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Archive for January, 2011

“[A] North Carolinian, Dick Ragland, a man of a wealthy plantation family… swore an oath, upon hearing of Lee’s surrender, that he would not lift a finger to work so long as he lived. “Ragland also vowed that he would never cross to the north side of the Potomac, or stray south of Atlanta, Georgia. […]

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– Sorry, Mr. Larsson, but Asheville readers prefer “Mayhem in Mayberry.” – In Charlotte, Mark Twain flap has familiar ring. – From a recently surfaced collection of Civil War pencil sketches (scroll down), 43 depicting North Carolina. – “Firestarter” II?

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On this day in 1903: In his biennial message to the General Assembly, Gov. Charles Brantley Aycock calls for legislation “in behalf of the children who are working in textile and furniture factories.” Manufacturers, who have beaten back previous restrictions on child labor, want no part of Aycock’s proposals – “Yankee doings,” in the words […]

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– If Western North Carolina was so big on Unionism, why weren’t its legislators? – 18th century “stone” dollhouse from defunct Old Salem Toy Museum blows away auction estimate. – I hadn’t realized that Pearl Fryar, the topiary wizard (and movie star) of Bishopville, S.C., had such extensive roots in Clinton and Durham. And he’s […]

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“…. In the South, according to Urban T. Holmes of the University of North Carolina, Negro parents ‘have, for the most part, kept to standard names.’ But  when they depart from the standard they sometimes go even further than their fellow Methodists and Baptists of the dominant race. In Rockingham County, North Carolina, Mr. Holmes […]

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I recently reprocessed the Louis Round Wilson Photograph Collection, which contains lots and lots of fascinating portraits from the late 19th-early 20th centuries (tintypes, ambrotypes, cabinet cards, and even a cyanotype). Among these treasures, I found one portrait that — much like the subject’s ears — really stuck out. On the back of this card-mounted […]

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Still more phrase-frequency charts from the indefatigable Google Books Ngram Reader: – sweet tea – Jesse Helms vs. Terry Sanford and Sam Ervin – Old North State vs. Tar Heel State. Only now has Tar Heel State become the more common usage? There’s something here I’m not getting. – redneck vs. white trash and hillbilly […]

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– Revisiting the one-drop rule. – Lost and found: Minor-league pitcher’s championship ring. – Train station turned garage… turned train station? – “In writing workshops I often see people trying to write Southern accents…. It should be done sparingly and only if…” – R.I.P., Billy Joe Patton, last of the red-hot amateurs.

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“Fueled by rage at Roosevelt and possessed of an attractive candidate [Wendell Willkie] to run against him….the GOP was gearing up — and shelling out — for a supreme effort…. “The [Democrats] had been outspent in every national election since 1920, and…never had the supply of funds been shorter than in 1940. “The five great radio speeches by […]

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“North Carolina’s Wilmington Morning Star (circ. 17,866) went to press with a front-page picture of four Marine witnesses in the court-martial of Sergeant Matthew C. McKeon. As soon as the paper hit his desk, the editor on duty gulped and stopped the presses. “He had failed to notice, in the shadowy impression on the Associated […]

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