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David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

The holdings of the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library range from ancient papyri to records of modern advertising. There are over 10,000 manuscript collections containing more than 20 million individual manuscript items. Only a portion of these collections and items are discoverable on this site. Others may be found in the library catalog.

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The Archaeology series contains pamphlets, offprints, extracts, and many illustrated pieces. It is a small group of 233 pamphlets.

Of importance are the pamphlets concerning numismatics, particular excavations during the nineteenth century, papyrus studies, ancient art, and Italian ceramics. There is even an unusual and probably rare guide to the pornographic artifacts in the Museum of Archeology in Naples.

Authors of interest include Medea Norsa, a well-known papyrologist of the nineteenth century, Luigi Pernier, Corrado Ricci, Giuseppe Gerola, Guido Ferrari, Santi Muratori, Astorre Pellegrini, E. Teza, Luigi Milani, Luigi Rizzoli, Settimio Severo, and Luigi Chiappelli.

Related subjects and areas of overlap are found in the Italian Art series and perhaps in the history-related subject areas.


Assorted portraits and images of women, approximately 1600s-1930s 3 Files — 2 folders in Box 1, and 1 item in Oversize Folder 1

Box 1, Oversize-folder 1

Single sheet pages or items collected by Baskin which tend to contain an engraved or etched portrait, or at times a photomechanical print, of a woman or feminine person. Many images depict European royalty or other aristocratic figures, or women cultural or literary figures. Most pages include a printed caption with the woman's name.

Box 1

Decorative trade cards (ranging in size from 5x8cm to 11x19 cm) advertising businesses or services offered by women, including millinery, fancy goods, hair work, painting, teaching, music, bricklaying, dressmaking, apothecaries, and a clairvoyant. These trade cards all appear to originate from Great Britain or the United States.


The papers begin in 1736, when John Hall (ca. 1717-1790) and his brothers Henry and William become actively engaged in tobacco planting. The letters open with a land indenture of 1745 and continue as business correspondence with London, Annapolis, Baltimore, and local merchants and factories. Comment is made on salt as a necessity for plantation life in 1778 and 1782. An overseer's contract in 1764 gives details of plantation management and enslavement.

A letter is signed by John Hall of "Vineyard" on June 11, 1778. As a member of the Maryland Assembly, he discusses the check and balance theory as it was working out in the "young government" of Maryland, he mentions violent contests, the quit rents and state revenue, militia service, and the role of the governor. In 1787 "Publicanus" addresses the people of Anne Arundel Co. on the topic of paper money.

The will of John Hall (made in 1787) gives his estate as "Bachelor's Choice," on West River, and names his children and their families. Enslaved people are listed as part of the estate. Many of the later letters are from the families of Hall sibilings to William Henry Hall, son of John Hall. A series of law suits occurs in the 1790s as William Henry Hall settles his father's estate.

A letter dated Oct. 3, 1796, to William Henry Hall describes the life of an American seaman impressed into the British navy. Samuel Hopkins, a young Maryland plantation overseer, and John Wilson of Cheraw, S. C., comment in letters to Hall from 1810-1813 on cotton planting in S. C. Hopkins describes on July 1, 1810, a plot by enslaved people to rise against enslavers in the Marlboro District of S. C. In 1813 he writes of hiring a substitute for himself if drafted in the War of 1812. Among W. H. Hall's correspondents were William, John, David, and John G. Weems of Anne Arundel Co., relatives of Mason Locke ("Parson") Weems.


The incoming and outgoing correspondence in this large series was created or collected chiefly by male members of the Hemphill family over many generations; there are also letters from and to women in the family. Topics discussed by correspondents cover almost all aspects of social, economic, religious, educational, and political conditions in South Carolina and other Southern states during the last half of the 19th century and into the early 20th. Many of the letters, especially in the earlier decades, discuss the Presbyterian church, for which several Hemphills were ministers. There are also many comments on national-level politics and presidencies, as well as events during those particular periods. Additional correspondence covering many of these same topics is found in the letterbooks found in the Volumes series.

Enslavement and states' rights, abolition, secession, and the movements of free people of color or formerly enslaved people are discussed in many letters before, during, and after the Civil War. There are repeated letters throughout the correspondence commenting on the repatriation of Africans and African Americans to Africa, and refer to the activities of the American Colonization Society and the American Commission on Liberia (1909). There are also references in early 20th century papers to race relations in the South and related politics; a speech by Oswald Garrison Villard, newspaper editor, co-founder of the NAACP, and early civil rights activist, sometime in the early 1910s, talks about segregation in Baltimore and Washington.

