Creator of the Month… Cone Mills Corporation

From Cone Mills Corporation Records (Collection #5247)
From Cone Mills Corporation Records (Collection #5247)

[Each month we feature a “creator” of one of the SHC’s manuscript collections. In archival terms, a creator is defined as an individual, group, or organization that is responsible for a collection’s production, accumulation, or formation.]

Cone Mills Corporation (and predecessor Proximity Manufacturing Company and its other subsidiary and affiliated companies) manufactured denim and other textiles chiefly in North Carolina and South Carolina. Moses Herman Cone (1857-1908), Ceasar Cone (1859-1917), and other Cone family members began investing in the textile industry in the late nineteenth century and for much of the twentieth century were world leaders in textile manufacturing. Continue reading “Creator of the Month… Cone Mills Corporation”

Regulations to Govern the Teachers’ Homes, 1921-1922

Regulations for Teachers' Homes, by Charles L. Coon
Regulations for Teachers, by Charles L. Coon

This document, “Regulations to Govern the Teachers’ Homes,” 1921-1922, was prepared by Charles L. Coon, an early 20th-century education reformer and superintendent of Wilson County schools, in order to protect the the “property of the public” (apparently referring to the home itself) and the “health and good name of the teachers.” Some highlights include:

8.(d) The principal will not grant any teacher permission to leave the home on Saturday or Sunday nights to take rides or to make visits with a person of the opposite sex unless the couple is accompanied by a suitable chaperone.

8.(e) Dancing and card playing will not be permitted in the home, and the principal must not give any teacher permission to attend a dance or card party outside the teachers’ home.

8.(f) The great majority of all the pictures showing in the moving picture theaters are morally degrading or wholly unprofitable and far from uplifting and wholesome. A teacher who has only a small sense of her moral obligations and the influence of her example will hardly need a rule to guide her attendance on such places of public amusement.

Item comes from the Charles L. Coon Papers (#177 finding aid), Folder 135.

Holdings on minorities in NC libraries

Readings on minorities
“Readings on minorities in the United States, with emphasis on the negro,” 1948

The North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation Records (finding aid) contains a group of surveys done in 1948 to assess the holdings of NC public libraries related to minorities, especially African Americans. A list of titles was sent out to white and black libraries around the state, and librarians indicated which titles they had in their collection and sent them back.

Some libraries had none of these materials, though a few of them responded saying that they would turn the list over to their book committee. After thumbing through the surveys, the library with the most titles by far was the Stanford L. Warren Library of Durham (a page from their survey results is pictured at right). This should come as no great surprise, as Stanford L. Warren was North Carolina’s second black library, established in 1916 (the first was the Brevard Street Library for Negroes, which opened in Charlotte in 1905). The Stanford L. Warren Library is pictured at its former location in the postcard below (from North Carolina Postcards).

Durham Colored Library, ca. 1916-1930

Newly Revised and Described (11 July 2008)

Harry Lee Harllee Films (#4773)

Harry Lee Harllee was a naturalist, ornithologist, taxidermist, and founder of the Harllee Museum of Natural History in Florence, S.C. In 1927, he founded the Harllee Construction Company, also in Florence, S.C. In 1947, his nephew, Alexander McQueen Quattlebaum (1913-1987) joined the company as a partner, and it was renamed Harllee-Quattlebaum, Inc. The collection consists of 41 reels of silent, black and white, color and tinted 16-mm film, including both home movies and commercially released films. The home movies were shot, edited, and titled by Harry Lee Harllee. Subjects include members of the Harllee, Quattlebaum, Blackwell, and Dargan families; friends; former slaves; hunting and fishing scenes in North Carolina and South Carolina; Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, S.C.; members of the Woodstone Hunting Club; and trips to Washington, D.C., the Florida Keys, and Elon College, N.C., in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Many of the films are extensively edited and contain numerous intertitles identifying people and places. Some also have identifying information written on paper inserts or on their boxes. The commercially released films are primarily short nature documentaries.

