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Collection Number: 02658

Collection Title: William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907.

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 and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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Size 4.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1,200 items)
Abstract William Laurence Saunders (1835-1891) of North Carolina was a lawyer; colonel of the 46th North Carolina Regiment, Confederate States of America; editor of the Colonial Records of North Carolina; secretary-treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina; and secretary of state of North Carolina, 1879-1891. The collection includes the papers of and collected by William Laurence Saunders, chiefly accumulated in the process of compiling and editing the Colonial Records of North Carolina. His papers include Civil War letters and papers pertaining to his Confederate Army service in North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina, and his participation in the battles for Roanoke Island, 1862, at Fredericksburg, 1862, and at Charleston, 1863; diaries, 1867-1868 and 1879-1881, containing brief entries; bank books; and correspondence relating to his historical research and other activities, including two items pertaining to the Ku Klux Klan. Collected materials include legal papers; land grants; deeds; a slave sale document; indentures; a document appointing William R. Davie to lieutenant colonel commandant, 1787; letters to General Davie from George Washington regarding the appointment of regional officers from N.C., 1798-1799; contemporary copies of the legislative journals of North Carolina, 1749-1764; copies of reports of the royal governors, 1768-1771; financial and other records of the Episcopal School of North Carolina at Raleigh, N.C., 1833-1837; notes and manuscripts pertaining to the early history of North Carolina collected by Francois-Xavier Martin; two long letters written by former North Carolina governor Thomas J. Jarvis containing his recollections of North Carolina history and politics, 1888; and scattered miscellaneous notes related to state history.
Creator Saunders, William Laurence, 1835-1891.
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 William Laurence Saunders Papers, #2658, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (filmed 1982) available.
  • Reel 1: Volume 43, Letters of Thomas J. Jarvis
Acquisitions Information
Received as a gift of Agatha and Nena Saunders, 1939 and 1942.
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
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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William Laurence Saunders (1835-1891) of North Carolina was a lawyer; colonel of the 46th North Carolina Regiment, Confederate States of America; editor of the Colonial Records of North Carolina; secretary-treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina; and secretary of state of North Carolina, 1879-1891.

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The collection includes the papers of and collected by William Laurence Saunders, chiefly accumulated in the process of compiling and editing the Colonial Records of North Carolina. His papers include Civil War letters and papers pertaining to his Confederate Army service in North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina, and his participation in the battles for Roanoke Island, 1862, at Fredericksburg, 1862, and at Charleston, 1863; diaries, 1867-1868 and 1879-1881, containing brief entries; bank books; and correspondence relating to his historical research and other activities, including two items pertaining to the Ku Klux Klan. Collected materials include legal papers; land grants; deeds; a slave sale document; indentures; a document appointing William R. Davie to lieutenant colonel commandant, 1787; letters to General Davie from George Washington regarding the appointment of regional officers from N.C., 1798-1799; contemporary copies of the legislative journals of North Carolina, 1749-1764; copies of reports of the royal governors, 1768-1771; financial and other records of the Episcopal School of North Carolina at Raleigh, N.C., 1833-1837; notes and manuscripts pertaining to the early history of North Carolina collected by Francois-Xavier Martin; two long letters written by former North Carolina governor Thomas J. Jarvis containing his recollections of North Carolina history and politics, 1888; and scattered miscellaneous notes related to state history.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated.

Arrangement: Papers are arranged chronologically; volumes are arranged chronologically by topic.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 1a

Folder 1

Papers: 1712-1759 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

Papers: 1760-1769 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

Papers: 1770-1779 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

Papers: 1780-1789 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

Papers: 1790-1799 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 5

SEP-2658/1

Two letters to General Davie from George Washington regarding the appointment of regional officers from N.C., 1798-1799 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." SEP-2658/1

Restriction to Access: The original item is not available for immediate or same day access. Please contact staff at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu to discuss options.

Folder 6

Papers: 1800-1811 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7

Papers: 1814-1819 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 7

Folder 8

Papers: 1821-1829 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

Papers: 1832-1835 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

Papers: 1845-1859 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

Papers: 1860-1861 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

Papers: 1862 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

Papers: 1863-1869 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

Papers: 1870-1876 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

Papers: 1877-1879 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 15

Folder 16

Papers: 1880-1882 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 16

Folder 17-18

Folder 17

Folder 18

Papers: 1883 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 17-18

Folder 19

Papers: 1884 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 19

Folder 20

Papers: 1885-1887 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 20

Folder 21

Papers: 1888 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 21

Folder 22

Papers: 1889 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 22

Folder 23-24

Folder 23

Folder 24

Papers: 1890 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 23-24

Folder 25

Papers: 1891-1907 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 25

Folder 26-27

Folder 26

Folder 27

Papers: Undated #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 26-27

Folder 28

Papers: Writings #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 28

Folder 29

Papers: Fragments #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 29

Folder 30-31

Folder 30

Folder 31

Papers: Notes and lists #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 30-31

