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Collection Number: 05447

Collection Title: Purrington Family Papers, 1822-1989

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 3.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 600 items)
Abstract John H. Purrington (1768-1837) settled in Halifax County, N.C., in the late 1790s. His son, Robert F. Purrington (1799?-1837), purchased the Beach Swamp Plantation in Scotland Neck, N.C. Both men were doctors, with Robert attending medical school at the University of Maryland, 1825-1826. A.L. Purrington (1867-1940) was born at Beach Swamp Plantation and educated at Horner's Military Academy in Oxford, N.C. His parentage is unclear; he may have been the son of Rufus H. Purrington. In 1900, he married Georgie Bosley, daughter of Georgie Price Bosley and Samuel Parker Bosley, who was raised in Towson, Md., and educated at the Girls Latin School in Baltimore and Goucher College. The couple had five children, Luther Purrington among them. Georgie Bosley Purrington lived at Beach Swamp Plantation until her death in 1977. The collection consists of correspondence, legal and financial materials, writings, schoolwork, genealogical materials, scrapbooks, clippings, a small number of photographs, and other materials. There is a large amount of correspondence, the bulk of which was sent to Georgie Bolsey Purrington. These letters concern family life and finances, illness and health, travel, the Girl's Latin School in Baltimore, and Goucher College. Correspondence between Luther Purrington and his parents contains discussions of student life and schoolwork while he was a student at the University of North Carolina, 1919-mid-1920s. Other letters discuss an affidavit filed in 1932 alleging that A.L. Purrington had pro-German sympathies during World War I and was thus unsuited to serve as postmaster. There are also a number of letters from various members of the Purrington and Pittman families dating from the early to mid-19th century, including an 1827 letter from Lewis Bond to Robert Purrington concerning the sale of slaves; financial and legal materials documenting the Purrington and Pittman families and including ledgers, wills, and a number of deeds to property in Halifax County, N.C.; an 1826 notebook containing lecture notes taken at the University of Maryland medical school; several 19th-century scrapbooks; an 1837 printed recipe book with hand-written recipes added; and Sara Purrington's genealogical research materials on the Purrington, Pittman, and Bosley families.
Creator Purrington family.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
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 Purrington Family Papers #5447, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Jane Elisabeth Maddison Boeckel, Sara Blair Maddison Sloan, and Laurence B. Maddison Jr. on behalf of Junie Purrington Hickman, Alfred L. Purrington III, Phillip P. Purrington, Nella Purrington Fulton, Charles M. Purrington, J. Ward Purrington, Jennette Purington Twomey, and Roliff H. Purrington in December 2009 (Acc. 101202).
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

John H. Purrington (1768-1837) settled in Halifax County, N.C., in the late 1790s. His son, Robert F. Purrington (1799?-1837), purchased the Beach Swamp Plantation in Scotland Neck, N.C. Both John and Robert Purrington were doctors; Robert Purrington attended the medical school at the University of Maryland from 1825 to 1826.

A.L. Purrington Sr. (1867-1940) was born at Beach Swamp Plantation and educated at Horner's Military Academy in Oxford, N.C. His parentage is unclear; he may have been the son of Rufus H. Purrington. In 1900, he married Georgie Bosley. Bosley's parents were Georgie Price Bosley and Samuel Parker Bosley. Georgie Bosley Purrington was raised in Towson, Md., and educated at the Girls Latin School in Baltimore and Goucher College. Upon graduation she accepted a teaching position in Scotland Neck where she met A.L. Purrington Sr. In 1932, a resident of Scotland Neck filed an affadavit alleging that A.L. Purrington Sr. and Georgie Bosley Purrington had pro-German sympathies during World War I. Georgie Bosley Purrington lived at Beach Swamp Plantation until her death in 1977.

A.L. Purrington Sr. and Georgie Bosley Purrington had five children, who were variously educated at Goucher College, Saint Mary's College in Raleigh, the University of Maryland, and the University of North Carolina. A.L. (Luther) Purrington Jr. served during World War I and World War II and practiced law in Raleigh, N.C. Philipp Parker Purrington settled in Enfield, N.C. Sara Purrington worked for the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and later returned to Scotland Neck. Roliff Holmes Purrington married and remained in Scotland Neck. Jane Purrington Maddison married and remained in North Carolina.

Other Purrington family members include Rufus H. Purrington (1829-1903), Sally Pittman Purrington (dates unknown), and Rebecca F. Purrington (1832-1907).

