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Collection Number: 00248

Collection Title: James Evans Papers, 1826-1927.

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 2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 3500 items)
Abstract James Evans was a farmer, merchant, and county commissioner of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, N.C. Evans married Martha Henriette Knight of Hamburg, S.C., in 1839. The collection includes personal and business correspondence, financial and legal Papers, and other items, chiefly 1837-1870, of Evans and his wife, children, and other relatives. Included are items relating to Evans's life as a farmer before the Civil War and a merchant after, and a few manuscript copies of articles he wrote for the Fayetteville "News." Many letters relate to the status of African Americans before and after the war. Also included are letters from relatives of Martha (Knight) Evans in Hamburg, Aiken County, S.C.; letters that James Evans, Jr., wrote while he was serving with Company B, 13th Battalion, North Carolina Light Artillery at Fort Fisher, N.C., and other locations, in which he described camp life and military actions; a series of account books and ledgers relating to agricultural and mercantile businesses in Cumberland County, N.C.; financial records, 1870s, of the Cape Fear River steamer "Little Sam"; Cumberland County school records, 1849-1862; records, 1850s-1860s, of taxable property in Locke's Creek District, Cumberland County; and a diary of James Evans, Sr., chiefly concerning the weather, planting, the progress of crops, and family activities.
Creator Evans, James, d. 1869.
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 James Evans Papers #248, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the Records of ante-bellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Henrietta Evans Kent of Greensboro, N.C., in 1935. Withdrawn by descendants of James Evans in 1971, and redeposited in June 1991 (Acc. 91068).
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

James Evans was a son of Josiah Evans of Cumberland County, N.C. He married Martha Henrietta Knight in 1839; they had eleven children, including sons James Jr., Josiah, and Oliver, and daughters Larry, Cecilia, Sue Douglas, and Henrietta.

Before the Civil War, Evans was a farmer. After the war, he went into business with James Evans, Jr., running a general store. In the last years of his life, Evans wrote many essays and articles for the Fayetteville News. He died in 1869.

James Evans, Jr., was born in 1841. During the Civil War, he served in the 13th Battalion, N.C. Light Artillery, writing many letters home about military actions and camp life in such places as Fort Fisher, Greenville, and Washington, N.C. After the war, he ran a general store with his father for a time and later became the captain of the steamship Little Sam

Oliver Evans, younger brother of James, Jr., was the father of Henrietta Evans Kent.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Personal and business correspondence, financial and legal Papers, and other items, chiefly 1837-1870, of Evans and his wife, children, and other relatives. Included are items relating to Evans's life as a farmer before the Civil War and a merchant after the war, and a few manuscript copies of articles Evans wrote for the Fayetteville News. Many letters relate to the status of blacks before and after the Civil War. Also included are letters that James Evans, Jr., wrote during the Civil War while serving with the N.C. Light Artillery at Fort Fisher, N.C., and other locations, in which he described camp life and military actions; a series of account books and ledgers relating to the Evanses' agricultural and merchandise businesses; financial records, 1870s, of the Cape Fear River steamer Little Sam; Cumberland County school records, 1849-1862; records, 1850s-1860s, of taxable property in Locke's Creek District, Cumberland County; and a diary of James Evans, written on a series of loose sheets, chiefly concerning the weather, planting, the progress of crops, and family activities.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated.

About 570 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Mostly letters written by or addressed to James Evans, his wife, his children, or other relatives. Family letters document everyday concerns. They include letters, 1834-1838, from James's brother, Joseph W. Evans, while he was a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, writing about his intention to reduce his living expenses; from Evans's mother-in-law, Elizabeth Knight of Hamburg, S.C., describing her poor health and discussing her plans to come for a visit; and from his son James Evans, Jr., mostly written while he was in the Confederate Army, describing camp life and conditions in places such as Fort Fisher, Greenville, Washington, and Goldsboro, N.C., and also mentioning Ship Point and Yorktown.

Most letters by Evans are addressed to his son James, Jr., or to his brothers John and Dickson. Also included are many contemporary handwritten copies of letters by James Evans, apparently produced by Evans himself; many of these are addressed to his sister and his niece. In addition, there are a few letters, 1926-1927, to Evans's granddaughter Henrietta Evans Kent of Fayetteville, mostly from her cousin DeLancey Evans of Warrenton, Va. All of these letters primarily concern family matters.

