for more info about this microfilm set go to the upa pubs American studies collections at Lexis-Nexis
Part 8: North Carolina
The creation of history as a scholarly discipline has always depended on
the discovery, preservation, and accessibility of primary sources. Some of the
leading figures in the first generation of academic historians in the United
States spent much of their time and energy on this endeavor and in so doing
made possible the work of their colleagues who wrote monographs and general
histories. The inventions of microfilm and photocopying have vastly improved
access to such sources.
At any given time the prevailing conceptions of what is significant in the past will determine which sources are sought and valued. When politics and diplomacy are the center of historians' concern, government documents, treaties, newspapers, and correspondence of political leaders and diplomats will be collected and made accessible. When intellectual history is ascendant, the works of philosophers and reflective thinkers will be studied, analyzed, and discussed. Economic historians will look for records of trade, evidence of price fluctuations, conditions of labor, and other kinds of data originally collected for business purposes. The propensity of modern governments to collect statistics has made possible whole new fields for historical analysis.
In our own time social historians have flourished, and for them evidence of how people of all kinds have lived, felt, thought, and behaved is a central concern. Private diaries and personal letters are valued for the light they throw on what French historians label the mentalité of a particular time and place. The fact that such documents were usually created only for the writer, or for a friend or relative, gives them an immediacy not often found in other kinds of records. At best the writers tell us--directly or by implication--what they think and feel and do. Even the language and the allusions in such spontaneous expression are useful to the historian, whose inferences might surprise the writer could she know what was being made of her words.
This microfilm series focuses on a particular group (women) in a particular place (the South) in a particular time (the nineteenth century). The fact that many of these documents exist is a tribute to the work of several generations of staff members at the leading archives of the South such as the Southern Historical Collection at Chapel Hill, North Carolina; the William R. Perkins Library at Duke University; the Alderman Library at the University of Virginia; the South Caroliniana Library; the Lower Mississippi Valley Collection, Louisiana State University; the Swem Library at the College of William and Mary, Colonial Williamsburg; and several state historical societies. The legend of Southern Historical Collection founder J. G. DeRoulhac Hamilton who, in his effort to preserve the evidence of the southern past, traveled about in his Model A Ford knocking on doors, asking people to look in their attics and cellars for material, is well known. The result of his labors and those of his counterparts and successors is a vast collection that includes thousands of letters from women of all ages and hundreds of diaries or diary fragments. Only a small part of this material has been studied by professional historians. Some family collections cover decades, even several generations. Others are fragmentary: diaries begun in moments of enthusiasm and shortly abandoned; letters sporadically saved.
The years of the Civil War are particularly well documented, since many women were convinced that they were living through momentous historical events of which they should make a record. After the war ended and the "new South" began to take shape, other women wrote memoirs for their children and grandchildren, hoping to preserve forever their memories of a better time "before the war" or to record the sacrifices and heroism they had witnessed. The United Daughters of the Confederacy made a special effort to persuade women to record their wartime memories. In the best of circumstances--and each collection included in this edition was chosen precisely with this consideration in mind--the collections preserve the voices of one or more women through letters or diaries that cover many years.
Although women's letters to soldiers were often lost in the mud and carnage of battlefields, soldiers' letters were treasured and have survived in abundance. If it is true, as Virginia Woolf once wrote, that in writing a letter one tries to reflect something of the recipient, then these letters, too, may add to our understanding of the lives of women and families.1 Moreover so many of the soldiers' letters respond to women's questions, give hints or instructions on managing property, and allude to family life and routine at home, that they can be used to draw valid inferences about the activities of their female correspondents, even when the woman's side of the correspondence is altogether lost.
Seen through women's eyes, nineteenth-century southern social history takes on new dimensions. Subjects that were of only passing interest when historians depended on documents created by men now move to center stage. Women's letters dwell heavily on illness, pregnancy, and childbirth. From them we can learn what it is like to live in a society in which very few diseases are well understood, in which death is common in all age groups, and in which infant mortality is an accepted fact of life. A woman of forty-three, writing in 1851, observed that her father, mother, four sisters, three brothers, and two infants were all dead, and except for her father, none had reached the age of thirty-six.2
Slavery has been a central concern of southern historians, generally from the white male perspective. Seen through the eyes of plantation mistresses, the peculiar institution becomes even more complex. We can observe a few women searching their souls about the morality of the institution, and many more complaining bitterly about the practical burdens it places upon them. We can find mothers worrying about the temptations slave life offers to husbands and sons--and even occasionally expressing sympathy for the vulnerability of slave women. Some claim to be opposed to the institution but do not take any steps to free their own slaves. Others simply agonize. There is, unfortunately, no countervailing written record to enable us to see the relationship from the slaves' point of view.
Until late in the century the word feminism did not exist, and in the South "women's rights" were often identified with the hated antislavery movement. "Strong-minded woman" was a term of anathema. Even so we find antebellum southern women in their most private moments wondering why men's lives are so much less burdened than their own and why it is always they who must, as one woman wrote, provide the ladder on which a man may climb to heaven. Very early in the nineteenth century women's letters sometimes dwelt on the puzzling questions having to do with women's proper role. After the Civil War a Georgia diarist reflected, apropos the battle over black suffrage, that if anyone, even the Yankees, had given her the right to vote she would not readily give it up.3 As early as the 1860s a handful of southern women presented suffrage arguments to the state constitutional conventions. After 1865 a surprising number of women spoke out in favor of suffrage and a larger number were quiet supporters. There were, of course, equally ardent opponents, and until 1910 or so, organizing suffrage associations was uphill work. As one goes through these records, however, suffragists and advocates of women's rights emerge from the dim corners in which they tended to conceal themselves when they were alive.
The conventional view that southern women eschewed politics will not survive a close reading of these records. In 1808 one letter writer regretted the fact that a male literary society would have no more parties since she enjoyed listening to the men talk politics.4 As early as the 1820s there is evidence for women's participation in political meetings and discussions. Such involvement continued through the secession debates and the difficult days of reconstruction. A South Carolina memoir offers a stirring account of the role of women in the critical election of 1876.5 By the 1870s southern women were already using their church societies to carve out a political role, and by the end of the century they had added secular clubs, many of them focused on civic improvement.
Reading women's documents we can envision the kinds of education available to the most favored among them. Many women kept records of their reading and much of it was demanding: Plutarch's Lives, for example, or Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. A very young woman who recorded reading Humboldt's Kosmos, Milton's Paradise Lost, Madame De Stael's Corinne, and Guizot's History of Civilization was not altogether unique. Others castigated themselves for reading novels and resolved (sometimes over and over) to undertake more serious study. At the very beginning of the nineteenth century a young woman from southwest Virginia had gone to Williamsburg to school, presumably to a female academy or seminary.6 There are many examples of strenuous efforts at self-education, and in the privacy of their diaries some women admitted to a passionate longing for knowledge (reading clubs, for example, were described as "a peace offering to a hungry mind").7 Of course one of the limitations of sources such as these is precisely that they come principally from the minority who had some education. It is up to the perceptive historian to extrapolate from these documents to the poorer women, the slave women, and all those who seldom left a record at all. (There are occasional letters from slaves in these voluminous collections, but they are rare.)
Papers that cover a considerable period provide us with many real-life dramas. Courtship patterns and marriage and family experience emerge. We see the widow left with children to support as she tries various options to earn a living--and in some cases takes to drink to ease her burdens. We see the single woman cast on her own resources as she tries teaching or housekeeping for a widower to keep body and soul together. Single sisters of wives who died young were likely to wind up first taking care of the bereft children and then marrying the widower. Other single women bemoan their fate and reflect that it might be better to be dead than to live single. In the 1880s women of the Carter family took over the running of Shirley Plantation.8 Married or single, rich or poor, many women inadvertently reveal the socialization that has persuaded them that they should never complain, that they must be the burden bearers of family life.
Through the whole century, while the rest of the country was restlessly urbanizing, the South remained predominantly an agricultural society. Women's records allow us to see the boredom of rural life in which almost any bit of news, any adolescent wickedness, any youthful romance is subject for comment. We see also the profound religious faith that supported many women through poverty, childbirth, widowhood, and the other trials that filled their lives. The religious history of the Civil War emerges as we see faith challenged by defeat, and many women beginning to question things they had always believed.
No reader of these documents can any longer doubt that plantation women, in addition to supervising the work of slaves, worked very hard themselves. Depending on their level of affluence, women might take care of livestock and chickens, plant and harvest gardens, card, spin and weave, make quilts, sew clothes, and perform many other specific tasks. The Soldiers' Aid Societies that formed so quickly after secession rested on just these skills developed in the previous years.
One of the most interesting aspects of southern culture that emerges from papers such as these is the views women and men had of each other. No matter how much a woman admired any particular man, she often viewed men in general with extreme skepticism and sometimes with outright bitterness. Men were often described as selfish, authoritarian, profligate, given to drinking too much, and likely to judge women as a class, not in terms of their individual attributes. Many women found their economic dependence galling. In spite of the rather general chafing at the confines of patriarchy, individual women were devoted to and greatly admired their own husbands, sons, and fathers. Women who traveled spoke with admiration of the independence exhibited by northern women (this both before and after the Civil War). Discontent with their own lot included a good deal of private railing against constant childbearing and the burdens of caring for numerous children.
The concept of a woman's culture is borne out by much of what can be read here. Women frequently assume that they say and feel things that only other women can understand.
It would be difficult to exaggerate the significance of this microfilm publication. Historians of women have been making use of many of these collections for three decades or more. Now it is gradually becoming clear that they are useful to the student of almost any aspect of southern culture and society. In a recent example, Clarence Mohr, writing about slavery in Georgia, realized that women's records were virtually his only source for testing the well-established southern myth that all slaves had been docile, helpful workers when men went to war and left their wives and children to supervise plantations. Years earlier Bell Irwin Wiley had suggested that the story was more complicated than that, but it did not occur to him to look for evidence in women's papers. The description of such docility never seemed reasonable, but it was believed by many people, even some who had every reason to know better. In a close examination of women's diaries and letters, Mohr found a quite different picture, one of slaves who, when the master departed, became willful and hard to direct and who gave the mistress many causes for distress. To be sure, they did not often murder families in their beds, but they became lackadaisical about work, took off without permission, talked back, and ran away to the Yankees when opportunity presented itself. They made use of all the thousand and one ways of expressing the frustration bondsmen and women must always feel.9
Wartime documents are revealing in other ways. We can see rumors flying, as victories and defeats were created in the mind, not on the battlefield. We sense the tension of waiting for word from men in the army. We see the women gradually losing faith that God will protect them from the invaders. For some, religion itself is called in question by the experience of invasion and defeat.
As we move into the remaining decades of the nineteenth century, these records allow us to trace some of the dramatic social changes of the postwar world. In one family we see a member of the generation of post-Civil War single women earning her living in a variety of ways and then beginning a full-time career as a teacher at the age of fifty-eight. She continued to teach well into her eighth decade. This particular set of papers is especially valuable since it goes through three generations--a wonderful exposition of social change as revealed in the lives of women.10
We must be struck by the number of men in the immediate postwar years who chose suicide over the challenges of creating a new society without slaves. In records from the second half of the century we can see lynching from the white perspective, observe the universal experience of adolescence, watch the arrival of rural free delivery of mail and the coming of the telephone, and many other evidences of change. Reading these personal documents the historian may be reminded of Tolstoy's dictum that all happy families are alike, while unhappy families are each unhappy in their own way. One may be tempted to revise the aphorism to say that every family is sometimes happy and sometimes unhappy--the balance between the two states makes for a satisfactory or unsatisfactory life. Reading family papers one may also be forcefully reminded of Martha Washington, writing about the difficulties she faced as first lady. She was, she said, "determined to be cheerful and to be happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."11
From the larger perspective of the social historian, records such as these will help us develop a more comprehensive picture of life as it was experienced by the literate part of the southern population over a century. They help us understand the intricate interaction of individual lives and social change. We can see the world through eyes that perceive very differently from our own and understand better the dramatic shifts in values that have occurred in the twentieth century. Like any other historical data these must be used with care, with empathy, with detachment, and with humility. But given those conditions they will add significantly to our understanding of a world that in one sense is dead and gone, and in another sense lives on in the hearts and minds and behavior patterns of many southern people.
Anne Firor Scott
W. K. Boyd Professor of History
1Nigel Nicholson and Joanne Trautmen, eds. The Letters of
Virginia Woolf, Vol. IV: 1929-1931 (New York and London: Harcourt Brace
Jovanovich, 1979), p. 98. "It is an interesting question--what one tries to do,
in writing a letter--partly of course to give back a reflection of the other
2Anne Beale Davis Diary, February 16, 1851, Beale-Davis Papers,
Southern Historical Collection.
3Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas Diary, November 2, 1868, William R.
Perkins Library, Duke University.
4Jane C. Charlton to Sarah C. Watts, Sarah C. Watts Papers, Swem
Library, College of William and Mary.
5Sally Elmore Taylor Memoir, Franklin Harper Elmore Papers, Southern
6Sarah C. Watts Papers.
7Hope Summerell Chamberlain, "What's Done and Past," unpublished
autobiography, William R. Perkins Library, Duke University.
8Shirley Plantation Papers, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
9Clarence L. Mohr, On the Threshold of Freedom: Masters and
Slaves in Civil War Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986).
10Mary Susan Ker Papers, Southern Historical Collection.
11John P. Riley, "The First Family in New York." Mount Vernon Ladies
Association Annual Report, 1989, p. 23.
Note on Sources
The collections microfilmed in this edition are holdings of the
Southern Historical Collection, Manuscripts Department, Academic Affairs
Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North
Carolina 27599. The descriptions of the collections provided in this user guide
are adapted from inventories compiled by the Southern Historical Collection.
The inventories are included among the introductory materials on the
2Anne Beale Davis Diary, February 16, 1851, Beale-Davis Papers, Southern Historical Collection.
3Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas Diary, November 2, 1868, William R. Perkins Library, Duke University.
4Jane C. Charlton to Sarah C. Watts, Sarah C. Watts Papers, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
5Sally Elmore Taylor Memoir, Franklin Harper Elmore Papers, Southern Historical Collection.
6Sarah C. Watts Papers.
7Hope Summerell Chamberlain, "What's Done and Past," unpublished autobiography, William R. Perkins Library, Duke University.
8Shirley Plantation Papers, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
9Clarence L. Mohr, On the Threshold of Freedom: Masters and Slaves in Civil War Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986).
10Mary Susan Ker Papers, Southern Historical Collection.
11John P. Riley, "The First Family in New York." Mount Vernon Ladies Association Annual Report, 1989, p. 23.
Historical maps microfilmed among the introductory materials are courtesy of
the Map Collection of the Academic Affairs Library of the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill. Maps consulted include:
Andrees Allgemeiner, Handatlas, 1899;
Thomas G. Bradford, Comprehensive Atlas, 1835;
J. H. Colton, General Atlas, 1870; and
S. Augustus Mitchell, "A New Map of Kentucky," 1846.
The reel indexes for this edition provide the user with a
of each collection. Each précis provides information on family history
and many business and personal activities documented in the collection.
Omissions from the microfilm edition are noted in the précis and on the
Following the précis, the reel indexes itemize each file folder and manuscript volume. The four-digit number to the left of each entry indicates the frame number at which a particular document or series of documents begins.
A subject index, which is keyed to the information provided in the reel indexes for Parts 1-3, appears at the end of the user guide.
Researchers should note that significant other papers and diaries of southern women are included in UPA's microfilm edition of Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War and Women's Studies Manuscript Collections from the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, Series 1: Woman Suffrage, Part C: The South. Subsequent parts of Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries: Series A, Holdings of the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill will extend to other regions of the South.
Other Introductory Material
Badger Family Papers,
Cumberland and Wake Counties, North Carolina
Description of the Collection
This collection comprises chiefly family letters, 1835-1867, of George E. Badger (1795-1866), superior court judge, secretary of the navy, and U.S. senator, 1844-1855, of Raleigh, North Carolina, and members of his family. Correspondents include Badger; his wife, Delia Haywood Williams Badger; and their daughter, Mary Badger Hale. Letters dated 1835-1836 are to Melissa Williams, Delia's daughter by a previous marriage, who was attending school in Philadelphia, from her mother, and from a family friend, Mary I. Lucas of Raleigh, chiefly about family activities. Most of the later letters are to the Badgers' daughter, Kate Badger Haigh of Fayetteville, North Carolina, from George, Delia, or sister Mary Badger Hale of Raleigh, also giving family and neighborhood news. Of particular interest is an 1849 letter from Delia to Kate that contains a rich description of fifty drunken women and other rowdies at a cotillion in Raleigh. Also present are five letters from the Civil War period that include, in addition to news of the activities of family and friends, an account of how Delia and Mary spent their time quilting and sewing; mention of a group of neighborhood women visiting the troops in Richmond, Virginia; complaints about inflated wartime prices; and requests for fabric and other goods. In an 1863 letter to one of her sisters, an overworked Mary Badger Hale complained about the inability of her sickly and/or pregnant slaves to work. Two 1867 letters briefly mention military orders, the scarcity of money, the fear of land confiscation, and rumors that "the negroes were going to run a candidate for Mayor" of Raleigh.
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection is the George E. Badger Papers, which is included in this microfilm edition.
George E. Badger Papers, 1829-1860,
Wake County, North Carolina; also District of Columbia
Description of the Collection
This collection comprises chiefly business letters, 1829-1860, from George E. Badger, superior court judge, secretary of the navy, and U.S. senator, 1844-1855, of Raleigh, North Carolina, to several friends and associates concerning legal cases, politics, and general news. Included are seven letters, 1855-1860, from Badger to James Mandeville Carlisle (1814-1877), a Washington, D.C., lawyer with whom he formed a law partnership in the mid-1850s. Of particular interest is an 1849 letter to Badger from George Davis (1820-1896), who later served as attorney general of the Confederate States of America, and Frederick J. Hill (1792-1861), both of Wilmington, North Carolina, concerning the political appointment of the commander of the revenue boat for that city's port. Also of interest is a letter, also 1849, from Badger to Charles M. Butler, rector of Trinity Church (Episcopal), Washington, D.C., concerning Episcopal doctrinal controversies.
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection is the Badger Family Papers, which is included in this microfilm edition.
Bagley Family Papers, 1848-1964,
Perquimans and Wake Counties, North Carolina;
also District of Columbia, Cuba, and Mexico
Description of the Collection
This collection consists primarily of letters about family, personal, and social life received by William Henry Bagley (1833-1886), clerk of the North Carolina Supreme Court, 1863-1887, and his wife, Adelaide, daughter of Governor Jonathan Worth, including letters written by Adelaide to her future husband, 1864-1866, their children, and correspondence of other members of the Worth and Bagley families in North Carolina. Other correspondence includes letters from the Bagley children and their families, chiefly 1899-1939. Represented are Worth Bagley (1874-1898), a U.S. naval cadet and ensign, who was the only officer of the U.S. Navy to be killed during the Spanish-American War; William Henry Bagley (1877-1936) at Havana in 1899 and as a newspaper executive in Raleigh, North Carolina, 1900-1915; Adelaide Worth Bagley Daniels and her husband, Josephus Daniels, including letters from Washington, D.C., 1913-1920, while Daniels was secretary of the navy, and from Mexico, 1933-1939, while he was U.S. ambassador; and letters, 1931-1936, from George C. Worth (1867-1937), a Presbyterian missionary in China, which contain descriptions of the Japanese invasion.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Loose Papers--Subseries 1.1: 1848-1888, Subseries 1.2: 1889-1908, Subseries 1.3: 1909-1939, and Subseries 1.4: Worth-Bagley Genealogy and Series 2. Volumes.
William Henry (W. H.) Bagley, 1833-1886, was the son of Colonel Willis H. Bagley of Perquimans County, North Carolina. Willis Bagley was, for many years, the sheriff of Perquimans County and was active in politics there. W. H. Bagley obtained his education at the Hertford Academy. After graduation, he edited the Elizabeth City Sentinel, then studied law, and was licensed in 1859. He originally opposed secession, but joined the 8th Regiment, North Carolina Troops at the start of the war. After being captured and released, he was promoted to major of the 68th Regiment, North Carolina Troops. He served in that capacity until 1864. During the war, the voters of Perquimans and Pasquotank counties twice elected him to represent them in the North Carolina Senate. After the war, he became the private secretary of Governor Jonathan Worth, a position he held until he was elected clerk of the state supreme court in 1868. He remained clerk until his death in 1886.
In 1866, W. H. Bagley married Adelaide Worth, daughter of Governor Jonathan Worth. They lived in Pittsboro, Chatham County, North Carolina, and, during legislative or court sessions, in Raleigh, North Carolina. They had six children: Adelaide Worth (1869-1943); Belle (1872-1936); Worth (1874-1898); Ethel (1875-1939); William Henry, Jr. (1877-1936); and David (b. 1883).
Adelaide Worth Bagley lived her early life in Pittsboro and Raleigh and received her education at Peace College in Raleigh. In 1888, she married Josephus Daniels, who was editor of the Raleigh News and Observer, secretary of the navy under Woodrow Wilson, and ambassador to Mexico under Franklin D. Roosevelt. Adelaide Bagley Daniels was active throughout her life in benevolent organizations and served on the board of directors at Rex Hospital in Raleigh in the 1920s and 1930s.
Belle and Ethel Bagley both received their early education in Raleigh. They lived together much of their lives and settled in Washington, D.C., where they were employed by the federal government. They lived on Dupont Circle for much of their time in Washington and were active in church and social activities in the city.
Worth Bagley received his early education at Centennial Graded School and the Raleigh Male Academy until, at age fifteen, he received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. After leaving for academic reasons in 1892, he was reappointed and graduated in 1896. He served on several vessels in the Atlantic until the start of the Spanish-American War, when his ship was sent to Cuba. On 11 May 1898, Ensign Bagley was killed at Cardenas, Cuba, the only American naval officer killed during the war. His body was returned to Raleigh and a monument to him was erected on the capitol grounds.
W. H. Bagley, Jr. received his education at a private academy in Mebane, North Carolina. For much of his life he worked as a reporter for newspapers around the country. He also assisted his brother-in-law, Josephus Daniels, with business aspects of the News and Observer.
David Bagley received his early education in North Carolina and then was appointed to the United States Naval Academy. After graduation, he became an officer in the navy and served in the two world wars, rising to the rank of admiral.
Series 1. Loose Papers, 1848-1964 and Undated
This series consists chiefly of letters to or from members of the Worth and Bagley families of North Carolina. Items detail events in the lives of W. H. Bagley, his wife, Adelaide Worth Bagley, and their six children, as well as news from other closely related family members.
Materials, 1848-1888, are chiefly letters to or from W. H. Bagley concerning his business, fraternity, and personal relations. Materials, 1889-1908, chiefly concern the children of W. H. and Adelaide Worth Bagley, including dozens of letters from Worth Bagley to his mother while he was a student at the United States Naval Academy and several letters from W. H. Bagley, Jr. to various family members from Cuba where he was assigned as a newspaper reporter. Items, 1909-1939, relate primarily to the surviving children of W. H. and Adelaide Worth Bagley and their families, including letters to and from Josephus Daniels, husband of Adelaide Bagley Daniels; to Belle Bagley from her suitor, W. E. Christian; and from George C. Worth, Presbyterian missionary in China, to members of the Bagley family. Miscellaneous items include photographs, bills, receipts, and a few other scattered items.
Subseries 1.1: 1848-1888 and Undated This subseries includes materials chiefly concerning the business, fraternal, and personal relations of W. H. Bagley. Items include letters, receipts, bills, and other miscellaneous materials. Most of the letters are either from or to W. H. Bagley. They include several letters to Benjamin Townsend of Catonsville, Maryland, 1853; many detailed letters from Adelaide Worth during her courtship with W. H. Bagley, 1864-1866; many letters exchanged by W. H. Bagley and Adelaide Worth Bagley and their children when one or more of the family members was away from home, 1869-1888; and several letters to W. H. Bagley relating to his activities on behalf of the International Order of Odd Fellows and the National Union of Mansfield, Ohio, 1874-1888.
Items of particular interest include letters from Adelaide Worth during her courtship with Bagley, in which she describes life in Raleigh at the close of the Civil War and during the first months of Reconstruction and emancipation, 1864-1866; several letters from W. H. Bagley's father and brother, Willis and Willis, Jr., chiefly concerning Reconstruction era politics in eastern North Carolina, 1866-1876; letters exchanged by members of the immediate Bagley family detailing the health of family members and friends, discussing social activities in Raleigh and Pittsboro, and describing new places seen during trips, 1869-1888; letters from W. H. Bagley to his wife Adelaide from Rockbridge Alum Springs, Virginia, describing the poor health and treatment of her father, Governor Jonathan Worth, immediately prior to his death, August 1869; letters from family members to Adelaide Worth Bagley during the illness and after the death of her husband, 1885-1886; and several letters indicating the engagement of Adelaide Worth Bagley's oldest daughter, also named Adelaide Worth Bagley, to Josephus Daniels, 1888.
Subseries 1.2: 1889-1908 and Undated This subseries consists chiefly of letters to or from the children and widow of W. H. Bagley. Most of the letters were written either by Worth Bagley while he was a student at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, and an officer in the navy, 1889-1898, or by W. H. Bagley, Jr. while he served in Havana, Cuba, as a newspaper correspondent, 1899. Items of particular interest include the dozens of letters Worth Bagley sent to his mother detailing his activities as a student in the Naval Academy, 1889-1895. Worth's many topics include the academic rigors of the academy, his participation in athletics, his frequent homesickness, and, especially from 1893 to 1895, his increasingly busy social life. Also interspersed with these letters are several report cards Worth received while he attended the Naval Academy. His later letters, 1895 to May 1898, focus on his experiences as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Several letters and telegrams of May and June 1898 express the sympathy of family, friends, and acquaintances, including William Jennings Bryan, over the death of Ensign Worth Bagley during the Spanish-American War.
Other items of interest include detailed letters from W. H. Bagley, Jr. to various family members while he was on assignment in Havana, Cuba, 1899. Among the topics he describes are the people and climate of Cuba, military activities related to the occupation of the island, and the murder of an American soldier by a Cuban policeman, 2 April 1899.
Subseries 1.3.:1909-1939 and Undated This subseries consists chiefly of letters of Adelaide Worth Bagley Daniels, her husband, Josephus Daniels, William E. Christian, and George C. Worth to various members of the Bagley family. The Daniels's letters, 1909-1939, concern events that occurred while they were in Raleigh working with the News and Observer, 1909-1913 and 1921-1933; in Washington, D.C., while Josephus served as secretary of the navy for Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1921; and in Mexico City while Josephus served as ambassador under Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933-1939. Letters written by W. E. Christian, addressed primarily to Belle Bagley, who lived in Washington, D.C., mostly concern his courtship of Ms. Bagley, 1924. Also included are letters George C. Worth wrote from China where he was a Presbyterian missionary, 1931-1937.
Items of interest include W. E. Christian's extensive love letters to Belle Bagley, in which he outlined his efforts to write short stories and a novel, excerpts of which he sent to her. Christian apparently was recovering from some type of mental collapse and wrote fiction and his letters to Ms. Bagley as a form of therapy. Also included are the diary-letters of Josephus Daniels while he was ambassador to Mexico. These letters contain much information about Daniels's official duties, as well as references to the active social life he and his wife shared in Mexico City. Daniels also enclosed newspaper clippings with his letters, many of which refer to his activities in Mexico City. Of particular interest in the George C. Worth letters are his references to conditions in China and details about the Japanese invasion of Manchuria.
