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Collection Number: 03592

Collection Title: John McKee Sharpe Papers, 1793-1954

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 FAQ 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 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 800 items)
Abstract John McKee Sharpe (fl. 1903-1941) and his ancestors, Amos Sharpe, Ebenezer Franklin Sharpe, Silas Alexander Sharpe, and John H. McKee were all from Iredell County, N.C. This collection contains the papers of John McKee Sharpe, the Sharpe family, and John H. McKee. The Sharpe family papers, 1781-1890, are bills, receipts, buisness papers, and correspondence of the Sharpe family, principally relating to Amos Sharpe, Ebenezer Franklin Sharpe, and Silas Alexander Sharpe, along with other family members. The papers include material related to Silas Alexander Sharpe as a colonel in the North Carolina Home Guard, 1863-1865, that address militia activities in Iredell County and Alexander County, especially with conscription, apprehension of deserters, slaves detailed to work at Fort Fisher, and local defenses; and his business papers in connection with the Atlantic, Tennessee, and Ohio Railroad. Other papers include items related to slavery bonds, 1793; family news, the prosperity of Kentucky farmers, 1817; the estate of John H. McKee, family correspondence; slave sales, 1849; letters regarding political and economic conditions, as well as race relations during Reconstruction in North Carolina, 1871. The John H. McKee papers, 1820-1870, chiefly contains the scattered business and legal papers of John H. McKee, as well as extensive family correspondence with relatives spread across the South. Topics include the legal separation of McKee and his second wife, Rececca Reese (Caldwell) Carson; the successes and failures of son Thomas Jefferson McKee (b. 1855), who settled in Shelby County, Tex.; crops; debt; slave sales, 1846, 1854; the death of uncle John Stevenson and the manumission of his slaves, 1850; the move of John Stevenson's slaves to Liberia, 1854; family news, including marriages, deaths, and estates; William McKee's service during the Revolutionary War, and compensation rights from the United States government to his heirs, 1850, 1853; life among United States army troops in Tennessee, 1863; and an account of the planned but never established Western College, 1870. The John McKee Sharpe papers, 1903-1954 chiefly consists of correspondence and genealogical materials of John McKee Sharpe relating to the history of the Sharpe and McKee families and members of the related Caldwell, Mills, Moore, and Murdock families, and to Iredell County history.
Creator Sharpe, John McKee.
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 John McKee Sharpe Papers, #3592, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Gift 1962; Addition of 1967, purchased from Kingston Galleries, Inc, of Somerville, Mass.
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Members of the Sharpe family moved from Cecil County, Md., to Rowan, later Iredell, County, N.C. Prominent family members included the sons of Thomas Sharpe Junior, namely Amos, John, and William (member of the Continental Congress from North Carolina); along with Amos's son Ebenezer Franklin Sharpe. Ebenezer Franklin Sharpe married John Sharpe's daughter, Adalicia, and their son, Silas Alexander (fl. 1863-1865), married John H. McKee's daughter, Sarah Jane.

John H. McKee was a farmer in Iredell County, N.C. He first married Tirzah McKnight, with whom he had Sara Jane and Mary Emeline. He later married Rebecca Reese (Caldwell) Carson, whom he later divorced. McKee had four brothers: Archbald, who married Ethel Baggerly and moved to Tennessee; Eli, who married Mary E. Sherrill, and lived in Macon County, N.C.; James, who married Hannah Patton, and lived in western North Carolina, including Asheville; and Thomas Jefferson (b. 1855), who lived in Alabama and Texas. He also had two sisters: Margaret (Peggy) who was married to a man named McKnight; and Nancy, who was unmarried and lived with McKee. His daughter Sarah Jane married Silas Alexander Sharpe, and one of their sons is John McKee Sharpe (fl. 1903-1941). His other daughter, mary Emaline married Silas Alexander Sharpe's uncle, Leander Quincy Sharpe.

