Four ACC Tournament firsts from 1967

UNC 1967 ACC Tournament champions

UNC-Chapel Hill men’s basketball team celebrating their win over Duke University after the 1967 ACC tournament championship game played in Greensboro, NC. Among those pictured are Head Coach Dean Smith (front row, third from left) and ACC tournament MVP Larry Miller (front row, fourth from left).

The 65th annual Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament will be staged in Brooklyn, New York beginning today, March 6th, 2018.  The tournament will return to North Carolina next year when the event will play out in Charlotte. In 2020 the tournament will return to Greensboro for the 28th time, a series that began in 1967.

Morton collection volunteer/contributor Jack Hilliard takes a look back at the ’67 UNC season and an ACC Tournament which was one for the record books.

Carolina’s 1966-67 basketball season got off to a routine start, but finished in a flurry of firsts.  An eleven-point win in Chapel Hill against Clemson for the nineteenth straight time tipped off the season, but was hardly anything to write home about.  Next was a trip to the Greensboro Coliseum for a thirty-point victory against Penn State, followed by seven straight wins—including a win at Kentucky and two more visits to the Greensboro Coliseum with wins over NYU and Furman.  As the season played out, the Tar Heels lost only four regular season games, and they headed into the 1967 ACC Tournament as the regular season conference champion with an ACC record of 12–2.

For the first time since its beginning in 1954, the ACC played its conference tournament away from Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.  In 1966 the conference established a rotation arrangement for tournament hosts, electing to play the 1967 tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum—much to delight of UNC Head Basketball Coach Dean Smith.  Smith had favored a neutral site for the tournament and he thought Greensboro was a good fit, even though the coliseum, at that time, had 3,600 fewer seats than Reynolds Coliseum.

Coach Smith and his North Carolina Tar Heels came into the tournament as the number one seed. This was only the second time UNC had been seeded as tournament number one, the first time being the year of “McGuire’s Miracle” after the 1956-57 regular season.

Photographer Hugh Morton made the trip up from his home in Wilmington to document this first Greensboro ACC tournament. (Morton was a fixture courtside at the ACC Tournaments and much of his work can be found in the 1981 book The ACC Tournament Classic by Hugh Morton and Smith Barrier.) Currently there are sixteen photographs made by Morton during the tournament available for viewing in the online collection.  The Morton collection finding aid indicates that thirty-four black-and-white and eight color photographs from UNC’s games versus North Carolina State, Wake Forest, and Duke.

UNC versus Wake Forest during 1967 ACC Tournament

Larry Miller (UNC #44) going up for shot during UNC-Chapel Hill versus Wake Forest University basketball game in the 1967 ACC Tournament.

Three days before the tournament, Greensboro Daily News sports editor Smith Barrier predicted Duke would take the tournament despite the fact that Carolina had beaten Duke twice during the regular season.

The 1967 ACC Tournament, the 14th annual event, tipped off at 1:30 PM on Thursday, March 9th with 8,766 fans watching South Carolina beat Maryland 57–54.  Duke defeated Virginia 99–78 in the second afternoon game.

The first round evening game pitted North Carolina against North Carolina State—a game that turned out to be much closer than most expected. Since Carolina was 12—2 in the ACC and State was 2–12, most folks thought the Tar Heels would have no trouble.  Head coach Norman Sloan and his Wolfpack had a different idea. At the half the score was tied at 26. Carolina was able to hang on and win 56–53.  The second evening contest saw Wake Forest defeat Clemson 63–61 in double overtime.

On Friday, March 10th, the first semifinal game had Smith’s Tar Heels playing Jack McCloskey’s Wake Forest Demon Deacons.  Wake led by four at half, 38–34, but thanks to Larry Miller’s 29-point-second-half, the Tar Heels came away with 89–79 victory.  The second Friday game had coach Vic Bubas’ Duke Blue Devils beating coach Frank McGuire’s South Carolina Gamecocks 69–66 and set up a Duke–Carolina final.

UNC All American Larry Miller had cut out Smith Barrier’s newspaper column predicting a Duke championship, and on championship game day he put the clipping in his shoe.

At 8:30 PM on Saturday, March 11, 1967 it was the “Battle of the Blues.”  Carolina, for the first time in the tournament, played like most Tar Heel fans thought the number one seed should play and led 40–34 at half.  Thanks to Larry Miller’s 32 points, the Tar Heels held on to win 82–73, but the game was really closer than the nine point difference. Coach Smith got a ride on the shoulders of his winning players and called the Duke win “the greatest victory I’ve had as a coach.”

Miller took home the Outstanding Player award.  Following the post game press conference, he presented the clipping to Smith Barrier.  According to author Art Chansky in his 2016 book Game Changers, Barrier “took it in good spirit.”  Sandy Treadwell, Managing Editor of The Daily Tar Heel wrote in the March 12th issue, “The Tar Heels ended a long road of twenty-eight basketball games.  It was a road that took them into national prominence, and which last night earned them a ticket to the NCAA Eastern Regional Tournament in Maryland later this week.”

When the 14th annual Atlantic Coast Conference ended, a total of 35,064 fans had witnessed a tournament for the record books.  Historians of the game went to work and discovered it was the first time that:

  • the conference played the tournament outside Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.  (The tournament hasn’t been played in Raleigh since 1966, but there is currently talk of playing the tournament, or part of the 75th anniversary tournament in Raleigh in 2028.)
  • the conference played the tournament in the Greensboro Coliseum.  (Since then, Greensboro has hosted the tournament twenty-seven times.)
  • UNC’s Dean Smith won the ACC Tournament Championship.  (Smith’s teams went on to win a total of thirteen ACC Tournaments before his retirement following the 1997 season.)
  • UNC had beaten the three other members of the “Big Four” (Duke, N.C. State, and Wake Forest) during an ACC Tournament—a fete that hasn’t happened since.
Posted in Basketball, Sports, UNC | Comments Off on Four ACC Tournament firsts from 1967

A drive to Washington D.C. with Barrier: part 1

It’s often useful when researching Hugh Morton images to check his executive planners.  I’ve used examples of this practice before, and for today’s post this tactic provided some insight into one particular journey in March 1987.

Executive planner page, 5–7 March 1987

The page for March 5 through 8, 1987 in Hugh Morton’s executive planner.

Wednesday, March 4: Drive Wash DC with Barrier

One of Morton’s two entries for March 4th reads, “Drive Wash DC with Barrier.”  Henri Smith Barrier Jr. was a member of the UNC class of 1937—just six years ahead of Hugh Morton’s class of 1943—but he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 1940 when Morton was UNC student.  Barrier was sports editor of the Concord Tribune, his hometown newspaper, for two years before he joined the Greensboro Daily News in 1941.  Just six years before this road trip, in 1981, Barrier wrote and edited the book The ACC Basketball Tournament Classic that featured Morton’s photography.  Barrier passed away a little more than two years after this DC journey on 2 June 1989.

