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Asa T. Spaulding was an insurance executive in Durham, N.C. and an activist in civil rights, education, employment, and other work related to minorities' rights. He held various positions in the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company for almost thirty-five years, beginning as its actuary in 1933 and serving as its fifth president from 1958 through 1967. Elna Bridgeforth Spaulding was an activist in civil rights for minorities and women and involved in local politics in Durham, N.C, serving as a Durham County Commissioner for five terms, from 1974 through 1984. The Asa and Elna Spaulding Papers, 1909-1997 and undated, bulk 1935-1983, document an African American family's lifelong involvement in the business, political, educational, religious, and social life of Durham, N.C. The collection consists of correspondence, writings and speeches, printed materials, clippings, photographs, audiovisual items, and memorabilia that reflect the Spauldings' work with the following organizations and groups: North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company; Mechanics and Farmers Bank; Durham County Board of Commissioners; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; National Urban League; Women-in-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, Inc.; North Carolina Central and Shaw universities; White Rock Baptist Church (Durham, N.C.); and the Lincoln Community Health Center. The collection is divided into two subgroups. The Asa Spaulding Subgroup is arranged in nine series: Correspondence, Writings and Speeches, Organizations, North Carolina Mutual Files, Insurance Files, Subject Files, Photographic Materials, and Audiovisual Materials. The Elna Spaulding Subgroup is arranged in six series: Correspondence, Writings and Speeches, Organizations, Subject Files, Photographic Materials, and Audiovisual Materials.

The Asa and Elna Spaulding Papers, 1909-1997 and undated, bulk 1935-1983, document an African American family's lifelong involvement in the business, political, educational, religious, and social life of Durham, N.C. The Spauldings were active in a broad range of political bodies, businesses, civic groups, and activist organizations, including among many others theDurham County Board of Commissioners and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and were among the co-founders of Women-in-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, Inc. Their long record of accomplishment in the areas of employment, political representation, civil rights, race relations, and women's rights is documented by the collection's rich variety ofcorrespondence, writings and speeches, printed materials, clippings,photographs, audiovisual items, and memorabilia. The collection is divided into two subgroups. The Asa Spaulding Subgroup is arranged in nine series: Correspondence, Writings and Speeches, Organizations, North Carolina Mutual Files, Insurance Files, Subject Files, Photographic Materials, and Audiovisual Materials. The Elna Spaulding Subgroup is arranged in six series: Correspondence, Writings and Speeches, Organizations, Subject Files, Photographic Materials, and Audiovisual Materials. Some of these materials have been digitized and are available online.

The Asa Spaulding Subgroup, 1909-1984 and undated, documents Mr. Spaulding's career as an insurance executive and his lifelong activism in civil rights, education, employment, and other work related to minorities' rights. While serving in various capacities in Durham's North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, Spaulding was also instrumental in the development of other local businesses such as the Mechanics and Farmers Bank as well as being active in a number of life insurance organizations at the national level, including the National Insurance Association and the Life Insurance Association of America. As his business career developed, culminating in his becoming the Mutual's fifth president in 1958, his national and international reputation also grew, especially in the areas of civil rights and race relations. This led to his serving on a number of government commissions and task forces and in various organizations concerned with urban affairs. Among the most important of these were the American delegation to a UNESCO conference in India and the National Urban League. Spaulding also maintained lifelong ties to the academic and religious communities. At various times he served on the boards of a number of universities, including North Carolina Central andShaw; in addition he had a long involvement with the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. He was active all his adult life not only in his local church, White Rock Baptist Church, but also in national groups such as the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

The Correspondence Series is characterized not by its depth of material for any one correspondent but rather its reflection of the breadth of Spaulding's contacts in business, government, politics, and education. Among the many contacts represented here are North Carolina governors, United States senators and congressmen, and all American presidents from the 1940s through the 1970s. The Writings and Speeches Series contains Spaulding's articles, opinion columns, press releases, speeches, and other works on a wide variety of topics, including civil rights, economics, education, insurance, principles of business management,race relations, and his travels abroad as a representative of the United States and UNESCO. There are also many of his introductions of speakers at public events and tributes to friends and political figures. A highlight of this series is the wealth of material about Spaulding's own life and career. Most of this was gathered by him for a planned though unpublishedautobiography; it consists of correspondence, drafts, interviews, printed material, and a variety of anecdotes and personal stories,

