North Carolina. State Dept. of Archives and Histor.

Biennial report of the North Carolina State Department of Archives and History [serial] (Volume 1952/54) online

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JULY 1, 1952

JUNE 30, 1954





Executive Board

B, F. Brown,* Chairman, Raleigh
W. T. LAPRADE, Durham
McDANIEL LEWIS, Greensboro
MRS. P. F. PATTON, Hendersonville
MRS. B. T. WILLIAMS, Stedman


Resignation accepted by Governor Umstead, May 6, 1954.


To His Excellency
William B. Umstead

Governor of North Carolina

Dear Governor Umstead:

In compliance with Chapter 55, Session Laivs of 1945, I
have the honor to submit herewith for your Excellency's
consideration the Biennial Report of the North Carolina
Department of Archives and History for the period, July 1,
1952-June 30, 1954.


Christopher Crittenden,

Raleigh, July 1, 1954

Staff of the Department of Archives and History, at the main
entrance to the Education Building, September 16, 1953. Included
(left to right) are: crouching, Henry G. Perry, Marvin K. Rogers;
first row, Marjorie T. Rose, Mrs. Blanche M. Johnson, Christopher
Crittenden, William S. Tarlton; second roiv, Mrs. Julia C. Mecon-
nahey, Mrs. Doris H. Harris, Mrs. Beatrice R. Hardie, Rachel Rob-
erts, Elizabeth Ann Cannady, Mary M. Whitaker; third row, Jean S.
Denny, Bernice B. Day, Leslie Lou Stewart, Anne McDonald, Beth G.
Crabtree; fourth roiv, Mrs. June S. Cherry, Mrs. Frances H. Whitley,
Barbara Stoughton, Mrs. Mary R. Watson, Rebecca T. Ball,
Barbara A. McKeithan, Norman C. Larson, Mrs. Joye E. Jordan,
Mrs. Elizabeth W. Wilborn, D. L. Corbitt.

Members of the staff not in the picture are: Leonard Austin,
W. Frank Burton, Mrs. Dorothy R. Phillips (who took the picture),
and Mrs. Mary J. Rogers. Total number of staff members, thirty-one.


A Period of Expansion 6

Historical Marker Program 14

Division of Archives and Manuscripts 16

Division of Museums 23

Division of Publications 29

Appendixes :

I Appropriations and Expenditures, 1930-1954 38

II Appropriations and Expenditures, 1952-1954 38

III Number of Employees as of June 30 of each

year listed, 1908-1954 39

IV Positions and Salary Ranges, June 30, 1954 39

V List of Employees, Showing Title, and Period

of Services 40

VI Publications of Members of the Staff 41

VII Terms of Office of Members of the Executive Board;
the Members June 30, 1954; and the Dates of

Appointment 43

VIII New Historical Markers Approved During the

Biennium 43

IX Ceremonies at the Unveiling of Historical Markers ... 45

X Archives and Manuscripts Accessioned 46

XI Visits to the Search Room by State and Foreign

Country, 1952-1954 55

XII Number of Visits to Search Room for Each

Biennium, 1928-1954 55

XIII Colleges and Universities Represented in Visits

to Search Room 56

XIV State Records Microfilmed, August, 1952-June, 1954 . . 56
XV State Agencies and Institutions and Counties

Served in Handling Their Record Pi'oblems 57

XVI Registration at the Hall of History by State and

Foreign Country, 1952-1954 57

XVII Museum Items Accessioned 59

XVIII Volumes, Pamphlets, Leaflets, and Charts

Mailed by Month 73

XIX Copies of The North Carolina Historical Review

Mailed Per Issue 73

XX Back Issues of The North Caroliva

Reviexv Mailed Per Month 73

XXI Paid-up Subscriptions, New or Renewal,

Received for The North Carolina Historical

Review, Per Month 74

XXII Articles Published in The North Carolina

Historical Review 74

XXIII Documentary Materials Published in The North

Carolina Historical Review 76

XXIV Copies of Carolina Comments Mailed Per Issue ... 76




July 1, 1952, to June 30, 1954

A Period of Expansion

Expansion was the keynote of the 1952-1954 biennium.
Expansion in appropriations, in staff, in the various activi-
ties of the Department — all were notable during the two
years under review.