Thursday, March 5: “Jesse Helms”

That’s Morton’s plain and simple entry, but what—and why–did Morton schedule a photography session with Jesse Helms?  I suspect the “why” was a self-assignment for his collaborative book with Ed Rankin titled Making a Difference in North Carolina. Rankin and Helms were roommates in 1941 when they were newsmen at The News and Observer and The Raleigh Times, respectively.  In 1987 Helms was serving his third term as North Carolina’s senior United States Senator.  The state’s junior senator was Terry Sanford, elected just a few months earlier in November 1986.

Terry Sanford and Jesse Helms

North Carolina’s United States Senators Terry Sanford (Democrat) and Jesse Helms (Republican) on March 5, 1987 in the hallway outside of Helms’ office. (Photograph cropped by the author.)

The Morton collection finding aid states there are seventy-six black-and-white 35mm negatives in Subseries 2.1, which is devoted to the negatives Morton pulled together during the making of Making a Difference in North Carolina. There are thirteen 35mm color slides of from this same date in Subseries 2.6. “People, Identified.” Currently there are twelve of these images related to Morton’s coverage Helms available in the online collection.

A caption in Making a Difference in North Carolina notes that one event Morton photographed that day was a confirmation hearing for Jack F. Matlock Jr. held by the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.  Matlock was a native of Greensboro and a Duke University alumnus.  From the extant negatives and slides, it appears Morton did not photograph Matlock.  On another note of interest, Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Senator Edward Zorinsky, Democrat from Nebraska, died the next day, March 6th, at the 1987 Omaha Press Club Ball.  In the photograph below, is that Senator Zorinsky on the right?  It may be hard to tell for certain because there is not a full resolution scan online to zoom in and look more closely, so below is a cropped detail.

Senator Jess Helms

Senator Jess Helms (left) during a meeting of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Possibly Edward Zorinsky

A cropped detail from the photograph above that might be Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky talking with Virginia Senator John Warner. If not, does anyone recognize who he and others may be?

Another similar photograph for a different angle . . .

Senator Jesse Helms

Senator Jesse Helms (left) during a meeting of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

One photograph from the day serves as an excellent example of why photographic archives desire to obtain negative collections, not just photographic prints.  Below is a photograph of Helms with Senator John Warner of Virginia as published in Making a Deference in North Carolina . . .

Jesse Helms and John Warner, from book Making a Difference in North Carolina

. . . and here’s a scan of the entire negative . . .

United States Senators John McCain, Jesse Helm, and John Warner.

For the book, Morton decided to crop out Arizona’s senator John McCain.

Here’s another photograph from the day that’s not in the online collection:

United States Senators

United States Senators

I recognize Helms (left) and Dan Quayle (center).  Want to ry your hand on the others?

Tune in tomorrow for part two: Friday, March 6: “ACC Landover”

Posted in Basketball, Celebrities, Politics, Sports, UNC | Comments Off on A drive to Washington D.C. with Barrier: part 1

Slave Labor and Old East

Building Old East, 1793-1795

On October 12, 1793, construction began on Old East, UNC’s first building and the first public university building in the United States. Slave labor was likely used for the construction of Old East, and used extensively in subsequent repairs and expansion.

The Building Committee made a contract with a white man named James Patterson, a university land donor and slaveholder, to oversee construction of Old East along with two other men serving as undertakers, George Lucas and Patrick St. Lawrence.[1] The building was completed in 1795, but repairs and additions to the building took place throughout the antebellum period.

One indication that enslaved workers worked on Old East’s initial construction comes from a letter written by Patterson in 1795. Patterson mentioned that several of his “own slaves” had painted the roof of Old East that same year, a task he lamented for its dangers and the risk to the slaves’ lives. In subsequent maintenance, repairs, and construction from 1804 onward, many enslaved men worked as carpenters, bricklayers, and plasterers on Old East. Most of them appear to have been owned by slaveholders affiliated with the university or hired from the surrounding area of Orange and Chatham counties.

The records created by free whites such as Patterson can often be frustratingly limited in detail regarding the enslaved black people tasked with the majority of construction. Whites proved primarily concerned with documenting and discussing enslaved people in terms of their economic value, meaning their monetary worth and productive output as unpaid laborers. Indeed, Patterson’s concern for his slaves’ safety stemmed largely from his concerns over losing “a valuable servant.”[2] He never mentioned any of his slaves by name, and while three slaves are tallied in the 1790 census as part of Patterson’s household, no one but Patterson himself was identified by name.

Expanding Old East, 1822

In 1822, a third story was added to Old East under the supervision of designer and builder William Nichols and with the significant aid of enslaved workers. Some of the enslaved men who repaired Old East appear as first names tallied on bills so that their white owners could receive compensation for their labors. Bob and Henry repaired Old East’s foundation and put in stone window sills, while Nelson and Allman worked on the gable ends and chimneys; “Masons Tony” repaired holes in the walls and worked on the roof, while Luke, Isaac, Jonathan, and Caplen all assisted carpenters and performed various general labor tasks.[3] John C. White, who assisted William Nichols with overseeing the repairs and the workmen, presented a bill totaling the enslaved men’s labor at about $395, equivalent to roughly $7,935.35 today. He specified that the payment was “to be paid their several owners,” indicating the continued practice of hiring slaves from the surrounding area.[4] Beyond their first names and costs of their labor, however, it is difficult to parse out much about these enslaved men as individual people.

Bills and receipts for the “boarding of hands” during this time appears to indicate that various townspeople housed white contractors’ and professionals’ slaves for extended periods of time to work on the university buildings.[5] If this was the case, it would mean that these workers were potentially separated from their families and communities for extended periods of time filled with difficult and grueling work. The unabated nature of such labor appears to have taken a toll on these men, several of whom appear on records from 1823 to 1826. A receipt from 1824 indicates that enslaved workers owned by Colonel William Polk and Judge Frederick Nash, both trustees of the university, worked on Old East and several other buildings on campus when normally they would be resting.[6] From November 1823 to January 1824, enslaved workmen Phillips, Daniel, Will, Sam, and Jacob conducted overtime work on “Holy days,” usually the only days which enslaved people received respites from their dawn to dusk labor, as well as “night work.”[7]  Phillips, Jacob, and Sam were noted as carpenters, and likely performed more skilled work, while Will and Daniel worked as sawyers to cut the wood. Isaac and Allen, whose owner is unknown, also worked as sawyers for the Old East repairs. Sterling and Ned also worked on Old East in some capacity, though the records do not clarify what they both did. Nimrod Ragsdale, a white brick maker who provided tens of thousands of bricks for the third story addition to Old East, as well as the construction of Old West, also employed his slaves Dick and Ned Peek to assist him in making and placing the bricks, and it is likely they too conducted work on Old East.[8]

As valuable laborers put to difficult and sometimes dangerous work, enslaved workers at the university appear to have occasionally received some medical treatment. In September 1823, William Nichols received a bill from “Cave” Yancey, potentially a physician by the name of Charles Yancey who lived in Orange County and worked in some capacity near or at the university. The bill listed several visits Yancey made to several named and unnamed enslaved workers, including Peter and Anderson. Throughout 1823, Yancey had administered unspecified medicines, as well as an emetic, treated “bleeding,” and even spent “24 hours attendance” at the side of one worker. In all, the cost was $16.25 to keep enslaved workers sound and functional.[9]

In 1825, in the midst of work on Old East and other university buildings, a man by the name of Joseph Hawkins placed an advertisement in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser offering a $50 reward for the capture and return of an unnamed runaway slave. Hawkins noted that the “cut-finger cad” had been hired “for most of the last two years” to William Nichols and worked at Chapel Hill. The man had likely absconded in order to find his wife, and carried with him distinct clothes and a dagger and pistol, rendering him potentially dangerous.[10] There is no way of knowing what ultimately caused the enslaved man to run away from his position as a hired hand, but perhaps an onerous schedule and the nature of construction work took a toll the man was no longer willing to bear. Perhaps he had been planning to escape for years and finally had an opportunity and the means to do so.

