George Nicholas Collection,1780-1830

Descriptive Summary

George Nicholas Collection,1780-1830
Nicholas, George, 1754?-1799
.5 cubic ft.
Beall, Samuel
Hunter, James
Morrison, James, 1755-1823
Nicholas, George, 1754?-1799
Nicholas, George, 1754?-1799 -- Will
Nicholas, S. S. (Samuel Smith), 1796-1869
Nicholas, Wilson Carey, 1761-1820
University of Louisville -- Presidents
Business enterprises -- Kentucky
Business enterprises -- Virginia
Land tenure -- Kentucky.
Land titles -- Kentucky -- Cases
Slaves -- Kentucky.
Business records
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: staff; machine-readable finding aid created by:Bonnie Cox
Transylvania University

Collection Overview

Biography / History
George Nicholas, a native of Williamsburg, Virginia, was a noted Revolutionary War soldier, lawyer, and politician, who came to Kentucky in 1790. Having been active in the Kentucky Constitutional Convention of 1792, he became the state's first attorney general that year. An original trustee of Transylvania University, Nicholas accepted the position as the university's first professor of law in 1799 but died almost immediately. Following his death, Nicholas County, Kentucky was named in his honor. Throughout his years in Kentucky, Nicholas apparently engaged in various land speculation ventures either alone or in partnership with others, and subsequent to his death, numerous suits were filed both by his executors, Wilson Carey Nicholas, his brother and James Morrison; and by others against his estate. Wilson Carey Nicholas was later governor of Virginia (1814-1816).
Scope and Content
Materials consist of personal, business, and legal papers relating to George Nicholas. Included are letters, surveys, financial records, depositions, and other legal documents. Of the papers which predate Nicholas's death, most relate to his business affairs in Virginia and Kentucky, or to legal cases undertaken by him. Included are letters from James Hunter, Samuel Beall, and Wilson Carey Nicholas. The remainder of the collection relates to the numerous suits filed against Nicholas's estate or his former business partners. Records of the estate include evaluations of George Nicholas's property, inventories of patented and unpatented lands owned by him, and lists of slaves sold by the estate. Several letters of Nicholas's son, Samuel S. Nicholas, the first president of the University of Louisville are also present. Condition of material: fair