Nims, Rankin, and Spratt family papers, 1824-1995.

Creator: Nims, Rankin, and Spratt family papers, 1824-1995 [manuscript].
Collection number: 4255
View finding aid.

Abstract: Chiefly correspondence of Nims, Rankin, and Spratt family members, most in Mount Holly, Gaston County, N.C., and Fort Mill, York County, S.C. Included are several letters, 1850s, describing railroad building in the South; some letters with detailed information about slaves and Native Americans in Georgia; and a few letters, 1860-1865, showing the centrality of the Civil War in the lives of family members and discussing life in the Confederate army.Letters, 1865-1907, deal chiefly with family life, including discussions of the family’s agricultural interests and its cotton mill in Mount Holly, N.C. A few letters relate to service in a hospital in the Philippines during the Insurrection. After 1910, correspondence increasingly centers around Spratt family members in Mount Holly, chiefly the women, who included a Gaston County, N.C., social worker and a professor of home economics at Cornell University.All of these women wrote frequent and highly detailed letters, most dealing with their time as college students and later with routine family matters, fashion, and sewing. Also included are family financial and legal papers, including labor contracts with freedmen in 1866; writings; school materials; genealogical materials relating to the White, Spratt, Jenkins, Rankin, and Campbell families; diaries with short entries by some of the Spratt and Rankin women; clippings; and photographs, chiefly of family members and soldiers from Camp Greene in Charlotte, N.C.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights:  Included are descriptions of the conditions of slaves and native Americans in Georgia (1830s) in Folder 1; hiring slave labor for railroad work (1850s) in Folders 3 -13; and of racial tensions and riots in the South (1865- 1907). The collection also contains labor contracts between Frederick Nims and freedmen (1866) in Folder 212.