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Collection Number: 05140

Collection Title: Havens and Bonner Family Papers, 1829-1890

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 200 items (1.0 linear feet)
Abstract Members of the Bonner and Havens families, mainly of Washington, N.C., included Mary E. Bonner Havens (fl. 1837-1857); her husband B. F. (Benjamin F.) Havens (fl. 1839-1857); Mary's mother Elisabeth Bonner (fl. 1845-1875), father Richard Bonner (fl. 1827), sister Deborah (Debby) Bonner (fl. 1845-1875), brothers George Bonner (1822-1868) and Macon Bonner (fl. 1851-1857), and cousin Mary Shaw (fl. 1837-1839); and B. F. Havens's sisters Fanny M. (F. M.) Havens Bryan (fl. 1838-1851) and Sallie Havens (fl. 1846-1848). The bulk of the collection is correspondence, mostly written to or by Mary Bonner Havens. Topics include health concerns; 1843 rumors of an upcoming duel; social encounters; romantic entanglements; political sympathies; travel experiences; daily life in Washington, N.C., and Portsmouth, N.C., where Mary Havens and her children often stayed for health reasons; and George Bonner's studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. Writings consist of essays apparently written by Mary Bonner Havens on topics such as female education and the dangers of gambling. Other materials include an 1839 account of expenses from a trip to Massachusetts; newspaper clippings; a photocopy of a Macon, Ga., slave auction notice; and what appears to be a draft of a marriage proposal.
Creator Havens family.



Bonner 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 Havens and Bonner Family Papers #5140, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Provenance
Received from Dennis Boucher of Hillsborough, N.C., in December 2003 (Acc. 99672).
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. ยง 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. ยง 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

Mary E. Bonner (fl. 1837-1857) and B. F. (Benjamin F.) Havens (fl. 1839-1857) of Washington, N.C., married on 19 December 1839. Mary Bonner and B. F. Havens's sisters Fanny M. (F. M.) Havens Bryan (fl. 1838-1851) and Sallie Havens (fl. 1846-1848) were childhood friends whose relationship continued through adulthood. Mary and B. F. Havens had at least three children: Richard, Sarah, and Leroy. The couple lived in Washington, although letters show that Mary and the children often made months-long visits to Portsmouth, N.C., for health reasons. Their extended family included B. F.'s mother Sally Havens; Mary's parents, Richard Bonner (fl. 1827) and Elisabeth Bonner (fl. 1845-1875) and siblings George Bonner (1822-1868), a lawyer trained at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Elizabeth Bonner, also referred to as "Betty" and "Lizzy" (fl. 1842-1847), Deborah (Debby) Bonner (fl. 1845-1875), and Macon Bonner (b. 1836); and cousin Mary Shaw (fl. 1837-1839).

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection is chiefly correspondence, mostly written to or by Mary Bonner Havens. Topics include health concerns; 1843 rumors of an upcoming duel; social encounters; romantic entanglements; political sympathies; travel experiences; daily life in Washington, N.C., and Portsmouth, N.C., where Mary Havens and her children often stayed for health reasons; and George Bonner's studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. Writings consist of essays apparently written by Mary Bonner Havens on topics such as female education and the dangers of gambling. Other materials include an 1839 account of expenses from a trip to Massachusetts; newspaper clippings; a photocopy of a Macon, Ga., slave auction notice; and what appears to be a draft of a marriage proposal.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1829-1890.

About 200 items.

Letters before the 1839 marriage of Mary E. Bonner and B. F. (Benjamin F.) Havens show the early interaction of the two Washington, N.C., families, particularly the friendship of Mary Bonner, her cousin Mary Shaw, and two sisters Fanny M. (F. M.) Havens Bryan and Sallie Havens. Other frequent correspondents include Sarah Fowle, who wrote of her experiences in a New York boarding school, Fanny (F. L. A.) Clark, and Mary Bonner's brother, George Bonner.

Many of the letters show that health issues were a persistent concern for the Bonner and Havens families. A substantial correspondence between Mary and B. F. Havens reveals that they were often apart for months at a time, typically during the summer and early fall, with Mary taking the children to Portsmouth, N.C., to either avoid or recover from various illnesses. The couple's letters generally focus on their daily routines and circle of friends and family, some of whom also sought refuge in Portsmouth. B. F. Havens wrote of political matters and Washington, N.C., gossip, including an upcoming duel and the presumed plan of an African American man to burn the town in 1843. George Bonner, living in Hillsborough, N.C., and later Chapel Hill, N.C., also appears, at times fretting over his studies at the University of North Carolina and his father's high expectations of him.

Other materials include a photocopy of a Macon, Ga., slave auction notice; an account of expenses incurred during a trip, 1839, to Massachusetts; instructions for coloring velvet; undated newspaper clippings; and what appears to be a draft of a marriage proposal, scrawled in pencil across an old invitation. Writings consist of rough drafts of essays apparently written by Mary Bonner on topics ranging from female education to the dangers of gambling.

Folder 1

1829, 1836-1837 #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 1

Folder 2

1838 #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 2

Folder 3

January-September 1839 #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 3

Folder 4

October-December 1839 #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 4

Folder 5

1842 #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 5

Folder 6

1843-1844 #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 6

Folder 7

July-August 1845 #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 7

Folder 8

September-October 1845 #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 8

Folder 9

1846-1847 #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 9

Folder 10

1848-1890 #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 10

Folder 11-15

Folder 11

Folder 12

Folder 13

Folder 14

Folder 15

Undated #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 11-15

Folder 16

Invitations #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 16

Folder 17

Name cards #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 17

Folder 18

Other materials #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 18

Folder 19-20

Folder 19

Folder 20

Writings #05140, Series: "Papers, 1829-1890." Folder 19-20

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jessica Tyree, July 2004

Encoded by: Jessica Tyree, July 2004

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, November 2009

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