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Collection Number: 04071

Collection Title: B.F. Long Papers, 1903-1909

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 2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 800 items)
Abstract Benjamin Franklin Long was a lawyer in Statesville, N.C., and judge of the Superior Court of the Tenth Judicial District of North Carolina. His father-in-law was William McKendree Robbins (1825-1905), lawyer and congressman, and his wife was Mary Alice ("Mamie") Robbins Long (1857-1947). The collection documents the public and private life of Judge B.F. Long. Also included are correspondence and writings of various members of the Long family, as well as items relating to the Robbins and Hill families, including physician Melmouth Wilson Hill (1838-1900). Of particular interest are letters written by Long to Mamie Robbins prior to their marriage in 1879. Also included are many of Long's charges to juries in various cases over which he presided.
Creator Long, B. F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1852-1925.
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 B.F. Long papers #4071, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. Isaac T. (Caroline Long) Avery Jr. of Statesville, North Carolina, in October 1975 (Acc. 77027), March 1977 (Acc. 78052), May 1979 (Acc. 80032), and June 1983 (Acc. 83097).
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

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

Benjamin Franklin Long, son of Jacob Long (circa 1806-1894) and Jane Stewart Long (1811-1902), was born near Graham, Alamance County, North Carolina, on 19 March 1852. After graduating as valedictorian from Trinity College, Randolph County, North Carolina, in 1874, he taught Latin and history at Graham High School for two years. He then attended Judge Richmond Mumford Pearson's law school in Richmond Hill, Surry County, North Carolina. In 1877, Long entered law school at the University of Virginia, receiving a Bachelor of Law degree in 1878. In the same year, he became the law partner of William McKendree Robbins of Statesville, North Carolina. He married Robbins' daughter, Mary Alice (Mamie) on 23 December 1879.

In 1879, Long edited Judge Pearson's Law Lectures from notes taken while he was a student at Pearson's law school. Long served as solicitor for the Inferior Court of Statesville and as attorney for the city of Statesville. He also served two years as mayor of Statesville, resigning to accept the position of solicitor of the Eighth Judicial District, a position he held for two four-year terms. In 1894, he was defeated as Democratic candidate for judge of the North Carolina Superior Court, Tenth Judicial District. In 1902, Long was again nominated for this position and was elected. He continued to serve in this capacity until his death on 14 March 1925.

Long gained wide recognition for his role in the 1907 State vs. Southern Railway Co. et al. case. In February 1907, the North Carolina legislature passed an act setting the passenger rate at 2 1/4 cents and making the violation of that act a misdemeanor. On 29 June 1907, two days before this law went into effect, several railroad companies obtained an injunction from the United States Circuit Court prohibiting the enforcement of that law. Under this injunction, the Southern Railway Company continued to sell tickets at the old rates through its ticket agent, Mr. Green. When the Tenth District Superior Court convened on 8 July 1907 with Judge Long presiding, Green and the Southern Railway Company were indicted and found guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon promising to obey the law, Green was fined $5 and released. The Southern Railway Company refused to stop selling tickets at the old rate and was fined $30,000. Long ruled that the Federal Court could not suspend the laws of the state nor could it protect a citizen who violated state laws. The railroad company, Long held, was guilty of a misdemeanor for commanding Green to commit a misdemeanor. On appeal, the Supreme Court disagreed with this latter ruling, holding that only the person violating the law could be found guilty. The punishment of the railway company was limited to the penalty defined in the act. The Supreme Court agreed with Long on all other rulings.

Long and his wife had two daughters and three sons. One son, William Robbins Long, died in infancy on 8 July 1881. A second son, Benjamin Franklin Long Jr., born in 1882, was killed in a train station accident 16 November 1899, while a freshman at the University of North Carolina.

A third son, McKendree Robbins Long (1888-1976), was a minister, artist, and poet. He married Mary Bell Hill, daughter of Melmouth Wilson Hill (1838-1900) and Bell Murphy Boger Hill. Melmouth Wilson Hill, a physician, was a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Maryland Medical School.

