Tag Archives: finding aids

Albert Barden Photograph Collection Finding Aid Online

[This blog post was written by Kim Andersen, Audio Visual Materials Archivist in the Special Collections Section of the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Photographer Albert Barden with his sisters, Daisy and Violet, c. 1910.

Photographer Albert Barden is seen with his sisters, Daisy (left) and Violet (right) c. 1910. If you look closely, you can see that Albert is taking the picture. In his hand is a cable release–a corded device used to activate the shutter of the camera. Call number: N.53.16.5173 From the Albert Barden Collection, State Archives of NC; Raleigh, NC.

Audiovisual Materials staff Kim Andersen, Ian F. G. Dunn, and Karl Larson are very excited to announce that the finding aid for the Barden collection has been completed and published online!

The Albert Barden Photograph Collection consists of over 18,000 individual negatives created by Albert Barden (21 October 1888–2 October 1953), a commercial photographer in Raleigh, N.C., between 1908 and 1953.  This wonderful collection contains a wealth of subject matter including studio portraiture, advertisements, street scenes, municipal buildings, residential homes, neighborhoods, and editorial work and is one of the most used and beloved collections in the State Archives of North Carolina.

Pictured is a group of Raliegh City officials holding Yo-Yos on the steps of City Hall c. 1930.

Pictured is a group of city officials holding Yo-Yos on the steps of City Hall c. 1930. Seen on left, slightly facing group, is the inventor of the modern Yo-Yo–Pedro Flores. This photograph was probably taken as he passed through Raleigh on one of his yo-yo competition tours. The faces in the group stare forward, alight with the novelty and frivolity of this little toy during a heavy time of unrest and worry. N.53.17.520 From the Albert Barden Collection, State Archives of NC; Raleigh, NC.

The publishing of this finding aid concludes one leg and begins another of what has been an exciting journey through time for this collection.  It all began for us with the initial donation to the North Carolina Museum of History upon Albert Barden’s death in 1953.  Fast forward to the 1970s when the collection was transferred to the State Archives, catalogued on index cards, copied to then-standard 4” x 5” film negatives, and made available to the public for research and enjoyment.  Then came the dawn of the digital age, and in the early 2000s the original Barden negatives—spectacular oversized film and glass negatives—were scanned in what was arguably the first mass digitization project undertaken at the State Archives!  Even then, however, there was no actual finding aid—only the archaic card catalog and a cryptic database documenting the scans.  There was no collection description, no biography of Albert Barden, and no comprehensive online presence.  And the oversized original negatives simply languished back in their file cabinets after being scanned.  Fortunately, by 2014, the AV Materials Unit had Ian on board, and with meticulous skill and tireless dedication, he rehoused all the original Barden negatives and created this beautiful finding aid:


Western Union employees are seen posing in front of their workplace on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh c. 1915

Western Union employees are seen posing in front of their workplace on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh c. 1915. N.53.15.9745
From the Albert Barden Collection, State Archives of NC; Raleigh, NC.

Thanks to Ian’s countless hours of devotion and to the enhanced descriptions he and part-time researcher Karl Larson put together, it is the dawn of a new day for this collection.  And now that the finding aid is online providing item-level descriptions of everything in the collection, over the course of the next several months more of the scanned images will be put online.  The ultimate goal is to eventually have the entire Barden Collection described and available digitally to the world.  Please watch for updates on that progress here in this blog.

Ruth Peeling Barbour Papers

[This blog post was written by Elizabeth Crowder, contract archivist working with Private Collections in the Special Collections Section.]

Under the supervision of Fran Tracy-Walls, private manuscripts archivist at the State Archives of North Carolina, I have arranged and described the newest addition to the Ruth Peeling Barbour Papers. This work was made possible through generous funding from Dail Barbour, Ruth Barbour’s stepdaughter. The late George Stevenson Jr. processed the original accession of the Barbour Papers. His finding aid for the collection may be accessed here: http://ead.archives.ncdcr.gov/P_C_1859_Ruth_Peeling_Barbour_P_.html.

Small head shot of Ruth Peeling ca. 1947–1948

Ruth Peeling, ca. 1947–1948. PC.1859, Ruth Peeling Barbour Papers.

Ruth Peeling Barbour was born in York, Pennsylvania, in 1924. As a student at Syracuse University, she majored in history and edited The Daily Orange student newspaper. After graduation in 1946, Barbour moved to Beaufort, North Carolina, to edit the Beaufort News. The paper subsequently merged with Morehead City, North Carolina’s Twin City Daily Times, reestablishing itself as the Carteret County News-Times. In 1952, Barbour left the News-Times to attend graduate school. She earned a master’s degree in journalism from Florida State University the following year. Barbour then resumed editing the News-Times. In 1970, she married J. O. Barbour Jr., and in 1976 she stepped down from her position as editor. Barbour continued writing editorials, columns, and feature articles for the News-Times until 2000. She was also active in numerous professional, historical, and civic organizations, including the Carteret County Business and Professional Women’s Club, the North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians, and the Carteret County Salvation Army. Barbour died in Morehead City in 2014.

Ruth Peeling Barbour and Lockwood Phillips Sr. at a book signing for Cruise of the Snap Dragon, ca. July–August 1976

Ruth Peeling Barbour and Lockwood Phillips Sr., owner of the Carteret County News-Times, at a book signing for Cruise of the Snap Dragon, ca. July–August 1976. PC.1859, Ruth Peeling Barbour Papers.

Barbour did not limit herself to journalism. In addition to working for the News-Times, she published several plays and historical monographs, a novel, and a memoir. (A bibliography follows this post.) The Carteret Community Theatre, with which Barbour was long associated, produced her historical plays. Settings for her dramas included the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. North Carolina historical figures featured in the plays include pirate Edward Teach (Blackbeard), privateer Otway Burns, and Confederate spy Emeline Pigott. Barbour also featured Otway Burns in a 1976 novel entitled Cruise of the Snap Dragon. Her unpublished sequel to the novel was alternately titled “Third Cruse of the Snap Dragon” and “Captain from Carolina.” Barbour also undertook histories of the Beaufort Historical Association; of newspapers in Carteret County; of Open Grounds Farm; and of John Stewart McCormack, who advised her about naval matters for Cruise of the Snap Dragon. In 2005, she published Turning Back the Tide, an account of her journalism career in North Carolina.