Lawrence Foushee London Papers (#4958)

Papers of Lawrence Foushee London (1908-), a retired Curator of Rare Books at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an active member of Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill, N.C., and the Episcopal Church of North Carolina, and an avid family historian. The collection includes personal, church, and family papers documenting London’s relationships with family, friends, and colleagues, and his interest in research and preservation of church history and family history. Correspondence documents family life, including the experiences of his son, Alexander Claypoole London, at boarding school during the 1960s, and later in the Navy Hospital Corps during the Vietnam War; family history and church history research; the response to publication of London’s book on Bishop Joseph B. Cheshire; the experiences of friends serving in the South Pacific during World War II; friendships that grew from common interests in collecting Caruso recordings and bird watching; and the North Caroliniana Society Award that London received in 1991. There is a small amount of material relating to library administration matters. Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina materials document London’s efforts to research and preserve the history of the Diocese and the Chapel of the Cross (Chapel Hill, N.C.). London family papers chiefly consist of 18th- and 19th-century correspondence, indentures, deeds, and other papers of John R. London, Henry Adolphus London, William Lord London, and other family members. Included are deeds transferring ownership of slaves and land, and letters with news of family, business, and political affairs of various family members, chiefly in Chatham County, N.C. Civil War materials include letters from William Lord London regarding camp life and news at home and an 1863 muster roll for the 32nd North Carolina Regiment. Letters of Frank Marsden London to his parents document his art school experience and life in New York. Other materials include miscellaneous writings, a memorial, and genealogical materials.

Matthew Cary Whitaker Papers (#768)

Matthew Cary Whitaker was a physician and planter of Halifax County, N.C. The collection contains family correspondence and other materials, 1728-1870. Included are letters received by Whitaker when he was studying medicine in Baltimore, Md., 1823-1824, and bills, receipts, accounts, and business papers related primarily to plantation operations, including records of slave transactions. Items before 1823 are deeds, accounts, and other papers of the related Fort family, including letters concerning plantations in Lawrence County, Ala. Letters from Fort family members in Alabama to Hilliard Fort of Halifax County, N.C., indicate that Alabama land was more productive than North Carolina land and encourage him to speculate in unclaimed lands in Alabama. Letters to Matthew Whitaker from his brother, Spier Whitaker, and other family members discuss family news, Halifax County political news, opinions of presidential candidates, monetary and other changes made by President Andrew Jackson, and the rising price of grain due to scarcity in Europe. The Addition of 2006 contains correspondence between Whitaker and Fort family members and friends. Topics include family news, Halifax County news, plantation matters, and politics. Included is an 1864 letter from Jefferson Davis to Mrs. Ransom, a Whitaker family friend, discussing the whereabouts of her husband, Major General Robert Ransom Jr. The Addition also contains financial records and receipts including records of slave transactions.

Newly Revised and Described (21 May 2008)

Albert Coates Papers (#3818)

Albert Coates was director of the Institute of Government at the University, 1931-1962, and a professor in the University of North Carolina’s School of Law. The collection includes office and personal files of Albert Coates and his wife, Gladys Hall Coates. Boxes 1-6 contain materials, 1941-1965, relating to North Carolina nonprofit organizations apparently collected by Coates in preparation for a study of these agencies at the local administrative level. Included are annual reports and publications of a variety of social and community organizations, like the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts. Also included are materials about regional organizations arranged by place name, reports of various committees of the North Carolina Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, and information about other North Carolina and national agencies. Miscellaneous items included two original manuscripts by Coates, “The Many Lives of North Carolina Women,” and “Palingenesis: An Example.” Boxes 8-36 chiefly contain office files, many of which relate to Coates’s tenure with the Institute of Government at the University of North Carolina.

Edmiston, Kelley, and Flowers Family Papers (#5230)