Subseries 1.4: Worth-Bagley Genealogy, 1914, 1964, and Undated This subseries includes materials related to the genealogy of the Worth and Bagley families of North Carolina.
Series 2. Volumes, 1891-1929
This series consists of three volumes.
Volume 1: 1891, 91 pp. This volume has two sections. Pages 1-44 contain records kept by W. H. Bagley, Jr., as clerk to the Committee on Judiciary of the House of Representatives in the North Carolina General Assembly, 10 January-20 February 1891. The records include bills considered and recommendations made at each committee meeting. Pages 47-67 and 91 contain items of W. H. Bagley's "Memory Book," compiled chiefly May-August 1891, in which he pasted souvenirs, social cards and brief notes, invitations, pressed flowers, and leaves. For each item, he wrote short sentimental captions. This section also contains manuscript memoranda written by him during the same season.
Volume 2: 1902, 50 pp. Journal and notes of David Worth Bagley while on a U.S. Naval Academy cruise, 19 July-22 August 1902. The small volume is entitled "A Cruise on the USS Chesapeake."
Volume 3: 1929, 15 pp. Printed pamphlet with contents of speech delivered by Charles Whedbee upon the presentation of W. H. Bagley's portrait to the Supreme Court of North Carolina, 14 May 1929. The pamphlet contains biographical information on W. H. Bagley and background about the history of the North Carolina Supreme Court during the late 1800s.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection include the Josephus Daniels Papers; the Elvira Evelyna Moffit Papers; the Jonathan Worth Papers; and the Jonathan Worth Daniels Papers. Of these, the Jonathan Worth Papers are included in this microfilm edition.
Sources for the biographical note include John H. Wheeler, Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina, 1884; and Grady Lee Ernest Carroll, Sr., The City of Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Civil War Experience, 1979.
Jonathan Worth Papers, 1798-1899,
Guilford and Wake Counties, North Carolina
Description of the Collection
Jonathan Worth's personal business papers and legal professional papers extend from 1826 to 1869, and papers relating to his estate extend to 1876. Throughout the collection, there are also items relating to Worth's business as a cotton planter, with property in Randolph, Wake, and Anson counties, North Carolina. These include correspondence with brokers in New York and Wilmington and bills from northern merchants and local tradesmen. There are also papers relating to farm lands and city lots, securities and bonds, and enterprises in which Worth had a financial interest, among them a drug store at Salisbury and a Cedar Falls cotton factory.
Letters to and from members of the Worth family and their connections run from 1853 to 1899 and include letters from Worth's son, daughters, and sons-in-law, as well as Worth's brothers, nephews, and cousins.
Many of the family letters also relate to business deals. Jonathan Worth's son-in-law, Samuel S. Jackson, served as his agent in connection with farming interests at Asheboro. Worth's interest in the Salisbury drug store was undertaken for the benefit of his son-in-law, William C. Roberts. Another son-in-law, William Henry Bagley, was the governor's private secretary in 1866-1867 and shared his political interests. After Jonathan Worth's death in 1869, scattered family correspondence is of his widow, his children, and his grandchildren.
Correspondence between 1841 and 1869 reflects Jonathan Worth's interest in politics--both his own active part in North Carolina official and party affairs and his interest in the national scene insofar as it affected his state. Included are papers relating to Worth's responsibilities as former chairman of the Board of Superintendents of common schools for Randolph County, 1863; as public treasurer of North Carolina, 1863-1865, including an 1865 itemized receipt for transfer of assets from Worth to his successor as treasurer; and as governor of North Carolina, 1866-1867, including some papers of William Henry Bagley as the governor's private secretary. Letters, 1866-1867, addressed to Worth as governor chiefly concern politics--campaign tactics, meetings, alignments, and speculation--and other public matters, including distribution of financial relief, problems connected with the readmission of North Carolina to the Union, and the sale of the state's swamp lands for the benefit of the Board of Literature.
Also included are accounts, 1860-1863, of the estate of Timothy Griffin and Sarah Griffin of Randolph County, North Carolina; letters, 1863, to Mary Worth from James W. Hanks, fighting with the Confederate army in Virginia and Pennsylvania; and a series of about one hundred letters, 1864-1866, to Adelaide Worth from her fiance, William Henry Bagley, mentioning his campaign for the legislature in 1864 and other business, but chiefly concerned with his courtship. (Note that this series of letters ends 1 March 1866. Later letters relating to Adelaide Worth Bagley are filed with the Bagley Family Papers.) There are also Jonathan Worth's accounts and correspondence, 1865-1869, with New York and Wilmington brokers, Hathaway & Utley and Worth & Daniel; a typed copy of a letter, 1867, from Governor Worth to the president of the United States, relating injustices suffered under military authority; letters, 1869, to the ailing Worth at the Rockbridge Alum Springs in Virginia from members of his family, chiefly from William H. Bagley, telling about family matters and about Bagley's official activities as clerk of North Carolina Supreme Court; accounts, 1870-1876, of David G. Worth as executor of Johnathan Worth's estate; and scattered family letters, 1870-1899, to Martitia Worth and to and from the Worth children and in-laws.
There is one volume, a pocket-sized account book, 1848-1860, listing financial advancements made by Jonathan Worth to his children. Also included is a narrative account of the seventeenth century Worths in England and New England, with a chart showing five generations of the ancestors of Thomas C. Worth (fl. late eighteenth century).
Jonathan Worth, 1802-1869, was the son of David Worth of Guilford County, North Carolina. He studied law under Archibald D. Murphy, married Martitia Daniel, and started practicing law at Asheboro, North Carolina, in 1825.
Worth was a member of the North Carolina state legislature in 1830, 1831, 1840, 1858, and 1860-1863, and was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress in 1841 and 1845. He opposed secession but accepted it after the fact, was public treasurer from 1863 to 1865 under the Confederate and then the Provisional government, and took office as governor under the Provisional government 28 December 1865. He was reelected in 1866 and continued in office until July 1868 when the government was suspended. He died 6 September 1869, leaving a widow, one son, and five daughters.
Worth's son was David Gaston Worth (1831-1897). He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1853, and became a merchant in Wilmington, North Carolina, in business with Nathaniel G. Daniel; his wife was Julia A. Stickney. Governor Worth's daughters included Roxana, who married John McNeill of Pittsboro, North Carolina; Lucy, who married J. J. Jackson of Asheboro; Corinne, who married Dr. William C. Roberts and later Dr. Hamilton Jackson; Adelaide Ann, who married William H. Bagley of Perquimans County, North Carolina; Mary, who died in 1867; and Elvira, who married Samuel Spencer Jackson, then Eli Walker, and finally E. E. Moffitt. Jonathan Worth's brothers included B. G. Worth, who was a businessman in New York; Daniel; J. M.; and Joseph A. He had a nephew, David Worth Coffin, who in 1866 is known to have lived in Indianapolis. Most family members, however, lived in Asheboro, Pittsboro, Raleigh, Wilmington, and at Noise in Moore County, North Carolina.
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection is the Bagley Family Papers, which is included in this microfilm edition.
John Lancaster Bailey Papers, 1785-1874,
Burke, Orange, and Pasquotank Counties, North Carolina;
also Mississippi and Virginia
Description of the Collection
John Lancaster Bailey was a resident of Pasquotank County, North Carolina, then Hillsborough, and, finally, Asheville, North Carolina. He was a superior court judge, served in the state legislature, 1827-1830, and was a delegate to the state convention of 1835. Bailey married Priscilla Brownrigg of Edenton, North Carolina, in 1821. Their daughter was Sarah Jane Bailey Cain (1828-1927), wife of William Cain (d. 1855) of Orange County. Among their grandchildren were Elizabeth B. Cain (1850-1929), who married John Steele Henderson in 1874, and William Cain (1847-1930), engineer and professor of mathematics at the University of North Carolina.
The material concerns family correspondence and miscellaneous papers of Bailey, his wife Priscilla Brownrigg Bailey, and other family members. Papers concerning Bailey's public interests and career are sparse. The correspondence among family members and the letters received by them from numerous relatives and friends provide descriptions of the activities and interests of many planter families in North Carolina, in southeastern Virginia, and around Columbus and Aberdeen, Mississippi. There are also letters from family and friends in Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina. Letters from civilians in federal-occupied eastern North Carolina are included as are letters from William Cain serving as drillmaster in Confederate army camps at age thirteen. Postwar letters include those from William while surveying railroad lines in North and South Carolina. Also included are deeds of gift, 1840s and 1850s bills of sale for slaves, drawings, Sarah Cain's scrapbooks and reminiscences, a detailed map of Hillsborough, North Carolina, c. 1839, and related items.
Bailey and Cain family papers dated after 1873 are filed in the John Steele Henderson Papers. However, the scrapbook and portfolio of reminiscences of Sarah Jane (Bailey) Cain have been kept with this collection.
John Lancaster Bailey (1795-1877) of Pasquotank County, North Carolina, moved to Hillsborough and later (1859) to Asheville as superior court judge. He served in the state legislature, 1827-1831, and the state convention of 1835, but these activities are not reflected in these papers except for some typescripts added from other sources.
Priscilla Brownrigg of "Wingfield" near Edenton, North Carolina, married J. L. Bailey in 1821. Their daughter, Sarah Jane (Bailey) (1828-1927), married Dr. William Cain of Orange County, North Carolina, in 1846; he died in 1855, leaving his widow and two children: Elizabeth B. Cain, who married John Steele Henderson in 1874, and William Cain (1847-1930), engineer and professor of mathematics at the University of North Carolina.
There are some letters to other members of the family, but most are addressed to these five from each other and from innumerable connections and friends.
These papers consist largely of family correspondence and miscellaneous papers of John L. Bailey of Pasquotank County, Hillsborough ("Eno Lodge"), and Asheville, North Carolina, superior court judge, 1837-1863; his wife Priscilla (Brownrigg); their daughter Sarah Jane (Bailey) Cain (1828-1927); and grandchildren Elizabeth Brownrigg Cain and William Cain (1847-1930). Papers concerning Bailey's public interests and career are sparse; letters to his wife written while he was on the judicial circuit covering eastern and Piedmont North Carolina, 1857-1863, were mostly personal. The correspondence among the family and the letters received by them from numerous relatives and intimate friends provide graphic descriptions of the activities and interests of many planter families, mainly in Pasquotank, Perquimans, Chowan, Orange, and Buncombe counties in North Carolina; in southeastern Virginia; and in the environs of Columbus and Aberdeen, Mississippi, 1853-1873; letters also from family and friends who spread out to Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina; and from Hillsborough, Asheville, Morganton, Salisbury, Raleigh, and other North Carolina towns; also from vacationers at Nags Head on the Outer Banks as early as 1838; pupils at Episcopal boys school, Raleigh, 1836-1838; Hillsborough Military Academy, 1859-1867; and St. Mary's School, 1845 and 1863-1868; Civil War letters from civilians including ones who remained with their property in federally occupied territory near the coast, and from William Cain serving as drillmaster in Confederate army camps at Asheville, Raleigh, Wilmington, and Port Royal, at age thirteen; Cain's letters while surveying railroad lines in North Carolina and South Carolina, 1869-1873, and enjoying a pleasant social life in the region.
Among the families represented by personal letters are Bailey, Brownrigg, Brown, Sawyer, Scott, Cross, Granberry, Johnson, and Dillard families in the coastal area; Cain, Ruffin, and Caldwell families in Orange and Burke counties, North Carolina; Brownrigg, Sparkman, Waddell, and Bailey families in Mississippi. The letters are notable for their allusions to politically and socially prominent North Carolinians; political events of the winter and spring of 1860-1861; impressions of new places; and the social and economic changes of 1865-1867. The letters of Thomas B. Bailey, who married Sarah Harris, tell through the years of trying to operate schools and make a living in a number of different places in Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina.
There are also deeds of gift and sale of Negroes in the 1840s and l850s; scattered business papers concerning property, estate settlements, etc.; and drawings by Elizabeth Cain and William Cain.
Also included in the collection are over twenty letters from Silas McDowell (1795-1879) at Sugartown farms or Vale of Cullasaghoh (Cullasaja River Valley in Macon County), near Franklin, North Carolina, to John Lancaster Bailey. The long letters from McDowell contain reminisences of long ago and other narratives, poems written by him, discussions of his writings, and a number of repetitive accounts of his property and financial troubles--especially a claim on him from the bank at Morganton following the collapse of Confederate currency, and the Bryson judgment. McDowell also wrote about his orchards and various apple varieties.
The six volumes include a small account book of J. L. Bailey, 1862-1864; Sarah Jane Bailey's album and commonplace book, 1837-1859 and 1874-1883; a portfolio of sheet music used by her at St. Mary's School, Raleigh, 1843-1845; a small account book of uncertain dates; Sarah Jane (Bailey) Cain's scrapbook, 1867-1908; and a portfolio of her reminiscences, written or dictated in the later years of her long life.
Chronological notes on the papers and a list of the manuscript volumes follow. Informational notes and copies supplied by Mrs. Elizabeth H. Cotten are included with the manuscripts.
1785: Orange County newspaper notice to hunters: No Trespass--signed by thirty landowners (copy).
1806-1820: Three William Cain items, 1806-1807, Orange County, North Carolina and one letter, 14 October 1816, from William Cain at Hillsborough to Hugh Woods near Nashville, Tennessee, about division of land among heirs. 1818, 1820, three letters to Miss Priscilla Brownrigg at "Wingfield" near Edenton, North Carolina, including one from Sarah M. Brown at Philadelphia about the pleasures of reading and dangers of reading novels; and two from John Lancaster Bailey, Edenton, suitor, law student, making recommendations about her reading, etc.
1821-1829: Letters to Priscilla Brownrigg from John L. Bailey before their marriage in 1821. Papers concerning lands and Negroes acquired, and certificates and appointments to J. L. Bailey to practice law, as colonel in state militia, solicitor in First Judicial District, and attorney for UNC trustees in 9th district. 1 May 1825, Sarah A. B. Sawyer to her mother at Elizabeth City, telling of visits and social life at Wingfield, Edenton, etc. 14 December 1827, photocopy of will of William Cain. Other items in this period include letters from Margaret Caldwell, Chapel Hill, 20 September 1821; John D. Pipkin, Williamsboro, 12 April 1823; Thomas Brownrigg, 30 January 1825; cousin Jane H. Brown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 23 August 1827 and 10 October 1827.
1830-1835: Personal letters written by J. L. Bailey, his wife Priscilla, Sarah Ann B. Sawyer; Elizabeth Earl Johnson at Bandon (10 November 1832) to Mrs. Sarah A. B. Granberry; Ann B. P. Cox at Lebanon, Connecticut, 28 July 1838, to Mrs. Granberry; Sarah Brownrigg Sparkman, 24 October 1835, almost at Hillsborough, telling of their wagon journey, camping out on the way. Items relating to estate of William Cain, "elder," who died in 1834, and his will, first dated 15 June 1824. Typed copies of items relating to J. L. Bailey--minority report of legislative committee on nullification issue, 1833. Miscellaneous deeds.
1836-1839: Six letters from Thomas B. Bailey at Episcopal school for boys in Raleigh, North Carolina, including a description of his trip from Elizabeth City. Two letters from Mrs. Margaret Pooley, Marion, New York, 16 January and 13 August 1836. Personal and family letters from Mrs. Ann Avery, Greensboro, Alabama; Mrs. Mary Ann Cross at "Farmers Delight"; Mrs. Sarah A. B. Granberry at Nags Head, 15 August 1838, telling of a large schooner going aground about one-half mile from their tent; aunt Townsend at Hertford; cousins at Nags Head, 11 September 1839, mentioning shipwrecks, visitors, weather; Priscilla B. Bailey at Hillsborough, 20 September 1839, to Aunt Sarah Brown at Hertford. Diagram of part of Hillsborough, 1839, showing fifty-eight numbered houses and places, and identifying them.
Letters from J. L. Bailey in 1837 at Raleigh, Bladen County home of John Owen, and elsewhere in eastern and middle North Carolina. 30 May 1837, James Iredell, Raleigh, about accommodations for the Bailey family, personal.
1840-1849: Mainly personal correspondence. Two letters to Mollie Granberry, daughter of Priscilla's first cousin Sarah Ann (Sawyer) Granberry, including one from Jane Graham Daves at St. Mary's School, 15 September 1845. Items concerning estate of John S. Brothers; Gabriel Johnson property; debt of Thomas B. Bailey, 24 April 1846. 2 February 1846, William Cain to James H. Ruffin, Macon, Alabama, mentioning possibility of war, price of cotton, approaching marriage of William to Miss Sarah Bailey, members of family, and Hillsborough neighborhood news.
1850-1857: Personal correspondence of Bailey and related families: letters from J. L. Bailey on the judicial circuit, written at New Bern, Asheville, Wilson, 1856-1857, to his wife at "Eno Lodge" near Hillsborough, and her letters from Hillsborough and from a long visit with relatives in Columbus, Mississippi, 1857-1858. Letters from Thomas B. Bailey and other relatives in the 1850s in Mississippi. A letter, 16 March 1854, is from T. L. Skinner, Edenton, North Carolina. Photocopy of will of William Cain, 10 April 1856 (whose son William had died in 1846), and letters from young William Cain (1847-1930) to his grandpa Bailey. More Hillsborough letters: 17 September 1857, Sallie B. Dillard at "Farmers Delight" sends family news, baptism of James Hardy Dillard, etc. A letter, 6 July 1857, is from Edward Conigland, Halifax, North Carolina.
1858-1859: More family and friendly letters to Mrs. J. L. Bailey from Mississippi and from a variety of country places--kinswomen Sarah Brownrigg Sparkman, Jane H. Brown, Elizabeth B. Waddell; J. L. Bailey's letters from Statesville, Wilkesboro, Marion, Shelby, on the circuit. In 1859 the Baileys moved from "Eno Lodge" near Hillsborough to a place near Black Mountain or Swannanoa in Buncombe County, North Carolina. Social notes and invitations to Miss Elizabeth Cain. Silas McDowell's poem, 15 May 1859, concerns Elisha Mitchell (1798-1857). A letter, 20 May 1859, is from Edward Conigland.
1860-1861: J. L. Bailey's letters to his wife, describing excitement and activities and rumors in connection with the outbreak of war, were written from Hillsborough, Greensboro, Graham, Goldsboro, New Bern, and Washington, North Carolina, in 1860; and Wilmington, Greenville, Rocky Mount, Raleigh, Weldon, Goldsboro, Salisbury, Hillsborough, and Greensboro in 1861. William Cain's letters from Hillsborough Military Institute were written March 1860-May 1861; his letters from 29 August through November 1861 were written at Confederate army camps at Asheville, Raleigh, Wilmington, North Carolina, and near Port Royal, South Carolina, where he served as a drill master, though only thirteen years old. He subsequently returned to school in Hillsborough. January 1860, letters and data for Cain family tombstones, including a long letter from a Philadelphia businessman to Paul C. Cameron of North Carolina, concerning northern attitudes to slavery and abolitionists. 1 March 1860, circular from Delaware State Lotteries, Baltimore. A letter from Silas McDowell, 20 June 1860, tells of his orchard work, mentions his paper on the "frostless belt" for the commissioner of agriculture, and includes his poem on "Whiteside Rock" in the full moonlight. Letters to Mrs. Bailey and her daughter Mrs. Sarah Cain in Buncombe County, North Carolina, from the women of the family--Sally Sparkman at Oak Villa or Oakville; Jane H. Brown at Ingleside in Princess Anne County, Virginia; Mrs. Sallie Dillard; and from Thomas B. Bailey in Columbus, Mississippi. Two letters from William H. Bailey, with Confederate troops, 1861, in the Yorktown, Virginia area. 16 October 1861, Bettie Brownrigg (later Mrs. Waddell) sends news of the men in her family on several fronts, and much home activity in Mississippi.
1862: Only three letters, all from relatives in the Columbus, Mississippi, area. There is also a letter from Silas McDowell, 17 February 1862, telling of the troubles of his son Thomas, wrongly accused of desertion, arrested, and rescued by irate local citizens, etc., as well as metioning varieties of grapes. There is also a postscript on a slip dated 3 March 1862.
1863-1864: War letters include ones from Sallie Dillard, 26 March 1863, at "Farmers Delight" in enemy-occupied territory; from William Cain, again a cadet at Hillsborough Military Academy; from Sarah Brownrigg Sparkman at "Oak-Villa" somewhere near Columbus, Mississippi; from Mary Isabella (Granberry) Johnson at "Stockton" near Elizabeth City, 22 August 1863, surrounded by enemy camps; from J. L. Bailey at Mocksville, Statesville, from Mrs. J. L. Bailey and her daughter Mrs. Sarah Cain at "Deer Pass" in Buncombe County, North Carolina, and Asheville, and from Bessie Cain at St. Mary's School and at Graham, North Carolina, with her Ruffin relatives. Two letters in September 1862 are from J. T. Harris, Columbia, South Carolina, about land claims in Henderson and Buncombe counties, North Carolina. A brief note from William M. Woodard is also included in this period.
1865-1867: Correspondence of Miss Bessie Cain at St. Mary's School and visiting with relatives at Graham, Hillsborough, and elsewhere, chiefly with her family at Asheville and her brother at Hillsborough Military Academy. In these and later years there are letters to Miss Cain from her schoolmates and young relatives. 7 August 1865, Thomas B. Bailey at Rutherfordton, hoping to have a female school there. 29 January 1866, Columbus, Mississippi, Mrs. Elizabeth Brownrigg Waddell to her aunt, Mrs. Bailey, an account of many relatives, their plans and adjustments. 2 March 1866, Morganton, Bessie Cain visiting her aunt, Mrs. Tod Caldwell. 25 June 1866, more family news from Mrs. Waddell at Mayfield near Columbus, Mississippi. More social notes from Miss Bessie Cain's young friends. 1867: More letters to and from Miss Bessie Cain at St. Mary's School; also from William Cain at Hillsborough Military Academy about his courses, and a remarkable tale about Colonel Taw's whereabouts, 8 February 1867. 30 Novmber 1867, Thomas Ruffin, Jr., Baltimore, to Dr. James F. Cain, reporting in detail on his physical condition. 18 December 1867, Hugh Waddell, Wilmington, introducing his son, Cameron, coming to Asheville for his health, and commenting on the late war. Family letters.
Other items in this period include letters, 13 January 1865, Judge Edwin Godwin Reade, Roxboro, to Bailey at Asheville, about a small debt and difficulties of the times. Letters, 1 August-September 1865, from L. C. May and his nephew E. G. McClanahan, Tennessee, inquire about studying law under Bailey.
11 and 13 September 1865, two letters from J. N. Benners, Waynesville, replying to Bailey's request for help in finding some wheat that can be bought. 18 December, Hillsborough, Thomas Webb, replying to an inquiry about William J. Owen. [Another letter 18 May 1866.] 18 December, bill and letter from T. & J. W. Johnson & Co., Philadelphia, concerning law books purchased by Bailey in 1860/61. 26 December, printed letter from Fletcher Bros., New York, and notice of Havanna Lottery of Kentucky, proposing a deceptive scheme, in which "no one would lose" and the addressee (Bailey) would gain "a few hundred dollars" in exchange for showing his "winnings" around the neighborhood [1865/66]. An undated broadside advertises W. M. Walton & W. P. De Normandie, attorneys, Austin, Texas, establishing a land agency.
Miscellaneous correspondence about debts, claims, and such, 1866. Also, letters from J. K. Connolly, Richmond, Virginia, 10 January, trying to locate the law books he left with Bailey in 1861, and 13 February, hoping to go to Texas in six or eight weeks. A letter from Silas McDowell, 8 February 1866, tells of the death of his son Arthur in 1864, reviews the story of the maltreatment of his son Thomas, the Confederate service of Thomas, William E. and James, details of his own financial and property losses, as well as the possibility of his going to Texas, and asking for Bailey's influence in the appointment of Jackson Johnston as Clerk of Court. Another undated letter from McDowell [after 8 February 1866, and before 17 May 1866] is filed with the letter of 8 February 1866. 17 March 1866, Will H. Battle, Chapel Hill, giving noncommittal answer concerning General Martin. Letters from nephew John L. Brothers, sons T. B. and W. H. Bailey, and others. 7 November, Charlotte, James W. Osborne, enclosing a note and reflecting on the troublesome times.
More correspondence about debts and claims and miscellaneous business, 1867. Letters from William H. Bailey, grandson John L. Bailey Jr., and from law students. Also included are two Silas McDowell letters. The first, 30 January 1867, includes reminiscences of Burke County, c. 1817-1826, and the Spencer family there, property matters of his son William, experimentation with scuppernong grapes, and recollections of John Lyon, a botanist who came to Asheville in 1814 and died there in the presence of Silas McDowell and James Johnston. The second letter, March 1867, includes more information about Silas McDowell's poem "Whiteside Rock" and a version of it, considerable revised since 1860, as well as comments on grape and orchard culture, geological theories about these mountains (Whitesides), and the fact that McDowell had decided not to go to Texas.
1868-1869: Personal letters to Judge and Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. Sarah Cain at Asheville, and Bessie Cain either at Asheville or visiting with relatives in other towns. The letters include Bailey and Cain family letters from Asheville, North Carolina, and "Oak-Villa" near Columbus, Mississippi; letters from William Cain, young engineer working on a railroad survey near Greensboro, Hillsborough, and Columbia, South Carolina; three letters from Thomas B. Bailey at Bellevue and Edgefield, Tennessee in 1869, commenting on political situation and telling of his efforts to establish himself as teacher, writer, lecturer; correspondence of Miss Cain about social activities of young people. Letters received by J. L. Bailey include one from William Eaton, Jr., 11 January 1868, Warrenton, North Carolina, advertising his Book of Legal Forms, several letters of introduction for persons coming to Asheville, brief communications, November-December 1868, from Dr. Robert Heth Chapman about renting a house in Asheville.
Miscellaneous correspondence continued in 1868, concerning collections, accounts due, and legal, court, and property matters, mostly in the Asheville area. Notices from law-book dealers including their printed ads. Letters from Mrs. James A. Patton, Charlotte; Mrs. Varina J. M. Chapman, Hendersonville; M. H. Justice, Rutherfordton; B. S. Gaither (to N. W. Woodfin), T. J. Sumner concerning Carter v. Hoke.
Letters concerning legal and financial matters continue in 1869. 17 January and 9 March, R. D. Wade & F. J. Whitmire, Brevard, North Carolina, asking Bailey's opinion of some procedures under the civil code of 1867. Brief note from Stephen Lee, at Cove, about grandson. 15 May, W. H. Bailey at Salisbury about his own debts and hopeless financial situation.
A letter from Silas McDowell, 4 January 1869, includes autobiographical comments (on past and present and upon his writings), as well as comments on W. W. Holden and discussion of financial and property title matters that were worrying McDowell. On 12 May 1869, McDowell again addressed Bailey about his financial problems with the Morganton bank, with additional information on grapes, his report on the thermal zone, other publications, and mentions of the Blue Ridge Railroad.
