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Pomeroy, Warren Lewis

by William S. Powell, 1994

31 Aug. 1822–post 1866

Warren Lewis Pomeroy, bookseller and publisher, was born in Suffield, Conn. As the town is on the Massachusetts-Connecticut border and was considered to be in Massachusetts until 1749, he has been referred to as a native of Massachusetts. He may have been born just north of the boundary between the two states. He was the son of Israel and Lydia Lewis Pomeroy. He had a brother Calvin (1816–89), who went to Alabama. The Pomeroys were of a Puritan family that settled in the New England colonies in 1630. The 1840 census for Connecticut records Warren Pomeroy as a resident of the town of Somers (very near Suffield) in a family consisting of five males and two females, including himself and his wife. Two members of the family were employed in agriculture.

In 1849 Warren had a bookstore in Raleigh where he remained throughout the Civil War, still operating his business in 1866. His bookshop was on Fayetteville Street by 1850. In 1851 he was among the Raleigh merchants signing an agreement to collect interest on unpaid debts. He appears to have been a civic-minded man and in 1852 invested in the construction of plank roads. In 1856 school superintendent Calvin H. Wiley informed David L. Swain, president of The University of North Carolina, that the collection and publication of colonial and other eighteenth-century records of North Carolina would be useful to the schools of the state and that Pomeroy would publish them.

As a publisher Pomeroy supported the issuing of several worthwhile North Carolina books. In 1854 he was responsible for the appearance of Mary Bayard Clarke's Wood-Notes; or, Carolina Carols: A Collection of North Carolina Poetry in two volumes. They were actually printed in New York by John F. Trow, but they bore the imprint of Pomeroy in Raleigh. In the same year he issued A Digest of Reported Cases Determined in the Supreme Court of North Carolina, from the Year 1845 (December) to the Year 1853 (August), prepared by Hamilton C. Jones. The latter was printed in Raleigh by W. W. Holden at his printing establishment.

In 1866 it was reported that Pomeroy had available copies of Ebenezer Emmons's mineralogical report of the state. He also distributed Wiley's North-Carolina Reader, widely used as a public school textbook. In February 1863 Pomeroy sent Mrs. Martha P. Mangum a number of books, enclosing a bill, but since books were scarce he asked her to return any that she did not want.

It was circulated in New England that Pomeroy accumulated considerable property but lost it all "through the disasters of the Rebellion." He was said to have returned to the North for a time after the Civil War but later was again in the South, where trace of him was lost by his New England acquaintances.

References:

Census of Connecticut, 1840 (microfilm, North Carolina State Library, Raleigh).

J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, ed., Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, vol. 1 (1909) and Papers of William Alexander Graham, vol. 4 (1961).

Elizabeth Reid Murray, Wake: Capital County of North Carolina (1983).

Albert A. Pomeroy, History and Genealogy of the Pomeroy Family, Part Three (1922).

William W. Rodman, "A Study in Heredity: The Pomeroys in America," New England and Yale Review 51 (September 1889).

Henry T. Shanks, ed., The Papers of Willie Person Mangum, vol. 5 (1956).

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