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Collection Number: 03879

Collection Title: Mary Ruffin Smith Papers, 1750-1904.

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 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 190 items)
Abstract Mary Ruffin Smith of Chapel Hill, N.C., was a benefactress of the University of North Carolina. The collection includes papers of Mary Ruffin Smith and other members of the Smith family of Orange County, N.C. Papers consist of scattered correspondence of Mary Ruffin Smith, chiefly in the 1880s, concerning her financial affairs, her loans and gift of land to the University of North Carolina, and social notes exchanged with other residents of Chapel Hill, N.C., including William Mercer Green, Cornelia Phillips Spencer, Kemp P. Battle, and other members of the Battle family. Included also are deeds for military bounty lands in Illinois and lands in Orange county, Chatham county, and Randolph county, N.C.; records, 1838-1850, of Mary's brother, Dr. Francis J. Smith (1816-1877), a physician in Hillsborough, N.C., showing patients' medical treatment and charges; business letters, 1850-1854, to lawyers William Stedman and Sidney Smith of Pittsboro and Chapel Hill, N.C., from lawyers elsewhere concerning the collection of debts; and assorted other papers, including tenant farmers' accounts, 1870s-1890s, of Mary R. Smith and of W. C. Cole, who purchased the Smith lands after her death.
Creator Smith, Mary Ruffin, d. 1885.
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

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 Mary Ruffin Smith Papers, #3879, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from George Cole of Chapel Hill, N.C., February 1969.
Received from W. C. Cole of Chapel Hill, N.C., May 1978.
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

Mary Ruffin Smith (died 1885) of Chapel Hill, N.C., was a benefactress of the University of North Carolina; daughter of James S. Smith, a physician, state legislator, and United States congressman; and sister to Sidney Smith (1805-1856) and Francis J. Smith (1816-1877), a physician of Hillsborough, N.C.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes the papers of Mary Ruffin Smith and other members of the Smith family of Orange County, N.C., especially her siblings, Sidney and Francis J. Smith. Papers consist of scattered correspondence of Mary Ruffin Smith, chiefly in the 1880s, concerning her financial affairs, her loans and gift of land to the University of North Carolina, and social notes exchanged with other residents of Chapel Hill, N.C., including William Mercer Green, Cornelia Phillips Spencer, Kemp P. Battle, and other members of the Battle family. Included also are deeds for military bounty lands in Illinois and lands in Orange, Chatham, and Randolph counties, N.C.; records, 1838-1850, of Mary's brother, Dr. Francis J. Smith showing patients' medical treatment and charges; business letters, 1850-1854, to lawyers William Stedman and Sidney Smith of Pittsboro and Chapel Hill, N.C., from lawyers elsewhere concerning the collection of debts; and assorted other papers, including tenant farmers' accounts, 1870s-1890s, of Mary R. Smith and of W. C. Cole, who purchased the Smith lands after her death.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Mary Ruffin Smith Papers, 1750-1904 and undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Oversize volumes (SV-3879/1-3).

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, July 2009

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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