Tag Archives: Special Collections

The Samuel Patrick and Ella McGuire Family Papers, PC.2061

[This blog post was written by Fran Tracy-Walls, Private Manuscripts Archivist, Special Collections Section, State Archives of North Carolina.]

Ella McGuire or her mother, Martha Miller Buffaloe (ca. 1837–1916)

Ella McGuire or her mother, Martha Miller Buffaloe (ca. 1837–1916)

An essential goal of Private Collections is to add to its holdings the papers of minorities and under-represented groups. It is a pleasure to recognize a set of such papers available for research in the Search Room: the private papers of Samuel Patrick and Ella [née Buffaloe] McGuire (PC.2061). Additionally, this collection serves various valuable purposes, including providing a unique educational resource for students, researchers, and the wider community.

Patrick and Eleanor (Ella) Buffaloe McGuire, both born into slavery, were married around 1881. Although not the first settlers after the Civil War in the Oberlin Village settlement outside Raleigh, the McGuires were surely part of the growth of this successful community. Increasingly, the area is recognized for its founding by former slaves who came to own their own homes and achieve middle class status. Patrick (1853–1906), born probably in Chapel Hill, Orange County, could read and write. This was true also of Ella (1861–1946), born to James and Martha Miller Buffaloe, natives of Wake County. Sometime during the Reconstruction Era, Patrick moved to Wake County and worked first as a laborer, then for the Gaston & Raleigh Railroad, and eventually as a depot freight driver for the Seaboard Airline Railroad.

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Veterans Day

Veteran of Rockingham County, Levoir Lindsey, his wife, Viola, and daughter, Betty.

Veteran of Rockingham County, Levoir Lindsey, his wife, Viola, and daughter, Betty. From the Allen, Carter, Gwynn Family Papers and Albums (PC.2154).

The State Archives is closed Nov. 10-12 for the Veterans Day holiday. But many of our military related resources are available online any time. Here are some of the most recent additions:

World War I – As part of the statewide World War I centennial commemoration, we’ve digitized many materials from our Military Collection related to North Carolina’s involvement, including letters, posters, photographs, and maps.

Troop Returns – This collection is composed of troop returns from the Military Collection. Troop Returns (1747-1893) include lists, returns, records of prisoners, and records of draftees. The majority of this collection is related to the Revolutionary War.

Allen, Carter, Gwynn Family Papers and Albums (PC.2154) – These papers, including several albums, were compiled by Joann Marie Davis, whose forebears lived in the 19th and 20th centuries primarily in Stoneville (Shiloh) and Mayo Township, Rockingham County.

Arthur W. Matthews Jr. Papers (WWII 78, WWII Papers, Military Collection) – The Arthur W. Matthews Jr. Papers is composed of 68 photographs and a photocopied wartime diary, documenting the World War II military service of Arthur W. Matthews Jr. of Edgecombe and Wilson Counties, N.C., from April 1944 to February 1946. He served in Company A, 1258th Engineer Combat Battalion, U.S. Army, and later Headquarters Company, 376th Infantry Regiment. The majority of his service involved driving a truck in his unit as the 1258th Engineer Combat Battalion traveled through France, Belgium, and southern Germany, repairing or constructing bridges, constructing or clear mines from roads, building barracks to house displaced peoples in Germany, and guarding and transporting German POWs.

Photo of Col. Richard Hunt in an airplane

Snapshot of 1st Lt. Richard M. Hunt pictured in the cockpit of his U.S. Marine Corps Piper Cub airplane, parked on an island in the Pacific Theater. From Richard M. Hunt Papers (MMP 1, Miscellaneous Military Papers, Military Collection)

Richard M. Hunt Papers (MMP 1, Miscellaneous Military Papers, Military Collection) – The Richard M. Hunt Papers documents the U.S. Marine Corps service of Colonel Richard M. Hunt, from his entrance into the Marine Corps in 1942 during World War II as a Lieutenant, through his retirement from the Marine Corps in 1969. Hunt served during the 1960s in the following non-combat military capacities: as the Assistant U.S. Naval Attaché at the American Embassy in Paris, France, from 1960 to October 1963; as the U.S. Marine Corps Congressional Liaison Officer in the Office of the Legislative Liaison from November 1963 to February 1966; and as the Military Aide to Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey from 1967 to January 1969.