Folder 32

Volume 1: Journal of the North Carolina Assembly, 1749 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 32

Folder 33

Volume 2: Journal of the North Carolina Assembly, 1751 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 33

Folder 34

Volume 3: Journal of the North Carolina Assembly, 1759 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 34

Folder 35

Volume 4: Journal of the North Carolina, April-May 1760 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 35

Folder 36-37

Folder 36

Folder 37

Volumes 5-6: Journal of the North Carolina Assembly, November-December 1760 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 36-37

Folder 38

Volume 7: Journal of the North Carolina Assembly, 1761 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 38

Folder 39

Volume 8: Journal of the North Carolina Assembly, 1761-1762 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 39

Folder 40

Volume 9: Journal of the North Carolina Assembly, 1764 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 40

Folder 41

Volume 10: Reports of the committee from the North Carolina Assembly at Wilmington, N.C., to examine the public accounts of the province, 1762 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 41

Folder 42

Volume 10a: Manuscript copies of reports from the Royal Governors of North Carolina, 1768-1771 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 42

Includes reports from Governnor Tryon and his correspondence with the assembly and minutes of the council.

Folder 43a

Volume 11: Minutes of the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees, 9 November 1795-17 December 1796 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 43a

Folder 43b

Volume 11.b: Memo book, 1802-1816 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 43b

Folder 43c

Volume 11.a: Memo book, 1801-1811 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 43c

Folder 44

Volume 12: Account books of the Episcopal School, Raleigh, N.C., 1836-1837 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 44

Folder 45

Volume 12a: Account book of the Episcopal School, Raleigh, N.C., 1834-1837 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 45

Folder 46

Volume 13: Report to the Diocese on the Episopal School, Raleigh, N.C., 1833 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 46

Folder 47

[This number was omitted in arranging the collection] #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 47

Folder 48

Volume 15: Record of distribution of N.C. reports, 1878-1879 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 48

Folder 49

Volume 16: Diary of William Saunders, 1867 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 49

Folder 50

Volume 17: Diary of William Saunders, 1868 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 50

Folder 51

Volume 18: Diary of William Saunders, 1879 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 51

Folder 52

Volume 19: Diary of William Saunders, 1880 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 52

Folder 53

Volume 20: Diary of William Saunders, 1881 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 53

Folder 54

Volume 21: French language exercise book, 1848 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 54

Folder 55

Volume 22: Autograph book, 1854 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 55

Folder 56

Volume 23: Recipe and commonplace book, 1881-1883 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 56

Folder 57

Volume 24: Memo book, undated #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 57

Folder 58

Volume 25: Bank book, 1855-1859 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 58

Folder 59

Volume 26: Bank book, 1859-1865 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 59

Folder 60

Volume 27: Bank book, 1884 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 60

Folder 61

Volume 28: Bank book, 1885-1886 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 61

Folder 62

Volume 29: Bank book, 1887-1888 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 62

Folder 63

Volume 30: Bank book, 1888-1889 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 63

Folder 64

Volume 31: Interleaved copy of Prefectory notes to colonial records, undated #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 64

Folder 65

Volume 32: Interleaved copies of "North Carolina Under Proprietary Government" and "North Carolina Under Royal Rule," both undated #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 65

Folder 66

Volume 33: Interleaved copy of "North Carolina Under Royal Rule," undated #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 66

Folder 67

Volume 34: Manuscript notes, "Lessons From Our N.C. Record," undated #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 67

Folder 68

Volume 35: "A Fan For Fanning and a Touchstone to Tryon," 1771 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 68

Folder 69

Volume 36: Manuscripts on colonial and revolutionary history of North Carolina by Francois Xavier Martin, undated #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 69

Folder 70

Volume 37: Manuscript "North Carolina Under Popular Rule, 1775-1776," undated #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 70

Folder 71

Volume 38: Notes on colonial history of North Carolina, undated #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 71

Folder 72

Volume 39: Recipe book, undated #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 72

Folder 73

Item transferred to folder 35 in the David L. Swain Papers #706 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 73

Commonplace book with notes by David L. Swain.

Folder 74

Item transferred to folder 35 in the David L. Swain Papers #706 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 74

Manuscript on North Carolina history by David L. Swain.

Folder 75

See separated item SV-2658/42 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 75

Oversize Volume SV-2658/42

Volume 42: Letterbook, 1882 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." SV-2658/42

Letters from insurance companies to Saunders when he was secretary of the state of North Carolina.

Folder 76

Volume 43: Letters from Thomas J. Jarvis, 1888 #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 76

Two letters from Jarvis written from Petropolis, Brazil, containing recollections and reflections on North Carolina matters, including politics.

Folder 77

Volume 44: Notebook, undated #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." Folder 77

Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-2658/1

Diplomas and maps #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." XOPF-2658/1

Special Format Image SF-P-2658/1

Ambrotype #02658, Series: "William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907 and undated." SF-P-2658/1

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Adam Fielding and Jodi Berkowitz, April 2011

This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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