Barbour’s original gift of private manuscripts to the State Archives includes letters and clippings concerning the Cape Lookout National Seashore and the potential unionization of the North Carolina Ports Authority; manuscripts and research materials for Cruise of the Snap Dragon and its sequel; and scripts of Barbour’s plays. The recent addition to the Ruth Peeling Barbour Papers contains notes, clippings, and drafts related to Barbour’s writing for the News-Times and for independent projects, as well as a large amount of research material concerning Carteret County history.

The new accession to the Barbour Papers demonstrates her meticulousness as a writer. Drafts of Barbour’s works reveal much about her composition process. Whether writing children’s stories in the 1940s and 1950s or news articles in the 1990s and 2000s, she relied upon extensive revisions to achieve her final product. Her drafts of “Captain from Carolina” and Turning Back the Tide are heavily corrected, and they feature pages and chapters rearranged to reflect experimentation with structure and final content. In some instances, Barbour edited her prose by cutting pages in pieces and pasting text together in the order she desired.

Barbour and her sister, Margaret Hall, took a similar approach while working on Hall’s unpublished memoir of her life in rural New Brunswick, Canada. Drafts of Hall’s manuscripts bear corrections from both sisters. Barbour and Hall were faithful correspondents—many of Hall’s letters are included in the Barbour Papers—who discussed composition and publication prospects alongside family matters. Their interests and lifestyles were different, and Hall claimed that writing was Barbour’s specialty, not hers. Yet both women had a similar eye for detail and the makings of a good story.

Barbour was as thorough a researcher as she was an editor. Her interest in Carteret County’s history was comprehensive. In addition to the many notes she accumulated while researching local newspapers and Open Grounds Farm, Barbour preserved clippings, pictures, and other documents chronicling her adopted home’s past. Materials available to researchers include:

  • interviews with local residents
  • articles about shipwrecks, Fort Macon, the Morehead City train depot, and the “vanished” community of Diamond City
  • information about dog racing in Carteret County and World War II’s impact on the North Carolina coast
  • notes from early newspapers and land and court records
Unidentified Beaufort, NC, residents in the aftermath of a flood, ca. 1933

Unidentified Beaufort, NC, residents in the aftermath of a flood, ca. 1933. PC.1859, Ruth Peeling Barbour Papers.

Ruth Peeling Barbour wrote about history, but she also lived it and made it. At the helm of a local newspaper at a time when women did not commonly hold such positions, she was a pioneer. Yet Barbour’s novel is out of print, and her histories were published in limited numbers. The private manuscripts she donated to the State Archives would be an excellent resource for students and scholars of North Carolina history and literature. It is to be hoped that these papers will make Barbour and her lifetime of writing and research more widely known.


Ruth Peeling Barbour Bibliography


“Bonnie Blue Sweetheart” (1959)

“Blackbeard, Raider of the Carolina Seas” (1964)

“Otway Burns, Firebrand of 1812” (1969)

“It Happened Here” (1976)

“The Best of All” (1976)

“Prelude to Victory” (ca. 1981)

“On These Shores” (1985)



Cruise of the Snap Dragon (1976)

“Third Cruise of the Snap Dragon”/“Captain from Carolina” (unpublished, ca. post-1975)



The Inimitable J. S. M. (1981)

History of the Beaufort Historical Association, January 25, 1960–January 1, 1990 (1990)

A History of Newspapers in Carteret County, NC, 1852–1992 (1998)

Open Grounds: Then and Now (2001)

Turning Back the Tide (2005)

Highlights of Private Collections Now Available

[This blog post was written by Fran Tracy-Walls, Private Manuscripts Archivist in the Special Collections Section.]

I am pleased to highlight private collections, most of which have become available for research during the last six months. At minimum these papers have a finding aid in the State Archives Search Room (SR) and a collection-level description online in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS), accessible via the State Archives website. Note that MARS entries are being updated, but may not yet show changes on the website. Some of these finding aids can be located online.

The collections below are listed generally from the earliest in terms of time span to the most recent. There is a wide representation of archival material from the 18th to late 20th centuries, and together they illustrate the depth and complexity of our state’s history and culture.

Clark and Hawkins Family Papers, 1812-1945; bulk 1829-1896. PC.2110. Families represented were prominent early 19th century plantation owners in Halifax County (Clark family) and Warren and Franklin counties (Hawkins family). David McKenzie Clark (ca. 1772-1829), Halifax County, was grandfather of a future chief justice of the state, Supreme Court Walter McKenzie Clark. Several of the elder Clark’s daughters and a granddaughter married into the Hawkins family. Dr. William Joseph Hawkins (1819-1894) married and fathered children by two of the Clark daughters and one Clark granddaughter. Hawkins was a physician, president of the Raleigh & Gaston Railroad, one of the founders and a president of the Citizens Bank of Raleigh. The collection includes personal correspondence, 1829-1895, of three generations of the Clark and Hawkins family and also a 1945 letter from a sixteen year-old descendant. Of particular interest are the letters written by the two fathers represented in the collection, David Clark and William J. Hawkins, each to a daughter. 1 box

John Bane (Bain) Papers, 1804-1885. PC.1917. Bane (ca. 1795-1882) spent his adult life in Orange County, North Carolina, in the vicinity of Hillsboro (now Hillsborough), the county seat. John Bane acquired a number of acres of land and made a living as a farmer. For a period of time, during the 1830s and beyond, Bain served as a judge of the Superior Court of Law and Equity, Hillsborough District. The papers include three letters, deeds and plats, a land processing notice, a power of attorney with authentication, and three documents relating to a law suit concerning a mill-dam. These papers function primarily as a supplement to public records in the State Archives. 1 box and 1 oversized box.

J.E. Mitchell Letter, 1847. PC.2102. One manuscript letter of J [John?] T. Mitchell, 14 November 1847, written from Camp Arispes Mills (possibly near Ramos Arizpe in the State of Coahuila), Mexico to his brother, A.A. Mitchell, Yanceyville, Caswell County, and written while in service during the Mexican War, possibly in the N.C. Regiment, Company G, composed of many Caswell County volunteers. 1 item.

