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Collection Number: 02232-z

Collection Title: Phoebe Yates Pember Letters, 1861-1920.

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 rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

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Size 150 items
Abstract Phoebe Yates Pember was a Confederate hospital nurse and writer of Georgia. The collection includes letters to relatives and friends from Pember, including seven letters written while she was a nurse at Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond, Va., 1861-1865; and items of later years, mainly 1895-1900, containing comments on current political events, social and economic conditions, personal finances and living arrangements, her reading, religion, visitors, relatives, and daily life in Mendham, N.J., Savannah, Ga., and elsewhere. Many letters from the period 1895-1899 were written during European travels and describe accommodations, prices, health, acquaintances, and American expatriates in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.
Creator Pember, Phoebe Yates, 1823-1913.
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 Phoebe Yates Pember Letters #2232-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of Southern women and their families in the 19th century, Series A.
Acquisitions Information
Received from the Misses Phillips of Savannah, Ga., in November 1940, and Ella Field de Witt of Newburgh, N.Y., in October 1943.
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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Chiefly letters from Phoebe Yates Levy Pember to members of her family, but also including several letters addressed to her from family members and friends and a few letters about her. During the Civil War, several of Pember's letters to Louisa (Mrs. Jeremy Francis) Gilmer were written from Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond, Va.; these letters mostly concern life in Richmond, including some descriptions of conditions at the hospital. Other early letters include two from H. M. Alden, editor of Harper's magazine, rejecting stories Pember had submitted; one from the editor of the Atlantic Monthly, concerning a story that was accepted; and one Pember wrote to her nephew Clavius describing a meeting with Oscar Wilde.

From 1895 to 1899, Pember was in Europe and wrote to friends and relatives in Georgia from Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. These letters mostly concern her travelling companions and other individuals, travel arrangements, finances, purchases and prices, and accommodations. Also included are letters from Pember to her friend, the Countess Alida von Krakow, in Dresden, including several letters, 1897, describing trips around Pompeii, and one letter, 13 May 1897, containing a description of Rome and of nobility and American expatriates in Roman society.

Most letters dated after November 1899 were written in Mendham, N.J., and chiefly concern personal and family news, Pember's health and personal finances, and ordinary daily events. After December 1900, she also wrote from Savannah, Ga., Washington, D.C., and Sapphire, N.C. There are two letters from Pember's niece Georgina (Mrs. Clavius) Phillips to the Countess von Krakow, concerning Pember's papers.

Undated letters by Pember include discussions of investments, comments on presidents Taft and Roosevelt, and discussions of books and of her own writings.

Also included with the collection is a Masonic certificate, 1857, of Thomas Pember.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Rebecca Hollingsworth, November 1991

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

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