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Allen Langston papers, 1943-1968 0.4 Linear Feet — 316 Items

Raleigh, North Carolina attorney. Correspondence, newspaper clippings, broadsides, and other records of Allen Langston related to his involvement in several North Carolina political campaigns from the 1940s-1960s. Specific campaigns covered include: Kerr Scott's, William B. Unstead's, and Terry Sanford's gubernatorial campaigns in 1947-1949, 1952, and 1960, respectively; and Frank Porter Graham's campaign for U.S. Senate in 1950. Papers from Scott's campaign deal specifically with his attack on his opponent, State Treasurer Charles M. Johnson, for allegedly mismanaging public finances.

Correspondence, newspaper clippings, broadsides, and other records of Allen Langston related to his involvement in several North Carolina political campaigns from the 1940s-1960s. Specific campaigns covered include: Kerr Scott's, William B. Unstead's, and Terry Sanford's gubernatorial campaigns in 1947-1949, 1952, and 1960, respectively; and Frank Porter Graham's campaign for U.S. Senate in 1950. Papers from Scott's campaign deal specifically with his attack on his opponent, State Treasurer Charles M. Johnson, for allegedly mismanaging public finances.

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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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Benjamin Everett Jordan papers, 1896-1974 and undated 110 Linear Feet — circa 104,000 items

Textile manufacturer, politician, and United States Senator from North Caroina (1958-1972). Collection includes Senate office files from Jordan's Washington office consisting mainly of correspondence, committee and legislative files, speeches, memoranda, clippings, photographic negatives, and background materials. Topics include public works projects in North Carolina, especially those related to water resources such as rivers, harbors, beaches, inland navigation, flood control, the B. Everett Jordan Lake, and the New Hope Dam. Other subjects represented in the files are U.S. foreign relations, in particular with the Middle East as well as the Vietnam War; agricultural laws; civil rights; school desegregation and busing; pollution; the National Park Service; transportation and highways; social security; public health; the United Nations; the Senate Rules Committee investigation of Bobby Baker, 1963-1966; labor laws; economic policy; library legislation; and economic conditions in North Carolina.

The papers of B. Everett Jordan span the years 1936 to 1974, with the bulk of the items dating from his years of service in the United States Senate, 1958 to 1972. The collection consists strictly of files from the Senator's Washington office; there are no personal or business papers or materials documenting his political campaigns, the activities of his Senate offices in North Carolina, or political activities prior to 1958. The few pre-1958 items in the collection include background information on several topics and a few files of Jordan's predecessor Senator W. Kerr Scott.

The papers are organized into ten series, most of which are divided into topical subseries. Consisting largely of correspondence, memoranda, legislative documents, and background materials, the collection confirms Jordan's reputation as a diligent and concerned public servant, who was considered by his colleagues to be reliable, genial, and hard-working.

Beginning his service in the Senate at the age of 62, Jordan quickly demonstrated his political savvy and areas of legislative interest. He labored throughout his Senate career on behalf of the interests of agriculture, education, and manufacturing and was proud of his record of doing "the little things" to help his constituents. He worked particularly to encourage the enhancement of water resources in North Carolina, continuing the efforts of W. Kerr Scott on public works projects. His stance on most issues was conservative to moderate. Although usually in accord with his North Carolina colleague Senator Sam Ervin, Jordan at times took an independent stand, casting votes in opposition not only to Ervin but the bloc of other Southern Senators as well, especially from 1964 on.

The Legislation Files contain a complete or nearly-complete record of bills which Jordan sponsored or co-sponsored or on which he participated in debates. In most years, Jordan fell into the bottom third of Senators in terms of numbers of bills which bore his name as sponsor or co-sponsor, though his activity increased over the years. He was a strong proponent of a broad range of major agriculture bills including nutrition programs, farm credit and insurance, agricultural and forestry research, crop marketing, and especially tobacco programs. In the area of natural resources, the files show Jordan's active support for the creation of the Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras National Seashores in North Carolina. Some of the larger files in the Legislative Series contain extensive constituent correspondence related to particular bills. As in most of the series, correspondence with other senators found here is largely routine in nature. There is considerable overlap of topics among the Legislation, Committee, and Subject series, with related material often located, too, in the Writings and Speeches Series and among the Clippings.

