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Collection Number: 00408

Collection Title: Francis Joseph Kron Papers, 1823-1882

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 200 items)
Abstract Francis Joseph Kron was a physician and horticulturist of Stanly County, N.C. The collection includes family letters, 1846-1847 and 1860-1876; school notebooks; an account book, 1848-1882; a diary, 1835; botanical drawings, circa 1870; materials realting to the settlement of an estate; family history materials; a genealogy of former Kron slaves; and other items relating to Francis Joseph Kron and members of his family, especially his daughters, Elizabeth (1831-1896) and Adele (1828-1910), who attended St. Mary's School in Raleigh, N.C., 1846-1847.
Creator Kron, Francis Joseph, 1798-1883.
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 Francis Joseph Kron Papers #408, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy available.
  • Reel 1: Volumes 1-4
Alternate Form of Material
Some typed transcriptions available.
Acquisitions Information
Received from the North Carolina Historical Society; the Stanly County Historical Properties Commission, 1982; the Kron Museum Trust, 1986; and Molly C. Watters, Raleigh, N.C., 1987.
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

Francis Joseph Kron was born in Trier, Prussia, 14 November 1798. In June 1823, he married Mary Catherine Delamothe of Tours, France, and emigrated with her to Montgomery County, N.C., in the fall of that year. Although no evidence can be found in the records of the University of North Carolina, Kron recorded in his diary that he had taught French at the University, 1824-1826. During the winter of 1829-1830, he attended the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. In 1834, he moved his family, which now included two daughters, Adelaide (or Adele) (12 September 1828-4 February 1910), and Elizabeth (5 February 1831-14 February 1896) to Stanly County, N.C., where he lived out his life. His daughters, neither of whom married, attended St. Mary's School in Raleigh in 1846 and 1847. The date of death on Kron's tombstone appears to read "20 July 1883," although some have suggested that the actual year of death was 1888.

For further biographical information, see Volume 5.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes family letters, 1846-1847 and 1860-1876; school notebooks; an account book, 1848-1882; a diary, 1835; botanical drawings, circa 1870; materials realting to the settlement of an estate; family history materials; and other items relating to Francis Joseph Kron and members of his the Kron family of Stanly County, N.C., especially his daughters, Elizabeth Kron (1831-1896) and Adele Kron (1828-1910), who attended St. Mary's School in Raleigh, N.C., 1846-1847.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1846-1876.

25 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Fifteen letters from Kron and his wife to their daughters, Elizabeth and Adele (or Adelaide), who were at St. Mary's School in Raleigh, 1846-1847, and ten later letters concerning legal matters. The earlier letters are in French and are described individually below; a summary of the later letters follows these descriptions. See the final eleven pages of Volume 15 for what appear to be copies or drafts of other letters written by Francis Joseph Kron.

