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Collection Number: 04840

Collection Title: Albert Earle Garrett Papers, 1931-1973; 1998

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 100 items)
Abstract Albert Earle Garrett, Jr. (1909-1998), a graduate of the University of North Carolina Law School, practiced law in Danville, Va. In his student days, he met Swain Wu, a Chinese citizen (then called Swain Wool) pursuing an education at the College of William and Mary and at Columbia University. After his return to China, Wu became an educator, businessman, and government official. In 1957, Wu left mainland China and moved to Hong Kong; in 1963, he immigrated to the United States. Correspondence between Swain Wu and Albert Earle Garrett, Jr., 1926-and 1973; photographs of Wu and his family; and a North Carolina Public School Register, circa 1900s. Most of the letters are from Wu to Garrett. Letters, 1926-1931, concern Wu's studies and his social life as a student in the United States. Letters, 1931-1941, written after Wu's return to China, discuss both personal matters, such as Wu's search for a wife, and events of international concern, most notably Japan's invasion of China. Letters written while Wu was teaching at Ginling College in Nanking focus on Japan's attacks on Manchuria and Shanghai, as well as Wu's students and other faculty. Some of these letters discuss Charles Lindbergh's visit to the campus. After he moved to Shanghai, where he taught part-time at the Shanghai University Business School and worked successively for Realty Investment Co. and the National City Bank of New York, Wu wrote about details of his work, the situation with Japan, economic conditions, and his romantic life. Letters from Peking in 1940 and 1941, after Wu had married and was working for the government and teaching at Yenching University, focus on the situation with Japan and the need for aid from the United States. Letters, 1959-1963, focus on Wu's desire to immigrate to the United States and Garrett's assistance in this effort. Letters after 1963 are mainly short social letters. The North Carolina Public School Register belonged to Garrett's father, Albert Earle Garrett, Sr. (b. 1882), who taught in 1902 and in 1908.
Creator Garrett, Albert Earle, 1909-1998.
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 Albert Earle Garrett papers #4840, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Clara Garrett Fountain of Danville, Va., in October 1996 (Acc. 96143), July 1998 (Acc. 98161), and August 1998 (Acc. 98180).
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

Albert Earle Garrett, Jr., son of Mattie Sue Webb Blackwell and Albert Earle Garrett, Sr., was born in 1909. Albert Earle Garrett, Sr., was born in Rockingham County, N.C., and attended the University of North Carolina in 1905. He operated tobacco warehouses in North Carolina and Virginia. Albert Earle Garrett, Jr., was graduated from the College of William and Mary and then earned his J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1933. After graduation, Garrett returned to his hometown of Danville, Va., and opened his own law office. His firm, Garrett, Garrett & Smith, eventually included his son Albert III, who received his A.B. from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1956.

Albert Earle Garrett, Jr., died in 1998.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Correspondence between Swain Wu and Albert Earle Garrett, Jr., 1926-and 1973; photographs of Wu and his family; and a North Carolina Public School Register, circa 1900s. Most of the letters are from Wu to Garrett. Letters, 1926-1931, concern Wu's studies and his social life as a student in the United States. Letters, 1931-1941, written after Wu's return to China, discuss both personal matters, such as Wu's search for a wife, and events of international concern, most notably Japan's invasion of China. Letters written while Wu was teaching at Ginling College in Nanking focus on Japan's attacks on Manchuria and Shanghai, as well as Wu's students and other faculty. Some of these letters discuss Charles Lindbergh's visit to the campus. After he moved to Shanghai, where he taught part-time at the Shanghai University Business School and worked successively for Realty Investment Co. and the National City Bank of New York, Wu wrote about details of his work, the situation with Japan, economic conditions, and his romantic life. Letters from Peking in 1940 and 1941, after Wu had married and was working for the government and teaching at Yenching University, focus on the situation with Japan and the need for aid from the United States. Letters, 1959-1963, focus on Wu's desire to immigrate to the United States and Garrett's assistance in this effort. Letters after 1963 are mainly short social letters. The North Carolina Public School Register belonged to Garrett's father, Albert Earle Garrett, Sr. (b. 1882), who taught in 1902 and in 1908.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998.

About 100 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Chiefly letters from Swain Wu to Alfred Earle Garrett, Jr., with one letter to Garrett from Koo Lih Teh, and one from Lucy Wu to Evelyn Garrett. Some photographs are attached to letters with which they were enclosed. Swain Wu used the name Swain Wool when he was a student at William and Mary and at Columbia. Sometime after his return to China, he began writing Woo and then Wu. He returned to the United States in 1963 as Swain Wu.

The earliest letter in the collection is from Wu at the College of William and Mary during the Christmas holiday to Garrett at home in Danville, Va. The next letters are from Wu when he was working in Suffolk, Va., in the summer of 1929 to Garrett at school in Williamsburg, Va. Letters from the fall of 1929 describe Wu's work in New York City and study at Columbia University. Letters from the spring of 1930 discuss Wu's studies and social life at William and Mary.