The Committee Files are fullest for the Agriculture and Forestry Committee. Documentation of Rules and Administration Committee activity is somewhat limited during the period of Jordan's chairmanship, at least in part because committee chairmen's files are maintained by the committee or with committee records at the National Archives. As Rules Committee chairman Jordan received the most national exposure of his Senate years--and engendered the greatest partisan controversy--presiding at the televised hearings investigating the financial dealings of Robert G. (Bobby) Baker, the former Senate staff member considered a protege of Lyndon Johnson. Although the material in Jordan's papers about the Baker affair is very limited, substantial records of the investigation are preserved at the National Archives (as part of RG 46, Records of the U.S. Senate). The Public Works Committee files are also sparse, and only minimal information survives here about Jordan's minor committee assignments.

The Subject Files are the largest part of the Jordan collection; the bulk of these papers consists of constituent correspondence and examples of Jordan's replies, which were most often handled by form letters. Samples of out-of-state mail were also retained in many subseries. The sections on Agriculture, Foreign Relations, and Public Works contain the fullest documentation of Jordan's activities. Other topics of less central concern to Jordan or files containing many repetitions of Jordan's or constituents' opinions, have been sampled, with ten to thirty percent of the original size of the subseries retained. The Foreign Relations files are overwhelmingly devoted to the war in Southeast Asia in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Jordan's incoming mail on this topic shifted increasingly to anti-war opinions with each passing year, and in June 1970, following the invasion of Cambodia, Jordan became the first Southern senator publicly to renounce the Nixon Administration's military policy. The Public Works Files document, often in considerable political and technical detail, Jordan's efforts on behalf of flood control, navigation, and beach protection projects. Notable among the best-documented projects is the New Hope Dam and Reservoir Project in the Cape Fear River Basin, which in 1973 was renamed Jordan Lake in honor of the Senator. Among the smaller files, the Judiciary Files are important in illustrating major concerns of the period, notably civil rights, civil unrest, gun control, and school prayer. While Jordan took a conservative states' rights position on many of these issues, the papers also show that he supported the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972.

The next two series, U.S. and N.C. Government Branches and Departments, further illustrate the diligent activity of Jordan's well-organized staff on behalf of constituents. Only a very few of the large numbers of case files documenting the problems of individuals as they tried to interact with the government have been kept. The letters in the retained files contain constituents' opinions and questions on local, regional, or national issues, along with the replies from Jordan's office and the government agency to which the letter was referred. The U.S. Government series is by far the larger and more informative set of records.

The Federal Loans and Grants Series contains widely varying amounts of information about projects. Some files hold merely notifications of action taken on grants; others contain documented grant applications, clippings, and correspondence which contribute to understanding the interaction of governments for local and regional development.

Miscellaneous Series (so labelled by Jordan's office) consist mainly of General files (correspondence from constituents covering multiple issues), Legislative files (correspondence about multiple bills), and a small number of Personal files (correspondence from personal friends and political allies, often on multiple topics). The letters in these subseries are largely similar to other constituent correspondence. The Personal files contain letters to and from Jordan in his senatorial role, not private correspondence.

The Writings and Speeches Series appears to be a nearly complete record of Jordan's speeches, statements, newsletters, and press releases. Remarks made on the Senate floor in connection with particular bills are filed in the Legislation series.

The Clippings Series was honed down substantially from the hundreds of envelopes sent to Jordan's office by clipping services. Editorials, major news and feature stories, Jordan's regular column ("Senator Jordan Reports"), and cartoons--nearly all from North Carolina newspapers--were retained; thousands of duplicates, minor news stories, and general background articles on most topics were discarded.

The single folder of oversize material contains several large maps of flood control projects and a full-page campaign advertisement from a newspaper.

