Josiah William Bailey papers, 1833-1967, bulk 1900-1946 270 Linear Feet — 539 boxes — Approximately 422,400 itemss
Collection comprises the personal and professional papers of Josiah William Bailey (1873-1946), noted Baptist layman, Raleigh attorney, and United States Senator. The material covers many aspects of Bailey's life and career and provides rich information on North Carolina and the United States in the first half of the twentieth century, particularly for the Depression years and World War II.
The papers are comprised chiefly of correspondence and supporting printed material, although there are also financial records, clippings, volumes, broadsides, photographs, and memorabilia, dating from 1833 through 1967, with most items falling in the period from 1900 through 1946.
The collection documents Josiah W. Bailey's family, personal, religious, and professional life and indicates the wide range of his intellectual interests throughout his adult years. Generally, papers prior to Bailey's election to the United States Senate in 1930 reflect North Carolina's legal, political, religious, agricultural, social, and economic issues. During the senatorial years, material pertaining to national affairs predominates. Topics chiefly relate to national defense, the effects of the Depression on Southern States and the U.S. economy and society in general; labor issues; prohibition; the development of the Blue Ridge Parkway and other parklands; the state and Supreme Court systems; agriculture in the Southern States; and the New Deal of the Roosevelt Administration.
The chronological division between the Pre-Senatorial Series and the Senatorial Series was established at December 31, 1930. There is occasional overlap among topical files within a series (such as that among Agriculture, Taxation, and Taxation: Revaluation in the Pre-Senatorial Series) or between series in some cases. When possible, cross references and other notes have been provided in the inventory. The researcher, however, should be aware of these relationships as they apply to specific research topics.
Much of Bailey's outgoing correspondence consists of form letters and perfunctory acknowledgments, but there are also many lengthy and articulate letters. It should be noted that the correspondence in the Personal Series is comprised mainly of family letters, many of which are informative about political issues of the day. Letters from Bailey to his wife, Edith Pou Bailey, and to his father-in-law, James Hinton Pou, are particularly informative.