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Bemis Lumber Company records, 1927-1941 27.5 Linear Feet — 1500 Items

Bemis was originally incorporated in the State of Delaware on April 16, 1926 and succeeded by the Bemis Hardwood Lumber Company, a North Carolina Corporation, incorporated January 1, 1937. Collection houses correspondence and financial records of the Bemis Lumber Company.

The Bemis Lumber Company Records span the dates 1927-1941, and document through correspondence files and other records the early decades of this large company's activities. Through these records, aspects of lumber milling, indutrial railroads and shipping, and the lumber trade in Graham County, western North Carolina, and the effects of the Depression on workers and their local communities, including Robbinsville, are recorded in varying degrees of detail. Topics covered in the correspondence, chiefly sent to officials of the company from other companies, organizations, and company workers, include but are not limited to: insurance coverage, tax issues, worker safety and accidents, unemployment, parts and equipment, and government regulations, particularly for shipping and railroad operations. There are a significant number of letters from unemployed laborers looking for positions. There are references to logging in other states as well. Other company records come in the form of financial ledgers, banking records, personnel records, coupon books for employees (perhaps to purchase goods at the company store), accident reports, inspection reports, insurance policies, receipts, real estate and earnings reports, railroad records for the shortline owned by Bemis, and bills of lading.

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Benjamin Newton Duke (1855-1929) was a tobacco manufacturer, industrialist, and philanthropist of Durham, NC and New York, NY and a trustee and major benefactor of Trinity College (later Duke University). He was the son of Washington Duke, older brother of James B. Duke, husband of Sarah Pearson Angier Duke, and father of Angier Buchanan Duke and Mary Duke Biddle. The materials in this collection document the business, financial, philanthropic, and personal interests of Benjamin N. Duke and his family, especially Duke's involvement in the tobacco, textile, banking, and hydroelectric industries in North Carolina and New York and the Duke family's financial support of a variety of institutions, including educational institutions for African Americans and women, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and individual churches, orphanages, hospitals, and community organizations. The Richard B. Arrington series and Alexander H. Sands, Jr., series document the personal and financial interests of Benjamin N. Duke's private secretaries in New York, NY.

The papers of Benjamin Newton Duke have been collected from various sources over time and span the years 1834 to 1969, although the bulk of the material dates from 1890 to 1929. The materials in the collection document the business, financial, philanthropic, and personal interests of Benjamin N. Duke and his family in Durham, NC and New York, NY, especially Duke's involvement in the tobacco, textile, banking, and hydroelectric industries and the Duke family's financial support of a variety of institutions, including educational institutions for African Americans and women, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and individual churches, orphanages, hospitals, and community organizations. Types of material in the collection include correspondence, financial statements and ledgers, bills and receipts, architectural blueprints and drawings, land plats, deeds, photographs, photograph albums, scrapbooks, and a diary.

Family members represented include Sarah P. Duke, Angier Buchanan Duke, Mary Duke Biddle, Washington Duke, James B. Duke, Brodie L. Duke, Lida Duke Angier, and Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr. Other individuals represented include Julian S. Carr, William A. Erwin, John C. Kilgo, William P. Few, Daniel Lindsay Russell, James E. Shepard, and George W. Watts.

The Richard B. Arrington series and Alexander H. Sands, Jr. series document the personal and financial interests of Benjamin N. Duke's private secretaries in New York, NY.

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Cronly Family papers, 1806-1944 28 Linear Feet — 1,962 items

The Cronly family included Michael Cronly, Sr., auctioneer and real estate broker of Wilmington, N.C. and his wife, Margaret McLaurin Cronly and their nine children. Collection includes correspondence, legal papers, financial papers, writings, account books, volumes, clippings and printed material. It ranges in date from 1806-1944.

Correspondence, financial records, legal and other papers of the Cronly family. Subjects include auctions and auctioneering, Wilmington social life, Civil War experiences, the Wilmington, Charlotte and Rutherford Railway Company, railroad bonds issued in North Carolina during Reconstruction, an earthquake that struck the Carolinas in 1886, the Democratic Party and politics in North Carolina, and blacks during Reconstruction. Includes information on the Beatty, McLaurin and Murphy families of North Carolina, and descriptions of Charleston, Atlantic City (N.J.), Denver, Genoa (Italy), and the Hudson Fulton Celebration in New York City (1909). Correspondents include Thomas Walter Bickett, Jr., Harley Lyman Clarke, Stephen William Cole, Newton Martin Curtis, William Darius Jamieson, Herbert Putnam, Don Carlos Seitz, William Nathan Harrell Smith, Waddy Thompson, and Platt Dickinson Walker. The collection ranges in date from 1806-1944.

Collection also contains numerous bound volumes, ledgers, and account books that have not been inventoried or described.