The Photographs Series contains negatives for photographs taken of Jordan while he carried out his Senate duties, 1958-1972. Jordan is the primary subject of each photograph, although several photos feature Jordan with others, most often his wife, visitors, or fellow Senate members, including Sen. John Kennedy and Vice-president Lyndon Johnson.

The Jordan papers are useful for documenting Jordan's public career in the Senate and his views on many issues but not his personal life or private thoughts. In addition the extensive incoming correspondence provides an overview of public concerns on many issues of the period and documents the sense of regional and national crisis that was widespread especially in the mid-to-late 1960s. The correspondence throughout the collection includes scattered letters from a number of prominent North Carolina and national politicians, agricultural and business leaders, but these have not been indexed. The Jordan Papers are complemented by the papers of Senator Samuel J. Ervin, which are housed in the Wilson Library, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Ervin's Senate service, from 1954 to 1974, closely paralleled Jordan's; the two collections together extensively document on a regional and national level many of the political, economic, and social concerns of the era.

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Bob Sheldon papers, 1968-1991 2.1 Linear Feet — 500 Items

Political activist; nurse; owner of Internationalist Book Store in Chapel Hill, N.C. Sheldon was murdered in the store on February 21, 1991. Drafts of Sheldon's speeches, articles, diary and notes; news clippings; printed materials; and transcripts of trials and FBI files. Materials relate chiefly to his political activism as a draft resister in 1968; a visit to China in the 1970s, including slides; work with the Communist Workers Party in the 1970s and the Green Party in the 1980s; union organizing at Cone Mills Textile plant in the 1970s; and various Palestine issues in the 1980s.

Drafts of Sheldon's speeches, articles, diary and notes; news clippings; printed materials; and transcripts of trials and FBI files. Materials relate chiefly to his political activism as a draft resister in 1968; a visit to China in the 1970s, including slides; work with the Communist Workers Party in the 1970s and the Green Party in the 1980s; union organizing at Cone Mills Textile plant in the 1970s; and various Palestine issues in the 1980s.

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Clyde Roark Hoey papers, 1943-1954 100 Linear Feet — 211 boxes; about 167,000 items

The Clyde Roark Hoey Papers consist of office files created during Hoey's service in the United States Senate from 1944 through April, 1954. Correspondence, typed and printed material, clippings, and pictures provide a chronicle of Hoey's national political career as well as of American affairs during the early post-World War II period.

The Clyde Roark Hoey Papers consist of Hoey's senatorial files accumulated in his offices in Washington, D. C. and Shelby N. C. The papers cover the period from 1943 through April, 1954, but there are few items for 1943. The quantity of material is greater for the years toward the end of Hoey's career. The Hoey Papers are divided into two series: Correspondence and Subjects. For information on the structure of the collection consult the Series Description.

Incoming and outgoing correspondence with related clippings, printed material, and photographs predominates in both series. Constituent mail forms the largest category of correspondence, encompassing several types of letters and varying widely in significance and content. Many letters from constituents urge Hoey to support or oppose particular legislation, such as universal military training, grain exports to India, or tax measures. They range from the mass-produced form letter to the more detailed and analytical arguments of prominent businessmen, educators, and politicians in North Carolina. Other constituent mail relates to North Carolina projects and affairs such as power dams, defense plants, and appropriations to local interest groups. Still other constituent mail consists of requests for Hoey's assistance in obtaining employment or promotions, changing military status, obtaining visas, and similar personal matters, Routine correspondence involves requests for publications, general letters of commendation, or publicity about individual constituents,

Correspondence from all areas of the country concerns legislation or provides comment on world or domestic affairs in the postwar period. Colleagues in the Senate and members of the North Carolina congressional delegation are represented in the correspondence, but frequently they write only letters of transmittal or send personal greetings. A few letters involve the Hoey family. Most of these are exchanged between Senator Hoey and his son-in-law, Dan M, Paul. For some years personal and family papers are filed with H correspondence. For more information on individuals who corresponded with Hoey, consult the Partial List of Correspondents for 1949 in the Series Description.

