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Collection Number: 00751-z

Collection Title: Anna Mercur Papers, 1860-1930

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, in part, from the Randleigh Foundation Trust. Funding from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., supported the microfilming of this collection.

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Size 14 items
Abstract Anna Mercur (Mrs. Macklon Mercur) lived with her husband in Towanda, Pa., on the eve of and soon after the outbreak of the Civil War. She had several sisters who lived in the South, including Lizzie Buford (Mrs. T. Buford) of Eufaula and Clayton, Ala.; C. A. Swift, a minister's wife in Waymandsville, Ga.; Helen B., a boarding school operator in Wilmington, N.C.; and Caro, who operated a boarding school in Eufaula. Helen B. had at least two daughters, Lizzie, a teacher, and Helen. C. A. Swift had at least one daughter, Helen W. Swift, who attended Caro's boarding school. The collection includes twelve letters, August 1860-July 1861, received by Anna Mercur from her sisters and other relatives and friends. The prewar letters provide the candid opinions of women, from both the northern and southern viewpoint, on the secession crisis and the outbreak of the Civil War. The letters comment freely on the Republican Party, John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, the Crittenden Resolution, and abolitionists. Wartime letters express similar sentiments and document problems sending mail to the North, financial strains, and anxiety over the activities of sons and husbands organizing to fight for the Confederacy. Other topics in the letters are boarding school life in Eufaula, Ala., and Wilmington, N.C.; family events; and the reading habits of family members and friends. Also included are a photograph, ca. 1880s-1890s, of a woman on a casino boardwalk in Monte Carlo, Monaco, and a clipping, 1930, documenting the ancestry of George A. Jewett of Des Moines, Iowa.
Creator Mercur, Anna.
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 Anna Mercur Papers #751-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (filmed 2005-2006) available.
  • Reel 1: Entire collection
Acquisitions Information
Received from Martha G. Waring (Mrs. Thomas Pinckey Waring) of Savannah, Ga., in January 1932.
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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>Anna Mercur (Mrs. Macklon Mercur) lived with her husband in Towanda, Pa., on the eve of and soon after the outbreak of the Civil War. She had several sisters who lived in the South, including Lizzie Buford (Mrs. T. Buford) of Eufaula and Clayton, Ala.; C. A. Swift, a minister's wife in Waymandsville, Ga.; Helen B., a boarding school operator in Wilmington, N.C.; and Caro, who operated a boarding school in Eufaula. Helen B. had at least two daughters, Lizzie, a teacher, and Helen. C. A. Swift had at least one daughter, Helen W. Swift, who attended Caro's boarding school.

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The collection includes twelve letters, August 1860-July 1861, received by Anna Mercur of Towanda, Pa., from relatives and friends in several states. Correspondents include Anna's sisters Lizzie Buford, C. A. Swift, and Helen B.; three nieces, Lizzie B., Helen B., and Helen W. Swift; her sister Lizzie's husband, T. Buford; and her friends A. M. Jennings of Boonton, N.J., Anna R. S. of Elmira, N.Y., and Olive of Cumberland, Md.

Of note are several pre-Civil War letters that express candid opinions, from both the northern and southern viewpoint, concerning the secession crisis. These letters comment freely on the Republican Party, John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, the Crittenden Resolution, abolitionists, and the outbreak of the Civil War. Wartime letters illustrate early fears and difficulties, including problems sending mail to the North, financial strains, and anxiety over the activities of sons and husbands organizing to fight for the Confederacy. Other important topics in the letters are boarding school life; family events, including births and deaths; and the reading habits of family members and friends.

Two additional items are a black and white photograph, ca. 1880s-1890s, of an unidentified woman on a casino boardwalk in Monte Carlo, Monaco, and a clipping, 1930, concerning the ancestry of George A. Jewett of Des Moines, Iowa.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Anna Mecur Papers, 1860-1861, 1930, and undated.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jill D. Snider, August 1999

Encoded by: Jill D. Snider, August 1999

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

Revisions: Finding aid updated in March 2005 by Nancy Kaiser.

Funding from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., supported the microfilming of this collection.

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