Cotton firm from Wilmington, N.C., that for a short period was probably the largest cotton exporting house in the United States. Collection includes account books, ledgers, journals, cashbooks, purchase and sales journals, inventories, other subsidiary books, and some office files and correspondence. Goods were purchased from the Carolinas, Georgia, Texas, and other states and processed in the firm's compress facilities and sold to Great Britain, France, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe.
The collection consists of an extensive, but incomplete, set of account books, remnants of the office file and James Sprunt's correspondence (personal as well as business letters and papers), and pictures. Among the account books there are long series of ledgers, journals, cashbooks, purchase books, and stock inventories that document the company's operations between the 1870s and 1950s. The ledgers date between 1889 and 1952, and there are private ledgers for 1907 through 1931. The volume of minutes covers 1919-1930, but there are a few others among the offices files along with financial statements, 1885-1915, important legal documents of the partnership and corporation, and assorted other papers.
Correspondence and other papers of James Sprunt and the company date between 1884 and 1952, but they are numerous only for 1904, 1906, 1909-1910, and 1919-1921. The letters date mostly to 1904-1910, and 1919-1921, and are largely files of James Sprunt, reflecting his activities in business and interests in secular and theological education, the Presbyterian church in the U.S., and North Carolina history. Notable correspondents and subjects are Alexander Sprunt (1815-1884), Alexander Sprunt (1852-1937), Alexander Sprunt (b. 1898), James Sprunt (1847-1924), Kenneth Mackenzie Murchison, Francis Herman Packer, John Miller Wells, John Campbell White, Edward Jenner Wood, The Laymen's Missionary Movement, and the Presbyterian mission at Kiangyin, China. Account books, minutes, and correspondence are available also for a number of domestic and foreign subsidaries and branch offices, but these are often quite fragmentary. More than thirty pictures, mostly photographs, illustrate the firm's staff, workers, physical plant, and employees as well as other scenes.
Also included are some papers representing various domestic and foreign subsidiaries and branch offices, especially Champion Compress and Warehouse Company, the Wilmington Compress and Warehouse Company, Alexander Sprunt & Son (of Delaware, a holding company), and the company's offices in New York City and Le Havre, France.
Information about the company's history can be found in: James Sprunt's letters of Nov. 6, 1908; Apr. 9, 1909; Jun. 7 and Oct. 22, 1919; an article in Wilmington's Morning Star from Feb. 11, 1921; and Dictionary of American Biography.