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Collection Number: 04733

Collection Title: McGee Family Papers, 1852-1935

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.


Funding from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., supported the encoding of this finding aid and microfilming of this collection.

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Size 1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 550 items)
Abstract The McGee family of North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York included Thaddeus McGee, his wife Sallie McGee, and their children William McGee and Harriet McGee. Harriet married Welford C. Reed of South Boston, Va. The collection consists chiefly of correspondence of members of the McGee family of North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York. Also included are materials of the Dean, Jones, and Reed families. Early materials, 1852-1859, include letters from H. J. Dean in Columbia, S.C., to his wife Mary Owen Dean, concerning his work as a legislative clerk and news of family and events at home in Spartanburg, S.C. Beginning in 1854, there are materials relating to McGee & Williams, merchants in Raleigh, N.C. Beginning in 1855, many letters are from Thaddeus McGee in Raleigh or traveling on business to his wife Sallie in Halifax, Va. During the Civil War, many items relate to the difficulties McGee & Williams experienced as they tried to locate goods to sell. Beginning in 1866, there are family letters to Sallie and Thaddeus, now both in Raleigh, from various relatives in Virginia, New Jersey, and Brooklyn, N.Y. Some letters relate to their children--William, who occasionally wrote home about his activities in New York, and Harriet, who, in the early 1880s, attended Greensboro Female College, from which she wrote frequent letters to Sallie, occasionally mentioning her school activities. Love letters, 1883-1885, document the courtship of Harriet and Welford C. Reed of South Boston, Va. Materials in 1885 are chiefly love letters of the couple, who apparently married that year.
Creator McGee family.
Language English
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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 McGee Family Papers #4733, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (filmed 2007) available.
  • Reel 1: Folders 1-16
  • Reel 2: Folders 14-31
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from Doug Mattox of Raleigh, N.C., in August 1994 (Acc. 94176).
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

The McGee family of North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York included Thaddeus McGee, his wife Sallie McGee, and their children William McGee and Harriet McGee ("Hattie"). Thaddeus McGee and Alfred Williams, of McGee & Williams, were general merchants in Raleigh, N.C. William was a lawyer in Raleigh, N.C. Hattie attended Greensboro Female College and later married Welford C. Reed of South Boston, Va.

The Dean family of South Carolina included H. J. Dean, a legislative clerk, and his wife Mary Owen Dean.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Chiefly correspondence of members of the McGee family of North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York. Also included are materials of the Dean, Jones and Reed families.

Early materials, 1852-1859, include letters from H. J. Dean in Columbia, S.C., to his wife Mary Owen Dean, concerning his work as a legislative clerk and news of family and events at home in Spartanburg, S.C. Also included are drafts of the McGee & Williams firm to various individuals and companies. Thaddeus McGee and Alfred Williams were general merchants in Raleigh, N.C. Beginning in 1855, many letters are from Thaddeus McGee in Raleigh or traveling on business to his wife Sallie McGee, who seems to have lived with family members in Halifax, Va.

In 1860, Williams wrote to his partner about rumors of war that he heard on a business trip, and, from 1861 through the end of the war, there are many items relating to the difficulties McGee & Williams experienced as they tried to locate goods to sell, especially oil and tobacco.

Also during the Civil War, there are letters between Sallie, still in Halifax, and Thaddeus McGee in Raleigh and a few from other relatives, especially Lucy Jones in Goldsboro, N.C., to the McGees. These letters are chiefly about family matters.

Beginning in 1866, there are family letters to Sallie and Thaddeus, now both in Raleigh, from various relatives in Virginia, New Jersey, and Brooklyn, N.Y., especially Adriana (perhaps Sallie's sister) in Halifax, who faced great economic difficulties after the war, and Sallie's cousin Catherine Nelson in Newark, N.J.

Materials, 1870-1876, chiefly relate to Sallie and Thaddeus and their children William McGee, who occasionally wrote home about his activities in New York, and Harriet McGee ("Hattie"), who attended school in Brooklyn and frequently visited her New Jersey relatives.

The remaining materials relate especially to Hattie, who, in the early 1880s, attended Greensboro Female College, from which she wrote frequent letters to Sallie, occasionally mentioning her school activities. In 1883, Hattie was courted by Welford C. Reed of South Boston, Va., a partner in Carrington, Reed & Company, manufacturers of twist, fancy, and plug tobaccos. Materials in 1885 are chiefly love letters of the couple, who apparently married that year.

Letters in the late 1880s and 1890s show that William McGee had become a lawyer in Raleigh and that Hattie and her family were residents of Oxford, N.C. Materials, 1909-1913, are chiefly about Hattie's stock and other financial deals; 1935 materials are Christmas cards to Hattie from relatives and friends.

Undated items include letters from Adriana to Sallie and Thaddeus and a few letters from Hattie to Sallie.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1852-1935.

About 550 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Folder 1

1852-1853 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 1

Folder 2

1854 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 2

Folder 3

1855-1856 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 3

Folder 4

1857-1859 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 4

Folder 5

1860-1861 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 5

Folder 6

1862-1864 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 6

Folder 7

1866-1869 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 7

Folder 8

1870-1876 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 8

Folder 9

1877: January-August #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 9

Folder 10

1877: September-December #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 10

Folder 11

1878: January-March #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 11

Folder 12

1878: April-August #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 12

Folder 13

1878: September-December #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 13

Folder 14

1879 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 14

Folder 15

1880 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 15

Folder 16

1881-1882 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 16

Folder 17

1883 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 17

Folder 18

1884 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 18

Folder 19

1885: February-March #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 19

Folder 20

1885: April #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 20

Folder 21

1885: June-October #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 21

Folder 22

1886-1889 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 22

Folder 23

1890-1891 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 23

Folder 24

1893 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 24

Folder 25

1894, 1897 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 25

Folder 26

1900-1904 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 26

Folder 27

1905-1907 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 27

Folder 28

1909-1914 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 28

Folder 29

1935 #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 29

Folder 30-31

Folder 30

Folder 31

Undated #04733, Series: "Papers, 1852-1935." Folder 30-31

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Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom and Janna Sayle, January 1995

Encoded by: Nancy Kaiser, April 2005

Funding from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., supported the encoding of this finding aid and microfilming of this collection.

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