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McCoy-Love Family papers, 1774-1970 and undated 12.3 Linear Feet — circa 9,210 Items

Asheville, N.C. residents. Two prominent members of the families were George William McCoy, Sr. (b. 1901), editor of the Asheville-Citizen Times, and his father-in-law, Harry Weaver Love (b. 1883), YMCA executive. The collection contains personal and business correspondence, genealogical material, financial and legal records, printed material, clippings, addresses and writings, scrapbooks, miscellaneous items, photographs, and a number of volumes. Topics include the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Assoc. Harry Love's business papers include a large number of correspondence, reports, pictures and volumes relating to his work with the YMCA, in the U.S. and abroad; there are a great many items relating to the Philippine Islands. There are a sizable number of papers from Wythe Munford Peyton, a civil and highway engineer, who worked for several N.C. railroads; the papers of William C. Coleman, a businessman who sold and serviced Harley-Davidson motorcycles (1914-1915); and papers of the Frelinghuysen-Southwick family of N.J. and N.Y., one relative being a Senator and another, Emeline Sherman Smith, a poet. There are a few items concerning Thomas Dixon who founded the Mt. Mitchell Assoc. of Arts and Sciences.

The papers of this Asheville, North Carolina family span the years 1774-1970. Two prominent members of the families were George William McCoy, Sr. (b. 1901), editor of the Asheville-Citizen Times, and his father-in-law, Harry Weaver Love (b. 1883), YMCA executive. The collection contains personal and business correspondence, genealogical material, financial and legal records, printed material, clippings, addresses and writings, scrapbooks, miscellaneous items, photographs, and a number of volumes. Topics include the development of parks in the Appalachia region, particularly the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and activities relating to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Association. Harry Love's business papers include a large number of correspondence, reports, pictures and volumes relating to his work with the YMCA, in the U.S. and abroad; there are a great many items relating to the Philippine Islands. There is a sizable number of papers from Wythe Munford Peyton, a civil and highway engineer, who worked for several N.C. railroads; the papers of William C. Coleman, a businessman who sold and serviced Harley-Davidson motorcycles (1914-1915); and papers of the Frelinghuysen-Southwick family of N.J. and N.Y., one relative being a Senator and another, Emeline Sherman Smith, a poet. There are a few items concerning Thomas Dixon who founded the Mt. Mitchell Assoc. of Arts and Sciences.

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Samuel Finley Patterson papers, 1792-1939 and undated 9 Linear Feet — Approx. 2,167 Items

Samuel Patterson (1799-1874) was a farmer, Indian commissioner, Justice of the Peace in Caldwell County, railroad official, and state legislator from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Collection consists primarily of personal and business papers of Samuel Patterson, his family, and the Graham family, of North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. The papers pertain to North Carolina railroads, legislative and politics in North Carolina, sale of Cherokee lands, mercantile affairs, the education of children, and other topics. Correspondents include C. B. Aycock, K. P. Battle, W. J. Bingham, Edward W. Bok, Locke Craig, Josephus Daniels, Dorothea L. Dix, John Haywood, William H. Haywood, Edwin Mims, John Charles McNeill, William Norwood, Henry J. Stockard, C. Alphonso Smith, Zebulon B. Vance, and Henry Van Dyke. Correspondence from the Civil War and Reconstruction periods discusses abolitionism, slavery, supplies to Confederate soldiers, refugees, prices, military affairs and leaders, the establishment of a school for African Americans, and refers to the dislike of the policies of Jefferson Davis and Judah P. Benjamin. The papers of Lucy Bramlette Patterson relate to her travels through Europe and Mexico in the 1880s, her literary and extensive political interests, and family matters.

The collection comprises the personal and business correspondence and other papers of Samuel Finley Patterson (1799-1874), state legislator and president of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, and of Lucy Bramlette Patterson (1865-1942), wife of Jesse Lindsay Patterson, Samuel Finley Patterson's grandson. There are also papers of Samuel Patterson's son, Rufus Lenoir Patterson (1830-1879), and of his granddaughter, Caroline Finley Patterson. Early papers include the business records and daybooks of Hugh Graham concerning mercantile affairs, the purchase of land warrants, and the panic of 1819; letters of William Norwood (1767-1842) dealing with family matters and his election as a judge; letters of the Jones family, related through the wife of Samuel Finley Patterson, pertaining to family affairs; and life in 1823 at Salem Academy (Salem, North Carolina), in 1835 at the University of North Carolina, and in 1840 at Yale College; and letters from Edmund Jones Henry and James Edward Henry regarding farming in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and a temperance convention there in 1843.