Lawrence E. Allen Sr. Papers (CLDW 23, Cold War Papers, Military Collection) – The Lawrence E. Allen Sr. Papers is composed of photographs, military service records and certificate, postcards, military ID and membership cards, a partial U.S. Navy ship cruise book, and miscellaneous materials, documenting the U.S. Navy service of Lawrence E. Allen of Raleigh, N.C., from 1955 to 1958 on active duty, and to 1961 on reserve duty.

Lillian Exum Clement Stafford Papers, PC.2084

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

Announcement of Lillian Exum Clement Stafford Papers, PC.2084, and Tribute to Exum, the American South’s First Female State Representative, and to her Father

Exum and George Clement at in a field, Buncombe County, ca. 1916.

Exum and George Clement in a field, Buncombe County, ca. 1916.

I am very pleased to announce that the Lillian Exum Clement Stafford Papers, PC.2084, are now processed and available for research. These papers are particularly valued because Lillian, known within her family and by most others as Exum, has had a significant legacy as the first female state representative in North Carolina. Notably, she was also the first female legislator in the American South. Following her election in November 1920, Exum has often been quoted as telling a reporter, “I am by nature, very conservative, but I am firm in my convictions. I want to blaze a trail for other women. I know that years from now there will be many other women in politics, but you have to start a thing.” [News and Observer. Jan. 7, 1921].

Much has already been written about Exum, her life and public service. Naturally, a comprehensive history and documentation of her accomplishments goes far beyond the scope of this piece. Instead, I will narrow my focus to what has recently evoked my curiosity about who and what inspired her success. Since Father’s Day is celebrated this month, I thought it would be revealing to shed some light on Exum, alongside her father, George Washington Clement (ca. June 17, 1852–Dec. 1942). And thankfully, the papers do contain a few items that illustrate a strong father and daughter connection. Additionally, a study of the lives of George and his daughter suggests that both shared similar traits. These include very strong determination and a work ethic, along with convictions, faith, and ideals, such as dedication to family, church, and community–surely among the profound influences in her life.

Exum and George Clement at the intake of the North Fork of the Swannanoa River, ca. 1916

Exum and George Clement at the intake of the North Fork of the Swannanoa River, ca. 1916.

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25th Anniversary of the Persian Gulf War

[This blog post comes from Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Oil fields and refineries still burning in Kuwait, Frederick E. Stoehr Papers, Military Collection, State Archives of North Carolina

Frederick E. Stoehr of Carolina Shores, North Carolina, worked in Kuwait in 1992 as an engineer with a task force from Foster Wheeler, an international engineering and construction company, to rebuild three heavily damaged oil refineries in the kingdom after they had been set on fire during the Persian Gulf War by Iraqi military forces. Stoehr took photographs, such as this one, of the oil fields and refineries still burning in Kuwait. Frederick E. Stoehr Papers, Military Collection, State Archives of North Carolina.

January 16-17, 2016, marks the 25th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Desert Storm, part of what we now call the Persian Gulf War. The Persian Gulf War began on August 2, 1990, when the nation of Iraq invaded the kingdom of Kuwait. Iraq’s leader Saddam Hussein initiated the invasion and occupation of Kuwait with the hopes of acquiring the nation’s large oil reserves, canceling a large debt Iraq owed Kuwait, and expanding Iraqi power in the region. On August 3, 1990, the United Nations Security Council issued a call for the invading Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. After Iraq annexed Kuwait as part of its country on August 8, 1990, Iraq’s threat to the world’s largest oil producer—Saudi Arabia—led ultimately to the United Nations authorizing on November 29, 1990, use of force by “all means necessary” after January 15, 1991, to expel Iraq from Kuwait. The military buildup for a potential armed conflict by a coalition of 700,000 troops from 39 countries became known as Operation Desert Shield (though there are variations in the total number of troops involved). About 540,000 of these troops were from the United States, and it is reported around 75,000 service members from North Carolina military installations served during the war period. Iraq grew its occupying army in Kuwait to about 300,000 troops.

After the January 15, 1991, deadline for Iraqi troop withdrawals from Kuwait passed without any compliance, United States President George H. W. Bush announced on January 16, 1991, the start of Operation Desert Storm, intended to expel occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Kuwait was liberated on February 27, 1991. When Iraqi troops withdrew from Kuwait at the end of the war, they set fire in Kuwait to more than 600 oil wells and pools of spilled oil through explosive charges and other means. The sky throughout the country was filled with thick black smoke that blocked out visibility all around as coalition troops moved in. The war ended officially on February 28, 1991, when President Bush declared a cease-fire. Iraq accepted the terms of the United Nations cease-fire agreement on April 6, 1991. There were 383 U.S. fatalities in the Persian Gulf War, of which there were 17 who were from North Carolina.

