April 25, 2022
Selections from the Edward G. Wooten Papers, 1833-1877. This collection contains the papers of Laurel, Del. judge and lawyer Edward G. Wooten (1810-1877). Materials include correspondence on topics of personal and family matters; business correspondence relating to the Farmers' Bank of Georgetown, Del. and legal cases; correspondence in regards to administration and settling of the estate of Peter Robinson; and correspondence on real estate transactions in and around Laurel, Del. Other items consist of a few miscellaneous receipts. Of particular interest is correspondence discussing legal cases involving enslavers. J.W. Dean writes to Wootten discussing enslaved people in regards to a legal case involving himself and E. Prettyman and others (no date). Another letter from Delaware governor W.H. Ross to Wootten discusses the case of an "unruly" enslaved person named Minus, whose enslaver was seeking legal permission to sell him to a buyer outside of Delaware (1857). This collection also provides researchers with material on Wootten's long legal career, which spanned from before and after the U.S. Civil War. Edward G. Wootten (1810-1887) was the son of successful businessman and farmer Peter G. Wootten, who settled on 2,000 acres of farmland near Laurel, Del. with his father and three brothers. Edward studied law under Thomas Cooper in Georgetown, Del. and began his career as a lawyer in 1830. In 1847, Wootten was appointed judge on the Superior Court of Delaware by Governor William Thorp. Wootten served in this capacity until his death on March 1, 1887. In addition to his legal career, Wootten was for a number of years director of the Farmers' Bank in Georgetown, Del. and Trustee of the Georgetown Academy. He married Mary Robinson, daughter of Judge Peter Robinson, in 1833. The couple had one child, Alfred P.R. Robinson Wootten (1834-1861).