The Organizations Series is by far the largest series in the subgroup. It documents how far and wide Spaulding's interests and activities ranged beyond his career in the insurance industry, particularly his support of and agitation for civil rights and related issues and organizations. Series highlights include material about the following topics and organizations: his tenure on the board of trustees for theLegal Defense Committee of the NAACP; his work as a member of the North Carolina Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; his work with the Women and Minority Directors Seminar (an attempt in the early 1970s to encourage organizations and businesses to hire more minorities at the management level); his activities as an American representative to a UNESCO delegation in the 1950s; and his 1971 mayoral election campaign in Durham. Also to be found here is a collection of materials about White Rock Baptist Church, of which Spaulding was a long time member and director. White Rock Baptist Church was prominent in civil rights activities in North Carolina and hosted many guest speakers.

Spaulding's career in the insurance industry is documented by two series, the North Carolina Mutual Files and the Insurance Files. Spaulding was the actuary for the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company (Durham, N.C.), in the 1930s, its actuary and vice-president in the 1940s, and its fifth president from 1956-1967. Thus the series documents not only Spaulding's career, but the development of the company over several decades into the largest African American-owned business in the world. A particular focus of this series is the dedication of the company's new building in downtown Durham in 1966, probably the major event of Spaulding's tenure as president. TheInsurance Files series reflects his activities in the industry beyond his positions at North Carolina Mutual. A particularly rich group of the papers documents his work with theNational Insurance Association (NIA), of which Spaulding was president in the 1940s. Formerly known as the National Negro Insurance Association, the NIA was an organization of officers of black-owned American insurance companies.

Several smaller series broaden the picture of Spaulding's life and career. The Subject Files contain general biographical data as well as more information about his travels and his campaigns for Durham County Commissioner and Mayor of Durham in the late 1960s and early 1970s. ThePhotographic Materials Seriesalso documents his travels as well as some of the history of North Carolina Mutual, especially the dedication of the new home office building in 1966. The subject matter of theAudiovisual Materials Series is largely biographical or autobiographical. In addition to recordings of some of Spaulding's speeches and public interviews, this series also contains several recordings he made that are apparently materials he was gathering for his planned autobiography.

The Elna Spaulding Subgroup, 1909-1997 and undated, documents Mrs. Spaulding's activism for civil rights for minorities and women and her career in local politics. Although the material spans almost sixty years, the bulk of it is from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. The Correspondence Series contains both personal and professional letters that give an indication of her involvement in local and state politics, advocacy for various groups including women, African Americans, children, and the elderly. Some of the organizations that appear in this series also appear in the Organizations Series.Although some correspondence may appear in the latter series, in general this material is not addressed to or from Mrs. Spaulding individually, but rather is documentation of each organization's work, including meeting agendas and minutes, financial reports, annual reports, and a wide range of planned activities. The papers of the Durham County Board of Commissioners provide the most detailed picture of Mrs. Spaulding's political activity. Her other work has focused on attempts to break down barriers between various groups and their rights. Involvement in these issues, including women's employment, women's rights, and public health, is highlighted by the material fromWomen-in-Action for the Prevention of Violence and its Causes, of which she was the founder--in 1968--and first president, as well as such organizations as the Lincoln Community Health Center. The Subject Filesround out the picture of her career, particularly in documenting her campaigns for public office in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Group formed in the 1970s to draft a charter for the consolidation of the Durham, North Carolina City and County governments. Durham, North Carolina City/County Charter Commission records contain correspondence, financial records, reports, statements, memoranda, polls, minutes, maps, and other documents. Most materials date from 1971 to 1974.

