Robert W. Winston papers, 1834-1944.

Creator: Winston, Robert W. (Robert Watson), 1860-1944.
Collection number: 2369
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Abstract: Robert W. Winston was a lawyer, North Carolina state legislator, judge, historian, and biographer. The collection is family, political, and professional correspondence. Papers up to 1881 are correspondence of Winston’s father, Patrick Henry Winston (1820-1886), of Bertie County, N.C., concerning Whig politics, planting, and other matters. Included in this section are letters, 1854-1861, from R. W. Winston’s uncle, Joseph R. Bird, United States Navy officer in California, Hawaii, China, and Japan. Also included are letters from another Bird uncle serving in the Confederate Army in Virginia, and letters from R. W. Winston’s brother, George Tayloe Winston (1852-1932), while a student at the University of North Carolina, the United States Naval Academy, and Cornell University in the 1870s. The correspondence, 1881-1895, of R. W. Winston reflects his activities as a lawyer in Granville and Durham counties, N.C., railroad officer, Democratic candidate for public offices, and member of the North Carolina legislature in 1885. Correspondence, 1896-1944, is with nationally prominent persons about his biographies, autobiography, and other writings, and about public affairs. Family correspondence, 1881-1944, includes letters from R. W. Winston’s brothers, G.T.; Patrick Henry, Jr. (1847-1904), lawyer of Spokane, Wash.; and Francis Donnell Winston (1857-1941), judge of Bertie County; and of his sons, R. W. Winston, Jr., a lawyer, including letters written while he was a soldier during World War I; and James Horner Winston (b. 1884), lawyer of Chicago, Ill. Also included are notes and source materials for various books, particularly biographies of Robert E. Lee, Andrew Johnson, and Professor Horace Williams; manuscript articles on historical, political, sectional, racial, religious, educational, and economic subjects; many clippings; and R. D. Winston’s diary, 1932-1944, recording his reactions to and analysis of public events from World War I to World War II. The addition of 1987 contains letters to and items accumulated by Robert W. Winston, chiefly concerning legal and financial matters. Also included are letters relate

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Folder 1 contains letters written from P.H. Winston to his wife about the sale of land and slaves in 1848.

There is a transcript of the last will and testament of John Winston in Folder 2, which lists names of enslaved individuals he seeks to bequeath to various relatives.

On 26 May 1862, F.W. Bird writes his sister about seeing the enslaved African American musician “Blind Tom” at Camp Davis. Tom Wiggins was born in Columbus, Ga., and was an extremely talented musician who composed a number of songs and could play music by ear. He was an autistic savant and was unfortunately exploited throughout his lifetime for his musical abilities. Click here to link to a website dedicated to preserving Blind Tom’s legacy.

Volume 8 is Robert Winston’s ledger, which contains notes on enslaved individuals held by his ancestors (See Folder 117)

Volume 13 contains Winston’s notes on a variety of topics relating to slavery and the South (See Folder 122).

There are also 4 images of African Americans in Image Folder PF-2369/2. Two are unidentified, One is identified as “Lucy Stone, His Faithful Slave,” and one is identified as “Aunt Harriet.