Zebulon Baird Vance papers, 1824-1915.

Creator: Vance, Zebulon Baird, 1830-1894.
Collection number: 3952
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Abstract: Zebulon Baird Vance, a native of Buncombe County, N.C., was governor of North Carolina, 1862-1865 and 1877-1879, and United States senator, 1879-1894. The collection is chiefly political correspondence, 1877-1894, concerning state and national politics, Democratic Party actions, and constituent affairs. Topics include political patronage; railroad matters, especially of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad and the Western North Carolina Railroad; state institutions; tariff and internal revenue laws; the Danville, Va., race riot of 1883; the Blair education bills of 1886 and 1888; presidential elections; the rise of the North Carolina Farmers’ Alliance; and the remonetization of silver. There are also business papers related to Vance’s real estate, nickel mining, and lumber interests in Buncombe and Mecklenburg counties, N.C. Scattered Civil War items pertain to the secession crisis, Vance’s brief service as a colonel of the 26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, and his gubernatorial activities. After 1894, materials are chiefly of the business and personal correspondence of Vance’s oldest son, Charles N. Vance, especially concerning his business interests in the Jellico Mining Company. Some 1895 letters relate to Kemp P. Battle’s attempt at writing a biography of Zebulon Vance. Additions to the collection include chiefly correspondence of Zebulon Baird Vance and his son Charles N. Vance, photographs of the Vance family, and various legal papers and land deeds. Correspondence concerns constituent affairs, political appointments, and other political issues of the 1890s. Letters from Vance’s second wife, Florence S. Vance, to Charles N. Vance (1894) concern Zebulon’s declining health, and additional correspondence and legal papers relate to an inheritance dispute between Charles and his stepmother Florence. Also included is a 28 July 1863 letter from Confederate soldier William T. Dickinson to Governor Vance describing casualties suffered by the 11th North Carolina Infantry at Gettysburg; more correspondence with Kemp P. Battle; and letters and other items relating to North Carolina governor and senator Thomas Jordan Jarvis.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Contains correspondence about a Danville, Virginia, race riot in 1883. Vance also wrote notes about the Danville race riot after serving on an investigative committee in the Senate. (See Folders 41-46).