The main part of the Subject Series is an alphabetical file containing correspondence and printed material about national and state affairs. Most of this correspondence is also constituent or pressure mail. Specific subjects in the Series are described in more detail in the Container listing. Speeches and miscellaneous items are included in the Subject Series.

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David Newton Henderson papers, 1930-1976 218 Linear Feet — 439 Boxes

Correspondence, reports, speeches, drafts of bills, notes, newsletters, printed material, clippings, and other papers, relating to Henderson's service as representative from the 3rd Congressional district of North Carolina, including material relating to his work on the Post Office, Civil Service, and Public Works committees, and to civil rights, minimum wage, federal aid to education, the Vietnam Conflict, anti-poverty programs, foreign aid, tobacco, Watergate, the energy crisis of the early 1970s, and local affairs and projects in eastern North Carolina.

The David Newton Henderson Papers contain the office files of Congressman Henderson when he was the U.S. Representative for the Third District of North Carolina. The papers span from 1930 to 1976, but the bulk of the papers covers Henderson's years in office, 1961-1976. Henderson's predecessor, Congressman Graham A. Barden, left Henderson many papers on ongoing business, especially local projects.

The Henderson Papers contain correspondence, printed material, speeches, invitations, newspaper clippings, photographs, newsletters, financial statements, legislative reports and notes, and drafts of bills. The great majority of this collection is correspondence which Henderson's office exchanged with constituents, legislative officials, and officials of federal and state agencies.

The papers are divided into the following fifteen series:

Campaign Files

Case Files

Committee Files

Correspondence: Answer Copies

County Project Files

Engagements

Federal and State Agencies

Legislation

Military Academy Files

Newsletters and News Releases

Newspaper Clippings

Post Office Files

Speeches

Subject Files

Oversize Box

The largest series are Committee Files, County Project Files, Federal and State Agencies, Legislation, and Subject Files. The Committee Files contain material relating to Henderson's various committee and subcommittee memberships and reflect the actual creation of legislation. The Legislation Series contains drafts of specific bills and legislative reports and notes. Subject Files contain mostly constituent mail on legislation, current issues, and various subjects. County Project Files concern projects and local affairs in the Third District. The Federal and State Agencies Series reflects Henderson's role as an intermediary between constituents' problems and requests and the appropriate governmental agency which could deal with their problems.

There is some overlap among series. For example, using the broad subject Agriculture, a constituent's letter supporting an agricultural price-support bill would appear under Subject Files. Agriculture. Drafts of that specific bill might be under Legislation. Material on an agricultural cooperative project in the Third District would be in the County Project Files. A constituent's request for exemption from certain federal regulations regarding crop measurement would be under Federal and State Agencies. Agriculture, Department of. For more information summarizing the contents of each category see the introductions at the beginning of each section in the inventory.

The papers reflect many types of public opinion: organized and repetitive pressure mail, professional lobbying activities of national interest groups, letters ranging from semi-literate constituents to well-known local and national leaders. The papers show a definite paper spiral during the 1960s and 1970s with the volume of Henderson's files increasing yearly.

The Henderson Papers illustrate many national trends of the 1960s and 1970s. Henderson's work on the Post Office and Civil Service and the Public Works committees made him instrumental in matters of national importance and brought him correspondence from around the nation. These papers particularly reveal trends in federal employment practices in the 1960s and 1970s. The papers contain much material about the reorganization of the Post Office Department into the Postal Service in 1969-1970. The papers reveal public opinion and legislative trends on such issues as civil rights, the Vietnamese War, the energy crisis of the early 1970s, and the Watergate affair. Henderson illustrates well the position of a conservative southern Democratic congressman voting against all civil rights legislation, opposing extension and raising of the minimum wage, federal aid to education, the War Against Poverty, and foreign aid. He consistently supported the presidents' positions on Vietnam, "right-to-Work" laws, and agricultural price supports.

