Calvin Henderson Wiley papers, 1774-1962.

Creator: Wiley, C. H. (Calvin Henderson), 1819-1887.
Collection number: 781
View finding aid.

Abstract: C. H. (Calvin Henderson) Wiley (1819-1887) was born in Guilford County, N.C., and was a lawyer, editor, novelist, legislator, state superintendent of schools (1853-1865), Presbyterian minister, trustee of the University of North Carolina, and agent for the American Bible Society for Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The collection contains correspondence, writings, diaries, account books, and photographs of C. H. Wiley. The early papers consist of fragmentary business papers of Wiley’s grandfather, David Wiley; grandmother, Mrs. Thankful Woodburn, widow of William Woodburn; and father, David L. Wiley (d. 1861). After 1850 the papers reflect Wiley’s varied activities and are especially valuable for the history of education in antebellum North Carolina and for information on the Winston, N.C., public schools, 1883-1887. Correspondents include men of state and national prominence. Correspondence from 1853-1865 chiefly regards Wiley’s work as the superintendent of common schools for North Carolina. There are also papers related to his work with the Presbyterian Church as a substitute or visiting preacher, his interest in a projected mine near Graham and other speculative projects, and scattered personal correspondence. Papers after 1868 reflect Wiley’s work with the American Bible Society; his membership on the Literary Board which tried to raise money for schools by selling swamp lands in eastern North Carolina; family life in Tennessee and North Carolina; material on the education and career of Wiley’s nephew, David Cyrus Rankin (1847-1902), Presbyterian minister; projected railroads in the Winston area; and the family of his wife Mittie Towles Wiley in Raleigh, N.C. Also included is material relating to the education and teaching careers of Wiley’s daughters, Anne Woodburn Wiley and Mary Callum Wiley, at the State Normal and Industrial School, Greensboro (later known as the North Carolina College for Women), and in Winston; and to the work of Mittie Towles Wiley and Mary Callum Wiley with women’s and children’s church organizations and charities in Winston. Among related materials are speeches, sermons, and writings of Wiley, including an unpublished manuscript, “The Duties of Christian Masters”; writings of Mary Callum Wiley for children and about her father; papers about industry in North Carolina, 1886, acquired by C. H. Wiley when compiling information for the United States Bureau of Statistics; reports, records, and accounts of work for the American Bible Society; Wiley’s diary, 1869-1886; personal and household accounts; and photographs.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Included are memoranda on the legal status of several slaves after the death of their former master, Charles Kennon (1852), and a copy of Kennon’s emancipation of his slaves (1853); information about Boston lectures on slavery (1855); and a disconnected, undated manuscript entitled “Duties of Christian Masters” (box 13). His diaries also contain references to the religious education of African Americans students.