B.F. Long's wife, Mary Alice (Mamie) Robbins, was born 23 September 1857 at Glenville, Alabama. Her mother Mary Montgomery (Millie) Robbins died in 1858. Her father then married his first wife's sister Martha (Mattie). Mamie was active in civic life in Statesville. She was founder and first president of the Statesville Woman's Club, and was also instrumental in the founding of the Statesville Public Library. She was one of the organizers of the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and served as its first president. Mamie Long died 2 June 1947.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection documents the public and private life of Judge B.F. Long. Also included are correspondence and writings of various members of the Long family, as well as items relating to the Robbins and Hill families, including physician Melmouth Wilson Hill (1838-1900). Of particular interest are letters written by Long to Mamie Robbins prior to their marriage in 1879. The collection also contains many of Long's charges to juries in various cases over which he presided. Material pertaining to the 1907 State vs. Southern Railway Co. et al. case is particularly abundant. These items may be found in the correspondence, writings, and printed material series. A summary of the history of the case is filed in Folder 26. Also of note is Volume 1 (1876), Long's notes on lectures by Richmond M. Pearson upon which Long based his edition of Pearson's Law Lectures.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated.

About 350 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Personal and professional correspondence of B.F. Long with family and friends. Letters written in 1907 pertain to the Rate Case over which Long presided. Correspondence includes letters written by Long to his wife before and after their marriage in 1879, letters from Long to his children, and letters to Mamie Long from her father, William McKendree Robbins, and others. Also included is correspondence of Melmouth Wilson Hill, chiefly with family members, and correspondence between other members of the Long and Hill families.

Folder 1

1796-1865 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1869-1877 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

January-May 1879 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

June-December 1879 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

1881-1899 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

1900-1905 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7

1906-19 July 1907 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 7

Folder 8

22 July 1907-October 1907 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

1908-February 1912 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

March-September 1912 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

1913-1915 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

1916-1920 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

1921-1923 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

1924-1975 #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

Undated #04071, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1796-1975 and undated." Folder 15

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Writings.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. B.F. Long's Charges to Juries, 1903-1910 and undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Other Writings by Long, 1876-1923 and undated.

10 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Speeches and writings prepared by Long for various schools, clubs, and other organizations.

Folder 19

1876-1923 #04071, Subseries: "2.2. Other Writings by Long, 1876-1923 and undated." Folder 19

Folder 20

Undated #04071, Subseries: "2.2. Other Writings by Long, 1876-1923 and undated." Folder 20

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.3. Writings by Others, 1892-1968 and undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Printed Material, 1878-1962 and undated.

About 300 items.

Newspaper clippings and photocopies of newspaper clippings about members of the Long and Hill families, cases over which B.F. Long presided, and other topics.

Folder 29-32

Folder 29

Folder 30

Folder 31

Folder 32

Printed material, 1878-1962 and undated #04071, Series: "3. Printed Material, 1878-1962 and undated." Folder 29-32

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Other Papers, 1840-1919 and undated.

About 25 items.

Genealogical and biographical information about the Long and Hill families; United States and Confederate military papers; a history of the Seventh Regiment, North Carolina State Troops; invitations; certificates; and other items.

Folder 33

B.F. Long, biographical information, judges commissions, resolutions of thanks #04071, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1840-1919 and undated." Folder 33

Folder 34

Genealogical and biographical information about the Long and Hill families #04071, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1840-1919 and undated." Folder 34

Folder 35

Memorial booklets, church bulletins, memorial tributes, and lists of floral offerings upon the deaths of various members of the Long family #04071, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1840-1919 and undated." Folder 35

Folder 36a

Military papers: Abstract of the annual report of the 70th Regiment, 10th Brigade, North Carolina Militia, 1890; pass for R.R. Hill, C.S.A., to visit Iredell County, North Carolina, 1862; certificate of appointment of McKendree Robbins Long as sergeant, U.S. Army, 1918. #04071, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1840-1919 and undated." Folder 36a

Folder 36b

Military papers: History of the Seventh North Carolina Regiment, C.S.A., handwritten, 13 pages (apparently incomplete), author unknown. #04071, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1840-1919 and undated." Folder 36b

Folder 37

Financial materials #04071, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1840-1919 and undated." Folder 37

Folder 38

Miscellaneous #04071, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1840-1919 and undated." Folder 38

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Volumes, 1876 and 1883.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 6. Pictures, 1899 and undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Gina Overcash, October 1988

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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