Edwin R. MacKethan papers, 1794-1970, 2003 (bulk 1884-1932).

Creator: MacKethan, Edwin R. (Edwin Robeson), 1869-1951.
Collection number: 4298
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Abstract: Edwin Robeson MacKethan was born in Fayetteville, N.C., on 7 September 1869. He was graduated from University of North Carolina in 1891. During the 1890s, MacKethan spent several years in Savannah, Ga., but later returned to Fayetteville where he lived and practiced law for the remainder of his life.During the campaign of 1900, MacKethan was elected president of the White Supremacy Club of Fayetteville and served as Cumberland County’s representative to the state legislature. A Democrat, he served in the state senate, 1925-1929, and was later elected mayor of Fayetteville. Correspondence, financial material, legal papers, and other items of Edwin R. MacKethan and family of Fayetteville, N.C. Included is correspondence among MacKethan brothers in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and between the MacKethan children at college, in New York City, and aboard United States Navy ships and their parents. There are letters and other papers pertaining to MacKethan’s legal practice and other businesses in Fayetteville and to his political career in the North Carolina legislature and as mayor of Fayetteville.Other business papers from the 1840s and 1850s refer to the Clarendon Bridge Company, the Fayetteville and Northern Plank Road Company, and the Dobbin Horse Company. Some materials relate to disfranchisement of African Americans; to students and teachers at the United States Naval Academy and at the University of North Carolina; to the Civil War experiences of a relative stationed near Wilmington, N.C.; and to the stock market crash of 1929. Also included are printed items pertaining to White Supremacy and Prohibition, poems, essays, maps, photographs, and genealogical material.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Letters discuss abolitionists  between 1860-1862 (Folders 16-19); race relations between 1890-1900; the disenfranchisement of blacks  between 1900- 1910 (Folders 82-209; 196-238); a court case in which a black man was convicted of raping a white woman and was sentenced to death in 1901 ); and the funding of institutions of higher education for blacks in North Carolina in 1925 and 1929 (Folders 273-276; 281-284).

There is also a a letter to Governor Charles B. Aycock (28 May 1901) from Edwin R. MacKethan, urging that the death sentence given a black man for raping a white woman be commuted to life imprisonment.

Political papers and legislative materials pertain to black colleges and to the white supremacy campaign of 1900-1901 in North Carolina (1874-1929). Included is “A Big Day at the Fair,” a 1900 address by James B. Dudley, president of the “Agricultural and Technical College for the Colored Race” in Greensboro, N.C. See Folders 331-334.