1870: More family and social correspondence of Mrs. Bailey, Mrs. Cain, and Miss Bessie Cain, including letters from Bessie while she visited at Salisbury, North Carolina, "Ingleside," near Norfolk, and elsewhere; from T. B. Bailey in Davidson County, Tennessee; Mrs. E. B. Waddell at Columbus, Mississippi; George Walton at Davidson College; William Cain at Kingsville and Columbia, South Carolina, working on railroad survey; and cousin Jane H. Brown at Ingleside. Copy of obituary, Robinson Piedmont, d. 3 June 1870. Two letters, 24 July and 4 September 1870, are from T. B. Bailey, at Edgefield near Nashville, Tennessee, concerning his desperate situation and then about his new opportunity as North Carolina agent for the Nashville Life Insurance Company.
Four items are McDowell letters. The first, 16 May 1870, discusses John Lyon's death scene, which McDowell had written up for M. A. Curtis. Two letters in September include one concerning the death of Reverend L. F. Siler, while both repeat McDowell's financial and property worries, etc. A letter, 24 October 1870, includes more on his personal affairs and additional discussion of apples including a new variety.
1871, 1872, and 1873: Family and social correspondence continues, mainly of Mrs. Sarah Cain, her daughter Bessie, and Mrs. Bailey, including letters from relatives in Columbus, Mississippi (Mrs. Waddell) and at Ingleside near Norfolk (Jane H. Brown) and from William Cain, working on railroad survey in South Carolina. 20 January 1871, C. G. Meminger to J. L. Bailey, a reply to a question about a legal case (property). 13 February 1871, T. B. Bailey at Cave Spring, Georgia, deplores the economic depression of the region; local and family news. 21 March 1871, Tod R. Caldwell, Raleigh, Executive Office, to his daughter and his niece Miss Bessie Cain, about personal matters and mentioning impeachment trial (closed today) and possibility of being impeached. 20 April 1871, brief letter from B. F. Moore, Raleigh, to J. L. Bailey, replying to a question about a point of law. Correspondence between Mrs. Cain and her daughter Bessie, visiting at Irvington, New York, Norfolk, and Hillsborough. One of the 1870 items is a poem by Font Taylord, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Three letters from Silas McDowell, 14 January, 18 June, and 8 July 1871, include poems written with Jackson Johnston on specific occasions with explanations of the circumstances. These letters also discuss McDowell's illness with facial cancer, his stays during summer months with his daughter Mrs. J. L.(?) Weaver at Reeves Creek, reminiscences, and a visit with an old friend Hugh Walsingholm [Wolstenholme] "now in his 92nd year," living at the Buncombe County Poor House.
The letters of 1872 are nearly all to Miss Bessie Cain from family and a host of friends--Charles Overman, J. S. Henderson, and others. 20 November 1872, letter from Silas McDowell at Franklinton, North Carolina. Also included are letters to J. L. Bailey from various persons including nephew C. B. Brothers, Elizabeth City; niece Penelope, Norfolk; E. R. Arthur "in the wilds of western North Carolina"; son William Bailey; old schoolmate Walter F. Leak, Rockingham; and invitation to wedding of Hannie E. Caldwell, daughter of Tod R. and Walter Brem.
The letters of 1873 are Bailey and Cain family and social correspondence as in previous years. 17 April to J. L. Bailey from Simons and Simons of Charleston, South Carolina about a law case. November mortgage of J. L. Bailey's law library and real estate in Buncombe County, Lewis Hanes of Davidson County, North Carolina. Social letters from William A. Holland of Kinston, S. F. Lord of Rowan County, etc.
Other 1873 items include letters from Will H. Battle, George W. Simpson, J. A. Forney, H. A. Westall, grandson J. L. Bailey. 29 September, Thomas J. Wilson, Winston, North Carolina, about getting some cloth and telling what little he knows of his Wilson family history.
Three letters are included from Silas McDowell in 1873. On 17 May, McDowell wrote of his facial cancer having been cured after three years, with a resume of his health since birth including herbal treatments by D. L. Swain's mother. McDowell also commented on his writings, his family, and the same business affairs that had been worrying him since the Civil War. On 2 June he again addressed the financial and legal matters previously discussed and mentions mica mines and other minerals in the neighborhood. On 26 June he included recollections of Burke County in early years--the Tate, Walton, Avery, Caldwell, Erwin, McDowell, and many other families--and tells of recent correspondence with Lyman C. Draper about events in September 1776 near Franklin, North Carolina, when General Williamson was repulsed by Cherokee Indians.
This group of family letters ends arbitrarily at the end of 1873; the family correspondence beyond that date is included in the John Steele Henderson Family Papers.
Undated: After 1873, there is one full folder of additional, undated, family letters of the same kind as the dated ones. Among them is a twelve-page manuscript by William Henry Bailey entitled "Visit to the Athens of North Carolina," a description of Hillsborough in the 1870s.
Fragment of a page from Bailey family Bible record (original manuscript). Other family data include Priscilla Bailey's birth and baptism record (b. 14 April 1825). Map of Hillsborough, undated account of visit, and typed copy of account and of keys to the map. The map is in two pieces. One piece, "East of Churton," came with papers formerly in possession of Miss Mary Henderson, given after her death. In June 1973 the other piece, "West of Churton," was discovered in the Francis Nash Papers, Folder 900. Each map has a key on the back and together the maps and the keys show the houses of Hillsborough in 1839, with the names of the residents, as recollected by William Henry Bailey in later years. Each piece is 8 1/2 x 14<=.
William H. Bailey to his mother, Mrs. John Lancaster (Priscilla Brownrigg) Bailey, who then lived in Asheville, not dated but probably written sometime in 1871-1874, before the death of Mrs. Bailey in 1874 (12 pp.). Tells of return to Hillsborough to visit Haswell Norwood and his wife Maria (Howerton), sister of Bailey's wife Annie (Howerton), of calling on old friends, with news of other residents.
Typed copy of the keys to the map and of the account of the visit, and one-page explanation, by Mrs. Alfred G. Engstrom. Xerox copy made from typescript, gift of Mrs. Engstrom, 17 August 1973 (11 pp.).
One folder contains drawings by Bessie (Elizabeth Brownrigg Cain) and by her brother William Cain (1847-1930).
One folder contains pertinent clippings from newspapers, etc.
Volume 1: 1862-1864. Account book of J. L. Bailey, with some accounts on behalf of W. H. Bailey; scattered miscellaneous accounts and memoranda concerning small transactions with various persons--tobacco, meal, eggs and chickens, masonry and carpentry jobs in amounts less than $1 (written in a diary-book designed for "1861").
Volume 2: 1837-1859 and 1874-1883. Miss Sarah Jane Bailey's album and commonplace book, given to her in 1837 by Robinson Piedmont (1811-1870). The entries for 1837-1839 at Hillsborough were poems transcribed and autograph messages to Sarah Jane; the entries in 1843-1845 were more of the same kind written at Hillsborough and at St. Mary's School. The entries in 1855-1859 are Mrs. Sarah Jane Bailey Cain's commonplace book, mostly poems from different sources, copied at Black Mountain, North Carolina. Also several memoranda and obituary clippings, 1874, 1877, 1883, concerning the Bailey family.
Volume 3: About 1843-1845. A portfolio of sheet music used by Miss Sarah Jane Bailey at St. Mary's School, Raleigh, North Carolina. Compositions by Gustave Blessner and others.
Volume 4: 1854-1869 and undated. Accounts and memoranda, mostly undated, including recipes, remedies, etc.; one page concerning Bailey and Baker ancestors; several pages of accounts of Sarah J. Bailey and Thomas B. Bailey earlier than 1846; only dated entries are 1854, 1865, 1864, and 1869. It is not clear whether this little volume belonged to Sarah Jane Bailey Cain or some other member of the family.
Volume 5: 1867-1908 and undated (clippings). Scrapbook of Sarah Jane (Bailey) Cain containing clippings of the post-Civil War period, mainly about Confederate topics and heroes. Miscellaneous obituary clippings, 1867-1908--Confederate and family and friends. Also, poems and articles clipped.
Volume 6: Recollections and memoranda. Sarah Jane (Bailey) Cain: (one portfolio): Reminiscences of the Last Days of the War in Asheville, North Carolina. Several copies of typescript (about 8 pp.). 1 manuscript page. Notes on family information and memories, as taken down by Miss Mary F. Henderson in 1920; other notes written down by other members of the family about 1920, of what Mrs. Cain had told them. Disconnected pages of recollections and notes, some by Mrs. Cain, others not clearly identified.
[Mrs. Sarah Jane Bailey Cain (1828-1927) spent her later years in the Henderson family household. Her papers dated after 1873 are filed with the John Steele Henderson Papers, except for the manuscript volumes above listed, which are filed with this collection.]
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection include the Brownrigg Family Papers; the William Cain Books; the Archibald Henderson Papers; and the John Steele Henderson Papers. Of these, the Brownrigg Family Papers are included in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J, Part 12, Tidewater and Coastal Plains North Carolina and the John Steele Henderson Papers are included, in part, in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J, Part 13, Piedmont North Carolina. A collection of Silas McDowell Papers is also among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection, and is included, in part, in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J, Part 14, Western North Carolina.
Mary Biddle Norcott Bryan Papers, 1819-1952,
Craven County, North Carolina; also Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee
Description of the Collection
Series 1 consists of Mary Biddle Norcott Bryan's scrapbook and a few enclosures from the scrapbook. The scrapbook contains items dated primarily from the mid-1860s to 1921, with a few from 1952. It is approximately 260 pages long, although many pages are blank. Included are more than eighty pages of Mary Norcott Bryan's reminiscences, written sporadically between 1896 and 1921, reflecting chiefly on her parents, her early family life and childhood, her marriage and honeymoon, the Civil War, and her married life at New Bern, North Carolina, after the war. Her son, Shepard Bryan of Atlanta, also wrote two letters and some of the notes in the book.
Pasted throughout the scrapbook are obituaries and newspaper clippings concerning family members; assorted items pertaining to the legal and judicial career of Henry Ravenscroft Bryan; United Daughters of the Confederacy memorial programs; articles on the Civil War, New Bern, and race relations; photos; telegrams; invitations; and other items. The half dozen enclosures are miscellaneous magazine and newspaper clippings and two law licenses, dated 1819 and 1820.
Series 2 consists chiefly of family correspondence, 1836 to 1904, of Mary Biddle Norcott Bryan, and members of the Norcott, Biddle, and Bryan families, with some business letters. The letters were originally pasted in the scrapbook but were removed for purposes of preservation in 1992. A page number at the top of each letter indicates its original location within the scrapbook. In many cases, brief notes that Mary Norcott Bryan wrote identifying her relationship to the correspondent appear on the scrapbook pages from which the letter was removed.
Most of the letters are addressed to Mary Norcott Bryan and mention news of family, relatives, and friends. Of particular interest are numerous letters from Mary Norcott Bryan to her mother, including some written while a student at a Murfreesboro, Tennessee, boarding school and others describing her honeymoon trip to Memphis, New Orleans, and Mobile, Alabama; letters to Mary Bryan from various relatives and friends, extending their sympathy at her mother's death; and letters concerning the burning of the Bryan home in New Bern, North Carolina, in 1895. Also included are several letters from Henry Ravenscroft Bryan to his mother, written between 1853 and 1855 when he was a student at the University of North Carolina, and letters he wrote from Paris in 1857 to his mother, brother, and sister, describing his visits to England and Switzerland.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Scrapbook and Enclosures and Series 2. Correspondence.
Mary Biddle Norcott Bryan (1841-1925) was the wife of Henry Ravenscroft Bryan (1835-1919), a New Bern, North Carolina, attorney and judge. She was born in 1841 in Pitt County, North Carolina, the daughter of John Norcott and Sarah Frances Biddle. In November 1859, she married Henry Bryan at New Bern, where the couple resided for most of their married life. The Bryans had three sons and five daughters. Mary Bryan died in May 1925 and was buried alongside her husband at Cedar Grove Cemetery in New Bern.
Series 1. Scrapbook and Enclosures, 1819-1921 and 1952
This series reproduces the scrapbook of Mary Biddle Norcott Bryan, including approximately eighty pages of her reminiscences written sporadically between 1896 and 1921 (pp. 1d-1s, 12-20, and 146-202), and two letters and some notes (pp. 73-77) written in 1952 by her son, Shepard Bryan of Atlanta. The scrapbook contains items dated primarily from the mid-1860s to 1921, with a few from 1952, and is 261 pages long, although large sections are blank. All of the family and business letters, with a few exceptions, have been removed for purposes of preservation.
Mary Norcott Bryan's reminiscences, consisting of a sort of extended letter addressed to her children, reflect chiefly on her parents and family life before her marriage in 1859; her wedding trip through Tennessee, Louisiana, and Alabama; her life in Raleigh, North Carolina, during the Civil War; and her life in New Bern, North Carolina, after the war. Also included are photos of an unidentified woman (perhaps Bryan herself) and the Bryan home at New Bern; obituaries and newspaper clippings concerning family members; assorted items pertaining to the legal and judicial career of Henry Ravenscroft Bryan and to United Daughters of the Confederacy memorial programs; articles on the Civil War, New Bern, and race relations; telegrams; invitations; and other items.
The half dozen enclosures consist of magazine and newspaper clippings and two law licenses, dated 1819 and 1820, of John Herritage Bryan, Mary's father-in-law.
Series 2. Correspondence, 1836-1904 and Undated
This series is chiefly family correspondence, 1836 to 1904, of Mary Biddle Norcott Bryan, and members of the Norcott, Biddle, and Bryan families, with some business letters. The letters were removed from the scrapbook in 1992 for purposes of preservation. Apparently the scrapbook contained more letters at one point, but someone, probably Mary Norcott Bryan herself, removed them several decades before the volume was donated to the Southern Historical Collection. A page number at the top of each letter indicates its original location within the scrapbook. In many cases, brief notes that Mary Norcott Bryan wrote identifying her relationship to the correspondent appear on the scrapbook pages from which the letter was removed.
Most of the letters are addressed to Mary Norcott Bryan, or Mollie (apparently her nickname), and are concerned with news of family, relatives, and friends. Of particular interest are letters from the young Mary Biddle Norcott to her mother while she was a student at a boarding school in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; an 1857 letter from Mary Biddle Norcott, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, to her mother thanking her profusely for "those lessons of wisdom which you have labored so long and faithfully to inculcate"; letters, 1859 to 1860, from the newlywed Mary Norcott Bryan to her mother, describing her honeymoon trip to the old southwest, especially Memphis, New Orleans, and Demopolis and Mobile, Alabama; letters, 1871, to Mary Bryan from various relatives and friends, consoling her on her mother's death; and letters, 1895, to Mary Bryan from various relatives and friends concerning the burning of the Bryan home in New Bern, North Carolina. Also included are several letters, 1853 to 1855, from Henry Ravenscroft Bryan to his mother written while he was attending the University of North Carolina; and three letters, 1857, from Henry Bryan in Paris to his mother, brother, and sister, describing his visits to England and Switzerland.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection include the Bryan Family Papers and the Shepard Bryan Papers. The Simpson and Bryan Family Papers, North Carolina Collection, UNC-CH, is another related collection.
Bumpas Family Papers, 1838-1854,
Chatham and Guilford Counties, North Carolina
Description of the Collection
This collection includes a small number of letters among family members; other papers, including family history materials and writings chiefly of Robah Fidus Bumpas; and volumes, including diaries and scrapbooks.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence--Subseries 1.1: Sidney D. and Frances Moore Webb Bumpas, 1842-1847, and Subseries 1.2: Robah Fidus Bumpas, 1866-1933 [not included]; Series 2. Other Papers [not included]; and Series 3. Volumes--Subseries 3.1: Sidney D. and Frances Moore Webb Bumpas Diaries and Subseries 3.2: Other Volumes [not included].
Sidney D. Bumpas (1808-1851) was a Methodist minister of the North Carolina Conference, pastor, presiding elder, editor, and author. His wife, Frances Moore Webb Bumpas (1819-1898), edited and published The Weekly Message of Greensboro, 1851-1871, and was corresponding secretary of the North Carolina Conference of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society. Their son, Robah Fidus Bumpas (1850-1933), was for fifty-four years a Methodist minister in the North Carolina Conference, serving in Wilmington, Beaufort, New Bern, Kinston, Raleigh, and other North Carolina locations.
Series 1. Correspondence, 1842-1933
Subseries 1.1: Sidney D. and Frances Moore Webb Bumpas, 1842-1847 This subseries consists of three letters from Sidney D. Bumpas to Frances Moore Webb, two before their marriage about his activities and desire to marry and one after their marriage about his work, including an 1847 service he led that was attended by Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker. There is also one letter from Frances Moore Webb Bumpas to her husband about her activities at home.
Series 3. Volumes, 1838-1972
Subseries 3.1: Sidney D. and Frances Moore Webb Bumpas Diaries, 1838-1854 This subseries consists of three items.
Volume 1: Diary of Sidney D. Bumpas, 1 January 1838-1 December 1841. Irregular entries dealing with Bumpas's work as a Methodist minister in North Carolina, first on the Wilkes circuit, later on the Guilford circuit, and, finally, at a church in Raleigh.
Volume 2: Autobiography and diary of Sidney D. Bumpas, 1 January 1842-1 January 1844. An autobiographical essay is followed by diary entries made while Bumpas was chiefly in Raleigh, North Carolina. Entries discuss such topics as the examination of an infant school, the tarring and feathering of Lunsford Lane (a free black), a visit to the city by John C. Calhoun, the church conference at Louisburg, his marriage to Frances Moore Webb, holding a revival in Smithfield, his visit to and baptism of two convicts condemned to be hanged, and the church conference in Halifax, Virginia. Near the end of the diary, Bumpas was assigned to a church in Pittsboro, North Carolina, where he preached and ran a school with his wife.
Volume 3: Diary of Frances Moore Webb Bumpas, 16 February 1843-21 September 1854. Included are entries noting church activities. There is little about the school Frances ran with Sidney in Pittsboro. After her husband's death in 1851, most of the entries are reflections on spiritual matters, with little about daily life (formerly volume 3).
A list of omissions from the Bumpas Family Papers, 1838-1854, is provided on Reel 11, Frame 0386. Omissions include Subseries 1.2, Robah Fidus Bumpas Correspondence; Series 2, Other Papers, 1946 and Undated; and Subseries 3.2, Other Volumes, 1839-1933.
Burton and Young Family Papers, 1807-1911,
Cabarrus, Granville, Lincoln, and Mecklenburg Counties,
North Carolina; also Texas
Description of the Collection
Alfred M. Burton was one of several sons of Robert and Agatha Burton of Granville County, North Carolina. He was licensed to practice law in North Carolina, 1807, and in Tennessee, 1808, and settled in Lincoln County, North Carolina, in the first decade of the nineteenth century. His seventh child, Sarah Virginia, married Robert Simonton Young of Cabarrus County, North Carolina, who was killed in the Civil War, leaving her with four children and property in North Carolina and in Milan County, Texas.
Family correspondence among members of four generations of the Burton and Young families who lived in Granville, Lincoln, Cabarrus, and Mecklenburg counties, North Carolina, includes letters, bills, and other items, 1866-1896, to Sarah Virginia Burton Young sent by agents managing the cotton plantation she inherited near Cameron, Milan County, Texas, on the death of her husband in 1864. Letters discuss cotton cultivation, price, and sale; crop conditions; conduct of farm workers, especially rioting by freedmen; and the unsettled nature of local politics as related to freedmen's votes. Also included are bills, accounts, receipts, estate papers, and other items of the related Smith family of Charlotte, North Carolina, relating to family members.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence and Financial and Legal Papers and Series 2. Volumes.
Alfred M. Burton (1747-1825), one of several sons of Robert (1747-1825) and Agatha Burton of Granville County, North Carolina, attended the University of North Carolina, 1802, was licensed to practice law in North Carolina, 1807, and in Tennessee, 1808, and settled in Lincoln County, North Carolina, in the first decade of the nineteenth century. His wife was Elizabeth (Betsy) Fullenwider(?). Their children were Robert S., Elizabeth W. (later Hoyle), Mary L., John W., Frances C., William B., and Sarah Virginia (later Young).
Sarah Virginia Burton was the second wife of Major Robert Simonton Young of Cabarrus County, North Carolina, who fought with the 7th North Carolina Regiment and was killed in the Civil War. Sarah Virginia's stepson, John Phifer Young (1845-1863), also with the 7th, was also killed in the war. Taking her four children with her, Sarah Virginia made the journey to Texas in 1864 to become familiar with her late husband's property there. For more than thirty years following her visit, the cotton plantation in Cameron, Milam County, Texas, was handled by agents for her and her family. She returned from Texas to settle in Concord, North Carolina. In later years, she lived in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Series 1. Correspondence and Financial and Legal Papers, 1807-1911 and
Included are the following:
1807-1818: Alfred M. Burton's 1807 and 1808 law licenses; indentures; wills; deeds; letters relating to legal proceedings in North Carolina and in Tennessee. Letter from Hutchins G. Burton, a lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina, about settling accounts. Letters among various Burton family members about family news.
1824-1829: Letters from Alfred M. Burton to his mother about family news and domestic affairs.
1829: Letters among various Burton family members about family news.
1830-1838: Indentures; family letters; legal documents, some of which relate to slaves bequeathed to various family members.
1839: Letter from Elizabeth H. Burton to her father.
1840-1849: Indentures; plats; law license of John W. Burton; family letters discussing the poor economic outlook, with money scarce, the price of cotton low, and business dull.
1850-1859: Family letters; contracts and other legal documents.
1861: Letter from Alfred E. Hoyle at Manassas Junction to his mother, Elizabeth W. Burton Hoyle, detailing the hardships of camp life, troop movements, etc.
1862: Letter announcing the death of Alfred E. Hoyle.
1863: Letters of sympathy to Elizabeth W. Burton Hoyle on the death of her son.
1864: Letters praising the recently fallen Major Robert Simonton Young; pass signed by Zebulon Vance allowing Sarah Virginia Young and her children to travel to Texas.
1866-1899: Letters, bills, receipts, and other documents of Sarah Virginia Young, relating to her Texas plantation. Letters discuss cotton cultivation, price, and sale; crop conditions; conduct of farm workers, especially rioting by freedmen; and the unsettled nature of local politics as related to freedmen's votes. Other papers include legal papers, claim settlements, and land evaluations.
1880s-1911: Documents relating to Smith family relatives.
Miscellaneous papers include family history materials, two posters supporting the erection of the Washington Monument, and a ribbon with the words and music to the "Star-Spangled Banner" woven in.
Series 2. Volumes, 1835-1875
This series consists of four items.
Volume 1: 1835, 26 pp. Book of poetry dedicated to Frances Burton, who apparently was taking leave of her friends.
Volume 2: 1836, 12 pp. "An inventory of the personal property of A. M. Burton which came into my hands as Executrix. [Frances C.?] Burton" and a few other accounts relating to A. M. Burton's estate.
Volume 3: 1841-1852, 134 pp. Ledger of Robert Simonton Young, with accounts for goods and services. Also included are a few accounts in another hand from the late 1860s.
Volume 4: 1868-1875, 68 pp. Ledger of Joseph N. Young of Concord, North Carolina, with accounts for goods and services.
Missouri Eley Darden Papers, 1837-1865,
Hertford County, North Carolina
Description of the Collection
Missouri E. Eley, daughter of Susan E. Vann and Lawrence Eley of Murfreesboro, Hertford County, North Carolina, married George T. Darden of Hertford County in 1862. They had at least one child, named Eley, who was born in 1863 or 1864.
The collection consists of the diary, 1861-1865, 77 pp., of Missouri Eley Darden and two love letters, 1837 and 1838, from Darden's father to her mother before their marriage. The diary chiefly documents daily activities, such as visiting, sewing, and leisure pastimes. It also includes some reflections that are religious in nature and comments on the Dardens' marriage and on George Darden's imprisonment in a Union prison in 1865.
De Rosset Family Papers, 1671-1940,
Brunswick and New Hanover Counties, North Carolina;
also South Carolina, New York, and Great Britain
Description of the Collection
This collection consists chiefly of family correspondence, especially letters exchanged among several generations of De Rosset family women. Their letters to each other were generally long and informative, documenting their deep religious convictions, their household concerns, social activities in Wilmington, North Carolina, and a wide variety of family matters. Also documented is the education of several generations of De Rosset family children at schools in North Carolina, Boston, New York, and Geneva, Switzerland. Interests of female family members are further documented in diaries kept by Catherine Fullerton, Eliza Jane Lord De Rosset, and Gabrielle De Rosset Waddell. Financial and legal materials document the French origins of the De Rossets, their accumulation of land and slaves in Brunswick County, their service in military companies, and the settlement of family estates.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence--Subseries 1.1: Loose Papers (Subseries 1.1.1: 1702-1815, Subseries 1.1.2: 1817-1849, Subseries 1.1.3: 1850-1860, Subseries 1.1.4: 1861-1864, Subseries 1.1.5: 1865-1871, Subseries 1.1.6: 1872-1940, and Subseries 1.1.7: Undated) and Subseries 1.2: Letterbooks; Series 2. Financial and Legal Materials--Subseries 2.1: Loose Papers and Subseries 2.2: Volumes; Series 3. Diaries; Series 4. Other Materials [not included]; and Series 5. Pictures.
The De Rosset family was established in North Carolina in the 1730s with the immigration of physician Armand John De Rosset, a French Huguenot. Four generations of the men worked as physicians and merchants in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Armand John De Rosset, Sr. (1767-1859) was raised by his stepfather, Adam Boyd. He attended schools in Hillsborough before enrolling in Nassau Hall (now Princeton University) and studying medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He returned to Wilmington and became a prominent citizen. He married first Mary Fullerton (d. 1797), and with her had three daughters who died young and one son, Moses John De Rosset (1796-1826), who died shortly after completing his medical education. In 1797, Armand married Mary's sister, Catherine Fullerton (1773-1837), and had with her five children: Catherine (1800-1889); Eliza Ann (1802-1888), later known as "Aunt Liz"; Magdalen Mary (1806-1850); Armand John, Jr. (1807-1897); and Mary Jane (1813-1903). Catherine De Rosset married the Reverend William Kennedy (d. 1840), moved to Columbia, South Carolina, and became stepmother to his children. Mary Jane married Moses Ashley Curtis (1808-1872), moved to Hillsborough, North Carolina, and had ten children, five of whom lived to maturity. Eliza Ann and Magdalen never married.
Armand John De Rosset, Jr., became a physician and businessman in Wilmington. He established a mercantile partnership, with a branch office in New York City, and conducted business on behalf of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad Company in the United States and Great Britain. He first married Eliza Jane Lord (1812-1876) and had eleven children with her: Katherine (1830-1914); William Lord (1832-1910); Eliza Hill (b. 1843), also known as "Lossie"; Alice (1836-1897); Moses John (1838-1881); Louis Henry (1840-1875); Armand Lamar (b. 1842); Edward Swift (1844-1861); Thomas Childs (1845-1878), frequently referred to as "the Colonel"; Annie (1848-1855); and Frederic Ancrum (b. 1856). He married second Catherine ("Cattie") Kennedy (1830-1894), his sister Catherine De Rosset Kennedy's stepdaughter.