The Edmiston, Flowers, and Kelley families, primarily of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, are related through the marriages of William Kelley (1844-1897) to Mary Seraphina Flowers Kelley (1844-1937), and their daughter, Olive Kelley Edmiston (1887-1979), to Paul C. Edmiston Sr. (1881-1927). William Kelley was a physician in Tallulah, La., in the 1880s and 1890s. The papers consist primarily of family correspondence and genealogical materials, chiefly from Mississippi and Louisiana, gathered by Edmiston family members. Correspondence chiefly consists of letters between Saraphina Brooks Flowers of Bovina, Miss., and her daughter, Mary Saraphina Flowers Kelley, 1867-1868; letters between William Kelley of Tallulah, La., and his wife, Mary Saraphina Flowers Kelley, 1878-1897; telegrams sent to William Kelley regarding yellow fever cases in Louisiana, 1880s-1890s; and letters between Olive Kelley Edmiston and her mother, Mary Saraphina Flowers Kelley, 1900-1915. Some letters are from girls in school in Mississippi or Louisiana in the mid-19th century and early 20th century; others relate to African Americans in 19th-century Louisiana. Also included is a 1864 letter from Saraphina Brooks Flowers regarding her visit to the Union Army prison in Rock Island, Ill., where her son, a soldier serving with a Mississippi regiment, was a prisoner; an autograph album of William Kelley containing signatures of friends and acquaintances; naval records and other papers of Paul C. Edmiston Jr. serving as a naval radio officer, 1940s-1950s; photographs of various Edmiston and Flowers family members, 1850s-1950s; and a photograph album belonging to Olive Kelley Edmiston, circa 1900-1910, with some images of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Saint Louis, Mo. Genealogical materials include notes, prepared works, and a compact data disc documenting the lineage of the Edmiston, Kelley, and Flowers families.

John Burgwyn MacRae (#478)

John Burgwyn MacRae of Jackson, Northampton County, N.C., son of Episcopal rector Cameron F. MacRae and Julia Burgwyn MacRae, was a lawyer, owner of a large Roanoke River plantation, and diarist. The collection includes MacRae’s nine-volume daily diary, 1883-1916; letterpress copy books, 1886-1896, of MacRae; speeches by MacRae; and miscellaneous volumes and papers. The diary describes day-to-day life and events in Jackson, including including MacRae’s long-term relationship with a local African-American woman, his fishing expeditions, and his work as a steward in the State Penitentiary in Raleigh, N.C. Among others discussed in the diary are various members of the Burgwyn family and Matt Whitaker Ransom (1826-1904). Also included are letters, 1869-1870, from Kate MacRae to her father Cameron MacRae describing her travels in Europe; class notes from the University of North Carolina, 1886; a baseball club treasurer’s book and constitution, 1883; an account book, 1880-1889, containing accounts for meat, corn, cotton, and other goods; and political speeches and addresses given by MacRae at Confederate reunions and Masonic, Episcopal Church, and other organization meetings.

Miscellaneous Papers (#517)

Single or small groupings of items arranged in units by provenance. Included are tax forms, records of accounts, slave lists and bills of sale, land patents, schedules of debt, wills, marriage licenses, naturalization papers, invitations, proclamations, commissions, sermons, speeches, and reminiscences, predominantly from North Carolina, Virginia, and other southern states. There is little correspondence.

Mordecai Family Papers (#847)

Mordecai family of Warrenton and Raleigh, N.C., and Richmond, Va. Prominent family members included Jacob Mordecai (1762-1838); his sons Samuel (1786-1865), Solomon (1792-1869), and George W. (1801-1871); and his daughters Ellen (1790-1884), Emma (1812-1906), and Rachel Mordecai Lazarus (1788-1838). The collection consists of primarily personal letters (bulk 1810-1850) containing detailed information about family, social, and local events in Richmond and Petersburg, Va.; Raleigh, Warrenton, and Wilmington, N.C.; and Mobile, Ala. Subjects include the Mordecai Female Academy at Warrenton, N.C., 1809-1818; correspondence between Rachel Mordecai Lazarus and novelist Maria Edgeworth; activities in Virginia, North Carolina, and New Orleans during the War of 1812; travels of family members; Judaism; Ellen Mordecai’s writing and publishing; and births, deaths, and domestic activities. Emma Mordecai’s journal, 1864-1865, chronicles the fall of Richmond, Va. The Addition of January 2007 includes personal letters between family members; 1816 letters by Maria Edgeworth and Richard Lovell Edgeworth responding to Rachel Mordecai Lazarus’s letter concerning Edgeworth’s literary treatment of Jews; and reminiscences, song lyrics, and fragments. The Addition of September 2007 includes letters written to and by Mordecai family members, 1865 and 1916-1917, and one poem dated 1945.

