 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4622. For credit card orders call (919) 733-7442, ext. 0, or visit the section’s secure online store at http://nc-historical-publications.stores.yahoo.net/. Destitute Patriots is also available through local bookstores and Amazon.com.