Folder 1

1831-1837 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1838-1839 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

1840-1842 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

1843-1846 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

1847-1849 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

1850-1853 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7

1855-1857 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 7

Folder 8

1858-1859 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

1860 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

1861 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

1862 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

1863 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

1864 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

1865 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

1866 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 15

Folder 16

1867 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 16

Folder 17

1868 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 17

Folder 18

1869 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 18

Folder 19

1870, 1879 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 19

Folder 20

1880, 1925-1927 #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 20

Folder 21-26

Folder 21

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

Undated #00248, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1927 and undated." Folder 21-26

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Financial and Legal Items

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated.

About 2600 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Promissory notes, bills, receipts, orders, accounts, indentures, and other financial and legal materials of James Evans and his son James Evans, Jr., pertaining to their affairs in agriculture before the Civil War and in merchandising after the war. Also included are many items concerning Evans's duties as administrator of the estate of his brother John, beginning in 1855; as trustee for his nephew Jonathan Evans, Jr., beginning in 1842; and as guardian of J.K. Daley, 1851-1860. There are also items documenting the elder Evans's responsibility, as a Cumberland County official, for recording the list of taxable property in the Locke's Creek District, chiefly in the 1850s and 1860s, and James Evans, Jr.'s activities as captain of the river steamer Little Sam in the 1870s.

Folder 27

1829-1839 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 27

Folder 28

1840-1842 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 28

Folder 29

1843-1844 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 29

Folder 30

1845-1846 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 30

Folder 31

1847 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 31

Folder 32

1848 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 32

Folder 33

1849 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 33

Folder 34

1850 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 34

Folder 35

1851 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 35

Folder 36

1852 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 36

Folder 37

1853 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 37

Folder 38

1854 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 38

Folder 39

1855 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 39

Folder 40

January-June 1856 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 40

Folder 41

July-December 1856 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 41

Folder 42

1857 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 42

Folder 43

1858 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 43

Folder 44

1859 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 44

Folder 45

1860 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 45

Folder 46

1861 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 46

Folder 47

1862 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 47

Folder 48

1863 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 48

Folder 49

1864 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 49

Folder 50

1865 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 50

Folder 51

January-April 1866 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 51

Folder 52

May-August 1866 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 52

Folder 53

September-December 1866 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 53

Folder 54

1867 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 54

Folder 55

1868 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 55

Folder 56

1869 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 56

Folder 57

January-August 1870 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 57

Folder 58

September 1870-1873 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 58

Folder 59

1880-1887, 1921-1926 #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 59

Folder 60-62

Folder 60

Folder 61

Folder 62

Undated #00248, Subseries: "2.1. Loose Papers, 1836-1926 and undated." Folder 60-62

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Volumes, 1823-1877.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Writings, 1829-1877 and undated.

About 230 items.

Handwritten drafts of articles for the Fayetteville News; original poetry by James Evans and others, including several acrostics; a composition book; and a diary, 1850-1869, of James Evans. The diary entries are written on loose sheets. Early entries are sporadic and often written on the back of accounts. Entries mostly concern the weather and the planting and progress of crops, with a few references to day-to-day family activities. Many of the articles and essays by James Evans are dated 1868 and signed "Sexagenarian." These articles are chiefly political commentary and reminiscences about Evans's early life, particularly his school days. There are also many items concerning the death of Evans's six-year-old daughter Henrietta in 1848. Also included are a few essays of James Evans, Jr., and his sister Sue Douglas Evans.

Folder 70

Diary, 1850-1864 #00248, Series: "3. Writings, 1829-1877 and undated." Folder 70

Folder 71

Diary, 1864-1869 #00248, Series: "3. Writings, 1829-1877 and undated." Folder 71

Folder 72

Composition book, 1829 #00248, Series: "3. Writings, 1829-1877 and undated." Folder 72

Folder 73-74

Folder 73

Folder 74

Essays and articles, 1848-1869 and undated #00248, Series: "3. Writings, 1829-1877 and undated." Folder 73-74

Folder 75

Poetry, 1834-1877 and undated #00248, Series: "3. Writings, 1829-1877 and undated." Folder 75

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Other Papers, 1849-1867 and undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Printed Material, 1859-1885 and undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Rebecca Hollingsworth, February 1992

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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