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Collection Number: 04422

Collection Title: Edward William Phifer Papers, 1787-1982 (bulk 1950s-1980)

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 10.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 6100 items items)
Abstract Edward W. "Ned" Phifer Jr. (1910-1980) was a surgeon and historian of Burke County, N.C., and author of books and articles, chiefly on the history of Burke County, N.C., including: "Certain Aspects of Medical Practice in Ante-Bellum Burke County" (1959), Burke: The History of a North Carolina Country (1977), "Slavery in Microcosm: Burke County, North Carolina" (1962), and Courts, Crimes, and Criminals in the North Carolina Appalachian Frontier, 1782-1792: A Study Based on Court Records . The bulk of the collection consists of Phifer's subject files, research notes, photocopies of research materials, manuscripts for books, maps, census material, and other materials documenting the history of Burke County, N.C. Additional materials include correspondence, 1958-1979, with historian Allan Poe, 19th-century and Civil War-era correspondence of the Walton family, and other original 19th-century materials relating to Burke County, such as court warrants, 1830s-1840s; receipts; a general store ledger, 1842-1850; and a letter book, 1836-1840, belonging to Jonathan E. Butler.
Creator Phifer, Edward William.
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 Edward William Phifer Papers #4422, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. Edward W. Phifer Jr. of Morganton, N.C., in June 1985.
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

Edward W. "Ned" Phifer Jr. (1910-1980) was a surgeon and historian of Burke County, N.C., and an author of books and articles, chiefly on the history of Burke County, N.C. including: "Certain Aspects of Medical Practice in Ante-Bellum Burke County" (1959), Burke: The History of a North Carolina Country (1977), "Slavery in Microcosm: Burke County, North Carolina" (1962), and "Courts, Crimes, and Criminals in the North Carolina Appalachian Frontier, 1782-1792: A Study Based on Court Records." Phifer served as chair of the Board of Trustees of Western Piedmont College, on the Executive Board of the North Carolina Department of Archives and History, and as a member of the Advisory Editorial Committee of the North Carolina Historical Review.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The bulk of the collection consists of subject files, research notes, photocopies of research materials, manuscripts for books, maps, census material, and other materials documenting the history of Burke County, N.C., compiled by surgeon and historian Edward William Phifer. Additional materials include correspondence, 1958-1979, with historian Allan Poe; 19th-century and Civil War-era correspondence of the Walton family; and other original 19th-century materials relating to Burke County, such as court warrants, 1830s-1840s; receipts; a general store ledger, 1842-1850; and a letterbook, 1836-1840, belonging to Jonathan E. Butler.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Historical Research Files: Pre-1920 Burke County, N.C., circa 1950-1979.

About 2000 items.

Arrangement: alphabetical

Research files compiled by Phifer include correspondence, photocopies of manuscripts, notes, and other materials related to history of Burke County, N.C. before 1920. Subjects represented in the files include Burke County families, industry, churches, crime, government, schools, slavery, transportation, and other topics. Also of note is correspondence between Phifer and historian Allan Poe, 1958-1979, and a map annotated by Phifer showing the locations of plantations employing slaves in Burke County. An index to the historical research files is located in the front of Box 1.

Box 1-3

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Historical Research Files: Pre-1920 Burke County, N.C. #04422, Series: "1. Historical Research Files: Pre-1920 Burke County, N.C., circa 1950-1979." Box 1-3

Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOP-4422/1

Map of Burke County Plantations Employing Slaves #04422, Series: "1. Historical Research Files: Pre-1920 Burke County, N.C., circa 1950-1979." XOP-4422/1

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Contemporary Historical Files: Post-1920 Burke County, N.C., circa 1950-1979.

About 100 items.

Arrangement: alphabetical

Research files related to the history of Burke County, N.C., after 1920. Files include correspondence, printed material, notes, photocopies of manuscripts, and other materials. Subjects represented include agriculture, the arts, economic conditions, health care, land use, politics, recreation, and other topics of interest to Phifer.

Box 3

Historical Research Files: Post-1920 Burke County, N.C. #04422, Series: "2. Contemporary Historical Files: Post-1920 Burke County, N.C., circa 1950-1979." Box 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Writings, Addresses, and Correspondence, circa 1950-1979.

