Salisbury women take command of homefront

On this day in 1863: Hungry and unable to pay inflated prices, 75 Salisbury women, most of them wives of Confederate soldiers, arm themselves with axes and go in search of hoarded food.

The railroad agent turns them away from the depot, claiming he has no flour. They break into a warehouse, taking 10 barrels, and find seven more at a store. After coming up empty at a government warehouse, they collar a suspected speculator and relieve him of a bag of salt.

The women then return to the depot, storm past the uncooperative agent and claim 10 more barrels of flour.

Soon after, a farmer arrives at the station with a wagonload of tobacco for shipment. When the agent tells him about the rampaging women, according to a contemporary account, the farmer hurriedly drives off, “fearful that they would learn to chew.”


World rankings show UNC’s reputation sliding

Academics falls outside my usual hodgepodge of interests, but I couldn’t help noticing — hat tip, — the 2013 World Reputation Rankings published by Times Higher Education.

According to the magazine, “The world’s largest invitation-only academic opinion survey [is intended] to provide the definitive list of the top 100 most powerful global university brands…. The table is based on nothing more than subjective judgement — but it is the considered expert judgement of senior, published academics — the people best placed to know the most about excellence in our universities.”

In 2013, UNC Chapel Hill is included among those colleges clustered between Nos. 51 and 60 — a position most colleges can only envy, of course. In 2012, however, UNC ranked No. 46 and in 2011 No. 41.

Does anyone dispute that this decline in reputation is real?… Or that it is justified?


Recipes from the collection in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's salad - Favorite Recipes of Women's Fellowship of The United Church

St. Patrick’s Salad from Favorite recipes.

Irish Pigs in Blanket-The Pantry Shelf

Irish Pigs in Blanket from The Pantry shelf : 1907-1982.

Green Punch - The Charlotte Cookbook

Green Punch from The Charlotte cookbook.

Mrs. Coyle's Irish bread - Classic Cookbook of Duke Hospital

Mrs. Coyle’s Irish Bread from Classic cookbook.

Top of the Morning Muffins - Pass the Plate

Top of the Morning Muffins from Pass the plate : the collection from Christ Church.

Whiskey Balls - Favorite Recipes of the Lower Cape Fear

Whiskey Balls from Favorite recipes of the Lower Cape Fear.

Whiskey sour punch - The Charlotte Cookbook

Whiskey Sour Punch from The Charlotte cookbook.

Artifacts of the Month: 1960s UNC Cheerleading mementos

Last month we did what so many do this time of year: We devoted our attention to college basketball.

This month we turn our focus to another group of athletic students who are equally agile but far too often unsung: cheerleaders. This month we bring you not just one but three artifacts, all of them from a UNC cheerleader who graduated in 1968.

cheerleader's sweater

This sweater, a bit darker than the Carolina blue we see these days, features a very realistic-looking Rameses (the UNC mascot).

football program

In this framed program from a UNC-Duke football game, two cheerleaders accompany the real live Rameses into the stadium. The cheerleader on the left is Jack Betts, the donor of these artifacts and the sweater’s former owner. Betts followed in the footsteps of his uncle Henry Betts, who had been a cheerleader at UNC in the early 1930s.


Our third artifact is this megaphone, which is about two-and-a-half feet long and, as the photo shows, in less-than-great shape. Betts explains that members of the squad would beat on their megaphones to generate noise during games — the reason for the wear and tear.

Jack Betts attended UNC from the fall of 1964 to the spring of 1968. He fondly recalls being a cheerleader during the time when the basketball team moved from the much-smaller Woollen Gymnasium to Carmichael Arena, which seated just over 8,000 people. The thrill of being right on the court, of watching the games from such a short distance, he says, was dizzying.

The staff of the NCC Gallery will never know the excitement of standing on the court during a nail-biting game. But as far as we’re concerned, the thrill of adding these great artifacts to our collection is excitement enough.

Pie recipes from the collection for 3/14.

Pie poem - Favorite Recipes of Women's Fellowship of the United Church

From Favorite recipes.

Banana Split Pie-Granny's Drawers

Banana Split Pie from Granny’s drawers : four generations of family favorites.

Mile High Pie-Home Cookin'Mile High Pie from Home cookin’.

Hamburger Corn Pone Pie - Just Like Grandma Used to Make

Hamburger Corn Pone Pie from Just like Grandma used to make.

chinese gooseberry lime pie - Columbus County Cookbook II

Chinese Gooseberry Lime Pie from Columbus County cookbook II.

seaman's pie - What's Cook'n at Biltmore

Seaman’s Pie from What’s cook’n at Biltmore.

Soda Cracker Pie - High Hampton Hospitality

Soda Cracker Pie from High Hampton hospitality.

Apple stack pie - Mountain Makin's in the Smokies

Apple Stack Pie from Mountain makin’s in the Smokies : a cook book.

