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Collection Number: 01031

Collection Title: Bumpas Family Papers, 1838-1972

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 1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 150 items)
Abstract The collection includes diaries, scattered correspondence, and writings of a family of Methodist ministers and editors of church publications of North Carolina. Among other volumes are the diary, 1838-1844, and autobiography, 1842, of Sidney D. Bumpas (1808-1851), while a minister and editor at various places in North Carolina, and the diary, 1842-1854, of his wife, Frances Moore Webb Bumpas (1819-1898), editor and publisher of the "Weekly Message" of Greensboro, N.C., 1851-1871, and officer in the Women's Foreign Missionary Society. There is very little information about Frances's editing or missionary activities. Also among the volumes are the intermittent diary, 1874-1899, of Sidney and Frances's son, Robah Fidus Bumpas (1850-1933), who was a Methodist minister in the North Carolina Conference for 54 years, and a diary of Robah's 1906 trip to Europe and the Middle East. In addition, there are scattered letters, including one from 1847 about a service Sidney Bumpas led that was attended by Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker; poems by family members; and stories by Robah Fidus Bumpas. There are also four scrapbooks, chiefly containing 20th-century clippings on church and world affairs, and material collected by Paul F. Bumpas about racial violence in Tennessee in 1946 when he was the district attorney responsible for investigating and prosecuting the cases.
Creator Bumpas family.
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 Bumpas Family Papers #1031, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Partial typed transcription available.
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of Southern women and their families in the 19th century, Series A.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Allah, Lota, Nina, and Ethel Troy of Greensboro, N.C., in 1946; 14 July 1899 letter transferred from the Jonathan Daniels Papers in 1961; and received from James Richard Townsend of Durham, N.C., and Paul F. Bumpas of Franklin, Tenn., in 1973.
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

Sidney D. Bumpas (1808-1851) was a Methodist minister of the North Carolina Conference, pastor, presiding elder, editor, and author. His wife, Frances Moore Webb Bumpas (1819-1898), edited and published The Weekly Message of Greensboro, 1851-1871, and was corresponding secretary of the North Carolina Conference of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society. Their son, Robah Fidus Bumpas (1850-1933), was for 54 years a Methodist minister in the North Carolina Conference, serving in Wilmington, Beaufort, New Bern, Kinston, Raleigh, and other North Carolina locations.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes a small number of letters among family members; other papers, including family history materials and writings chiefly of Robah Fidus Bumpas; and volumes, including diaries and scrapbooks.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1842-1933.

About 40 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. Sidney D. and Frances Moore Webb Bumpas, 1842-1847.

4 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Three letters from Sidney D. Bumpas to Frances Moore Webb, two before their marriage about his activities and desire to marry and one after their marriage about his work, including an 1847 service he led that was attended by Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker. There is also one letter from Frances Moore Webb Bumpas to her husband about her activities at home.

Folder 1

1842-1847 #01031, Subseries: "1.1. Sidney D. and Frances Moore Webb Bumpas, 1842-1847." Folder 1

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. Robah Fidus Bumpas, 1866-1933.

About 35 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Letters in the 1860s are to the young Robah Fidus Bumpas in Greensboro, N.C., from various friends; the 1899 letter relates to W. H. Bagley of Raleigh, who had just returned from Cuba; and the letters, 1928-1933, are from family members and friends to Robah commenting on his writings and giving news of their activities (see also volume S-12).

Folder 2

1866-1868; 1899 #01031, Subseries: "1.2. Robah Fidus Bumpas, 1866-1933." Folder 2

Folder 3

1928-1933 #01031, Subseries: "1.2. Robah Fidus Bumpas, 1866-1933." Folder 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Papers

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Volumes, 1838-1972.

17 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.1 Sidney D. and Frances Moore Webb Bumpas Diaries, 1838-1854.

