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Collection Number: 01040

Collection Title: Gordon and Hackett Family Papers, 1752-1942 (bulk 1847-1860)

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 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 650 items)
Abstract Two Wilkes County, N.C., families were united through Robert Franklin Hackett (died circa 1889) and his wife, Caroline Louise Gordon Hackett (1828-1891), who were married in 1859 after an extended and secret engagement. Robert Franklin Hackett was an 1849 graduate of Jefferson Medical College and practiced medicine in Wilksboro, N.C. Caroline Louise Gordon Hackett was connected to the Brown, Gwyn, Lenoir, and Stokes families of North Carolina; her brother was Confederate Brigadier General James Byron Gordon (1822-1864). The collection consists chiefly of personal and family letters about household affairs, social activities of young people, and local news from the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina; Unionville, S.C.; Shreveport, La.; and Cherokee County, Ala. Many of the letters are to and from female family members and describe their activities. Early papers include letters to Caroline Louise Gordon at school in Salem, N.C., and to Robert F. Hackett at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Later papers include materials about public education in Wilkes County in the late 1850s and scattered Civil War letters. Included are two letters from Confederate Brigadier General James Byron Gordon. One, dated 22 June 1862, comments on military life, and the other, 3 February 1863, describes camp conditions in Culpepper County, Va. There are also materials relating to Robert and Caroline Hackett's sons, Richard Nathaniel Hackett, who was a student at the University of North Carolina, 1883-1887, and later an attorney and Congressman, and James Gordon Hackett, who was appointed to serve the state of North Carolina on several boards and commissions in the 1920s and 1930s. There are also several items relating to family history.
Creator Gordon family.

Hackett 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 Gordon and Hackett Family Papers #1040, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Folders 1-25 are 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 James Gordon Hackett of North Wilkesboro, N.C., in 1945; Mrs. James Gordon Hackett of North Wilkesboro, N.C., in 1955; and the estate of T. F. Hickerson in 1970.
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

The Gordon and Hackett families of Wilkes County, N.C. were united through the marriage of Robert Franklin Hackett (died circa 1889) and Caroline Louise Gordon Hackett (1828-1891), who were married in 1859 after an extended and secret engagement. Robert Franklin Hackett was an 1849 graduate of Jefferson Medical College, and he practiced medicine in Wilkesboro, N.C. Caroline Gordon Hackett was a sister of Brigadier General James B. Gordon (1822-1864) and was connected with the Brown, Gywn, Lenoir, and Stokes families of North Carolina.

Robert Franklin and Caroline Hackett's son was Richard Nathaniel Hackett (1866-1923), an attorney and congressman. Richard Nathaniel was a graduate of the University of North Carolina in 1887, and he studied law under Colonel George N. Folk in Caldwell County. Richard Nathaniel established his law practice in Wilkesboro, N.C., and became a prominent figure in the local Democratic party, serving as chair of the Wilkes County Democratic Executive Committee, 1890-1923. He also served as mayor to Wilkesboro, 1894-1896. In 1906, he was elected to the 60th Congress, but he was defeated by the Republican candidate when he ran for reelection in 1908. Richard Nathaniel married Lois Long, daughter of B. F. Long of Statesville, N.C., in 1907.

Brigadier General James Byron Gordon, brother of Caroline Gordon Hackett, was a merchant, farmer, politician, and Confederate soldier born at Wilkesboro. The Gordon family was of Scottish descent and had emigrated from Scotland in 1724 to settle first in Maryland and finally in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and Wilkes County, N.C. James B. and Caroline Gordon's parents were Nathaniel Gordon and Sarah Lenoir Gwyn. After attending Emory and Henry College, James B. Gordon entered the mercantile business and supervised the family farm. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he enlisted as a private in the Wilkes Valley Guards. The company was reorganized to become Company B of the First North Carolina Regiment. But Gordon would later be appointed major to the First North Carolina Cavalry (Ninth North Carolina Regiment). Participating in the Seven Days' battles before Richmond (26 June-2 July 1862), the First North Carolina Cavalry served in the brigade of General Jeb Stuart, where it would remain for the remainder of the war. On 12 May 1864, Gordon's unit confronted Union General Sheridan on his drive to Richmond at Meadow Bridges near Brook Church. Just before his command was relieved late in the evening, Gordon was struck by a minie ball in the arm. Although the wound at first did not appear serious, Gordon only lived for a few days, dying in the officer's hospital in Richmond.

