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Collection Number: 03072

Collection Title: Idora McClellan Moore Papers, 1882-1939

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.


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

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 400 items)
Abstract Writer of Talladega County, Ala., who used the pen name "Betsy Hamilton." Scattered letters, 1882-1927, from editors, readers, and friends, and clippings of her newspaper series, "Backwoods Letters," and other humorous articles in the dialects of the backwoods of Alabama and of antebellum blacks.
Creator Moore, Idora McClellan, 1843-1929.
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 Idora McClellan Moore Papers #3072, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy available.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Julia Moore Smith of Richmond, Va., in October 1954.
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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Idora McClellan Plowman Moore, daughter of William B. McClellan of Alabama, was born in Talladega County, Ala., in 1843 and grew up on the plantation "Idlewood." She was married a few years after the Civil War to Albert W. Plowman, a lawyer of Talladega, and, some years after his death, married Captain Martin Van Buren Moore (1837-1900) in 1892.

Idora McClellan Moore's writing under the pseudonym "Betsy Hamilton" consisted of humorous articles written in dialect of the backwoods of Alabama or of freed slaves. "The Backwoods--Familiar Letters from Betsy Hamilton to her Cousin Saleny" was published as a series for several years in the Sunny South (Atlanta). She also published in Harper's Weekly and the Atlanta Constitution. She was know also for her readings in dialect, which were delivered at women's colleges and lyceums throughout the South. In her later years, Idora lived with her step-daughter, Julia Moore Smith, who edited Southern Character Sketches. She died in 1929.

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Letters, 1882-1898, to "Betsy Hamilton" primarily about business with editors or from fans; a copyright for her stories and letters, 1884; clippings, including a few relating to new editions of her writings, obituary notices, a tribute to her, and her public speeches; annotated clippings of "Backwoods Letters"; clippings of a series of "letters" written from the New Orleans exposition in 1885 and the Atlanta fair in 1887; more clippings of "Backwoods Letters," 1884; clippings of "Romance of Owl Hollow"; clippings from magazines with typescripts of more articles by Hamilton under the name "Pen Pictures of the Negro on the Oldtime Plantation and Life in the Southern Backwoods"; press notices of Betsy Hamilton's public readings; and clippings of writings from the Atlanta Constitution with more press notices of her readings.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Idora McClellan Moore Papers, 1882-1939.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne Ruffing, September 1996

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, January 2010

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

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