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Collection Number: 02440

Collection Title: Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

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 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 267 items)
Abstract Native of South Carolina and president of the Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College, 1880-1899. Papers of Lieut. Gen. Lee include miscellaneous collected letters, 1784-1860, of prominent American political figures, including John Quincy Adams, Judah B. Benjamin, Henry Clay, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, J. L. Petigru, Franklin M. Pierce, and Martin Van Buren. Civil War materials include letters from Lee to his wife; letters from friends, many of whom were Confederate officials, including Patton Anderson, Jefferson Davis, and Nathan B. Forrest, Roy L. Gibson, William J. Hardee, J. B. Hood, O. O. Howard, and Leonidas Polk; and military correspondence from Braxton Bragg, George William Brent, Abraham Buford, Nathan B. Forrest, Joseph E. Johnston, J. B. Magruder, Alex. P. Stewart, and Richard Taylor. Postwar correspondence includes letters from Jefferson Davis, D. H. Hill, J. B. Hood, J. E. Johnston, Robert E. Lee, R. D. Lilley, James Longstreet, W. N. Pendleton, R. B. Rhett, Jr., and Raphael Semmes. Other items include a diary recording the fall of Fort Sumpter and other events of 1861; personal and professional correspondence, 1909-1929, of Lee's son, Blewett Harrison Lee (b. 1867), lawyer of Chicago and New York; and genealogical data on the Blewett family of Mississippi, the Earle family of South Carolina, the de Graffenried family of Switzerland and North Carolina, the Hampton family of South Carolina, the Harris family of Virginia, the Harrison family of South Carolina and Mississippi, the Lee family of South Carolina and Mississippi, and the family of Samuel Taylor (d. 1798).
Creator Lee, Stephen D. (Stephen Dill), 1833-1908.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. [NOTE: some original documents have been replaced by photocopies; originals stored in vault, available for use by special request]
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 Stephen D. Lee Papers #2440, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Blewett Lee of Atlanta, Ga., in 1941.
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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Stephen Dill Lee was born to Dr. Thomas Lee and Caroline Allison Lee on 22 September 1833 in Charleston, S.C. He entered West Point at the age of 17 and graduated in 1854; he served in the U.S. Army in Texas, Florida, Kansas, and the Dakotas. In 1861, he resigned from the U.S. Army to enter service in the Confederate Army and rose in rank from captain to lieutenant-general. Lee was severely wounded in Nashville, Tenn., in 1864 and surrendered with Johnston in High Point, N.C., on 26 April 1865.

In February 1865, Lee married Regina Harrison, daughter of James Thomas Harrison and Regina Blewett, of Columbus, Miss. They settled in Mississippi after the war and Lee was active as a planter for several years. In 1878, Lee was elected to the Mississippi Senate. From 1880 to 1899, he served as the first president of the Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College. He resigned as college president to serve as member of the commission to organize Vicksburg Military Park. Lee was active in the Confederate veterans, wrote several articles on the Civil War, and held the post of Chief of the United Confederate Veterans until his death in Vicksburg on 28 May 1908. [from the Dictionary of American Biography]

Blewett Harrison Lee, born 1 March 1867 in Noxubee County, Miss., was the only child of Stephen and Regina Lee. He graduated from Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College and studied law at Harvard. He served as private secretary for Supreme Court Justice Horace Gray in 1890 and afterwards practiced law in Atlanta, Chicago, and New York. He was a professor of law at Northwestern University from 1893 to 1901 and the University of Chicago from 1902 to 1903. [from Who's Who in America, 1924-25 edition]

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The papers pertain mainly to Lt. Gen. Lee, his wife Regina, their son Blewett, and related families, particularly the Blewett family of Mississippi. The bulk of the papers date from 1860-1929. In addition to these materials, there are a number of autographs and letters of prominent public figures, chiefly U.S. political leaders including several presidents. Some autograph materials have been replaced by photocopies with originals removed. These are noted in the inventory.

Folders 1-7 are arranged chronologically. Folders 1-2 contain a number of documents, apparently collected for autograph value, which are unrelated to Lee or related families. Some of these have been replaced by photocopies; the originals are available for use by special request. The autograph material removed is noted below as part of the folder list. A few items from the antebellum period pertain to James T. Harrison, Thomas G. Blewett, and Stephen D. Lee. Notable items include an 1854 bill of sale for slaves and other property in Sunflower County, Miss., Robert Winston to Randle Blewett; and Stephen Lee's commission as a 2nd lieutenant on the 4th Regiment of the U.S. Army

Folder 3 covers the Civil War period and consists chiefly of personal letters to Regina Harrison and military papers of Stephen Lee. Correspondents include Jefferson Davis, William J. Hardee, Leonidas Polk, R. L. Gibson, J. B. Hood, and O. O. Howard. The military papers consist of Lee's commission and orders as he received raises in rank as well as communications regarding military actions. There are copies of the basis of agreement of 18 April 1865 and military convention of 26 April 1865 between Sherman and Johnston; Lee's parole from the Confederate Army, Greensboro, N.C., 1 May 1865; orders of 2 May 1865 from Gen. Johnston concerning field transportation lent to troops; and a letter of 9 July 1865 from Lee to Andrew Johnson asking for a pardon. The folder also contains an 1862 fragment of a Union flag captured at Murfreesboro.