In 1953 the Department, successor to the State Historical
Commission established in 1903, celebrated its fiftieth anni-
versary. In half a century the program had been broadened
and expanded along various lines, but by far the greatest
expansion occurred during the years following World
War II and especially in the latest biennium. In 1954 the
Department received from the American Association for
State and Local History an award of merit for its first half
century of achievement and service.


The Department's appropriation, which had declined to
a low of $11,315 during the depression year 1934-35, began
to climb as business conditions improved, but as late as
1940-41 it was only $21,160 and in 1944-45 only $28,212.
After the latter year, however, the increase was rapid, to
$64,073 in 1948-49 and to $161,203 in 1953-54, which was
almost fourteen times the depression low. Also certain addi-
tional sums for various purposes are available to the De-


Although not as large percentagewise, there was also a
marked increase in the staff. In 1936 only eight persons were
employed and as late as 1944 only eleven. After that date,
however, the growth was notable — to thirteen in 1946 ; six-

1 For appropriations and expenditures, 1930-1954, and the Department's budget, 1952-
1954, see below, Appendixes I-II, pp. 38-39.

State Department of Archives and History 7

teen in 1948 ; eighteen in 1950 ; twenty in 1952 ; and thirty-
one in 1954. Thus the staff had grown to be almost four
times as large as eighteen years earlier.^

Historical Markers

The historical marker program had progressed until at
the end of the biennium the total number of markers ap-
proved was 740. Historians from several of the state's
leading colleges and universities generously gave their time
to writing the inscriptions. The marker program continued
to arouse a great deal of popular interest, as was indicated
by the fact that unveiling ceremonies, planned and arranged
by local groups or individuals, were held for nineteen mark-
ers in various parts of the state.

Archives and Manuscripts

In the field of archives and manuscripts, the most notable
expansion occurred in the records management program. In
recent years various state departments, especially the larger
ones such as Agriculture, Highway, Motor Vehicles, and
Revenue, had been accumulating records so rapidly that
these piled up in offices and hallways or were transferred
to basements and other poorly suited depositories. A ware-
house originally erected to house the Emergency Relief
Administration records came to be used for the semicurrent
records of several agencies. In 1941 custody of this building
was assigned to the Department of Archives and History
and efforts were made to use it as efficiently as possible. At
best, however, it was a makeshift, and the need for a suit-
able record center became steadily more pressing.

Construction of this center was finally begun in 1952 and
it was occupied in September, 1953. Located on the north-
east corner of the intersection of Lane and McDowell streets
in Raleigh, the building is of brick construction, with a large
freight elevator, and has two stories. The Record Center
occupies all but a small part of the second story and contains
18,354 square feet of floor space, in which at the end of the

1 For the number of employees, 1908-1954; positions and salary ranges, June 30, 1954;
list of employees, 1952-1954 ; and list of staff publications, see below, Appendixes
in-VI, pp. 39-41.

8 Twenty-Fifth Biennial Report

biennium there had been placed some 16,621 cubic feet of

The State Records Microfilm Project was continued on an
enlarged scale, and the record problem was further met by
the beginning of a series of administrative histories of the
various state agencies, with a view to obtaining a better
understanding of their records problems, and the scheduling
of different series of records for disposal or transfer to the
archives after varying periods of time. By the end of the
biennium it was believed that the records-control problem
was well in hand.^

Hall of History

The Hall of History (state historical museum) continued
to carry on a broad program. Notable were the acquisition
of the valuable collection of some 20,000 photographic
negatives that was willed to the Department by the late
Albert Barden of Raleigh and the launching of a Junior
Historian Program. In a number of states of the Union such
a program has been successfully conducted and it is believed
that it can have the important effect of teaching the school
children of North Carolina more about their state and local
history. -
The Department's publication program was continued on
an expanded basis. From the establishment of the Historical
Commission in 1903 to the end of June, 1954, a total of 335
items had been published, of which 43 were issued during
the latest biennium. The documentary publications included
the first volume of The John Gray Blount Papers, edited by
Dr. Alice Barnwell Keith of Meredith College, and two
volumes of The Papers of Willie Person Mangum, edited by
Dr. Henry Thomas Shanks of Birmingham Southern Col-
lege. Of note also was The Carolina Charter of 1663, by
William Stevens Powell, which gives detailed information
regarding this extremely rare document that was acquired

1 For further information on the program and accomplishments of the Division of
Archives and Manuscripts, see below, pp. 16-22.

