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Collection Number: 03469-z

Collection Title: John S. Martin Papers, 1840-1864

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.


This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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Size 27 items
Abstract Itinerant Methodist minister in northern Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, present-day West Virginia, and Baltimore, Md. Included are letters from Martin to his wife, Susan P. (Ruff) Martin, while he was away attending church conferences in the North, where the slave controversy was a major issue; letters from his father-in-law, John Ruff of Rockbridge County, Va., containing local news and political opinion; and letters, 1860-1861, from son J. Thomas R. Martin at Roanoke College, Salem, Va., describing college life.
Creator Martin, John S.
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 John S. Martin Papers #3469-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from Alvin Lohr of Hagerstown, Md., in March 1960.
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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The collection includes letters to and from John S. Martin, Methodist minister, and members of his family, including his wife Susan P. Ruff Martin; his father-in-law, John Ruff; and his son, J. Thomas R. Martin. There are six letters from John Martin to his wife, 1842-1861, four of which were written while he was in northern Virginia and in Baltimore. Three of these letters appear to have been written by Martin while he was attending Methodist Conference meetings at Cumberland, Indianapolis, and Buffalo; the dominant subject is the division of the Methodist Church over the issue of slavery. These letters give reports on activities at Conference meetings, his personal work, and the Conference's debates on slavery.

Other correspondence includes eight letters, 1840-1850, from John Ruff to Martin concerning family arrangements, neighborhood and church news, Ruff's complaints against the abolitionists, and his hope that Martin would not move to a free state; one letter, 1858, by John Ruff to his sister, possibly Susan, about the recent death of his wife; and seven letters, 1860-1861, written by J. Thomas R. Martin at Roanoke College, Salem, Va., which describe college life at Salem and mention political discussions, military companies, the Sons of Temperance, school work, measles and diphtheria, the election of 1860, the possibility of war, and other matters. Also included are one letter from Martin's daughter, Hattie, written from behind Union lines at Baltimore, 24 January 1862, and letters, 1860-1864, from Martin's Methodist brethren: E. F. Busey at Baltimore in 1860; J. E. Armstrong considering an offer to become principal of Staunton Institute, 1864; and draft of a letter from Martin to Rev. H. Slice, 1860.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne Ruffing, August 1996

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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