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Collection Number: 04789

Collection Title: Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 600 items)
Abstract The Blackwood family of Orange County, N.C., included Robert P. Blackwood, an engineer for the Southern Railway Company who married Alice M. Craig around 1896. The couple's children included Mattie E. (1889- 1977), Annie, Florence, Vernon, Samuel, and Carl. While the family home appears to have been in Chapel Hill, family members made frequent visits to friends and relatives in Hillsborough and Reidsville, including the Rev. D. Irvin Craig, who was clerk of the Synod of the North Carolina and Orange Presbytery. Chiefly letters of Blackwood family members, related Craig family members, and other relatives and friends. Most letters detail routine family activities. Early letters largely relate to Craig family members. In the late 1890s, there are many letters from the newly married Alice Blackwood, in Chapel Hill or other locations in Orange County, to her husband, Robert, traveling as an engineer with the Southern Railway Company. These letters chiefly discuss family matters; there is little mention of Robert's work. In the early 1900s, there are childhood letters to Robert and Alice's daughters Mattie and Annie, at school in Chapel Hill, from relatives and friends. Few letters mention school activities. In 1911, there are several letters relating to Mattie's desire to attend the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro); these letters are largely about finding money to fund her studies and making sure of her commitment to the teaching profession. From 1913 to 1917, Mattie attended college, and, from 1918-1929, she taught school in Seaboard, N.C., but letters rarely mention her school or teaching activities. In 1929, Mattie returned to Chapel Hill to teach. Letters end in 1932, with a few from brother Carl, who was in the United States Army.
Creator Blackwood family.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Blackwood Family Papers #4789, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from the estate of Mattie E. Blackwood in July 1978 (Acc. 95155).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

The Blackwood family of Orange County, N.C., included Robert P. Blackwood, an engineer for the Southern Railway Company who married Alice M. Craig around 1896. The couple's children included Mattie E. (1889- 1977), Annie, Florence, Vernon, Samuel, and Carl. While the family home appears to have been in Chapel Hill, family members made frequent visits to friends and relatives in Hillsborough and Reidsville, including the Rev. D. Irvin Craig, who was clerk of the Synod of the North Carolina and Orange Presbytery.

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Early letters largely relate to Craig family activities; there is no mention of the Civil War. In 1872, there is a subscription list in support of D. Irvin Craig's education at the D. Hughes Academy.

Around 1896, Alice M. Craig married Robert P. Blackwood. In the late 1890s, there are many letters from Alice, in Chapel Hill or other locations in Orange County, to Robert, traveling as an engineer with the Southern Railway Company. Also included during this period are a few letters from Robert to Alice or their children. These letters chiefly discuss family matters; there is little mention of Robert's work.

In the early 1900s, letters are chiefly to Robert and Alice's daughters Mattie and Alice, at school in Chapel Hill, from relatives and friends. Few letters mention school activities. Letters are occasionally addressed to Mattie, visiting her Craig relatives in Reidsville.

In 1911, there are several letters relating to Mattie's desire to attend the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro), including several about financing her education and offering advise about entering the teaching profession. From 1913 to 1917, Mattie received letters at Bear Creek, where she lived while attending college, but none of these letters discuss her studies or student activities.

During World War I, there are a few non-substantive letters from brother Vernon, serving with the United States Navy. After the war, Mattie apparently began teaching in Seaboard, N.C., where she remained until 1929. Most letters to Mattie discuss family matters; some are from her sister Florence, who was employed by the Jefferson Standard Insurance Company in Greensboro. Several letters discuss brother Carl, who, according to his siblings, was having difficulty finding his niche in life. In 1929, letters show that Mattie returned to Chapel Hill, where she secured a teaching job at the Murphy School and gave music lessons. The last few letters, dated 1932, are from Carl, who had found a home in the United States Army.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932.

Folder 1

1859-1891 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 1

Folder 2

1896 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 2

Folder 3

1897-1905 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 3

Folder 4

1907 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 4

Folder 5

1908 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 5

Folder 6

1909-1912 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 6

Folder 7

1913-1917 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 7

Folder 8

1918-1921 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 8

Folder 9

1922 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 9

Folder 10

1923 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 10

Folder 11

1924 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 11

Folder 12

1925 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 12

Folder 13

1926 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 13

Folder 14

1927-1928 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 14

Folder 15

1929-1932 #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 15

Folder 16-18

Folder 16

Folder 17

Folder 18

Undated and fragments #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." Folder 16-18

Image P-4789/1

Mattie E. Blackwood #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." P-4789/1

Image P-4789/2

Unidentified child #04789, Series: "Blackwood Family Papers, 1859-1932." P-4789/2

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Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, with assistance from Melanie Bissette January 1996

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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