The children of Armand and Eliza De Rosset married as follows. Katherine Douglas De Rosset married Gaston Meares (1821-1862) and had six children, including Magdalen De Rosset (1851-1855), Gaston (1852-1861), Armand De Rosset (b. 1854), Eliza Lord (1856-1858), Richard Ashe (b. 1858), and Louis Henry (b. 1860). William Lord De Rosset married first Caroline Horatio Nelson (d. 1861) and had with her two children, and married second Elizabeth Simpson Nash (b. 1840), with whom he had six more. Alice London De Rosset married Graham Daves (1836-1902), no issue. Moses John De Rosset married Adelaide Savage Meares (1839-1897) and had many children. Eliza Hall De Rosset married Charles D. Myers (1834-1892) and had many children. Louis Henry De Rosset married first Marie Trapier Finley (1844-1870), with whom he had a daughter, Gabrielle De Rosset (b. 1863), who later married Alfred Moore Waddell; and second Jane Dickinson Cowan (b. 1848), by whom he had two children, including a daughter Katharine (b. 1875), through whose line these papers were received. Armand Lamar De Rosset married Tallulah Ellen Low (1845-1901) and had many children. Frederic Ancrum De Rosset married Mary Williams Green (b. 1859), no issue. Thomas Childs De Rosset was unmarried at the time of his death. Edward Swift De Rosset and Annie De Rosset died in childhood.
See also the genealogical charts in the Appendix.
Series 1. Correspondence, 1785-1940 and Undated
This series consists chiefly of personal family correspondence of De Rosset family women. Their letters to each other were generally long and informative, containing much information about life in Wilmington and other towns in North and South Carolina. Their primary topics of conversation included the education of children, family health, fashion, household matters, social events, and religious opinions, but extended to a wide variety of other matters.
There is little information about the medical practices of De Rosset physicians, but the women's letters reveal their own considerable medical knowledge. Family correspondence contains scattered information about business interests including mercantile partnerships in Wilmington and New York, railroad interests, the family rice plantation, and other concerns.
Subseries 1.1: Loose Papers, 1702-1940 and Undated This subseries includes correspondence of four generations of the De Rosset family, particularly the families of Armand John De Rosset (1767-1859), his son Armand John, Jr. (1807-1897), his granddaughter Katherine De Rosset Meares (1830-1914) and grandson Louis Henry De Rosset (1840-1875), and his great-granddaughter, Gabrielle De Rosset Waddell (b. 1863).
Subseries 1.1.1: 1702-1815. This subseries consists chiefly of letters of Adam Boyd, stepfather of Armand John De Rosset, Sr. (1767-1859). Boyd was forced to leave Wilmington because of his debilitating asthma, and wrote long, informative letters from Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee, and Natchez, Mississippi. Also included is correspondence of Armand J. De Rosset, Sr. (1767-1859), and his second wife, Catherine Fullerton (1773-1837), including letters from Armand's son, Moses John, while a student at the University of North Carolina.
Subseries 1.1.2: 1817-1849. This subseries includes scattered letters of Armand John De Rosset, Sr. (1767-1859), who wrote to his wife and children during occasional business trips, but chiefly letters exchanged between female members of the De Rosset and related families. Major correspondents include Catherine Fullerton De Rosset (1773-1837), her unmarried daughters, Eliza Ann (1802-1888) and Magdalen De Rosset (1806-1850), and their married sisters, Catherine De Rosset Kennedy (1800-1889) of Columbia, South Carolina, and Mary Jane De Rosset Curtis (1813-1903) of Hillsborough, North Carolina. Much correspondence during this period relates to the family of Armand John De Rosset, Jr. (1807-1897), and his wife Eliza Jane Lord (1812-1876).
Devout Episcopalians, the women wrote letters full of religious opinions and information about church politics and personalities, especially regarding St. James Church in Wilmington. Other topics of discussion include family and household concerns, sickness, and the education of children. In addition to information about social and daily life in Wilmington, many letters contain information about the small town of Smithville (now Southport) in Brunswick County, North Carolina, where the De Rossets owned a rice plantation. Catherine De Rosset Kennedy (1800-1889) frequently wrote her mother and sisters from Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina, about her life as the wife of the Reverend William Kennedy (d. 1840) and as stepmother to his children. The Kennedy family had many financial difficulties and, after the Reverend Kennedy's death, Katherine moved to Wilmington with her ten-year-old stepdaughter Catherine. Catherine, or "Cattie," became the second wife of Armand J. De Rosset, Jr. sometime after 1876.
During the 1840s, letters relate chiefly to Katherine ("Kate") Douglas De Rosset (1830-1914). Correspondence between Kate and her parents, Armand and Eliza Jane Lord De Rosset, documents her education at schools in Boston and New York, and at St. Mary's in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1849, a few letters to Gaston Meares, Kate's fiancé, reveal his business concerns. For example, a letter of 13 February 1849 refers to a "sea expedition" that Meares was apparently planning with Armand J. De Rosset, Jr. to the California gold fields. Other business references disclose that Armand John De Rosset, Jr., traveled to England on business for the Wilmington & Weldon Railway Company.
Of particular note are scattered letters from friends and family about westward migration, including one from Catherine Childs Woodbury, 7 September 1847, about her father building forts on the Oregon Trail, and another from Julia Ann Eccleston, 5 March 1849, about her husband's murder by Indians and her hard life on the frontier in Bastrop, Texas.
Subseries 1.1.3: 1850-1860. This subseries consists chiefly of correspondence documenting the married life of Katherine Douglas De Rosset (1830-1914), who married Gaston Meares in 1850. Early in their marriage letters show that she lived at the Smithville plantation while he traveled on business. In 1854, letters document Meares's successful campaign for the state assembly; he was elected representative of Brunswick County, North Carolina. His letters from Raleigh, never lengthy, make some mention of legislative business, his affairs in Brunswick County, and other matters.
In 1855, Meares moved his family to New York City, where he entered into the mercantile partnership of [Barron C.] Watson & Meares. This marks the beginning of an extensive correspondence between Katherine De Rosset Meares and her mother, Eliza Jane Lord De Rosset. Kate's letters are filled with details of her daily activities: the births and deaths of her children (one daughter died of diphtheria, another of whooping cough); house hunting in Brooklyn and other unaccustomed decisions that she feared would make her "a strong-minded woman"; housekeeping problems; shopping in the city; and Yankee servants. In turn, Eliza De Rosset wrote her daughter from Wilmington about family and town news; sewing; illness; attempts to hire a white servant, 23 September 1857; hiring an Irish servant, 1 October 1857; visiting and parties in and around Wilmington; excursions to the beach; and the activities of St. James Episcopal Church. By the late 1850s, Eliza's letters are filled with expressions of loneliness and depression in her large house, nearly empty after the departure of most of her eleven children. Her letters also display her knowledge and application of medical remedies. She described illnesses and deaths in Wilmington in detail and prescribed treatments herself, 8 February 1859.
Scattered letters document the education of Kate's younger brothers in Geneva, Switzerland. William Lord De Rosset wrote from the University of North Carolina in 1854.
Also during this period, letters show that Armand John De Rosset, Jr. continued to travel on railroad business, investigated copper and gold mines in North Carolina, and conducted other business in South Carolina and Boston. There is some documentation about the New York office of Brown and De Rosset, a mercantile firm based in Wilmington. Family letters document the death of Armand J. De Rosset, Sr. in 1859. Letters of 1860 reflect growing tension in Wilmington as the nation moved toward war. On 9 December, Eliza Jane Lord De Rosset wrote that the town was on alert and its citizens preparing for its defense.
Subseries 1.1.4: 1861-1864. This subseries consists chiefly of Civil War correspondence documenting the Confederate sympathies of the De Rosset family and their movements to stay out of the way of the clashing armies. When the war started, Armand and Eliza Lord De Rosset were in New York City visiting Kate. Letters indicate that the Armand De Rosset and Gaston Meares families moved temporarily to Hillsborough. By 1862, the Armand De Rossets had returned to Wilmington, and Eliza's letters document her work with the Wayside Hospital there. After a yellow fever epidemic in 1863, they rented a house in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Armand traveled to Wilmington occasionally to conduct business.
Catherine ("Cattie") Kennedy became a significant correspondent during this period, writing her stepmother from Columbia, South Carolina, about such things as housekeeping problems; nursing her sick brothers (who eventually died of tuberculosis); high prices and shortages of food, clothing, and other supplies; and hiring out slaves. Also among the correspondents during this period are the elderly De Rosset sisters, Eliza Anne in Hillsborough and Kate in Wilmington.
Correspondence is chiefly between De Rosset family women, who discuss their own experiences as war refugees and housekeepers in an economy of scarcity. Their letters also contain strong evidence of their Confederate sympathies and many references to the military service of male relatives, particularly Gaston Meares, who was killed at the Battle of Malvern Hill, 1 July 1862. In 1863, Kate Meares settled in Chapel Hill and briefly taught school. She received letters from Northern friends who sympathized with the Southern war effort.
Letters show that for a short time in November 1861 Kate Kennedy worked at the military hospital in Petersburg, Virginia. Also of interest are letters from Alice De Rosset Daves (1836-1897), showing that she traveled with her husband, Graham Daves (1836-1902) in Virginia and North Carolina while he took part in various military engagements.
As the war dragged on, family letters are filled with discussions of hardships encountered by refugees in Wilmington, Richmond, and Columbia. Toward the end of 1864, the focus of correspondence shifts toward Louis Henry De Rosset (1840-1875) and his wife Marie Finley De Rosset (1844-1870). In that year, the couple took up residence with their baby daughter, Gabrielle, in Hamilton, Bermuda. Letters between Armand and Louis show that Louis supplied goods to the De Rosset commission firm in Wilmington by running the blockade from Bermuda.
Of particular note during this period are several letters written to refugee De Rossets by their slaves in Wilmington.
Subseries 1.1.5: 1865-1871. This subseries includes correspondence of Louis Henry and Marie Finley De Rosset, chiefly documenting their sojourn in England. Immediately after the war, they moved to England with their daughter, Gabrielle, living first in London and later in Liverpool. Louis had many employment problems, and the family seems to have had continual financial difficulties. In spite of this, correspondence shows that the De Rossets enjoyed the society of the British upper class, including several members of the nobility. Among their friends was Edward, Lord Bulwer-Lytton, whose estate they visited on several occasions (see also subseries 1.2).
Letters to Louis and Marie from family members in Wilmington contain details about Reconstruction, activities of freed slaves in the area, Episcopal Church affairs, and difficulties relating to their rice plantation. On 18 May 1865, Kate Meares discussed the former De Rosset slave, Louisa, who was attending school in Wilmington. The activities of other former De Rosset slaves are frequent subjects of correspondence. Letters between Armand and Louis document the efforts of father and son to establish trade connections between Liverpool, where Louis apparently worked for a shipping company, and Wilmington. Letters show that Armand's trip to England on behalf of the Wilmington & Weldon Railway Company failed to produce needed investment and resulted in De Rosset's disassociation with this company. Along with family letters from the states, the Louis De Rossets received letters and invitations from British friends. There are descriptive letters from Marie about the countryside of Cross Maglen, County Armagh, Ireland, where she visited for health reasons in 1865.
The De Rossets were neighbors of the Jefferson Davis family in London, and when Marie died in 1870 of an overdose of laudanum, Varina Davis volunteered to take Gabrielle to live with the family in Wilmington. However, to escape his mounting debts, Louis took the child himself in May of 1870. Louis left Gabrielle with her grandparents and obtained a clerking position in New York. He lost this job in 1871 and returned to Wilmington.
Subseries 1.1.6: 1872-1940. This subseries consists chiefly of correspondence of Gabrielle De Rosset Waddell. Her father, Louis, was plagued by business failure until his death in 1875. Correspondence during this period is scattered with the exception of 1894-1895. During that period, Armand John De Rosset, Jr. was receiving treatment at the Post Graduate Hospital in New York City. Gabrielle De Rosset visited her grandfather Armand every day and wrote frequent letters to her aunts, Alice Daves and Kate Meares in Wilmington. In 1896, Gabrielle married Alfred Moore Waddell. Twentieth-century letters chiefly document her interest in genealogy, her membership in the Colonial Dames, and her other historical research interests. Letters show that Gabrielle was retained in 1919 to write the history of St. James Episcopal Church in Wilmington.
Subseries 1.1.7: Undated. This subseries includes about one hundred items documenting Catherine ("Cattie") Kennedy De Rosset; Eliza Ann De Rosset; Mary Jane De Rosset Curtis; Rebecca Geneva Haigh; the De Rosset family and others; and England.
Subseries 1.2: Letter Books, 1849-1870 This subseries consists of four volumes.
Business letters of Armand De Rosset, Jr. document his efforts on behalf of the Wilmington & Weldon Railway Company, his mercantile concerns, and other business matters. Copies of his letters document his business connections in Wilmington, New York, and London, and include letters to his father.
Louis Henry De Rosset's letters were written from New York and Wilmington as well as Galveston and Austin, Texas, chiefly to business firms about shipping, steamer lines, cotton cargoes, and progress in getting a charter from the Texas state legislature. Also included are letters to Edward, Lord Bulwer-Lytton, and others regarding arrangements for an American production of one of Lord Bulwer-Lytton's plays.
The remnants of a scrapbook of letters assembled by Louis H. De Rosset for his daughter, Gabrielle, document their London years, including letters of Lord Bulwer-Lytton. Gabrielle apparently added letters to her father's collection.
Series 2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1671-1895 and Undated
This series consists primarily of legal papers concerning land transactions, including deeds, indentures, surveys, and land grants; slave bills of sale; wills and estate papers; military commissions, several signed by William Blathwayt, 1690s; and miscellaneous receipts and accounts. Of particular note are several French documents, including a marriage contract dated 18 February 1671; and a deed of emancipation for a Charleston, South Carolina, slave, 1817.
Financial and legal volumes include a slave record that lists births and deaths of De Rosset family slaves from 1770 to 1854. Also included is Marie De Rosset's book of household accounts and expenses in England, 1869-1870.
Subseries 2.1: Loose Papers, 1671-1895 and Undated This subseries includes about 150 items arranged chronologically.
Subseries 2.2: Volumes, 1770-1870 This subseries consists of two volumes. The first volume is a Slave Record, 1770-1854. The second volume is a Household Account of Marie De Rosset, 1869-1870.
Series 3. Diaries, 1798-1936
This series consists of twenty volumes arranged alphabetically. Included in this series are the diary, June-September 1798, of Catherine Fullerton in Charleston, South Carolina, about everyday social and domestic activities; two journals of Eliza Jane Lord De Rosset concerning people and activities during a visit to England and France, 1865-1866; and eighteen journals, 1885-1936, of Gabrielle De Rosset Waddell containing accounts of her daily life and travels. Catherine Fullerton's diary contains interesting commentary on the marriages of many of her friends and acquaintances. Eliza Lord De Rosset's journals consist of a volume of sketchy notes and a neater and more complete account of her visits to London and Paris. Gabrielle De Rosset Waddell's diaries are primarily lists of people seen and daily activities, with little or no narrative or commentary.
Series 5. Pictures, c. 1864-1905 and Undated
This series consists of six items.
A list of omissions from the De Rosset Family Papers, 1671-1940, is provided on Reel 21, Frame 0304 and consists entirely of Series 4. Other Materials, c. 1671-1940.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection include the Moses Ashley Curtis Papers, the Meares-De Rosset Books, and the Alfred Moore Waddell Papers.
Charles Dewey Papers, 1828-1886,
Wake County, North Carolina; also Great Britain
Description of the Collection
This collection includes correspondence, miscellaneous papers, and two volumes relating to Charles Dewey and members of his family. Many of the items are business papers, 1828-1879, of Charles Dewey while he was a banker in Raleigh with the State Bank of North Carolina, the Bank of North Carolina, and the Raleigh National Bank. Among these are papers, 1839-1866, concerning the finances of the Cameron family, including letters from Paul C. and Duncan Cameron, and other papers relating to European investments in the United States. There is also family correspondence, 1854-1886, chiefly between Julia Ann Haylander Dewey and her children, nieces, and nephews. In 1886, there are letters describing a trip to Naples, Italy. Volumes are an 1833 travel diary of Julia Ann Haylander, on a journey to England to visit her ill sister, and a book containing lists of books read, quotations, and copies of writings by Shakespeare, Byron, and others that Charles Francis Dewey compiled in 1842-1843.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence, Financial and Legal Material, and Other Papers and Series 2. Volumes.
Charles Dewey (1798-1880) was born in New Bern, North Carolina, the son of John Dewey (1767-1830), born in Stonington, Connecticut, an architect who built the Masonic temple and theater in New Bern. Charles Dewey's mother was Mary Mitchell Dewey, a native of Elizabeth, New Jersey, who died in 1839 at the age of 67.
Virtually nothing is known about Dewey's early life. He began his career in 1820 as a clerk with the New Bern branch of the State Bank of North Carolina. In 1826, he was appointed cashier of the Fayetteville branch of the bank. The following year, he was elected cashier of the main branch in Raleigh. In Raleigh, Dewey served as cashier of the Bank of North Carolina and its successor, the Bank of the State of North Carolina. After the Civil War, when the Bank of the State of North Carolina was closed, he was elected cashier and later president of the Raleigh National Bank. He served as president until his death.
Dewey married three times. In 1822, he married Catherine M. Hall of New Bern. His second wife, Ann Letitia Webber, was born in New Bern in 1803 and died in Raleigh in 1835; the date of their marriage is not known. On 5 January 1837, Dewey married Julia Ann Haylander (1804-1886), a native of Philadelphia, who had moved to Raleigh at an early age. Charles Dewey was survived by four children. One son was Charles Francis Dewey (b. 1825), an 1844 graduate of the University of North Carolina who became a physician in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Another son, Thomas W., married Bessie Lacy, daughter of Drury Lacy, pastor of Raleigh's First Presbyterian Church. Charles Dewey was a faithful member of that church for over fifty years, serving as superintendent of its Sunday school and as a ruling elder.
Although he owned a few slaves and a moderate amount of property, Dewey never accumulated great wealth. He left a house and lot in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Anna Maria Dewey, wife of his son Frank H., who resided there. Bonds, notes, stocks, and other property were willed to his wife and his daughters, Mary Ann and Rachel D. Wilder.
Series 1. Correspondence, Financial and Legal Material, and Other
Papers, 1828-1886 and Undated
This series includes correspondence and other papers of Charles Dewey and members of his family. Many of the items are business papers, 1828-1879, of Charles Dewey while he was a banker in Raleigh. Among these are papers, 1839-1866 and undated, concerning the finances of the Cameron family, including letters from Paul C. and Duncan Cameron. There is also family correspondence, 1854-1886, chiefly between Dewey's third wife, Julia Ann Haylander Dewey, and her children, nieces, and nephews. Miscellaneous papers include a few anonymous poems and other items. There are no items relating directly to the Civil War.
Series 2. Volumes, 1833-1843
This series consists of two items.
Volume 1: 1833, 42 pp. Travel diary of Julia Haylander Dewey entitled "A Succinct Account of the Voyage Across the Atlantic and Travels in England together with many interesting incidents, descriptions, and etc. with notes." Julia kept this diary on a trip she made to England to visit her sister, who was ill. Also included is a typed transcription of the diary.
Volume 2: 1842-1843, 107 pp. Book containing lists of books read, quotations, and copies of writings by Shakespeare, Byron, and others that Charles Francis Dewey compiled in 1842-1843.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection include the Cameron Family Papers; the Drury Lacy Papers; and the Daniel A. Penick Papers. Of these, the Cameron Family Papers are included, in part, in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J, Part 1.
The biographical note is adapted from the entry by Memory F. Mitchell in the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, volume 2 (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1986).
Gordon and Hackett Family Papers, 1752-1942,
Wilkes County, North Carolina; also South Carolina,
Alabama, and Lousiana
Description of the Collection
This collection documents two Wilkes County, North Carolina, families united in Robert Franklin Hackett (d. c. 1889) and his wife, Caroline Louise Gordon Hackett (1828-1891), who were married in 1859 after an extended and secret engagement. Robert Franklin Hackett was an 1849 graduate of Jefferson Medical College and practiced medicine in Wilkes County. Caroline Louise Gordon Hackett was connected with the Brown, Gwyn, Lenoir, and Stokes families of North Carolina; her brother was Confederate General James Byron Gordon (1822-1864).
These papers, the bulk of which are dated 1847-1860, are mostly personal and family letters and are concerned with household affairs, social activities of young people, and local news from the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina; Unionville, South Carolina; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Cherokee County, Alabama. Many of the letters are to and from female family members and describe their activities. Early papers include letters to Caroline Louise Gordon at school in Salem, North Carolina, and to Robert F. Hackett at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Later papers include materials about public education in Wilkes County in the late 1850s and scattered Civil War letters, some from Confederate Brigadier General James Byron Gordon in Virginia. There are also materials relating to Robert and Caroline Hackett's sons, Richard Nathaniel Hackett, who was a student at the University of North Carolina, 1883-1887, and James Gordon Hackett, who was appointed to serve the state of North Carolina on several boards and commissions in the 1920s and 1930s. There are also several items relating to family history.
The papers consist primarily of personal and family correspondence of Robert Franklin Hackett and Caroline Louise Gordon, later Mrs. Robert Franklin Hackett, both of whom were born and lived their entire lives in Wilkes County, North Carolina. They were married in 1859. There are also letters from James Byron Gordon, brother of Caroline, and from Hugh Thomas Brown and Hamilton Allen Brown, half brothers of Caroline Gordon. The Gordon family were related to the Gwyn, Lenoir, and Stokes families of North Carolina. In the Hamilton Brown Papers, also in the Southern Historical Collection, is a full description of the persons appearing in the Gordon-Hackett Papers and also numerous letters from and about these same individuals. These two groups should be read in conjunction.
The majority of the Gordon-Hackett Papers are concentrated in the 1847-1860 period, with approximately four hundred items representing these years. Most of the letters contain very general information on local happenings, gossip, news of relatives, activities of the young people in the Yadkin Valley, North Carolina area; in Unionville, South Carolina; in Shreveport, Louisiana; and in Cherokee County, Alabama. A general description of the papers, with specific mention of the more informative items, follows.
1752-1832: 1752, typed copy of Anson-Rowan County deed to Morgan Bryant. 1813-1814, three letters from James Hackett to Fanny Johnson, whom he married in this period. 1832, John P. Bell of Iredell County to Oliver P. Hackett at U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, commenting on Hackett's situation at the academy, Jackson politics, and his own personal affairs. Scattered personal letters to different members of the Gordon and Hackett families occur throughout the period.
1837: Typed copy of a letter to James Gwyn, Wilkesboro, from M. S. Stokes (son of Governor Montford Stokes), U.S. Navy, at St. Petersburg, Russia, telling of the Emperor boarding the ship incognito, the Emperor's Court, and the city of St. Petersburg, all described in considerable detail.
1842-1844: Letters to Caroline Gordon at school in Salem, North Carolina, from several members of her immediate family, giving news of family and Wilkesboro.
1844-1846: Letters to Robert Franklin Hackett from his brothers, Richard, James, Charles Carroll, and Alexander L., and from James Byron Gordon, with news of friends and family in Wilkes County, in particular a letter from James B. Gordon of 12 November 1844, about the marriage of his former sweetheart, Anne Stokes, and the pangs of his unrequited love, and letter of 16 March 1845, from Alexander L. Hackett about a duel between Messrs. Tedewell and Bogle, fought in Wilkesboro. Two letters of March and September 1846, from John T. Finley to his brother-in-law, James B. Gordon, written from Philadelphia and New York where Finley had traveled to purchase goods and supplies for the general merchandise store that he and Gordon operated in Wilkesboro. John T. Finley had married Gordon's sister Anne.
1846-1849: Letters to Robert Franklin Hackett while he was attending Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia from his brothers and numerous other young people in the Yadkin Valley and Wilkesboro area, describing local events and activities of the young people; in particular a letter of 5 February 1847, from Richard Hackett about the conduct of the volunteer troops assembled at Charlotte, their refusal to serve under a Whig colonel. Robert Franklin Hackett evidently received his medical degree in March 1849, and returned to Wilkesboro to practice with his friend A. A. Scroggs.
1848: 23 June, London, England, Dr. Robert C. Martin to his cousin, Caroline Gordon, describing his travels, the sights, and hearing Jenny Lind.
1848-1850: Scattered letters from Richard Hackett written from Shreveport, Louisiana, where he had gone into business, describing his personal and business affairs; in particular a letter of 1850 mentioning the engagement of "Miss Cal" (Caroline Gordon) to Robert Franklin Hackett, which had apparently been broken off because of family disapproval. Apparently Caroline Gordon then went to Unionville, South Carolina, for an extended visit with her Dogan cousins.
1849-1860: Intermittent letters to Caroline Gordon from her cousins, Addie and Carrie Dogan of Unionville, South Carolina, describing Unionville social life, and giving news of Gordon relatives in South Carolina. The final letter of this group is dated July 1860 and is signed by Addie Dogan Scaife.
1851: 11 January, from Dr. N. N. Fleming of Mocksville, North Carolina, to Robert Franklin Hackett in reply to Hackett's inquiry about the desirability of his removing to Mocksville to practice medicine. Similar letter to Hackett from James L. Mosely of Calhoun, North Carolina, dated 22 February. Personal letters to R. F. Hackett and Caroline Gordon.
1852-1870: Scattered letters from Adelaide Stokes (Mrs. Lawrence Grain) of Shreveport, Louisiana, to her cousin, Caroline Gordon. These are detailed, sprightly letters written from the Grain home "Tara's Hall" about her domestic and social life in Shreveport. Adelaide Stokes was one of the daughters of Governor Montford Stokes. The final letter of this group is dated 1880, from L. S. Grain, oldest son of Adelaide Stokes, telling about the Grain family who were still living in Shreveport.
1854-1863: Letters from Anne Gordon Finley and her husband, John T. Finley of Cherokee County, Alabama. Letters indicate that the Finleys had left Wilkesboro in about 1853 to try their fortunes in Alabama. Their letters describe in some detail family problems, farming conditions, economic aspects, and episodes in their vicinity in the early part of the Civil War.
1854: 5 November to Caroline Gordon from her half brother, Hamilton Allen Brown, at the Naval Academy, telling of the requirements of the academy and describing routine. He left the Naval Academy in 1856.
1854-1861: Approximately a dozen letters from Hugh Thomas Brown to his sister, Caroline Gordon, and his mother, Sarah Gwyn Brown. He attended the University of North Carolina from 1854-1858, read law at Richmond Hill, Surry County, under Judge Richmond Pearson in 1859, and in 1860 removed to Van Buren, Arkansas, where he began to practice law. His letters are very general in their description of his situations, with the exceptions of one dated 29 December 1854, in which he describes boarding the USS Pennsylvania in Norfolk Harbor, and another dated 25 February 1861, about secession versus antisecession sentiment in Arkansas, his plans to marry "Miss Mary," and a prediction of war to result from Lincoln's policy toward South Carolina. He was killed in the first year of the war.
1856: 7 August, to Robert Franklin Hackett from H. P. Waugh of Kingsport, Tennessee, formerly of Wilkes County, describing his work as a circuit preacher.
1857: School Committee Report of Wilkes County.
1858: Wilkes County public schools materials.
1859-1862: Eight letters to Robert Franklin Hackett from Dr. A. A. Scroggs, written from Lenoir, North Carolina; in 1859 Scroggs moved to Lenoir where he took over the practice of a retiring physician. His letters describe several of his cases and treatment prescribed, and financial and family matters. There are a few uninformative letters from Scroggs of earlier dates. Two letters of May and September 1859 to Caroline Gordon from Robert Franklin Hackett written to her while she was visiting her sister, Anne Finley, in Alabama. The letters mention their secret engagement, and remarks in the letters and the handwriting on the accompanying envelopes indicate that they had addressed the envelopes to themselves in which they received the letters from each other. Two letters of May 1859 to Hackett from Caroline Gordon, in which she described her trip and visit to Cherokee County, Alabama. They were married between October and December of that year.