There are Associate Reformed Presbyterian sermons in the Sermons series that also speak to enslavement and the Southern States.

There are many letters that speak to specific significant political events and presidencies, including Jefferson Davis's Confederate administration, and discuss life for men and women of some wealth in cities and rural locations in the Confederate states. The letters in this series also cover military events and related issues in South Carolina as well as in Texas, where John Harrison Hemphill was located, such as the conflict with Mexico, and violent offensives against Native Americans in western states.

Correspondence (and other papers in the collection) following the 1870s chiefly document James Calvin (J.C.) Hemphill's career as a newspaper editor, but also speak to politics, "yellow journalism," Southern race relations, economic conditions, and society in the Southern States in the early 20th century. Some letters refer to events in World War I.

The latter portion of the collection includes a number of letters from William Howard Taft and Daniel H. Chamberlain, both of whom were friends of J.C. Hemphill; from Mrs. Francis W. Dawson I; and from various members of the Hemphill family. Correspondents who write on press affairs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries include C. A. Boynton, W. R. Cathcart, and S. J. Barrows. Other writers are Sarah (Morgan) Dawson, J. H. Averell, and J. S. Cothran.

In the last half of the series there is also a considerable quantity of correspondence of Robert Reid Hemphill until his death in 1908.

Box 1

Business correspondence concerning the sale of cotton, including commercial problems during the War of 1812, and particularly in Charleston, South Carolina. Includes an 1872 letter from Iredell Jones concerning his trial as a member of the Klu Klux Klan. Also includes some personal correspondence, primarily with the individuals John Dawson, Ladson, H. Cunningham, and B. W. Martin, and an anonymous individual identitified only as I.H.L.


The family's correspondence includes letters across several generations of Slades and their business associates, friends, and relatives, centering around the family's plantations, farming, and fisheries in and around Williamston, Martin County, N.C.; Tennessee; and Georgia. Early letters document on the activities of Jeremiah Slade, a general during the War of 1812. His letters tend to relate to the fisheries, legal cases, and business issues. Slade served as a North Carolina State Senator from 1809 to 1815, so some correspondence relates to court cases and other activities of the Senate. All materials relating to his role as Commissioner for the Tuscarora Indians has been removed to the Tuscarora Nation Series.

The Correspondence Series contains many letters between Jeremiah and Janet Slade and their children, with the majority being from Alfred, Thomas, Mary Ann, James Bog (J.B.), Elizabeth, and William. After the death of Jeremiah Slade in 1824, the family's correspondence tends to center around the activities of his sons, Thomas and William Slade, and their families (they had 12 and 11 children, respectively). Their letters include descriptions of college life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Trinity College, Wake Forest College, Greensboro Female College/State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG), and several secondary boarding schools. A few letters early in 1861 are from Henry Slade, a student at Trinity College, Randolph County, North Carolina, until he joined the army in the same year. Henry Slade mentions Braxton Craven, in whose home he boarded.

There is a significant amount of letters documenting the Civil War period, particularly comments on the organization of military companies; campaigns around Yorktown, Virginia, during 1861; fighting, refugees, and the Union occupation in eastern North Carolina; living conditions and high prices; Longstreet's Corps in Caroline County, Virginia, in 1863; and the military situation around Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1863. There are also war letters between Eli Peal and his wife in eastern North Carolina, containing advice on farming operations; payment of taxes; accounts of skirmishes at Camp Burgwyn near Wilmington, North Carolina; enslaved people running away; difficulty of obtaining clothes; and references to guard duty.

There is a significant amount of correspondence to and from the Slade women (including Elizabeth, Mary, Ann, and Helen) during the Civil War. Letters of "Bog" or J. B. Slade early in 1861 from Harris County, Georgia, reflect enthusiasm for the newly formed Confederacy.

Post-war letters include general family correspondence, with frequent letters between the Slade women, including Janet, Mary, Emma, Martha, and Helen (on the Thomas Bog Slade side) and Annie, Mary, Elizabeth, Helen, and Frances (on the William Slade side). Correspondence also relates to the family's business ventures, including land rentals and other engagements with freedmen, news from the fishery, and reports from various horse breeding ventures. This series contains a letter from Fanny, dated 1867 August 5, writing to her "Sister" from Texas asking for any information on the whereabouts of her children. Fanny was formerly enslaved and apparently sold away from her children by the Slades. Another letter from Mount Airy in 1874 tells of the death of the Siamese twins, Eng and Chang.

