Author Archives: avgabriel2

Treasures of Carolina: “Teamwork Builds Ships”

The first Wednesday of each month features a document or item from the State Archives considered a treasure because of its significance to the history and culture of our state or because it is rare or unique. Sometimes the featured item just illustrates a good story. The items highlighted in this blog have been taken from the exhibit, “Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives” and its companion catalog. 

The centennial of World War I ends this month, marking the 100th anniversary of the war’s end with Veteran’s Day, honored at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Among the many letters, journals, diaries, photographs, maps, booklets and pamphlets, and other materials held in the Military Collection, the State Archives preserves hundreds of posters from both world wars created by non-military agencies and organizations and some by government agencies that supported military efforts.

“Teamwork Builds Ships,” a poster drawn by William Dodge Stevens, was issued by the Emergency Fleet Corporation from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is dated 1917. It and other posters can be viewed online though the North Carolina Digital Collections.

MilColl_WWI_Posters_08_15_copy1_01

Poster, 1917. World War I Poster Collection, Military Collection

Advertisements

Treasures of Carolina: Telegram, 1962, Martin Luther King, Jr. to Gov. Terry Sanford

The first Wednesday of each month features a document or item from the State Archives considered a treasure because of its significance to the history and culture of our state or because it is rare or unique. Sometimes the featured item just illustrates a good story. The items highlighted in this blog have been taken from the exhibit, “Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives” and its companion catalog.

 This telegram from Martin Luther King Jr., then president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), to Gov. Terry Sanford date stamped November 1, 1962 requests the governor’s intervention in securing release for arrested civil rights picketers in Edenton, including Reverend Fred La Garde, regional representative for SCLC. The “Edenton Movement” was the series of pickets and protests throughout the early 1960s in an attempt to desegregate public spaces including the courthouse, library, and the historically all-white high school.

SR_Gov_Sanford_Corresp_Box_232_King_to_Sanford_19621101_001

Telegram, 1962, General Correspondence, Governor’s Papers, Terry Sanford.

Treasures of Carolina: Photograph, 1910, Chase Ambler, M.D.

The first Wednesday of each month features a document or item from the State Archives considered a treasure because of its significance to the history and culture of our state or because it is rare or unique. Sometimes the featured item just illustrates a good story. The items highlighted in this blog have been taken from the exhibit, “Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives” and its companion catalog.

Org_19_Box_21_001
 Photograph, 1910, General Records,Appalachian National Park Association,Western Regional Archives

Chase Ambler, M.D., nature enthusiast from Asheville, stands on a mountain cliff in 1910. He remarked that his view was of an “unbroken forest canopy to the horizon.” Dr. Ambler, his associates and friends laid the foundation for the eventual development of national parks in the Southeast by establishing the Appalachian National Park Association. Efforts to establish park and forest reserves in the Southern Appalachian Mountains date from the 1880s, the push prompted from both the tourist industry and from the conservation movement, especially those concerned about flooding in deforested areas and destruction of scenic views. This photograph and other materials from the association are preserved at the Western Regional Archives in Asheville.

 

Treasures of Carolina: Petition for Emancipation, 1788.

The first Wednesday of each month features a document or item from the State Archives considered a treasure because of its significance to the history and culture of our state or because it is rare or unique. Sometimes the featured item just illustrates a good story. The items highlighted in this blog have been taken from the exhibit, “Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives” and its companion catalog.

Prior to the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery, enslaved persons could petition for emancipation; sometimes owners or others would petition for freedom on their behalf. The State Archives holds petitions for emancipation dating as early as the eighteenth century. Other documents were filed attesting to the freed status of persons of color. This petition reads,

“I James Elliot of the County of Perquimons [sic] State No Carolina having under my [sic] a Negro woman named Patience aged about twenty three years which I manumit & sett [sic] free and do for myself my heirs hereby Release unto her all my Right in trust or clame [sic] s to her person or any Estate she now have or shall here after acquire & witness where of I have here unto set my hand & seal this 24th day of the 6th month 1788.” James Elliot.

10-11 CR_077_928_2_01
Petition for Emancipation, Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Miscellaneous Records, Perquimans County, CR.077.928.2.01.

 

 

 

 

 

Treasures of Carolina: Bill of Rights

The first Wednesday of each month features a document or item from the State Archives considered a treasure because of its significance to the history and culture of our state or because it is rare or unique. Sometimes the featured item just illustrates a good story. The items highlighted in this blog have been taken from the exhibit, “Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives” and its companion catalog.

Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights, 1989. Vault Collection

Long before the State Archives of North Carolina existed, the Secretary of State kept important government documents in the State Capitol building in Raleigh. Among them was North Carolina’s original copy of the Bill of Rights, drafted by federal clerks in 1789 and given to each of the original thirteen colonies for ratification.  The document remained in the State Capitols secure and safe for more than eighty years.

In April 1865, Union troops occupying Raleigh were encamped around the State Capitol grounds and building. Against orders, Union soldiers looted whatever they wanted, one returning home to Tippecanoe, Ohio with the Bill of Rights in hand, selling it to Charles A. Shotwell who lived in the same Ohio county.

By 1897, North Carolina became aware of the theft through a Raleigh News and Observer article that had been picked up from the Indianapolis News, where Shotwell was living at the time. Through both secretaries of state, North Carolina tried to reclaim its property—as a public record the document belonged to the state—but Shotwell refused to give it up without payment and disappeared. Another attempt was made to recover the document in 1925 when it was offered for sale by a Pennsylvania attorney on behalf of a client who remained unidentified.

Wayne Pratt, Inc. purchased North Carolina’s copy of the Bill of Rights from two of Shotwell’s descendants in 2000 for $200,000. In the meantime, several experts had authenticated the document as the copy given to the state of North Carolina and Pratt was well aware of the findings. A couple of years later North Carolina was offered the opportunity to purchase the piece. Again, the state refused to buy its own property but later acquiesced. Unbeknownst to the seller, his agents, and attorneys, the FBI had orchestrated a sophisticated sting operation whereby North Carolina would go through the motions of offering $4 million for the manuscript. Once the check “cleared” electronically and the Bill of Rights was brought to the table, federal agencies seized the document and it remained in federal custody. After a two-year court battle, during which time a federal judge ruled that the manuscript was indeed a public record belonging to the state, North Carolina’s copy of the Bill of Rights returned home.

Treasures of Carolina: Pictogram Letter from Black Mountain College

PC_BMCPP_Blaine_Lorna_Rhebus_Letter_1941_001

Letter, 1942. Black Mountain College Project Papers, Western Regional Archives

 The first Wednesday of each month features a document or item from the State Archives considered a treasure because of its significance to the history and culture of our state or because it is rare or unique. Sometimes the featured item just illustrates a good story. The items highlighted in this blog have been taken from the exhibit, “Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives” and its companion catalog.

 Black Mountain College operated from 1933 to 1957 in Black Mountain, N.C. and attracted leading artists, both in in this country and abroad, to their faculty including painter Robert Rauschenberg, composer John Cage, choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham, sculptor Ruth Asawa, architect Buckminster Fuller, and artists Joseph and Anni Albers.

This first page excerpt is part of a four-page letter written by Lorna Blaine (later Halper), an artist who attended the college.  She wrote to her parents around 1942 using pictograms. Part of the excerpt reads, “Dear Mother and Dad, I really do not know how to thank you enough for the wonderful trip to Boca Grande. It even started off well on the train, that snappy Silver Meteor. Then all the tennis and swimming and sunbathing and loafing and food etc. Gosh but everything was so marvelous!”

 

Explore Genealogical Resources at One-Day Event June 23

word-cloud-3331301_640-300x188

Genealogy research is a complex subject that involves finding the right resources, keen detective work, and enduring patience.

A good place to begin or sharpen your research skills is the 2018 North Carolina Genealogical Society Speakers Forum, Saturday, June 23, 8:25 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the State Archives/State Library building, 109 E. Jones St., Raleigh. This day-long forum will feature presentations across three concurrent sessions focusing on case studies, methodology, ethnic research, organization, online resources, and writing.

Learn from working genealogists, researchers, archivists, librarians, and others who will help you identify and navigate land records, estates, wills, and other government records. Explore what can be found in newspaper archives, in digital records, and discover what resources are available for descendants of enslaved people and native Americans. Learn to organize and present your work into something to share and enjoy with other family members.

The forum cost is $35 for N.C. Genealogical Society members and $45 for non-members. Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. To view the program and register online, visit  https://www.ncgenealogy.org/.

The forum is co-sponsored by the State Archives of North Carolina and the Friends of the Archives.