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These papers, the bulk of which are dated 1847-1860, are mostly personal and family letters of members of the Gordon family and the Hackett family. The papers are concerned with household affairs, social activities of young people, and local news from the Yadkin Valley, N.C.; Unionville, S.C.; Shreveport, La.; and Cherokee County, Ala. Many of the letters are to and from female family members and describe their activities. Early papers include letters to Caroline Louise Gordon at school in Salem, N.C., and to Robert F. Hackett at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Later papers include materials about public education in Wilkes County, N.C., in the late 1850s and scattered Civil War letters. Included are two letters from Confederate Brigadier General James Byron Gordon. One, dated 22 June 1862, comments on military life, and the other, 3 February 1863, describes camp conditions in Culpepper County, Va. There are also materials relating to Robert and Caroline Hackett's sons, Richard Nathaniel Hackett, who was a student at the University of North Carolina, 1883-1887, and James Gordon Hackett, who was appointed to serve the state of North Carolina on several boards and commissions in the 1920s and 1930s. There are also several items relating to family history.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1752-1942.

About 625 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Collection is chiefly family correspondence concentrated in the 1847-1860 period. Correspondence includes general information on local happenings, gossip, news of relatives, activities of the young people in the Yadkin Valley, N.C., area, in Unionville, S.C., in Shreveport, La., and in Cherokee County, Ala. For the Civil War period there are two letters from James Byron Gordon. One, dated 22 June 1862, comments on army life; and the other, 3 February 1863, describes camp conditions in Culpepper County, Va. A letter, 5 November 1862, from Anne Gordon Finley at Cherokee County, Ala., describes the Confederates under General William Martin foraging and stealing all the food and supplies of the countryside, camping around and in her home, pulling up crops, and how the Finley family bartered for supplies. A letter, 31 January 1863, also from the Finley family documents how the family resisted conscription. Other items include a letter, 16 March 1845, on a duel fought in Wilkesboro, N.C., and two letters, May and September 1859, to Caroline Gordon from Robert Franklin Hackett mentioning their secret engagement.

Folder 1

1752-1832 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 1

Folder 2

1834-1844 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 2

Folder 3

1845-1846 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 3

Folder 4

1847 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 4

Folder 5

1848 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 5

Folder 6

1849 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 6

Folder 7

1850 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 7

Folder 8

1851 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 8

Folder 9

1852 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 9

Folder 10

1853 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 10

Folder 11

1854 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 11

Folder 12

1855 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 12

Folder 13

1856 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 13

Folder 14

1857 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 14

Folder 15

1858 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 15

Folder 16

1859 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 16

Folder 17

1860 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 17

Folder 18

1861-1878 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 18

Folder 19

1880-1910 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 19

Folder 20

1923-1942 #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 20

Folder 21

Undated and fragments: Caroline Gordon Hackett #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 21

Folder 22

Undated and fragments: Robert Franklin Hackett #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 22

Folder 23

Undated and fragments: Others #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 23

Folder 24-25

Folder 24

Folder 25

Miscellaneous items #01040, Series: "Papers, 1752-1942." Folder 24-25

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Processing Information

Processed by: Brooke Allan and Roslyn Holdzkom, 1961 and December 1992

Encoded by: Bari Helms, March 2005

This inventory is built around an inventory compiled by Brooke Allan in 1961.

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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