Expanding Old East, 1844-1845

The roof to Old East was repaired and covered with fireproof material in 1842, but this work was largely undocumented. In 1844, the Building Committee hired architect Alexander J. Davis and builders Isaac J. Collier and Kendall Waitt to lengthen both Old East and Old West.[11] The addition and repairs to Old East cost $9,454, or about $301,102.50 today.[12] Collier and Waitt’s contract specified that they were to provide the necessary materials and workers, called “chattels,” for which the white builders would ultimately be compensated.[13] Two highly skilled enslaved laborers, brothers Albert and Osborne, were hired to cover the new additions of Old East and Old West in plaster in 1845.[14] The brothers belonged to Dabney Cosby, himself a builder and brick mason who occasionally worked with Thomas Waitt, likely a relative of Kendall Waitt’s. Cosby owned at least 19 slaves according to the 1840 census, making him a wealthy man. According to Cosby, of the two brothers it was Albert upon whom the builders could “rely” because he performed “firstrate work, his Plaistering and roughcasting here has preference to any done in this part of the state.”[15] Albert’s skills as a plasterer earned him praise and specific mentions in Cobsy’s correspondence, emphasizing the particular importance whites ascribed to enslaved labor.

No other major repairs appear to have been made to Old East during the antebellum era. As the oldest structure on campus, Old East stands as a reminder of the university’s various roles in United States history. Original pieces of Old East, including its cornerstone, remain in the building today. It is thus worth considering the fact that the work conducted by enslaved people continues to shape and impact the university and its students. Enslaved people were fundamental to the creation of the University of North Carolina’s campus.[16]

 

[1] Battle, 46; OVCFB Records 40095 Series 4.1 Historical Financial Records, 1789 – 1919, Oversize Volume 5 Journal of the University of North Carolina, 1789-1859, p. 5

[2] University of North Carolina Papers, 1757-1935 (#40005), Series 1, Folder 8, James Patterson’s Request for Payment, August 18 1795, https://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc02-04/unc02-04.html.

[3] Perhaps one of the masons owned Tony, hence the moniker. Ibid, Folder #79, John C. White’s Bill for Labor of Negro Workmen, [1824], https://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc02-49/unc02-49.html.

[4] Ibid; “$395 in 1804 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 1 Feb. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/1804-dollars-in-2018?amount=395.

[5] University of North Carolina Papers, Series #1, Folder #79, To The University of N Carolina, By John [Thomas], For H Thomson, January 1823;  Folder #79, Of John [Beard], 7th February 1824; Folder #81, To Mrs. Mitchell, May 3 1823; To Magie Henderson, May 29 1823″; Folder #82, Trustees of University to Captain William Nichols for Bills, June 4 1823; To Captain Robert Anderson, From Chapel Hill, July 3 1823; Folder #83, Trio of letters by [Unclear], November 1823; Salley Mitchel, November 15 1823; Folder #84, Disbursements, 1823.

[6] Folder #86, Trustees of University from November 1 $23 up to the 1 of Jan 1, 1824; Building Committee of the University of North Carolina, March 1 1824; Folder #79, Labour of negroes on new building to 1st of Feby, 1823; Folder #104, Account of Money Owed William Nichols for Labor and Materials, September 1, 1826.

[7] Folder #79, Labour of negroes on new building to 1st of Feby, 1823.

[8] Folder #84, William Nichols to John Haywood, November 1823; Folder #85, To Nimrod Ragsdale for 33,279 bricks for old colege…; 66 days work of Dick on the Brick work…75 days work of Ned Peek.

[9] Folder #83, William Nichols by Jno Barr to Cave Yancey, Dr, Sept 15, 1823.

[10] Joseph Hawkins, “$50 Reward For Cut-Finger Cad,” Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (NC), Jan 30, 1825, http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/RAS/id/382/rec/6.

[11] University of North Carolina Papers, Letter from Alexander J. Davis to David L. Swain, April 17, 1844, https://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc02-33/unc02-33.html.

[12] Ibid, List of Building Specifications and Costs, Compiled by Alexander J. Davis for David L. Swain, [1844?], https://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc02-51/unc02-51.html; $9,454 in 1844 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 1 Feb. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/1844-dollars-in-2018?amount=9454.

[13] University of North Carolina Papers (#40005), Contract between the Board of Trustees and Collier & Waitt, December 20, 1844, https://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc02-52/unc02-52.html

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid, Dabney Cosby to Davis L. Swain, May 11, 1846, https://exhibits.lib.unc.edu/exhibits/show/slavery/item/3363.

[16] Many thanks to Caroline Collins, Kacie England, Jennifer Gay, Claire Paluszak and Sydney Plummer for their exhaustive research on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s buildings and construction.

Posted in University Archives, University History | Comments Off on Slave Labor and Old East

Slave Labor and Old East

Building Old East, 1793-1795

On October 12, 1793, construction began on Old East, UNC’s first building and the first public university building in the United States. Slave labor was likely used for the construction of Old East, and used extensively in subsequent repairs and expansion.

The Building Committee made a contract with a white man named James Patterson, a university land donor and slaveholder, to oversee construction of Old East along with two other men serving as undertakers, George Lucas and Patrick St. Lawrence.[1] The building was completed in 1795, but repairs and additions to the building took place throughout the antebellum period.

One indication that enslaved workers worked on Old East’s initial construction comes from a letter written by Patterson in 1795. Patterson mentioned that several of his “own slaves” had painted the roof of Old East that same year, a task he lamented for its dangers and the risk to the slaves’ lives. In subsequent maintenance, repairs, and construction from 1804 onward, many enslaved men worked as carpenters, bricklayers, and plasterers on Old East. Most of them appear to have been owned by slaveholders affiliated with the university or hired from the surrounding area of Orange and Chatham counties.

The records created by free whites such as Patterson can often be frustratingly limited in detail regarding the enslaved black people tasked with the majority of construction. Whites proved primarily concerned with documenting and discussing enslaved people in terms of their economic value, meaning their monetary worth and productive output as unpaid laborers. Indeed, Patterson’s concern for his slaves’ safety stemmed largely from his concerns over losing “a valuable servant.”[2] He never mentioned any of his slaves by name, and while three slaves are tallied in the 1790 census as part of Patterson’s household, no one but Patterson himself was identified by name.

