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Collection Number: 04622

Collection Title: Spears and Hicks Family Papers, 1852-191

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.


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Size 2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 800 items)
Abstract Three generations of the Spears and Hicks families of Virginia and North Carolina, including Sallie Gray Spears Lewis (b. 1833), her daughter Sallie Moore Spears Hicks (b. 1860), and her grandson Charles Spears Hicks (b. 1886), a North Carolina banker. Primarily personal letters, 1852-1917, detailing the family, social, and financial affairs of members of the Spears and Hicks and related Gray, Warren, Glasgow, and Lewis families of Fincastle and Botetourt County, Va.; Malden and Charleston, W.Va.; Wilmington and Dunn, N.C.; Paris, Tex.; Saline County, Mo.; and other locations. Subjects include military life and social conditions during the Civil War; farming in various locations; student life at the Augusta Female Seminary (later Mary Baldwin College) in Staunton, Va., 1875-1881; conditions among slaves, including an 1861 slave list; women's lives and business dealings; banking in North Carolina, 1908-1917, including mention of a Chinese banker in Wilmington; engineering of heating and cooling systems, 1908-1917; experiences of an elderly woman living with her daughter's family; and social aspects of tuberculosis. There are also many letters from Virginia lawyers William A. Glasgow and his son Frank T. Glasgow.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
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 Spears and Hicks Family Papers #4622, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Karl M. Andrews of Chattanooga, Tenn., in June 1992, in honor of his parents.
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

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

Sallie (Sarah?) Gray was born on 28 May 1833, probably in Fincastle Va. Her father, John Moore Gray, was High Sheriff of Botetourt County in 1848 and also built Prospect Hill, the family home. Sallie had two brothers and a sister: Oliver P., a farmer and businessman; Lazarus Moore, a physician and teacher; and Mary.

In 1860, Sallie Gray married Charles C. Spears, also of Virginia. He had three siblings: Lizzie Spears Glasgow (d. 1862) of Fincastle, Va., wife of lawyer William A. Glasgow and mother of lawyer Frank T. Glasgow; Becky Spears Warren (d. 1866) of Paris, Tex., wife of farmer Rice Warren; and John Spears of Saline County, Mo. In 1861, Charles and Sallie had a daughter, Sallie Moore Spears, and Charles joined the Confederate Army. He was killed at the Battle of Leesburg in October 1862.

Sallie Gray Spears married John D. Lewis on 30 November 1874, and they lived on a farm in Malden, W.Va. He died around 1878 and left Sallie a large estate that was administered by Charles Lewis of Charleston, W.Va.

Sallie Moore Spears attended school at the Augusta Female Seminary in Staunton, Va., from 1875 to 1881. William A. Glasgow seems to have been financially responsible for her education. In 1885, Sallie Moore Spears married Wilmington, N.C., businessman, Rufus W. Hicks (b. 1849). They had five children: Charles Spears (b. 27 July 1886); Atha Royall; Rufus W., Jr.; Lewis Glasgow; and John Moore Gray (b. 28 August 1896).

Both Sallie Lewis and Sallie Hicks were involved with numerous business and real estate dealings. In the late 1800s, Sallie Lewis sold or rented her late husband's lands in West Virginia. In 1903, she succeeded in purchasing Prospect Hill, though she continued to live with her daughter's family in Wilmington. Throughout these dealings, she relied heavily on the financial and legal advice of her nephew Frank T. Glasgow. In the early 1900s, Sallie Hicks built and managed an apartment building in Wilmington.

Rufus W. Hicks, Jr., graduated from North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Raleigh in 1910. He was an engineer who worked in New York, Wilmington, Charlotte, and elsewhere, mostly with heating and cooling systems.

Charles Spears Hicks graduated from Davidson College in 1907. He went into banking, and worked for a while in Wilmington and Whiteville, N.C., before moving to Dunn, N.C., in 1910, where he married in 1914. From 1910 to 1917, he was cashier at the First National Bank in Dunn. He appears to have taken full responsibility for the bank from 1911 to 1916, when the bank president, Preston S. Cooper, became ill with tuberculosis. In January 1917, Charles Spears Hicks resigned his position because of his fears of contracting tuberculosis.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

These papers were collected by Karl Andrews, who transcribed many of the earlier letters and researched the family history.