The Durham, North Carolina City/County Charter Commission records contain correspondence, financial records, reports, statements, memoranda, polls, minutes, maps, and other documents from the Durham City/County Charter Commission. The organization was formed to draft a charter for the consolidation of the Durham City and Durham County governments, and was chaired by E.K. Powe. The group was aided by the Institute of Government at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as well as the Atlanta, Georgia firm Public Research and Management, Inc. Most materials date from 1971 to 1974.

[Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies. Please contact Research Services before coming to use this collection.]

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Earl E. Thorpe papers, 1942-1990 2 Linear Feet — 1225 items

Historian, professor, clergyman, and activist; resident of Durham, N.C. The papers of Earl E. Thorpe span the years 1942-1990, the bulk of the materials having been generated during the years 1965 to 1982. Primarily, materials in the collection address Thorpe's work at North Carolina Central University (formerly North Carolina College), and his tenure as visiting professor at Harvard and Duke universities. Topics include student activism, teaching, racial and departmental politics on campus, and the development of viable African American Studies programs. Thorpe's service as chair of the program committee for the 1979 meeting of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH), and his term as president of the ASALH in 1980 are also well represented. Personal correspondence with family and students, and material reflective of Thorpe's life in the ministry are scattered throughout. Some materials also touch on North Carolina and Durham politics and race relations.

The papers of Earl E. Thorpe - historian, clergyman, and activist - span the years 1942 to 1990, the bulk of the materials having been generated during the years 1965-1982. The collection consists of six series: Correspondence, Writings and Speeches, Pictures, Printed Material, Clippings, and Genealogical Papers. Primarily, materials in the collection address Thorpe's work at North Carolina Central University (formerly North Carolina College), and his tenure as visiting professor at Harvard and Duke universities. Thorpe's service as chair of the program committee for the 1979 meeting of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH), and his term as president of the ASALH in 1980 are also well represented. Personal correspondence with family and students, and material reflective of Thorpe's life in the ministry are scattered throughout.

The bulk of the collection consists of the personal and professional correspondence of Thorpe. To 1970, material in the Correspondence Series centers on departmental politics at North Carolina College - specifically confusion and dissension over Thorpe's promotion to the chair of the history department. Letters from Thorpe's daughter at Spellman College in Atlanta, missives from friends and former students, a World War II era note from Thorpe to Martha V. Branch - Thorpe's future wife - and a small amount of professional correspondence are also represented.

Beginning in 1971, correspondence turns to Thorpe's appointment as a visiting professor of Afro-American Studies at Harvard University. The letters reveal the substance of Thorpe's classes, and the intellectual environment at Harvard - especially as it concerns the Afro-American studies department. The challenges fading the organization and the development of a viable Afro-American Studies program emerge in correspondence between Thorpe and Ewart Gunier - chair of the Harvard black studies program - letters copied to Thorpe from others, and internal memoranda from Harvard's Afro-American Studies program.

From 1972 through 1978, correspondence focuses again on Thorpe's duties at North Carolina Central University: tenure proceedings, student activism, class organization, personnel searches, and race politics on campus. Of particular interest are letters concerning the appointment of a white instructor to teach NCCU's Afro-American history survey, and the organization of the Helen G. Edmonds history colloquium. Matters unrelated to the history department or the workings of the campus are touched upon - planning for family reunions, and correspondence concerning Thorpe's health, for example.

Beginning in 1978, correspondence turns to Thorpe's duties as chair of the program committee for the 1979 meeting of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH). In some detail, the letters recount the organization of the ASALH conference program - especially the politics and compromise involved in such a labor. Principal correspondents are ASALH officials, but included are notes from prominent African American historians. Panel and papers abstracts submitted for the committee's consideration are filed in the Writings and Speeches Series. A number of letters and abstracts represent efforts by the Association of Black Women Historians to organize panels at the meeting.

In 1980, correspondence shifts to matters concerning Professor Thorpe's tenure as president of the ASALH. The organization of the 1981 conference in New Orleans is prominent. Correspondence pondering the future of the ASALH in light of recent mismanagement is also present. Of material not related to ASALH in this period, correspondence between Thorpe and Lerone Bennet, Jr. is especially interesting. In 1981, Thorpe charged Bennet with plagiarizing Thorpe's work in preparing a piece for Ebony magazine. As if preparing for a trial, Professor Thorpe went so far as to collect evidence and build a case. The matter, however, was never fully resolved.

