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Using the Bennett Ledger

During the Summer 2023 Project, we established a protocol for data entry to begin transcribing James Bennett’s account book, one of the most important primary sources relating to Bennett Place in this time period.  Bennett’s account book covers roughly the years 1839 to 1849.  Bennett did not use standardized spelling or follow a consistent bookkeeping style.  We created a protocol for entering data in the account book with the goal of making it possible to find out more not just about Bennett himself, but also about the neighborhood.  Transcription will continue in the future.


  • Trudi Abel, Archivist, Da
  • vid M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and Senior Fellow in Information Science & Studies 
  • Sarah Carrier, North Carolina Research and Instructional Librarian, Special Collections, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill 
  • Rebekah Cowell, Humanities Intern, Duke University Libraries
  • Nan Mullenneaux, Senior Program Coordinator, Language, Arts, & Media Program, Duke University 
  • Drew Keener, Map and Geospatial Data Specialist, Center for Data and Visualization Sciences, Duke University Libraries 
  • Liz Milewicz, Head, Digital Scholarship & Publishing Services, and Director, ScholarWorks: A Center for Scholarly Publishing, Duke University Libraries 
  • Will Shaw, Digital Humanities Consultant, Duke University Libraries 
  • Mark Thomas, GIS Specialist and Librarian for Economics, Duke University Libraries 
  • Ed Triplett, Professor IS&S, Duke University.

Selected Bibliography

Bennett Place Memorial Commission and North Carolina State Department of Archives and History. Dedication Exercises, Bennett Place Restoration, Durham, North Carolina : Sunday, April 29, 1962, 2:30 P.M., the Durham Music Center. Raleigh, N.C.: North Carolina Dept. of Archives and History, 1962.

Bennett Place State Historic Site. Bennett Place Quarterly. Durham, N.C.: The Site, 1999.

Bennitt, James . “Papers, 1820-1962 ; (Bulk 1830-1850).” 159 items. Rubenstein Library. Duke University.

Blight, David W. Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003. https://login.proxy.lib.duke.edu/login?url=http://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.03945.

Bradley, Mark L. This Astounding Close: The Road to Bennett Place. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006. ProQuest Ebook Central http://public.ebookcentral.proquest.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=413237.

Burr, David H. Map of North and South Carolina exhibiting the post offices post roads, canals, rail roads &c. By David H. Burr; Late Topographer to the Post Office. Geographer to the House of Representatives of the U.S. [London, 1839] Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/98688532/.

Cecil-Fronsman, Bill. Common Whites: Class and Culture in Antebellum North Carolina.  Lexington, KY: Lexington, KY : University Press of Kentucky,  1992.

Cox, Karen L. Destination Dixie: Tourism & Southern History. Gainesville, Fla.:  University Press of Florida, 2012.  https://login.proxy.lib.duke.edu/login?url=https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/duke/detail.action?docID=1077320

———. No Common Ground: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice. Chapel Hill, NC:  University of North Carolina Press, 2021.  https://login.proxy.lib.duke.edu/login?url=https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/duke/detail.action?docID=6488070.

———. Dixie’s Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture. New Perspectives on the History of the South. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003.

———. Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011.

Dollar, Ernest A., Jr. Hearts Torn Asunder: Trauma in the Civil War’s Final Campaign in North Carolina.  El Dorado Hills, CA: Savas Beatie, LLC,  2020.

Dunkerly, Robert M. To the Bitter End: Appomattox, Bennett Place, and the Surrenders of the Confederacy. Emerging Civil War Series. El Dorado Hills, CA: Savas Beatie LLC, 2015.

Ervin, Samuel James, and United States Congress Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Bennett Place Commemoration. March 11, 1965. — Ordered to Be Printed. Washington, DC: 1965.

Everett, R. O. “R.O. (Reuben Oscar) Everett Papers, 1913-1971.” Produced: 1913-1971., 1913.
———. “Kathrine R. Everett and R. O. Everett Papers, 1851-1993.” In Kathrine R. Everett and R. O. Everett Papers, 1851-1993, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Southern Historical Collection, 1923.

Fountain, Daniel L. “A Broader Footprint: Slavery and Slaveholding Households in Antebellum Piedmont North Carolina.” North Carolina Historical Review 91, no. 4 (2014): 407-44.

Greensfeld, Hava, and Efrat Nevo. “Students Facing Examples: Making the Unseen Visible Learning in an Example-Rich Environment (ERE) – an Emotional Perspective.”  Athens Journal of Education 4, no. 1 (2017): 21-38.

Hoar, Jay S. “General” James Reid Jones, January 4, 1845-June 29, 1945: Last Witness to Bennett Place Surrender. Columbus, Ohio: Blue & Gray Enterprises, 1985.

Lowry, Sarah. “Using Ground-Penetrating Radar to Map the Historic Pottersville Kiln.” https://sha.org/assets/documents/Technical_briefs_articles/SHATECH.pdf

Menius, Arthur C., III. “James Bennitt: Portrait of an Antebellum Yeoman.” North Carolina Historical Review 58, no. 4 (1981): 305-26.

Durham Merchants Association. Durham Illustrated: Containing a Comprehensive Review of the Natural Advantages and Resources of Durham.  Durham, N.C.: The Merchants Association, Printed by Seeman Printery, 1910.

North Carolina. State Department of Archives and History. Bennett Place: State Historic Site. Raleigh: N.C. Dept. of Archives and History, 1962.

Sacchi, Richard R., Terry H. Erlandson, and North Carolina Historic Sites Section Research Unit.  “An Intensive Archaeological Survey of the Bennett Place, Durham County, North Carolina.” Raleigh:  1980.

Silkenat, David. Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War.  Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press,  2019.

Smith, John David. “”I Was Raised Poor and Hard as Any Slave”: African American Slavery in Piedmont North Carolina.” North Carolina Historical Review 90, no. 1 (2013): 1-25.

Taylor, Rosser H.  Slaveholding in North Carolina: An Economic View.  Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press,  1926.

Tom Jackman. “Fairfax House Is Drawn to History; City’s Civil War Interpretive Center Highlights Graffiti Soldiers Left Behind.” Washington Post, November 6, 2008, FE 1.

United States. Congress. Joint Select Committee on the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States. “Testimony Taken by the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States: North Carolina.”  Washington D.C.: G.P.O., 1872.

United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. “Bennett Place Commemoration.” Washington, D.C.: s.n., 1965.  http://www.lexisnexis.com/congcomp/getdoc?SERIAL-SET-ID=12662-1+S.rp.122

Vatavuk, William M. Dawn of Peace: The Bennett Place State Historic Site. Durham, NC: Bennett Place Support Fund, 1989.

Waselkov, Gregory A., Peter H. Wood, and M. Thomas Hatley. Powhatan’s Mantle: Indians in the Colonial Southeast.  Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2006.

Wittenberg, Eric J.We Ride a Whirlwind: Sherman and Johnston at Bennett Place.  Burlington, NC:  Fox Run Press, 2017.