The collection consists mostly of family and business letters written to three people: Sallie Gray Spears Lewis, Sallie Moore Spears Hicks, and Charles Spears Hicks. Although letters to mother and daughter are sparse after 1900, their later activities are well documented in both women's letters to Charles Spears Hicks. Other materials include letters to other family members, financial and legal materials, postcards, report cards, and research materials gathered by Karl Andrews. Where possible typed transcriptions are filed with matching originals; other transcriptions are filed with the research materials of Karl Andrews.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Papers of Sallie Gray Spears Lewis, 1852-1912 and undated.

About 290 items.

Arrangement: by document type, then chronological.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. Letters, 1852-1874.

About 130 items.

Mostly letters from family members to Sallie Gray Spears (later Lewis) relating their experiences before, during, and after the Civil War, especially from her sister-in-law Becky Warren concerning family life, health, farming, Texas customs, the war, slaves, and Indians. There are also several witty letters from brother Lazarus Moore Gray about school in Philadelphia, family affairs, and his observations of life; letters from brother-in-law John Spears about farming and family; a few letters from brother Oliver P. Gray; and others from husband Charles Spears from camp at Stonebridge, Va.

Folder 1

1852-1860 #04622, Subseries: "1.1. Letters, 1852-1874." Folder 1

Folder 2

1861-1865 #04622, Subseries: "1.1. Letters, 1852-1874." Folder 2

Folder 3

1866-1874 #04622, Subseries: "1.1. Letters, 1852-1874." Folder 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. Letters, 1875-1884.

About 20 items.

Family letters from Sallie's second husband John D. Lewis written while Sallie was traveling in 1877; letters from daughter Sallie about classmates and her teacher, Miss Baldwin, and family; letters from Rufus W. Hicks concerning his desire to marry Sallie Moore Spears; and legal and financial advice from William and Frank Glasgow.

Folder 4

Letters, 1875-1884 #04622, Subseries: "1.2. Letters, 1875-1884." Folder 4

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.3. Letters, 1886-1911.

About 120 items.

Mostly financial and legal letters from Charles C. Lewis, Frank T. Glasgow and others concerning the estate and sale of land in West Virginia, and relating to Sallie's attempts to buy Prospect Hill in Fincastle. There are also several versions of Sallie's will.

Folder 5

1886-1902 #04622, Subseries: "1.3. Letters, 1886-1911." Folder 5

Folder 6

1903 #04622, Subseries: "1.3. Letters, 1886-1911." Folder 6

Folder 7

1904 #04622, Subseries: "1.3. Letters, 1886-1911." Folder 7

Folder 8

1905-1907 #04622, Subseries: "1.3. Letters, 1886-1911." Folder 8

Folder 9

1908-1911 #04622, Subseries: "1.3. Letters, 1886-1911." Folder 9

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.4. Other Papers, 1861-1912.

About 20 items.

Mostly financial papers, bills, and receipts. Also included is a 1861 slave list.

Folder 10

Other papers, 1861-1912 #04622, Subseries: "1.4. Other Papers, 1861-1912." Folder 10

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Papers of Sallie Moore Spears Hicks, 1871-1914.

About 160 items.

Arrangement: by document type, then chronological.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. Letters, 1871-1914.

About 150 items.

Letters from family and friends, chiefly written to Sallie during her school days at the Augusta Female Seminary, concerning family affairs, education, finances, and her courtship with Rufus W. Hicks. One letter from friend Bessie Maitland Doryall, dated 14 June 1880, was written while Bessie was on her honeymoon in England and Scotland, and discusses her wedding, and observations on British life and customs, especially race relations. There are also a few letters from children and friends written after 1886.

Folder 11

1871-April 1877 #04622, Subseries: "2.1. Letters, 1871-1914." Folder 11

Folder 12

July 1877-March 1880 #04622, Subseries: "2.1. Letters, 1871-1914." Folder 12

Folder 13

April 1880-March 1881 #04622, Subseries: "2.1. Letters, 1871-1914." Folder 13

Folder 14

1882 #04622, Subseries: "2.1. Letters, 1871-1914." Folder 14

Folder 15

1883-1885 #04622, Subseries: "2.1. Letters, 1871-1914." Folder 15

Folder 16

1886-1914 #04622, Subseries: "2.1. Letters, 1871-1914." Folder 16

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Other Papers.