The latest letters in the Correspondence series document the activities of James Bog Slade, Thomas B. Slade, and their descendents in Columbus, Georgia, and Martin County, North Carolina. Topics include the Clinton Female Seminary (Clinton, Georgia), the State Normal and Industrial School (Greensboro, N.C.), women's suffrage, Trinity Baptist Church (Caswell Co., N.C.), tobacco farming, hog butchering, and other business interests of the family.


Correspondence, 1817-1895 and undated 1.5 Linear Feet — 3 boxes


Correspondence consists chiefly of business letters by John Knight and his partners and friends. However, there are also many letters by Knight family members and their relatives and friends. The correspondence begins in 1817 with letters from Mary (McCleery) Knight in Indiana to her sister Frances (McCleery) Beall, William M. Beall's wife. There is also correspondence between Fanny Knight, John and Frances Knight's daughter, and Thomas McDannold during their courtship. Correspondence also includes letters from friends and relatives while the Knights were traveling abroad. Many letters also mention John Knight's attempts at various cures for ill health, including water cures, hot springs, and baths.

Between 1830 and 1864, Knight's business correspondence with Enoch Pratt, a Baltimore banker in charge of Knight's finances, William Beall, and others, predominates. Topics include: the U.S. political and economic climate: the conflict between Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson; the cotton market; banking and bank failures; investment in cotton land in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas; the purchase and sale of slaves, with some bought by William Beall and sent to Knight in Mississippi; the treatment and medical care of slaves; the operation of Knight's plantations; piracy on the Mississippi River, 1841; cholera and yellow fever epidemics in New York and New Orleans in 1832, 1833, 1837, and 1841; the economic panic of 1857; education at the Frederick Female Academy, Frederick, Maryland; financial conditions in the United States during the Civil War; the relations between the United States and England during the war; and the course of the Civil War, especially the Union invasion of Maryland. One early letter from Roger Brooke Taney to William Murdock Beall explains his refusal of the vice-presidency and discussing his interest in the U.S. presidency.

Other smaller groups of correspondence were written by Frances "Fanny" Knight McDannold, the daughter of John and Frances Knight, her children Knight and Alexandra, and husband Thomas McDannold, and that family's acquaintances.

The correspondence ends with a much smaller series of letters, which include items to Frances S.Z. Knight from her grandchildren, and other correspondence reflecting her financial and legal activities as she managed her husband's large estate and the guardianship of her grandchildren even as she approached old age.

Some additional correspondence can be found in the Legal and Financial Papers series.


Correspondence, 1820-1920 and undated 11 folders — Approximately 600 items


About one third of the correspondence dates from the 1820s to 1865, and two-thirds dates from after the Civil War to the early 20th century. Included are 46 letters from the Civil War period to and from members of John and Susan Bullock's family, chiefly concerning their son Walter Bullock's service in the Confederate Army.

Topics in the correspondence typically include family matters such as schooling, illnesses, courtship and marriage, deaths in the family and in the community, farming, sales of agricultural crops, religious life, visitors and local events, and some business matters. There is also some mention of the Spanish-American War in later letters.

There are many letters from the daughters and sons of John and Susan Cobb, especially from William, James, Richard, Walter, Alfred, George, Sally, Lucy, and Beck. Grandchildren's letters and many letters from Beck to her mother Sally (Tarry) Hamilton make up the bulk of the late 19th and early 20th century letters.

Family names also appearing in the papers include: Boyd, Goode, Eaton, Farrar, Hamilton, Harrison, Tarry, Taylor, and Watkins. There are also frequent mention of Andersons, Grahams and Hendersons.

Place names associated with the Bullocks and their relatives are: Williamsborough (or -boro), Granville County, NC (now Vance County), the principal home place for the Bullocks; Wheatland, Tarboro, Warrenton and Rocky Mount, NC; Petersburg, Soudan, Boydton, and Skipwith, VA. There are some letters from Tennessee and Mississippi, where the Bullocks owned land. Other place names appearing include Grassy Creek and Oak Hill, Granville County.

