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Collection Number: 05283

Collection Title: Franklin C. Robbins Papers, 1701-2002 (bulk 1820s-1890s)

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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 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 30 items)
Abstract Franklin C. Robbins was born in 1833 in Randolph County, N.C. His father, Ahi Robbins, helped found a local school known as the Union Institute, which later became Trinity College and then Duke University. Franklin Robbins attended the University of North Carolina before joining the Confederate Army in April 1861. He was wounded several times and taken prisoner before being released from duty at Appomattox in April 1865. After the war, he moved to Lexington, N.C., where he was a prominent lawyer for over 50 years before his death in 1926. He was also a delegate to the North Carolina Constitutional Convention in 1875 and helped to bring the Winston-Salem Southbound Railroad through Davidson County. The collection includes family letters, legal and financial papers, clippings, and other items. Letters include one from 1862 concerning the death of Robbins's brother in the Civil War at Sharpsburg, Md.. A 1918 letter was sent to Robbins's son during his involvement in World War I. Copies of three letters written by Robbins in March 1888 to John F. Cromwell, president of Trinity College, concern the reinstatement of Robbins's nephew to the school. There are no letters sent or received by Frank Robbins during the Civil War. Legal and financial documents mostly concern the transfer of family land in Caswell County, N.C., between 1800 and 1832. Clippings consist of several obituaries for Frank Robbins and a newspaper interview with him that was done five years before his death. Family histories and genealogies include the recollections (with family tree) of Robbins's daughter and a recounting of the Lamar family lineage up to Robbins's father. Another history was written by Carolina Long Avery and includes excerpts of letters written by family members in the 1850s, which are personal in nature, but include many references to Trinity College. Other items include two handwritten recipe books; an application by Robbins's second wife, Wilson Bracken, to join the Daughters of the Confederacy in the 1890s; and the diary of Robbins's daughter, Julia B. Robbins, who died in 1894 at a young age.
Creator Robbins, Franklin C., 1833-1926.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
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 Franklin C. Robbins Papers #5283, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Richard E. Rankin Jr. of Gastonia, N.C., July 2006 (Acc. 100451).
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

Franklin C. Robbins was born in 1833 near Trinity, N.C. His father, Ahi Robbins, helped found a local school known as the Union Institute, which later became Trinity College and then Duke University.

After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Frank Robbins joined the Confederate Army in April 1861 as a member of the 18th Virginia Infantry Regiment, the Danville Blues. When the Confederate Army reorganized, he went to the 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment, Company C, and eventually reached the rank of captain.

Robbins fought in first Manassas and was later wounded at Cold Harbor, Va., on 27 June 1862. He recovered in time to participate in the battle of Fredericksburg, Va., on 13 December 1862, before again being wounded at Chickamauga, Ga., on 19 September 1863. After being wounded in a skirmish in Knoxville, Tenn., he was taken prisoner and held at Camp Chase, Fort Delaware, and Point Lookout before being released in October 1864. He was present at Appomattox when Lee surrendered on 9 April 1865.

After the war, Robbins made his home in Lexington, N.C., where he was a prominent lawyer for 50 years before his death in October 1926. He was active in the local Democratic Party and was a delegate to the North Carolina Constitutional Convention in 1875. He was also instrumental in bringing the Winston-Salem Southbound Railroad through Davidson County.

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Papers of Lexington, N.C., lawyer Franklin C. Robbins include family letters, legal and financial papers, clippings, and other items. Letters include one from 1862 concerning the death of Robbins's brother, Julius A. Robbins, in the Civil War at Sharpsburg, Md.. A 1918 letter was sent to Robbins's son, Roswell Robbins, during his involvement in World War I. Copies of three letters written by Robbins in March 1888 to John F. Cromwell, president of Trinity College, concern the reinstatement of Robbins's nephew, William Barrett, to the school (originals in the John F. Cromwell papers, Duke University Archives). There are no letters sent or received by Frank Robbins during the Civil War. Legal and financial documents mostly concern the transfer of family land in Caswell County, N.C., between 1800 and 1832. Clippings consist of several obituaries for Frank Robbins and a newspaper interview with him that was done five years before his death. Family histories and genealogies include the recollections (with family tree) of Robbins's daughter, Frank Robbins Pancake, and a recounting of the Lamar family lineage up to Robbins's father, Ahi Robbins. Another history, entitled "Sidelights on the Development of Normal School into Trinity College," was written by Carolina Long Avery and includes excerpts of letters written in the 1850s by William McKendree Robbins, brother of Frank Robbins, to his first wife, Mary Montgomery, and letters written in the 1880s by Marquis Wood, widow of Julius Robbins, to her son, Gaston Robbins. These letters are personal in nature, but include many references to Normal School and Trinity College. Other items include two handwritten recipe books; an application by Robbins's second wife, Wilson Bracken, to join the Daughters of the Confederacy in the 1890s; and the diary of Robbins's daughter, Julia B. Robbins, who died in 1894 at a young age. Included with the diary are an obituary for Julia Robbins and two programs for shows she attended.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Sarah Peterson, September 2007

Encoded by: Sarah Peterson, September 2007

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