About 10 items.

Report cards, compositions, and a few other papers.

Folder 17

Other papers #04622, Subseries: "2.2. Other Papers." Folder 17

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Papers of Charles Spears Hicks, 1908-1917.

About 300 items.

Arrangement: by document type, then chronological.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.1. Correspondence, 1908-1917.

About 250 items.

Family and business correspondence. Most family letters are from Charles's mother concerning her attempts to build an apartment building and other family matters; his grandmother, complaining about her treatment by the family and describing her living conditions, including her relations with black servants; brother Rufus, about his work as an engineer; and brother Gray at Davidson College, about football and baseball.

Business correspondence is chiefly from Hicks's time as cashier at the First National Bank in Dunn, N.C. Several letters from January 1911 discuss attempts to help a Chinese banker from Wilmington, who visited China and was refused entry upon his return to the United States. Also of interest are correspondence with bank president Preston S. Cooper, his wife Lela, and others concerning Cooper's bout with tuberculosis, his health, personal finances, and the business of running the bank.

Folder 18

1908-1909 #04622, Subseries: "3.1. Correspondence, 1908-1917." Folder 18

Folder 19

January-April 1910 #04622, Subseries: "3.1. Correspondence, 1908-1917." Folder 19

Folder 20

May-December 1910 #04622, Subseries: "3.1. Correspondence, 1908-1917." Folder 20

Folder 21

January-July 1911 #04622, Subseries: "3.1. Correspondence, 1908-1917." Folder 21

Folder 22

August-December 1911 #04622, Subseries: "3.1. Correspondence, 1908-1917." Folder 22

Folder 23

1912-1913 #04622, Subseries: "3.1. Correspondence, 1908-1917." Folder 23

Folder 24

February-April 1914 #04622, Subseries: "3.1. Correspondence, 1908-1917." Folder 24

Folder 25

May-September 1914 #04622, Subseries: "3.1. Correspondence, 1908-1917." Folder 25

Folder 26

1915-May 1916 #04622, Subseries: "3.1. Correspondence, 1908-1917." Folder 26

Folder 27

June 1916-January 1917 #04622, Subseries: "3.1. Correspondence, 1908-1917." Folder 27

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.2. Other Papers, 1905-1915.

About 50 items.

Receipts, papers concerning the purchase of a church organ, post cards, and other items.

Folder 28

Receipts, 1905-1915 #04622, Subseries: "3.2. Other Papers, 1905-1915." Folder 28

Folder 29

Other items #04622, Subseries: "3.2. Other Papers, 1905-1915." Folder 29

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Other Family Papers, 1845-1914.

About 40 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Chiefly letters to and from other members of the Spears, Gray, Hicks, Lewis, and Warren families relating to family affairs.

Folder 30

1845-1879 #04622, Series: "4. Other Family Papers, 1845-1914. " Folder 30

Folder 31

1880-1914 #04622, Series: "4. Other Family Papers, 1845-1914. " Folder 31

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Research Materials of Karl Andrews, 1970s.

About 50 items.

Arrangement: by document type.

Items include photos of Prospect Hill taken in the 1970s; correspondence with various academic publishers; information about Prospect Hill and Fincastle; and notes and other papers generated by Andrews as he compiled materials in the collection, including some typed transcriptions of letters the originals of which are not in the collection. Also included are microfiche copies of 17 newspaper pages; some, especially those with obituaries, also have paper copies.

Folder 32

Correspondence and Working Papers #04622, Series: "5. Research Materials of Karl Andrews, 1970s." Folder 32

Folder 33

Family History Materials #04622, Series: "5. Research Materials of Karl Andrews, 1970s." Folder 33

Folder 34

Newspaper pages #04622, Series: "5. Research Materials of Karl Andrews, 1970s." Folder 34

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Processing Information

Processed by: Elizabeth C. Schmidt, April 1993

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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