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/

Posted in University Archives, University History | Comments Off on The Avery Incident, 1977

High Noon Society, 1974

On November 19, 1974, a group of parents took it upon themselves to write Chancellor Ferebee Taylor an ultimatum: “It is the consensus of my husband, myself, and a large number of our friends (including several attorneys), that if action is not taken to stop this illegal activity on state-owned property that we may bring suit against the university…”

An image from The Daily Tar Heel opinion page. (DTH, 10/18/1974)

The source of the writer’s ire is an organization known as the High Noon Society. The purpose of the club, as reported by its 227 members in the October 25, 1974 issue of The Daily Tar Heel, was to gather at the Bell Tower or Forest Theatre and “take it easy.” Students would form a crowd and just get to know each other, relaxing and taking a moment to unwind from the stress of academics. So why did the club attract so much attention from concerned parents?

Mostly it was because of the marijuana.

The Daily Tar Heel reported that the club was a group that “smoke[s] pot and socializes on Fridays at noon,” and they certainly weren’t wrong. (DTH, 1/10/1975) “To imply that there is no marijuana smoked would be less than candid,” admitted even a letter defending the club. (DTH, 10/25/1974) High Noon quickly became famous as High Noon, and the publicity caused it to blossom from a dozen members at its formation to a large gathering approaching 300 members.

News release from the Dean of Student Affairs Donald Boulton, 9 January 1975.

By early January 1975, press coverage and public interest had pushed UNC’s administration into action. A mysterious plan was announced to “halt the marijuana use of the High Noon group,” but its members were unphased. The club met that Friday and smoked pot anyway, and the university put its plan into action. Several photographers were placed atop Wilson Library to photograph around 50 of the Nooners entering the Bell Tower lawn. The Daily Tar Heel reported that an assistant dean of student life admitted that surveillance was part of the plan to end the smoking. (DTH, 1/10/1975)

At the same time photographers were spying on them, leaders of High Noon held a conference with 30 members about alternatives to smoking pot. A High Noon with beer or liquor rather than weed was an idea tossed around for a while. The group then remembered that public consumption of alcohol is also against North Carolina law. Around half the Nooners smoked pot after the photographers left, blazing it even in the face of adversity. (DTH, 1/13/1975)

Several Chapel Hill lawyers declared that the photos would have no value in court, mostly because it was impossible to tell whether the club was smoking tobacco or weed. One lawyer went so far as to call photographing High Noon “the most incredible, mind-boggling invasion of civil liberties [he’s] seen in a long time.” (DTH, 1/17/1975)

The Chapel Hill town council later met with the police to discuss the photos. It’s unclear how the meeting ended, but the High Noon Society disbanded shortly thereafter, ending its short (but dramatic) life. It’s not easy being green.

References:

“High Noon, 1974” in the Office of Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Nelson Ferebee Taylor Records #40023, University Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Finding aid: http://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/40023/

Various articles from The Daily Tar Heel cited above.

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High Noon Society, 1974

On November 19, 1974, a group of parents took it upon themselves to write Chancellor Ferebee Taylor an ultimatum: “It is the consensus of my husband, myself, and a large number of our friends (including several attorneys), that if action is not taken to stop this illegal activity on state-owned property that we may bring suit against the university…”

An image from The Daily Tar Heel opinion page. (DTH, 10/18/1974)

The source of the writer’s ire is an organization known as the High Noon Society. The purpose of the club, as reported by its 227 members in the October 25, 1974 issue of The Daily Tar Heel, was to gather at the Bell Tower or Forest Theatre and “take it easy.” Students would form a crowd and just get to know each other, relaxing and taking a moment to unwind from the stress of academics. So why did the club attract so much attention from concerned parents?

Mostly it was because of the marijuana.

The Daily Tar Heel reported that the club was a group that “smoke[s] pot and socializes on Fridays at noon,” and they certainly weren’t wrong. (DTH, 1/10/1975) “To imply that there is no marijuana smoked would be less than candid,” admitted even a letter defending the club. (DTH, 10/25/1974) High Noon quickly became famous as High Noon, and the publicity caused it to blossom from a dozen members at its formation to a large gathering approaching 300 members.

News release from the Dean of Student Affairs Donald Boulton, 9 January 1975.

