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Collection Number: 05253

Collection Title: Sallie Blackwell Sharp Taylor and Lawrence Arthur Taylor Papers, 1932-1999 (bulk 1932-1934)

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Size 2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 725 items)
Abstract Sallie Blackwell Sharp Taylor of Reidsville, N.C., was born on 21 December 1911, to James Merritt Sharp and Annie Britt Blackwell Sharp. She was one of seven children. Her sister Susie Marshall Sharp was elected chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1974, becoming the first woman elected chief justice of a state supreme court in the United States. Sallie attended North Carolina College for Women (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro), and upon graduating worked as a violin instructor at the North Carolina State School for the Blind and Deaf in Raleigh, N.C., where she lived and worked until her marriage in 1935. Lawrence Arthur Taylor (Arthur) was born on 17 February 1905. Upon graduation from the State College (now North Carolina State University) in Raleigh, N.C., Arthur worked at the Montgomery Ward store in Reidsville, N.C., where he met Sallie. In 1933, Sally and Arthur were separated by his work transfers. They married on 21 June 1935. The collection consists largely of correspondence between Sallie Blackwell Sharp Taylor in North Carolina and Lawrence Arthur Taylor working for Montgomery Ward in Hammond, Ind., and Holland, Mich., during their courtship, 1932-1935. Letters describe their daily activities and work, relationships with family (including Susie Sharp), and friends, plans for their upcoming wedding, and their expectations about married life including a discussion of birth control. Letters, November 1932-May 1934, describe the daily life of a college student at the North Carolina College for Women in Greensboro, N.C., and letters, May 1934-May 1935, describe life and work as instructor of violin at the North Carolina State School for the Blind and Deaf in Raleigh, N.C. Other correspondents include Sallie's father, James Merritt Sharp; mother, Annie Britt Blackwell Sharp; and other family and friends. There are also a few letters, 1935-1999; clippings; programs from musical events Sallie attended; a partially completed bride book; and an award booklet commemorating Arthur's 25 years with Montgomery Ward.
Creator Taylor, Sallie Blackwell Sharp, 1911-



Taylor, Lawrence Arthur, 1905-
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
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 Sallie Blackwell Sharp Taylor and Lawrence Arthur Taylor Papers #5253, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Lawrence Arthur Taylor Jr. in January 2006 (Acc. 100309).
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

Sallie Blackwell Sharp Taylor was born Sallie Blackwell Sharp on 21 December 1911 to James Merritt Sharp and Annie Britt Blackwell Sharp. She was one of seven children who survived to adulthood, including Susie Marshall, Annie Hill, Thomas Adolphus ("Tommy"), Louise Wortham, Florence Abigail, and James Vance ("Kits"). She was lived in Reidsville, N.C., until she left to attend the North Carolina College for Women (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). Sallie was an avid violinist, and a large part of her studies at the Women's College involved her musical training. Upon graduating from college in May 1933, Sallie took a position as instructor of violin at the North Carolina State School for the Blind and Deaf in Raleigh, N.C., where she lived and worked for one year.

Sallie's sister, Susie Marshall Sharp, of Reidsville, N.C., was elected chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1974, becoming the first woman elected chief justice of a state supreme court in the United States.

Lawrence Arthur Taylor, generally known as "Arthur", was born 17 February 1905. Taylor graduated from North Carolina State College (now North Carolina State University) in Raleigh, N.C. in the 1920s and worked for several years at the Montgomery Ward store in Reidsville, N.C., where he met Sallie Blackwell Sharp. He was later transferred to Hammond, Ind., and then to Holland, Mich., where he was the manager of the Montgomery Ward store.

Sallie Blackwell Sharp Taylor and Lawrence Arthur Taylor began dating in November of 1932. On 21 June 1935 they were married at the Sharp home in Reidsville, N.C.