Brown, Mayo, and Hopkins Family Papers, ca. 1865-1900. PC.2072. Addition to this core collection of two boxes of photographs of the Brown family, some Parker family members, and other related lines, natives of Edgecombe County.

Adam F. Yandle Papers, 1867-ca. 1920. PC.2101. Consists of tax receipts on property in Mecklenburg and Union County, petition for removal of a freedman, 1867, a road order, land plats and map, certificates and material pertaining to his service as a private, promoted to second lieutenant in the 37th N.C. Infantry, application for his headstone, and miscellaneous material, 1867-circa 1920; and 2011, 1 box

William H. Howerton Family Papers, 1861-1917. PC.2025 During the 1850s Dr. Howerton (1831-1885), established a medical practice at Richlands, Onslow County, where he married Amanda Koonce, He served briefly as captain of Company H, 37th Regt., North Carolina Troops, 1862. Following the war Dr. Howerton became active in Republican Party politics and successfully stood for election to the office of Secretary of State in 1872. He later operated the Warm Springs Hotel and the Swannanoa Hotels in the western part of the state. Subsequently he and his family moved to Morehead City, where he died suddenly in 1885. The papers concern aspects of his career and his family, including several photographs and a manuscript letter written by Dr. Howerton’s son from Cuba, 1898, during the Spanish American War. 1 box in addition to four account books from Dr. Howerton’s tenure as hotel proprietor.

Malinda Thompson Letters, 1863. PC.2109. Malinda Thompson (ca. 1807-d. aft 1880) of Hillsboro, Orange County was widowed in 1849. From that time on, throughout the Civil War period and beyond, Malinda was dependent upon the help of her three sons to maintain the family farm. John W. Thompson enlisted for the war, Confederate Army service, on July 15, 1863 and was assigned to Company E., Col. Peter Mallett’s Battalion, N.C. Troops. Consists of three manuscript letters, dated May 20, May 31, and September 22, 1863. The first of the letters was written by Malinda, with women who were part of the extended family including messages in the first and second letters. The first two letters especially reflect the sorrow inflicted on them by the war, their hope for its imminent end, and the severe hardship placed upon the women at home physically, emotionally, and psychologically. 1 box

Pauline Williams Koonce Family Papers, 1875-1940, bulk 1900-1926. PC.1874. Pauline Williams (1895-1994) was born in Richlands, Onslow County, and grew up in Wilmington. She attended Meredith Academy in Raleigh and was graduated from the State Normal and Industrial College in Greensboro (later Woman’s College, then UNC-G). There are a number of loose photographs and albums relating to her and her father’s friends and family, and the Watson, Denton, and Koonce families of Raleigh, Wake County. Other materials relate to Pauline’s student life, her teaching career, and cultural events she attended, from 1908 to 1926, prior to her marriage to Marvin Burke Koonce. They include composition books, a small quantity of letters from two principals regarding her application to teach, 1916; materials and programs from concerts during her post-graduate studies at Columbia University, University of Chicago, University of California, Berkley; various programs from cultural events in the Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach area, and Atlanta, Georgia; and some published bulletins concerning North Carolina public schools, including New Hanover High School. Of particular interest are a 1922 concert program of the Colored Community Jubilee Singers, Harbor Island, featuring the Negro Anthem and various spirituals and a program during the same period of the renowned tenor, Roland Hayes (1887-1977). Hayes is said to have shattered the color barrier in the world of classical music. 8 boxes.

Matlock and Taylor Family Papers, 1905-1909. PC.2033. Papers include 165 letters, with most written by Rufus Jefferson Matlock (1881-1953), a native of Alamance County. He attended Trinity College, Durham, then served as principal of Hookerton Collegiate Institute, Greene County. There he met Palmetta Taylor (1884-1945) of Hookerton, and a graduate of the institute. The letters document their courtship from December 1905 until just before their wedding June 16, 1909. The letters also shed light on the social customs, Alamance and Greene counties, and some of the college life of Trinity College during that era.

Williams, David Marshall (“Carbine”), Letters, 1927-1934. PC.1753. Firearms inventor, Williams was born and grew up on his family’s farm near Godwin, Cumberland County. During a raid on an illicit still in 1921, Williams, twenty-one at the time, was involved in a shoot-out. Though he denied killing the deputy sheriff, he averted possible capital punishment by pleading guilty to second degree murder. While serving a projected twenty to thirty-year sentence, Williams won the admiration of the warden who saw his skill in repairing and designing guns, and was assigned to the prison machine shop. He is recognized as designer of short stroke piston, which made possible the M-1 carbine rifle. Includes twenty-six manuscript letters and one invitation sent 1923-1934 to David Marshall (“Carbine”) Williams, primarily during the time of his incarceration at the State Farm at Caledonia, Halifax County. The majority were written by a brother, Robert Wesley Williams, who was then a student at Elon College. The letters reflect the ongoing, strong support of his family during his incarceration. Three of the letters were accessioned in 2002; and an additional twenty-four items in 2010. (1 box).

Blanche Penland Browder Papers, 1857, ca. 1930-1998. PC.2085. Papers consist of sixteen daily journals written by Blanche Browder from the 1950s-late 1990s; a set of second copy typed letters from her mother, Ollie Lance Penland, 1939-1965; financial and travel journals; a large folder of creative writing, some from her days as a student at the University of North Carolina, ca. 1930; two notebooks of remembrances, along with a typed manuscript extracted from the notebooks, and some other biographical writings; diplomas from Young Harris College and the University of North Carolina; marriage certificate; an 1857 deed, Clay County, not part of the county records, State Archives; miscellaneous papers of her husband, Nathaniel C. Browder, a native of Catawba County, and a group of his self-published books, and several books of North Carolina genealogical interest. A native of Clay County, Mrs. Browder lived in other states, and settled in Raleigh in 1981 where she lived until her death in 2000.