Expanding Old East, 1822

In 1822, a third story was added to Old East under the supervision of designer and builder William Nichols and with the significant aid of enslaved workers. Some of the enslaved men who repaired Old East appear as first names tallied on bills so that their white owners could receive compensation for their labors. Bob and Henry repaired Old East’s foundation and put in stone window sills, while Nelson and Allman worked on the gable ends and chimneys; “Masons Tony” repaired holes in the walls and worked on the roof, while Luke, Isaac, Jonathan, and Caplen all assisted carpenters and performed various general labor tasks.[3] John C. White, who assisted William Nichols with overseeing the repairs and the workmen, presented a bill totaling the enslaved men’s labor at about $395, equivalent to roughly $7,935.35 today. He specified that the payment was “to be paid their several owners,” indicating the continued practice of hiring slaves from the surrounding area.[4] Beyond their first names and costs of their labor, however, it is difficult to parse out much about these enslaved men as individual people.

Bills and receipts for the “boarding of hands” during this time appears to indicate that various townspeople housed white contractors’ and professionals’ slaves for extended periods of time to work on the university buildings.[5] If this was the case, it would mean that these workers were potentially separated from their families and communities for extended periods of time filled with difficult and grueling work. The unabated nature of such labor appears to have taken a toll on these men, several of whom appear on records from 1823 to 1826. A receipt from 1824 indicates that enslaved workers owned by Colonel William Polk and Judge Frederick Nash, both trustees of the university, worked on Old East and several other buildings on campus when normally they would be resting.[6] From November 1823 to January 1824, enslaved workmen Phillips, Daniel, Will, Sam, and Jacob conducted overtime work on “Holy days,” usually the only days which enslaved people received respites from their dawn to dusk labor, as well as “night work.”[7]  Phillips, Jacob, and Sam were noted as carpenters, and likely performed more skilled work, while Will and Daniel worked as sawyers to cut the wood. Isaac and Allen, whose owner is unknown, also worked as sawyers for the Old East repairs. Sterling and Ned also worked on Old East in some capacity, though the records do not clarify what they both did. Nimrod Ragsdale, a white brick maker who provided tens of thousands of bricks for the third story addition to Old East, as well as the construction of Old West, also employed his slaves Dick and Ned Peek to assist him in making and placing the bricks, and it is likely they too conducted work on Old East.[8]

As valuable laborers put to difficult and sometimes dangerous work, enslaved workers at the university appear to have occasionally received some medical treatment. In September 1823, William Nichols received a bill from “Cave” Yancey, potentially a physician by the name of Charles Yancey who lived in Orange County and worked in some capacity near or at the university. The bill listed several visits Yancey made to several named and unnamed enslaved workers, including Peter and Anderson. Throughout 1823, Yancey had administered unspecified medicines, as well as an emetic, treated “bleeding,” and even spent “24 hours attendance” at the side of one worker. In all, the cost was $16.25 to keep enslaved workers sound and functional.[9]

In 1825, in the midst of work on Old East and other university buildings, a man by the name of Joseph Hawkins placed an advertisement in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser offering a $50 reward for the capture and return of an unnamed runaway slave. Hawkins noted that the “cut-finger cad” had been hired “for most of the last two years” to William Nichols and worked at Chapel Hill. The man had likely absconded in order to find his wife, and carried with him distinct clothes and a dagger and pistol, rendering him potentially dangerous.[10] There is no way of knowing what ultimately caused the enslaved man to run away from his position as a hired hand, but perhaps an onerous schedule and the nature of construction work took a toll the man was no longer willing to bear. Perhaps he had been planning to escape for years and finally had an opportunity and the means to do so.

Expanding Old East, 1844-1845

The roof to Old East was repaired and covered with fireproof material in 1842, but this work was largely undocumented. In 1844, the Building Committee hired architect Alexander J. Davis and builders Isaac J. Collier and Kendall Waitt to lengthen both Old East and Old West.[11] The addition and repairs to Old East cost $9,454, or about $301,102.50 today.[12] Collier and Waitt’s contract specified that they were to provide the necessary materials and workers, called “chattels,” for which the white builders would ultimately be compensated.[13] Two highly skilled enslaved laborers, brothers Albert and Osborne, were hired to cover the new additions of Old East and Old West in plaster in 1845.[14] The brothers belonged to Dabney Cosby, himself a builder and brick mason who occasionally worked with Thomas Waitt, likely a relative of Kendall Waitt’s. Cosby owned at least 19 slaves according to the 1840 census, making him a wealthy man. According to Cosby, of the two brothers it was Albert upon whom the builders could “rely” because he performed “firstrate work, his Plaistering and roughcasting here has preference to any done in this part of the state.”[15] Albert’s skills as a plasterer earned him praise and specific mentions in Cobsy’s correspondence, emphasizing the particular importance whites ascribed to enslaved labor.

No other major repairs appear to have been made to Old East during the antebellum era. As the oldest structure on campus, Old East stands as a reminder of the university’s various roles in United States history. Original pieces of Old East, including its cornerstone, remain in the building today. It is thus worth considering the fact that the work conducted by enslaved people continues to shape and impact the university and its students. Enslaved people were fundamental to the creation of the University of North Carolina’s campus.[16]

 

[1] Battle, 46; OVCFB Records 40095 Series 4.1 Historical Financial Records, 1789 – 1919, Oversize Volume 5 Journal of the University of North Carolina, 1789-1859, p. 5

[2] University of North Carolina Papers, 1757-1935 (#40005), Series 1, Folder 8, James Patterson’s Request for Payment, August 18 1795, https://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc02-04/unc02-04.html.

[3] Perhaps one of the masons owned Tony, hence the moniker. Ibid, Folder #79, John C. White’s Bill for Labor of Negro Workmen, [1824], https://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc02-49/unc02-49.html.

[4] Ibid; “$395 in 1804 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 1 Feb. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/1804-dollars-in-2018?amount=395.

[5] University of North Carolina Papers, Series #1, Folder #79, To The University of N Carolina, By John [Thomas], For H Thomson, January 1823;  Folder #79, Of John [Beard], 7th February 1824; Folder #81, To Mrs. Mitchell, May 3 1823; To Magie Henderson, May 29 1823″; Folder #82, Trustees of University to Captain William Nichols for Bills, June 4 1823; To Captain Robert Anderson, From Chapel Hill, July 3 1823; Folder #83, Trio of letters by [Unclear], November 1823; Salley Mitchel, November 15 1823; Folder #84, Disbursements, 1823.

[6] Folder #86, Trustees of University from November 1 $23 up to the 1 of Jan 1, 1824; Building Committee of the University of North Carolina, March 1 1824; Folder #79, Labour of negroes on new building to 1st of Feby, 1823; Folder #104, Account of Money Owed William Nichols for Labor and Materials, September 1, 1826.

[7] Folder #79, Labour of negroes on new building to 1st of Feby, 1823.

[8] Folder #84, William Nichols to John Haywood, November 1823; Folder #85, To Nimrod Ragsdale for 33,279 bricks for old colege…; 66 days work of Dick on the Brick work…75 days work of Ned Peek.