2 For more detailed information regarding the program of the Division of Museums,
see below, pp. 23-28.

10 Twenty-Fifth Biennial Report

by the Department in 1949. At the end of the biennium there
was in hand the material for some eight documentary vol-
umes, and even more was in preparation.^

Literary and Historical Association

From the beginning the Department had maintained a
close relationship with the State Literary and Historical
Association (established in 1900) and for many years the
Department's Director had served as the Association's Sec-
retary. Late in 1951 the Association launched a program of
broader service to the people of the state and this program
was continued during the biennium under review. In two
and one-half years the membership had been increased from
434 to more than 1,100, a gain of approximately 150 per
cent. In addition to the annual meeting that had been con-
ducted in the State Capital since 1900, the Association be-
ginning in 1952 held each year two regional meetings, one in
the late spring (in the Coastal Plain or Piedmont) and one
in the late summer (in the Mountains). A Committee on
Historical Materials (of which Mr. W. Frank Burton, the
State Archivist, was chairman) actively promoted the pres-
ervation of archives and manuscripts throughout the state.
A Committee on Local Historical Societies (of which Mr.
D. L. Corbitt, the Department's Editor, was chairman) suc-
cessfully encouraged the formation of local historical organi-
zations. A Committee on Museums (of which Mrs. Joye E.
Jordan, the Department's Museum Administrator, was a
member) worked for the establishment and efficient func-
tioning of local historical museums. A Committee on Awards
carefully studied its problems and as a result of its work no
less than five literary and historical awards came to be
made annually through the Association. Altogether the
Association was playing an increasingly active and in-
fluential part in the life of the state.

Serving the People

Members of the Department's staff, in an effort better to
serve the people of North Carolina, did a great deal of
traveling throughout the state — attending meetings of local

1 For further data on the publication program, see below, pp. 29-37.

State Department of Archives and History


Historic bites Commission at meeting- in Charlotte, March 16, 1954.
Left to right : seated, James A. Stenhouse, chairman, Charlotte; Mrs.
Ernest L. Ives, Southern Pines; standing, William T. Polk, Greens-
boro; Christopher Crittenden, secretarv, Raleigh; Paul A. Reid,
Cullowhee; Hugh T. Lefler, Chapel Hill.

historical groups, delivering historical addresses, taking
pictures of historic sites, collecting museum items, partici-
pating in the celebration of anniversaries, advising local
officials regarding their records problems, taking part in
ceremonies at the unveiling of historical markers, and in
other ways carrying on the program of the Department.
Staff members also attended the meetings, and in many
cases took part in the programs, of various professional
groups — the American Historical Association, Southern His-
torical Association, American Association for State and
Local History, Society of American Archivists, American
Association of Museums, Southeastern Museums Confer-
ence, and National Trust for Historic Preservation. Mem-
bers of the staff served as officers or on the governing
bodies of several of these organizations and played a large
part in organizing the Southeastern Museums Conference.

12 Twenty-Fifth Biennial Report

Allied Commissions

The Director of the Department served as a member of
several state commissions working in historical and allied
fields. He was ex officio Secretary of the Historic Sites Com-
mission, established by the General Assembly to coordinate
the state's activities in this realm. He was Secretary of
the state commission to handle North Carolina's part in
the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the first flight
of a power-driven, heavier-than-air machine. He served
ex ofl!icio as a member of the two commissions to restore
or reconstruct the respective birthplaces of Governor Zeb-
ulon Baird Vance in Buncombe County and of Governor
Charles Brantley Aycock in Wayne County.

