Theodore and Barbara Loines Dreier and the Poteet-Dickson Finding Aids

There are two new finding aids on the Private Collections Finding Aids page:

Dreier, Theodore and Barbara Loines, Black Mountain College Collection (Dreier BMC Collection), 1925 – 1988 – Theodore (Ted) Dreier trained as an engineer at Harvard (A.B., 1923; S.B., 1925), and began working for the General Electric Company (GE). He and Barbara Loines Dreier (Bryn Mawr, A.B., 1928, Eng. Lit. and Art Hist.) were married in 1928 and initially lived in Schenectady, New York, GE headquarters. In 1930 Ted Dreier changed his career to education and took a faculty position in physics at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida. In 1933 John Andrew Rice was fired and a portion of faculty, including Dreier, either resigned or were dismissed during a controversy over academic freedom and tenure at the college. Several of the dissidents then agreed to found a college of their own. Named Black Mountain College (BMC) and located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the college initially drew a small following of former Rollins students and a few recruited from the northeast. Early on the founders decided to stress the practice, not just the study of the arts and to raise the arts courses to full curricular status. Into this venture, Dreier brought his supportive wife, Barbara, and their children. The Dreiers remained at BMC until 1949, during which time Dreier taught and served variously as administrator, fund-raiser, treasurer, rector, and served continuously on the Board of Fellows, responsible for the finances of the college and hiring and firing of faculty. The Dreier Black Mountain College Collection represents a variety of papers created by or collected by Theodore and Barbara Loines Dreier during their sixteen years at Black Mountain College (1933-1949), and for several years prior to and following their tenure at the college–as early as 1925 and as late as 1988. This collection contains papers and correspondence and other materials relating to Ted and Barbara Dreier, their extensive connections and network of family and friends; and it also documents the educational, administrative, and fund raising activities associated with Dreier’s various positions within the college, including his role as one of the college’s founders. Other than correspondence, the collection includes clippings, programs, and articles; class notes and papers; files on individuals with Black Mountain College connections and various topics such as music and art; manuscripts, mostly those of Ted Dreier; the personal professional files of Dreier as treasurer, Board of Fellows, faculty member; notes; official correspondence; college publications, and miscellaneous files, and special items such as Ted Dreier’s scrapbook; Barbara Dreier’s course notes; printed materials, from the college and those written about the college; a Gropius-Breuer portfolio; photographs and negatives of family at BMC, and various students and faculty. The bulk of the material dates from 1933 to 1949, though there are some papers dating from the time before and after the Dreier’s marriage in 1928; some correspondence and materials dated during Ted Dreier’s tenure as an assistant professor of physics at Rollins College (1930-1933); and there is some material, including correspondence during the period of post-Black Mountain College, as late as 1988, from individuals previously associated with the college. (81 boxes, 27 cubic feet)

Poteet-Dickson Letters, 1861 – 1902, and undated – Martha A. E. Henley (1826-1902) and Francis Marion Poteet (1827-1902) were likely born in Burke or McDowell County, N.C., and were married on September 26, 1847 in McDowell County. Thirteen children were born to this union. Francis worked variously as a farmer, a carpenter, and a miller. Living in the Dysartsville area of McDowell County, Poteet was working as a miller at the time of his conscription into the Confederate Army, Company A, 49th Regiment, North Carolina Troops. At different stages of the war, Poteet was encamped at Weldon, N.C., Kinston, N.C., Petersburg, Virginia, and in other spots in North Carolina and Virginia. In early 1864 Poteet was tried for desertion after he returned home when a young son became ill and died. Poteet was eventually returned to his post, possibly because he was voluntarily returning to the army when arrested. After the war ended, the family moved to Enola, Burke County, North Carolina, where Francis operated a grinding mill and Martha worked in a nearby store. In the 1890s the Poteet family moved to Mooresboro, Cleveland County, N.C. Martha and Francis Poteet died within a day of each other in early April of 1902. The collection includes 47 original manuscript letters, dating from July 16, 1861 to July 12, 1902 and also an undated handcopied story by a child, and a undated family memorandum, ca. 1902 with birth, marriage, death and other dates of Francis Marion Poteet and Martha A. E. Hendley Poteet. The majority of the letters are the Civil War correspondence of Francis Marion Poteet and Martha A. E. Hendley Poteet (36 of 38 letters). The letters convey the deep sense of family and the devotion and love of this couple as man and wife. The letters also reveal the hardship and sacrifices of service in the Confederate army and the harsh plight of a woman running a small farm in McDowell County during war-time while her husband was away. To a lesser degree the letters document Francis Poteet’s service in the 49th North Carolina Infantry. Two of the letters are from a brother of Francis, Peter Poteet, during his service at Yorktown, Va. in the 1st North Carolina Infantry Regiment. The remaining letters (9) are post-war correspondence, primarily from Francis and Martha to their daughter Celenia and her husband, F. M. (Frank) Dickson. These letters are also valuable beyond the information they contain about life in the latter half of the 19th century, particularly for the insight they give into the relationships and events within the family. (1 legal size box, 1/3 cubic foot.)