The John R. Hodges Papers is a collection of documents generated during the mid-nineteenth century by John R. Hodges of Middle Cane, North Carolina. Most documents are financial in nature. This collection contains examples of monetary notes used during the antebellum period.
Most documents are promissory notes. They illustrate that money and the credit system were used within rural Appalachia during the antebellum period. Prepared promissory notes for Elkville leaders Calvin Cowles, Josiah Cowles, and Phineas Horton are also included. Also included are two promissory notes for Joel Waters from John R. Hodges and an Edia Carroll debt to Willis Waters for tuition of three scholars. Waters was the surname of an Ashe County, North Carolina family of John and Elizabeth Culms Waters. Elizabeth was a free person of color and their many children were free people of color whose children were treated as white. Additional research is necessary to verify that Joel and Willis were their sons. Two pieces of correspondence between Alice Hodges and her sister Bell Todd of Collettesville, North Carolina date from 1905. John R. Hodges' 1865 pledge to the United States and documents regarding Watauga County Confederate soldiers are included.