H. Ziegler Papers and Funeral Home Records, 1901; 1931-1943. PC.2105. Ziegler (1859-1948), a native of Germany, settled in Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County. The papers consist primarily of funeral expenses, and information about the deceased during the years 1931-1943, including place and dates of birth and death; location and date of funeral service and clergyman; occupation, and parents’ and spouse’s names, etc. There are four licenses of F.H.Ziegler, two dated 1901, one illegible, and one dated 1933. Three were state-issued licenses for embalming, and the last a U.S. Commerce Department license for operation of a steamboat or small vessel, Norfolk District. 2 boxes.

Stewart Family Sanitorium Ledger and Scrapbook, 1911-1913; 1923.PC.2064. J.W. (John Washington?) Stewart was owner of the Stewart Sanitorium and the Hazelton Hotel and other businesses located in early 20th century New Bern. A volume called a case book includes entries dated from 1911-1913. It served as a register of patients who stayed various lengths of time, as they recovered from a variety of medical conditions. The book names physicians assigned to individual patients, with a brief diagnosis noted, but no confidential medical history and no indication that the book was maintained by medical staff. The other volume is a travel scrapbook created by Miss Eleanor Grace Stewart (1899-1927). It describes her travel during the summer of 1923 to New York City and to Europe. It includes her handwritten descriptions of landmarks, and contains programs, travel brochures, commercial postcards, and a small quantity of photographs–many with handwritten captions and notes.

Raymond A. Stone Papers, 1960-1968. PC.2081. Born in 1927 in Franklin County, Stone was graduated from Wake Forest College, 1950, and was awarded a Ph.D. in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was appointed initially by Governor Luther Hodges, 1960, to serve on the N.C. Citizens Committee for Better Schools and retained by Governor Terry Sanford. Subsequently he served as a special advisor on education to Sanford, involved with the task of establishing the community college system in North Carolina. He presided over the founding of the first community college in the state and served for twenty-five years as president of Sandhills Community College, Moore County. Papers include correspondence, notes, lists, programs, reports, and clippings that document his work, circa 1960-1964, as executive secretary of the N.C. Citizens Committee for Better Schools. Includes some material between 1964-1968 during the beginning of Dr. Stone’s tenure as community college president. 4 boxes.

Helen Mahlum Papers, 1972-1985. PC.1749. A native of Indiana, Mahlum (1915-1997), moved in 1958 to New Bern, Craven County where she emerged as a civic leader active in various organizations, including the local, state, and national Federation of Business and Professional Women. A volunteer office manager for North Carolinians United for ERA, Mahlum was also chair of North Carolina Women’s Equity League, a member of the North Carolina Council on the Status of Women and other organizations. Papers relate to the Equal Rights Amendment, particularly the effort of various organizations to bring about its ratification in North Carolina, 1972-1982, which was ultimately defeated by the state legislature; and material concerning the North Carolina Council on the Status of Women (now Council for Women), an agency was established by Executive Order in 1963 by Governor Terry Sanford. 11 boxes.

Vernon Malone Papers, 1976-2009. PC.2096. Malone (1931-2009), a native of Wake County, was a graduate of Shaw University, Raleigh, and studied further at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the University of Minnesota. A career educator, Malone served as chairman of the Wake County School Board; was elected as a Wake County Commissioner (1984-2002; chairman, 1990-1994); and North Carolina State Senator (2003-2009), where he was serving at the time of his untimely death. The papers reflect Malone’s passion for education and his efforts to chart a path of progress and interracial cooperation even before his early days as a Wake County school board chairman in the 1970s. Papers include Malone’s handwritten and typed speeches that he made in Wake County and beyond to organizations, churches, and school groups, from 1976 to just before his death in 2009. 6 boxes. In addition to these materials, some are still being processed.

George Stevenson Collection, PC.1990. Now available for use in the Search Room: 3 boxes. 1 box of land 17th century land records research; 1 box of land research cards; 1 box of Henry McCulloh and Associates land transactions. The late George Stevenson’s research (though probably only a portion) will be of great interest to many researchers because of his extensive knowledge and exhaustive research in colonial and early North Carolina history. We are seeking additions to this collection from the many people George wrote and/or to whom he provided valuable research.

Miscellaneous Papers, PC.21. ca. 1689-1912. This has been a long-established holding in the area of Private Manuscripts and Papers, but the separate finding aids and work sheets had not been revised nor ever consolidated. Also, the last two boxes of the collection had not been described. There is now a consolidated online finding aid. This is a collection of miscellaneous items from the colonial period to early 20th century, and includes original material and along with a number of photocopies and transcripts from other repositories. Papers from the colonial period includes a contemporary abstract of letter about Governor Dobb’s marriage to girl of fifteen; duplicate of instructions from General Assembly to agents in London concerning internal taxation and the right to emit currency (1768). Of particular interest to researchers are Boxes 6 and 7. Box 6 (1775-1869) consists of photocopies that consists for the most part of material concerning the Transylvania Company lands and other western lands. These papers include descriptions of areas visited in the west and business activities and prospects for future development in Tennessee and Kentucky. Other items in this group include: mention of privateering (1778, 1812), Revolutionary War news (including disease and activities of Congress, 1778), report of vandalism and degradation at University and bright prospects for Davidson College (I869), garrisoning of fort at Beaufort by Negro troops (1867), politics (1840-1860), and various other papers of private financial matters. Examples of material from Box 7 (1758-1910) include a letter from James K. Polk to David L. Swain, 29 Apr. 1874; a statement of “The Negro Problem,” 1890; and deeds and land records, from Glasgow County (defunct) and Lenoir County (burned court houses) 1790-1910, that serve to supplement public records. 5 volumes and 2 boxes.

New Finding Aids Online

New finding aids are now available for the following collections:

Audio Visual Materials:

Carpenter, Wesley, Photograph Collection, c.1940-1945 (pdf)
Adolphus Wesley Carpenter (1909-1997) was an American amateur photographer in Durham, North Carolina. Carpenter graduated from Duke University’s business school in 1931. He and his family often took trips to various places across North Carolina and the southeast. Many of the photographs in the collection document the people and activities on these trips. This collection contains five hundred and fifty three (553), gelatin silver photographs. The photographs, taken and printed by Mr. Carpenter, depict families, events, objects, and scenes one would typically see in 1940’s American life. (555 items, 0.4 linear ft.)