28 April 1846 From Mary Catherine Kron, written two weeks after the departure of Adele and Elizabeth from Attaway Hill, about weather, strawberries, and flowers, exhorting the girls to write weekly. Addendum, from Francis Joseph Kron, under same seal, about learning and the unimportance of others' opinions, exhorting his daughters to write.
4 December 1846 From Francis Joseph Kron to Elizabeth Kron (and signed by Mary Catherine Kron), wishing her well in her studies, expressing hope that she has become accustomed to her new surroundings, telling of his adventures on a return trip from Raleigh to Albemarle, N.C. (a near disastrous coach accident in which winds overturned the carriage), and giving domestic news.
15 December 1846 From Francis Joseph Kron to Adele Kron at St. Mary's School, about good, spring like weather; domestic news; [Willis?] Morgan's leaving, offering land to Kron; plantation news; and advice against imprudent correspondence. Addendum, from Mary Catherine Kron, about fashion news.
10 January 1847 From Mary Catherine Kron to Elizabeth and Adele, about sadness at not accompanying her husband to visit the girls; social and weather news; clothing and a cake to be sent.
4 February 1847 From Mary Catherine Kron, promising to make a bouquet, not being able to send a cake; noting that both girls were sick; and discussing gossip of the neighborhood, news of the birth of a new lamb, and the weather.
4 February 1847 From Francis Joseph Kron, sending sixteenth birthday greetings to Elizabeth, and expressing sadness at separation for the birthday, reflecting on her birth just after their move to North Carolina; and about heavy storms after spring like weather; planting vines, strawberry plants, and flowers; the importance of studying the world and their own surroundings, and admiring and pursuing the ideal; and marriages in the neighborhood.
7 February 1847 From Mary Catherine Kron, about sickness in the area, how busy their father is (a doctor's job is too difficult in America), and offering motherly advice. 26 February 1847 (on the same sheet), from Francis Joseph Kron, referring to legal struggles.
19 February 1847 From Francis Joseph Kron, about news of patients, his large strawberries, and his hope of receiving a photograph of both of them.
21 January 1847 From Francis Joseph Kron in Raleigh, where he is tending to business at the Supreme Court, regretting not visiting them at St. Mary's; suggesting that the girls visit a Mr. Bryan, who is representing the Krons in court; advising his daughters to continue their friendship with Dr. Mason and on friendship generally and their studies; and noting that St. Mary's is good for learning the ways of the world, but little else (such institutions are in business to make money).
27 January 1847 From Francis Joseph Kron, with news of sickness and marriage in the area, describing the room from which he was writing, and mentioning his return from Raleigh, with a complaint that no railroad exists in the region. Addendum, from Mary Catherine Kron, noting how glad she is to hear that her daughters are well.
4 March 1847 From Mary Catherine Kron, complaining of a fever and cold March weather, noting that despite his own cold, her husband is visiting the sick, and that Superior Court is meeting to decide their case; and mentioning the beauty of their flower garden, the importance of polite society, and marriages in the area. 5 March 1847 (on the same sheet), from Francis Joseph Kron, including news of colds; noting that when not tending the sick he appears in Albemarle to reassure people that he is well, and to disappoint the young who hope to take over his practice; and mentioning court news, a trip to Fayetteville for supplies, and a possible trip to northern cities.
17 March 1847 From Francis Joseph Kron, noting cold weather, swelling rivers, and good supplies of fresh water fish; describing a marriage in Albemarle; mentioning local gossip; and pointing out the importance of writing in the improvement of reasoning, autonomous judgment, and observation. Addendum, from Mary Catherine Kron, discussing how the flowers are faring in the harsh weather, the work load of Francis Joseph Kron, and preparations for Easter and the advantages of Lenten denial.
1 April 1847 From Francis Joseph Kron in Fayetteville, explaining that he has had to pick up supplies ordered from Philadelphia (mentioned in letter of March 5); describing Fayetteville, which has been ravaged by fire so often that people are afraid to build anything flammable, and noting that the only reason to go there is to say you have been; and asking his daughters to be ready for his arrival around the 15th, not to plan to bring plants along, and to make a list of debts to repay before their departure.
8 April 1847 From Francis Joseph Kron, noting the beauty of our country as opposed to the city (the life of convention); mentioning the increase in the number of sick, especially the poor; asking that Mr. Smedes have his accounts ready so that their departure will not be delayed; indicating that they should fit all their possessions in their trunks; and noting that politeness demands that they visit the families who hosted the girls on Saturdays.
11 April 1847 From Mary Catherine Kron, expressing fear that overwork may exhaust her husband just as he is to pick up the girls (the next day); asking the girls to thank all those at St. Mary's for their benevolence and friendship; mentioning the need for needles and thread for sewing during the vacation; and requesting a few items of clothing from Raleigh.

The remaining items are letters from and between Kron's lawyers, especially Thomas S. Ashe (1812-1887), concerning court cases, mostly in 1860, with a few items dated later. There are three letters from Ashe; two letters (that Ashe must have sent along to Kron) to Ashe from other attorneys; three letters to Kron from attorneys in Marion, Ala.; a letter to Kron from Ralph Potts Buxton (1826-1900) about grape cultivation; and a letter to him from the Congres International des Americanistes in Luxembourg.

Folder 1

28 April 1846-7 February 1847 #00408, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1846-1876." Folder 1

Folder 2

19 February 1847-11 April 1847 #00408, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1846-1876." Folder 2

Folder 3

1860-1876 #00408, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1846-1876." Folder 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Papers, 1823-1902 and undated.

22 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Legal papers relating to the disputed estate of Henry Delamothe (d. 1839), uncle of Mary Catherine Kron, including a copy of his will and a prenuptual agreement between Delamothe's widow, Bethany, and Willis Morgan; a genealogy of a family of former Kron slaves, also named Kron (perhaps the family to whom Adele attempted to leave her estate); a copy of the oath of allegiance to the State of North Carolina of Mary C. Kron; and class tickets from the Academie de Paris, 1821 and 1823, and from the University of Pennsylvania Medical Department, 1829-1830.