Folders 4-7 contains correspondence, primarily from 1866-1903, received by Stephen D. Lee relating to personal, business, and Confederate affairs. His correspondents include a number of former Confederate leaders, who wrote of their postwar activities, with some discussion of the Civil War. J. B. Hood, James Longstreet, D. H. Hill, J. E. Johnston, Raphael Semmes, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, W. N. Pendleton, G. W. C. Lee, are among Lee's correspondents. Included is an 1889 form asking Lee to serve as a pall bearer at Jefferson Davis's funeral. Correspondence from the period 1909-1929 pertains chiefly to Blewett Harrison Lee on legal and personal matters. Included is a 1909 letter from President Taft asking Lee to receive a monument in Mississippi on behalf of the War Department.

Folder 8 contains undated materials, clippings, and a number of clipped autographs which have been removed (see folder list below). Folder 9 contains genealogical materials pertaining to the Blewett family of Mississippi, the Earle family of South Carolina, the DeGraffenried family of Switzerland and North Carolina, the Hampton family of South Carolina, the Harris family of Virginia, the Harrison family of South Carolina and Mississippi, the Lee family of South Carolina and Mississippi, and the family of Samuel Taylor (d. 1798).

Folder 10 contains the 1861 diary of then Col. Lee with a transcription. It contains a number of entries for April 1861, when Lee participated in movements leading to the fall of Fort Sumter. Scattered entries are present for other months as well as miscellaneous financial accounts.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929.

Folder 1

1784-1849; some originals replaced by photocopies: 12 July 1794, ADs, Alexander Hamilton #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 1

1784-1849; some originals replaced by photocopies: 30 January 1815, ALs, James Monroe #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 1

1784-1849; some originals replaced by photocopies: 25 August 1817, ALs, John Quincy Adams #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 1

1784-1849; some originals replaced by photocopies: 15 May 1832, ALs, Henry Clay #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 1

Folder 2

1850-1861 #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 2

Folder 3

1862-1865; some originals replaced by photocopies: 12 October 1863, ALs, Jefferson Davis #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 3

Folder 4

1866-1875; some originals replaced by photocopies: 8 March 1868, ALs, Jefferson Davis #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 4

1866-1875; some originals replaced by photocopies: 14 March 1870, ALs, Robert E. Lee #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 4

Folder 5

1876-1889 #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 5

Folder 6

1890-1899 #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 6

Folder 7

1900-1929; some originals replaced by photocopies: 18 November 1909, TLs, William Taft #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 7

1900-1929; some originals replaced by photocopies: 26 June 1911, TLs, Taft #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 7

Folder 8

Undated, clippings, and clipped autographs; Autographs removed: W.H. Wilbur #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 8

Undated, clippings, and clipped autographs; Autographs removed: Samuel Harrison #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 8

Undated, clippings, and clipped autographs; Autographs removed: A.G. ??? #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 8

Undated, clippings, and clipped autographs; Autographs removed: R. E. Lee #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 8

Undated, clippings, and clipped autographs; Autographs removed: Alexander Stephens #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 8

Undated, clippings, and clipped autographs; Autographs removed: J. Tyler #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 8

Undated, clippings, and clipped autographs; Autographs removed: James Madison #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 8

Undated, clippings, and clipped autographs; Autographs removed: Andrew Jackson (with Presidential seal) #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 8

Undated, clippings, and clipped autographs; Autographs removed: Daniel Webster #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 8

Undated, clippings, and clipped autographs; Autographs removed: G. Washington #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 8

Undated, clippings, and clipped autographs; Autographs removed: Raphael Semmes #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 8

Undated, clippings, and clipped autographs; Autographs removed: Amos Kendall #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 8

Folder 9

Genealogical files #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 9

Folder 10

1861 diary with transcript #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." Folder 10

Image P-2440/1

Photographs: Unidentified group of men. #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." P-2440/1

Oversize Image OP-2440/1

Oversized Papers: 1 October 1825 deed of sale of eighty acres in Mississippi to Joseph Thompson. #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." OP-2440/1

Oversize Image OP-2440/2

Oversized Papers: 1 January 1857 certificate from President Franklin Pierce appointing Lee as 1st lieutenant. #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." OP-2440/2

Oversize Image OP-2440/3-4

OP-2440/3

OP-2440/4

Oversized Papers: Reproductions of two issues, 27 June and 2 July 1863, of the Vicksburg, Miss., Daily Citizen, printed on wallpaper. #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." OP-2440/3-4

Oversize Image OP-2440/5

Oversized Papers: Certificate appointing Lee a Mississippi state senator, 1 February 1878. #02440, Series: "Stephen D. Lee Papers, 1784-1929." OP-2440/5

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Processing Information

Processed by: Tim Pyatt, May 1997

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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