The papers of Samuel Finley Patterson give information of Revolutionary land claims; sale of Cherokee lands; the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad; Cincinnati (Ohio) in 1819; South Carolina politics, including nullification and support for the Van Buren administration; the Bank of the United States; the Whig Party in North Carolina and Virginia; Patterson's activities as a member of the North Carolina legislature; student life at the University of North Carolina in 1849 and 1867, and at the University of Virginia; Charlottesville (Virginia), in 1869; and Rufus T. Patterson's cotton and paper factories.

Correspondence from the Civil War and Reconstruction periods discusses abolitionism, slavery, supplies to Confederate soldiers, refugees, prices, military affairs and leaders, the establishment of a school for African Americans, dislike of the policies of Jefferson Davis and Judah P. Benjamin, the Good Templars of Hillsborough (North Carolina), the emancipation of Louisiana from radical rule; and the threat to eliminate state funding for the support of the University of North Carolina.

The papers of Lucy Bramlette Patterson include her diploma from Salem Female College; letters written while she was traveling in Mexico and Europe during the 1880s; letters from prominent persons in response to invitations to speak at Salem Female College; information on the Patterson Cup awarded annually for the best literary production in North Carolina; letters from a few North Carolina literary figures correspondence regarding the location of the Daniel Boone Trail; papers relative to Mrs. Patterson's service with Kolo Serbski Sestara in caring for the orphans of Serbian soldiers; a few items relating to the visit of Queen Marie of Rumania to the United States; clippings of Lucy Bramlette (Patterson) Patterson's contributions to the Progressive Farmer, Raleigh, North Carolina; and an account of "The Groves," the home of Willie Jones.

Other materials include a list of pledges by women of Caldwell County, North Carolina, in 1862 for construction of an ironclad gunboat; broadsides advertising the Charlotte Female Institute, Charlotte (North Carolina), Gaston High School, Dallas (North Carolina), O. P. Fitzgerald's Home Newspaper and Educational Journal, Hubert H. Bancroft's History of California and the Pacific States, and a forestry conference to be held at Montreat (North Carolina). Other printed materials include a program of performances at the Opera House in Winston (North Carolina) in 1882; broadside announcing the inauguration of Governor Zebulon B. Vance in 1877; bulletin of St. Mary's School, Raleigh (North Carolina); printed speech of John K. Kuttrell entitled "Who is Responsible for Chinese Immigration."

There are several items in the collection relating to the Bolijack family, including an account book, 1855-1869, of William A. Bolijack with entries for a sawmill and for trade in barrels of lime, and an agreement, 1842, between John W. Smith and Bolijack for use of a patented sawmill on Town Fork of the Dan River in Stokes County.

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White agent and representative for the Cherokee, merchant, lawyer, and trader, of Haywood Co., N.C. Collection includes correspondence, account books, day books, ledgers, and other papers, relating to Thomas's life in western North Carolina; the removal of the Cherokee and the status of those who remained; the development of intrastructure including turnpikes and railroads in North Carolina; Civil War fighting in east Tennessee; postwar administration of Indian affairs; and his private business operations as a white trader among the Cherokees. Includes records of Thomas's five stores in Haywood and Cherokee counties, and business correspondence and accounts of Thomas's son, also William Holland Thomas, a merchant and farmer of Jackson County, N.C.

Collection contains letters and papers of William H. Thomas (1805-1893) concerning his life and businesses in western North Carolina; his role as a white agent representing the Indians in negotiations and communications with the U.S. government; the removal of the Eastern Band of Cherokee on the Trail of Tears; the legal and financial conditions of Cherokee who remained behind in North Carolina; the building of roads and railroads through Western North Carolina; fighting during the Civil War in East Tennessee, including Thomas's leadership of Thomas's Legion in the Confederate Army; postwar administration of Indian affairs; and private business of Thomas, including some documentation of his declining health and his institutionalization for mental instability. There are also account books, day books, and ledgers showing a record of goods bought and sold in Thomas's five stores in Haywood and Cherokee counties. Included also are business correspondence and miscellaneous accounts, 1875-1890, of his son, William Holland Thomas, Jr., merchant and farmer of Jackson County, North Carolina.

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Judge William Robertson Perkins (1875-1945), counsel for James Buchanan Duke, executor of his will, and Trustee of the Duke Endowment, is represented by a letter on the relation of a university (Duke) and its president (W. P. Few) to students. This copy comes from an original letter to Judge Perkins to be found in the William Preston Few Papers.

In the settlement of Item IV of the will of James B. Duke, a major role was played by Judge Perkins as executor. His son, Thomas L Perkins, sent to the Perkins Library a clipping frog the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, Oct. 10, 1928, in which Judge Perkins and Charles Evans Hughes are pictured during the final hearings on the settlement of the Duke estate under Item IV. In the James Buchanan Duke Papers are many letters and legal papers concerning the court battles in this settlement.

See the article on Perkins in the Duke Alumni Register (1942), p. 269.