1862-1864: 22 June1862, from James Byron Gordon from Richmond, Virginia, to his mother, Mrs. Sarah Gwyn Brown, telling her of his safety, and 3 February 1863, from Gordon to Robert Franklin and Caroline Hackett commenting on the influence of army life on men and the miserable conditions in camp in Culpeper County, Virginia. 5 November 1862, from Anne Gordon Finley at Cherokee County, Alabama, about the Confederates under General Martin foraging and stealing all the food and supplies of the countryside, camping around and in her home, pulling up crops, and the Finley family bartering for supplies. 31 January 1863 from the Finley family to the Hacketts about resistance to conscription and results of inflation in northeastern Alabama, and censure of Bragg.
1863: Sheriff's reports of election returns for the 9th Congressional District of North Carolina. 8 December to Dr. Robert Franklin Hackett from Brigadier General Robert F. Hoke, Salisbury, desiring information about the "outrages...committed upon the citizens of Wilkes County by certain men and officers of the 56th N.C. Regt...." 12 December letter to Dr. R. F. Hackett from Roland Jones of Shreveport, Louisiana, former schoolmaster in Wilkesboro, about Richard Hackett, who was dying of tuberculosis, and conditions in Shreveport.
1864: 28 March letter to Dr. R. F. Hackett signed McRae and Gorman, editors of a Raleigh, North Carolina, publication, requesting verification of information attributed to W. W. Hampton to be used against W. W. Holden in his campaign for governor. Reply of Major W. W. Hampton and Hackett on back of this letter.
1865-1870: Family letters and business miscellany (fourteen items).
1870-1879: Fourteen items related to Dr. Hackett's activities as justice of the peace and a few personal letters giving little information.
1880-1910: Nineteen items, including the following: 13 May 1880, from Lawrence S. Crain of Shreveport, Louisiana, about the Crain family who were still living in Louisiana. 10 February 1881, to Dr. Hackett from Lyman C. Draper of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, about the "old Wilkes County Court Record." 1882, to Dr. Hackett from R. F. Armfield, attorney of Statesville, offering a West Point appointment to Hackett's son Richard; to Mrs. Caroline Hackett from Mary Pollie Russell with family information and reminiscences about their childhood in Wilkes County 1883, two letters from Miss Emma M. S. Cameron concerning Carlton McCarthy's Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia. Three letters from Richard N. Hackett to his parents, Dr. R. F. and Caroline Hackett, one of September 1883 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill following his entry as a freshman; September 1886, written from the University at Chapel Hill, mentioning being shaken up by an earthquake and other news of interest to his parents; May 1887, following his graduation, about the success of his oration. 8 August 1886, from Anne Stokes Jones to her nephew, Dr. L. C. Stokes, with information about the Stokes-Crain-Pickett descendants. 25 January 1889, to Mrs. Carrie Hackett from Mrs. E. J. W. Purvis on learning of the death of Mrs. Hackett's mother, Mrs. Sarah Gwyn Brown, mentioning also the deaths of Dr. Hackett and Eva Hackett (oldest child of Mrs. Carrie Hackett).
1923-1942: Correspondence and other items of James Gordon Hackett, including: 1932 certificate of membership on the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Orthopaedic Hospital, signed by Governor Cameron Morrison; 1928 note and certificate from Governor Angus McLean appointing Hackett to the State Board of Agriculture; 1936 note and certificate from Governor John C. B. Ehringhaus appointing Hackett to the Commission to Investigate and Determine Amounts Due Counties for Construction of State Highways; 1937 note and certificate from Governor Clyde R. Hoey appointing Hackett to the State Highway and Public Works Commission; and 1942 from Dr. James K. Hall of Richmond, Virginia, about historical matters.
Undated. Personal and family letters to and from Caroline Gordon, Robert Franklin Hackett, and James Byron Gordon. Several letters from Caroline Gordon to Robert F. Hackett before their marriage, and one letter to her from Hackett.
Miscellaneous items, including a history of the Anson-Rowan-Surry-Wilkes Yadkin Valley section, from about 1752 through the election and administration of Andrew Jackson. Early settlers, etc. Typescript, 9 pp., by James Gordon Hackett. Also, "General James B. Gordon" (1822-1864), a biographical address to the James B. Gordon Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, including data on Gordon family of Wilkes County [apparently by J. G. Hackett], typescript, 3 pp.; "Wilkes County, North Carolina," a description and history, typescript, 3 pp.; and Gwyn (Gwynn) family--history, genealogy and land records, typescript, 7 pp.
Lenoir family data. Typescript, 2 pp., from the T. F. Hickerson estate, 1970.
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection is the Hamilton Brown Papers, included in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J, Part 14. Another related collection is the James Gordon Hackett Papers, Manuscripts Department, Duke University.
Harnett County, North Carolina, Papers, 1763-1909,
Harnett and Cumberland Counties, North Carolina;
also Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas
Description of the Collection
This collection includes deeds, plats, promissory notes, bills, accounts, receipts, and a few letters of the Turner and McNeill families of Cumberland and Harnett counties, North Carolina. Family letters, chiefly 1843-1879, are of Henry Marshall Turner (1800-1871), Alabama physician who moved to Averysboro, Cumberland (later Harnett) County, North Carolina, and his wife, Caroline Elizabeth McNeill Turner (b. 1808).
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Loose Papers and Series 2. Volumes [not included].
Series 1. Loose Papers, 1763-1909
Many early papers included in this series are legal documents having to do with agreements or obligations concerning land and other property, money, debts, and estates. Many of these relate to John, Archibald, Neill, and other members of the McNeill family. In the 1830s, many of the papers relate to Archibald Stewart McNeill, Henry Marshall Turner, and members of the related Covington and Ferguson families. There are also family letters, dated chiefly 1843-1879, to Henry Marshall Turner and his wife, Caroline Elizabeth McNeill Turner, from their daughters, Martha and Julia, at Floral College, Robeson County, North Carolina, in the mid-1840s and from friends and relatives in Alabama, Tennessee, and Virginia. There are also a few Civil War letters from members of the family serving with Confederate forces in Tennessee and Virginia. There are also items relating to the Turners' son-in-law, physician William Murchison McNeill, and to other members of the McNeill and McDougald families of Harnett County.
A list of omissions from the Harnett County, North Carolina, Papers, 1763-1909, is provided on Reel 24, Frame 0859, and consists entirely of Series 2, Volumes, 1822-1878.
Kenan Family Papers, 1755-1979,
Duplin County, North Carolina; also Alabama and New York
Description of the Collection
Papers are of the Kenan family, chiefly of Duplin County, North Carolina, and Dallas County, Alabama, and the related Graham family of Duplin County. Correspondence is among various members of the Kenan and Graham families, relating to activities of relatives in North Carolina, Alabama, Maryland, and other Southern states. Letters document the political, domestic, and economic interests of well-to-do Southerners between 1810 and 1900. In their letters, the Kenans and Grahams discussed contemporary concerns, such as slavery and plantation life; the activities of Confederate congressman Owen Rand Kenan (1804-1887); educational opportunities for young men and women; religion; agricultural problems in the old and new South; turn-of-the-century experiences of young scholars and other members of the Kenan family; and the role of William R. Kenan, Jr. (1872-1965) in publicizing the discovery of calcium carbide. In addition to the letters, there are financial and legal papers that pertain to the political, business, and military activities of various Kenans and Grahams. Also included are account books, bills and receipts, printed material, and miscellaneous papers illustrating the wide-ranging interests of members of these two families: Thomas S. Kenan's Civil War service in the 43rd North Carolina Regiment; medicine; the University of North Carolina, especially in the 1890s; women's work; the Democratic party; and the restoration of Liberty Hall, the Kenan homestead in Kenansville, Duplin County, North Carolina. Also included are a few recipe books; a brief travel diary from trips to Canada in 1895 and 1897; and photographs of various family members and their acquaintances, including Graham Kenan (1883-1920) and friends during their undergraduate days at the University of North Carolina, c. 1904.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence; Series 2. Financial Material; Series 3. Legal Material; Series 4. Printed Material; Series 5. Other Material; Series 6. Microfilm [not included]; Series 7. Volumes; and Series 8. Pictures.
The Kenan and Graham families have been prominent in North Carolina since the early days of the area's settlement. Thomas Kenan (d. 1766) moved to the colony in the 1730s and established himself in Duplin County. Thomas's oldest son, James (1740-1810), fought in the Revolution and was the progenitor of most of the Kenans who figure in these papers. Thomas Kenan (1771-1843), James's first son, married Mary Rand (1771-1856) and was the father of Owen Rand Kenan (1804-1887), a noted Confederate congressman. Owen and his sister, Mary Rand Kenan (1823-1855), married into the Graham family, which is represented by many items in these papers. Most of the Kenans of Owen's generation moved in 1833 to Dallas County, Alabama, leaving Owen Rand Kenan behind in North Carolina to manage the family's holdings there. Owen's descendants include James Graham Kenan, a public official in Duplin County; William Rand Kenan, Sr., prominent citizen of Wilmington, North Carolina, and trustee of the University of North Carolina; William Rand Kenan, Jr., chemist, prosperous businessman, and philanthropist; Owen Hill Kenan, a physician; and Mary Lily Kenan, who married, first, Henry Morrison Flagler, and, second, Robert Worth Bingham, U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. Sarah Rebecca Graham (1817-1871) married Owen Kenan in 1836, and her brother Chauncey Williams Graham (1819-1866) married Owen's sister, Mary, in 1848. John Graham emigrated to America in 1718 and settled in the North. One of John's grandsons, Chauncey, moved to the Murfreesboro, North Carolina, area in 1788, and Chauncey's son Stephen, father of Sarah and Chauncey Williams Graham, settled near Kenansville. Stephen and his progeny became large landowners in Duplin County.
For extensive biographies of members of the Kenan family see The Kenan Family and Some Allied Families of the Compiler and Publisher, Alvaretta Kenan Register, compiler. 1967.
Series 1. Correspondence, 1780-1979, and Undated
This series is largely family correspondence of the Graham and Kenan families. Letters among members of the Graham family cover mostly the 1810s-1860s, while correspondence of the Kenans is scattered throughout these years and constitutes the bulk of the later material. Early letters narrate the family life and education of the Kenans and Grahams and include references to slave riots and rebellions, various political events, religious matters, and the agricultural pursuits of members of the Kenan family. Letters of the 1860s-1880s relate to the role of Owen Rand Kenan in the Confederate government, comment on experiences of Kenans in the Civil War--as soldiers, prisoners, and observers--and contain additional information about the Kenans' farm and business pursuits. Correspondence of the 1890s consists mainly of letters to and from Owen Hill Kenan, a student at the Baltimore College of Physicians and Surgeons and later a practicing physician. During the 1930s and early 1940s, William R. Kenan, Jr. took an interest in clarifying the historical record of how he and others had discovered calcium carbide at Chapel Hill; his correspondence about this matter is included. Other correspondence consists of Owen H. Kenan's business letters, greeting cards, and miscellaneous notes and letters.
Series 2. Financial Material, 1780-1926, 1939, and Undated
Mostly bills, receipts, account records, and promissory notes of the Kenans and Grahams are included. Antebellum items include legal and medical receipts, receipts for sales of slaves and other slave papers, and papers collected by Owen R. Kenan and Stephen Graham as administrators of various estates. Wartime material consists principally of receipts and bills of Thomas S. Kenan, colonel of the 43rd North Carolina Regiment. Later papers are lumber receipts from Kenan enterprises, tax and insurance receipts and papers, and other personal and family items.
Series 3. Legal Material, 1766-1767 and 1797-1914
This series is deeds, surveys, wills (in part copies), estate papers, agreements, indentures, contracts, warrants, and other legal papers of the Graham and Kenan families. Early papers include land grants to and from various Kenans, copies of wills of Thomas, Elizabeth, James, and Sarah Kenan, and of Sally Graham, and items related to Graham and Kenan's professional concerns, slaves, lands, and domestic affairs. Material from the 1850s and 1860s includes papers of Owen Rand Kenan and Thomas Stephen Kenan relating to business and professional concerns, land, participation in the Civil War, and other matters. Later papers pertain to James Graham Kenan's lumber interests and his activities as sheriff of Duplin County, insurance policies, and various other undertakings of the Kenans.
Series 4. Printed Material, 1833-1974
This series includes newspaper articles, political and agricultural society broadsides, and pamphlets. Among the early items are lodge bylaws, slave patrol regulations, campaign literature, and miscellaneous government publications. Duplin County and Kenan family history and the restoration and opening as a historic site of Liberty Hall, the Kenan family home in Kenansville, are major topics of more recent material. Newspaper reports of events in the lives of the members of the Kenan family and miscellaneous clippings comprise the remainder of the printed material.
Series 5. Other Material, 1789-1968 and Undated
Lists, 1853-1899, 1919, 1968, and undated. Twelve items include a list of slave births; voting returns, presumably from Duplin County; two morning reports of Company A, 43rd North Carolina Regiment; and various other lists. Some items are oversize.
Certificates, 1865 and undated. Membership certificates, military appointments, and other items. Some are oversize.
Lyrics, poems, word games, etc., 1829-1859, 1893-1919, and undated. Nine items. Various songs, poems, and instructions for writing in code.
Recipes and household hints, c. 1810-1899. About ninety items. Handwritten and printed recipes and household hints collected by the Kenans.
Class notes, medical papers, etc., 1893-1899. About twenty items. Notes, prescriptions, and other papers, presumably from Owen H. Kenan's student years in Baltimore.
Memorabilia of Owen H. Kenan's Baltimore years, 1890s. About fifteen items. Calling cards, advertisements, excursion passes, and a variety of miscellaneous items.
Tests and examinations, 1893-1899. six items. College tests in chemistry, medicine, arithmetic, grammar, and geography.
Writings, c. 1880s and undated. three items. A speech, perhaps by Thomas Stephen Kenan, to the Confederate veterans of Duplin County, and two other items.
Genealogical materials, 1789-1793, 1851-1889, 1928-1963, and undated. About forty-five items. Notes, sketches, essays, and other papers related to the Graham, Kenan, and Howard families. One item is oversize.
Miscellaneous notes, 1894-1896 and undated. fourteen items. A variety of informal notes and figurings presumably produced by members of the Kenan family.
Series 7. Volumes, 1859-1939.
Account books. Folder 61, Volume 1: 1859-1881, 94 pp. Account book, owner unknown,
but various members of the Kenan family are mentioned in entries (formerly volume 3). Folder 62, Volume 2: 1864-1866 and 1866-1891, 320 pp. Account book and medical notebook of Chauncey William Graham. Entries for 1866-1891 relate to Graham's estate (formerly
Diaries and notebooks. Folder 63, Volume 3: 1869?, 60 pp. Notebook of Annie E. Hill Kenan, containing chiefly religious remarks (formerly volume 1). Folder 64, Volume 4: 1855-1875, 92 pp. College and legal notebook of Thomas C. Kenan (formerly volume 2). Folder 65, Volume 5: 1895 and 1897, 40 pp. Brief journal of trips made by Annie Kenan to Canada in 1895 and 1897. Folder 66, Volume 6: 1890s, 6 pp. Notebook, probably of Annie Dickson Kenan, containing addresses (formerly volume 8) and Volumes 7-10: 1890s, about 20 pp. total. Notebooks, probably of Owen Hill Kenan, while at school in the 1890s (formerly volumes 9-12). Folder 67, Volume 11: 1904-1905, 74 pp. College notebook of Graham Kenan (formerly volume 14).
Recipe books. Folder 68, Volume 12: 1837-1890s, 143 pp. Recipe book of Annie Kenan with miscellaneous other entries, including a few accounts of Owen R. Kenan (formerly volume 6). Folder 69, Volume 13: undated, 48 pp. Recipe book, owner unknown (formerly volume 7).
Other volumes. Folder 70, Volume 14: 1902, 384 pp. Analysis of Republican party politics, published by the Democratic Congressional Committee (formerly volume 13). Folder 71, Volume 15: 1907, about 50 pp. D. Hill's souvenir handbook of the 1907 United Confederate Veterans' reunion. Folder 72, Volume 16: 1939, 27 pp. "Discovery and Identification of Calcium Carbide in the United States" by William R. Kenan, Jr.
Series 8. Pictures, 1890s-1955
A list of omissions from the Kenan Family Papers, 1755-1979, is provided on Reel 27, Frame 0865, and consists entirely of Series 6, Microfilm, 1748-1966.
Elizabeth Washington Grist Knox Papers, 1814-1909,
Beaufort and Lenoir Counties, North Carolina;
also California and Missouri
Description of the Collection
The collection is arranged into two series as follows: Series 1. Correspondence--Subseries 1.1: Letters from John Washington, Subseries 1.2: Letters from James Augustus Washington, Subseries 1.3: Letters from Dorothea Dix, Subseries 1.4: Letters from Elizabeth Grist, Subseries 1.5: Letters from Reuben Knox, Subseries 1.6: Letters from Franklin R. Grist, and Subseries 1.7: Letters from Others and Series 2. Miscellaneous Items.
Typed transcriptions, prepared by the donor, of most of the pre-1841 letters and some of the other letters are interfiled with the originals in Series 1. The central figures in the correspondence are Elizabeth Grist Knox and her son, Franklin R. Grist. The bulk of the letters were received by Elizabeth in Washington and New Bern, North Carolina, between 1827 and 1840, and in St. Louis, between 1840 and 1849. Almost half of the letters to Elizabeth are from her older brother, James Augustus Washington. Most of the rest are from her son, Franklin, with scattered items from her father, John Washington; her second husband, Reuben Knox; and others. Letters received by Franklin Grist, mostly 1845-1849, are chiefly from his stepbrothers, his mother, and school friends. Miscellaneous letters are principally from Elizabeth's father to his wife; from family members in New York to Reuben Knox before his marriage to Elizabeth; and between other members of the Washington and Knox families. Six letters appear from reformer Dorothea Dix.
The correspondence is most useful as a source for the study of family life in eastern North Carolina, St. Louis, Missouri, and upstate New York, and includes detailed information on daily activities, the education of children, plantation affairs, and neighborhood and church news. Unusual opportunities also appear in the correspondence for studying westward migration in its peak period between 1849 and 1851, when several family members moved to California. Their letters describe their passage by steamship and wagon train, their experiences with various Indian tribes, observations of the Mormon community in Salt Lake City, the landscape and people of their new homes, and their business affairs. A number of Franklin Grist's letters were written while traveling as a sketch artist with the Stansbury Exploration in 1849-1850. Correspondence also appears for Franklin as a college student at Yale in the late 1840s and as an art student in Paris, 1855-1858. These letters provide mostly details of college social life, city life in Paris, and the French countryside. Letters from James Washington, a medical student in Philadelphia, 1824-1829, and in Paris, 1829-1831, discuss his travels and French politics.
Eleven miscellaneous items found in Series 2 include college compositions, poems, and scattered personal papers of Franklin Grist.
Elizabeth Heritage Washington, daughter of planter John Washington (1768-1837) and Elizabeth Heritage Cobb (1780-1858), was born on 10 February 1808 and spent her childhood in Kinston, North Carolina. Among her siblings were an older brother, James Augustus (1803-1847), who practiced medicine in New York, and a younger sister, Susannah Sarah (1816-1890), who married William A. Graham, governor of North Carolina and United States senator. Elizabeth was educated at Mrs. White's in Raleigh, North Carolina, between 1822 and 1824. After completing her schooling, she lived with her parents in Kinston until 18 June 1827, when she married Richard Grist of Washington, North Carolina. Richard and Elizabeth had one surviving child, Franklin R., born 22 December 1828. Richard Grist died on 21 September 1833.
In July 1840, Elizabeth Grist married Reuben Knox (1801-1851), a widower originally from Massachusetts. From his previous marriage to Olivia Kilpatrick, Knox had at least four children: Joseph A., born 11 October 1830; William Augustus Washington, born 8 August 1832; Henry Elijah, born 5 September 1835; and Alexander (1837-1841). He may also have had a son named Thomas. The Knoxes moved their family to St. Louis, Missouri, soon after their marriage. At least two children were born to them in St. Louis: Eliza Washington, born 17 November 1846, and James Augustus Washington, born 6 May 1849.
Reuben Knox practiced medicine and conducted various business affairs in St. Louis. He was often not paid for his services, and the cholera epidemic of 1849 increased his patient load beyond what he felt he could handle. To better conditions for himself and his family, Knox decided to move to California. In May 1850, he began his journey accompanied by his sons, Joseph and Henry, his nephew, Reuben Knox, and a few slaves. Elizabeth, with the couple's two youngest children, went to visit friends and relatives in Massachusetts and North Carolina. She and the children were to join Knox and the older sons in California once a home and business had been established.
In 1849, Franklin Grist, Elizabeth's son by her first marriage, graduated from Yale and joined Harold Stansbury's expedition to explore and survey the Great Salt Lake region of Utah. Grist was an artist who had been hired to make sketches and maps for the expedition. In July 1850, Grist joined the Knoxes' wagon train en route to California.
Knox and his party arrived in Sacramento on 14 September 1850. Knox established a mercantile business and began plans for a store in San Francisco. Along with his son Joseph, he later farmed and raised livestock on the Novato Ranch near San Francisco. On 28 May 1851, Knox drowned in a sailboat accident in San Pablo Bay. After his stepfather's death, Franklin Grist moved to Washington, D.C., where he was a portrait painter, and then sailed to France where, between 1855 and 1858, he studied art in Paris. Grist remained abroad for 35 years, serving in the late 1880s as vice consul for the United States in Venice. He returned to Raleigh upon his mother's death in 1890.
Series 1. Correspondence, 1814-1909 and Undated
This series consists chiefly of letters received by Elizabeth Grist Knox between 1822-1858 from her brother, James Washington, and her son, Franklin Grist, with about fifty letters received by Franklin Grist as a student at Yale between 1845-1849. Elizabeth's correspondents also include her father, John Washington; her second husband, Reuben Knox; and her friend, Dorothea Dix. A few letters that she wrote Reuben and Franklin appear between 1846-1851. There are also miscellaneous letters exchanged by various Knox and Washington family members.
Topics in the letters include family life in Kinston and Washington, North Carolina, St. Louis, Missouri, and upstate New York; college social life; westward migration and exploration; and travel and study in France.
Subseries 1.1: Letters from John Washington, 1814-1835 This subseries includes originals and typed transcriptions of letters from John Washington to his wife, Betsy, and his daughter, Elizabeth. The earliest items are five letters, 1814-1817, to Betsy, written while Washington was on business trips to Philadelphia, Petersburg, Virginia, and Raleigh, North Carolina. These letters include mostly instructions for managing the family's plantation near Kinston. Brief letters between 1822 and 1824 from Washington at his home in Kinston to his daughter Elizabeth, a student at Mrs. White's in Raleigh, report illnesses and other family news and give Elizabeth copious advice on her education. Washington's letters in 1828 and 1829 are chiefly to Elizabeth in Washington, North Carolina, where she moved after her marriage to Richard Grist. They provide news of her brothers and sisters and of plantation affairs. One letter in 1835 from Washington in New York to Betsy in New Bern, North Carolina, concerns having the cotton on their plantation ginned.
Subseries 1.2: Letters from James Augustus Washington, 1822-1845 This subseries includes sixty-eight letters to Elizabeth from her brother, James Augustus Washington, between 1822 and 1845, most with typed transcriptions. A letter from Washington to his father and one to his brother-in-law appear in 1833.
Three letters in 1822 and 1823 from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where Washington was attending the university, discuss student life and give Elizabeth brotherly advice. Six others from Washington in Kinston are addressed to Elizabeth at school in Raleigh. From 1824 to 1829, James wrote from Philadelphia, where he was pursuing medical studies, to Elizabeth in Kinston and later in Washington and New Bern, North Carolina. The approximately twenty letters from this period are concerned largely with family affairs and express James's tender feelings for Elizabeth. His letters give little attention to his medical studies.
In the spring of 1829, James left Philadelphia to continue his medical training in Paris, France. About sixteen letters from him there, written between 1829 and 1831, are included. Along with references to family affairs, Washington discussed such topics as European political events, especially the Revolution of 1830; night life in Paris, including evenings at the theater; and points of interest, such as the Tuilleries palace and the Louvre. When he returned to the United States, Washington completed his medical training and established a practice in New York City. About nineteen letters to Elizabeth between 1832 and 1845 relate largely to family matters, especially physical problems. In a few letters, particularly those of 21 April 1834, 8 December 1834, and 1 September 1836, Washington recommended treatments for ailments suffered by various family members.
Two additional letters appear in 1833: one, from James in New York to his father in New Bern, discusses the death of Elizabeth's daughter; the other, from James in New Bern to Richard Grist in Washington, discusses a visit he planned to make Richard and Elizabeth.
Subseries 1.3: Letters from Dorothea L. Dix, 1848-1851 This subseries includes originals of six letters to Elizabeth Knox in St. Louis, Raleigh, and New Bern, from Dorothea Dix in 1848, 1849, and 1851, while she was campaigning for reforms in the treatment of the mentally ill. She wrote the Knoxes from Washington, D.C.; Germantown, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; Raleigh, North Carolina; Fort Chester, New York; and Columbia, South Carolina; to report on her travels, her efforts on behalf of state and national legislation to finance improvements in the care of the insane, and her health.
Subseries 1.4: Letters from Elizabeth Grist Knox, 1846-1863 This subseries includes nineteen letters from Elizabeth Knox, chiefly to her son, Franklin R. Grist, and her husband, Reuben Knox, between 1846 and 1851, with two letters addressed to other relatives. Typed transcriptions appear for eight of the letters.
Elizabeth wrote Franklin from St. Louis between 1845 and 1849, while he was at Yale. She discussed his schoolwork, vacation plans, and drawing; reported on his brothers' activities; and gave news of family illnesses, deaths, and marriages and of the family's household and business affairs. Of note is a letter of 22 January 1846 cautioning Franklin against overrefinement and informing him of her contempt for "Dandyism." Also of interest are letters of 8 June 1846, commenting on the Mexican War; of 31 March 1848, describing a trip to New Orleans; and of 19 December 1847, concerning several slaves working to pay for their freedom, one by opening a barbershop. A few of Elizabeth's letters in 1846 and 1847 contain notes to Franklin from his stepbrother, William A. Knox, and his stepfather, Reuben Knox, which discuss mostly family, school, and social life and provide news of mutual friends.
Seven detailed letters from Elizabeth to Reuben, written in 1850 and 1851, while she was visiting family in Hillsborough, New Bern, and Raleigh, North Carolina, and he was traveling to and settling in California, pertain to the welfare of their children and to the activities of North Carolina relatives and friends. Elizabeth often related stories in her letters that she had heard about other westward migrants and expressed fears for her husband and sons. Her comments on Reuben's activities sometimes offer insight into his life on the trail.
Additional letters include one, dated 9 June 1849, from Elizabeth in St. Louis to "Sister Mary," concerning the birth of Elizabeth's son James, a cholera epidemic in St. Louis, and Franklin's joining the Stansbury expedition. Another, dated 30 October 1863, is from Elizabeth at "La Cabana" in Chatham County to her sister, Susan Graham, in Hillsborough concerning knitting and news of friends.
Subseries 1.5: Letters from Reuben Knox, 1840-1851 This subseries includes twenty-five letters to Elizabeth from Reuben Knox, and about ten letters from Knox to other relatives, especially his son Joseph, and his stepson Franklin Grist. There is one typed transcription for a letter dated 20 June 1848.