[9] Folder #83, William Nichols by Jno Barr to Cave Yancey, Dr, Sept 15, 1823.

[10] Joseph Hawkins, “$50 Reward For Cut-Finger Cad,” Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (NC), Jan 30, 1825, http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/RAS/id/382/rec/6.

[11] University of North Carolina Papers, Letter from Alexander J. Davis to David L. Swain, April 17, 1844, https://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc02-33/unc02-33.html.

[12] Ibid, List of Building Specifications and Costs, Compiled by Alexander J. Davis for David L. Swain, [1844?], https://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc02-51/unc02-51.html; $9,454 in 1844 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 1 Feb. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/1844-dollars-in-2018?amount=9454.

[13] University of North Carolina Papers (#40005), Contract between the Board of Trustees and Collier & Waitt, December 20, 1844, https://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc02-52/unc02-52.html

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid, Dabney Cosby to Davis L. Swain, May 11, 1846, https://exhibits.lib.unc.edu/exhibits/show/slavery/item/3363.

[16] Many thanks to Caroline Collins, Kacie England, Jennifer Gay, Claire Paluszak and Sydney Plummer for their exhaustive research on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s buildings and construction.

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Exploring the History and Legacy of Slavery at the University of North Carolina

In 2005, the University Archives put on an exhibit on the history of slavery at UNC. The exhibit materials provided evidence of the use of enslaved laborers in the construction of early campus buildings and as servants for students and faculty, and showed how proceeds from the sale of slaves were used to finance the University. It was an important exhibit— one of the earliest of its kind—but it was only a first step.

After the exhibit came down, scholars and many UNC students have continued to explore the history and legacy of slavery at the University. Last semester, Professor Jim Leloudis led an undergraduate seminar focused on slavery at UNC. The students dug deep into the archives, looking through correspondence, account books, and campus and government records in search of documents that could help further our understanding of the history and legacy of slavery in the building and funding of the university from its founding in 1789 through the end of the Civil War.

This month, we will begin to share some of their findings. Caroline Newhall, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, has been sorting through the materials that the students in the undergraduate seminar uncovered and will be preparing short articles describing what they found and talking about the research process. As these articles are completed, we’ll share them on this blog. Caroline’s first post, about an 1829 runaway slave advertisement, was posted last week. Her work this semester is supported by the Chancellor’s Task Force on UNC-Chapel Hill History.

As with the 2005 exhibit, these articles will tell only a small part of the story of slavery at UNC. By sharing these documents and stories, we hope to provide a starting point and to encourage others, including faculty, researchers, family members, and especially students, to continue to explore the history and legacy of slavery at UNC.

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Exploring the History and Legacy of Slavery at the University of North Carolina

In 2005, the University Archives put on an exhibit on the history of slavery at UNC. The exhibit materials provided evidence of the use of enslaved laborers in the construction of early campus buildings, as servants for students and faculty, and showed how proceeds from the sale of slaves were used to finance the University. It was an important exhibit, one of the earliest of its kind, but it was only a first step.

After the exhibit came down, scholars and many UNC students have continued to explore the history and legacy of slavery at the University. Last semester, Professor Jim Leloudis led an undergraduate seminar focused on slavery at UNC. The students dug deep into the archives, looking through correspondence, account books, and campus and government records in search of documents that could help further our understanding of the history and legacy of slavery in the building and funding of the university from its founding in 1789 through the end of the Civil War.

This month, we will begin to share some of their findings. Caroline Newhall, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, has been sorting through the materials that the students in the undergraduate seminar uncovered and will be preparing short articles describing what they found and talking about the research process. As these articles are completed, we’ll share them on this blog. Caroline’s first post, about an 1829 runaway slave advertisement, was posted last week. Her work this semester is supported by the Chancellor’s Task Force on UNC-Chapel Hill History.

As with the 2005 exhibit, these articles will tell only a small part of the story of slavery at UNC. By sharing these documents and stories, we hope to provide a starting point and to encourage others, including faculty, researchers, family members, and especially students, to continue to explore the history and legacy of slavery at UNC.

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“Ran Off from the University,” 1829

Runaway slave advertisement placed by S.M. Stewart in the Hillsborough (N.C.) Recorder, November 29, 1829.

From the Hillsborough Recorder, 29 November 1829.

On November 20, 1829, a slave by the name of James abandoned his station as a “college servant” at the University of North Carolina. A few days later, one “S.M. Stewart” placed an advertisement in the Hillsborough Recorder, the Petersburg Intelligencer, and the Norfolk Herald in which he offered a $20 reward for James’s recovery.

The advertisement Stewart placed begins:

TWENTY DOLLARS REWARD. Ran off from the University, on the night of the 20th instant, a negro man by the name of JAMES, who has for the last four years attended at Chapel Hill in the capacity of a college servant.

There are at least two possible explanations for James’s presence in Chapel Hill. Until 1845, UNC students were allowed to bring enslaved servants with them to campus. However, the description of James as a “College Servant” could have meant that James also served other students on campus. Early UNC students paid a fee for “servant hire,” which the University used to lease servants from local slaveholders. The college servants were employed in a number of jobs, including cleaning the rooms, tending fires, cooking, caring for animals, and work on the grounds. Some well-known enslaved college servants, such as November Caldwell and David Barham, worked on the campus for many years and were remembered fondly by students. What little we know about James at this point we have to infer from ad:

He is of dark complexion, in stature five feet six or eight inches high, and compactly constructed; speaks quick and with ease, and is in the habit of shaking his head while in conversation. He is doubtless well dressed, and has a considerable quantity of clothing.

James is described in detail, not only regarding his physical appearance but his mannerisms and habits as well. The more detail provided about a runaway, the more likely the chance of success in someone recognizing them from the description. Complexion featured as the primary means of identification in slave advertisements, both for slave sales and for runaways — slave traders and slaveholders had developed a language that formalized apparent differences in skin tone into racial categories.[3] Thus the ad identifies James as “dark” and “compactly constructed,” (probably meaning he was somewhat thin) as well as of average height for the period.

It is presumed that he will make for Norfolk or Richmond with the view either of taking passage for some of the free states, or of going on and associating himself with the Colonization Society.

The fact that S.M. Stewart, who placed the ad, expected James to head for Norfolk or Richmond, both port cities, and went to the trouble of placing the same ad in those locales’ newspapers meant Stewart likely had, or presumed he had, some knowledge of James’s intentions. While many runaway advertisements emphasized enslaved peoples’ families as potential destinations, Stewart seemed sure that James would attempt to head to the free states via the Atlantic, or go so far as to book passage to Africa through the Colonization Society.

We can also infer that Stewart was especially interested in capturing James by the amount he offers as a reward.

A premium of twenty dollars will be given for the apprehension of said slave. The subscriber would request anyone who may apprehend the boy to direct their communications to Chapel Hill. S.M. Stewart. November 24.

In 1829, a $20 reward would be equivalent to about $500 today.[1] Stewart likely came from a wealthier family if he could afford to pay others to track down his escaped “servant,” and could provide a relatively substantial award.[2]

Who Was S.M. Stewart?