By early January 1975, press coverage and public interest had pushed UNC’s administration into action. A mysterious plan was announced to “halt the marijuana use of the High Noon group,” but its members were unphased. The club met that Friday and smoked pot anyway, and the university put its plan into action. Several photographers were placed atop Wilson Library to photograph around 50 of the Nooners entering the Bell Tower lawn. The Daily Tar Heel reported that an assistant dean of student life admitted that surveillance was part of the plan to end the smoking. (DTH, 1/10/1975)

At the same time photographers were spying on them, leaders of High Noon held a conference with 30 members about alternatives to smoking pot. A High Noon with beer or liquor rather than weed was an idea tossed around for a while. The group then remembered that public consumption of alcohol is also against North Carolina law. Around half the Nooners smoked pot after the photographers left, blazing it even in the face of adversity. (DTH, 1/13/1975)

Several Chapel Hill lawyers declared that the photos would have no value in court, mostly because it was impossible to tell whether the club was smoking tobacco or weed. One lawyer went so far as to call photographing High Noon “the most incredible, mind-boggling invasion of civil liberties [he’s] seen in a long time.” (DTH, 1/17/1975)

The Chapel Hill town council later met with the police to discuss the photos. It’s unclear how the meeting ended, but the High Noon Society disbanded shortly thereafter, ending its short (but dramatic) life. It’s not easy being green.

References:

“High Noon, 1974” in the Office of Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Nelson Ferebee Taylor Records #40023, University Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Finding aid: http://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/40023/

Various articles from The Daily Tar Heel cited above.

Posted in University Archives, University History | Comments Off on High Noon Society, 1974

58 and 0: a Clemson streak of frustration

The UNC Tar Heels will host the Clemson Tigers on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 in the Dean E. Smith Center on the Carolina campus.  The game will mark the 59th meeting between the two teams when playing in Chapel Hill.  Carolina has won all 58 of the previous Chapel Hill games, an NCAA record for the longest winning streak against a single opponent.  Morton Collection volunteer Jack Hilliard offers a look back at the Clemson streak of frustration.

Prolog

The Clemson frustration in never having won in Chapel Hill was summed up by Clemson Head Coach Rick Barnes following his loss in 1997.  When asked in the Clemson locker room after the game by a reporter, who obviously didn’t know Coach Barnes very well:  How do you explain your program’s head-shaking losing streak in Chapel Hill?  Said Barnes, “If you really need an explanation, take you’re a– out there and look up at the rafters.”

Front page headline from the 16 January 1926 issue of The Daily Tar Heel.: "Tar Heels Beat Clemson Tigers by 5–20 Score. South Carolinians Swamped by Getting Late Start In Game. Rowe's Boxers Perform. Entire Fourth Team Plays Last Part of Melee—Cobb, Hackney, Devin, and Dodderer Star.

Front page headline from the 16 January 1926 issue of The Daily Tar Heel.

It all started on Friday, January 15th, 1926, in a metal-constructed arena on the UNC campus called the Indoor Athletic Court (It would become known as the “Tin Can.”)  UNC’s “White Phantoms” (as the basketball team was often called in those days) beat Clemson College by thirty points, 50-20.  The student newspaper, “The Daily Tar Heel” called the point spread a “massacre.”

While the Carolina band blared the note of “Hark the Sound” and “Here Comes Carolina,” the Tar Heel tossers took the court and limbered up for the massacre.

Headline from the 4 January 1934 issue of The Daily Tar Heel: "White Phantoms Get Off To Fast Start In Opener Downing Clemson 38–26"

Headline from the 4 January 1934 issue of The Daily Tar Heel.

Seven seasons would pass before the two teams met in Chapel Hill again, in 1934.  This time Carolina won by twelve, with a final score of 38-26 as 2,500 fans packed the “Tin Can” to open the 1933-34 season.

The game on January 3rd, 1936 was the closest game to date in the Chapel Hill series.  Carolina won 24-23 in the final game played in the “Tin Can.”

When the two teams met in Chapel Hill for the fourth meeting in the series on February 1st, 1938, Carolina was hosting in Woollen Gym with a 44-34 win.  UNC would host and win the three games of the 1940s by double digits, winning the 1943 game by twenty, 52-32.

