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Collection Number: 04566

Collection Title: W.H.S. Burgwyn Papers, 1837-1974

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 FAQ section for more information.


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Size 12.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 5500 items)
Abstract William Hyslop Sumner Burgwyn, lawyer, judge, and bank president, of Woodland, Northampton County, N.C. Among other activities, Burgwyn was president of the Farmers Bank of Woodland; superior court judge, 1937-1953; and member of the North Carolina legislature from 1917 through the mid- 1920s. He married Josephine Griffin of Woodland in 1911 and had four children: John Griffin; W. H. S. Jr.; Margaret E.; and Henry K. The collection includes correspondence, financial and legal materials, clippings, diaries, pictures, and other materials chiefly relating to W.H.S. Burgwyn and to his wife Josephine Griffin Burgwyn. There are also some materials relating to the Burgwyn and Griffin families and a small run of business and court files relating to Burgwyn's political, legal, and judicial career.
Creator Burgwyn, W. H. S. (William Hyslop Sumner), 1886-1977.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
May be used with staff assistance.
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 William Hyslop Sumner Burgwyn papers #4566, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from W. H. S. Burgwyn Jr. of Woodland, N.C., in September 1990.
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

William Hyslop Sumner Burgwyn, lawyer, judge, and bank president, was born on 22 January 1886 in Jackson, N.C., the son of George Pollock and Emma Ridley Burgwyn. He attended John Graham's School in Warrenton, Episcopal High School in Virginia, and Georgetown College, in Washington, D.C., and was graduated from the University of North Carolina Law School in 1908. He began the practice of law in that year, and, in 1911, moved to Woodland, N.C.

In 1918, Burgwyn became a director of the Farmers Bank of Woodland, and, in 1934, president. From 1932 until 1937, he was solicitor of the Third Judicial District. Appointed a special superior court judge in 1937, he held that position until 1953. During his long career on the bench, Burgwyn held court in 88 of the state's 100 counties.

Burgwyn represented Northampton, Bertie, and Hertford counties in the North Carolina Senate from 1917 to 1921, and again in 1925. In 1923, he represented Northampton in the House of Delegates. In 1925, he was president pro tem of the Senate and, in 1928, an unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor in the Democratic primary election.

From 1915 until 1932, Burgwyn served on the board of trustees of the University of North Carolina. He was also vice-chair of the Roanoke River Basic Authority and chair of the Roanoke Valley Flood Control Committee, which played a major role in the construction of the Buggs Island Dam in the late 1940s. Burgwyn was a popular speaker; several of his addresses were published in pamphlet form, among them one on the military and civil services of General Matthew W. Ransom and another on the necessity of preserving memorials of North Carolina's past.

Burgwyn married Josephine Griffin of Woodland in 1911. They had four children: John Griffin; W. H. S. Jr.; Margaret E.; and Henry K. Burgwyn. W.H.S. Burgwyn died on 24 January 1977 and was buried in the family cemetery at Woodland.

(Adapted from a note by William S. Powell in the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Volume 1, 1979.)

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Correspondence, financial and legal materials, clippings, diaries, pictures, and other materials chiefly relating to W.H.S. Burgwyn and his wife Josephine Griffin Burgwyn. There are also some materials relating to the Burgwyn and Griffin families, and a small run of business and court files relating to Burgwyn's legal career.

The list below gives a general idea of the contents of each box. Original folder labels have been retained.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: David Stickney, Roslyn Holdzkom, December 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Full processing deferred pending expected additions.

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