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Collection Number: 04523

Collection Title: Leonidas Campbell Jones Papers, 1864-1889

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 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 163 items)
Abstract Leonidas Campbell Jones of Jonesboro, N.C., was superintendent of the Western Railroad in Fayetteville, N.C., and ultimately superintendent of the North Carolina Central Railroad headquartered in Wilmington, N.C. Diaries and family letters of Leonidas Campbell Jones document his travel throughout North Carolina and other matters relating to railroad business. In his letters to his wife and children and in his daily diary entries, he wrote on variety of other subjects, including the weather, daily activities, his health, religious matters, reading, recreation, and family matters. Many of the diaries also contain personal financial accounts. There are three diaries for 1864, then a ten-year silence, followed by diaries for each year from 1874 through 1889, except 1888. Jones made his last entry 5 July 1889 and died one week later on 12 July 1889. The family letters date between 1883 and 1889.
Creator Jones, Leonidas Campbell, 1830?-1889.
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 Leonidas Campbell Jones Papers #4523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Diaries received as a gift from Mrs. John Mason Ramey and Mrs. William Walter Tucker in November 1988.
Addition of family letters received as a gift from Catharine Cox Kirby in April 2016 (Acc. 102548).
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

Leonidas Campbell Jones (1830?-1889) of Jonesboro, N.C., was superintendent of the Western Railroad in Fayetteville and ultimately superintendent of the North Carolina Central Railroad headquartered in Wilmington, N.C. Jones was an elder at the Old Buffalo Church (Presbyterian).

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

This collection consists of eighteen diaries of railroad superintendent Leonidas Campbell Jones and letters he wrote to his family and received from his wife Francina and four children, Selden, Mary Eppes, Landon and Florence (Floy), who lived in Jonesboro, N.C. Leonidas Campbell Jones travelled throughout North Carolina in connection with his job. His diaries and letters document his travel and other matters involving railroad business. In his letters and daily diary entries he wrote on a variety of other subjects, including the weather, daily activities, his health, religious matters, reading, recreation, and family matters. Many of the diaries also contain personal financial accounts. There are three diaries for 1864, then a ten-year silence, followed by diaries for each year from 1874 through 1889, except 1888. Jones made his last entry 5 July 1889 and died one week later on 12 July 1889. The family letters date between 1883 and 1889.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Diaries, 1864-1889

18 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Folder 1

30 December 1863-31 March 1864 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 1

Volume

"L. C. Jones. Railroad Office. Fayetteville."

Folder 2

1 April-21 August 1864 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 2

Volume

"L. C. Jones. Railroad Office. Fayetteville."

Folder 3

22 August-19 December 1864 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 3

Volume

"L. C. Jones. WRR Office." Includes some accounts for 1865.

Folder 4

1 January-31 December 1874 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 4

Volume

"L. C. Jones. Fayetteville, N.C."

Folder 5

1 January-31 December 1875 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 5

Volume

"L. C. Jones. Fayetteville, N.C."

Folder 6

1 January-31 December 1876 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 6

Volume

"L. C. Jones. Fayetteville, N.C." "If found please forward to the office of the Western RR Co."

Folder 7

1 January 1877-21 January 1878 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 7

Volume

"L. C. Jones. WRR Office, Fayetteville, N.C."

Folder 8

1 January-31 December 1878 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 8

Volume

Folder 9

1 January-31 December 1879 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 9

Volume

Folder 10

1 January-31 December 1880 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 10

Volume

Folder 11

1 January-31 December 1881 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 11

Volume

"L. C. Jones. Fayetteville, N.C. If found please forward to the C.F.Y.V. office all expenses shall be paid."

Folder 12

1 January-31 December 1882 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 12

Volume

"L. C. Jones, Supt. If found please send to the office of C.F.Y.V.R.R. Fayetteville, N.C."

Folder 13

1 January-31 December 1883 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 13

Volume

"L. C. Jones, If found please return to the office of the C.F.Y.V.R.R. Fayetteville, N.C." This diary contains the notation: "18 Jan. Went to Raleigh today to see Mr. Robinson about accepting position of Supt. of Carolina Central R. R."

Folder 14

1 January-31 December 1884 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 14

Volume

"L. C. Jones. If found please send to the Supt.'s office of Carolina Central R.R."

Folder 15

1 January-31 December 1885 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 15

Volume

"L. C. Jones Supt. CCRR Wilmington, N.C."

Folder 16

1 January-30 December 1886 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 16

Volume

"L. C. Jones Supt. CCRR Wilmington, N.C."

Folder 17

1 January-31 December 1887 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 17

Volume

"L. C. Jones. If found please deliver at the Supt's. office Carolina Central R. R. Wilmington, N.C."

Folder 18

1 January-5 July 1889 #04523, Series: "1. Diaries, 1864-1889" Folder 18

Volume

"If found please return to L. C. Jones, Supt. Carolina Central R. R. Wilmington, N.C."

