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Collection Number: 00117

Collection Title: William Preston Bynum Papers, 1778-1916, 1941-1944

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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 About 1400 items (2.5 linear feet)
Abstract William Preston Bynum (1820-1909), Republican, lawyer, prosecutor, and associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. The collection includes papers of William Preston Bynum (1820-1909) and members of the Bynum family. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, legal papers, and financial papers relating to legal matters, 1850s through 1910s. Civil War and political correspondence is slight. Papers chiefly concern land and estate settlements, mortgages, paying of notes, sale of land in Virginia and North Carolina, the business of the High Shoals Manufacturing Company, the Adams Mining and Reduction Company, and the King's Mountain Gold Mine. Also in the collection are letters, essays, and financial papers of Bynum's brother, John Gray Bynum (d. 1857), and John Gray Bynum's record book, April-June 1838, kept when he was serving as a colonel commanding North Carolina volunteers assisting in Cherokee removal in western North Carolina. Papers of the family of Moses Ashley Curtis include journals of Armand DeRosset Curtis (1839-1856) as a boy traveling with his father from North Carolina to Massachusetts in 1851 and to Charleston in an unknown year, as well as an account book and an unidentified volume that appear to have belonged to Moses Ashley Curtis. The addition of June 2002 includes additional material relating to legal matters, to the High Schoals Manufacturing Company, and to personal matters, as well as a few papers of Curtis A. Bynum.
Creator Bynum, William Preston, 1820-1909.
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], William Preston Bynum Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Manuscripts Department, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy of John Gray Bynum's record book available.
Provenance
Received from Curtis Bynum of Asheville, N.C., before 1940 and in 1944, from Pearle A. Joyner of Greensboro, N.C., in 1974, and purchased from Randy Russell of Asheville, N.C., in June 2002 (Acc. 99268).
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 Preston Bynum (1820-1909), jurist, prosecutor, and lawyer, was born on his father's plantation on Town Fork, one mile south of Germanton, in Stokes County, N.C. Bynum's parents were Hampton Bynum, son of Margaret Hampton and Gray Bynum, and Mary Coleman Martin, daughter of Nancy Shipp and John Martin. Bynum received a log-school education near Germanton before he entered Davidson College in 1837. Being graduated as valedictorian of his class on 4 August 1842, Bynum next read law under Richmond M. Pearson and was admitted to the bar in Rutherfordton, N.C.

After practicing law in Rutherfordton, Bynum moved to Lincoln County, where he married Ann Eliza Shipp, a cousin, on 2 December 1846. Bynum practiced law in Lincolnton until the Civil War erupted.

Although he came from a Federalist-Whig family of strong nationalist convictions and although he opposed secession, Bynum was elected lieutenant of the Beatties Ford Rifles and later was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the Second North Carolina Regiment, effective 8 May 1861. Bynum saw military action with the Second Regiment at the Seven Days' Battle, Mechanicsville, Cold Harbor, Malvern Hill, and Sharpsburg, and the regiment was in reserve at Fredericksburg. When the First Regiment lost all regimental officers at Malvern Hill, Bynum temporarily commanded it. When the Second's commander, Colonel Charles Courtenay Tew, was killed at Sharpsburg, Bynum commanded the Second. Bynum's military career ended on 21 March 1863, when he resigned after the North Carolina state legislature elected him solicitor of the Seventh Judicial District on 2 December 1862.

Bynum's political career spanned the years 1863 to 1879. In 1865, he was elected a delegate from Lincoln County to the North Carolina Constitutional Convention. He helped to draft important amendments to the North Carolina Constitution, some of which the voters rejected. In 1866, he was elected to one term in the state senate to represent Lincoln, Gaston, and Catawba counties. In 1868, both political parties nominated him for a second term as solicitor, and he was elected. In the election of 1868, he threw his support to General U.S. Grant and the Republican Party.

On 20 November 1873, Bynum resigned his solicitorship to accept appointment from Governor Tod R. Caldwell to the unexpired term of Associate Justice Nathaniel Boyden of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Before he left the court on 6 January 1879, Bynum wrote some 346 opinions, including dissents.

In 1878, the Republican Party urged Bynum to run for another term on the Supreme Court, but he refused that and all future entreaties to return to politics. In 1879, he took up residence in Charlotte, where he remained and pursued his legal career until his death.

Bynum had two children, Mary Preston Bynum (1849-1875) and William Shipp Bynum (1848-1898), a lawyer and Episcopal clergyman of Lincolnton. William Shipp Bynum married Mary Louisa Curtis, daughter of Moses Ashley Curtis, and had eight children.

On the death of his grandson, William Preston Bynum (1871-1891) at the University of North Carolina in 1891, William Preston Bynum (1820-1909) built a gymnasium in his memory. He also constructed Episcopal chapels at the Thompson Episcopal Orphanage and in Greensboro.

William Preston Bynum (1861-1926) was the son of Benjamin Franklin Bynum and the nephew of William Preston Bynum (1820-1909). He graduated from Trinity College in 1883 and received an honorary degree from the University of North Carolina in 1922. He was a trustee of the University of North Carolina from 1909 until his death in 1926. He was a Republican lawyer in Greensboro and served as solicitor, judge, and special assistant to the U.S. Attorney General.