Sam Ragan Papers (#4490)

Samuel Talmadge Ragan (1915-1996) was managing and executive editor of the News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 1948-1969; editor and publisher of The Pilot (Southern Pines, N.C.), 1969-1996; award-winning poet; writing teacher; and supporter of the arts in North Carolina. Ragan served as the first secretary of the North Carolina Department of Art, Culture, and History from 1972 to 1973. In 1982, he was named Poet Laureate of the state of North Carolina by Governor James B. Hunt. He was also chair of the North Carolina Arts Council, chair of the North Carolina Writers’ Conference, and president of the Friends of Weymouth, which operates the Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities in Southern Pines. Ragan died at his home in Southern Pines on 11 May 1996. Papers document Sam Ragan’s career as a journalist and his role as patron of the arts in North Carolina. Correspondence files include materials relating to newspaper organizations, the North Carolina Arts Council, North Carolina Writers’ Conference, North Carolina Writers’ Network, and the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities. Subject files include information about the Freedom of Information Act and on the Free Press-Fair Trial confrontation of 1968, along with correspondence from various North Carolina writers. Writings include materials regarding Ragan’s The Tree in the Far Pasture (Blair, 1964), typescripts of commentaries from “Sam Ragan Reports,” which aired on WTVD television in Durham, and drafts of works by other writers. There are also materials relating to Ragan’s tenure at the News and Observer, typescripts of the columns, and letters to the editor used on the editorial page of The Pilot. Financial information chiefly relates to the The Pilot. Also included are photographs of Sam Ragan alone and with others and recordings of North Carolina Writers’ Conference banquet dinners.

David L. Swain Papers (#706)

David L. Swain was governor of North Carolina, president of the University of North Carolina, and a state legislator. The collection includes correspondence relating to Swain’s position as president of the University of North Carolina; his interest in the history of North Carolina in the colonial, Revolutionary War, and early national periods; and his activity as a collector of historical manuscripts. Also included are scattered items on politics and on railroad promotion in North Carolina and South Carolina. The few items of earlier and later dates are miscellaneous and family materials, with little relating to Swain’s active political career. Papers include correspondence with prominent state leaders and men of national importance in the fields of education and history, including William A. Graham, William H. Battle, William H. Haywood, Elisha Mitchell, John Motley Morehead, Thomas Ruffin, William W. Holden, Charles Phillips, and Cornelia Phillips Spencer. The volume, 1855-1868, contains accounts of debts owed to Swain and a list of his slaves. Also included are typed transcriptions of Swain correspondence, 1827-1868, probably prepared by former Southern Historical Collection Curator Carolyn Wallace as part of her research on Swain in the mid-1970s. These are not transcriptions of the original correspondence in these papers, but are likely transcriptions of original Swain materials held in the North Carolina Collection (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and elsewhere.

Alfred M. Waddell Papers (#743)

Alfred M. Waddell was an author, historian, lawyer, Confederate Army officer, United States Representative, 1871-1879, and mayor of Wilmington, N.C., 1898-1905. The collection includes correspondence, writings, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous papers of Alfred M. Waddell. The bulk of the collection, 1875-1900, consists of correspondence with national and state Democratic Party leaders and members of the Cameron family and other prominent North Carolina families, legal correspondence, manuscripts and clippings of writings and speeches of a religious, literary, political, or historical nature, genealogical research into the DeRosset, Waddell, Moore, and Myers families, and correspondence with other writers and historians. There are some papers related to Waddell’s service in the Confederate Army during the Civil War with the 41st North Carolina Infantry Regiment, as well as his activities as mayor of Wilmington, N.C., especially his involvement in the white supremacy campaign and Wilmington Race Riot of 1898. Also included are a few colonial and early nineteenth-century papers of the related DeRosset, Moore, Nash, and Waddell families of Hillsborough, N.C., and Wilmington, N.C. Volumes in the collection include a letterpress copybook, 1886-1894, of Waddell’s law office; a recipe book, 1890, and scrapbooks belonging to Gabrielle (DeRosset) Waddell related to her involvement in the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Colonial Dames; and two notebooks belonging to Hugh Waddell, one containing notes on legal subjects, 1820s, and another containing notes on art, architecture, and classical literature.