The Civil War letters mostly were sent to and from Walter Bullock and his parents, but there are a few from his brothers, several of whom apparently also served for a time, and other people. They give details about camp life, food and diet, health issues, weather, furloughs, troop movements, and rumors about events. There are frequent requests for supplies from home. One letter bears a long description of the battle of Kinston, NC, 1862; another from an encampment "near Norfolk" dated March 1862 mentions a major naval engagement at the mouth of the James River. A letter from June 1862 brings the news that a Bullock son was taken prisoner. Another letter from John Bullock to a friend announces that Walter was taken prisoner in June 1864, probably when Captain George W. Kirk and Union cavalry overran Camp Vance (Burke Cty.). There is one letter from Walter writing from Johnson's Island, Ohio, September 1864; he then writes several letters from Kenansville, NC in early 1865, and describes the last months of the war. Camp Vance (Burke County), figures most prominently in Walter's letters, who seems to have been by then in the 68th Regiment, and Camp Holmes, near Raleigh. Other place names include Camp Mangum, NC; Camp Arrington, VA, 1862; "in the trenches," Petersburg, VA, November 29, 1864; and Kenansville, NC, December 1864. There are a few letters relating to Captain William Wallace White, who also appears at the head of a militia roll in the Other Papers series.


Chiefly correspondence between Cox and both white supremacisists and Black separatists regarding racial separation and segregation. Also personal correspondence with his family, some relating to his travels and to his service in the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, and 19th century letters concerning his relatives in Tennessee. Arranged chronologically.

Correspondents include Marcus Garvey, Mittie Maude Lean Gordon, Benjamin Gibbons, William Langer, Wickliffe P. Draper, Madison Grant, S. A. Davis, W. A. Plecker, Willis A. Carto, and Amy Jacques Garvey, widow of Marcus Garvey, among others.


James Sprunt had very extensive correspondence files, of which only a small portion has survived. A year's letters were subdivided alphabetically and included both the incoming originals and the outgoing copies. The years represented by a sizeable body of papers are 1904, 1906, 1909-1910, and 1919-1921, but they are probably quite incomplete. All of the papers have been arranged chronologically. The series also contains "other papers," which cannot be identified with their original files. Most of the material came from James Sprunt's files.

The series represents a variety of Sprunt's personal and professional interests. Business operations, the cotton market, and domestic and foreign economic conditions are constant concerns. There was frequent communication between Sprunt and his relatives and business associates in Liverpool. His work as vice consul for Great Britain and Germany appears occasionally. Prominent among his activities and charities is the Presbyterian Church in the U.S., the southern body of the Presbyterians. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and assisted other congregations in Wilmington and Chapel Hill, where he financed the remodeling of the church as designed by architect Hobart Upjohn. He made substantial contributions to the mission in Kiangyin, China. The interdenominational Laymen's Missionary Movement and its general secretary, John Campbell White, are also prominent in the papers, along with the southern Presbyterian part of of that organization. Sprunt was a principle mover in the arrangements for a statue of George Davis, Confederate attorney general and native son of Wilmington, and there is much correspondence about it, including that with Francis Herman Packer, the sculptor. Sprunt was a trustee of the University of North Carolina and a benefactor of Davidson College, and there are communications between him and the schools' students and officials. Other educational institutions represented include Columbia Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, the antecedents of North Carolina Central University, and other colleges and academies in the South, including several historically black colleges. River and harbor improvements at Wilmington are noted. Scattered political correspondence includes references to state elections, the N.C. Supreme Ct., and the U.S. District Court for Eastern N.C., and the Wilmington riots of 1898. There are several letters about the N.C. Literary and Historical Association and the N.C. Folklore Society, and about other episodes of state history, such as blockade running during the Civil War, President Taft's visit to Wilmington in 1909, Governor Benjamin Smith, and the monument for the Revolutionary battle at Moore's Creek. Correspondence with and about Woodrow Wilson mainly concerned a Carnegie pension for Henry Elliot Shepherd, an educator, but there are a few minor items of a political nature. Sprunt communicated with Senators Lee Slater Overman and Furnifold Simmons about various matters.

Several close relatives of James Sprunt had distinguished careers and are also represented by letters and references: his brother Alexander Sprunt (1852-1937), a Presbyterian clergyman at Charleston, S.C.; Kenneth Mackenzie Murchison, an architect in New York who was a brother-in-law; Edward Jenner Wood, a nephew and physician who was a pioneer in the campaign against pellagra; and Joseph Austin Holmes, another brother-in-law who was a geologist, chief of the technological branch of the U.S. Geological Survey in charge of the investigation of mine accidents, 1904-1907, and the first director of the Bureau of Mines established in 1910.


