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Collection Number: 01296

Collection Title: Robert Strange Papers, 1837-1865

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 processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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Size 22 items (1 reel of microfilm)
Abstract Lawyer of Wilmington, N.C. Letters to Robert Strange, chiefly from his father, Robert Strange (1796-1854), lawyer, judge, legislator, and U.S. senator from Fayetteville, N.C. Early letters from his father concern the younger Strange's studies at the University of North Carolina. Later letters discuss politics, including national Democratic politics in 1852. One letter contains advice concerning a legal case about an African American woman's freedom. Another describes night life in New Orleans, La., including a masquerade ball. A letter, 1865, from J. W. Strange discusses the evacuation of Wilmington, N.C.; the defense of Fayetteville, N.C.; the advance of General Sherman; and the whereabouts of slaves after the evacuation of Wilmington.
Creator Strange, Robert, 1823-1877.
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 Robert Strange Papers #1296, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Lent for filming by Robert Wright Strange of Washington, D.C., in May 1947.
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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Robert Strange (1796-1854), native of Virginia, practiced law in Fayetteville, N.C.; was a member of the North Carolina state legislature, judge of the North Carolina Supreme Court, U.S. Senator, 1836-1840; and was also engaged in literary pursuits. His son, Robert Strange (1823-1877) was a student at the University of North Carolina 1837-1841, a soldier, a member of both the North Carolina General Assembly, 1852, and the Convention of 1861, and was a major in the U.S. Army during the Mexican War and a major in the Confederate Army. He practiced law in Wilmington, N.C., and married Caroline Wright.

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There are twenty-two letters, 1837-1865, including eight letters, 1837-1840, to Robert Strange while a student at Chapel Hill from his father in Fayetteville and Washington, D.C. These letters reflect Strange's anxiety over his son's behavior; give advice both inspirational and practical such as keeping informed about national and practical affairs; and relate news from home at Myrtle Hill about their family.

There are twelve letters, 1849-1852, to Robert Strange from both his father, his brother, J. W. Strange, and his friend, W. C. Willkings. Six letters from his father discuss news from North Carolina judicial circles and affairs, family news and deaths, comments on legislature, legal cases including one about an African American woman's freedom, his own political aspirations, and his hopes for national nominations from North Carolina. Five letters from his brother, J. W. Strange, detail family, neighborhood, and business news and their father's activities, like his being trapped by a Yankee publishing trick in February 1852. He also makes comment on the political scene and on Bishop Ives's going to Rome in December 1852. The one letter, December 1851, from W. C. Willkings describes life in Louisiana and social life, especially a masquerade ball, in New Orleans.

There are two remaining letters: one, February 1863, from George Davis at the senate in Richmond to Robert Strange in Wilmington on the president's hostility to congressmen trying to further individual military appointments and promotions; and the second, March 1865, from J. W. Strange to Robert in Fayetteville commenting on the military situation, the evacuation of Wilmington, N.C. and the whereabouts of slaves after the evacuation, the defense of Fayetteville, N.C., prospects of holding remaining parts of the state, the advance of Sherman, criticism of tactics, and the defeatism of the people.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne Ruffing, August 1996

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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