The man who placed the advertisement appears to have been Samuel M. Stewart, a young white man who attended UNC in the 1820s, earning a BA in 1823 and a master’s degree in July 1829.[4] We know more about Stewart than we do James due to a larger paper trail. The daily lives of enslaved people, particularly women and children, often prove difficult to reconstruct as a result of “archival silences” – gaps in what was documented and what documentation was preserved.[5] It is thus primarily through Stewart and the advertisement he placed that we can learn more about James.

Stewart hailed from nearby Chatham County in North Carolina, just a few miles from Chapel Hill, and first entered the university as an undergraduate freshman in 1820. He graduated from the university in 1823 with 29 other young men who became leaders in politics, business, religion, and education.[6] Per newspaper articles from the period, Samuel passed his exams but did not merit any honors as a scholar.[7] He was a member of the Dialectic Society; one of his musings on fame is available in Wilson Library.[8]

We have not yet been able to find any additional information about Stewart after he left UNC in 1829. His entry in the Alumni History of the University of North Carolina lists only the years he earned his degrees; there is no information about his life or career after he graduated. A search of North Carolina census records in 1820 names several potential Stewart households in Chatham and Orange counties. In order to narrow down the results, information such as the fact that Samuel M. Stewart would likely have been around 14 when he entered the university as a freshman can prove helpful.[9] A search for families with males between the ages of 10 and 18 narrows down the pool to three households in Orange County: Charles Stewart’s household, which consisted of 9 free whites and 6 enslaved blacks; Samuel Stewart’s (1) household, which consisted of 11 free whites and 5 enslaved blacks; and another Samuel Stewart (2), whose small household had only 3 free whites. Samuel Stewart (2) can probably be ruled out as the household to which Samuel M. Stewart belonged; as a non-slaveholding small farmer, Stewart (2) would have been unlikely to send his only son to a university in this period. However, it is possible that Samuel M. Stewart indeed hailed from this household, and that he hired James’s service as a servant from another slaveholder (a practice common among UNC’s students) after arriving in Chapel Hill.[10] Furthermore, the reward Samuel offered in the runaway advertisement indicates a certain degree of wealth that most small farmers’ sons would be unable to offer in this period. The 1830 census shows only one “Laml Stewart” household, but the males of the household are too young to have been the correct Samuel Stewart. It appears that Samuel M. Stewart departed from Chapel Hill between the time he placed the advertisement in November 1829 and the census was taken.

From the records we’ve examined so far, we do not know what happened to Stewart or to James. Neither one left an easy-to-follow paper trail, but there are still many possibilities for further research, including census records from other states, probate records, court records, and more. It is our hope that as we discover and share more about the history of slavery at the University, we can inspire and encourage others to explore further and help to expand our understanding of the role of slavery and enslaved people at UNC.

 

Suggested Further Reading

Freddie L. Parker, Running for Freedom: Slave Runaways in North Carolina, 1775-1840 (New York: Garland Publishing, 1993)

Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999)

John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999)

Thavolia Glymph, Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Edward Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (New York: Basic Books, 2014)

Manisha Sinha, The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016)

Daina Ramey Berry, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation (Boston: Beacon Press, 2017)

 

Notes

[1] “$20 in 1829 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, accessed Jan. 20, 2018,  http://www.in2013dollars.com/1829-dollars-in-2018?amount=20.

[2] John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 167-168.

[3] Walter Johnson, “The Slave Trader, the White Slave, and the Politics of Racial Determination in the 1850s,” The Journal of American History, Vol. 87, No. 1 (Jun 2000), 13-38.

[4] Freeman’s Echo (Wilmington, NC), Jul. 11, 1829.

[5] Enslaved people are not often found in the genealogical histories of the white families who bought them, enslaved them, and sold them. Nor were enslaved peoples’ names, birth dates, family members, professions, and addresses included in any census or in most records until after emancipation. Prior to 1870, only free black men entered the census record with names. From 1790 to 1860 the census only enumerated enslaved black people as part of whites’ personal wealth, and then by age, sex, and coloring. Enslaved people most often entered the historical record in glancing mentions made by literate whites in the antebellum era. Enslaved peoples’ further lack of control over their own names and homes as part of a paternalist and racialized slave system creates difficulties in locating particular individuals. Court cases, deeds, bills of sale, marriage records, county will books, probate records, and runaway slave advertisements remain the primary means by which to secure the names of slaves and details about their lives.

[6] Kemp Battle, History of the University of North Carolina, Volume I: From Its Beginning to the Death of President Swain, 1789-1868 (Raleigh: Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, 1907), 791.

[7] “University,” The Raleigh Minerva (Raleigh, NC), Jun. 30, 1820; “University of North Carolina,” The Hillsborough Recorder (Hillsborough, NC), Jun. 13, 1823.

[8] Samuel M. Stewart, “Inaugural Address, 26 March 1823,” Dialectic Society of the University of North Carolina Records, 1795-1964.

[9] Battle, 571.

[10] Ibid, 230.

[11] William Mebane, “Five Dollars Reward” North Carolina Journal (NC) Mar 3, 1797; Solomon Neville,  “Fifty Dollars Reward,” Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (NC), Sept 16, 1814; Solomon Neville, “Twenty Dollars Reward,” The Star (NC), Apr 5, 1811; Wyatt Ballard,  “Ran Away,” Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (NC), May 21, 1804; Charles King and Stephen Lloyd,  “Notice,” Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (NC), Oct 6, 1805.

[12] Christopher Barbee, “Ten Dollars Reward,” Hillsborough Recorder (NC), Jul 25, 1831; E. Mitchell, “Fifty Dollars Reward,” North Carolina Standard (NC), Mar 13, 1835; Charles R. Yancey, “30 Dollars Reward,” Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (NC), Jan 9, 1829; Louisa S. Thompson, “Fifty Dollars Reward, Stop the Runaways,” The Weekly Standard (NC), Aug 12, 1846; Joseph Hawkins, “$50 Reward for Cut-Finger Cad,” Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (NC), Feb 11, 1825.

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“Ran Off from the University,” 1829

Runaway slave advertisement placed by S.M. Stewart in the Hillsborough (N.C.) Recorder, November 29, 1829.

From the Hillsborough Recorder, 29 November 1829.

On November 20, 1829, a slave by the name of James abandoned his station as a “college servant” at the University of North Carolina. A few days later, one “S.M. Stewart” placed an advertisement in the Hillsborough Recorder, the Petersburg Intelligencer, and the Norfolk Herald in which he offered a $20 reward for James’s recovery.

The advertisement Stewart placed begins:

TWENTY DOLLARS REWARD. Ran off from the University, on the night of the 20th instant, a negro man by the name of JAMES, who has for the last four years attended at Chapel Hill in the capacity of a college servant.

There are at least two possible explanations for James’s presence in Chapel Hill. Until 1845, UNC students were allowed to bring enslaved servants with them to campus. However, the description of James as a “College Servant” could have meant that James also served other students on campus. Early UNC students paid a fee for “servant hire,” which the University used to lease servants from local slaveholders. The college servants were employed in a number of jobs, including cleaning the rooms, tending fires, cooking, caring for animals, and work on the grounds. Some well-known enslaved college servants, such as November Caldwell and David Barham, worked on the campus for many years and were remembered fondly by students. What little we know about James at this point we have to infer from ad:

He is of dark complexion, in stature five feet six or eight inches high, and compactly constructed; speaks quick and with ease, and is in the habit of shaking his head while in conversation. He is doubtless well dressed, and has a considerable quantity of clothing.