Clemson played twice at Chapel Hill during Morton’s years as a UNC student photographer.  Only once—UNC’s 47-30 win on February 19, 1940—when he would have been able to photograph the game.  Neither the student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, nor the nor the yearbook, The Yackety Yak, published a photograph from the game.  The second Clemson visit to Woollen Gym was on February 2, 1943, but Morton enlisted in the United States Army during the autumn of 1942 and only came back to campus to photograph for the yearbook on one occasion in October 1942.

Cover of the official gamely program for the 1952 Clemson College versus UNC basketball game, played in Woollen Gymnasium.

Cover of the official gamely program for the 1952 Clemson College versus UNC basketball game, played in Woollen Gymnasium.

Clemson traveled to Chapel Hill twice in 1952.  Saturday, January 5th, 1952 marked the eighth meeting between the two with another UNC win 65 to 59.  The following season, on December 10th, 1952 the series played out in Woollen Gym with a Tar Heel win, 82-55.  It would be UNC head coach Tom Scott’s only Carolina–Clemson game in Chapel Hill.

When Clemson came into Chapel Hill on December 19th, 1953, the two teams were now members of the newly formed Atlantic Coast Conference and Carolina’s new head coach Frank McGuire led his Tar Heels to a thirty-seven-point-victory, 85-48—the largest point difference in the series to date.

A thirty-three-point win in 1954 and a fifteen-point win in ’55 set the table for the famous 1956-57 championship season, which included a McGuire led Tar Heel win 86-54 on January 11th, 1957.

When Clemson came into Woollen Gym for the fourteenth meeting, on December 7th, 1957, something had been added.  Television producer C.D. Chesley had brought in his TV cameras for the first regular season ACC game ever and Carolina came away with a 79-55 win.

Coach McGuire and his Tar Heels met Clemson one more time in Chapel Hill during his time as coach, an 83-67 win on December 3rd, 1958.

On January 3rd, 1961, new Head Coach Dean Smith led Carolina to a 77-46 win—the first of twenty-eight Chapel Hill wins over Clemson during his Tar Heel tenure.  The Heels won by sixteen in 1962, and when Clemson came into Chapel Hill on December 1st, 1964 for the eighteenth meeting, they were no longer called Clemson College but were called Clemson University—but continued the losing streak, 77-59.

UNC's Dave Chadwick drives for a layup while Clemson players and Blue Heaven fans watch the action during the teams' 1971 pairing.

UNC’s Dave Chadwick drives for a layup while Clemson players and Blue Heaven fans watch the action during the teams’ 1971 pairing.

Coach Smith led his Tar Heels to double digit wins, in 1966, 1968 and 1971.  Photographer Hugh Morton was in place in Carmichael Auditorium (now called Carmichael Arena), for Carolina’s 1971 win, 92-72.  Surprisingly, it was Morton’s first coverage of a UNC–Clemson contest on a UNC basketball court.

Dale Gipple dribbling to the right side of the key during the 1971 Clemson at UNC basketball game.

Dale Gipple dribbling to the right side of the key during the 1971 Clemson at UNC basketball game.

When the two met in Chapel Hill for the twenty-second time on January 10th, 1973, Tar Heel broadcaster Woody Durham, “The Voice of the Tar Heels,” was in place for his first Carolina vs. Clemson-Tar Heel home game, a 92-58 Carolina win.  Woody would do play-by-play for the next 33 Carolina – Clemson games in Chapel Hill.

The games in 1974 and 1975 were one and two point wins respectfully for the Heels.  A fifteen-point-win in 1976 and a thirty-four-point-win in 1978 preceded another close one in 1980, 73-70.

The game on February 21st, 1981, saw the Heels win by fourteen, 75-61.

Carolina’s 1982 National Championship team beat Clemson 77-72 on January 27th, 1982 on their way to the national title. Tar Heel legend Michael Jordan played his first of two games against Clemson in Chapel Hill, scoring 14 points.

UNC legend Michael Jordan and possibly Murray Jarman look skyward in anticipation of action above the basket. The year of this image is not known.

UNC legend Michael Jordan and possibly Murray Jarman look skyward in anticipation of action above the basket. The year of this image is not known.

The wins in 1983 and ’85 closed out the era in Carmichael, and Hugh Morton was there for that last meeting on February 23rd, 1985—a thirty-four-point-victory, 84-50.

