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Collection Number: 05126

Collection Title: Pearson Family Memoirs, 1910-2003

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.


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Size 4 items
Abstract The Pearson family of North Carolina included Rowena Frances Chittenden Pearson, who lived in Indiana and North Carolina and ran the Pearson Hotel in Wilson, N.C., and her grandson, Marion Farmer (Pete) Pearson, and his wife, Betty Lee Ramseur Pearson, who lived in Charlotte, N.C. The collection contains memoirs of Rowena Frances Chittenden Pearson, Marion Farmer Pearson, and Betty Lee Ramseur Pearson. The oldest account, ca. 1910, was written by Rowena Frances Chittenden Pearson in response to a call in the Raleigh News and Observer for first-person accounts of the Civil War. The memoir of Marion Farmer Pearson (Pete) focuses on his childhood and young adulthood in Nash County, N.C. He wrote of visiting his grandfather's farm in Rocky Mount, N.C.; his family's move to the DuPont town of Hopewell, Va.; and the year he spent studying at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Most of these memoirs were written in the 1970s. Later, letters, articles, images, and other stories were added to the memoir, including some about Pete's career as a gasoline station owner. In Betty Lee Pearson's memoirs, she discussed both her rural girlhood living on a rice plantation in Brunswick County, N.C., and her adult life with Pete in Charlotte, N.C. Also included are several of her poems and digital scans of photographs.
Creator Pearson family.
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 Pearson Family Memoirs #5126-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Provenance
Received from Randall Austin of Rougemont, N.C., in April 2003 (Acc. 99531).
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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Rowena Frances Chittenden Pearson was born in January 1841 in Greenfield, Ind. She married William H. Pearson on 8 January 1856 and settled into a farming life in Wilson County, N.C. During the Civil War, her husband enlisted in the 55th North Carolina Infantry Regiment and was captured at Gettysburg. She took her three children with her on a journey to Point Lookout Prison Camp in Maryland, where her husband was being held. When she was unable to see him, she went to live with her family in Indiana. She subsequently discovered that her husband had died on 27 March 1865. After spending several years with her family and then at the ranch of a friend, she moved back to North Carolina and married her husband's brother, Jacob Pearson, who had also served in the 55th North Carolina Infantry. She had four more children with Jacob, one of whom died very young. Jacob himself never fully recovered from his war-related injuries. He died on 18 January 1900. Around 1910, Rowena was running the Pearson Hotel in Wilson, N.C. She later went to live with her son and died in 1926.

Rowena's grandson Marion Farmer (Pete) Pearson (1910-1981) and Betty Lee Ramseur Pearson (1910-1995) were born in Nash County and Lincoln County, N.C., respectively. Pete's experiences include visiting his grandfather's farm in Rocky Mount, N.C.; his family's move to the DuPont town of Hopewell, Va.; and the year he spent studying at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Pete married Betty Lee Ramseur on 1 August 1933. She also had a rural upbringing in several North Carolina counties, settling into a suburban life with Pete in Charlotte. During the Depression and World War II, Pete ran several gasoline stations in the Charlotte area. He and Betty Lee raised three children, one of whom did not survive to adulthood. Pete died in September 1981 and Betty Lee in December 1995.

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The collection contains memoirs of Rowena Frances Chittenden Pearson of Wilson County, N.C., and of her grandson, Marion Farmer Pearson (Pete), and his wife, Betty Lee Ramseur Pearson, of Charlotte, N.C. The oldest account, ca. 1910, was written by Rowena Frances Chittenden Pearson in response to a call in the Raleigh News and Observer for first-person accounts of the Civil War.

The memoir of Marion Farmer Pearson (Pete) focuses on his childhood and young adulthood in Nash County, N.C. He wrote of visiting his grandfather's farm in Rocky Mount, N.C.; his family's move to the DuPont town of Hopewell, Va.; and the year he spent studying at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Most of these memoirs were written in the 1970s. Later, letters, articles, images, and other stories were added to the memoir, including some about Pete's career as a gasoline station owner.

Betty Lee Pearson's memoirs were written in 1985. She discussed both her rural girlhood living on a rice plantation in Brunswick County, N.C., and her adult life with Pete in Charlotte, N.C. Also included are several of her poems and digital scans of photographs.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Memoirs, ca. 1910-2003.

4 items.

The collection contains of three personal accounts of life in 19th- and 20th-century North Carolina. Several photographic images and drawings were scanned into these documents, but the original prints are not included.

The oldest account, ca. 1910, was written by Rowena Frances Chittenden Pearson (1840-1926) in response to a call in the Raleigh News and Observer for first-person accounts of the Civil War. It is not clear if she submitted her story to the newspaper. Included is a transcription by Randall Austin.

The memoir of Rowena's grandson, Marion Farmer Pearson (Pete), focuses on his childhood and young adulthood in Nash County, N.C. He wrote of visiting his grandfather's farm in Rocky Mount, N.C.; his family's move to the DuPont town of Hopewell, Va.; and the year he spent studying at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Most of these memoirs were written in the 1970s. In 1997, Pete's grandson, Randall Austin, added letters, articles, images, and other stories to the memoir. These include stories and articles about Pete's career as a gasoline station owner.

In Betty Lee Pearson's memoirs, she discussed both her rural girlhood living on a rice plantation in Brunswick County, N.C., and her adult life with Pete in Charlotte, N.C. Betty Lee's memoirs were written in 1985, with Randall Austin also providing enhanced content, including several of her poems and digital scans of photographs.

Folder 1

Pearson, Betty Lee Ramseur #05126, Series: "Memoirs, ca. 1910-2003." Folder 1

Folder 2

Pearson, Marion Farmer (Pete) #05126, Series: "Memoirs, ca. 1910-2003." Folder 2

Folder 3-4

Folder 3

Folder 4

Pearson, Rowena Frances Chittenden #05126, Series: "Memoirs, ca. 1910-2003." Folder 3-4

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