Engineers and construction workers attempting to repair refineries in Kuwait amidst burning oil fields and refineries in 1992

Another image of engineers and construction workers attempting to repair refineries in Kuwait amidst burning oil fields and refineries in 1992. Frederick E. Stoehr Papers, Military Collection, State Archives of North Carolina

The Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina would like to honor those North Carolinian military service personnel who served in the Persian Gulf War and those 17 North Carolinians who gave their lives in the conflict. We work to preserve the memory and service history of the state’s recent veterans through conducting oral history interviews with Persian Gulf veterans and collecting records from the war period. In order to commemorate our veterans’ service, we use original materials to demonstrate the different ways in which military service and conflict has impacted the service member, North Carolina, the United States, and the world. In order to help us have enough materials to develop educational materials and support historical research, we ask that if you are a Persian Gulf War-era veteran and have any original Persian Gulf War photographs, documents, maps, training manuals, or other archival materials, or would like to conduct an oral history interview about your service in the war, please contact the Military Collection at 919-807-7314, email at matthew.peek@ncdcr.gov, or visit our webpage at http://archives.ncdcr.gov/Public/Collections/Non-Government/Military-Collections to learn more about the Military Collection. We thank you again for your service.

Student Records from Brookstone College’s Charlotte and Greensboro Campuses

[This blog post was written by Gwen Thomas Mays, Organization Records Archivist.]

The majority of the student records from Brookstone College’s Charlotte and Greensboro campuses are now in the custody of the State Archives. Former students may request copies of their transcripts – please refer to the instructions on the Archives website: http://archives.ncdcr.gov/Public/Services/Academic-Transcripts-Of-Defunct-Colleges.

State Archives Needs Your Help to Preserve North Carolina’s Military Heritage

[This press release comes from Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Cover of The Wildcat, published in France by the Eighty-First Division, May 10, 1919

Cover of The Wildcat, published in France by the Eighty-First Division, May 10, 1919.

Do you or your family wonder what to do with original historic materials from veterans’ military service? Are you looking for ways to preserve the legacy of North Carolina veterans? Are you a North Carolina veteran who has original materials from your military service, and might be interested in having them preserved?

The Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina works to document and preserve records detailing North Carolina’s rich military history from colonial days to the present.

The Military Collection collects, arranges, describes, preserves, and makes accessible to the public historical materials that document the history and development of North Carolina’s military history for conflicts involving its citizens, residents, and enlisted military personnel in North Carolina. The State Archives’ Military Collection provides a professionally-curated research collection of military history that supports public and educational programming; scholarly and student research; and the public interest in relation to the mission of the State Archives of North Carolina.

“As we have come to the centennial of World War I, the 75th anniversary of World War II, and the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, we would like to remind the public that the State Archives cares greatly about our servicemen and servicewomen’s sacrifices and dedication to their country, comrades, and families,” says Matthew Peek, military collection archivist at the State Archives.

“We offer veterans and their families a location to preserve the materials of veterans’ military service, that is freely accessible to the public and work to utilize our Military Collection to educate the public about military service and culture,” he concludes.

Military records or materials extend beyond combat or training to include items that were created during wartime and document reactions to the conflict. Letters written between a service member and their family or friends, documents detailing a non-combatant veteran’s daily work, training manuals, maps and architectural drawings, photographs, films, print-outs of social media posts from a service individual—these all constitute military materials to be preserved.

If you or your family may be interested in donating your historic military materials, you can call the Military Collection Archivist at 919-807-7314, or email him at matthew.peek@ncdcr.gov.

You can also visit the Military Collection’s webpage to learn more about the collection and how to donate your military materials: http://archives.ncdcr.gov/Public/Collections/Non-Government/Military-Collections.

New Private Collection: The Leopold Graf Family Gold Mining and Land Business Papers, 1880-1909

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

Announcing a new Private Collection available for research: The Leopold Graf Family Gold Mining and Land Business Papers, 1880-1909. PC.2115. Gift of descendant, Germaine Beard Whitaker, Salisbury, N.C., 2015

Map of the Great Atlas Mines, part of PC.2115

Map of the Great Atlas Mines, part of PC.2115.