Fort Caswell Yacht Basin Resort Photograph Collection, 1926-1941 (pdf)
Photographs and miscellaneous papers documenting the development of the Fort Caswell campus in Brunswick County, NC, into a vacation resort in the 1930’s. (160 black and white photographic prints varying in size from 8”x10” to 2” x2 ½”; 1 brochure, 5 postcards; 3 copies of a c.1940 typed report with maps and 18 photographs; 1 oversized 1930 map of Fort Caswell; several loose accounting documents)

Governors Papers:

Hodges, Luther Hartwell, in office November 7, 1954 – January 5, 1961

Hunt, James B., Jr., in office January 8, 1977 – January 5, 1985; January 9, 1993 – January 6, 2001

Umstead, William B., in office January 8, 1953 – November 7, 1954

Private Collections:

Ramquist, Janis L., Papers, 1970-2006
Janis Lindblom Ramquist (b. 1947) was born in San Franciso, a daughter of Alton and Sue Lindblom. In 1970 she was graduated from California State University at Sacramento (teaching certificate and B.A. in psychology). She moved to North Carolina in the late 1970s, and to Raleigh in the early 1980s. From 1978 to 1985 Ramquist was a volunteer lobbyist for the North Carolina League of Women Voters. Since 1986 she has been a lobbyist registered with the North Carolina General Assembly and a consultant to various groups through workshops, seminars, and consulting services. These are the private professional papers of Ms. Ramquist, as Governmental Affairs Consultant and Coordinator (i.e. legislative liaison or lobbyist) for several organizations. Collection contains correspondence, reports, contracts, newspaper clippings, publications, journal articles, subject files, speeches, mailing lists, press releases, fact sheets, General Assembly voting records, medical records, insurance claims, court case examinations, audio tapes, directories, employment applications, brochures, research reports, compendia, and both proposed and ratified legislation. There is one folder of materials (greeting cards and campaign button) relating to the ERA campaign. (42.0 boxes)


New Collection in North Carolina Digital Collections

Good news for American Revolutionary War researchers and enthusiasts, a new collection has just been added to the North Carolina Digital Collections.

The new collection is called Governors’ Papers, Historical, and contains early North Carolina Governors’ correspondence, beginning in April 1777. We are introducing this collection with correspondence of North Carolina’s first two Governors, Richard Caswell and Abner Nash.

Richard Caswell was the first Governor of North Carolina under the United States Constitution of 1776. His first administration began in April 1777 and he was subsequently re-elected for three consecutive one year terms, the amount allowable under the Constitution at the time. For more information about Governor Caswell and his time as Governor of North Carolina see the online finding aid or read this article at the State Library’s NCPedia.

North Carolina’s second Governor was Abner Nash. His term as governor was from April 1780 through June 25, 1781. His term in office was a difficult time for the Southern states during the American Revolution. The British had gained a strong foothold in the South and depleted many of the state’s resources. For more about Abner Nash and his term as Governor of North Carolina see the online finding aid or read the article on him at NCPedia.

While compiling the metadata that is included in the Historical Governors’ papers digital collection, I was amazed at the historical significance that these documents have. The majority of these letters pertain to the founding of the United States government and the war effort during the American Revolution, including documents from the Continental Congress. There are many letters written by or to very prominent historical figures, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and John Adams just to name a few. There are also many letters from prominent North Carolina historical figures. I have included a list of many of these individuals and an accompanying NCpedia links at the end of this post for your perusal.

The addition of these documents to our online collection will enable educators, researchers and history lovers throughout our state to easily utilize primary source documents to teach and learn more about the American Revolution and the foundation of our government.

The NCpedia biographies of prominent North Carolinians found in the papers of Governors Caswell and Nash are listed below.
Ashe, John: http://ncpedia.org/biography/ashe-john
Ashe, Samuel: http://ncpedia.org/biography/ashe-samuel
Avery, Waighstill: http://ncpedia.org/biography/avery-waightstill
Blount, Jacob: http://ncpedia.org/biography/blount-jacob
Burke, Thomas: http://ncpedia.org/biography/burke-thomas
Clark, Thomas: http://ncpedia.org/biography/clark-thomas
Cornell, Samuel: http://ncpedia.org/biography/cornell-samuel
Cray, William, Sr.: http://ncpedia.org/biography/cray-william-sr
Davidson, William Lee,: http://ncpedia.org/biography/davidson-william-lee
Dry, William: http://ncpedia.org/biography/dry-william-iii
Gilchrist, Thomas: http://ncpedia.org/biography/gilchrist-thomas (Good story that goes with his name and this document)
Gillespie, James: http://ncpedia.org/biography/gillespie-james
Gorrell, Ralph: http://ncpedia.org/biography/gorrell-ralph
Gregory, Isaac: http://ncpedia.org/biography/gregory-isaac
Harget, Fredrick: http://ncpedia.org/biography/hargett-or-harget
Hinton, John: http://ncpedia.org/biography/hinton-john
Hooper, William: http://ncpedia.org/biography/hooper-william
Houston, William Churchill: http://ncpedia.org/biography/houston-william-churchill
Howe, Robert: http://ncpedia.org/biography/howe-robert
Iredell, James: http://ncpedia.org/biography/iredell-james-sr
Irwin, Henry: http://ncpedia.org/biography/irwin-henry
Jarvis, Thomas: http://ncpedia.org/biography/governors/jarvis-thomas
Johnston, William: http://ncpedia.org/biography/johnston-william
Jones, Allen: http://ncpedia.org/biography/jones-allen

From Surry Parker to the Wilmington Ten

New or updated finding aids are available on our website in these areas:

Audio Visual Materials

Parker, Surry, Photograph Collection, 1867-1942
Surry Parker (1866-1942) was a designer and builder of steam logging machinery and founder of Pinetown. This collection of negatives contains images of the Surry Parker family and business enterprises in northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. (35 items, including an album with 155 black and white negatives)