New Building

A request was made to the General Assembly in 1953 for
an appropriation of $1,596,095 for the erection of a new
building for the Department. A bill for this purpose was
introduced in the House of Representatives and received
a favorable report from the House Library Committee.
While the bill failed to win the approval of the Joint Ap-
propriations Committee, a considerable amount of interest
in the proposed structure was aroused on the part of both
members of the General Assembly and also of the public
at large.

Executive Board

On May 8, 1953, Governor William B. Umstead reap-
pointed as members of the Executive Board, for terms ex-
piring March 31, 1959, Miss Gertrude Carraway of New
Bern, Dr. W. T. Laprade of Durham, and Mr. McDaniel
Lewis of Greensboro.

On May 6, 1954, Governor Umstead accepted the resigna-
tion as a member of the Board of Dean B. F. Brown, who
had moved to Florida. Dean Brown had served as a mem-
ber of the Board since his appointment, March 10, 1950,
and as Chairman since his election by that body,
August 22, 1950. ^

^ For the terms of members of the Executive Board ; the members, June 30, 1954
and the dates of appointment, see below, Appendix VII, p. 43.

State Department of Archives and History 13

More detailed information regarding the activities and
accomplishments of the Department during the biennium
will be found in the reports for the Historical Marker
Program and for the three divisions on the pages that

Edwin A. Miles, Researcher

By June 30, 1954, a total of 740 markers had been
authorized under the state Historical Marker Program,
which had been conducted since 1935 by the Department
in cooperation with the State Department of Conservation
and Development and the State Highway and Public Works
Commission. Sixty-two new markers were ordered during
the biennium.^ In April, 1953, a new contract was nego-
tiated with Sewah Studios of Marietta, Ohio, for the manu-
facture of markers at $87,50 apiece with 7-foot post and
$92.50 per marker with 10-foot post.

The following historians served on the Advisory Commit-
tee which approved the inscriptions for the new markers:
Forrest W. Clonts, Wake Forest College ; William B. Hamil-
ton and Robert H. Woody, Duke University; Frontis W.
Johnston, Davidson College; Luther W. Barnhardt, State
College; and Elisha P. Douglass, Cecil Johnson, Hugh T.
Lefler, James W. Patton, and William S. Powell, University
of North Carolina. Christopher Crittenden served as Chair-
man, and the Researcher regularly met with the committee.

With most of the major historic sites already marked,
emphasis was placed upon effecting a greater geographical
and topical balance in the program. At the close of the
biennium there was at least one marker in each of 99 of
the state's 100 counties. Since a large percentage of earlier
markers had pertained to political or military subjects,
greater stress was placed upon economic, social, and cul-
tural aspects of Tar Heel history in selecting new sites to
be marked.

During the period compilation of copy for the publication
of the fourth edition of the Guide to North Carolina His-
torical Highway Markers was almost completed. With the
erection of many new markers, the third edition, published
in 1949, had become out of date.

The Department received much favorable publicity as a
result of ceremonies held at the unveiling of 19 new his-

' For a list, see below. Appendix VHI, pp. 43-45.

State Department of Archives and History


torical markers.^ At most of these programs members of
the staff or of the Executive Board spoke about various
aspects of the Department's program.

Some of the group at the unveiling of the William Chiuniele
marker in Belmont, Gaston County, May 29, 1953. Left to right are
Christopher Crittenden, Kay Herrin, Alma Goode, Miss Harriet
Loughridge, and Miss Ruth Torrence. By the end of the biennium
740 markers had been authorized.

^ For a list of these ceremonies, see below, Appendix IX, pp. 45-46.

W. Frank Burton, State Archivist

During the biennium the program of the Division of
Archives and Manuscripts was conducted in accordance
with the three main functions of archives: to collect, pre-
serve, and restore archives and manuscripts valuable for
historical and other research ; to make materials available
for use ; and to serve the various other governmental units
in the state in matters relating to their records. It was
pointed out in the latest previous Biennial Report that the
Division needed to concentrate its efforts along four main
lines: (1) to expand the program of repair and restora-
tion, (2) to bring the records under tighter control, (3) to
collect more aggressively in the field of private and un-
official manuscripts, and (4) to work out schedules for
the records of the various state agencies and expand the
state microfilm project. The following pages will indicate
the extent to which these objectives were achieved.