The letters from Knox to Elizabeth are dated 1840-1841 and 1849-1851. The earlier letters chiefly discuss family affairs, although experiences on a trip from St. Louis to New England also are recounted, including life aboard the riverboat "Ohio," on which Knox traveled. The later letters to Elizabeth were written during Knox's journey west and after he arrived in California. He wrote from Cairo; from aboard the steamers St. Storm, St. Paul, and St. Joseph; from Ft. Kearney; Scott's Bluff; Ft. Laramie; Salt Lake City; Sacramento; San Francisco; and Novato Ranch (outside San Francisco). In those dated before September 1850, Knox described, among other subjects, difficult traveling conditions, encounters with Pawnees and other Indians, and the frustration he experienced as a doctor on the trail as members of the wagon train succumbed to cholera and other diseases. Knox's letters from California relate to personal and business affairs, which included ranching, merchandising, and mining. His letter of 14 October 1850 mentions a "submarine armor," apparently worn to dive in search of metal in deep rivers or old mines filled with water. In his letter of 1 May 1851, Knox mentioned a fire in San Francisco that destroyed many businesses and in which he himself suffered some financial losses. His last letter, begun on 18 May 1851, was completed on 27 May 1851, the day before he died.
Knox's letters to other family members are chiefly dated 1845 and 1848-1850, and most are addressed to his son Joseph between 1848 and 1850 and stepson Franklin in 1845 while they were attending Yale. These letters largely impart fatherly advice, although in the later ones Knox discussed his plans to go to California.
Two letters appear from Knox in St. Louis to his mother-in-law, Mrs. John Washington, in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Dated 1844 and 9 May 1849, they inform her of the birth of a son and Elizabeth's health, and give news of other family members.
Subseries 1.6: Letters from Franklin R. Grist, 1840-1909 This subseries includes about forty-five letters Franklin Grist wrote to his mother, Elizabeth Knox, with a handful of letters addressed to his stepfather, Reuben Knox, his aunts, Mary and Susan, his stepbrother, William, and his niece, Ethel Hughes. Transcriptions, mostly typed but a few handwritten, appear for about half of the letters. Three letters are available only in transcription.
Grist's earliest letter appears in 1840, when he wrote his mother from school at Mr. Baldwin's in Hillsborough. No letters appear between 1841 and 1846. In 1847 and 1848, Grist wrote to his mother from Yale concerning his painting, his vacation activities, family, and news of his stepbrother Joseph, who was also at Yale. Of note is a letter of April 1848 to his father concerning commencement.
Seven letters appear to his mother and one to his father in May 1849 and June 1850, when Franklin was traveling as an artist with the Stansbury expedition to Utah. These letters describe the men on the expedition, including Howard Stansbury, J. W. Gunnison, George M. Howland, and Dr. James Blake. Also described are a tornado and other storms; a buffalo hunt near Ft. Laramie; and encounters with Indians from various tribes, such as the Flathead and the Nez Perce. Grist also discussed the beliefs, practices, and government of the Mormon community in Salt Lake City. His letter of October 1849 includes a sketch of the survey party's camp in the Salt Lake Valley.
There are six letters, 1850-1851, from Franklin in San Francisco to his mother. In them, he described his arrival in California, the landscape and people around him, local land disputes, and his feelings of failure over his painting and his being an "effeminate--over refined--and useless incumbrance" upon his stepfather (see 21 May 1851). Of note is a letter, dated 21 May 1851, that he wrote to Reuben Knox in San Francisco from Trinidad, concerning their packing business.
A handful of letters appear from Grist to his mother and others while he was working as a portrait painter in Washington, D.C., between 1852 and 1854. These letters discuss mostly family, his deep depression, and his painting.
About twenty letters, 1855-1858, were written to his mother by Grist from Paris, where he apparently had gone as a student. These letters, most of which are quite difficult to decipher, describe city life, including theatrical performances he attended and sidewalk cafes, and his travels into the French countryside, including visits to small towns, ruins, and chateaus, and the local people. Of note is a letter of 11 August 1855, giving a detailed description of the Fête Nationale. Grist also wrote from London and Liverpool in early 1855, describing the bad weather and pollution, and from Dresden and Munich in 1858, discussing his travels there.
Subseries 1.7: Letters from Others, 1818-1890 and Undated This subseries consists chiefly of letters from relatives and friends to Franklin Grist while he was a student at Yale between 1845 and 1849. Scattered letters, also mostly from family and friends, appear addressed to Elizabeth Grist Knox between 1825-1851, to Reuben Knox between 1821-1850, and to other family members.
Franklin Grist received letters from his stepbrothers, Joseph, Henry, and William, and his half brother, James Knox, and from a number of school and family friends. Topics include Joseph's preparations to enter Yale; hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities; church and school news; vacation plans; college social life, especially the use of alcohol; and news of friends and family. Of note are a letter in 1846 from F. T. Bryan, a student at West Point, describing the dullness of the school, and a letter from Reuben Knox in California in 1851 to Franklin in an unknown location describing Reuben's work on Novato Ranch and a lawsuit concerning the ranch.
Between 1821 and 1830, while practicing medicine in Kinston, North Carolina, Reuben Knox received five surviving letters from his sisters, Ruth, Mary, and Eleanor, who lived at the family's home, Blandford, in New York. They wrote concerning church affairs and religious devotion; the failing health of their mother; the death of their sister, Almira; Ruth's teaching school; and Reuben's impending marriage to Olivia Kilpatrick in 1829. Reuben also received two letters in 1828 from his brother, Joseph Knox, at Blandford, discussing his plans to take the bar examination and establish himself as a lawyer in Hardwick, their mother's poor health, and politics. There is also an 1850 letter to Reuben from New York minister Henry M. Field who wrote giving news of his brother Stephen's sailing for San Francisco and his ministerial activities.
In 1846 and 1847, Elizabeth Knox received two letters from her friend, Mary E. Field, in New Haven. Mrs. Field wrote giving news of Franklin and Joseph at Yale and discussing her brother Henry's travels abroad. Elizabeth also received single letters from her cousin, Mary Ann Washington, in Waynesboro (1825); her mother, Elizabeth Cobb Washington (1829); her brother, George Washington, in New York (1837?); her sister, Susan Washington (183?); her stepson, Joseph, in California (1851); and her friend, E. T. Atwood, in St. Louis (1851). These letters mostly discuss family matters. Of note are mention in George's letter of tensions between Northerners and Southerners at Yale, Joseph's descriptions of his work on Novato Ranch, and Mrs. Atwood's detailed news of a cholera epidemic in St. Louis and of former friends and servants of the Knox family there.
Miscellaneous letters include one dated 1818 from Elizabeth Cobb in Granville to her niece, Susanah Gatlin, in Kinston, discussing preaching and her travels; one dated 1834 from Ann N. Bryan in Beaufort, North Carolina, to her sister, Susan Washington, in Norwalk, Connecticut, concerning family matters; and an undated letter from Louisa H. Washington to Susan Washington Graham in Hillsborough also concerning family matters.
Series 2. Miscellaneous Items, 1845-1890, and Undated
This series consists of eleven items ranging from college compositions on philosophical and historical topics to undated humorous and epic poems, and miscellaneous personal items of Franklin Grist. Included are a bill, dated 26 April 1848, from Thomas Pease of New Haven for painting supplies and books; a Vatican museum pass for 1873; and a note from Grist's doctor in Venice in 1890 attesting to his inability to travel to a diplomatic meeting because of illness. Also included is an undated poem on friendship, entitled "Composed By Her Friend Eliza H. Washington And Presented To Sarah Ann Jones."
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection is the Richard Grist Ledger. Another related collection is the James Redding Grist Business Records, Duke University, included in UPA's Slavery in Ante-Bellum Southern Industries, Series A.
For further information, see A Medic Fortyniner: Life and Letters of Dr. Reuben Knox, 1849-'51 (N.P.: McClure Press, 1974), edited by Charles Turner, which includes an introduction and transcriptions of letter from Knox and his sons, 1850-1856; and references in The Papers of William Alexander Graham, Volumes 1-4, edited by J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton (Raleigh: State Department of Archives and History, 1957-1961).
Manly Family Papers, 1782-1933,
Beaufort, Chatham, and Wake Counties, North Carolina; also Texas
Description of the Collection
Most of these papers are letters received between 1850 and 1870 by members of the Manly family, the principal recipients being Charles Manly, Sophia Louisa Manly, and George Badger Singeltary. Also included are financial and legal items, other correspondence, estate papers, and an account book, all of which reflect the legal and business interests of Charles Manly and George B. Singeltary. After the death of George B. Singeltary in 1862 and of James C. S. McDowell in 1863, Manly handled the financial affairs of their estates and families, and as a result acquired Singeltary's papers and McDowell's estate papers. In addition, financial and legal items of William H. Haywood, Sr. (Manly's father-in-law), are included in this collection. Manly was one of the executors of Haywood's estate and also a partner in several of Haywood's business ventures.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. General Correspondence, 1782-1933 and Undated; Series 2. George Badger Singeltary, 1818-1873 and Undated [not included]; Series 3. Estate Papers, 1800-1871 and Undated [not included]; Series 4. Other Financial and Legal Items, 1820-1876 [not included]; and Series 5. Other Papers, 1843-1934 and Undated [not included].
Charles Manly (1795-1891), last Whig governor of North Carolina, 1849-1851, was born in Chatham County, the son of Captain Basil Manly. His siblings included the Reverend Basil Manly, president of the University of Alabama; Matthias Manly, justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina; and Louisa Sophia, whose second husband was Pleasant M. Powell, a planter of Powellton, North Carolina.
In 1817, after graduating from the University of North Carolina and studying law in Raleigh, Charles Manly married Charity Hare Haywood, daughter of William H. Haywood, Sr., a prominent Raleigh banker. (Charity Hare Haywood was the sister of William Henry Haywood, Jr., U.S. senator, and sister-in-law of Edward B. Dudley, governor of North Carolina, 1836-1840.) Manly's legal career centered in Raleigh, where he practiced law before and after his term as governor. He also owned the large plantation, "Ingleside," northeast of Raleigh in Wake County. [For details of Governor Manly's biography, see the sketch in Ashe's Biographical History of North Carolina, Vol. VI.]
Governor and Mrs. Manly had twelve children. The oldest daughter was Ann Eliza (b. 1818). The oldest son, John Haywood (1820-1874), practiced law in Galveston, Texas. Langdon Cheves (1822-c. 1890), often referred to as "Chev," became a physician in Raleigh. Charles, Jr. (1824-1848) and William Henry (1826-1848) both died as young men. Cora (1829-1876), known as "Sis Co" or "C," married George Badger Singeltary, a young lawyer of Greenville, North Carolina, in 1853 or 1854. Singeltary became a Confederate colonel and was killed in 1862 (see The Confederate Reveille, 1898). A fifth son died as a baby. The third daughter, Julia (1832-1900), married James McDowell, owner of Quaker Meadows Plantation near Morganton, and produced a number of children. McDowell also served as a Confederate colonel and was killed in the war. In 1855, Helen (1835-1921) married John Gray Blount Grimes, a planter of Pitt County, who served as a Confederate captain and was imprisoned during the war. They had six children, one of whom, Olivia Blount Grimes, presented these papers.
Between 1855 and 1863, Sophia Louisa, the governor's next youngest daughter (b. 1837 and still alive in 1930), received hundreds of letters (preserved in this collection) from relatives and friends. Her correspondents included Sally Bett Tayloe and Clara Hoyt of Washington, North Carolina, and Annie and Fannie de Roulhac of Orange County. (Fannie later married Daniel Heyward Hamilton and became the mother of J. G. de R. Hamilton, founder of the Southern Historical Collection.) Sophie's most persistent beau between 1858 and 1863 was Thomas Chapeau Singeltary, younger brother of her brother-in-law, Colonel George B. Singletary, law student, and eventually also a Confederate colonel (commanding officer of the 44th Regiment after his brother's death). Sometime after 1863, Sophie married Edward Jones Hardin, who bought the McDowell plantation, and moved with him to Texas.
Basil Charles (1839-1882), the governor's youngest son, a Confederate major (chief of lst Artillery, 10th Regiment), managed the Ingleside plantation, practiced law, and served as mayor of Raleigh. The youngest daughter, Ida (1844-1908), like her sisters, carried on an ample correspondence.
A Manly family genealogical chart appears on Reel 29, Frame 0239.
Series 1. General Correspondence, 1782-1933 and Undated
This series consists chiefly of letters to members of the family of Governor Charles Manly from Manly's brother, his in-laws, and the cousins, friends, and beaux of his younger children.
Letters from the 1850s through 1860 reflect the lives and interests of an articulate group of young people of the privileged planter and professional class of antebellum society in North Carolina. All of the Manly men attended the University of North Carolina, as did several of the young men who wrote to Manly's daughters. Correspondence from Chapel Hill is limited chiefly to social doings there. Basil and some of his correspondents read law with Judge Pearson in Richmond Hill. The Manly girls went to St. Mary's School in Raleigh; a few of their letters and those of their contemporaries have to do with their school experience, but more concern the social life of young ladies. Chatty letters from and to the three married sisters, Cora, Julia, and Helen, describe many aspects of plantation and town life: domestic duties of the household mistress, procuring plants for the kitchen garden, relations with slaves, as well as fashions and social activities.
Correspondence from 1861 to 1863 reflects the war. Notable 1861 items include a letter of 5 June from J. H. Jenkins of Greenville concerning the impact of the war and certain "pro-Mr. Lincoln" neighbors, and one of 11 November from M. F. Arundel (?) of Beaufort regarding the naval blockade. T. C. Singeltary's letters to Sophie (1861-1863) describe the movements of his regiment (the 44th) in General J. J. Pettigrew's brigade. Other letters from these years describe life on the battlefront as well as the home front.
Correspondence from 1864 to 1886 consists chiefly of letters to and from Charles Manly. Items include letters from Manly's oldest son, John Haywood, living in Houston, Texas, in 1866. (The letters of Edward J. and Sophia Manly Hardin from the 1870s have to do primarily with Hardin's business travels from Texas to New York and elsewhere.) There are also letters from Charles Manly to his brother, the Reverend Basil Manly, including one, dated 4 August 1868, about the closing of UNC. The majority of the correspondence relates to family news, business, and political affairs. In several letters of 1866, Manly reveals his personal anguish over the illness of his daughter, Ann E. Manly, and her treatment at Mount Hope Institution.
Correspondence of 1922 and 1927 to 1935 consists chiefly of letters to Olivia Blount Grimes from various family members concerning Manly family genealogy. One letter is from J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton discussing the possibility of obtaining Charles Manly's papers for UNC.
Other notable items include a letter of 22 September 1782, from Moses Young in Cork, Ireland, to Jonathan Williams in Nantes, France, introducing Edward Jones, a gentleman from North Ireland, who plans to emigrate to "our Country" via Nantes; a letter of 8 February 1839, from Eliza Manly (Charles Manly's mother) to her son, Basil Manly, commenting on Charles's relationship with his sister and children; a letter, 15 January 1842, from Charles Manly, Sr. to Langdon Charles Manly relating to his taking Charles Manly, Jr. to New York to arrange passage on the Victorian; and a letter dated 9 October 1886, from H. H. Reynolds, president of the H. H. Reynolds Tobacco Co., of Winston, North Carolina, to "Dear Sir," giving instructions to his addressee as a participant in "the parade" of 26 October.
A list of omissions from the Manly Family Papers, 1782-1933, is provided on Reel 30, Frame 0505. Omissions include Series 2. George Badger Singeltary, 1818-1873 and Undated; Series 3. Estate Papers, 1800-1871 and Undated; Series 4. Other Financial and Legal Items, 1820-1876; and Series 5. Other Papers, 1843-1934 and Undated.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection include the Grimes Family Papers, the Ernest Haywood Papers, and the Oscar Malachi Styron Papers. The first two collections are included, in part, in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J, Part 12 and Part 7, respectively.
Sources of the biographical note and chart are Ashe's Biographical History of North Carolina, Vol. VI; The Confederate Reveille, 1898; and Krick, Robert K. Lee's Colonels, 1984.
Frank Nash Papers, 1729-1965,
New Hanover and Orange Counties, North Carolina; also New Jersey
Description of the Collection
Papers, 1729-1859, consist of land grants, deeds, indentures, copies of wills, and correspondence of the Nash and Strudwick families of Hillsborough, North Carolina. Of special note are the letters of North Carolina federalists during the early 1800s. Also included are personal letters of Frank Nash's grandfather, Frederick (1771-1858), who served as superior court judge, 1818-1826 and 1836-1844, as justice of the state supreme court, 1844-1852, and as chief justice, 1852-1858. Papers, 1859-1865, deal with events leading up to and during the Civil War. Following the war, papers are chiefly legal and business records with scattered reference to state and national politics. Also included are items, 1859-1890, relating to the Nash-Kollock School for Girls in Hillsborough and later items relating to writings about the school.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence and Related Material--Subseries 1.1: 1729-1890, Subseries 1.2: 1891-1933 [not included], and Subseries 1.3: Undated after 1890 [not included]; Series 2. Other Papers--Subseries 2.1: Clippings [not included] and Subseries 2.2: Nash-Kollock School; and Series 3. Volumes [not included].
Note that original letters relating to the Nash-Kollock School are interfiled in subseries 1.1, while subseries 2.2 contains writings and other material relating to the school.
Francis Nash (1742-1777) was a native of Prince Edward County, Virginia, pioneer citizen of Hillsborough, North Carolina, clerk of the court, legislator, militia officer, and brigadier general of the Continental Line. His wife was Sarah Moore Nash, daughter of Maurice Moore of North Carolina. General Nash was fatally wounded at Germantown on 4 October 1777.
Frederick Nash (1781-1858) was the son of Abner Nash, governor of North Carolina, and his second wife, Mary Whiting Jones Nash. He graduated from Princeton and began practicing law in New Bern, North Carolina, moving to Hillsborough in 1807. He served in the General Assembly, was a superior court judge, and a member of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, 1844-1858, serving as chief justice from 1852. His first wife was Mary G. Kollock Nash. His second wife was Anna Maria McLean Nash. Francis Nash (1855-1932) was the son of this second marriage. Francis, known as Frank, was assistant attorney general of North Carolina, 1918-1931, and clerk of the state supreme court, 1931-1932. He made an unsuccessful bid to be the Democratic party nominee for attorney general in 1924.
Frederick Nash's daughters, Maria J. Nash (1819-1907) and Sally K. Nash (1811-1893), along with their cousin, Sara Kollock, operated the Nash-Kollock School, a school for young ladies in Hillsborough from 1859 to 1890. The school was in the Nash home, one part of which had been built in the eighteenth century by Isaac Edwards, secretary to Governor Tryon. Frederick Nash built the three-story addition in 1817 after he purchased the place from Duncan Cameron. A further addition was made in 1863 as the school grew.
Series 1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1729-1933 and Undated
Subseries 1.1: 1729-1890 and Undated This subseries includes legal, business, and personal correspondence and related material of Frank Nash and members of his family. Papers, 1729-1859, consist of land grants, deeds, indentures, copies of wills, and correspondence of the Nash and Strudwick families of Hillsborough, North Carolina. Many of the early items are typed transcriptions or photocopies of materials in private hands. Of special note are the letters of North Carolina federalists during the early 1800s. Also included are personal letters of Frank Nash's grandfather, Frederick (1771-1858), who served as superior court judge, 1818-1826 and 1836-1844, as justice of the state supreme court, 1844-1852, and as chief justice, 1852-1858. Papers, 1859-1865, deal with events leading up to and during the Civil War. Following the war, papers are chiefly legal and business records with scattered reference to state and national politics. Scattered throughout are a few short writings by Frank Nash and others on various topics. Also included are items relating to the Nash-Kollock School for Girls in Hillsborough. These include letters, beginning in the 1860s, relating to life at the school; the ordering of books, circulars, and other materials for the school; advertisements for the school; and other topics. For other material relating to the Nash-Kollock School, see subseries 2.2.
Series 2. Other Papers, 1829-1965 and Undated
Subseries 2.2: Nash-Kollock School, 1860s-1965 and Undated
Subseries 2.2.1: Papers, 1860s-1965 and undated. This subseries includes notes and writings about the Nash-Kollock School. A small amount of correspondence, 1952-1965, relates to Ann Strudwick Nash's Ladies in the Making, a history of the Nash-Kollock School that was privately printed in 1964, while original letters relating to the Nash-Kollock School are interfiled in subseries 1.1. Page proofs of this publication are also included.
Subseries 2.2.2: Pictures, 1860-1965. This subseries consists of photographs, chiefly relating to students at the Nash-Kollock School.
A list of omisions from the Frank Nash Papers, 1729-1965, is provided on Reel 31, Frame 1151. Omissions include subseries 1.2-1.3, Correspondence and Related Material, 1891-1933 and Undated after 1890; subseries 2.1, Other Papers, Clippings, 1829-1893; and Series 3, Volumes, 1800-1913 and Undated.
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection is the Cameron Family Papers, which is included, in part, in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J, Part 1.
Perkins Family Papers, 1822-1942,
Burke County, North Carolina; also Georgia
Description of the Collection
This collection includes personal and family papers, chiefly after 1860, of members of the families of Elisha Alexander Perkins (1828-1897) and his brother, Robert Caldwell Perkins (1825-1904), farmers at Pleasant Valley on John's River near Morganton, Burke County, North Carolina. Included are letters from three generations of the Williams family of White County, Georgia, relatives of the Perkins brothers by marriage; Civil War correspondence, official papers, and a diary, 1863 and 1865, of Captain Elisha Alexander Perkins of the 41st North Carolina Cavalry Regiment, C.S.A., in coastal North Carolina and Virginia, and civilian correspondence during the Civil War, mostly from the women of the family in North Carolina and Georgia; business papers, especially of Robert C. Perkins as a local official during and after the war; various farm accounts; and a journal and account book, 1852, of Robert C. Perkins's trip to California via Cuba and Panama and of his mining experiences during the Gold Rush. Correspondence after 1900 shows that the Pleasant Valley farm was run by the Perkins women. Volumes include diaries, 1861-1864 and 1866-1969, of Emma Sue Gordon Perkins (1837-1870), wife of Robert C. Perkins. She was a teacher in Hertford, North Carolina, before her marriage in 1863. The diaries describe daily life in Hertford and at Pleasant Valley.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Correspondence and Related Material and Series 2. Volumes.
Robert Caldwell Perkins (1825-1904) and his brother, Elisha Alexander Perkins (1828-1897), operated a large farm known as Pleasant Valley on John's River near Morganton in Burke County, North Carolina. Their sister, Jane Elizabeth Perkins, married a Williams and settled in White County in northern Georgia. During the Civil War, Elisha Alexander Perkins was a captain in the Confederate army, serving with the 41st North Carolina Regiment in coastal North Carolina and Virginia; Robert Perkins remained in Morganton and held a number of local offices, including that of sheriff of Burke County, during and after the war.
In October 1863, Robert Perkins married Emma Sue Gordon, a cousin of his first wife, Mary Neal. Before moving to Morganton, Emma Gordon had taught school in Hertford, Chowan County, North Carolina. Her sister, Juliana "Dunie" Gordon, was the wife of Captain Elisha Alexander Perkins.
Elisha Alexander Perkins's daughters, Sue, Emma (Mrs. Forney), and Elizabeth ("Lizzie"; Mrs. Robert L. McConnaughey), lived at the Pleasant Valley farm and continued to operate it into the twentieth century.
Series 1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1822-1942 and Undated
This series includes personal and family letters, chiefly 1860-1910, received by members of the Elisha Alexander Perkins family and the Robert Caldwell Perkins family at Pleasant Valley near Morganton, Burke County, North Carolina, including many letters from Jane Elizabeth Perkins Williams and her descendants in White County, Georgia. Also included are many bills, accounts, receipts, and other papers concerning Robert Perkins's business interests and responsibilities.
Letters are concerned entirely with the daily activities, health and welfare of members of the household and the immediate circle of relatives and friends of the letter writers. There are almost no references to anything or anyone beyond their homes, farms, or neighborhoods, and none to ideas or opinions. Several of the letters were written to relatives after long periods of silence and include summary information about the separated members of the family. In general, these materials are unadorned chronicles of births, visits, marriages, vocations, illnesses and deaths, and daily chores, with occasional mentions of weather and crops.
Papers before 1860 consist primarily of deeds, bills, receipts, promissory notes, and other financial and legal papers. There are also a few personal letters. The earliest item is a certificate, 1822, relating to Alfred Perkins's 640 acres in Burke County. Also included are business items and the will, 1856, of John Caldwell, brother of Mrs. Alfred Perkins; two letters, 1839, to Elisha Alexander Perkins at Davidson College from his parents, Alfred and Mary; and a letter, 1852, from Robert Perkins at Maxwell's Creek, California, mentioning mining, food prices, prospects, and news of other North Carolinians.
Items dated from 1860 to 1890 consist chiefly of business papers of Robert Perkins and family correspondence. Also included are many routine military communications, 1861-1864, received by Captain Elisha Alexander Perkins of the 41st North Carolina Regiment. Beginning in 1861, there are scattered letters, mostly to Robert Perkins, from relatives with the Confederate army in Virginia, chiefly his brother, Elisha Alexander, and nephew, A. P. Williams. There are also many letters from various members of the Williams family in Georgia, and a few letters, 1863, to Robert Perkins from his aunt, Sarah F. Baker. After 1863, there are many letters to Emma Sue Gordon Perkins from various friends, including Nettie Gilliam, Julia Gaither, and Elizabeth Brace. Business papers of Robert Perkins after 1870 consist of his receipts and accounts as sheriff and tax collector in Burke County; as trustee or agent for the creditors of W. C. Erwin; as administrator, 1875, of the will of John Caldwell, succeeding Tod R. Caldwell, executor, deceased; and as guardian, after 1884, of Jane E. Collett, non compos mentis.
Papers after 1890 consist mainly of letters to "the Perkins girls," Emma, Sue, and Lizzie, from various friends and relatives, including several members of the Williams family. Letters from friends chiefly describe social activities. Also included are a letter, 1893, from A. P. Williams, telling of many deaths from typhoid; a letter, 1897, from Georgia relatives, following the death of Elisha Alexander Perkins; a letter, 1908, to Lizzie Perkins from Thomas L. Shannonhouse, patient at State (Psychiatric) Hospital, Morganton, describing his treatment, the hospital, and some of the staff; a letter, 1921, from Ethel M. Hendricks of Tucson, Arizona, telling of her travels in Arizona and personal news; and a thank-you note, 1930, from a school girl whose class had visited Pleasant Valley farm.
Also included are a number of poems copied from various sources or clipped from newspapers, and some miscellaneous clippings relevant to members of the Perkins family and their friends.
Series 2. Volumes, 1830-1916 and Undated
This series consists of twenty-one volumes.
Volume 1: 1830-1839, 24 pp. Accounts of Alfred Perkins with various individuals for such things as wheat, bacon, corn, and wool, and accounts of Mary Perkins.
Volume 2: 1841-1857, 100 pp. Elisha Alexander Perkins's accounts with individuals and miscellaneous memoranda concerning hogs killed, crops sowed, and items sold and purchased, with prices for bacon, lard, corn, salt, peas, etc.
Volume 3: 1851-1855, 16 pp. Miscellaneous financial memoranda; receipts, expenditures; list of notes due Elisha Alexander and Robert Perkins, c. 1854.