Private Collections

Harris, Thomas Clarke, Papers, 1887-1934 (pdf)
Thomas Clarke Harris (ca. 1849-1934) was one of six children of the former Martha Ann Hunter (1827-1909) and Dr. Adam Clarke Harris (1823-1899), Granville County. Over his lifetime Harris worked as a store clerk, wood engraver, science museum curator (State Museum in Raleigh), civil engineer, draftsman, designer, inventor, and writer of adventure stories for boys, and of topics such as hunting and fishing, and coastal scenes and life. Consists chiefly of published stories and articles by Harris, examples of engravings and technical drawings executed by him, and numerous newspaper articles relating to inventions and designs by Harris and some articles and letters to newspaper editors that reflect his viewpoints on various topics and his explanations of technical subjects. Of particular interest are a few handwritten manuscript essays, including “Some Personal Recollections of the Ku Klux Klan by a Member of the Order, 1867 to 1870” ; “The Carolina Banks,” dated 1903, and a typed manuscript essay, “The Making of an Agnostic.” Additionally, a small quantity of the news articles refer to Harris’s wife and son. (1 box)

Jones, Graham Papers, 1961-1965
Graham Eugene Jones (1927-1989), was press secretary to James Terry Sanford (1917-1998), Democrat and governor of North Carolina, 1960-1964. Jones was a graduate of the University of North Carolina, receiving an A.B. in Journalism in 1951. Jones was the first press secretary appointed by a North Carolina governor. The papers consist primarily of press releases, press photographs, arranged chronologically. In addition to the press photographs, there are variety of undated (period of 1959-1964), and unidentified photographs. The majority of photographs include Sanford, Sanford with family, and with other individuals and groups during his tenure as governor. There is a smaller quantity of miscellaneous files, including campaign and inaugural material, and a folder on the topic of race relations in the state. Additionally, there are three sound recordings of Terry Sanford during his campaign and during office. (17 boxes, 6 cubic feet.)

McMillan, Robert L. and Mary Lee (Swann) Papers, 1908 – 1980
Robert L. McMillan (1888-1969) was born in Richmond (now Scotland County) to Mary Amanda (Johnson) and Archibald Alexander McMillan. Founder of the law firm, McMillan and McMillan, he was a leader in Wake County and state civic, patriotic, and political functions, and Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. During World War II, he was state director of the N.C. Office of Civil Defense. Long a stalwart of the Democratic Party, McMillan was chairman of his precinct for around forty years. A native of Kingstree, South Carolina Mary Lee (Swann) McMillan (1890-1981) was a daughter of Mary Frances (Lewis) and James Milan Swann. Like her husband, Mrs. Swann was a leader of state and local organizations, long active in her church and community. Her literary pursuits included writing a garden column that was featured in the Raleigh Times for twenty-three years, until 1973. She was one of the founders of the North Carolina Art Society. The McMillan papers include circular letters, reports, publications, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, American Legion materials. These date from the year 1908 to the year 1980 and relate to their private lives; their activities in the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary, the Clan McMillan Society, Inc., in American, the Garden Club of North Carolina, the National Council of State Garden Clubs, the North Carolina Camellia Society, the Raleigh Garden Club, the Olla Podrida Club, the North Carolina Office of Civilian Defense, the State Recreation Commission, and so forth. The papers include also material relating to Mr. McMillan’s political activities. (19 boxes)

McNeely, James, Papers, 1838-1870 (pdf)
James McNeely (circa 1813-1887) was born in the portion of Burke County that by 1842 had become part of McDowell County. In 1847 a bond was submitted on behalf of McNeely as a McDowell County constable. McNeely also operated a tavern and a general merchandise store in Turkey Cove. In 1855 he married Catherine McCall (1836-1925). Papers include writs of execution, notes of debt, receipts, and summonses from McNeely’s service as constable of McDowell County during the late 1840s. There are also business papers, including accounts and correspondence, representing his work from 1845, possibly as a tavern owner, then in partnership with J. Young in the general merchandise concern of Young and McNeely, Turkey Hamlet, McDowell County, around 1855. (7 boxes)

Overhills Papers, 1886-1985
Extending over 30,000 acres in its heyday, the Overhills estate of the 20th century had previously been the site of a vast turpentine plantation. Located primarily in Harnett County in North Carolina’s Sandhills, this tract lost appeal by 1900 as the area’s timber and naval stores industries declined. By 1906 the land had been transformed into a hunting preserve with the prospect of becoming a premier southern hunt club. Over the next few years the enterprise changed names and hands several times. Percy Avery Rockefeller was one of several wealthy investors whose interest grew as the property took on resort amenities, including a clubhouse, golf course, passenger train service, riding stables, and dog kennels for the fox hounds. After 1919 Rockefeller, by then a primary investor, fostered development of vacation residences in “The Hill” area and sought to make the estate self-reliant through forestry and agricultural development. The estate’s name in 1922 was formalized as the Overhills Land Company and in 1938 as Overhills, Inc. and Overhills Farms, Inc. By 1938, The Hill had become a retreat primarily for the Rockefeller family, while the hunting preserve was transformed into tenant farms. Over the next few decades various agricultural businesses emerged within the tenant farm system that sustained the estate. During the early 1970s sharecropping was replaced by large-scale corporate agriculture. In 1980 the property was reduced to around 10,000 acres and the agricultural businesses merged into Overhills, Inc. The family sold the property in 1997 to the U.S. Army for use as training lands adjacent to Fort Bragg Military Reservation. The papers consist primarily of business information utilized or created by the various property managers of the Overhills estate and span the years 1886 to 1985, with a few maps dated a few years beyond. Materials represented are original property deeds and business records including contracts/licenses, product informaton; financial records such as loose bank statements, deposit slips, bills paid, returned checks, receipts, and information contained in ledgers (not a complete set), such as cash books, cash disbursements, time books, accounts ledgers, and employees’ wage information; employee and tax information; business correspondence; maps; some drawings, and miscellaneous oversized materials. Within the Overhills papers there are some materials relating to the predecessor business, the Kent-Jordan Company hunting retreat, dating from 1911 to the early 1920s. (256 boxes, ca. 95 cubic feet.)