Series contains letters to and from Amy Morris Bradley, related ephemera, notes and receipts, third-party correspondence about Bradley, and one folder of newspaper clippings. The majority of material relates to Bradley's time in Costa Rica, her work as a field nurse and for the U.S. Sanitary Commission during the Civil War, and her time as an educator in Wilmington, N.C.

In addition to family letters, there are several letters with soldiers and their relatives thanking her for her service. Included is a petition from 1865 signed by 320 soldiers recommended to the Secretary of War that Bradley be commissioned to major in the U.S. Army for her service. Clippings relate primarily to the Tileston Normal School, although some are also about Mary Hemenway, a benefactress of Tileston. Later correspondence comes from parents of students in Wilmington and from former students, many of whom maintained a close friendship with Bradley over many years. Ephemera includes programs of events at Tileston.


Series includes political and legal correspondence mostly related to John C. Calhoun and the secession question. Later correspondence deals with Burt's law practice. Correspondents include: Pierce M. Butler, Henry Toole Clark, Thomas Green Clemson, T. L. Deveaux, James H. Hammond, A. P. Hayne, Reverdy Johnson, Hugh S. Legaré, Augustus B. Longstreet, W. N. Meriwether, james L. Petigru, Francis W. Pickens, Robert Barnwell Rhett, Richard Rush, Waddy Thompson, and Louis T. Wigfall.


Thomas's assorted correspondence along with extensive notes, loose account pages, and other miscellaneous items are sorted chronologically by year into General Papers. There are also volumes with travel diaries for various business ventures and letterbooks with copies of his incoming and outgoing correspondence. This series documents his various businesses and investments, his Confederate service during the Civil War, his work as an Indian agent, and his family life and friendships. Additional material on his work with the Eastern Band of Cherokee can be found in the Cherokee Papers Series; additional contracts, reports, and petitions relating to railroads and turnpikes can be found in the Infrastructure Series.


Most of the earliest items pertain to Mrs. Walton's family, the Bakers, who had settled in Hingham, Massachusetts at least by the eighteenth-century. Letters to Mrs. Walton comprise a major segment of this series, including those to her from her father, James Baker, 1880-1882. Included are courtship letters from George Walton, a physician who attended Eleanore Walton while she was convalescing near Deland, Florida. Most were written from 1891-1892, after she returned to her home in Chicago. Letters from George Walton after the marriage suggest financial hardship and indicate that the couple was frequently separated from the beginning of their marriage and during the early childhood of their son Loring. After 1895, there is a gap in the correspondence.

Also included is George Walton's 1896 diary of a trip via wagon from Indiana to Florida. Later material and correspondence in the series pertains to Eleanore Walton's work as a clubwoman and motion picture censor in Kansas City, Missouri from the 1920s to 1948, when she retired and moved to Durham, N.C. to live with her son Loring Baker Walton, who was on the faculty at Duke University.

The papers of Loring Baker Walton, make up a separate and larger series in this collection. An extensive series of correspondence between Eleanor and her son is located there.


Collection includes family correspondence consisting of letters from Kell to his mother, Marjory Spalding (Baillie) Kell; his wife , Julia Blanche (Munroe) Kell; and his sisters. Beginning in 1841, Kell's letters cover the period of his service in the U.S. Navy. Topics include accounts of cruises; social activities aboard ship and on land; Commodore Matthew C. Perry; the funeral of Commodore Alexander James Dallas; the countryside in the vicinity of Cape Town, South Africa; descriptions of Montevideo and Uraguay; and references to President Carlos Antonio Lopez of Paraguay. After 1860, Kell's letters concern his duties with the Confederate Navy, including running the blockade on the C.S.S. SUMTER and the subsequent abandonment of the ship.

The collection also includes family papers of Nathan Campbell Munroe of Macon, Ga., his wife Tabitha Easter (Napier) Munroe, their daughter Julia Blanche (Munroe) Kell, and other members of the Munroe, McIntosh, and Napier families. Topics include Georgia and national politics, Henry Clay and the Bank of the United States; railroad construction in Ga.; Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Macon; Montpelier Institute, Salem Female Academy, and other educational institutions; temperance; the duel between Thomas Butler King, U.S. Rep. from Georgia, and Charles Spalding; town-gown relations at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa; riverboat transportation in Alabama; and the fight between the MONITOR and VIRGINIA as described by a Confederate naval officer.