Volume 4: January-April 1852 and undated, 39 pp. Robert Perkins's notebook of trip to California, telling of the journey from Charleston, South Carolina, via Havana and Panama to Stockton, California, evidently in company with a group from Burke County, North Carolina. The book also contains some records of money sent home and borrowed, accounts for purchasing picks, shovels, and provisions, and accounts with companions.
Volume 5: 1858, 1863, 29 pp. Accounts of merchandise charged, 1858, by Thomas B. Myzock. The book was later used for accounts of expenditures "going home" from Montgomery in February 1863 to Salisbury, and for farm work done in April 1863.
Volume 6: 1863, 1865, 43 pp. Diary of Captain Elisha Alexander Perkins, 1 January-12 March 1863. Also included are irregular entries between 24 March and 19 April 1865 and some lists of who drew saddles, bridles, nosebags, sabres, etc., probably 1863. Entries tell of activities in camp, troop movements, news, and rumors. There is frequent mention of a Colonel Baker and of making records.
Volume 7: 1870-1872, 30 pp. Memoranda book of Robert Perkins with taxes collected from individuals as sheriff of Burke County, North Carolina, some farm expenditures, and a few miscellaneous merchandise accounts.
Volume 8: 1872-1881, 19 pp. Record of subscribers and pledges for support of Reverend R. B. Anderson, year by year, as pastor of the Quaker Meadows Presbyterian Church. Elisha Alexander Perkins was apparently treasurer.
Volume 9: 1881-1884, 4 pp. Three pages as in volume 8 and one page of house expenses, 1887.
Volume 10: 1882-1886, 55 pp. General merchandise accounts of Elisha Alexander and Robert Perkins with McKenzie and Turner, Morganton, North Carolina.
Volume 11: 1885-1890, 46 pp. Autograph album of Emmie Perkins, begun at Statesville Female College in spring 1885, with autographs added to 1890. Later still, someone has added information about marriages, etc., of autographers. Also included is a list of Statesville College girls and their "flower" nicknames.
Volume 12: 1891, 18 pp. Diary entries of Elizabeth (Lizzie) W. Perkins, 16-27 March 1891, concerning the family, home, and farm at Pleasant Valley, weather, visits and visitors, and daily occupations.
Volume 13: 1903-1905, 30 pp. Memorandum book of Elizabeth (Lizzie) W. Perkins of Pleasant Valley. Included are notes concerning pigs, hogs, eggs, butter, corn, and miscellaneous expenditures.
Volume 14: 1906-1915, 73 pp. Memorandum book of Elizabeth (Lizzie) W. Perkins of Pleasant Valley. Included are miscellaneous memoranda concerning farm accounts--eggs and chickens sold, etc. There are also accounts of expenses on trips to Washington, June 1906; Camden, March 1906; and New York, undated.
Volume 15: c. 1907, 3 pp. Miscellaneous memoranda, including names of persons buying pigs.
Volume 16: c. 1916, 15 pp. Slight farm expenditures of Robert L. McConnaughey of Morganton, North Carolina.
Volume 17: 12 June 1861-21 December 1862, 195 pp. Diary of Emma Sue Gordon, schoolteacher of Hertford, North Carolina. Entries discuss everyday life in Hertford, the activities of her students, and rumors about the early battles of the Civil War.
Volume 18: 26 January 1863-11 March 1864, 88 pp. Diary of Emma Sue Gordon Perkins, discussing her courtship with Robert C. Perkins and their marriage.
Volume 19: 1 January 1866-22 January 1867, 200 pp. Diary of Emma Sue Gordon Perkins, describing farm life at Pleasant Valley. Included are many details concerning the price of crops and goods bought and sold, and much information about family and social activities, particularly those of Perkins relatives in Georgia.
Volume 20: 1 February 1867-14 August 1868, 100 pp. Diary of Emma Sue Gordon Perkins, Pleasant Valley, Burke County, North Carolina. Entries are generally similar to those in volume 19.
Volume 21: 23 August 1868-7 November 1869, 96 pp. Diary of Emma Sue Gordon Perkins, Pleasant Valley. Entries are similar to those in volumes 19 and 20.
Alice Morgan Person Papers, 1872-1972,
Franklin County, North Carolina
Description of the Collection
This collection consists chiefly of items of or about Alice Morgan Person, including an autograph/memory album, 1884-1902; a few letters, 1894 and undated; an extensive account book, 1908-1912; two wills, 1913; three copies of her autobiography, undated and 1971; two newspaper clippings, 1913 and 1972; and several miscellaneous items. Also included are two volumes of Person's sister's diaries, 1872-1873 and 1913-1916, containing day-to-day observations of Lucy Morgan Beard's teaching and social activities, mostly in Hickory, North Carolina. A more detailed account follows.
Album, 1884-1902, 49 pp., and enclosures. Articles relating to Alice Morgan Person's business activities. Some articles are pasted over poems and autographs collected by Josie Person, daughter of Alice Morgan Person. Several loose newspaper articles are also included.
Letters, 1894 and undated. Four letters to or from Alice Morgan Person or her children, including an undated invitation from Person to attend a business-related "pic-nic" and dance held at her home in Franklin County and several letters relating to family visits.
Account book, 1908-1912, 106 pp. Contains detailed accounting of Person's income and expenses, primarily for the years 1910 and 1911, including expense accounts during trips and counts of the bottles of Mrs. Joe Person's Remedy sold.
Wills, 1913 and 1915, of Alice Morgan Person, including a partial will, 1913, in which she named her son, Rufus Person, as her executor and detailed the persons to whom she would give her assets and household items, and a copy of Person's 1915 will filed in Mecklenburg County.
Autobiography of Alice Morgan Person, early manuscript draft, undated, 57 pp.
Autobiography of Alice Morgan Person, final manuscript draft, undated, 72 pp., with corrections and additions.
Autobiography of Alice Morgan Person, typescript, 1971, 75 pp. Copyrighted typescript booklet of Alice Morgan Person's autobiography entitled "Banny's Book," produced by Louise Stephenson from the final manuscript draft. Added are photostatic copies of a selection of newspaper articles originally contained in the album described above.
Clippings, 1913 and 1972, with biographical references to Alice Morgan Person.
Diary of Lucy Morgan Beard, sister of Alice Morgan Person, with entries documenting Beard's daily activities including teaching, reading, knitting, and socializing with people in Hickory, North Carolina, where she lived. Entries in the last volume include remarks on the death of her sister Alice and, later, about her own failing health. Also included are several loose sheets of paper giving information about an unknown person's travels in Canada, Oregon, California, and Alaska. Diary of Lucy Morgan Beard consists of three sections: 3 March 1872-23 July 1872, 18 pp.; 1872-1873, 192 pp.; and 1913-1916, 56 pp.
Alice Morgan was born in 1840 near Petersburg, Virginia. She received most of her education at home. In 1857, she married Joseph Arrington Person, a wealthy planter from Franklin County, North Carolina. The couple settled at Person's plantation and had nine children.
In 1863, Joseph Person organized a company of North Carolina volunteers. He soon was discharged from service, however, because of a disability. Shortly after returning home, he suffered a debilitating stroke that prevented him from working for the rest of his life. Her husband's disability, coupled with the economic consequences of the Civil War, led Alice Morgan Person to market a patent medicine, the recipe for which had been given her by a neighbor.
In 1882, she began selling Mrs. Joe Person's Remedy door-to-door in Charlotte, Raleigh, and other major North Carolina towns. The remedy proved quite popular, and Person was soon known throughout the South for her medicine and for her piano playing. She performed popular tunes at fairs in North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Virginia, and made a recording of her music at Victor Records in New Jersey.
Alice Person traveled extensively during her lifetime for both business and pleasure. In 1913, during one such trip to the West Coast, she suffered a seizure and died. She left a considerable estate, most of which had been accumulated as a result of her business activities. Also surviving her is an autobiography that offers a detailed account of her public life, including the challenges of starting and sustaining a business as a "woman in a man's world."
Elizabeth Webb Strudwick Papers, 1779-1870,
Orange County, North Carolina; also Alabama
Description of the Collection
Elizabeth Webb Strudwick, born in Hillsborough, North Carolina, was the daughter of James and Anne Alves Huske Webb. She married William Francis Strudwick (d. 1851) of Demopolis, Alabama, in 1831; the couple had ten children, seven sons and three daughters.
The collection consists chiefly of letters, mostly 1840-1865, to and from members of the Strudwick family of Demopolis, Alabama, and the Webb family of Hillsborough, North Carolina. Many of the letters were written or received by Elizabeth Webb Strudwick. They chiefly concern affairs on the Strudwick farm; activities of family members in Hillsborough; health problems, especially those leading up to the death of William Francis Strudwick; and the schooling of the Strudwick children. Letters from the Civil War years consist mostly of courting letters written to Elizabeth's daughter, Annie, by two suitors. Troop movements and destruction at home are occasionally noted. There are also two financial items recording the sales of cotton by Elizabeth in 1857.
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection is the Annie Strudwick Papers.
Edmund Jenner Warren Papers, 1871-1903
Description of the Collection
This collection is primarily correspondence of Edmund Jenner Warren's immediate family and of his and his wife's relatives in Vermont, Massachusetts, Alabama, and eastern North Carolina. Included are letters from Warren in Raleigh, North Carolina, serving in the state legislature, attending conventions, and presiding on the judicial circuit to his wife, Deborah Virginia Bonner Warren (1829-1910); letters from his daughter, Lucy Wheelock Warren (1850-1937), at Saint Mary's School in Raleigh, 1865-1867; from his son, Charles Frederick Warren (1852-1904), at Washington College (later Washington and Lee University), Lexington, Virginia, 1869-1873; and from relatives serving in both the Union and Confederate armies and held as prisoners of war. These include letters from two of Warren's brothers in the Confederate army: Fred, a prisoner of war in Indianapolis, and Herbert C. (d. 1864), with the 6th Alabama Volunteers. Also included are letters of another brother, John W., who served with the Wisconsin Cavalry and was taken prisoner at Columbia, South Carolina. Correspondence during the late 1860s and early 1870s includes letters concerning judicial business and court matters, as well as life at several Virginia health resorts where Edward Jenner Warren went to cure his rheumatism. Papers after 1876 are chiefly personal correspondence of daughter Lucy Wheelock Warren Myers.
Volumes include Charles Warren's notes from classes at Washington College, 1871-1872; Deborah Virginia Bonner Warren's notebook of cures and rules for health; and Edward Jenner Warren's book of law forms.
The collection is arranged as follows: Series 1. Loose Papers, 1826-1917 and Undated [not included] and Series 2. Volumes, 1871-1903 and Undated.
Edward Jenner Warren (1826-1876) was born in Wardsboro, Vermont, the third child of twelve of Dr. John Parker and Lucy Maynard Wheelock Warren. Dr. Warren was a distinguished physician and botanist. Lucy Wheelock Warren was related to Frederick Eleazar Wheelock, a prominent New England educator and founder of Dartmouth College, where Edward Jenner Warren studied until 1847 (he received his degree from Dartmouth sometime in the 1860s). Within two years of leaving Dartmouth, Warren settled in Washington, Beaufort County, North Carolina, where he taught school and studied law.
Warren quickly made his reputation at the bar and among the people of Beaufort County. He was elected to represent Beaufort County at the Secession Convention of 1861 and then in the state legislature, 1861-1862. In the 1871-1872 session, he served as president of the state senate. He also served as a superior court judge from 1865 to 1868.
In 1849, Warren married Deborah Virginia Bonner (1829-1910). They had one daughter, Lucy Wheelock (1850-1937), and one son, Charles Frederick (1852-1904). Lucy ("Lulie") Warren received her formal education at Saint Mary's School in Raleigh and married W. Rodman Myers in 1872. Charles Warren received his degree from Washington College (later Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia. He studied and practiced law in Washington, North Carolina. He was also president of the North Carolina Bar Association. In 1879, he married Elizabeth Mutter Blount.
Series 2. Volumes, 1871-1903 and Undated
This series consists of three items.
Volume 1: 1871-1872, 32 pp. Notebook of Charles F. Warren containing his handwritten lecture notes taken while he was a student at Washington College, Lexington, Virginia. Subjects include elocution, race, and French verbs and grammar. At least some of the lectures were given by William Preston Johnson.
Volume 2: 1903 and undated, 85 pp. Deborah Virginia Bonner Warren's notebook of cures and rules for good health, including newspaper clippings and handwritten entries on a variety of different ailments and suggestions for maintaining good health.
Volume 3: undated, 86 pp. Edward Jenner Warren's "Practical Forms," containing forms relating to his legal practice, including marriage settlements, deeds of sale, trust, mortgage, petition for dower, and other legal papers.
A list of omissions from the Edmund Jenner Warren Papers, 1871-1906, is provided on Reel 34, Frame 1243. Omissions consist of Series 1, Loose Papers, 1826-1917 and Undated, including substantive documents relating to southern women. Descriptions of omitted materials are included in the Introductory Materials microfilmed at the beginning of this collection.
N.B. A related collection among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection is the Alfred E. Willard Papers.
Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams Papers, 1827-1979,
Franklin and Warren Counties, North Carolina; also Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas
Description of the Collection
This collection of more than five hundred letters and assorted documents records the activities of one segment of the extensive Alston-Williams-Tunstall-Crichton family connection that was centered in the North Carolina counties of Warren and Franklin. The central figures in the correspondence are Philip Guston Alston (1839-1924); his wife, Jane Elizabeth Crichton (1840-1891); and their daughter, Lucy Tunstall Alston (1869-1940), wife of Archibald Davis Williams, Jr. (1856-1911). The papers were amassed and preserved initially by Mrs. Williams and then by her daughter, Mary Lewis Williams (1894-1979), at their residence in Warrenton. At the death of Miss Williams they were placed in the custody of her nephew, Henry Wilkins Lewis, who prepared this survey.
Pre-Civil War Papers
The earliest letter in this collection was written by Mrs. Philip Alston (Elizabeth Johnston, 1780-1866) to her daughter, Mary Hardee Alston (later Mrs. Whitmel H. A. Kearney), then staying with members of Mrs. Alston's family at Hayes plantation near Edenton in Chowan County, North Carolina. Writing on 29 February 1827, from Warren County, Mrs. Alston gave a graphic description of the economic distress that impelled so many from that area to migrate to the south and west. (Folder 22)
A second letter, dated 3 August 1839, from Wake Park plantation near Bolivar, Tennessee, and written by Temperance Boddie Williams, wife of Dr. Calvin Jones (1775-1846), gives insight into the relative prosperity that she and her Connecticut-born husband had found "beyond the mountains" after his brilliant and versatile career in North Carolina. The letter was addressed to Mrs. Jones's sister, Marina Priscilla Williams (Mrs. George Washington Alston, 1810-1897), congratulating her on the birth of her first child on 20 March 1839--Philip Guston Alston, already noted as a central figure in the papers. (Folder 22)
The George W. Alstons had two additional children: William Henry (b. 1841) and George W. Alston, Jr. (b. 1845). The father died in 1849, leaving the home plantation, Cherry Hill, to his wife and placing his minor sons under the guardianship of his brother, Philip Guston Alston (1803-1852), and his cousins, Edward Alston (1797-1856) and John Buxton Williams (1815-1887).
The younger Philip Guston Alston was sent to an academy in Ridgeway, North Carolina, and in 1855 to the University of North Carolina, where he acquired a lifelong taste for history and English literature. (An autograph album that dates from his college years is preserved in the collection.) In 1857, apparently with the approval of his one surviving guardian, Alston left the university to begin life as a farmer on the plantation left him by the uncle-guardian for whom he had been named, the land on which the young man's great grandfather, Philip Alston (c. 1720-1783), the first of the name, had settled before the middle of the eighteenth century.
Civil War Documents
A few business papers in the collection attest to Philip Guston Alston's agricultural experience with the slave labor he inherited from his father, an effort that he maintained throughout the Civil War concurrently with service as a captain in the Confederate army. The remaining Civil War documents are letters from family connections, not from Alston himself.
1860: Robert Lewis Williams (son of Archibald Davis and Lucy Ann Lewis Williams of Vine Hill plantation, Franklin County) wrote from school on 12 November at Brownsville, North Carolina, telling his sister [Hartwell Hodges (Hodgie) Williams] something of local reaction to the election of Abraham Lincoln. (Folder 22)
1863: Hugh Randolph Crichton wrote to his sister, Jane (soon to become the wife of Philip Guston Alston), from camp on the Rapidan on 9 February, twelve miles from Gordonsville, Virginia, reporting on skirmishes there. (Folder 12)
An undated letter from Crichton to his mother, Mrs. Hugh Crichton (Lucy Henry Tunstall), is almost illegible. (Folder 12)
1864: Robert Lee Williams, then a lieutenant in the Confederate army, wrote to his sister on 3 May from a camp near Taylorsville, Virginia. (Folder 22) 15 June, Nathaniel Richard Tunstall, from a general hospital in Petersburg, Virginia, wrote to his father, George Tunstall, in Louisburg, North Carolina. (Folder 22) 11 August, Hugh Randolph Crichton wrote from near Petersburg to his sister, Jane (then Mrs. Philip Guston Alston). (Folder 12) 28 August, Hugh Randolph Crichton "on skirmish" near Petersburg wrote to Captain and Mrs. Philip Guston Alston. (Folder 12) 30 November, Miss Polly Tunstall wrote to her cousin, Mrs. Philip Guston Alston, lamenting the death of George Dudley Tunstall. (Folder 22)
Papers Dating from 1870 to 1890
On 2 February 1864, while still in uniform, Philip Guston Alston was married in Louisburg, North Carolina, to Jane Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh and Lucy Henry (Tunstall) Crichton. Jane, born on 22 April 1840, was in her twenty-fourth year and, from financial necessity brought on by her mother's long widowhood as well as wartime economy, had been teaching at the Archibald Davis Alston (1817-1899) plantation near Philip's mother's Cherry Hill. An album that she began keeping while a student at Louisburg College forms part of the collection. (Folder 27A)
Philip and Jane settled on the land he had acquired from his uncle and built a house they called Maple Cottage to replace an older house that had been destroyed by fire. The first of their eight children, a son, was born two days after Christmas in 1864 and named for his father. Although Alston attempted to adjust to a system of free labor, he was not a successful farmer. Eventually he lost the land on which Maple Cottage had been erected and moved to a residence on the eastern outskirts of Warrenton, where several of the Alston children attended school in the 1880s. Reports and certificates from this period may be found in the collection.
Late in the decade of the 1880s the family rented Buxton Place near Cherry Hill and were living there in July 1890 when the eldest daughter, Lucy Tunstall Alston (1869-1940), was married to her cousin, Archibald Davis Williams, Jr. (1856-1911). For the seventeen-month period that Jane (Crichton) Alston survived her daughter's marriage, the two women maintained constant communication through the exchange of notes carried by members of the family and others over the dozen or so miles between Buxton Place and Linwood, the Franklin County farm on which Lucy and her husband--called Baldie--made their home. These undated notes, filled with expressions of affection and advice, are part of the collection. Indeed, it is with this period that the bulk of the papers have their beginning. One of the most interesting groups is the set of letters written by Hugh Randolph Crichton (1841-1909) from Galveston and Mobile, for it reflects not only his efforts to make his way in the business world but also his financial aid to his sister and brother-in-law as they struggled to continue farming.
When Jane (Crichton) Alston died in December 1891 at the age of fifty-one, leaving seven unmarried children--three in their teens and one only seven years old--Lucy Williams was thrust into the role of foster mother as well as adviser and confidant for her financially inept father, who disbanded his household, sending his four older sons to find work where they might and placing his sixteen-year-old daughter, Ella, and his younger sons, Samuel (age thirteen) and Louis (age seven), with Mrs. Williams at Linwood.
The collection contains letters from each of the older sons--Philip Guston (Pegie), George, Hugh, and Henry--that give useful insight into their struggle to make their way in business in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and even Turkey. Later letters and documents attest their success.
Early Twentieth Century
Archibald Davis Williams, Jr. died in 1911, an event that led his wife to move her household from the Franklin County farm to Warrenton. These events are mirrored in the correspondence.
By the time he was sixty years old Philip Guston Alston had left Warren County and had initiated an effort to sell life insurance in South Carolina. There he was married to the widowed Lucy (McColl) Roper and made his home at her residence near Tatum in Marlboro County. The letters that he wrote to Mrs. Williams in the period from 1898 to 1908 and her letters to him--as well as those of several of his grandchildren--give informative glimpses of family life and interests but contain only rare references to politics and events outside the domestic circle.
The two older children of Lucy (Alston) and Archibald Davis Williams--Jane (called Jennie) and Mary (called Mamie)--were among the earliest students in the newly established East Carolina Teachers Training School at Greenville, North Carolina. Their letters tell of their initial efforts to earn a living as teachers in the public schools of several small North Carolina communities.
In 1915 Jane Williams was married to Edmund Wilkins Lewis of Jackson, and her letters to her mother from 1915 to 1924 tell of her life as a bride and young mother--with an especially vivid account of the influenza epidemic of 1918. Letters to Mary Lewis Williams form the balance of the collection. These reflect her association with the business, cultural, and social life of Warrenton from 1911 until 1979 as well as the activities of other members of this family in the same period.
To make the collection more useful, three sets of family relationship sheets have been appended to this survey:
1. Alston Family Relationships
2. Williams Family Relationships
3. Tunstall (including Crichton) Family Relationships
Two symbols may be found to the left of certain names on these family
* indicates that there is at least one letter from that person in the collection; # indicates that there is at least one letter addressed to that person in the collection.
Summaries of Folder Contents
A folder-by-folder summary of the papers in this collection follows. The contents of the various folders have been arranged in most instances to collect the letters written by a specific person or those written to a specific person; some folders, however, are more miscellaneous collections.
Index to Folders
An alphabetical index by surname of the contents of the folders appears in the introductory materials on the microfilm. Underscored numbers in the index indicate that the folder concerned is devoted to letters to or from the indexed person.
Papers of Lucy Tunstall Alston (Mrs. Archibald Davis Williams, Jr.)
Folder 1. Letters of George Warren Alston (1866-1912) (51 items) to various members of his family, including:
His mother, Jane (Crichton) Alston [Folders 3 and 4];
His father, Philip Guston Alston [Folders 7, 8, and 9];
His sister, Lucy Tunstall Alston (Mrs. Archibald Davis Williams, Jr.) [Folders 7, 17, and 18].
The correspondence covers the years 1881-1907 and deals largely with the writer's attempts to find employment. 1881-1890--from Warrenton, North Carolina; 13 April 1890--from Fort Payne, Alabama; April-May 1890--from Anniston, Alabama; and 6 June 1890-1907--from Texarkana, Arkansas.
Folder 2. Letters of Hugh Crichton Alston (1871-1896) (38 items) to various members of his family and others, including:
His mother, Jane (Crichton) Alston [Folders 3 and 4];
His father, Philip Guston Alston [Folders 7, 8, and 9];
His brother, Philip (Pegie) Guston Alston, Jr. [Folder 10];
His brother, Lewis (later spelled Louis) Watson Alston [Folder 6];
His sister, Lucy Tunstall Alston (Mrs. Archibald Davis Williams, Jr.) [Folders 7, 17, and 18];
His sister, Ella Lee Alston (Mrs. Harry Hill Thorne) [Folder 15];
His uncle, Hugh Randolph Crichton [Folder 12];
Harry Guston Williams (1863-1937) and his wife, Elizabeth (McDuffie) Williams;
John Buxton Williams.
The correspondence covers the years 1888-1893 and tells of the writer's experience as a young man in his first employment: 1888-January 1890--from Keyser, North Carolina (lumber business); February 1890-1896--from Beard's Creek, Georgia (with the J. R. McDuffie Co., dealers in naval stores and lumber).
Folder 3. Notes of Jane Elizabeth Crichton (Mrs. Philip Guston Alston) (1840-1891) (34 items) to her daughter, Lucy Tunstall Alston (Mrs. Archibald [Baldie] Davis Williams, Jr.) [Folders 7, 17, and 18] in the first year of her marriage (1890-1891) to Williams (1856-1911). The writer was living either at Buxton Place or Sunny Hill, farms in Fork Township, Warren County, North Carolina; her daughter was then living about twelve miles distant at Linwood, a farm near the village of Centerville in Franklin County, North Carolina. Only one of the notes is dated (11 February 1891); one, however, is written on the back of a letter dated 12 January 1891, from Marina Priscilla Alston (1868-1893) to Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams; another is written on the back of a letter from Hugh Crichton Alston [Folder 2] to Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams on 2 January 1891; and two others are written on the backs of business letters or other documents. In these notes the writer addresses her daughter as "Lute," a family nickname that was pronounced as if spelled "Lutie."
In reading the notes it is helpful to know that Lucy's first child was either stillborn or died shortly after birth. Her first surviving child was named for the writer of these notes: Jane Crichton Williams, born 4 June 1892 [Folders 13 and 16].
Folder 4. Undated letters to Jane Elizabeth Crichton (Mrs. Philip Guston Alston) (1840-1891) (6 items) from the following members of her family:
Her mother, Lucy Henry Tunstall (Mrs. Hugh Crichton) (c. 1808-1879), writing from her home in Louisburg, North Carolina;
Her mother-in-law, Marina Priscilla Williams (Mrs. George Washington Alston) (1810-1897), writing from her home, Cherry Hill plantation in Fork Township, Warren County, North Carolina;
Her sister, Anna Crichton (Mrs. Lewis N. Watson) (1836-1908), writing from her home, Rockland farm near Ridgeway, Warren County, North Carolina;
Her aunt, Temperance Williams Tunstall (Mrs. William Richmond King) (c. 1810-1885), writing from the home of her son, Dr. Joel G. King, in Warrenton, North Carolina;
Her sister-in-law, Elizabeth (Bettie) Faulcon Alston (Mrs. George Washington Alston, Jr.), writing from Cherry Hill plantation.
Folder 5. Letters of Laura June King (later Mrs. George Warren Alston) (3 items) to her cousin and future sister-in-law, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams, written in 1890 immediately prior to and soon after Lucy's marriage in July of that year to Archibald Davis Williams, Jr. (1856-1911).
Folder 6. Letters of Louis (originally spelled Lewis) Watson Alston (1884-1960) (9 items) to his sister, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams, and two miscellaneous items:
1886--Note from his mother, Jane (Crichton) Alston [Folders 3 and 4], enclosing a cutting of the child's hair at age two.
1892--letter written from the home of his aunt, Anna (Crichton) Watson, near Ridgeway, North Carolina.
1901--letters written from Heartsease in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, where at age seventeen he had found a job.
1918--letter announcing the birth of twins to his wife, Charlotte Niven (McKinney) Alston, in Morganton, North Carolina.
1920s--letters from Morganton.
1961--copy of executor's initial report to court in Baltimore in administering his estate.
(See also Folder 20 for biographical information.)
Folder 7. Letters of Philip Guston Alston (1839-1924) (11 items) to his daughter, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams [Folders 3, 17, and 18], written during the period 1898-1908 from a farm near Tatum in Marlboro County, South Carolina. In reading the letters it is helpful to know something of the McColl-Roper family connection to which Alston's second wife belonged: John W. Roper first married Henrietta McLaurin and had one child. Following his first wife's death, Roper married Lucy McColl by whom he had four children; the Roper children were Daniel C. (by first wife) and Eula, Thomas, Dell, and John (called Jack) (by second wife). After Roper's death his widow, Lucy (McColl) Roper was married to Philip Guston Alston as his second wife, and it was on her farm that he was living when these letters were written. In addition to the Roper children, Alston mentions his wife's sister, Miss Elizabeth (Lizzie) McColl and his own children, in particular his youngest child, Louis Watson Alston [Folders 6 and 30]. The letters record Alston's work as an insurance agent in South Carolina and the physical problem he suffered with his throat.