About 1200 items.

Chiefly material related to Phifer's historical writings, addresses given by Phifer on historical and medical topics, and correspondence. Specific manuscripts and notes relate to Phifer's work on "Religion in the Raw: Cyclone Mack in Burke County," and the Avery family of Burke County. Also included are diaries of Phifer's trips to Europe.

Box 3-4

Box 3

Box 4

Writings, Addresses, and Correspondence, circa 1950-1979 #04422, Series: "3. Writings, Addresses, and Correspondence, circa 1950-1979." Box 3-4

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Courts, Crime, and Criminals on the North Carolina Frontier: Subject Files, circa 1970s-1980.

About 1000 items.

Arrangement: files arranged according to their use in Phifer's article.

Research files compiled by Phifer for use in his article "Courts, Crimes, and Criminals in the North Carolina Appalachian Frontier, 1782-1792: A Study Based on Court Records." Materials include notes on slavery and slave crimes, specific cases, judges, attorneys, and punishment, as well as Phifer's notes from secondary works on similar topics.

Box 5

Courts, Crime, and Criminals on the North Carolina Frontier: Research Files, circa 1970s-1980 #04422, Series: "4. Courts, Crime, and Criminals on the North Carolina Frontier: Subject Files, circa 1970s-1980." Box 5

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Census Material and Land Grants: Burke County, N.C., 1778-1870.

About 1000 items.

Chiefly photocopies of census material and land grants from Burke County, and research notes on other Burke County demographic data.

Box 6

Census Material and Land Grants: Burke County, N.C., 1778-1870 #04422, Series: "5. Census Material and Land Grants: Burke County, N.C., 1778-1870." Box 6

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 6. Personal and Other Materials, circa 1970s-1982.

About 500 items.

Chiefly correspondence, photographs, and subject files related to Phifer's publications. Also included are North Carolina maps, a copy of Phifer's military record, and other personal material.

Box 7

Personal and Other Materials, circa 1970s-1982 #04422, Series: "6. Personal and Other Materials, circa 1970s-1982." Box 7

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 7. Burke County, N.C.: Original Materials, 1787-1905.

About 500 items.

Chiefly original 19th-century materials collected by Phifer as part of his research on the history of Burke County, N.C. Materials include a letterbook, 1836-1840, belonging to Jonathan E. Butler of Little Silver Creek, Burke County, N.C.; a general store ledger, 1842-1850; court warrants, 1830s-1840s, issued in Burke County; Burke County marriage certificates, 1845, 1850; receipts and account statements, 1787-1850s; and correspondence, 1850s-1905, of the Walton family of Burke County, including Civil War correspondence.

Box 8

Burke County, N.C.: Original Materials, 1787-1905 #04422, Series: "7. Burke County, N.C.: Original Materials, 1787-1905." Box 8

8: Jonathan E. Butler Letterbook, 1836-1840; Laura Pearson Commonplace Book, 1850s #04422, Series 7. Burke County, N.C.: Original Materials, 1787-1905., Box 8
8: General Store Ledger, 1842-1850 #04422, Series 7. Burke County, N.C.: Original Materials, 1787-1905., Box 8
8: Court Warrants, 1830s-1840s #04422, Series 7. Burke County, N.C.: Original Materials, 1787-1905., Box 8
8: Marriage Certificates, 1845, 1850 #04422, Series 7. Burke County, N.C.: Original Materials, 1787-1905., Box 8
8: Receipts and Account Statements, 1787-1850s #04422, Series 7. Burke County, N.C.: Original Materials, 1787-1905., Box 8
8: Pages from an Account Book, 1850 #04422, Series 7. Burke County, N.C.: Original Materials, 1787-1905., Box 8
8: Walton Family Correspondence, 1850s-1905 #04422, Series 7. Burke County, N.C.: Original Materials, 1787-1905., Box 8
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Processing Information

Processed by: Connie Cartledge, September 1985; Noah Huffman, August 2007

Encoded by: Roslyn Holdzkom, September 2003; with revisions by Noah Huffman, August 2007

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