The Carolina vs. Clemson game on February 1st, 1986 was the first Chapel Hill meeting between the two in the Dean E. Smith Student Activity Center (often called the “Dean Dome”). Hugh Morton was there for this UNC-Clemson game as well as the next four meeting between the two, which included a thirty-six-point win in 1988 and Carolina’s first 100-point effort in the series on February 25th, 1989, 100-86.

UNC's Warren Martin #54 with the ball; UNC's Joe Wolf #24 in background during the 1986 Clemson at UNC matchup, their first in the "Dean Dome."

UNC’s Warren Martin #54 with the ball; UNC’s Joe Wolf #24 in background during the 1986 Clemson at UNC matchup, their first in the “Dean Dome.”

Two double-digit wins, in 1990 and 1991, were followed by another 100+ effort on January 9th, 1992, 103-69.

Carolina’s 1992-93 National Championship run contained a thirteen-point-win, 80-67 on February 17th, 1993 before 21,147 in the Smith Center. The ‘93 NCAA Championship would be Coach Dean Smith’s second national title.

The game number forty meeting in January, 1994, was a 44-point-winner, 106-62…Carolina’s largest victory margin of the Chapel Hill series.

Coach Smith closed out his career with double-digit-wins in ’95, ’96, and ’97 with Hugh Morton shooting from courtside at each game. Smith’s January 26th, 1997 win over Clemson was listed by UNC basketball author and historian Adam Lucas as the eighth top game in Smith Center history.

Bill Guthridge, Dean Smith’s assistant from 1967 until 1997, took over the head coaching duties beginning with the 1997–98 season. Coach Guthridge managed three wins over Clemson in Chapel Hill: 1998, 1999, and 2000.

When Clemson arrived in Chapel Hill on January 17th, 2001 for game number forty-seven in the series, new Tar Heel head coach Matt Doherty was in place and led the Heels to a twenty-seven-point-win, 92-65.  Coach Doherty would add two more Chapel Hill wins over Clemson in 2002 and 2003.

Current UNC Head Coach Roy Williams was on board for the fiftieth Carolina – Clemson-Chapel Hill meeting on March 2nd, 2004 and continued the winning ways with a 69-53 victory.

When the fifty-first meeting took place on February 19th, 2005, Carolina was on the way to another NCAA Championship.  That ’05 win was a thirty-two-point-blowout, 88-56. Coach Williams continued the winning streak with a 76-61 win on February 4th, 2006.

Although game number fifty-three on February 10th, 2008 was a ten-point winner, it was much closer than the final score might indicate.  At the end of regulation, the score was tied at 82.  After overtime number one it was 90-90.  And finally the Tar Heels were able to pull out the 103-93 win in the second overtime.  All-American Tyler Hansbrough led the way with 39 points and 13 rebounds.

The twenty-four-point-win on January 21st, 2009 was once again a stepping stone to a national title. Recent games fifty-five through fifty-eight have been double-digit wins for Coach Williams and his Tar Heels.  And that brings us to tonight’s fifty-ninth meeting between Clemson and Carolina in Chapel Hill.  Whoever wins game 59 . . . the streaks will continue or new ones will begin.

Corrections and clarifications

With the 87-79 UNC victory against Clemson on 21 January 2018, the streak did continue.  After the game we reviewed this post in light of the 1952 game-day program having been added to illustrate the article, and we discovered a few mistakes.  On February 5th, we made the following changes:

  • The phrase “UNC’s 47-30 win on February 19th” omitted the year, which was 1940.
  • Sources consulted had not listed the December 8, 1956 game as having been played in Charlotte, so we rewrote the sentence, “A thirty-three-point-win in 1954 and a fifteen-point-win in ’55, set up two Tar Heel wins heading into that famous 1956-57 NCAA Championship season when McGuire let the Heels to two more Chapel Hill wins over Clemson, 94-75 on December 8th, 1956 and 86-54 on January 11th, 1957.”  The sentence now only mentions the game played in Chapel Hill on January 11, 1957.
  • Clarified the phrase “Carolina’s first 100 point effort on February 25th, 1989, 100-86” to reflect it was the first “in the series,” not the first ever.
  • Corrected the game day for 2008 played on February 10th, not January 10th.
  • Corrected the game day for 2009 played on January 21st, not January 9th.
  • Corrected some typographical errors.
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