unc logo

Collection Number: 00485

Collection Title: Matthias Evans Manly Papers, 1717-1928

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.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size About 400 items (1.0 linear feet)
Abstract Matthias Evans Manly of New Bern, N.C., was a lawyer, state legislator, superior court judge, and state Supreme Court judge. Scattered papers of Matthias Evans Manly, include letters, among them an 1835 William Gaston letter about the North Carolina constitution, slavery, and other topics. There are also civic and political speeches. Also included is correspondence of his son, lawyer Clement Manly of Winston, N.C., particularly in 1896 when he was state Democratic Party chair. Some letters relate to the North Carolina Populist Party. Earlier items consist of colonial family deeds, land grants, and other legal papers. The addition of November 2002 includes financial and legal documents and correspondence of Matthias Evans Manly, including an 1862 letter about his leaving New Bern as the enemy took over the town.
Creator Manly, Matthias Evans, 1801-1881.
Language English.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

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 Matthias Evans Manly Papers #485, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Provenance
Gift of A. S. Buford of Richmond, Va., before 1940 and purchased from L & T Respess Books of Charlottesville, Va., in November 2002 (Acc. 99380).
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.
Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Related Collections

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Matthias Evans Manly (12 April 1801-9 July 1881), lawyer and jurist, was born near Pittsboro, N.C., the third of six children of Elizabeth Maultsby and Basil Manly, who had moved to Chatham County from Bladen. His father was originally from St. Marys County, Md., and was Roman Catholic. His mother was a Quaker. Matthias Evans Manly was Roman Catholic.

Manly received his early education at the Bingham School in Orange County and was graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina in 1824. Five years later, he received an M.A. degree, and, in 1862, the University awarded him the honorary degree of LL.D. For a while after his graduation, Manly tutored mathematics at the University. He then studied law under his brother Charles; settled in New Bern, N.C.; and became a successful lawyer.

In 1834 and 1835, Manly served in the state legislature, and, in 1840, the governor appointed him a superior court judge to complete the term of R. M. Saunders, who had resigned. When the legislature met the following year, he was elected to that position, which he held for the next 19 years.

In December 1859, Manly was appointed to the North Carolina Supreme Court and served for six years. After the Civil War, Manly was one of the few former supporters of the Confederacy to be elected to the constitutional convention of 1865. In 1866, Manly was elected to represent Craven County in the state senate, of which he was voted president. At that session, he was elected by the General Assembly to the United States Senate, but when the state was denied representation in Congress, he was not permitted to take his seat.

Manly resumed his law practice in New Bern and served as presiding justice of Craven County until the county court system was abolished in 1868. He also became mayor of New Bern and represented the state as its proxy in the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad.

In 1832, Manly married Hannah Gaston, daughter of Judge William Gaston, with whom he had two daughters: Jane and Hannah. After his wife's death, Manly married, in 1844, Sarah Louisa Simpson, daughter of Samuel Simpson, and they had nine children: Matthias Evans, Jr., Maria, Elizabeth, Gaston, Basil, Clement, Mary, William, and Sarah Simpson.

Matthias Evans Manly's son, Clement Manly (1853-1928), was a lawyer in Winston, N.C., and was chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party in the 1890s.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence and business and legal papers of judge and lawyer  Matthias Evans Manly of New Bern, N.C., and of his son lawyer  Clement Manly. There are also earlier family papers consisting of colonial family deeds, land grants, and other legal papers.

Nearly all of the papers dated before 1835 are deeds, plats, or other items related to property, mostly property along Brice's Creek in Craven County, N.C. A letter, 16 August 1835, from William Gaston to Manly describes Gaston's opinions on the proposed North Carolina Constitution, including the proposed changes in the basis of representation in the state legislature, popular election of governors, slavery ("the question of modifying or abrogating the free negro suffrage"), restrictions on private legislation, and changes relating to the judiciary.

Beginning in 1872, most items belong to Clement Manly, including essays, scripts, orations, and legal papers. There are speeches and much correspondence from the 1890s, when Clement Manly was chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Also included are numerous letters from Hal W. Ayer, chair of the People's Party in North Carolina, about candidates for governor, senator, and president.

The undated folders contain writings, speeches, plats, and letters. Included are many speeches to "Gentlemen of the Cosmos Club."

The addition of November 2002 includes financial and legal documents and correspondence of Matthias Evans Manly. Most of these documents relate to Manly's personal affairs rather than to his legal or political career. Included is an 1862 letter about his leaving New Bern as the enemy took over the town during the Civil War.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1717-1928.

About 300 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Scattered papers of Matthias Evans Manly, including correspondence and civic and political speeches, and correspondence of his son, Clement (1853-1928), lawyer of Winston, N.C., particularly in 1896 when he was state Democratic Party chair. Earlier items consist of colonial family deeds, land grants, and other legal papers.

