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Collection Number: 01878

Collection Title: Thomas Sparrow Papers, 1835-1871.

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 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 150 items)
Abstract Thomas Sparrow was a lawyer, North Carolina state legislator, and Confederate officer of Washington (Beaufort County), N.C. Antebellum papers include legal and political correspondence and letters to Thomas Sparrow from colleagues and constituents while he was a member of the North Carolina General Assembly, 1858-1859. Correspondents include George E. Badger, David L. Swain, and John A. Stanly. There are references to several duels. Civil War papers, mostly 1861, include Sparrow's letters to his wife and a diary kept while he was captain of Company A, 7th North Carolina Infantry (the Washington Greys), defending the Outer Banks of North Carolina and in prison at Fort Coumbus, Governor's Island, New York Harbor, and Fort Warren, Boston, Mass. Also included are manuscript notes of an ordnance inspection of the Wilmington, N.C., defenses, 1863. Postwar items consist chiefly of a manuscript speech to freedmen, 1867, clippings about Sparrow's management of the impeachment trial of North Carolina governor W. W. Holden, 1871, and a full account of Sparrow's life.
Creator Sparrow, Thomas, 1819-1884.
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 Thomas Sparrow Papers, #1878, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy available
Acquisitions Information
Received from Dr. Thomas D. Sparrow of Charlotte, N.C., July 1951.
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

Thomas Sparrow (1819-1884), a native of New Bern and resident of Washington, N.C., was a lawyer, state legislator, and Confederate officer. Sparrow was educated at Princeton University, 1839-1842. In 1847 he moved to Washington, N.C., and there had a law practice with Edward Stanly. He served as chairman of the Eighth Congressional District Whig Committee and in 1856-1857 as a representative in the North Carolina General Assembly. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Sparrow raised a company of Beaufort County, N.C., volunteers, the Washington Grays, and served as captain. His company was involved in the defense of Fort Hatteras where they were surrendered and captured. He was imprisoned at Fort Columbus, N.Y., and Fort Warren, Mass., until February 1862. Upon parole, he returned to North Carolina and served as major in the 10th North Carolina Regiment. After the war he returned to law practice and again served in the General Assembly, 1870-1872 and 1879-1890. While serving as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, 1870, he was manager for the house of the impeachment of Governor William W. Holden.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes legal, political, and personal correspondence; Civil War diaries; speeches; clippings; and other papers of Thomas Sparrow. Antebellum papers include legal and political correspondence and letters to Thomas Sparrow from colleagues and constituents while he was a member of the North Carolina General Assembly, 1858-1859. Correspondents include George E. Badger, David L. Swain, and John A. Stanly. There are references to several duels. Civil War papers, mostly 1861, include Sparrow's letters to his wife and a diary kept while he was captain of Company A, 7th North Carolina Infantry (the Washington Grays), defending the Outer Banks of North Carolina and in prison at Fort Columbus, Governor's Island, New York Harbor, and Fort Warren, Boston, Mass. Also included are manuscript notes of an ordnance inspection of the Wilmington, N.C., defenses, 1863. Postwar items consist chiefly of a manuscript speech to freedmen, 1867, clippings about Sparrow's management of the impeachment trial of North Carolina governor W. W. Holden, 1871, and a full account of Sparrow's life.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Thomas Sparrow Papers, 1835-1871 and undated.

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, April 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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