Paul Zwillenberg has written a history honors thesis probing Professor Thorpe's thoughts and writings. "I Dream a World: An Intellectual Biography of Earl Endris Thorpe" may be examined in the reading room of the Rubenstein Library.

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Evans family papers, 1920s-1990s 24 Linear Feet — 5609 Items

Collection contains correspondence, scrapbooks, albums, clippings, addresses, writings, and other materials that concern the personal lives and careers of Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel J. ("Mutt") and Sara Evans, and their sons, Robert and Eli. Mutt Evans's mayoral correspondence is divided into a general file and a subject file. Some materials depict the private lives of the Evanses, including photographs, albums, and personal correspondence. Sara's family, the Nachamsons, is often represented. The collection also includes extensive documentation about Sara's role in Hadassah, both locally and nationally, as well as the family's participation in other Isareli and Jewish causes. Also included are materials from their work in developing and fundraising for the Judaic Studies Program at Duke University.

Collection contains correspondence, scrapbooks, albums, clippings, addresses, writings, and other materials that concern the personal lives and careers of the Evans family, particularly Emanuel J. and Sara Evans, their sons, Eli and Robert, and Emanuel's brother, Monroe. The family owned and operated United Department Stores, and for twelve years, 1951 to 1963, Emanuel Evans was mayor of Durham, NC. He was also very active in his synagogue, was a president of VISTAS, and participated actively in the University of North Carolina's Alumni Association.

There are two scrapbooks on Emanuel Evans's mayoral terms and a similar volume and other materials devoted to Mrs. Evans's activities as leader of Hadassah including items pertaining to Israel. Mr. Evans's mayoral correspondence is divided into a general file and a subject file. In pictures and personal correspondence, the Nachamson family is often represented. One early clipping from a Fayetteville, N.C. newspaper, tells of Mr. Evans's sister being refused teaching positions because of her Jewish faith. Eli Evans is a correspondent and writer, led the establishment of the National Jewish Archives of Broadcasting, and was on the staff of the Carnegie Foundation that helped launch "Sesame Street." He was president of the UNC student body and a number of items in the collection concern his presidency.

Also included is an address of Eli Evans presented during the conference on Southern-Jewish history in 1976, Eli Evans's vita, his unpublished diary of the Kissinger shuttle, and a large number of his writings, many concerning U.S. politics, minorities, and Jews in the South. There is a reprint of a chapter from his book, The Provincials, and reports from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, of which he is president. Also included are materials concerning Eli's brother Robert, a correspondent with CBS, who continued on as a television executive. Their uncle, Monroe Evans, was mayor of Fayetteville, NC, and his service is documented in several of the collection's scrapbooks.

One entire scrapbook is devoted to the writings of Mildred and Madeline Evans, Monroe's wife and daughter.

The audiovisual series contains a 16mm film copy of a 1957 episode of Edward R. Murrow's "See It Now," with which Robert Evans was involved, and a 16mm film copy of Governor Terry Sanford's November 1964 appearance on WUNC-TV, in which he reflects on his governorship and the current political scene. Several audio recordings capture Sara Evans addressing the Seaboard Regional Conference of Hadassah in 1982. Eli N. Evans's appearance on Richard D. Heffner's The Open Mind is documented.

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James R. Hawkins papers, ca. 1961-1980 15 Linear Feet — 7800 Items

The subject files, correspondence, and published materials in the James R. Hawkins Papers span from ca.1961-1980, chiefly 1971-1975, and document Hawkins' role in civic life in Durham, North Carolina and provide evidence of the issues and concerns facing the citizens of Durham in the 1970s. The subject files retain Hawkins' original folder titles and alphabetical organization and provide an overview of the programs Hawkins was involved with as mayor as well as a view of the general issues Hawkins encountered while mayor of Durham. The correspondence series is arranged alphabetically and chiefly consists of letters to Hawkins from the citizens of Durham voicing their concerns over such civic issues as development, traffic safety, taxes, and various political issues. The correspondence also contains copies of Hawkins' responses to the letters he received from the citizens of Durham. This collection would be of value for scholars studying the recent history of the south or for those wishing to gain a clearer picture of the functioning of city government in the recent past. This collection is open to researchers and has received a minimal level of processing.