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The collection consists of correspondence, legal and financial materials, writings, schoolwork, genealogical materials, scrapbooks, clippings, a small number of photographs, and other materials. There is a large amount of correspondence, the bulk of which was sent to Georgie Bolsey Purrington. These letters concern family life and finances, illness and health, travel, the Girl's Latin School in Baltimore, and Goucher College. Other members of the Purrington family, particularly A.L. Purrington, Luther Purrington, Sara Purrington, Jane Purrington Maddison, Rebecca (Beck) Purrington, Georgie Price Bosley, and Samuel Parker Bosley are represented. Correspondence between Luther Purrington and his parents, Georgie Bosley Purrington and A.L. Purrington, contains Luther Purrington's discussions of student life and schoolwork while he was a student at the University of North Carolina, 1919-mid-1920s. Other letters in this group of correspondence discuss an affidavit filed in 1932 alleging that A.L. Purrington had pro-German sympathies during World War I and was thus unsuited to serve as postmaster. In addition, there are a number of letters from various members of the Purrington and Pittman families dating from the early to mid-19th century, including an 1827 letter from Lewis Bond to Robert Purrington concerning the sale of slaves. The collection also contains legal and financial materials, writings, schoolwork, genealogical materials, scrapbooks, clippings, a small number of photographs, and other miscellaneous materials pertaining to the Purrington family. The financial and legal materials document the Purrington and Pittman families and include ledgers, wills, and a number of deeds to property in Halifax County, N.C., as well as Pheobe Pittman's 1851 petition to receive her widow's dower. Also included are an 1826 notebook containing lecture notes taken at the medical school at the University of Maryland; and two single sheet ledgers record medical services rendered; several 19th-century scrapbooks; an 1837 printed recipe book with hand-written recipes added; and Sara Purrington's genealogical research materials, including a copy of her 1989 "Reflections on my Childhood and Family in Scotland Neck, N.C.," containing information on the materials on the Purrington, Pittman, and Bosley families.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1822-1978

Folder 1-3

Folder 1

Folder 2

Folder 3

Purrington family correspondence, 1822-1975 and undated (bulk 1880-1927) #05447, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1822-1978" Folder 1-3

Chiefly correspondence between family members discussing family life, marriage plans, children, visits, schooling, and health. Also included is an 1879 letter from Oliver Wendell Holmes and a letter written 6 January 1826 discussing an outbreak of influenza in Baltimore, Md.

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-5447/1

Purrington family correspondence, 1827-1853 #05447, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1822-1978" OPF-5447/1

An 1827 letter from Lewis Bond to Robert Purrington concerning the sale of slaves, an 1834 letter from James Purrington to Robert Purrington asking him to write, an 1837 letter from James Purrington to Clarissa Purrington concerning the death of Robert Purrington, and an 1853 letter to Rufus Purrington from a family member giving general advice on life.

Folder 4

Letters to Georgie Price Bosley from Samuel Parker Bosley, 1888-1889, undated #05447, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1822-1978" Folder 4

Written while Samuel Parker Bosley was living in Denver, Co., for health reasons while Georgie Price Bosley remained in Baltimore, Md.

Folder 5-10

Folder 5

Folder 6

Folder 7

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

Letters to Georgie Bosley Purrington from family and friends, 1893-1974 #05447, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1822-1978" Folder 5-10

Letters from the 1890s are chiefly from schools friends at the Girls Latin School of Baltimore, Md., and Goucher College written during school breaks and after graduation. They primarily discuss schoolwork, books, visitors, other friends, and teaching. A large number of letters from Clara Tucker Riley and F. Virtue Frost are included from this period. Letters, 1899-1901, are primarily from her mother, Georgie Price Bosley, and sister, Bess Bosley, after she moved to North Carolina to teach. They discuss family members in Baltimore, the weather, health, travel, weddings, children, cooking and recipes, and her courtship and marriage to A.L. Purrington. Later letters are from a wide variety of family and friends in North Carolina, Baltimore, other parts of the United States and the United Kingdom. These letters discuss family life, travel, and other matters. Also included is a World War I German military armband sent to Georgie Bosley Purrington by Fredrick D. Losey that played a role in an 1932 affidavit filed against her husband alledging pro-German sympathies.

Folder 11-13

Folder 11

Folder 12

Folder 13

Letters to Georgie Bosley Purrington from A.L. Purrington, June-August 1903 #05447, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1822-1978" Folder 11-13

Daily letters written by A.L. Purrington in Scotland Neck, N.C., while Georgie Bosley Purrington was visiting family.

Folder 14

Letters from Georgie Bosley Purrington, 1917, 1929, and undated #05447, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1822-1978" Folder 14

Chiefly drafts of letters to friends and public figures. Also included are some letters to family members.

Folder 15-16

Folder 15

Folder 16

Correspondence between Luther Purrington and Georgie Bosley Purrington and A.L. Purrington, 1916-1945 and undated #05447, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1822-1978" Folder 15-16

The majority of these letters were written while Luther was a student at the University of North Carolina, 1919-mid-1920s, and during World War II when he was enlisted in the Army. The letters written while at university discuss student life and schoolwork. Letters written during World War II mention the war effort, but deal primarily with family life, legal issues, and Georgie's finances. Also included are several letters discussing an affidavit filed in 1932 alleging that Georgie and A.L. Purrington had pro-German sympathies during World War I and that A.L. was therefore ineligible to serve as postmaster.