Adapted from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes papers of William Preston Bynum (1820-1909), lawyer, planter, and judge, and of members of the Bynum family. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, legal papers, and financial papers relating to legal matters, 1850s through 1910s. Civil War and political correspondence is slight. Papers chiefly concern land and estate settlements, mortgages, paying of notes, sale of land in Virginia and North Carolina, the business of the High Shoals Manufacturing Company, the Adams Mining and Reduction Company, and the King's Mountain Gold Mine. Also in the collection are letters, essays, and financial papers of Bynum's brother, John Gray Bynum (d. 1857), and John Gray Bynum's record book, April-June 1838, kept when he was serving as a colonel commanding North Carolina volunteers assisting in Cherokee removal in western North Carolina. Papers of the family of Moses Ashley Curtis (1808-1872) in the collection include journals of Armand DeRosset Curtis (1839-1856) as a boy traveling with his father from North Carolina to Massachusetts in 1851 and to Charleston, S.C., in an unknown year, as well as an account book and an unidentified volume that appear to have belonged to Moses Ashley Curtis.

The addition of June 2002 chiefly contains letters and other documents concerning legal matters, 1850s through early 1900s, in North Carolina and Louisiana. Letters, deeds, wills, and other papers concern land and estate settlements, mortgages, paying of notes, sale of land in North Carolina, and the business of the High Shoals Manufacturing Company. Also included are letters and notebooks of Curtis A. Bynum. The arrangement of the addition parallels that of the original collection.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated.

About 400 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Chiefly letters and legal documents concerning legal matters, 1850s through 1890s, in North Carolina, Alabama, South Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New York. There is little Civil War or political correspondence. Letters, deeds, wills, and other papers filed in this series chiefly concern land and estate settlements, mortgages, paying of notes, sale of land in Virginia and North Carolina, the business of the High Shoals Manufacturing Company, the Adams Mining Company, and the King's Mountain Gold Mine.

There are 30 letters, 1898, written to Bynum at the death of his son, William Shipp Bynum, and 13 letters, 1904-1905, from Francis P. Venable, concerning the building of the Bynum Gymnasium at the University of North Carolina.

Also found here are letters to and from Bynum's brother, John Gray Bynum (d. 1857) and essays written by John Gray Bynum. Letters of William Preston Bynum (1861-1926) in this collection include three letters, 1894, about North Carolina politics and three letters, 1905, about the history of North Carolina during Reconstruction.

Folder 1

Correspondence and legal papers, 1778, 1829-1835 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

Correspondence and legal papers, 1836-1849 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

Correspondence and legal papers, 1850-1856 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

Correspondence and legal papers, 1857-1859 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

Correspondence and legal papers, 1860-1866 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

Correspondence and legal papers, 1867-1869 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7

Correspondence and legal papers, 1870-1874 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 7

Folder 8

Correspondence and legal papers, 1875-1879 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

Correspondence and legal papers, 1880-1883 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

Correspondence and legal papers, 1886-1889 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

Correspondence and legal papers, 1884-1895 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

Correspondence and legal papers, 1896-1897 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

Correspondence and legal papers, 1898 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

Correspondence and legal papers, 1900-1908 #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15-17

Folder 15

Folder 16

Folder 17

Correspondence and legal papers, undated #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 15-17

Folder 18

Letterpress copy book of the Adams Mining Company, undated #00117, Series: "1. Correspondence and Legal Papers, 1778, 1829-1908 and undated." Folder 18

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Business Material, 1840-1881.

About 200 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Receipts, bills, accounts, inventories, drafts, notes, and other financial papers, including material relating to settlement of the estates of Hampton Bynum and John Gray Bynum. Also filed here are papers relating to the King's Mountain Gold Mine and to High Schoals Manufacturing Company, Lincoln County, N.C., including a stockholder journal, 1840-1869.

Folder 19-23

Folder 19

Folder 20

Folder 21

Folder 22

Folder 23

Financial papers #00117, Series: "2. Business Material, 1840-1881." Folder 19-23

Folder 24

Stockholder journal of High Shoals Manufacturing Company, 1840-1869 #00117, Series: "2. Business Material, 1840-1881." Folder 24

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Other Papers, 1838-1934.

About 20 items.

Record book of John Gray Bynum, colonel commanding North Carolina volunteers assisting in the Cherokee removal in western North Carolina, 1838; journals, 1850s, of Armand DeRosset Curtis (1839-1856); account book, 1861, apparently of Moses Ashley Curtis; genealogical papers, including information about the Cox, Bynum, Martin, Sumner, Shipp, Hampton, and other families in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia; and an unidentified volume, possibly from Moses Ashley Curtis.

The record book of John Gray Bynum, colonel commanding North Carolina volunteers assisting in the Cherokee removal in western North Carolina, contains copies of reports to his superiors, orders he received, and orders to his subordinates from April to June 1838.

The four pocket journals of Armand DeRosset Curtis, describe travels with his father. Three of these describe a trip beginning on 11 June 1851, traveling from Wilmington, N.C., to Richmond, Va., then through the mountains of Virginia and on to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and Massachusetts, ending on 2 September. The fourth, written to Rev. Jared Curtis, describes a journey from Wilmington, N.C., to Charleston, S.C., and return, 12 February-1 March [no year].

Folder 25

Record book of John Gray Bynum, 1838 #00117, Series: "3. Other Papers, 1838-1934. " Folder 25

Folder 26

Journals of Armand DeRosset Curtis, 1851 #00117, Series: "3. Other Papers, 1838-1934. " Folder 26

Folder 27

Curtis Account Book, 1861 #00117, Series: "3. Other Papers, 1838-1934. " Folder 27

Folder 28

Genealogy #00117, Series: "3. Other Papers, 1838-1934. " Folder 28

Folder 29

Unidentified volume #00117, Series: "3. Other Papers, 1838-1934. " Folder 29

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of June 2002 (Acc. 99268).

About 800 items.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Items separated include one photograph (P-117).

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Processing Information

This collection was rearranged and rehoused under sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1993.

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