3 items.
Folder 13

Volume 1: Diary of Sidney D. Bumpas, 1 January 1838-1 December 1841. Irregular entries dealing with Bumpas's work as a Methodist minister in North Carolina, first on the Wilkes circuit, later on the Guilford circuit, and, finally, at a church in Raleigh. #01031, Subseries: "3.1 Sidney D. and Frances Moore Webb Bumpas Diaries, 1838-1854." Folder 13

Folder 14

Volume 2: Autobiography and diary of Sidney D. Bumpas, 1 January 1842-1 January 1844. An autobiographical essay is followed by diary entries made while Bumpas was chiefly in Raleigh, N.C. Entries discuss such topics as the examination of an infant school, the tarring and feathering of Lunsford Lane (a free black), a visit to the city by John C. Calhoun, the church conference at Louisburg, his marriage to Frances Moore Webb, holding a revival in Smithfield, his visit to and baptism of two convicts condemned to be hanged, and the church conference in Halifax, Va. Near the end of the diary, Bumpas was assigned to a church in Pittsboro, N.C., where he preached and ran a school with his wife. #01031, Subseries: "3.1 Sidney D. and Frances Moore Webb Bumpas Diaries, 1838-1854." Folder 14

Folder 15

Volume 3: Diary of Frances Moore Webb Bumpas, 16 February 1843-21 September 1854. Included are entries noting church activities. There is little about the school Frances ran with Sidney in Pittsboro. After her husband's death in 1851, most of the entries are reflections on spiritual matters, with little about daily life (formerly volume 3). #01031, Subseries: "3.1 Sidney D. and Frances Moore Webb Bumpas Diaries, 1838-1854." Folder 15

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933.

14 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Folder 16

Volume 4: History notebook of Frances Moore Webb, ca. 1839, including essays written before her marriage to Sidney D. Bumpas (formerly volume 15). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 16

Folder 17

Volume 5: Book of collected poems, owner unknown, with facsimile autographs of political figures, 1860-1864 (formerly volume 16). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 17

Folder 18

Volume 6: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpas, 3 January 1874-13 December 1877. Brief notes of a young Methodist preacher beginning his ministry in Warrenton, N.C. There is much about church affairs and other activities, including Robah's attending commencement at the Greensboro Female College and at Trinity College (formerly volume 4). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 18

Folder 19

Volume 7: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpas, 1 January-28 December 1876. Brief notes, irregular and out of order by Robah, now married, working on the Wentworth circuit, and living in Ruffin, N.C. Entries record daily events, visits, sermons, church services, and heath concerns (formerly volume 5). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 19

Folder 20

Volume 8: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpas, 1 January-29 November 1880. Entries about Robah living in the mountains near Shelby, N.C. Most entries relate to church affairs and spiritual reflections; there is little about Robah's personal life (formerly volume 6). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 20

Folder 21

Volume 9: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpas, 30 July-7 August 1884. Brief notes, with considerable gaps, documenting a trip from Greensboro, N.C., to Chautauqua, N.Y., including brief visits to Washington, D.C., and Canada (formerly volume 7). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 21

Folder 22

Volume 10: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpas, 27 December 1885-27 June 1886; 6 December 1898-15 August 1899. Entries documenting Robah's activities first at Randleman, and then at Wilmington, N.C. (formerly volume 8). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 22

Folder 23

Volume 11: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpas, 12 June-6 August 1906. Beginning of entries documenting Robah's trip to Europe and the Middle East. Leaving Raleigh, he stopped at Richmond, Washington, D.C., and New York, from which he sailed. Included are fairly full descriptions of towns he visited, including Queenstown, London, Rouen, Paris, Marseilles, Naples, Athens, Constantinople, Smyrna, Samos, Beirut, and Damascus (formerly volume 9). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 23

Folder 24

Volume 12: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpas, 6 August-14 September 1906. Second volume of entries on European/Middle East trip. Entries describe Joppa, Port Said, Cairo, Alexandria, Naples, and Rome, with a retrospective discussion of Robah's visit to Jerusalem, where he fell ill (formerly volume 10). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 24

Folder 25

Volume S-13: Scrapbook, 1918-1919, with clippings chiefly about international affairs (formerly volume S-11). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 25

Folder 26

Volume S-14: Scrapbook with clippings about natural history, science, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Josephus Daniels, and others. Included are letters, 1932-1933, relating to writings of Robah Fidus Bumpas (formerly volume S-12). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 26

Folder 27

Volume 15: Scrapbook with clippings chiefly about church news, mostly from Greensboro in the 1930s (formerly volume 13). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 27

Folder 28

Volume 16: Scrapbook containing church papers, poems of James J. Montague, and clippings (formerly volume 14). #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 28

Folder 29

Volume 17: "The Bumpas Family from Person County, North Carolina" by Anne S. Bumpas and James R. Townsend, 1972. This compilation includes typed transcriptions of documents relating to family history. #01031, Subseries: "3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933." Folder 29

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff, 1940s-1970s; Roslyn Holdzkom, December 1992

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

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