Folder 17

Sara Purrington correspondence, 1934-1978 and undated #05447, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1822-1978" Folder 17

Letters between Sara Purrington and her parents, other family members, and friends. Correspondence describes family life, her travels, her work with the Agriculture Adjustment Administration, and genealogical research. Also included is a letter from Elizabeth (no surname given), written in 1950 proposing that she and Sara jointly adopt a child.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Papers, 1739-1989

Folder 18-19

Folder 18

Folder 19

Legal materials, 1739-1950 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 18-19

Chiefly deeds and wills concerning members of the Purrington and Pittman families. The deeds primarily document land in Halifax County, N.C., including Beach Swamp Plantation, but also including land in Baltimore, Md. Also included is Pheobe Pittman's 1851 petition to receive her widow's dower.

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-5447/2

Legal Materials, 1739-1891 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" OPF-5447/2

Includes an 1739 deed from William Sims to Vincent Bodsole for land in Edgecombe County, N.C.; an 1851 deed from John Glenn and Robert Purrianne to Elizabeth Bosley for land in Baltimore County, Md.; an 1851 deed from Key Howard to William Price for land in Baltimore County, Md.; and the 1891 will of William Price.

Folder 20

Medical ledger sheets, 1806-1831 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 20

Single ledger sheet showing medical services provided by John H. Purrington and his payments received 1806-1810 and single medical ledger sheet showing medical services provided by Robert F. Purrington and payments recieved for 1821 and 1830-1831.

Folder 21

Financial materials, 1807-1946 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 21

Includes payment receipts, bills, tax receipts, contracts, and other items relating to members of the Pitman, Purrington, and Price families.

Folder 22

Medical school notebook, 1826-1830 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 22

Robert F. Purrington's 1826 lecture notes from the medical school at the University of Maryland. The back of the notebook includes financial accounts from the 1830s. See folder 17 for two loose sheets of Robert F. Purrington's accounts listing services provided and payments received.

Folder 23

Rebecca F. Purrington scrapbook, 1829-1907 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 23

Includes accounts, clippings, letters, calling cards, and ephemera.

Folder 24-25

Folder 24

Folder 25

Recipe book and loose recipes, 1837 and undated #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 24-25

A copy of The Housekeeper's Book (Philadelphia: William Marshall and Co., 1837) with hand-written recipes on endpapers and unprinted pages and several pages of loose, undated recipes.

Folder 26

Ruben A. Price autograph book, 1857 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 26

Contains messages from friends.

Folder 27

Schoolwork, 1883-circa 1920 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 27

Includes arithametic problems dated 1883 and essays and compositions by unidentified authors.

Folder 28

Other papers, 1883-1954 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 28

Miscellaneous printed material pertaining to churches, clubs, and schools; postcards; calling cards; and Sallie Purrington's funeral card.

Folder 29

Annie Laura Bosley autograph book, 1887 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 29

Contains messages from friends.

Folder 30

Georgie Price Bosley English composition book, circa 1890 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 30

Folder 31

Farm ledger, 1894-1899 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 31

Tracks payment and barter for farm products.

Folder 32

Sara Purrington schoolwork, circa 1910-1920 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 32

Contains English exercises workbook and composition book.

Folder 33

Household expense ledger, 1933-1935 #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 33

Image PF-5447/1

Photographs, 1959 and undated #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" PF-5447/1

Several photographs of Georgie Bosley Purrington with a tour group on a 1959 trip to Europe and a few undated photographs of unidentified family members.

Folder 34-36

Folder 34

Folder 35

Folder 36

Writings, undated #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 34-36

Poems, essays, and short stories written by members of the Purrington family. Most of the materials were written by Georgie Bosley Purrington. Many poems were written on the backs of letters and other documents.

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-5447/3

Short stories, undated #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" OPF-5447/3

Two stories likely writen by Georgie Bosley Purrington: "Woman's Place in the World Today" and "Three Little Devils."

Folder 37

Notebook, undated #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 37

Seems to contain schoolwork assignments.

Folder 38

Clippings #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 38

Primarily poems clipped from newspapers, but also several news articles and obituaries.

Folder 39-41

Folder 39

Folder 40

Folder 41

Genealogical research materials, 1989 and undated #05447, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1739-1989" Folder 39-41

Sara Purrington's genealogical research notes documenting the history of the Purrington, Pittman, and Bosley families as well as the history of Scotland Neck, N.C. Among the notes are descriptions of properties owned by these families and hand-written copies of 19th-century letters. Also included is a copy of Sara Purrington's 1989 "Reflections on my Childhood and Family in Scotland Neck, N.C."

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jennie Clements, May 2011

Encoded by: Jennie Clements, May 2011

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