(1857-1911). The solid wood box, 13 x 8 x 8 1/2 in.,from the Mount Pleasant plantation at Buffalo Forge, in Virginia is in fine condition, with side handles and brass corners. It has a top compartment, and a lower locking drawer (with key) containing two parts: a removable top layer lined in black velvet, grooved to hold various instruments, and a similar lower layer also lined in grooved velvet. Affixed to the inside of the lined lid is a metal disc (perhaps a circular slide rule?) marked with degrees, and a movable arm with a short blade attached rotating from the center. This piece of equipment is held in place by three wooden toggles. The other items contained in the box include: a small transit surveying scope and level, in a leather case, with an oval metal ownership medallion stamped "D.C.E. Brady / Buffalo Forge / Rockbridge Co. VA," attached to the case; five rulers (three folding); an expandable 6 in. T-square ruler; a three-sided Pickett drafting ruler; a solid brass plumb bob manufactured by the Ruleta Co. of NY; two protractors (including one in its own leather case); a box of six "Dixon's Fine American Graphite Artist Leads" manufactured by the Jos. Dixon Crucible Co. of Jersey City, NJ (in a two-part box, with the company label on the front); a small wooden box, 8 x 3 in., with a sliding lid, containing small rectangular blocks of Newman's colors (some intact, some broken) in individual compartments with the color names stamped into the wood, the box with a label for "Wm. Minifie & Son / Draughtman's Set / No. 114 Baltimore St. / Baltimore, M[aryland]" affixed to the inside; a small paper envelope with the printed name of the druggist/pharmacist B.H. Gorrell, Lexington, Virginia, containing a small quantity of unidentified gold powder; several metal drawing tool compasses; a small file; pen nibs and paint brushes; wax crayons; etc. Also included is an envelope addressed to C.A. Brady, Buffalo Forge, Va. from the Chapin-Stephens Co. of Pine Meadow, Conn., and containing a typed letter on company stationery, dated July 24, 1907, responding to Brady's request for information about the "Stephens' Patent Combination Rules," and including two circulars describing their use, and several slips illustrating the rules and their plumb and level, and giving prices. One of the folding rulers in the box resembles the "Stephens' Combination Rule No. 036" illustrated. All items in very good condition. Item #61316
Daniel Charles Elliot Brady arrived in Rockbridge County, Virginia late in 1857, from Philadelphia. He came at the request of his wife's uncle William Weaver (1780-1863) to help manage Weaver's ironworks at Buffalo Forge. The plantation of Mount Pleasant and the ironworks were located some nine miles from Lexington, Virginia. Both the agricultural pursuits of the plantation and the work at the forge were heavily dependent on slave labor. According to the National Park Service Register of Historic Places assessment of Buffalo Forge, from the 1830s until the end of the Civil War, Weaver and then Brady owned from 40 to as many as 100 slaves and hired as many as 64 more slaves per year, to work in the manufacture of iron and in agricultural production. It was a prosperous enterprise and Weaver and Brady were able to offer some of their slave laborers extra monetary and other incentives for extra work. Weaver and Brady kept meticulous records of the business, the slave population, their day-to-day labor, the overage pay offered to some of the skilled slave laborers, marriages, births, deaths, etc. These well preserved journals and daybooks [in collections at the University of Virginia and the State Historical Society of Wisconsin] offer a very detailed picture of life in ante-bellum Virginia, through the Civil War and Reconstruction. During the Civil War, Brady and Buffalo Forge supplied iron to the Confederate war effort, but at greatly reduced prices. Following the war, Brady petitioned for a pardon, stating that he had never been in the army “but his Forge, under duress of impressment, made bar iron for the Confederate government after January 1864.” Work at the forge resumed, employing as freemen some of the same former slaves. Post war competition in iron manufacture caused Brady to abandon the operation by about 1870. After Daniel's death, his son Charles took over management of the plantation. Charles Dew makes meticulous use of the Weaver-Brady primary source material in his book "Bond of Iron: Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge [Norton: 1995]. The drafting tools and surveyor's equipment were used by both Daniel C.E. Brady and his son Charles P.A. Brady, presumably on and around the plantation.