Madison Talley papers, 1812-1928

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zxvf

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Talley, Madison.
Title: Madison Talley papers, 1812-1928
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 66
Extent: .25 linear ft. (1 box)
Abstract:Correspondence and business papers of farmer and Virginian slaveholder Madison Talley and his family.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Unknown, 1968.


[after identification of item(s)], Madison Talley papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by BU, April 24, 1978

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Madison Talley was a farmer and slaveholder of Goochland County and Powhatan County, Virginia. The exact dates of his birth and death are uncertain, but in 1812 or 1813 he was old enough to serve a tour of duty in the army, and he remained active in business until 1862. The names of Madison's parents are not known. He had at least one brother, Robert Talley, and two sisters, Martha Talley, who married Neil Gay of Virginia, and America Talley. Members of the Gay family later lived in Atlanta and apparently preserved the Talley papers. Other Talley relatives, William and Robert Anderson, evidently cousins, lived near Middleton in Jefferson County, Kentucky, circa 1815. From 1814 until at least 1841 Talley was apparently settled in Goochland, Virginia, making occasional trips to Richmond and Wilmington (Fluvanna County). Talley's main occupation appears to have been farming on a fairly large scale, involving transactions in cotton, hogs, tobacco, and the purchase of slaves. He was also, in 1837, a stockholder in the James River and Kanawha Company which was financing the construction of a canal along the James River from Richmond to Lynchburg. Talley purchased a tract of land in Powhatan County from a Mr. Hannibal Harris in 1842 and after that time made his home there. The last of his papers reveal that he continued to do business with Hannibal Harris, buying more land from him between 1853 and 1862.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Madison Tally from 1812-1928. The papers contain 67 items dating from 1812-1879, and a smaller group of six dating from around 1903-1928. The majority of the former group are letters from members of Talley's family, including his sister Martha Gay and cousin Robert Anderson. These contain mainly family news, but there are also references to hog, cotton, and tobacco prices, and the buying of slaves. Scattered among the letters are a few itemized business accounts of Talley's, including two for groceries and clothing. The collection contains twenty-six receipts for money paid by Talley from 1834-1862, twelve for the purchase of slaves and fourteen concerning transactions with Hannibal Harris, the majority of these involving Talley's purchase of two tracts of land in Powhatan County. A surveyor's map of one of these is in the collection. Also included is an agreement for the lease of a mine in 1879, and an 1837 circular concerning a meeting of the James River and Kanawha Company. A folder of six items circa 1903-1928 contains clippings and personal correspondence of the Thomas Bolling Gay family of Atlanta, Georgia. These contain some references to Gay family history and genealogy.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in chronological order.

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Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 Family correspondence, 1812-1829
1 2 Family correspondence and papers, 1825-1829
1 3 Family correspondence and papers, 1830-1848
1 4 Family correspondence and papers, 1851-1879 and undated
1 5 Family receipts
1 6 Gay family correspondence and miscellany