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Family Letters, 1883-1889

Approximately 145 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Folder 19

1883 #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 19

In a 30 April 1883 letter to his son, Jones writes, "A railroad man is always having his intentions and calculations knocked to pieces. For instance, on yesterday morning I intended to go to church, had put on my good clothes and was about to start, when a dispatch was given to me that informed me of a wash out in the track near Pee Dee river." He asks his son "to tell your Mother that I am not chewing much tobacco--a very little," and concludes, "I am sure that you are trying to be a smart, good boy, and are getting on well in your books."

Folder 20

June 1885 #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 20

Most letters are from Leonidas to his wife Francina. One letter dated 14 January 1885 is to Leonidas from his daughter. In a 17 June 1885 letter to his son, he writes, "I intended to send Floy [his daughter] a letter today, but I had no flowers or pictures to put on her envelope, and to send her a letter now, without any pictures on it, would not do." He continues, "The old men, or that is, the married men of Wilmington had burlesque game of base ball this evening. A good many went out to see it, but I do not think that any from our offices did."

Folder 21

August 1885 #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 21

Most letters are from Leonidas to his wife Francina. In an undated letter to his daughter, Jones writes, "Did you receive your doll that I sent by express from Raleigh? Don't you think she is pretty? How will Sister dress it? Put a Mother Hubbard on it or make a nice plaid dress for her?"

Folder 22

September 1885 #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 22

Most letters are from Leonidas to his wife Francina. In a letter dated 17 September 1885 to his daughter, Jones writes, "I have to talk railroad so much, and write it so much, that it creeps into my letters that I send home,"

Folder 23

October 1885 #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 23

Most letters are from Leonidas to his wife Francina. In a letter to his sons dated 17 June 1885, he comments on the railroad station stops. On Hamlet, N.C., he writes, "This certainly must be a lonesome place, when no trains are here....I reckon Landon will say that my letter is a diary of the days ride. Well, that is about what it is."

Folder 24

November-December 1885 #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 24

Letters are from Leonidas to his wife and his sons and daughters. In a letter to his wife dated 10 November 1885, Jones describes his business in Shelby, N.C. "The depot platform and all around it are crowded with negroes waiting for their pay, and all of them want passes to go home. To give it to them would break up the work, and I told them that I would not do it."

Folder 25

January-March 1886 #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 25

Most letters are from Leonidas to his wife Francina and his sons and daughters. One letter dated 17 February 1886 was received by Jones from his daughter Mary Eppes. She writes, "I received a valentine Monday from Durham from one of the school girls I reckon. It was very sweet + pretty, not 'lovey' like they generally are." In a letter to his son Landon dated 16 March 1886, Jones describes a fire in Wilmington, N.C., caused by "a lighted cigarette, thrown into an out building, on the wharf."

Folder 26

July-December 1886 #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 26

Most letters are from Leonidas to his wife and his sons and daughters. Two letters dated 12 October and 14 October 1886 were received by Jones from his wife Francina. In a 4 November 1886 letter to his son Landon, Jones asks, "Has that 'Indian Doctor,' so called, informed the citizens when the last performance will take, and he and his party, like Arabs '-Fold their tents and silently steal away.'" He then reports, "Will Sharp has been telling everybody he knows about what a pleasant time he had during his visit to Selden and you. He says that Floy is beautiful and that he intends to hunt a first class beau for your sister when she comes down. What an idea!"

Folder 27

1887 #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 27

Includes two letters from Leonidas to his wife Francina. In a letter dated 27 November 1887, he writes, "I think that I shall yet make some money on the cotton that we have left on hand, by holding it until January or Feb. The cotton men all think that it will be higher then. Two more large steamers, foreign, have recently come into this port [Wilmington, N.C.] for cotton."

Folder 28

May 1888 #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 28

Most letters are from Leonidas to his wife Francina. In a letter dated 31 May 1888, he writes, "Everybody is so much excited here [Wilmington, N.C.] to day in getting news from Raleigh, as to the nominee for Governor, that it is hard to get much business done. I do not get excited over such things. I saw too much of it when I was a boy. There is no money in it, nor do I see the fun or pleasure, except to the man that is elected."

Folder 29

June-July 1888 #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 29

Most letters are from Leonidas to his wife Francina. In a letter dated 12 June 1888, he writes about business, "I have to fix up that list of all taxable property on Carolina Central from Wilmington to Rutherfordton, including engines, cars, buildings, franchise, and everything."

Folder 30

May-July 1889 #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 30

Most letters are from Leonidas to his wife Francina. In a letter dated 7 May 1889, he asks Francina to warn their son. "Tell Landon that it is dangerous to go about the cotton mill and shuttle factory. He might be caught in the machinery and get hurt or killed. I hope that he will keep away from them."

Folder 31

"Letters from the Road, 1883-1889" #04523, Series: "2. Family Letters, 1883-1889" Folder 31

Volume

"From Col. Leonidas Campbell Jones to his beloved wife, Francina Catharine (France), and to their children, Selden, Mary Eppes ("Daughter"), Landon and Florence (Floy). A gift to cousins, young and younger from your loving elders, Flora, Cay, Nancy, Flora and Catharine. Book conceived and assembled by Catharine Cox Kirby."

Includes genealogical information, biographical information about Leonidas Campbell Jones, and images.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Lisa Tolbert, January 1989

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated with addition by: Laura Hart, April 2016

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