James is described in detail, not only regarding his physical appearance but his mannerisms and habits as well. The more detail provided about a runaway, the more likely the chance of success in someone recognizing them from the description. Complexion featured as the primary means of identification in slave advertisements, both for slave sales and for runaways — slave traders and slaveholders had developed a language that formalized apparent differences in skin tone into racial categories.[3] Thus the ad identifies James as “dark” and “compactly constructed,” (probably meaning he was somewhat thin) as well as of average height for the period.

It is presumed that he will make for Norfolk or Richmond with the view either of taking passage for some of the free states, or of going on and associating himself with the Colonization Society.

The fact that S.M. Stewart, who placed the ad, expected James to head for Norfolk or Richmond, both port cities, and went to the trouble of placing the same ad in those locales’ newspapers meant Stewart likely had, or presumed he had, some knowledge of James’s intentions. While many runaway advertisements emphasized enslaved peoples’ families as potential destinations, Stewart seemed sure that James would attempt to head to the free states via the Atlantic, or go so far as to book passage to Africa through the Colonization Society.

We can also infer that Stewart was especially interested in capturing James by the amount he offers as a reward.

A premium of twenty dollars will be given for the apprehension of said slave. The subscriber would request anyone who may apprehend the boy to direct their communications to Chapel Hill. S.M. Stewart. November 24.

In 1829, a $20 reward would be equivalent to about $500 today.[1] Stewart likely came from a wealthier family if he could afford to pay others to track down his escaped “servant,” and could provide a relatively substantial award.[2]

Who Was S.M. Stewart?

The man who placed the advertisement appears to have been Samuel M. Stewart, a young white man who attended UNC in the 1820s, earning a BA in 1823 and a master’s degree in July 1829.[4] We know more about Stewart than we do James due to a larger paper trail. The daily lives of enslaved people, particularly women and children, often prove difficult to reconstruct as a result of “archival silences” – gaps in what was documented and what documentation was preserved.[5] It is thus primarily through Stewart and the advertisement he placed that we can learn more about James.

Stewart hailed from nearby Chatham County in North Carolina, just a few miles from Chapel Hill, and first entered the university as an undergraduate freshman in 1820. He graduated from the university in 1823 with 29 other young men who became leaders in politics, business, religion, and education.[6] Per newspaper articles from the period, Samuel passed his exams but did not merit any honors as a scholar.[7] He was a member of the Dialectic Society; one of his musings on fame is available in Wilson Library.[8]

We have not yet been able to find any additional information about Stewart after he left UNC in 1829. His entry in the Alumni History of the University of North Carolina lists only the years he earned his degrees; there is no information about his life or career after he graduated. A search of North Carolina census records in 1820 names several potential Stewart households in Chatham and Orange counties. In order to narrow down the results, information such as the fact that Samuel M. Stewart would likely have been around 14 when he entered the university as a freshman can prove helpful.[9] A search for families with males between the ages of 10 and 18 narrows down the pool to three households in Orange County: Charles Stewart’s household, which consisted of 9 free whites and 6 enslaved blacks; Samuel Stewart’s (1) household, which consisted of 11 free whites and 5 enslaved blacks; and another Samuel Stewart (2), whose small household had only 3 free whites. Samuel Stewart (2) can probably be ruled out as the household to which Samuel M. Stewart belonged; as a non-slaveholding small farmer, Stewart (2) would have been unlikely to send his only son to a university in this period. However, it is possible that Samuel M. Stewart indeed hailed from this household, and that he hired James’s service as a servant from another slaveholder (a practice common among UNC’s students) after arriving in Chapel Hill.[10] Furthermore, the reward Samuel offered in the runaway advertisement indicates a certain degree of wealth that most small farmers’ sons would be unable to offer in this period. The 1830 census shows only one “Laml Stewart” household, but the males of the household are too young to have been the correct Samuel Stewart. It appears that Samuel M. Stewart departed from Chapel Hill between the time he placed the advertisement in November 1829 and the census was taken.

From the records we’ve examined so far, we do not know what happened to Stewart or to James. Neither one left an easy-to-follow paper trail, but there are still many possibilities for further research, including census records from other states, probate records, court records, and more. It is our hope that as we discover and share more about the history of slavery at the University, we can inspire and encourage others to explore further and help to expand our understanding of the role of slavery and enslaved people at UNC.

 

Suggested Further Reading

Freddie L. Parker, Running for Freedom: Slave Runaways in North Carolina, 1775-1840 (New York: Garland Publishing, 1993)

Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999)

John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999)

Thavolia Glymph, Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Edward Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (New York: Basic Books, 2014)

Manisha Sinha, The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016)

Daina Ramey Berry, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation (Boston: Beacon Press, 2017)

 

Notes

[1] “$20 in 1829 → 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, accessed Jan. 20, 2018,  http://www.in2013dollars.com/1829-dollars-in-2018?amount=20.

[2] John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 167-168.

[3] Walter Johnson, “The Slave Trader, the White Slave, and the Politics of Racial Determination in the 1850s,” The Journal of American History, Vol. 87, No. 1 (Jun 2000), 13-38.

[4] Freeman’s Echo (Wilmington, NC), Jul. 11, 1829.

[5] Enslaved people are not often found in the genealogical histories of the white families who bought them, enslaved them, and sold them. Nor were enslaved peoples’ names, birth dates, family members, professions, and addresses included in any census or in most records until after emancipation. Prior to 1870, only free black men entered the census record with names. From 1790 to 1860 the census only enumerated enslaved black people as part of whites’ personal wealth, and then by age, sex, and coloring. Enslaved people most often entered the historical record in glancing mentions made by literate whites in the antebellum era. Enslaved peoples’ further lack of control over their own names and homes as part of a paternalist and racialized slave system creates difficulties in locating particular individuals. Court cases, deeds, bills of sale, marriage records, county will books, probate records, and runaway slave advertisements remain the primary means by which to secure the names of slaves and details about their lives.

[6] Kemp Battle, History of the University of North Carolina, Volume I: From Its Beginning to the Death of President Swain, 1789-1868 (Raleigh: Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, 1907), 791.

[7] “University,” The Raleigh Minerva (Raleigh, NC), Jun. 30, 1820; “University of North Carolina,” The Hillsborough Recorder (Hillsborough, NC), Jun. 13, 1823.

[8] Samuel M. Stewart, “Inaugural Address, 26 March 1823,” Dialectic Society of the University of North Carolina Records, 1795-1964.

[9] Battle, 571.

[10] Ibid, 230.