Williams, Clyde Armstrong, Papers, 1943-1948
Clyde Armstrong Williams (1926-2010), a native of Mount Olive in Wayne County, was the son of James Henry and DeElla Blythe Williams. He attended The Citadel and North Georgia College, 1943-1944 and the former again in 1947. In late 1944 he enlisted in the U.S. Army; following training at Fort Bragg and other installations he was assigned to the 185th Infantry Regiment, 40th Division. Williams was first stationed in the Philippines, then served with the occupational forces in Korea, and was honorably discharged from the Army in 1946 with a Medal of Honor. After military service, Williams returned to The Citadel briefly, but soon became involved in the operation of the family farm near Mount Olive. The collection of papers includes letters written to home while Williams was at The Citadel, North Georgia College, Fort Bragg, and an unknown location in California, and also written home while stationed overseas. Some of the letters were written by his parents. There are two memoirs in the format of handwritten letters that include anecdotes and document some of Clyde’s experiences (noncombat) during his time overseas. Also included are letters written during 1945-1946 from a relative, Corporal Virginia Blythe, a member of the Women’s Air Corps, written to Mr. Williams’ mother, with numerous references to Clyde. There are approximately 25 photographic negatives, apparently taken overseas, and other miscellaneous material. (3 boxes)

Williams, David Marshall (“Carbine”), Letters, 1927-1934
David Marshall (“Carbine”) Williams (1900-1975), firearms inventor, was born and grew up on the farm of his family near Godwin in Cumberland County. During a raid on an illicit still in 1921, Williams was involved in a shoot-out.Though he denied shooting the deputy sheriff, he averted possible capital punishment by pleading guilty to second degree murder.While serving a projected twenty to thirty-year sentence, Williams won the admiration of the warden who saw his skill in repairing and designing guns, and assigned him to the prison machine shop. He is recognized as designer of short stroke piston, which made possible the M-1 carbine rifle. Includes twenty-six manuscript letters and one invitation sent 1923-1934 to David Marshall (“Carbine”) Williams, primarily during the time of his incarceration at the State Farm at Caledonia, Halifax County. The majority were written by a brother, Robert Wesley Williams, then a student at Elon College. Three of the letters were accessioned in 2002; and an additional twenty-four items in 2010.The letters reflect the strong support of his family. (1 box)

State Agency Records

America’s Four Hundredth Anniversary Committee (pdf)
Between 1984 and 1987 North Carolina commemorated the four hundredth anniversary of the Roanoke Voyages. Supported by Sir Walter Raleigh with the assistance of Queen Elizabeth I, the first expedition was sent to explore the coastal and sound regions of what is now North Carolina. Subsequent voyages attempted to found a military colony on Roanoke Island and an ongoing civilian settlement. While these objectives were only partially realized (the settlement is remembered as the Lost Colony), the voyages led the way for England to establish permanent colonies in America in the following century. Through a joint resolution, the General Assembly of 1955 laid the foundation for a three-year celebration of the historical events. A body known as America’s Four Hundredth Anniversary Commission was established to initiate plans toward a commemoration on the scale of a national or world’s fair exposition, or as deemed appropriate. In 1973 the legislature repealed the resolution creating the anniversary commission and established America’s Four Hundredth Anniversary Committee in its place. Charged with advising the secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources in planning and implementing the commemorations, the anniversary committee consisted of four ex officio members and ten gubernatorial appointees who served staggered terms.

Education and Corrections Section: Wilmington Ten Case File, 1972-1977 (pdf)
The Wilmington Ten were tried for fire bombing a grocery on February 6, 1971 in Wilmington and for conspiring to assault the firemen and police who responded to the fire. The incident occurred during a period of protests against racial discrimination and segregation. Amnesty International took up the case in 1976, and in 1980 the convictions were overturned. Includes briefs, transcripts, petitions, judgements, and related legal materials created or received by the attorney assigned to the Wilmington Ten case. (6 Boxes, 6.0 cubic feet)

New Finding Aids Online

New finding aids are now available for the following collections:

Audio Visual Materials:

Bracey, Marcus Donald, Photograph Collection, circa 1916-1919
The photographs in the Marcus Donald Bracey collection depict part of the Yadkin Falls Development project on the Yadkin River from 1915-1919 which included the construction of two dams; Narrows Dam, and further downstream, Falls Dam. This collection contains eighty-two (82) gelatin silver photographs and two small log books. The photographs range in size from 1”x1.5” to 8”x10” with the bulk of the collection measuring 3.5”x4.5”. The photographs depict scenes from the Yadkin Falls Development project on the Yadkin River in Stanly and Montgomery county, North Carolina from 1915-1919. It is believed that these photographs were created by an employee of either the builder of the dam, Hardaway Construction Company, or Alcoa. The photographs are shot in a documentary style with focus on work progress, equipment, site characteristics, and damage caused by natural disaster. Subject matter mainly includes construction scenes depicting work on the Falls Dam and the Narrows dam, the first two of the four dams built in the area. The aftermath of the 1916 Flood is represented in seven 3.5”x4.5” photographs depicting the damage caused to the Narrows Dam construction site. Also included are photographs depicting a train derailment, landscape photographs depicting the area around the site, photographs depicting the aluminum smelting plant, and several exterior photographs of the living quarters of workers. (84 items)

Military Collection:

World War II Posters, 1940-1946 (PDF)
This collection contains 354 posters which illustrate many aspects of the United States’ involvement in World War II. The collection is arranged thematically into fourteen series. The majority of the posters were created or distributed by state or national organizations, including the Office of War Information. The posters serve a variety of functions, but primarily they encourage viewers to support the war effort by enlisting in the armed forces, conserving food and other resources, purchasing war bonds, participating in service and relief organizations, and promoting patriotism.