Folder 4

Other papers #00408, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1823-1902 and undated." Folder 4

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated.

15 items.

Folder 5

Notebook, 1823 #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 5

Early pages missing and later pages blank, inside front and back covers carrying family data in French, presumably by Francis Joseph Kron. (V-408/1) (Microfilm available.)

Folder 6-7

Folder 6

Folder 7

Daybook, 1848-1882. About 150 pages #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 6-7

In 9 sections, chiefly concerning Kron's horticultural activities. (V-408/2) (Microfilm available.)

Folder 8

Record book of house calls and medical fees, 1860-1882. 160 pages #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 8

The bulk of the entries fall between 1860 and 1869. There is a newspaper clipping (1952), filed inside the front cover of the volume, concerning Kron. (V-408/3) (Microfilm available.)

Folder 9

Notebook, undated. 16 pages #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 9

Partially filled, chiefly containing chemical formula and lists of plants to be used in the process of dye making. (V-408/4) (Microfilm available.)

Folder 10

Dr. Francis J. Kron: A Report Prepared for the Division of State Parks, North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development by Robert O. Poplin Jr., 1958 #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 10

Includes an account of Kron's life as well as research about the Kron homesite. The appendix contains a transcription of Kron's diary (Volume 15) and other documents relating to Kron and his family. (V-408/5)

Folder 11

Notebook, 1843. About 70 pages #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 11

Cover inscribed "E. Kron, 16 September 1843." Includes addresses of shops in New York and Paris and listing varieties of farm animals and fowl, roses, trees, bushes, flowers, herbs, fruit trees, and dye recipes. Pages numbered 1-80, with pages 9-20 missing and 56-70 blank. (V-408/6)

School notebook, 1946. About 17 pages #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 11

Small school notebook inscribed "Elizabeth Kron, 2 December 1846, St. Mary's Hall." Contains student essays and letters with teachers' comments, especially criticisms of penmanship. (V-408/7)

School notebook, 1847. 6 pages #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 11

Small school notebook, inscribed "Elizabeth Kron, St. Mary's, 1847." Contains poetry. (V-408/8)

School notebook, 1847. 27 pages #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 11

Small school notebook, inscribed "Elizabeth Kron's Poetry Book, St. Mary's, March 11th 1847. (V-408/9)"

School notebook, undated. 22 pages #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 11

Small school notebook, inscribed "Miss Adelaide Kron." Contains geometry exercises. (V-408/10)

Folder 12

School notebook, undated. 15 pages #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 12

Small school notebook, inscribed "Miss Adele Kron." Contains list of authors and books by type or subject. (V-408/11)

School notebook, undated. 16 pages #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 12

Small school notebook. Contains lists of fruit and nut trees, fruit vines and bushes, and flowers. (V-408/12)

Notebook, undated. 32 pages #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 12

Chiefly contains Bible verse citations. (V-408/13)

Folder 13

Transcription of Francis Joseph Kron diary, 14 November to 7 December 1835 (V-408/14) #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

Francis Joseph Kron diary, 14 November to 7 December 1835 #00408, Series: "3. Volumes, 1823-1882 and undated." Folder 14

Includes biographical information and discussions of Kron's patients and his neighbors, and of weather conditions. Kron described at some length the social, economic, intellectual, and medical conditions on the rough frontier where he made his home and found them all deplorable. The final eleven pages consist of what appear to be copies of letters sent by Kron to book dealers, medical equipment and horticulture suppliers, and other physicians. Volume 14 is a transcription, which researchers should use instead of the original diary (volume 15), which is fragile. (V-408/15)

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Pictures, 1820-1870.

132 items.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.1. Miscellaneous Pictures, 1825-1870 and undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.2. Botanical Drawings, circa 1870.

124 items.

Album of botanical drawings by Elizabeth and Adele Kron. The drawings were removed from the album in which they were received, and slides were made from them. A complete list of drawings is filed in the box with the drawings.

Photograph Album PA-408/1

Drawings #00408, Subseries: "4.2. Botanical Drawings, circa 1870." PA-408/1

Image Folder PF-408/1

Slides #00408, Subseries: "4.2. Botanical Drawings, circa 1870." PF-408/1

Image Folder PF-408/2

Slides #00408, Subseries: "4.2. Botanical Drawings, circa 1870." PF-408/2

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Processing Information

Processed by: Manuscripts Department Staff, 1982-1987

Encoded by: Roslyn Holdzkom, November 2006

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, November 2009

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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