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This collection contains the papers of John McKee Sharpe (fl. 1903-1941), the Sharpe family, and John H. McKee. The Sharpe Family papers, 1781-1890, contains the bills, receipts, buisness papers, and correspondence of the Sharpe family, principally relating to Amos Sharpe, Ebenezer Franklin Sharpe, and Silas Alexander Sharpe, along with other family members. The papers include material related to Silas Alexander Sharpe as a colonel in the North Carolina Home Guard, 1863-1865, which address militia activities in Iredell and Alexander counties, especially with conscription, apprehension of deserters, slaves detailed to work at Fort Fisher, and local defenses; and his business papers in connection with the Atlantic, Tennessee, and Ohio Railroad. Other papers include items related to slavery bonds, 1793; family news, the prosperity of Kentucky farmers, 1817; the estate of John H. McKee, family correspondence; slave sales, 1849; letters regarding political and economic conditions, as well as race relations during Reconstruction in North Carolina, 1871. The John H. McKee papers, 1820-1870, chiefly contains the scattered business and legal papers of John H. McKee, as well as extensive family correspondence with relatives spread across the South. Topics include the legal separation of McKee and his second wife, Rececca Reese (Caldwell) Carson; the successes and failures of son Thomas Jefferson McKee, who settled in Shelby County, Tex.; crops; debt; slave sales, 1846, 1854; the death of uncle John Stevenson and the manumission of his slaves, 1850; the move of John Stevenson's slaves to Liberia, 1854; family news, including marriages, deaths, and estates; William McKee's service during the Revolutionary War, and compensation rights from the United States government to his heirs, 1850, 1853; life among United States army troops in Tennessee, 1863; and an account of the planned but never established Western College, 1870. The John McKee Sharpe papers, 1903-1954 chiefly consists of correspondence and genealogical materials of John McKee Sharpe relating to the history of the Sharpe and McKee families and members of the related Caldwell, Mills, Moore, and Murdock families, and to Iredell County history.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated.

Arrangement: chronological.

This series contains the bills, receipts, buisness papers, and correspondence of the Sharpe family, principally relating to Amos Sharpe, Ebenezer Franklin Sharpe, and Silas Alexander Sharpe, along with other family members. The papers include material related to Silas Alexander Sharpe as a colonel in the North Carolina Home Guard, 1863-1865, which address militia activities in Iredell and Alexander counties, especially with conscription, apprehension of deserters, slaves detailed to work at Fort Fisher, and local defenses; and his business papers in connection with the Atlantic, Tennessee, and Ohio Railroad. Other papers include items related to slavery bonds, 1793; family news, the prosperity of Kentucky farmers, 1817; the estate of John H. McKee, family correspondence; slave sales, 1849; letters regarding political and economic conditions, as well as race relations during Reconstruction in North Carolina, 1871.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 1a

Folder 1

1781-1820 #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1821-1829 #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

1831-1836 #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

1837-1839 #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 4

Oversize Paper Folder OP-3592/1

Document: 14 June 1838 #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." OP-3592/1

Folder 5

1840-1860 #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6-7

Folder 6

Folder 7

1863 #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 6-7

Folder 8-10

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

1864 #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 8-10

Folder 11

1865 #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12-14

Folder 12

Folder 13

Folder 14

Civil War papers, undated #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 12-14

Folder 15

1866-1872 #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 15

Folder 16

1873-1890 #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 16

Folder 17

Undated #03592, Series: "1. Sharpe Family Papers, 1781-1890 and undated." Folder 17

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. John H. McKee papers, 1820-1870 and undated.

Arrangement: chronological.

This series chiefly contains the scattered business and legal papers of John H. McKee, as well as extensive family correspondence with relatives spread across the South. Topics include the legal separation of McKee and his second wife, Rececca Reese (Caldwell) Carson; the successes and failures of son Thomas Jefferson McKee, who settled in Shelby County, Tex.; crops; debt; slave sales, 1846, 1854; the death of uncle John Stevenson and the manumission of his slaves, 1850; the move of John Stevenson's slaves to Liberia, 1854; family news, including marriages, deaths, and estates; William McKee's service during the Revolutionary War, and compensation rights from the United States government to his heirs, 1850, 1853; life among United States army troops in Tennessee, 1863; and an account of the planned but never established Western College, 1870.

Folder 18

1820-1839 #03592, Series: "2. John H. McKee papers, 1820-1870 and undated." Folder 18

Folder 19

1840-1846 #03592, Series: "2. John H. McKee papers, 1820-1870 and undated." Folder 19

Folder 20

1847-1851 #03592, Series: "2. John H. McKee papers, 1820-1870 and undated." Folder 20

Folder 21

1852-1854 #03592, Series: "2. John H. McKee papers, 1820-1870 and undated." Folder 21

Folder 22

1855-1856 #03592, Series: "2. John H. McKee papers, 1820-1870 and undated." Folder 22

Folder 23

1857-1859 #03592, Series: "2. John H. McKee papers, 1820-1870 and undated." Folder 23

Folder 24

1860-1870 #03592, Series: "2. John H. McKee papers, 1820-1870 and undated." Folder 24

Folder 25

Undated #03592, Series: "2. John H. McKee papers, 1820-1870 and undated." Folder 25

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. John McKee Sharpe Papers, 1903-1954 and undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Adam Fielding and Jodi Berkowitz, February 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.

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