Despite the fact that laminating equipment (which
greatly speeded up the process) was installed in 1950, more
time needed to be spent in the Department's repair shop.
During the biennium an opportunity arose when the Secre-
tary of State, with a view to repairing, restoring, and re-
binding 150 volumes of land grant records in his custody,
sought the advice of the Department of Archives and His-
tory. Obviously the job could not be undertaken without
money for supplies and at least one additional employee.

The Budget Bureau authorized a transfer of funds to
carry the project from March 1, 1954, to the end of the
fiscal year 1954-1955. Accordingly more laminating sup-
plies were purchased and an additional employee was added
to the Department's pay roll on March 1. This meant that
the Department was in a better position to restore valuable
state records and it was anticipated that by undertaking
this particular project we could look forward to retaining
the additional employee as a permanent member of the

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Scene in the archives. The records shown are those of the State
Department of Public Instruction. The archives contain 9,770 square
feet of floor space and house 7,406 cubic feet of records.

18 Twenty-Fifth Biennial Report

staff. In short, here was an opportunity to expand the
program where expansion was indicated.

There were several other improvements in the Depart-
ment's system of preserving records. The operation of the
air conditioning system was greatly improved and all newly
accessioned records were fumigated before being placed
in the stack areas. In addition to the land grant project,
10,821 pages of valuable records were restored by lamina-
tion, including Legislative Papers, records from the Secre-
tary of State, and records from seven counties.


The Department's policy of bringing all newly acquired
materials under control before they are placed in the ar-
chives and of tightening controls of previously accessioned
materials was continued. The regular checklists and in-
ventories were prepared of vast quantities of records re-
ceived from other governmental agencies, including Gov-
ernor's Papers and records of the State Department of
Public Instruction. This meant that for several years no
backlog of uncontrolled materials had been allowed to ac-

Private and Unofficial Manuscripts

During the biennium there were two meetings of the
State Literary and Historical Association's Committee on
Historical Materials, of which the State Archivist is chair-
man. The committee made a concerted effort to encourage
persons possessing valuable historical materials to turn
them over to a reputable depository. This was done through
publicity in various newspapers and through key persons
interested in historical documents. It was recommended
that persons possessing such materials be advised to com-
municate with the chairman, who in each case replied with
a form letter outlining the committee's policy and recom-
mending adequately equipped depositories. It was felt that
this program produced results.

A few of the significant collections of private manuscripts
that were acquired are:

State Department of Archives and History 19

William Sydney Porter (0. Henry) Papers, 1904 and

1905. 20 letters photocopied.
Diary of John Willis Council, 1864-1865. 1 volume.
Daphne Carraway Collection, 1881-1933. 316 pieces. ^


It may be safely stated that the first law of archival
science is to preserve records, but the use made of records
indicates in large measure the wisdom that has been exer-
cised in collecting private manuscripts and in selecting
official archives to be preserved. Of the 5,402 visits to the
Search Room, 4,218 were made by residents of North Car-
olina and the other 1,184 represented 34 states and Canada.-

The Division received 3,570 mail enquiries and every
effort was made to render the maximum service consistent
with the fact that the staff is limited. Of the total number
of such enquiries, 3,036 originated outside of North Caro-
lina, in 45 states, Alaska, Austria, Canada, England, Ha-
waii, and Ireland. There were 168 enquiries by telephone.
In addition the Division wrote 668 letters regarding such
professional matters as service to state agencies and coun-
ties and the intake of records.

There was a real demand for the documentary reproduc-
tion services offered by the Department. A total of 6,536
photostats was furnished for a total cost of $1,709.40, and
266 certified copies were supplied for $274.00.

Persons classified as "students," "historians," and "legal
searchers" made 654 visits to the Search Room. They rep-
resented 37 colleges and universities in all parts of the

1 3 4 5 6

Online LibraryNorth Carolina. State Dept. of Archives and HistorBiennial report of the North Carolina State Department of Archives and History [serial] (Volume 1952/54) → online text (page 1 of 6)