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The papers of the League of Women Voters of Durham (LWVD) span the dates 1947-1991, with three main clusters of records: the mid-to-late 1950s, the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the late 1970s through the middle of the 1980s. The papers consist chiefly of newsletters, minutes of the Board and other meetings, administrative and financial records, publicity materials, newspaper clippings, and information related to the political work of the League. Most of the papers address the work of the Durham League, which was founded in 1946 and ceased operations in 1991. Scattered records document the activities of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina (LWVNC).

The League is best known as a non-partisan organization sponsoring voter registration and candidates' forums, and those activities are well-documented here. In addition, League members held meetings to discuss a broad range of other social and political issues, and from those debates formulated positions which the chapter lobbied for in the media and through various political channels. The issues discussed in depth and documented in the collection include school desegregation; the merger of the Durham city and county school systems; local bond issues; the Equal Rights Amendment; foreign trade; diplomatic relations between the United States and China; water and air quality; solid and toxic waste; and reproductive rights. The papers include some correspondence with local, state, and federal officials regarding these and other issues; however, correspondence in general comprises a small portion of the collection.

The papers document the League activities of various Durham women who became prominent in local and state politics. The papers also provide a window into racial politics in Durham, in particular through debates over school desegregation and the proposed merger of the city and county school systems. Voter registration materials and correspondence also shed light on this subject, including a few letters the League received condemning its attempts to register supposedly uneducated African Americans.

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African American civic leader during the period following the Brown decision of 1954 and the Civil Rights Movement. Harris was the first African American city councilman in Durham, N.C., and the first black man to sit on the Durham County Board of Education. The Rencher Nicholas Harris Papers span the years from 1851 to 1980, with the bulk dating from 1926 to 1965. The collection consists mainly of clippings, correspondence, legal papers, photographs, printed materials, journals and diaries, scrapbooks, oversize maps, and reports relating to Harris' work in political and educational affairs in Durham, North Carolina in the 1950s and early 1960s as a member of the City Council and the School Board, with emphasis on school desegregation, civil rights, and race relations in Durham. Also represented is Harris' business career in banking, insurance, and real estate, his role as an official of the Bankers' Fire Insurance Company, and his civic activities, including leadership roles in the NAACP, Lincoln Hospital, and North Carolina Mutual Insurance, and Mechanics and Farmers Bank, all serving African Americans in Durham. Some biographical materials, family papers, and correspondence also relate to his wife, Plassie Williams Harris. Part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture at Duke University.

The Rencher Nicholas Harris Papers span the years from 1851 to 1980, with the bulk dating from 1926 to 1965. The collection consists mainly of clippings, correspondence, legal papers, photographs, printed materials, journals and diaries, scrapbooks, and reports relating to Harris' work in political and educational affairs in Durham, North Carolina in the 1950s and early 1960s as a member of the City Council and the School Board, with emphasis on school desegregation, civil rights, and race relations in Durham. Also represented is Harris' business career in banking, insurance, and real estate, his role as an official of the Bankers' Fire Insurance Company, and his civic activities, including leadership roles in the NAACP, Lincoln Hospital, and North Carolina Mutual Insurance, all in Durham. Some biographical materials and correspondence also relate to his wife, Plassie Williams Harris. In detailing the business and government official activities of Durham's first African American city councilman, the first black man to sit on the Durham County Board of Education, and an active, if rather moderate, African American civic leader during the period following the Brown decision of 1954 and the Civil Rights Movement, this collection is especially significant for the documentation it offers on the problems of city government and race relations in the mid-twentieth-century South. Includes a large group of oversize maps of Durham, N.C. Part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture at Duke University.