Private Collections:

Fort Caswell Papers, 1909-1912; 1917-1919, Bulk, 1917-1918 (pdf)
Fort Caswell, located on Oak Island, Brunswick County, was occupied by various branches of the U.S. armed forces for much of the period, 1836-1945. The U.S. Army built a full military reservation on the site between the 1890s and early 1900s. By 1916 the fort had been rebuilt and was considered an important east coast military post during World War I. It was sold in 1923, but reacquired and put into service until the end of World War II. These are the working files relating to construction and maintenance of the cantonment and post. The collection consists of the Quartermaster files for construction, 1917-1919; and a few papers from the District Artillery Engineer’s files, 1909-1912. (1 box)

Keeter Family Papers, 1834-1941 (pdf)
James Keeter (ca. 1791-1834) was the son of Henry and Mary Elizabeth Cookesy Keeter. Land granted in 1799 to James’s grandfather, also James, was situated along the waters of Catheys Creek, north central Rutherford County. Other family members made their homes there in subsequent decades and on into the 20th century. Descendants included John Calvin Keeter (1825-1906), his son, Charles Frank Keeter (1864-1945). Many of the papers reflect the family’s land, financial, estate matters; its few letters hint of political involvements and suggest ongoing contact with Keeter family who had migrated to Arkansas. Account books, apparently maintained by John Calvin Keeter and his son Charles Frank, provide more than a glimpse of a segment of the community in north central Rutherford County. John’s work as a wheelright, blacksmith, postmaster, and merchant supported the community’s day-to-day life, and the records tell part of the story. Two journals from the early 20th century hold southern recipes and spiritual poems written down perhaps by Emeline, wife of J.C. Keeter, and by Linette, wife of Frank Keeter. (2.0 boxes, includes one oversize manuscript box.)

Slave Bill of Sale of Jim, a Boy, Mecklenburg County, 1847 (pdf)
Jim was born in slavery circa 1840, and was sold at a young age in a transaction between two residents of Mecklenburg County. Possibly his surname after emancipation or after the Civil War was Johnston or Sloan. This handwritten slave bill of sale transferred ownership of a boy named Jim from Samuel Johnston to E.B.D Sloan, possibly Edward Brice Dobbs Sloan, on 11 December 1847 for five hundred dollars. (1 folder)

Slave Collection, 1748-1922 (pdf)
This is a collection created over time by the State Archives’s staff, consisting of original and photcopied documents relating to slavery in North Carolina, as late as 1862. Consists of original items such as bills of sales, deeds of gift, account of hire of slaves, and also photcopied items (with some enclosures), including bills of sale, deed of emancipation, commitment, court papers, petitions, certification, claims, letters, depositions, and slave births. Includes a manuscript letter of 2 February 1843 written by a friend of John Brown, Augustus Wattles of Ohio (abolitionsist and educator), to William Smith, Michigan, alias for David, a fugitive slave who had belonged to Presley Nelms of Anson County, North Carolina. Additionally, there are three copies of published accounts, each recollections of slavery days. (2 boxes)

Slave Receipts/Bills of Sale, Catey and Children, Cloey [Chloe], a Girl, and Frank, May 4, 1853 and March 5, 1862 (pdf)
Two receipts, one for sale of Catey, and her three children, Mary, Richard, and Sally (Wilmington, N.C. 1853), and the other for sale of Cloey [Chloe], a girl of about 10, and exchange of Frank, age 40 (unknown place, 1862).The first was issued by Ansley Davis to Speir/Spier Walters, both possibly of Robeson County; the second issued by J.B. Hardee to J.A. Thompson, locale uncertain, but possibly, Columbus County, N.C., and/ or Brunswick County, N.C., Horry County, S.C. Though the receipts are from one donor, they are apparently not related. These receipts functioned as bills of sale, with the first transaction in the amount of $1,000, and the second transaction representing an exchange, with payment of an additional $58.75, for Frank.(1 box)

Thornton, William E., Papers, 1950-2009 (pdf)
Dr. William Edgar Thornton was born in 1929 in Faison, North Carolina. After receiving a BS in physics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel, he was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force where he helped develop air-to-air missile combat radar systems for fighter pilots. Thornton helped organize and then directed Del Mar Engineering’s avionics division. He then went to medical school, again at University of North Carolina. Dr. Thornton then rejoined the Air Force to pursue research in aerospace medicine, and continued that work with NASA where he served on Skylab missions and as a mission specialist on two space shuttle missions aboard the Challenger. The papers consist of materials created by or collected by Dr. William E. Thornton during his career in U.S. Air Force, Del Mar Avionics, medical school, and at NASA. These records concern Dr. Thornton’s interests and professional work. Materials include his work developing the Radar Optical Firing Error Indicator for the Air Force to train fighter pilots in air-to-air missile combat. They also include his research in medical subjects like telemetry, cardiography, nuclear magnetic resonance, and aerospace exercise. Dr. Thornton’s medical interests continued from his studies in medical school all the to the end of his career with NASA as he investigated aspects of these subjects in aerospace medicine. The collection is made up of correspondence, research, patent paperwork, news clippings, photographic prints and negatives, and film footage of early test projects, with the dates ranging from 1950 to 2009. (14.0 cubic feet)

Whitfield, Snipes, and Hastings Family Papers, 1850-1986 (Bulk, 1920-1986) (pdf)
Families represented had roots during the 18th and 19th centuries in Caswell and Person counties, but some moved in subsequent generations to nearby Guilford and Durham counties. Most focus is on Hazel Mary Snipes Hastings (1924-2001), apparently the first in her family to attend college, and her life and her family’s intertwined lives as revealed through the long run of letters home to her mother, Rosa Elizabeth Whitfield Snipes Durpree (1897-1989). Papers contain a birth and death record created in the years before 1862 of the Asa and Jane Johnson Fuller family, Person County, written on pages sown into a rebound (cloth and cardboard) almanac. Letters of particular interest were those written during the Great Depression, and those from Hazel Mary Snipes Hastings to her mother during her student days at Mars Hill Junior College, and subsequently while enrolled in the Watts School of Nursing, Durham.Includes a small quantity of photographs and other material, and family letters that extend to 1986. (3 boxes)

State Agency Records:

Revenue, Department of, Secretary and Deputy Secretary’s Office: Subject Files, 1940-1983, Bulk, 1955-1980 (pdf)
Correspondence, memoranda, newsletters, legal materials, fiscal records, federal and state taxation documents, publications, news clippings, other states’ taxation materials, information pertaining to tax administrator organizations as created or accumulated by the department, corporate tax case files, and other administrative documents. (16.0 cubic feet/48 fibredex boxes)