In the early 1930s, Wu's letters focus on his personal life. The 1931 letters were written when Wu was on his way to China and after he arrived there. One was written soon after his arrival and another later in the year when he was teaching economics at Ginling College in Nanking. He described his students, other teachers, Charles Lindbergh's visit to the school, and the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. The 1932 letters give an account of Japan's attack on Shanghai, where Wu was vacationing in January. Later in the year, Wu described his starting to work in the accounting department of Realty Investment Co. in Shanghai. He also discussed the currency exchange rate. In 1933, Wu's letters mention his part-time teaching at the Shanghai University Business School and his move from Realty Investment to the Shanghai office of National City Bank of New York. There is discussion of the exchange rate and of Wu's belief in women's profligacy. He congratulated Garrett on receiving his law degree and consoled him on the death of his brother Tom. Wu discussed some of the demands of his job in his 1934 letter and his breakup with a potential fiancee. In 1935, Wu congratulated Garrett on his wife's pregnancy and intimated that he planned to leave his job because it did not pay enough to support a wife.

There are fewer letters from the latter half of the decade. These letters are more focused on the political situation in China. In the first letter of 1936, Wu ruminated on the likelihood of war with Japan. He described conflict as increasingly likely due to a report of the assassination of conservative Japanese leaders, leaving young radical army elements in control of the Japanese government. Chinese national unity in the face of the war is the theme of 1937's correspondence. Wu also alluded to China's need for airplanes and supplies from the United States and Great Britain. In 1938, Wu discussed the spirit of the Chinese people and his hope that the United States would keep gasoline, scrap iron, and bombs from reaching Japan. Chinese morale was again a theme in 1939, along with the currency exchange rate, the cost of living, and Wu's approval of the abrogation by the United States of a 1911 trade agreement with Japan.

Letters of 1940 and 1941 are mostly about Wu's engagement and marriage. In 1940, Wu announced his engagement and his plans to move to Peking. He also described China's need for money, ammunition, and medical supplies. In 1941, Wu announced his marriage and move to Peking, where he worked for the government and taught at Yenching University. He also discussed the high cost of living.

Letters from Wu to Garrett in 1946 report family news, news of Wu's activities during the war, and his plans for the future. In these and in a letter written in 1948, Wu expressed his wish to leave China and live in the United States.

A 1948 letter from Koo Lih Teh, who described himself as Garrett's adopted son, wishes him a merry Christmas.

When Wu re-established contact with Garrett in 1959, he described traveling from Peking to Macao as a refugee in 1957, leaving behind all his household goods and money. Wu described the impossibility of living on the salary he earned teaching at the Y.M.C.A. College of Hong Kong and asked for Garrett's help in finding a job in the United States so that he could move his family from Macao to the United States. Correspondence, 1959-1962, focuses on Wu's efforts to move to the United States and Garrett's assistance in that endeavor. Nearly all of the letters after 1962 are from Wu to Garrett, describing his family's new life and work in New York City.

The last letter in the collection is a condolence letter, 1998, from Lucy Wu, widow of Swain Wu, to Evelyn Garrett on the death of Albert Earle Garrett.

A few undated Christmas cards from Wu to Garrett are also included in the the correspondence.

Folder 1

1926, 1928 #04840, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998." Folder 1

Folder 2

1929 #04840, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998." Folder 2

Folder 3

1930 #04840, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998." Folder 3

Folder 4

1931 #04840, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998." Folder 4

Folder 5

1932-1935 #04840, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998." Folder 5

Folder 6

1936-1939 #04840, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998." Folder 6

Folder 7

1940-1941 #04840, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998." Folder 7

Folder 8

1946, 1948 #04840, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998." Folder 8

Folder 9

1959-1962 #04840, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998." Folder 9

Folder 10

1963-1965 #04840, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998." Folder 10

Folder 11

1966-1973, 1998 #04840, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998." Folder 11

Folder 12

Undated #04840, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1926-1973, 1998." Folder 12

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. School Register, Undated.

1 item.

A North Carolina Public School Register filled with song lyrics, written in the hand of Albert Earle Garrett, Sr. (b. 1882). There is no date or school name associated with the notebook, but Clara Garrett Fountain, granddaughter of Albert Earle Garrett, Sr., believes that the register lists children at the school at Sylvania, N.C., 10 miles west of Sharp's Institute, where Garrett, Sr., was the only teacher in 1902, or at New Bethel Academy in 1908 where he taught for one school session.

Folder 13

North Carolina Public School Register #04840, Series: "2. School Register, Undated." Folder 13

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Photographs, 1946, 1959 and undated.

5 items.

A signed photograph of Swain Wu as a young man, undated; a photograph of Wu taken in Macao in 1958; a photograph of Wu with his wife and daughter, 20 December 1946; a photograph of Wu with his wife, daughter, and son, taken in Macao, 1 August 1959; and a photograph of Wu's son Jimmy at age 6, taken in Peking.

Image P-4840

Photographs, 1946; 1959; and undated #04840, Series: "3. Photographs, 1946, 1959 and undated." P-4840

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Arturo S. Bagley, February 1997; Linda Sellars, April 1999

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Items separated: P-4840.

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