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The collection consists largely of correspondence between Sallie Blackwell Sharp Taylor of Reidsville, N.C., and Lawrence Arthur Taylor working for Montgomery Ward in Hammond, Ind., and Holland, Mich., during their courtship, 1932-1935. Letters describe their daily activities and work, relationships with family (including Susie Sharp) and friends, plans for their upcoming wedding, and their expectations about married life including a discussion of birth control. Letters, November 1932-May 1934, describe the daily life of a college student at the North Carolina College for Women in Greensboro, N.C., and letters, May 1934-May 1935, describe life and work as instructor of violin at the North Carolina State School for the Blind and Deaf in Raleigh, N.C. Other correspondents include Sallie's father, James Merritt Sharp; mother, Annie Britt Blackwell Sharp; and other family and friends. There are also a few letters, 1935-1999; clippings; programs from musical events Sallie attended; a partially completed bride book; and an award booklet commemorating Arthur's 25 years with Montgomery Ward.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1932-1999.

About 725 items.

Arrangement: by type of material, then chronological.

Predominantly correspondence, the bulk of which is between Sallie Blackwell Sharp and Lawrence Arthur Taylor during their courtship, November 1932-June 1935. Letters from Sallie describe her daily life, her work with the violin, and her relationships with her family and friends. Letters, November 1932-May 1934, describe the daily life of a college student at the North Carolina College for Women in Greensboro, N.C., and letters, May 1934-May 1935, describe life and work as instructor of violin at the North Carolina State School for the Blind and Deaf in Raleigh, N.C. Letters from Arthur describe his daily life and work at Montgomery Ward. 1934 letters describe plans the couple was making towards their eventual wedding in June 1935 and their expectations about married life.

As Sallie was in North Carolina and Arthur was in Indiana and Michigan for most of their courtship, letter writing was their primary means of communication and the collection comprehensively documents a courtship in the 1930s. The letters are notable for their frank discussions about birth control and the difficulties the couple experienced in trying to find information about it.

Other correspondents include family and friends and are mostly addressed to Sallie. One notable letter, 4 April 1933, is from Sallie's father, James Merritt Sharp, to Arthur Taylor, describing his and his wife's opposition to Arthur's proposal that he and Sallie marry in the summer of 1934, wishing for her to have more "experience" before tying herself to "any one man for life."

Folder 17 includes sparse correspondence from the years 1935, after Sallie and Arthur were married, to 1939, when their first son, Lawrence Arthur Taylor Jr., was born. One letter, August 1999, is from Sallie's brother, James Vance ("Kits"), to Lawrence Arthur Taylor Jr.

There are also clippings and programs of musical events that Sallie attended. Folder 18 contains a bride's book, which is for the most part incomplete but which does contain a list of wedding attendants and a marriage certificate. Folder 19 contains an award packet from Montgomery Ward commemorating Lawrence Arthur Taylor's 25 years with the company.

Folder 1-17

Folder 1

Folder 2

Folder 3

Folder 4

Folder 5

Folder 6

Folder 7

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

Folder 11

Folder 12

Folder 13

Folder 14

Folder 15

Folder 16

Folder 17

Correspondence: #05253, Series: "Papers, 1932-1999." Folder 1-17

1: November 1932-March 1933 #05253, Folder 1
2: April 1933 #05253, Folder 2
3: May 1933 #05253, Folder 3
4: June 1933 #05253, Folder 4
5: July 1933 #05253, Folder 5
6: August 1933 #05253, Folder 6
7: September 1933 #05253, Folder 7
8: October 1933 #05253, Folder 8
9: November 1933 #05253, Folder 9
10: December 1933 #05253, Folder 10
11: January 1934 #05253, Folder 11
12: February 1934 #05253, Folder 12
13: March 1934 #05253, Folder 13
14: April 1934 #05253, Folder 14
15: May 1934 #05253, Folder 15
16: June 1934 #05253, Folder 16
17: July 1934-August 1999 #05253, Folder 17
Folder 18

Bride's Book #05253, Series: "Papers, 1932-1999." Folder 18

Folder 19

Lawrence Arthur Taylor's Montgomery Ward Award Booklet #05253, Series: "Papers, 1932-1999." Folder 19

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Processing Information

Processed by: Margaret Dickson, May 2006

Encoded by: Margaret Dickson, May 2006

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