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Collection Number: 03077

Collection Title: Willis G. Briggs Papers, 1764-1954

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 FAQ section for more information.


This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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Size 4.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2200 items)
Abstract Willis Grandy Briggs (1875-1954) was a Raleigh, N.C., lawyer and postmaster, and served as Republican Party chair for Wake County, N.C. The collection consists of political and personal correspondence of Briggs and materials relating to his ancestors and other relatives. Briggs' correspondence concerns his student days at Wake Forest College; Raleigh newspaper work, 1895-1905; Republican Party activities through five decades; his interest in the history of Raleigh and the history of North Carolina Baptists; his genealogical studies of the Briggs, Grandy, Ferebee, Utley, Hunter, Alston, Hargrove, and Norwood families; and his miscellaneous biographical studies. Papers before 1893 are of the Briggs, Grandy, and Ferebee families in Camden, Currituck, Granville, and Wake counties, N.C., and include papers of Willis Sawyer Grandy (1822-1899), Dr. Enoch D. Ferebee (d. 1876), and the Civil War papers of Tazewell L. Hargrove (1830-1899), lieutenant colonel, 44th North Carolina Regiment, and others, including an autograph book from Johnson Island prison. Twenty volumes include the record book of the judge advocate of the Camden County militia, 1803-1835; the personal diary, 1866-1868, of Thomas Henry Briggs (1847-1928) of Raleigh; Knights of Pythias local records, 1871-1875; and minutes of the Wake County Cattle Club, 1886-1890, which was organized to sponsor livestock exhibitions.
Creator Briggs, Willis G. (Willis Grandy), 1875-1954.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
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 Willis G. Briggs Papers #3077, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Sarah Briggs Trentman, 1954-1958.
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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Willis Grandy Briggs (1875-1954) was born in Raleigh, N.C., the son of Thomas Henry and Sarah Grandy Briggs. He was educated at the Raleigh Male Academy, run by Charles C. Holden, and at Wake Forest College, from which he graduated cum laud in 1896. After graduating, Briggs became the city editor of the Raleigh Evening Times.

Briggs, a Republican, was appointed postmaster in Raleigh by President Theodore Roosevelt, and he continued to serve in this capacity until 1914, when he returned to Wake Forest to study law. Admitted to the bar in 1915, Briggs was promptly chosen city court prosecutor, in which capacity he served until 1921. He was the assistant U.S. attorney of the Eastern District from 1921 until 1930, when he resigned to resume his private practice. In 1928 he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

Briggs was deeply interested in the history of North Carolina, especially that of Raleigh and Wake County. Briggs devoted much of his time to research and writing, and some of his published works include a history of the First Baptist Church in Raleigh and a biography of Henry Potter (1766-1857).

Briggs married Beulah Sanderlin on 16 February 1910, and they became the parents of two daughters, Sarah Wooten and Eliza Sanderlin. Briggs died on 24 February 1954 in Raleigh.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection consists of political and personal correspondence of Willis G. Briggs and materials relating to his ancestors and other relatives. Briggs' correspondence concerns his student days at Wake Forest College; Raleigh newspaper work, 1895-1905; Republican Party activities through five decades; his interest in the history of Raleigh, N.C., and the history of North Carolina Baptists; his genealogical studies of the Briggs, Grandy, Ferebee, Utley, Hunter, Alston, Hargrove, and Norwood families; and his miscellaneous biographical studies. Papers before 1893 are of the Briggs, Grandy, and Ferebee families in Camden County, N.C., Currituck County, N.C., Granville County, N.C., and Wake County, N.C., and include papers of Willis Sawyer Grandy (1822-1899), Dr. Enoch D. Ferebee (d. 1876), and the Civil War papers of Tazewell L. Hargrove (1830-1899), lieutenant colonel, 44th North Carolina Regiment, and others, including an autograph book from Johnson Island prison. Twenty volumes include the record book of the judge advocate of the Camden County militia, 1803-1835; the personal diary, 1866-1868, of Thomas Henry Briggs (1847-1928) of Raleigh; Knights of Pythias local records, 1871-1875; and minutes of the Raleigh Cattle Club, 1886-1890, which was organized to sponsor livestock exhibitions.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892.

About 900 items.

Arrangement: chronological and topical.

Correspondence and other papers pertaining to the ancestors of Willis Grandy Briggs, principally of the Grandy and Ferebee families and their relatives in Camden, Currituck, and Granville counties, N.C.

Folder 1

1764-1823 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 1

Folder 2

1833-1849 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 2

Folder 3

1850-1860 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 3

Folder 4

1861-1862 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 4

Folder 5

1863-1870 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 5

Folder 6

1871-July 1873 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 6

Folder 7-8

Folder 7

Folder 8

August-December 1873 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 7-8

Folder 9-14

Folder 9

Folder 10

Folder 11

Folder 12

Folder 13

Folder 14

1874 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 9-14

Folder 15-16

Folder 15

Folder 16

1875 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 15-16

Folder 17-21

Folder 17

Folder 18

Folder 19

Folder 20

Folder 21

1876 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 17-21

Folder 22-23

Folder 22

Folder 23

1877 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 22-23

Folder 24-26

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

1878 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 24-26

Folder 27

1879 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 27

Folder 28-29

Folder 28

Folder 29

1880 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 28-29

Folder 30-33

Folder 30

Folder 31

Folder 32

Folder 33

1881 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 30-33

Folder 34-37

Folder 34

Folder 35

Folder 36

Folder 37

1882 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 34-37

Folder 38

1883 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 38

Folder 39

1884-1885 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 39

Folder 40

1886-1889 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 40

Folder 41

1890 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 41

Folder 42

1891-1892 #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 42

Folder 43

Patrick Conway Murder; Potter Genealogy; Robert H. Labberton #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 43

Folder 44

Briggs, Hunter, Alston #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 44

Folder 45

Grandy, Ferebee, Hargrove #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 45

Folder 46

Norwood Data #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 46

Folder 47

Utley Data #03077, Series: "1. Ancestral Papers, 1764-1892." Folder 47

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated.