Ca. 5,704 items and 5 vols. added, 3-24-82

When this large addition, primarily 1920s and 1930s, was added to the collection, the small original collection of three items was incorporated into the category, Perkins, William R. - Miscellaneous Papers.

William Robertson Perkins (1875-1945), attorney, practiced law in New York City for forty years. After a boyhood and early years as an attorney in Lynchburg, Virginia, he became, in 1913, personal legal counselor to James B. Duke and the Duke families. Perkins was a member of the law firm of Perkins and Daniels, which later became Perkins, Daniels, and Perkins when Perkins' son Thomas L. joined the firm. He drew the wills of James B. and Benjamin N. Duke and acted as executor of both their estates. Perkins' business connection with the Duke interests kept him in close touch with the affairs of Duke University. He drafted the indenture for the Duke Endowment and then served as trustee and vice chairman of the Endowment. As a result of his link with James B. Duke, Perkins was active in hydroelectric power development in Canada. He was both a director and counselor to the American Cyanamid Company, and also served as a director and vice president of the Duke Power Company in the Carolinas. Further biographical information is contained in Box 1.

The Alphabetical Files comprise the entire collection of thousands of legal papers (1903-1945) representing state and federal tax litigation of the Duke families, the George D. Haskell suit against the Aluminum Company of America, and the Haskell suit against the Duke estate. Note that several suits were carried on simultaneously in separate state and federal courts, thus there appear to be overlapping inclusive dates.

There are estate tax litigation papers for Angler, Benjamin, Doris, James, and Nanaline Duke from eight states and the federal government (Boxes 1-11). Particularly detailed to show the Duke family holdings in stocks and bonds are the New Jersey, New York, and federal estate tax cases (1925-1934), which involved the Doris Duke trust, Duke Farms Company (a personal holding company which James Duke organized), and the Duke Power Company (Boxes 6-7).

On July 13, 1931, there was a decision for the Duke estate before the U.S. Board of Tax Appeals, which the Board appealed. Perkins then won the Duke estate federal tax case in the 3rd Circuit Board of Appeals on January 10, 1933. The Board took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Finally, and again under Perkins' leadership, on October 23, 1933 federal taxes of $9,000,000 assessed against the Duke estate were disallowed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ALCOA Chronology file (Box 11) is a guide to most of the events leading to the Haskell suits against ALCOA (Boxes 11-20). George D. Haskell, a small businessman from Massachusetts, claimed that there was a joint venture with James B. Duke in early 1924 to establish an aluminum enterprise on the Sanguenay River in Quebec, that Duke broke this agreement by "selling out" to ALCOA, and that the Haskell suit was an attempt to recover for gains from Duke. Haskell alleged he would have made these gains had his agreement with Duke been realized. The Haskell suit for $15 million damages against the Duke estate began in 1926 in a New Jersey District Court and ended in the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of the Duke estate in 1929 (Boxes 20-21). Throughout the litigation teams of lawyers were guided by the counsel of Perkins from either New York or Lynchburg.

Evident throughout the papers is the business acumen of James B. Duke, Perkins, George Garland Allen, Arthur Vining Davis, George D. Haskell, and William States Lee. Many of their signed letters are included. Also in the papers are newspaper articles in 1925 on James B. Duke's proposed extension of the Piedmont and Northern Railway from Charlotte to Winston-Salem, as well as on building the connecting link between Gastonia and Spartanburg, South Carolina, a matter which would cost from twelve to fifteen million dollars (Box 7).

Included in the Perkins files (Boxes 22-25) at the end of the collection are his early cases with the British-American Tobacco Company and the P. Lorillard Company litigation. Also, a volume consists of an "Abstract of Title to the Proposed Site of the Jamestown Exposition." This abstract was presented to Judge Perkins in 1938 in a silver canister. The abstract is signed by Theodore J. Wool and O.D. Batchelor, General Counsel for the Jamestown Exposition Company, and dated March 10, 1904. With the abstract is Wool's letter to Perkins on April 18, 1938, in which he reveals that Perkins had compiled the abstract and that it had been preserved by Wool since the close of the Exposition in 1907. A signed copy of Perkins' reply also appears in the collection.

Also in the Perkins files are papers of a personal nature such as an itemization of Perkins' estate in two ledgers as well as a detailed genealogical study of his ancestors and descendants from 1656 to 1943. Other volumes are leather-bound memorial resolutions adopted in memory of Judge Perkins by the American Cyanamid Company, the Duke Endowment, Duke Power Company, and P. Lorillard Company. These resolutions contain much biographical information.

Since this collection has not been cataloged in detail, the entries made for the Autograph file may be incomplete. Only general subject entries have been made for the collection. An inventory of the collection is filed in the first box.

Description from the the Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Manuscript Card Catalog.