Periodically throughout the 19th century, gold fever hit native North Carolinians along with immigrants who chose not to strike out for California. The excitement also attracted investors from the American northeast and from Europe. This phenomenon is evident in the papers of the Graf family, natives of Baden, a state in southwestern Germany. They had found initial success in Newark, N.J. as shoe and boot makers, and leather-work proved profitable for them before and after the Civil War. Yet Leopold Graf (ca. 1839-1907) probably dreamed of much grander profits when he gained title in 1881 to 1,300 acres in the Gold Mining District of Rowan County!

The Graf collection does not hold any clues as to the genesis of Leopold Graf’s interest in North Carolina gold, still one can surmise a possible source of such interest. A bicentennial history published in 1999 by the N.C. Division of Archives and History, Gold Mining in North Carolina (Richard Knapp and Brent Glass), describes visits to the state by northern capitalists and the influence of widely circulated reports in journals and advertisements. These proclaimed the ongoing availability of gold in the region, particularly the Gold Hill District, and the existence of several minerals that could be mined inexpensively in one’s spare time. Additionally, they often cited the advantages of cheap labor, now that slavery had been abolished, and touted the value of the state’s abundant timber and water resources.

Even though the Great Atlas Mines did not fulfill the promise the name suggests (and did not receive a mention in the Gold Mining history), at least part of the family established a permanent home in North Carolina. Noteworthy for North Carolina genealogy and family history, younger son, Albert Herman Graf, settled permanently in nearby Salisbury. By the time of the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Albert was head of a lumber manufacturing business, and his descendants have been in the area and state for well over one hundred years to date.

Of particular interest in the collection is a letter written by renowned German mechanical engineer, Carl Adolf Thies, written August 25, 1891, (at that time he was Supt. Gen. Manager, Haile Goldmining Co., Lancaster Co. [Kershaw], S.C.) to Charles Taylor, U.S. Assay Office, New York. Thies (1832-1917) had perfected a relatively inexpensive chlorination process of extracting gold from less valuable ores/minerals, and was invited to demonstrate the procedure at the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893. He refers to a visit of Stuart W. Cramer (in charge of the U.S. Assayer Office, Charlotte) to the Gold Hill District. The letter ends with Thies saying that he has “often wondered why Charlotte has not been selected as a place to erect [?] Chlorination [works]…a work of this kind would stimulate mining & would pay much.” (Thies and his family settled in Charlotte by the late 1890s, and their home is on the National Register of Historic Places.).

A full finding aid is available in the Search Room, and an online finding aid is planned at a future date. An abstract is as follows:

Leopold Graf (ca. 1839-1909) was born in Baden (a southwestern German state) to Wendelin and Brigada Grief (Graf) and immigrated to the United States with his family probably during the 1850s. He and his father were shoemakers in business in Newark, Essex, New Jersey. Before or by the early 1880s Graf had developed a business interest in silver and gold and he began acquiring land in a noted gold mining region of North Carolina, Rowan County.

Papers include maps and surveys, such as the Great Atlas Mines, 1,300 acres, 1881; certified copy of certificate of organization and business prospectus of the Beam Gold Mining Lumber and Manufacturing Company, 1893; deeds, bullion receipts, company prospectus; letter of 1891 by renowned German mechanical engineer, Carl Adolf Thies; and miscellaneous papers related to land and to gold mines and mining.

Extent: 1 box; two oversize map folders.

Other gold mining related collections in Private Collections, and the Account Books subset, State Archives of North Carolina:

  • Argo Mining Co. Account Book, AB.538.
  • Gold Hill Copper Company. AB.442; MfP. 104
  • Gold Hill Mining Company Papers.MfP.104.
  • Mann-Arrington Gold Mining Company Account Books, AB.537.1-4
  • Mecklenburg Iron Works Records, MfP.235.1-10

Sources include:

United States Federal Census, 1860, 1880, 1900, 1910. Richard F. Knapp and Brent D. Glass, Gold Mining in North Carolina: A Bicentennial History (Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, NC DCR, 1999) [See especially, Chapter 4, “The Gold Hill Mining District, 1865-1915;” and Chapter 5, “Other Mining Activity, 1915-1999.”