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Collection Number: 02502

Collection Title: George Coffin Taylor Papers, 1808-circa 1950

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.


Funding from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., supported the encoding of this finding aid and microfilming of this collection.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 100 items)
Abstract George Coffin Taylor was born in Charleston, S.C., in 1877. He was a gentleman farmer, lawyer, and Shakespeare scholar. He served for 27 years on the faculty of the English Department at the University of North Carolina until retiring in 1949 to Columbia, S.C. Coffin died in 1961. The collection consists of scattered items, chiefly 1808-1867, unrelated or in small groups, documenting horse racing and horse breeding, slavery, the Civil War, and family and social life. Most items relate to South Carolina, though some concern North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, and Massachusetts. Many of the horse racing and horse breeding papers, especially 1808-1834, are photostats. Slave records include a letter, 1823, concerning a mortgage on a slave child from the George Taylor estate; a letter, 1847, regarding slave sales in Montgomery, Ala.; and a letter, 1864, expressing interest in hiring out slaves to work on a railroad. Civil War materials include letters, 1861, from John H. Slaughter with Confederate Army forces in Bath County, Va., and Pocahontas County, W. Va., describing camp life, marches, and soldiers' health. In addition there are miscellaneous letters, 1861-1865, that describe similar conditions, as well as military activities; soldiers' morale; Confederate bonds and debts; cotton; medical care for soldiers; and other matters. Postwar materials include a July 1865 plea from an ex-slave in Liberty, Va., to be brought home and a report, 1866, of the murder of a black man allegedly by two white men. Family and social life materials are found throughout the collection and include miscellaneous family letters describing finances, health, vacations, sightseeing, school life, and estate settlement. There are several letters, 1839-1840, from Anna Motte Lindsay of Huntsville, Ala., a widow, to her brother, Jacob Rhett Motte, a United States Army surgeon, some about the status of a slave she brought with her to Boston. All of the materials were collected by George Coffin Taylor, except for a letter, 1943, from James A. Hoyt Jr. to Taylor, enclosing photostats of correspondence, 1879-1880, concerning the presidential election of 1876, and Taylor's typescript manuscript, circa 1950, of the posthumously published "So This Is Education."
Creator Taylor, George Coffin, 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 George Coffin Taylor Papers #2502, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy available.
  • Reel 1: Entire collection
Acquisitions Information
Received from George Coffin Taylor of Chapel Hill, N.C., 1942-1947.
Additional Descriptive Resources
Original finding aid is filed in folder 1.
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

George Coffin Taylor was born in Charleston, S.C., in 1877. He was a gentleman farmer, lawyer, and Shakespeare scholar. He served for twenty-seven years on the faculty of the English Department at the University of North Carolina until retiring in 1949 to Columbia, S.C. Coffin died in 1961.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection consists of scattered items, chiefly 1808-1867, unrelated or in small groups, documenting horse racing and horse breeding, slavery, the Civil War, and family and social life. Most items relate to South Carolina, though some concern North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, and Massachusetts. Many of the horse racing and horse breeding papers, especially 1808-1834, are photostats. Slave records include a letter, 1823, concerning a mortgage on a slave child from the George Taylor estate; a letter, 1847, regarding slave sales in Montgomery, Ala.; and a letter, 1864, expressing interest in hiring out slaves to work on a railroad. Civil War materials include letters, 1861, from John H. Slaughter with Confederate Army forces in Bath County, Va., and Pocahontas County, W. Va., describing camp life, marches, and soldiers' health. In addition there are miscellaneous letters, 1861-1865, that describe similar conditions, as well as military activities; soldier's morale; Confederate bonds and debts; cotton; medical care for soldiers; a Fort Delaware prisoner's conversion to Christianity and intent to join the Campbellites; a Guilford, N.C., man's decision to serve his country by "preaching down sin"; military prison in Charleston, S.C.; and the call for 16-year-old boys and men over 60 to military service. Postwar materials include a July 1865 plea from an ex-slave in Liberty, Va., to be brought home and a report, 1866, of the murder of a black man allegedly by two white men. Family and social life materials are found throughout the collection and include miscellaneous family letters describing finances, health, vacations, sightseeing, school life, and estate settlement. There are several letters, 1839-1840, from Anna Motte Lindsay "A. L.," a widow, to her brother, Jacob Rhett Motte, a United States Army surgeon. Lindsay, of Huntsville, Ala., wrote from Boston, Mass., where she was staying with another brother. Among many problems, Lindsay reported trouble concerning the status of a slave she brought with her to Boston.

All of the materials were collected by George Coffin Taylor, except for a letter, 1943, from James A. Hoyt Jr. to Taylor, enclosing photostats of correspondence, 1879-1880, concerning the proposed withdrawal of the Samuel Jones Tilden electoral ticket in the presidential election of 1876, and Taylor's typescript manuscript, circa 1950, of the posthumously published "So This Is Education."

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1808-circa 1950.

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff, March 1951

Encoded by: Nancy Kaiser, August 2005

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, October 2009

Funding from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., supported the encoding of this finding aid and microfilming of this collection.

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