The papers of Daniel C. Roper, later Secretary of Commerce in the cabinet of Franklin D. Roosevelt, are deposited in the library of Duke University and should be consulted for information on the family life of the South Carolina group into which Alston married.
Folder 8. Letters to Philip Guston Alston (1839-1924) (19 items) from several members of his family:
25 June 1891--from Dr. Robert Edgar Williams (1817-1904) of Myrtle Lawn plantation, Fork Township, Warren County, North Carolina.
17 February 1905; 19 April 1906; and 8 November 1906--from his grandson, Archibald Davis Williams III (1896-1960).
8 November 1906--from his daughter, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams [Folders 3, 7, 17, and 18]. Undated letter, but after 1905--from his daughter, Ella Lee (Alston) Thorne [Folder 15]. 19 March 1909; 26 June 1909; 30 December 1909; 8 October 1910; 21 October 1914--from his granddaughter, Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams [Folder 20], describing student life at the new East Carolina Teachers Training School at Greenville, North Carolina, and her first position as a teacher in the public school in Hookerton, North Carolina.
20 November 1912--from his granddaughter, Crichton Alston Thorne (b. 1900).
6 March 1915--from his granddaughter, Lucy Alston Williams (1904-1967).
15 September 1909--a postcard from his son, William Henry Alston [Folder 11].
13 November 1910 and 30 October 1912--from his daughter-in-law, Laura June (King) Alston [Folder 5].
14 November 1912--from his daughter-in-law, Rowena (Watson) Alston (1879-1970), wife of William Henry Alston [Folder 11].
19 February 1915--Annie Branch (Ballard) Alston, his daughter-in-law, wife of Samuel Williams Alston (1878-1937).
Also included is a letter, 6 March 1905, to Mrs. Lucy (McColl) Alston from Alston's granddaughter, Jane (Jennie) Crichton Williams [Folders 12 and 16].
Folder 9. Miscellaneous Business Papers of Philip Guston Alston (1839-1924) (31 items). All of these items were found in Alston's wallet, one that he apparently used many years before his death. Only a few items merit special notice:
1 January 1867--document settling executorship and guardianship of John Buxton Williams; he had served as executor of George W. Alston (1801-1849) and as guardian for his two younger sons, William Henry Alston (1841-1907) and George W. Alston, Jr. (1845-1916); George W. Alston was father also of Philip Guston Alston (1839-1924).
20 May 1868--William Henry Alston (1841-1907) assumption of debt of Philip Guston Alston to Henry Blount Hunter as guardian of the children of Charles Kennedy.
1 January 1869--"Agreement of Labor" form made out in name of Philip Guston Alston but left blank. One of the provisions of the form requiring the landowner-employer to "encourage the establishment of schools" for the children of his employees was stricken out.
Folder 10. Letters and Notes of Philip (Pegie) Guston Alston, Jr. (1864-1933) (10 items) to his father, Philip Guston Alston [Folders 7, 8, and 9], his mother, Jane (Crichton) Alston [Folders 3 and 4], and sister, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams [Folders 7, 17, and 18] in the period 4 August 1884 to 20 May 1891. They deal with a young man's initial work experience away from home (at Palmyra in Halifax County, North Carolina), his religious commitment, and his understanding of the stress generated by the death of his mother and the consequent need to make provision for his younger sister, Ella Lee Alston [Folder 15], and his two younger brothers, Samuel Williams Alston and Louis Watson Alston [Folder 6].
Folder 11. Letters and postcards of William Henry Alston (1873-1947) (15 items and two photographs) to three members of his family: his father, Philip G. Alston (1839-1924) [Folders 7, 8, and 9]; his sister, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams [Folders 7, 17, and 18]; and the uncle for whom he was named, William Henry Alston (1841-1907). The period covered is from 1897 to 1904, and the letters and cards written from Henderson, North Carolina (1897); London, Dresden, and Cavalla (Turkey) (1901); Constantinople (1903); and Dresden (1904). The letters from Cavalla are of interest because they describe Turkish customs and go into detail as to how tobacco was processed and marketed there. Alston had gone abroad as an employee of one of the major tobacco manufacturers.
Folder 12. Letters of Hugh Randolph Crichton (1841-1909) (14 items) to various members of his family and two miscellaneous items: a clipping from a Petersburg, Virginia, newspaper dated 25 December 1864, reporting Crichton's imprisonment at Fort Delaware, and a typed extract from a memorial address on Crichton by Judge Saffold Berney, Mobile, Alabama, 6 December 1909. The letters are addressed to the writer's sister, Jane (Crichton) Alston [Folders 3 and 4]; his brother-in-law, Philip Guston Alston [Folders 7, 8, and 9]; his mother, Lucy Henry (Tunstall) Crichton (1811-1879); his nephew, George Warren Alston [Folder l]; and his nephew, Hugh Crichton Alston [Folder 2].
The 1863-1864 letters were written when Crichton, a lieutenant in the Confederate army, was near Gordonsville and Petersburg, Virginia. Those dating from 1872 to 1879 were written from Galveston, Texas; those dated from 1881 to 1891 were written from Mobile, Alabama. (Although unmarried when these letters were written, in 1892 Crichton married Hermenia Hansen and lived in Mobile until his death in 1909.)
Folders 13a and 13b. Letters of Jane (Jennie) Crichton Williams (Mrs. Edmund Wilkins Lewis) (1892-1978) (69 items) to members of her family, including:
Her mother, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams [Folders # 7, 17, and 18];
Her grandfather, Philip Guston Alston [Folders 7, 8, and 9];
Her aunt, Ella (Nettie) Lee (Alston) Thorne [Folder 15];
Her stepgrandmother, Lucy (McColl) Roper;
Her sister, Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams (1894-1979) [Folder 20];
Her sister, Lucy Alston Williams (1904-1967);
Her son, Henry Wilkins Lewis (born 1916);
Her cousin, Crichton Alston Thorne (born 1900).
The letters were written from various places:
23 July 1903 (the earliest)--from Cherry Hill plantation, Inez, Fork Township, Warren County, North Carolina (home of the writer's great uncle and great aunt, George W. and Elizabeth (Bett) Faulcon (Alston) Alston).
1904-1907--from Linwood farm near Centerville, Franklin County, North Carolina.
1908--from Warrenton, North Carolina (where the writer was attending the Graham School).
1913--from Townsville, Vance County, North Carolina (where the writer held her first position as a school teacher).
1915--from Washington, D.C. (where the writer was on her honeymoon).
1915-1924--from Jackson, North Carolina (where the writer lived after her marriage).
This folder also contains letters from two of her children, Henry Wilkins Lewis (b. 1916) and Philip Alston Lewis (1921-1977), to their grandmother, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams, and to their aunt, Lucy Alston Williams. See also Folder 16.
Folder 14. Letters of Hartwell Hodges (Hodgie) Williams (Mrs. Charles K. Pender) (2 items) of Pikesville, Maryland, to her brother, Archibald Davis Williams, Jr. (1856-1911), and her sister-in-law, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams [Folders 7, 17, and 18], at the time of their wedding in 1890.
Folder 15. Letters of Ella Lee Alston (Mrs. Harry Hill Thorne) (1875-1951) (4 items) written from Littleton, North Carolina, to her sister, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams [Folders 7, 17, and 18] in the summer of 1900. A letter (unsigned) dated Brinkleyville, North Carolina, 25 January 1891, apparently to Jane (Crichton) Alston, her mother [Folders 3 and 4], and a letter from the writer's daughter. Crichton Alston Thorne (b. 1900), to Archibald Davis Williams III (1896-1960) have also been included in this folder.
Folder 16. Miscellaneous Items of Jane (Jennie) Crichton Williams (1892-1978) (later Mrs. Edmund Wilkins Lewis) (3 items). The first is a poem entitled "Centerville" in which the writer attempts to describe Franklin County, North Carolina, near which she lived with her family. The second is the program of a music recital in which the subject was a participant at East Carolina Teachers Training School, Greenville, North Carolina, 20 December 1910. The third is a letter from the subject postmarked Greenville, North Carolina, 9 January 1912, to her mother, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams [Folders 7, 17, and 18], and her aunt, Ella Lee (Alston) Thorne [Folder 15], who were then living in Warrenton, North Carolina; this letter describes in detail the writer's visit to the Tarboro, North Carolina, home of Edwin Cherry, one of her suitors.
Folder 17. Letters of Lucy Tunstall Alston (Mrs. Archibald Davis Williams, Jr.) (1869-1940) (52 items) to various members of her family:
Her mother, Jane Elizabeth (Crichton) Alston [Folders 3 and 4] (these undated notes were written in the years 1890-1891 and should be read in conjunction with the notes of her mother to be found in Folder 3);
Her father, Philip Guston Alston [Folders 7, 8, and 9], while he was a resident of Marlboro County, South Carolina, and date from 1904 to 1918;
Her brother, Philip Guston Alston, Jr. [Folder 10], 4 April 1905;
Her cousin, Lucy Tunstall Crichton (Mrs. Thomas B. Snevely) (1893-1981), in Mobile, Alabama, 17 September 1923. With this letter is a typed commentary by the writer's grandson, Henry Wilkins Lewis (born 1916), dated 13 September 1981;
Her husband, Archibald Davis Williams, Jr.
Folder 18. Letters to Lucy Tunstall Alston (Mrs. Archibald Davis Williams, Jr.) (1869-1940) (29 items) from the following persons:
Marion Frances Alston (Mrs. Henry Clark Bourne), her niece, from Tarboro, North Carolina.
Philip Guston Alston, Jr., her brother [Folder 10].
Lucy Tunstall Crichton (later Mrs. Thomas B. Snevely) (1893-1981), her cousin (but referred to as "aunt" in some of the letters).
Della Pope Hunter (Mrs. Robert Edward King), her cousin, from Louisburg, North Carolina.
J. W. Jenkins, a Methodist minister asked to perform her marriage ceremony.
Mary T. King, a cousin, from Louisburg, North Carolina.
Charlotte Niven McKinney (Mrs. Louis Watson Alston) (1886-1955), her sister-in-law, from Binghamton, New York, and Morganton, North Carolina.
Hartwell Hodges (Hodgie) Williams (Mrs. Charles K. Pender), her sister-in-law, from Baltimore, Maryland.
Jane Crichton Lewis (born 1929), her granddaughter, from Jackson, North Carolina.
Philip Alston Lewis (1921-1977), her grandson, from Jackson, North Carolina.
James H. Dent, her cousin, from Franklinton, North Carolina.
Eloise (Ella) Williams (Mrs. David Nicholson Sills), her sister-in-law, from Baltimore, Maryland.
Rowena Watson (Mrs. William Henry Alston) (1879-1970), her sister-in-law, from White Plains and Bronxville, New York (signed "Onie").
Sallie Crichton Watson, her cousin, from near Ridgeway, North Carolina.
Archibald Davis Williams III (1896-1960), her son, from New York, New York.
Buxton Barker Williams (1881-1930), her cousin, a lawyer in Warrenton, North Carolina.
Mamie Ridley Watson (Mrs. Louis Napoleon Williams), her husband's sister-in-law, from Spring Hope, North Carolina.
Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams (1894-1979), her daughter, from Goldsboro, North Carolina.
A substantial number of the letters are concerned with family events of importance: the death of her mother, Jane (Crichton) Alston, in December 1891; her marriage to Archibald (Baldie) Davis Williams, Jr. in July 1890; and the births of three children to William Henry and Rowena (Onie) (Watson) Alston: William Henry Alston, Jr. (1915), William Watson Alston (1916), and Philip Guston Alston (1921). The folder also contains a portion of a letter from Mary (Mamie) Lewis Watson (1864-1939) (later Mrs. William Armistead Burwell), her cousin.
Folder 19. Letters of Marina Priscilla Alston (Mrs. Edward Alston Williams ) (6 items) to Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams [Folders 3, 7, 17, and 18]. The writer, niece of Philip Guston Alston [Folders 7 and 8], had married a brother of Archibald (Baldie) Davis Williams, Jr., husband of the addressee. The letters were written from Epsom in Vance County, North Carolina; Cherry Hill plantation in Fork Township, Warren County, North Carolina; and Battleboro in Edgecombe County, North Carolina.
Folder 20. Letters to Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams (1894-1979) (65 items) and miscellaneous items that she collected. The letters span the period from 1933 to 1978 and were written by:
Frances Buckner Kemper (Mrs. William Watson Alston), wife of her cousin, from Izmir, Turkey.
Jane Alden (Durfee) Alston and her husband, Philip Guston Alston, her cousin, from Bronxville, New York (Dede and Phil).
Lucy Alston Williams (Mrs. William A. Graham), her sister.
Louis Watson Alston [Folder 6], her uncle, from Binghamton, New York, and Baltimore, Maryland.
Mary Niven Alston (1918-1981), her cousin, from New York, New York.
Matilda Alston (Mrs. William J. Colihan), her cousin, from Greenwich, Connecticut.
William Henry Alston [Folder 11], her uncle, from Bronxville, New York.
Henry Wilkins Lewis, her nephew, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Camp Beauregard, Louisiana.
Philip Alston Lewis (1921-1977), her nephew, from United States Navy.
George A. Manderioli, president of the Salesman Club of the Austin Nichols Co., New York.
Fairfax (Polk) Mitchell and her husband, John G. Mitchell, from Jacksonville, Florida.
Mary Dancy Battle (Mrs. William Cannon Rivers), from Butner, North Carolina.
Dr. Claiborne Thweatt Smith, Jr., from Butner, North Carolina.
Rebecca Drane (Mrs. David Minton Warren), from Edenton, North Carolina.
Miscellaneous items in the folder include:
John Philip Sousa Band Concert Program, Raleigh, North Carolina, 4 March 1924.
Mary Lewis Williams confirmation certificate, Chapel of Christ Church, Raleigh, North Carolina, 23 November 1942.
"Attention, First Aiders" an undated and unsigned typed copy of a poem (period of World War II)--humorous.
"As It Looks to Me," a poem copied by Margaret (Peggy) Gill (first Mrs. Richard Cameron Woods and later Mrs. Forrest Hyde).
"Memo to Mamie-O" and "Tune: Silver Threads Among the Gold," two "send-off" poems from employees of The Citizens Bank, Warrenton, North Carolina, at the time Miss Williams was leaving for a European vacation.
Cathedral Columns, a leaflet published in December 1958, by the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore, Maryland, picturing and describing the great Resurrection Window given to that church by Louis Watson Alston [Folder 6] in memory of his wife, Charlotte Nevin (McKinney) Alston (1886-1955).
"In Memoriam, Louis Watson Alston, June 28, 1884--January 18, 1960," a typed copy of a memorial written by Edward W. Phifer, M. D., Morganton, North Carolina, 1960.
A 1967 Christmas card (drawing of the Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by the sender) from her nephew, Henry Wilkins Lewis.
Program of a Chamber Recital, 14 November 1970, Morganton, North Carolina, by Mary Niven Alston, soprano, her cousin, and others.
Program from St. John's Episcopal Church, Williamsboro, North Carolina (11 October 1970), map of the Williamsboro area for Colonial Dames visit (21 October 1970), and program booklet of the Granville-Warren Committee of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of North Carolina (1967-1969).
Robert B. House, "The Poetry of Our Lives," from The Chapel Hill Weekly, 18 July 1971.
"A Song of Seven Sisters" by her nephew, Henry Wilkins Lewis, sent her at Christmas 1977.
"A Thorn(e)y Fault Corrected" by her nephew, Henry Wilkins Lewis, sent her early in 1978.
Leaflet from the Church of the Resurrection, New York City, with picture of McManis organ given that church as a memorial to Charlotte Niven (McKinney) Alston and Louis Watson Alston [Folder 6] by their daughter, Mary Niven Alston (1918-1981), together with a description of the instrument and program of a recital by David Hewlett, 13 January 1963 (attached to a letter from Mary Niven Alston dated 16 January 1963).
Folder 20a. Letters to Lucy Tunstall Crichton Sneveley (8 items), including:
Mary (Mamie) Lewis Watson Eurwell (Warrenton, North Carolina) to Lucy Tunstall Crichton Sneveley (Mobile, Alabama), 9 January 1923.
Fred A. Olds (Raleigh, North Carolina) to same, 21 July 1926.
Ivey Watson (Enfield, North Carolina), 14 September 1942; 4 April 1947; 21 June 1949.
Whit Morris (San Antonio, Texas) to same, 12 August 1949.
S. Porter Myers (Richmond, Virginia) to same, 20 June 1951.
Sallie Davis Daniel (Santa Fe, New Mexico) to same, 16 May 1955.
Folder 21. Birth Announcements, Wedding Invitations, and Graduation Invitations (1908-1970s) (22 items).
Folder 22. Miscellaneous Letters in the Period 1827-1937 (12 items) 29 February 1827--Eliza P. Johnston (Mrs. Philip Alston) to her daughter, Mary (Polly) Hardee Alston (later Mrs. Whitmel H. A. Kearney) (born 1808), written from Warren County, North Carolina, and addressed to Miss Alston at Hayes Plantation, near Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina.
3 August 1839--Temperance Boddie Williams (Mrs. Calvin Jones) to her sister, Marina Priscilla (Williams) Alston (1810-1897), upon learning of the birth of Mrs. Alston's first child, Philip Guston Alston [Folders 7, 8, and 9]. The letter was written from the Jones plantation called Wake Park near Bolivar, Tennessee, where they had moved from Wake County, North Carolina. It is addressed to Mrs. Alston at the post office address of their recently widowed mother, Elizabeth Kinchen (Kearney) Williams, Reuben Town (now Centerville), Franklin County, North Carolina.
12 November 1860--Robert Lewis Williams to his sister, Hartwell Hodges [Hodgie] Williams (Mrs. Charles K. Pender), written from Brownsville, North Carolina, where the writer was in school. It refers to local reaction to Abraham Lincoln's election.
3 May 1864--same to same [see Folder 14]. Williams, a lieutenant in the Confederate army subsequently killed in battle, wrote from "Camp `for the last time' near Taylorsville," Virginia.
15 June 1864--Nathaniel Richard Tunstall (b. 1840) to his father, George Tunstall (1808-1889), written from General Hospital, Petersburg, Virginia. To the letter is appended a note from the addressee to "Dear Daughter," probably Mary (Polly) F. Tunstall (b. 1848).
30 November 1864--Mary (Polly) F. Tunstall (b. 1848) to her aunt, Jane Elizabeth Crichton (Mrs. Philip Guston Alston) [Folders 3 and 4]. The letter laments the death of the writer's brother, George Dudley Tunstall (b. 1839), and it expresses concern for the writer's remaining brothers (Nathaniel Richard and Landon Clanton Tunstall) and the addressee's brother, Hugh Randolph Crichton [Folder 12].
2 December 1891--Sarah (Tunstall) Block to "Cousin Mollie." The letter was written from Pass Christian, Mississippi, and was addressed to Louisburg, North Carolina. It is likely that the addressee was Mary L. T. King, daughter of Temperance Williams (Tunstall) and William R. King of Louisburg.
22 August 1900--Samuel Williams Alston (1878-1937) to his sister, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams [Folders 7, 17, and 18], written from Texarkana, Arkansas, where the writer had recently begun work.
18 July 1907--Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams [Folder 20] to Delle (Roper) McColl, stepdaughter of the writer's grandfather, Philip Guston Alston [Folders 7, 8, and 9].
1912--Lucy Alston Williams (later Mrs. William Albert Graham) (1904-1967) to Mrs. Pleasants, written from Warrenton, North Carolina, to a former neighbor near Centerville, North Carolina.
12 December 1936--S. H. Vance to Samuel Williams Alston (1878-1937).
31 March 1937--P. F. Cleaver to F. E. Wilson in regard to Samuel Williams Alston who had recently died.
Folder 23. Miscellaneous Items (4 items).
"Oh Did I Love Three Less!" a handwritten copy of a poem addressed to Miss Pattie Tunstall, probably Martha Frances, daughter of George and Frances (Clanton) Tunstall of Franklin County, North Carolina.
Draft (partial) of memorial to John Graham, Jr. (1874-1892), who died in Ridgeway, North Carolina, 8 June 1892.
Unsigned postcard addressed to Miss Jennie C. Williams [Folder 13], East Carolina Teachers Training School, Greenville, North Carolina, with hand-lettered copy of the toast to "The Old North State."
Undated postcard with picture of the town of Alston in England from Jane Crichton Alston (b. 1910) to her father, William Henry Alston [Folder 11].
Folder 24. School Records (1874-1909) (10 items).
Fork Institute, Warren County, North Carolina, 1 April 1874: Report on Philip Guston Alston, Jr. [Folder 10] by John Graham.
John Graham's bill to Philip Guston Alston [Folder 7, 8, and 9] for tuition (probably of George Warren Alston [Folder l]) for 1878 and 1879.
Miss Lucy Hawkins' School, Warrenton, North Carolina, "Cards of Approbation" awarded to Lucy Tunstall Alston [Folders 17 and 18], 9 May 1879; 8 December 1879; and 6 April 1882; and to Hugh Crichton Alston [Folder 2], 18 December 1880.
Warrenton (North Carolina) High School, 2 June 1884, report on Hugh Crichton Alston [Folder 2] by Manuel Fetter.
Warrenton (North Carolina) High School, first quarter (about 1897) and fourth quarter, 1898, on Louis Watson Alston [Folder 6] by Graham and Watkins, principals.
Warrenton (North Carolina) High School, session of 1908-1909, first quarter, on Jane Crichton Williams [Folder 13], by John Graham, principal.
Folder 25. Genealogical Records (19 items) including:
Notebook kept by Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams [Folders 17 and 18] containing data concerning the following families: Alston, Barker, Crichton, Savage, Shaw, Tunstall, Williams, and Lewis.
Worksheets for Colonial Dames ancestry of Grace Jackson Alston (Mrs. Charles Edward Glass).
Typed copy of will of Thomas Barker (1786).
Bennett ancestry of Temperance Boddie (d. 1784), wife of Captain Solomon Williams [in handwriting of Rie Alston Williams (Mrs. R. Hunt Parker)].
Inscriptions from Davis family cemetery, Columbia Farm, Franklin County, North Carolina (typed).
Gloster family Bible records (1763-1828) (typed).
Memorandum regarding Colonel Philemon Hawkins (1752-1833) and Colonel Benjamin Hawkins (1754-1816).
Hilliard ancestry of Elizabeth Hilliard (1772-1833), wife of Archibald Davis [in the handwriting of Rie Alston Williams (Mrs. R. Hunt Parker)].
Typed copy of will of Hartwell (née Hodges) Davis-Drake (1796).
Typed list of the children of William Kinchen Kearney (1785-1869).
Essay on Thomas Barker (1960) (typed).
List of ancestors of Mary Lewis Williams (1894-1979) qualifying for Colonial Dames, Daughters of the American Revolution, etc. (typed).
Final papers and worksheets for Colonial Dames ancestry of Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams (1894-1979).
Final Papers for Daughters of American Revolution of Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams (1894-1979).
Miscellaneous coats-of-arms, etc.
Folder 26. Pamphlets and Other Printed or Typed Matter (8 items), including:
Joel Rivers, "The Power and Excellence of Religion, Exemplified in the Happy Conversion and Triumphant Death of Miss Ruina J. Williams" (published for the Tract Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, New York, 1809), with a silhouette of Miss Williams. Three copies.
T. T. Hicks, address at presentation of portrait of Judge Walter A. Montgomery to the Supreme Court of North Carolina, 1923 (presentation copy from Mrs. Montgomery).
William Willis Boddie, "In Memory of Lucy Williams Perry" (1925) [presentation copy from author to Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams].
Mary Niven Alston, "The Attitude of the Church Towards Dissection before 1500," Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. XVI, No. 3, October 1944 (reprint).
Announcement of the publication of Marian Niven [pen name of Mary Niven Alston], The Altar and the Crown, The University Press, Sewanee, Tennessee (1972).
Tasker Polk, "An Easter Card-Letter" (undated).
Fred A. Olds, "Warren County" (typescript, undated).
List of North Carolina Historical Highway Markers in Warren County, compiled with additional information by Warren County Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy (typescript, undated).
Folder 27. Album of Jane Elizabeth Crichton (1840-1891) (later Mrs. Philip Guston Alston) while a student at Louisburg College, Louisburg, North Carolina, c. 1858 and later.
Folder 28. Autograph album of Philip Guston Alston (1839-1924) while a student at the University of North Carolina, 1855-1857.
Folder 29. Autograph album of Lucy Tunstall Alston (1869-1940) (later Mrs. Archibald Davis Williams, Jr.), c. 1886-1890.
N.B. Related collections among the holdings of the Southern Historical Collection include the Calvin Jones Papers, which are included in UPA's microfilm collection, Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J, Part 8, Tennessee.
Melissa Williams Letter, 1819,
Warren County, North Carolina
Description of the Collection
This collection consists of one letter, dated 5 June 1819, from Will Williams in Philadelphia to his wife, Melissa, in Warren County, North Carolina. Williams, who was on a business trip to New York and Philadelphia, wrote chiefly about his disappointment at the low price offered for his North Carolina tobacco crop.
Willis Williams Papers, 1851-1910,
Pitt County, North Carolina; also Virginia
Description of the Collection
This collection includes family correspondence of Willis Robert Williams (1826-1910), planter and state legislator of Pitt County, North Carolina, consisting chiefly of letters exchanged between him and his family while he was visiting North Carolina and the Virginia springs for his poor health in the 1850s, and while he was a legislator, 1866-1867 and 1885-1891. Letters deal primarily with family and plantation matters and his health. Also included are a few letters from constituents during his second term in the legislature. The collection also contains two scrapbooks of miscellaneous newspaper clippings, c. 1860-1895 [not included].
Willis Robert Williams, planter and state legislator of Pitt County, North Carolina, was born in 1826 at the family home near Falkland, North Carolina. Sometime before 1851, he married Harriet P. Leary of Edenton, North Carolina.
Williams served as a state representative from Pitt County in the North Carolina General Assembly for one term, 1866-1867, and as a state senator from 1885 to 1891. In addition, he served on the state Board of Agriculture and, for more than twenty years, as a justice of the peace. He was also an active member of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry in North Carolina.
Williams died at his home in Pitt County in 1910.
Series 1. Correspondence, 1851-1910 and Undated
This series consists chiefly of family correspondence, 1851-1910, of Willis Robert Williams (1826-1910), planter and state legislator of Pitt County, North Carolina, and members of his family, with some business and legal documents. Williams wrote or received most of the letters while he was recuperating at various North Carolina and Virginia mineral springs for his poor health in the 1850s, and while he was a state legislator, 1866-1867 and 1885-1891. His principal correspondents were his wife, Harriet, and other family members. Letters deal primarily with family and plantation matters and his health. There are also a few letters from constituents during Williams's second term in the legislature. Also included are assorted accounts, tax receipts, a presidential pardon for his role in the Civil War, and other items.
A list of omissions from the Willis R. Williams Papers is provided on Reel 36, Frame 1117, and consists entirely of Series 2, Scrapbooks and Clippings, c. 1860-1895.