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Basil Lee Whitener papers, 1889-1968 150 Linear Feet — circa 297,300 Items

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Basil Lee Whitener (1915-1989) was a U.S. Representative from Gastonia, N.C. Collection includes correspondence between Whitener and his constituents, other congressmen, and government officials, legislative materials, drafts of bills, financial papers, speeches, invitations, printed material, clippings, photographs, and other papers, chiefly from congressional files (1957-1968), relating to issues of national importance during the 1960s, including the Vietnam War, crime legislation, gun control, riots, civil rights legislation, foreign aid, social security, and the Taft-Hartley Act. Correspondents include Sam Ervin, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Sargent Shriver, and Strom Thurmond.

Basil Lee Whitener Papers primarily contain the office files of Congressman Whitener when he was the U. S. Representative for the Eleventh District (85th - 87th Congresses) and Tenth District (88th -90th Congresses) of North Carolina. Although the papers span the years 1889-1968, the bulk of the papers covers Whitener's years in office, 1957-1968. Some of the early files from the 81st through the 84th Congresses, are the papers of Woodrow Wilson Jones, Whitener's predecessor in office.

luded in the papers are such Items as correspondence, printed material, invitations, speeches, clippings, financial papers, photographs, as well as legislative materials and drafts of bills. Much of this collection consists of correspondence between Whitener and his constituents, other Congressmen, and government officials.

The papers are divided into the following series:

  • Political
  • Correspondence (General)
  • Correspondence (Legislative)
  • District of Columbia
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary Committee
  • Speeches
  • Subject
  • Case Files
  • Textile Imports
  • House of Representatives
  • Military and Veterans
  • Military Academy
  • Trips
  • Post Office
  • Grants
  • Invitations
  • General Information
  • Office Files
  • Office Information
  • Personal

By far the largest category is the Correspondence (General), even though it was weeded extensively. The Correspondence (Legislative) Series is also rather large. Both of these series contain extensive correspondence with constituents. Other large series are the Personal Series, which pertains more directly to Whitener's private and unofficial affairs, and the Office Files Series, containing files which seem to have been in active use by Whitener's office staff at the time he left office.

There are information and opinions in the collection on a variety of issues of national importance during the 1960s. Included are the Vietnam War, civil rights legislation, riots, crime legislation, gun control, foreign aid, Social Security, and the Taft-Hartley Act. Other subjects are the U. S. Congress and various bills and laws. There are a variety of letters from prominent persons, such as John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Sargent Shriver, Strom Thurmond, and Sam Ervin.

The views of Whitener on many national and state issues are revealed within the collection. He supported legislation to combat crime and civil disobedience, a strong national defense, and exerting every effort to bring the Vietnamese Conflict to a successful conclusion. The Congressman was opposed to civil rights legislation, deficit spending, foreign aid spending, and the proliferation of domestic and social programs. Concerning North Carolina issues, Whitener wanted restrictions on textile imports in order to protect jobs, and supported the concept of a balanced economy in the state. As a member of the Committee on the District of Columbia, he authored bills to curb the crime rate in the District of Columbia and a bill to establish a modern rail rapid transit system in the District. In general, Whitener seemed to exhibit the views of conservative Southern Democrats.

Specific subjects are noted in more detail in the inventory. There is some overlap of subjects among the series.

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George W. Gillette papers, 1940-1971 2.8 Linear Feet — 1,972 Items

Native of Onslow Co., N.C.; officer in the Army Corps of Engineers; executive directory of the N.C. State Ports Authority. As a consultant, Gillette was associated with projects worldwide through the World Bank, the United Nations, and private agencies. Chiefly papers and letters concerning the later period of Gillette's life. An extensive correspondent, Gillette expounded his personal beliefs and philosophy with a wide circle of friends and associates, including prominent civic and military figures such as General Raymond Wheeler, Senators B. Everett Jordan and Sam Ervin, Congressman Alton Lennon, and Governors Linwood Holton and Terry Sanford.

Chiefly papers and letters concerning the later period of Gillette's life. An extensive correspondent, Gillette expounded his personal beliefs and philosophy with a wide circle of friends and associates, including prominent civic and military figures such as General Raymond Wheeler, Senators B. Everett Jordan and Sam Ervin, Congressman Alton Lennon, and Governors Linwood Holton and Terry Sanford. Also represented are many figures of local political importance - those from southeastern North Carolina especially.

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Rhodes scholar and lawyer of Asheville, N.C. Collection is divided into the following categories: Correspondence (1815-1969, some transcribed); Writings (1682-1965); Speeches (1896-1965); Miscellany (ca. 1908); Clippings (1792-1975); Printed materials (1865-1977); Volumes (1886-1954); Pictures, late 19th and early 20th centuries; and an Alphabetical file (1787-1977), arranged by topic. Most of the material spans the years 1900-1960. Included are personal correspondence and materials relating to Cocke's political and civic interests; family correspondence and photographs; clippings; and scrapbooks. Cocke's many correspondents include Sam Ervin, B. Everett Jordan, and Terry Sanford. Correspondence topics include the Democratic Party; life as an American law student in England; English law compared to American law; and travels in Europe. Some letters refer to Thomas Wolfe, whom Cocke knew.

Collection reflects the varied interests of Cocke. It is divided into the following categories: correspondence (1815-1969, some transcribed); writings (1682-1965); speeches (1896-1965); miscellany (ca. 1908); clippings (1792-1975); printed materials (1865-1977); volumes (1886-1954); pictures, late 19th and early 20th centuries; and an alphabetical file (1787-1977), arranged by topic. The collection covers a wide variety of topics and time periods, but most of the material has dates in the span 1900-1960. Included are personal correspondence and materials relating to Cocke's political and civic interests. His many correspondents include Sam Ervin, B. Everett Jordan, and Terry Sanford. Correspondence topics include the Democratic Party; life as an American law student in England; English law compared to American law; travels in Europe; Thomas Wolfe, whom Cocke knew; publishing efforts; and a meeting with Lady Astor and the future King Edward VII. Other items include family letters; manuscripts by Cocke's mother, Nola, including "My Reminiscences of the Sixties (1861-1865)" about the Reconstruction era in Tenn.; clippings regarding a proposed N.C. constitution amendment requiring a literacy test for voter registrants in the 1860s; speeches by William Cocke, Sr., mayor of Asheville, N.C.; a guardian's account book later turned into a scrapbook; a large campaign scrapbook for Senate candidate Alton Asa Lennon; Cocke-Dilworth family photographs and many albumen prints of Europe. Topics in the alphabetical file include civic clubs; United World Federalists, Inc.; the attempt to establish the state of Franklin in what is now western N.C.; legal cases regarding horse stealing, a slave sale, and other topics; court reform in N.C. and the Bell Committee; and the Commission on International Cooperation under the N.C. Dept. of Conservation and Development.