About 700 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Chiefly of political and personal papers of Willis Grandy Briggs, reflecting his interest in the history of Raleigh and its early residents; genealogy of the Briggs, Grandy, Ferebee, Utley, Hunter, Alston, Hargrove, and Norwood families; the Baptist Church; and miscellaneous biographical studies.

Folder 48

1893-1894 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 48

Folder 49

1895-1899 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 49

Folder 50

1900-1905 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 50

Folder 51-52

Folder 51

Folder 52

1906 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 51-52

Folder 53-54

Folder 53

Folder 54

August-November 1907 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 53-54

Folder 55

1908 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 55

Folder 56-58

Folder 56

Folder 57

Folder 58

1909 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 56-58

Folder 59

1910 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 59

Folder 60

1911-1913 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 60

Folder 61

1914 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 61

Folder 62

1915-1919 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 62

Folder 63

1920 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 63

Folder 64

1921-1925 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 64

Folder 65

1928-1931 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 65

Folder 66

1932-1933 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 66

Folder 67

1934 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 67

Folder 68-69

Folder 68

Folder 69

1935 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 68-69

Folder 70-71

Folder 70

Folder 71

1936 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 70-71

Folder 72

1937-March 1938 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 72

Folder 73-74

Folder 73

Folder 74

April-December 1938 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 73-74

Folder 75

1939 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 75

Folder 76

1940 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 76

Folder 77

1941-1942 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 77

Folder 78

1943-1946 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 78

Folder 79

1947-1949 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 79

Folder 80

1950-1954 #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 80

Folder 81-82

Folder 81

Folder 82

Undated #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 81-82

Folder 83

Miscellaneous #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 83

Folder 84

Political Papers #03077, Series: "2. Correspondence and Related Material, 1893-1954 and undated." Folder 84

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Wake County Court, 1807-1848 and undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Volumes, 1803-1945.

20 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

These volumes include diaries, minutes and organizational club records, and miscellaneous albums and accounts.

Folder 93

V-3077/1: Camden County Militia minute book, 1803-1835, 70 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 93

Minute book of Camden County, N.C., Militia showing personnel, oaths of office, orders and actions of court martials, dockets, judgments, and fines.

Folder 94

V-3077/2: E. M. Bell poems and sentimental messages, circa 1843, 50 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 94

Album of E. M. (Bethe) Bell of Camden County, N.C., containing selected poems and sentimental messages written by her friends

Folder 95

V-3077/3: Slave accounts, 1846-1856, 21 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 95

Notebook containing accounts and memoranda, lists of slaves for hire, and notes outstanding.

Folder 96

V-3077/4: T. L. Hargrove notebook, 1850-1851, 46 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 96

Notebook of T. L. Hargrove, Rockford, N.C., containing notes on law lectures or law readings.

Folder 97

V-3077/5: F. B. Grandy notebook, 1854-1857, 100 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 97

Notebook of F. B. Grandy with accounts, horse breeding records, and farm activities.

Folder 98

V-3077/6: Confederate officers autograph book, 1863-1886, 62 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 98

Autograph book containing autographs of Confederate officers, apparently prisoners of war at Johnson Island, most of whom were captured at Gettysburg and some at Port Hudson.

Folder 99

V-3077/7: Thomas Henry Briggs diary, 1866, 120 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 99

Folder 100

V-3077/8: Thomas Henry Briggs diary, 1867, 120 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 100

Folder 101

V-3077/9: Thomas Henry Briggs diary, 1868, 120 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 101

Folder 102

V-3077/10: Knights of Pythias record book, 1871-1875, 237 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 102

Knights of Pythias record with minutes and organizational notes.

Folder 103

V-3077/11: T. H. Briggs ledger, 1876-1878, 276 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 103

Building ledger of T. H. Briggs showing amounts of building materials and labor charges.

Folder 104

V-3077/12: 1878-1880 #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 104

Building ledger of T. H. Briggs, 264 p.

Folder 105

V-3077/13: Wake County Cattle Club records, 1886-1890, 416 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 105

Wake County Cattle Club records with constitution, by-laws, minutes, and financial records of club that sponsored animal exhibits in Raleigh.

Folder 106

V-3077/14: Willis G. Briggs commonplace book, 1895, 80 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 106

Folder 107

V-3077/15: Wake County Republican Party records, 1908, 1912, 90 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 107

Wake County Republican Party organizational records with list of precinct chairmen, table with volume of voting by precinct, and individual precinct organizational lists.

Folder 108

V-3077/16: Wake County Republican Party records, 1912, 1914, 80 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 108

Notebook containing Wake County Republican Party organization records.

Folder 109

V-3077/17: "North Carolina Precinct Canvas Book,", 1918, 12 pages #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 109

Book with voters' names, addresses and occupations.

Folder 110

V-3077/18: Notebook, 1936 #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 110

Notebook containing names of registered Republican and independent voters in Wake County precincts and other records.

Folder 111

V-3077/19: Wake County Board of Elections records, 1943-1944 #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 111

Records of Wake County Board of Elections with minutes, copies of public notices, official returns, lists of registrars and judges, and expenses.

Folder 112

V-3077/20: Diary of Willis G. Briggs, 1945 #03077, Series: "4. Volumes, 1803-1945." Folder 112

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Pictures, 1873-1912.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne Ruffing, March 1996

Encoded by: Bari Helms, April 2005

This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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