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Attorney in Durham, N.C. His wife and son were also prominent N.C. lawyers. The R. O. Everett Papers span the years 1913-1971. Collection includes Everett's extensive diaries, 1915-1971, chronicling Everett's professional career, his interests, his family's careers, and social, civic and historical aspects of life in Durham, N.C. The collection also contains a small amount of correspondence, clippings, lecture notes, printed material, pictures, and other papers. In addition, transcripts for all the diaries in the collection have been converted to electronic documents that have been transferred to the Special Collections file server.

The R. O. Everett Papers span the years 1913-1971, centered around Everett's extensive diaries, 1915-1971, chronicling in detail Everett's professional career beginning in Durham N.C., his interests, his family's careers, and social, civic and historical aspects of life in Durham, N.C. Of particular interest are his discussions of legal cases and local politics. The collection also contains a small amount of correspondence, clippings, lecture notes, printed material, pictures, and other papers. Transcripts for all the diaries in the collection have been converted to electronic documents that have been transferred to the librar file server. Please contact Research Services for access to these files before coming to use the collection.

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Collection consists of correspondence, financial papers, legal papers, writings and speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, films, audio tapes, and other materials reflecting the philanthropic, financial, cultural and social activities of the Semans family and other wealthy families in North Carolina and New York. A major focus is the interrelationship of the Semans family with the Biddle, Duke, and Trent families. Additionally, the papers document the roles of Mary Duke Biddle, James H. Semans and Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans have taken in the development and support of arts and educational programs throughout North Carolina. To a lesser degree, the papers reflect women in politics and childcare issues during the early 20th century.

The papers of the Semans family span the years 1878 to 2008. The collection consists of four large sub-collections: the Mary Duke Biddle Family Papers, the James H. Semans Family Papers, the James H. and Mary D.B.T. Semans Family Papers, and the Elizabeth Lucina Gotham Family Papers. There are also series for films, oversize materials, and later additions.

Through files of correspondence, financial papers, legal papers, writings and speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, films, audio tapes, and other materialsThe collection reflects the philanthropic, financial, cultural, and social activities of the Semans family. Major areas of focus are the personal and social relationships of the Semans family with the Biddle, Duke, and Trent, and other wealthy families from North Carolina, New York, and elsewhere. Additionally, the papers document the roles Mary Duke Biddle, James H. Semans, and Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans have taken in the development and support of arts and educational programs throughout North Carolina. To a lesser degree, the papers reflect on women in politics and childcare during the early twentieth century.

Individuals represented include Mary Duke Biddle (daughter of Benjamin Duke), Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle, Nicholas Benjamin Duke Biddle, Angier Biddle Duke, Angier Buchanan Duke, Benjamin Newton Duke, Sarah Pearson Angier Duke, Elizabeth Lucina Gotham, and Josiah Charles Trent as well as other members of the Duke, Biddle, Trent, and Semans families. Political, arts, and educational leaders are also represented.

Subject areas represented include: families in the late 19th and 20th centuries; the arts in North Carolina and other cities; charities, particularly in North Carolina; childcare and women in nursing; The Duke Endowment; Duke University and other universities and colleges; the North Carolina School of the Arts; education; genealogy of the four families; personal finances; philanthropy; the history of Durham, NC, and its politics and social life; vocational rehabilitation; and the Methodist church, particularly in NC.

The 25 16mm film reels in the collection are chiefly children's cartoons from the 1930s-1940s, but there are also wartime newsreels and a few films for adults, some as early as 1916-1917, and some travel film. Audio tapes consist chiefly of personal family recordings, a set of memoirs dictated onto cassettes in 1977 by Mary D.B.T. Semans, and music performances.

Some portions of the collection are restricted or closed to use; please consult this collection guide for details before coming to use these materials.

For additional collections of Duke family papers, see the Washington Duke Papers, the Benjamin Newton Duke Papers, and the James B. Duke Papers. For further information on the contributions of the Duke family to Duke University, contact the Duke University Archives.