[11] William Mebane, “Five Dollars Reward” North Carolina Journal (NC) Mar 3, 1797; Solomon Neville,  “Fifty Dollars Reward,” Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (NC), Sept 16, 1814; Solomon Neville, “Twenty Dollars Reward,” The Star (NC), Apr 5, 1811; Wyatt Ballard,  “Ran Away,” Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (NC), May 21, 1804; Charles King and Stephen Lloyd,  “Notice,” Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (NC), Oct 6, 1805.

[12] Christopher Barbee, “Ten Dollars Reward,” Hillsborough Recorder (NC), Jul 25, 1831; E. Mitchell, “Fifty Dollars Reward,” North Carolina Standard (NC), Mar 13, 1835; Charles R. Yancey, “30 Dollars Reward,” Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (NC), Jan 9, 1829; Louisa S. Thompson, “Fifty Dollars Reward, Stop the Runaways,” The Weekly Standard (NC), Aug 12, 1846; Joseph Hawkins, “$50 Reward for Cut-Finger Cad,” Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (NC), Feb 11, 1825.

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The Avery Incident, 1977

On April 22, 1977, Brooksie Harrington wrote a letter to The Daily Tar Heel about an event that occurred as he hurried past Avery dorm three days prior.

As I passed, I was bombarded with racial slurs and obscenities. Now if I had been as utterly stupid as the person shouting, I would have gladly sought him out and beat him senseless. But the coward shouted from one of the upper floors. Not only that but I was drenched with water, as some of the guys threw water from the upper windows. (DTH 4/22/1977)

As it turned out, Brooksie wasn’t the only victim. Around midnight, a large group of black students fell victim to the assault after attending a Campus Governing Council meeting where they demanded increased student government funding. According to Black Ink, the official publication of the Black Student Movement, three groups of BSM members were pelted with “water bags and obscenities” (Black Ink 9/9/77). The organization sought to prosecute several residents of Avery with little success, insisting that the incident was racially motivated.

A 1977 collage of UNC African American students in an issue of Black Ink.

BSM Vice-Chairperson Phyllis Pickett didn’t buy that the event was a prank, asking, “[h]ow many people pass by [Avery] at 12:00, coming from the library or whatever? Definitely not enough to hit with such a large quantity of water” (Black Ink 9/9/1977).

An investigation was carried out by Lt. David Williams of the University Police, who filed a comprehensive report containing accusations by fifteen black students. The Student Attorney General at the time, Elton Floyd, decided not to prosecute the water balloon throwers because there was a “lack of sufficient evidence” (DTH 10/17/1977). Despite having insufficient evidence, Floyd held a report by the University Police for 6 months, a report containing signed confessions of involvement by seven of Avery’s residents. Each confessed to different degrees of involvement, but all insisted that the prank wasn’t a purposefully racist attack.

In his written deposition for the police, which was quoted in Black Ink, Avery resident Scott Young said “The Blacks totally blew this thing out of proportion and just wanted some added attention. Because of the Blacks’ falseness etc. of the facts concerning this incident, my opinion of the Black is considerably lower.” (Black Ink, 9/7/1977)

Another Avery resident, David Osnoe, said in his deposition, “There is no need for a BSM (Black Student Movement) because it is a separate, distinct, racist organization. It should be changed to be called ASM (All Students Movement) to promote brotherhood and friendship between all races here at the University” (Black Ink 9/9/1977). In 1977, fewer than 7% of students were African American.

Lt. Williams agreed with the Avery residents in his summary of the case: “The Avery Incident appears to have been a prank that later turned racial, rather than being racially motivated from the beginning.”  The confessions by the residents of Avery were inadmissible in Honor Court because the University Police told residents that statements wouldn’t be used against them for prosecution (DTH, 10/17/1977).

BSM chairperson Byron Horton said that he didn’t consider the Avery incident a closed case and that he would continue to push for the prosecution of those responsible “to eliminate recurrence of such incidents” (DTH 10/21/77). Despite Horton’s protests, Floyd only reiterated that the case was closed (DTH 10/26/77).

References:

Daily Tar Heel (articles cited above).

Black Ink (articles cited above).

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill records, 1945-1990 (bulk 1973-1980)
Finding aid: http://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/40301/

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The Avery Incident, 1977

On April 22, 1977, Brooksie Harrington wrote a letter to The Daily Tar Heel about an event that occurred as he hurried past Avery dorm three days prior.

As I passed, I was bombarded with racial slurs and obscenities. Now if I had been as utterly stupid as the person shouting, I would have gladly sought him out and beat him senseless. But the coward shouted from one of the upper floors. Not only that but I was drenched with water, as some of the guys threw water from the upper windows. (DTH 4/22/1977)

As it turned out, Brooksie wasn’t the only victim. Around midnight, a large group of black students fell victim to the assault after attending a Campus Governing Council meeting where they demanded increased student government funding. According to Black Ink, the official publication of the Black Student Movement, three groups of BSM members were pelted with “water bags and obscenities” (Black Ink 9/9/77). The organization sought to prosecute several residents of Avery with little success, insisting that the incident was racially motivated.

A 1977 collage of UNC African American students in an issue of Black Ink.

BSM Vice-Chairperson Phyllis Pickett didn’t buy that the event was a prank, asking, “[h]ow many people pass by [Avery] at 12:00, coming from the library or whatever? Definitely not enough to hit with such a large quantity of water” (Black Ink 9/9/1977).

An investigation was carried out by Lt. David Williams of the University Police, who filed a comprehensive report containing accusations by fifteen black students. The Student Attorney General at the time, Elton Floyd, decided not to prosecute the water balloon throwers because there was a “lack of sufficient evidence” (DTH 10/17/1977). Despite having insufficient evidence, Floyd held a report by the University Police for 6 months, a report containing signed confessions of involvement by seven of Avery’s residents. Each confessed to different degrees of involvement, but all insisted that the prank wasn’t a purposefully racist attack.

In his written deposition for the police, which was quoted in Black Ink, Avery resident Scott Young said “The Blacks totally blew this thing out of proportion and just wanted some added attention. Because of the Blacks’ falseness etc. of the facts concerning this incident, my opinion of the Black is considerably lower.” (Black Ink, 9/7/1977)

Another Avery resident, David Osnoe, said in his deposition, “There is no need for a BSM (Black Student Movement) because it is a separate, distinct, racist organization. It should be changed to be called ASM (All Students Movement) to promote brotherhood and friendship between all races here at the University” (Black Ink 9/9/1977). In 1977, fewer than 7% of students were African American.

Lt. Williams agreed with the Avery residents in his summary of the case: “The Avery Incident appears to have been a prank that later turned racial, rather than being racially motivated from the beginning.”  The confessions by the residents of Avery were inadmissible in Honor Court because the University Police told residents that statements wouldn’t be used against them for prosecution (DTH, 10/17/1977).

BSM chairperson Byron Horton said that he didn’t consider the Avery incident a closed case and that he would continue to push for the prosecution of those responsible “to eliminate recurrence of such incidents” (DTH 10/21/77). Despite Horton’s protests, Floyd only reiterated that the case was closed (DTH 10/26/77).

References:

Daily Tar Heel (articles cited above).

Black Ink (articles cited above).

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill records, 1945-1990 (bulk 1973-1980)
Finding aid: http://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/40301/

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