Nearly all of the documents dated before 1835 are deeds, plats, or other items related to property, mostly property along Brice's Creek in Craven County. A letter, 16 August 1835, from William Gaston to Manly describes Gaston's opinions on the proposed state Constitution, including the proposed changes in the basis of representation in the state legislature, popular election of governors, "the question of modifying or abrogations the free negro suffrage," restrictions on private legislation, and changes relating to the judiciary.

Beginning in 1872, most items belong to Clement Manly, including essays, scripts, and orations, and legal papers. Beginning in 1890, Clement Manly was living in Winston, N.C., and practicing law in partnership with R. B. Glenn. There are speeches and much correspondence from the 1890s, when Clement Manly was chair of the State Democratic Party. Also included are numerous letters from Hal W. Ayer, chair of the People's Party in North Carolina, about candidates for governor, senator, and president.

Among the miscellaneous items in the folder for 1905-1928 are a signed copy of Edwin Markham's poem, "The Man with the Hoe," and a copy of a letter, 24 September 1928, from Manly to Markham. There is also a letter, 27 September 1928, from Markham to Manly about the poem.

The undated folders contain writings, speeches, plats, and letters. Included are many speeches to "Gentlemen of the Cosmos Club."

Folder 1

1717-1755 #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 1

Folder 2

1760-1768 #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 2

Folder 3

1770-1796 #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 3

Folder 4

1813-1835 #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 4

Folder 5

1846-1868 #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 5

Folder 6

1872-1887 #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 6

Folder 7

1890-1898 #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 7

Folder 8

1905-1928 #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 8

Folder 9

Undated #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 9

Folder 10

Undated #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 10

Folder 11

Undated #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 11

Folder 12

Undated #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 12

Folder 13

Undated #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 13

Folder 14

Newspaper clippings #00485, Series: "Papers, 1717-1928." Folder 14

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898.

About 100 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Financial and legal documents, letters, a photograph of an unidentified room, and a few other items of Matthias Evans Manly and members of his family.

Financial and legal documents include deeds from Craven County, N.C., appointment as an attorney for university, statement of sale of plantation, and receipts. Correspondence includes a letter, 29 December 1838, from Eliza Manly to her son; a letter, 30 December 1858, from H. T. Guion to Matthias Evans Manly about land on the Trent River; a letter, 8 Dec 1859, from John W. Ellis to Matthias Evans Manly appointing Manly judge of the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Thomas Ruffin and commission for office; and a commission, 24 November 1860, as judge of the North Carolina Supreme Court following election by General Assembly

A letter, 7 April 1862, from Matthias Evans Manly to his brother informs the brother that he had left New Bern as the enemy entered, gives news from New Bern, and relates news of family members. A letter from Edward Conigland to Matthias Evans Manly, 2 December 1865, expresses regret that the legislature did not place Manly on the bench of Supreme Court. A letter, 4 April 1866, from Matthias Evans Manly to his brother gives news of his property and family. A letter, 22 October 1867, from Matthias Evans Manly to Mary Manly contains advice on behavior and virtues.

Letters, 1877-1879, from Matthias Evans Manly to Whedbee and Dukman, commission merchants in Baltimore, concern financial matters involving S. H. and N. P. Gray. James S. Whedbee was married to Manly's daughter Elizabeth.

Letters, 1881, on the letterhead of Manly, Simmons and Manly, Attorneys at Law (Matthias Evans Manly, F. M. Simmons, Clement Manly), from Manly to James S. Whedbee and to Sarah Manly, when she was at the Whedbees, and to his daughter Elizabeth give family news and comment on the Whedbees' acquisition of a summer home. Letters, 1886 and 1887, from Manly Whedbee in New Bern to his brother Jamie, his father, and his mother, describe his school work and other activities. One encloses a grade report for him from Miss Manly's School in New Bern.

Folder 15

1823, 1830-1839 #00485, Series: "Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898." Folder 15

Folder 16

1840-1849 #00485, Series: "Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898." Folder 16

Folder 17

1850-1858 #00485, Series: "Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898." Folder 17

Folder 18

1859 #00485, Series: "Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898." Folder 18

Folder 19

1860-1869 #00485, Series: "Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898." Folder 19

Folder 20

1871-1879 #00485, Series: "Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898." Folder 20

Folder 21

1880-1887 #00485, Series: "Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898." Folder 21

Folder 22

1896 and undated #00485, Series: "Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898." Folder 22

Folder 23

Poems #00485, Series: "Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898." Folder 23

Folder 24

Clippings #00485, Series: "Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898." Folder 24

Image Folder P-485/1

Photograph of unidentified room #00485, Series: "Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898." P-485/1

Oversize Paper OP-485/1

Oversize paper #00485, Series: "Addition of November 2002 (Acc. 99380), 1823-1898." OP-485/1

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Items separated include a photograph (P-485) and an oversize paper (OP-485).

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, November 2009

Back to Top