The Henderson Papers contain rich information on local interests, affairs, and personalities in the Third District of North Carolina. Henderson vigorously supported local interests in Congress. He vehemently opposed restrictions on tobacco advertising and other "anti-tobacco" legislation. Henderson's correspondence and campaign material reveal the network of the Democratic political machinery in eastern North Carolina and his relationship with the local power structure.

Specific subjects are discussed in more detail in the inventory.

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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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Erwin Cotton Mills records, 1832-1976 and undated, bulk 1892-1967 156 Linear Feet — 357 volumes; 66 boxes; 6 oversize folders.

Account books, nearly complete, and office files, very incomplete, of the Erwin Mills textile mill, chiefly 1892-1967, and some personal papers of William Allen Erwin. The business files include letters, volumes, legal and financial papers, memoranda, printed material, reports, blueprints, and other records of the company.

The records of the Erwin Cotton Mills, a textile manufacturing company, date primarily from 1982-1967 but include items as early as 1832 and as late as 1976. There are ten series: Information; Account Books; Alphabetical; Labor Relations; William Allen Erwin; Pearl Cotton Mills; Cooleemee Cotton Mills; Erwin Yarn company; and J. N. Ledford Company. The collection relates mostly to the company's textile operations and related matters, but there is also some material concerning William A. Erwin's personal and family interests. The account books are largely intact. Most of the correspondence and topical records have not survived and are represented here only by scattered files. Records from the subsidiaries and acquired companies vary but have survived in similar fashion. the Account Books Series and Alphabetical Series comprise the bulk of the collection.

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The Few family papers includes correspondence, business and financial papers, clippings, printed material, and genealogical information. The collection was created by various members of the Thomas and Few families, with the majority being created by Mary Reamey Thomas Few and her husband, Dr. William P. Few, president of Trinity College (1910-1924) and Duke University (1924-1940). The collection ranges in date from 1861-1986 (bulk 1905-1967).

The Few family papers encompass two families: the Few family and the Thomas family. The majority of the collection was created by Mary Reamey Thomas Few and her husband, Dr. William P. Few. The collection is divided into six series: Correspondence, Genealogy, Miscellaneous, Political Papers of Mary Reamey Thomas Few, Family Materials, and Duke University Materials.

The Correspondence series is broken down into several subseries based on how the correspondence was grouped by the Few family. The majority of the correspondence was written by and to members of the Few and Thomas families, including letters between Dr. and Mrs. Few prior to their marriage as well as letters from Mrs. Few to her parents while she was an undergraduate at Trinity College (Durham, N.C.). Other subjects in the correspondence series include family and business matters and social conditions in Durham, as well as letters and telegrams sent to the family after the death of William Preston Few in 1940.

The Genealogy series includes research notes and information accumulated by Mrs. Few as well as applications for membership in several historical and genealogical societies.

The Miscelleanous series includes financial and business papers, Lyne Starling Thomas' business papers, printed material, clippings, and address/memo books.

The Political Papers series consists of correspondence, memorabilia, pamphlets, clippings, photographs and printed materials amassed by Mary Reamey Thomas Few in her capacity as a leader in the Republican Party.

The Family Materials subseries contains photographs, memorabilia, business papers, clippings, certificates and diplomas, and other materials collected by William Preston Few, Mary Randolph Few, and their sons.

The Duke University Materials series contains photographs, magazines, newspaper clippings, correspondence, booklets and brochures, and other items relating to the history of Duke University and Trinity College, collected by members of the Few family, primarily Mary Reamey Thomas Few.

Many files contain handwritten notes identifying the contents, written by the family members who originally organized and identified the materials.

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Chiefly diaries but also includes correspondence, other writings and speeches, printed material, memoranda, photocopies of clippings, financial and genealogical papers, and family photographs. The collection principally relates to Newton's career as a politician and attorney as described in his extensive diaries, 1907-1984. He ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives, 8th District, N.C. in 1938, 1940, and 1942. He also unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in 1944.