North Carolina Newspapers Selected for Digitization

North Carolina Historic Newspapers recently finalized its list of newspaper titles on microfilm to digitize as part of its partnership with the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The project’s advisory board met in the fall of 2012 to make a preliminary list of titles based on research value, geographic representation, temporal coverage and other selection criteria as defined by the NDNP. Project staff then inspected the selected titles’ microfilm for conformance to the NDNP’s technical requirements. The finalized list is comprised of 21 newspaper titles totaling 100,000 pages of North Carolina newspapers dating from 1836 – 1922. The digitized newspaper pages will be added incrementally to the Library of Congress’ collection of historic American newspapers on the Chronicling America website, with all pages to be delivered to the Library of Congress by the summer of 2014.

Runs from the following titles will be digitized:

  • Watauga Democrat, Boone
  • The North-Carolina Standard, Raleigh
  • The Asheville Citizen, Asheville
  • The Independent, Elizabeth City
  • Newbern Weekly Progress, New Bern
  • The Charlotte Democrat, Charlotte
  • Tarboro Press, Tarboro
  • Rockingham Post-Dispatch, Rockingham
  • Fisherman & Farmer, Edenton and Elizabeth City
  • The Review, High Point
  • The French Broad Hustler, Hendersonville
  • The Durham Daily Globe, Durham
  • The Semi-weekly Messenger, Wilmington
  • The Sun, Fayetteville
  • Journal of Freedom, Raleigh
  • The Gold Leaf, Henderson
  • The Weekly Caucasian, Clinton, Goldsboro and Raleigh
  • The Progressive Farmer, Winston and Raleigh
  • The Western Democrat, Charlotte
  • Wilmington Journal, Wilmington
  • Cherokee Scout, Murphy

Project titles distributed across North Carolina can be found on this map:

North Carolina Historic Newspapers Available via Chronicling America
North Carolina Historic Newspapers Available via Chronicling America.


North Carolina Historic Newspapers has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: We the People. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this post do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

National Endowment for the Humanities

‘Great Agnostic’ set high standard for miracles

“When I say I want a miracle, I mean by that, I want a good one. All the miracles recorded in the New Testament could have been simulated. A fellow could have pretended to be dead, or blind, or dumb, or deaf….

“I would like to see a miracle like that performed in North Carolina. Two men were disputing about the relative merits of the salve they had for sale.

“One of the men, in order to demonstrate that his salve was better than any other, cut off a dog’s tail and applied a little of the salve to the stump, and, in the presence of the spectators, a new TAIL grew out.

“But the other man, who also had salve for sale, took up the piece of tail that had been cast away, put a little salve at the end of that, and a new DOG grew out, and the last heard of those parties they were quarreling as to who owned the second dog.

“Something like that is what I call a miracle.”

— From an interview with Robert Ingersoll in the Pittsburgh Dispatch (Dec. 11, 1880)

Susan Jacoby notes in her recent biography, “The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought,” that “Between 1874 and his death in 1899, Ingersoll spoke in every state except Mississippi, North Carolina and Oklahoma.”


Where’s Hugh Bennett? Climate debate needs him!

“It’s one thing to persuade hipsters in Portland, Ore., or Brooklyn to grow organic — hey, how cool is an artisan radish — in their rooftop gardens. It’s a much tougher push to get Big Ag, made up mostly of stubborn older men, to change its ways.

“But imagine if a farmer led the cause against climate change. Franklin Roosevelt chose Hugh Bennett, a son of the North Carolina soil, to rally Americans against the abusive farming practices that led to the Dust Bowl. Big Hugh was blunt, smart and convincing. ‘Of all the countries in the world, we Americans have been the greatest destroyers of land of any race of people,’ he said, without apology.

— From “Hicks Nix Climate Fix” by Timothy Egan in the New York Times (March 7) 

For a little more background on the too-seldom-remembered Bennett (UNC, Class of 1903), click here.

For a lot more, click here.


Delightful recipes from the collection.

Deer hunter's delight - Buffet Benny's

Deer Hunter’s Delight from Buffet Benny’s family cookbook : recipes, stories & poems from the Appalachian Mountains.

Sherry Delight - Favorite Recipes of the Lower Cape Fear

Sherry Delight from Favorite recipes of the Lower Cape Fear.

Broccoli Delight - Love Yourself Cookbook

Broccoli Delight from Love yourself cookbook : easy recipes for one or two.

Afternoon Delight Dessert - Granny's Drawers

Afternoon Delight Dessert from Granny’s drawers : four generations of family favorites.

Delight cocktail - Kitchen Kapers

Delight Cocktail from Kitchen kapers.

Moby Dick's Delight - Pass the Plate

Moby Dick’s Delight from Pass the plate : the collection from Christ Church.

Big Al's Crab Dip Delight - Tarheels Cooking for Ronald's Kids

Big Al’s Crab Dip Delight from Tarheels cooking for Ronald’s kids.

Bourbon Delight-Vegetarian Delights

Bourbon Delight from Vegetarian delights : a hearty collection of natural food recipes.