Francis Donnell Winston papers, 1828-1943 (bulk 1890-1939).

Creator: Winston, Francis Donnell, 1857-1941.
Collection number: 2810
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Abstract: Francis Donnell Winston attended Cornell University, 1873-1874, and took an A.B. from the University of North Carolina in 1879; practiced law in Windor, N.C.; was clerk of the North Carolina superior court, 1881- 1882; served in the North Carolina General Assembly, 1889-1900; was a state senator from 1887 to 1889, and was once again in the legislature in the late 1920s; was a judge of the superior court, 1901-1902 and 1916; was elected lieutenant governor, 1905-1909; was U.S. district attorney, 1913- 1916; and was a trustee of the University of North Carolina and president of the North Carolina Bar Association, as well as an active Mason and member of the Episcopal Church. Winston married Rosa Kenney, daughter of Dr. S. B. Kenney of Maine, who came south with the U.S. Navy during the Civil War and remained in Hampton Roads, Va., as a government employee after the war, later settling in Windsor, N.C. Also represented in the papers are F. D. Winston’s brothers, George Tayloe Winston, sometime president of the University of Tennessee, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University; Patrick Henry Winston, who became a prominent lawyer in the state of Washington; and Robert W. Winston, judge, lawyer, and in his later years a writer. F. D. Winston’s sister, Alice, married Frank Spruill and lived in Rocky Mount, N.C. The earliest papers are Winston and Kenney family letters which seem to have survived by chance. Included are commissions, orders, etc., 1863-1882, of Dr. S. B. Kenney, Winston’s father-in-law. The bulk of the papers date from the 1890s through the 1930s and consist of F. D. Winston’s correspondence relating to his law practice and experiences as a judge, Democratic Party politics and his own campaigns, Masonic and Episcopal Church activities, University of North Carolina alumni activities, Windsor and Bertie County community affairs and history, genealogical inquiries in connection with the Winston and other Bertie County families, and miscellaneous writings.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Early family papers contain an 1828 slave bill of sale (see Folder 1).

There are also items relating to the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands from 1867 to 1869 (see Folder 2)

Folder 4 contains a 23 November 1893  letter discussing the voting rights of African Americans  and the new franchise law

Correspondence dated 27 November 1916relates to the potential impact of African Americans on national economics (Folder 17).

Folders 22 and 23 include letters from Joseph F. Mitchell, a former slave and retired Episcopal minister.

There is also correspondence in September 1933 about the education of African American children in Bertie County, North Carolina (Folders 30-33).