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Collection Number: 04372

Collection Title: Sue Campbell Watts Collection of Ballads from Alexander County, N.C., and Related Correspondence, 1849-1968.

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

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 section for more information.


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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 140 items)
Abstract About sixty-five ballad transcriptions, 1849-1904, by members of the William B. Jones family, Alexander County, N.C.; correspondence, 1966- 1968, about these ballads and related matters between Sue Campbell Watts and Daniel W. Patterson; and a few related items.
Creator Watts, Sue Campbell, 1897-1968.
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
RESTRICTED: Original reel-to-reel audio tape in Series 2.4 not open to research; researchers must use listening copy.
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 Sue Campbell Watts Collection of Ballads from Alexander County, N.C., and Related Correspondence #4372, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Original transcriptions received from Philip Watts, Raleigh, N.C., December 1983; photocopies and correspondence transferred from the ARTHUR PALMER HUDSON PAPERS (#4026), April 1984.
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

In the mid-19th century, members of the William B. Jones family of Alexander County, N.C., began exchanging "song ballets" or copies of the words of songs they knew. They continued this tradition into the early 20th century. One of the most prolific of the original transcribers of ballads was Ruth Emaline Jones Barnes (1834-1924), daughter of William B. Jones.

Many of the Jones family's transcriptions of popular ballads were collected by Ruth E. Jones Barnes's granddaughter, Sue Campbell Watts (1897-1968). Watts's interest in ballads was stimulated by a class she took at Salem College in 1914 in which E. L. Starr asked his students to find old ballads. Watts contributed a transcription of "Jimmy and Nancy" from her grandmother's collection, a ballad previously uncollected in America by folklorists. Articles concerning this discovery are available in the control file.

During the last two years of her life, Watts corresponded with Daniel W. Patterson, professor of folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

About sixty-five ballad transcriptions, 1849-1904, by members of the William B. Jones family, Alexander County, N.C.; correspondence, 1966- 1968, about these ballads and related matters between Sue Campbell Watts and Daniel W. Patterson; and a few related items.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1966-1968.

23 items.

Letters from Sue Campbell Watts to Daniel Patterson, with a few other items. Principal subjects include particular ballads (many of which are included in Series 2), a dulcimer belonging to Ruth E. Jones Barnes, and songs from the services of St. John's Baptist Church, Taylorsville, N.C. Photographs (9) and sketches (2) of the dulcimer and photographs (5) of St. John's Church were enclosed in some of these letters (see photographs).

In her letters to Daniel Patterson, Sue Campbell Watts enclosed transcriptions of several ballads that do not appear elsewhere in these papers. The following is a list of the letters with which these ballads are enclosed, the title or first line of each ballad, and its length in terms of stanzas:

10 November 1966 Granny Knick-y-Nack 4 stanzas

Jim 2 stanzas plus chorus

Pat in a Barber shop 2 stanzas

French Broad 3 stanzas

Deliverance Will Come 2 1/2 stanzas plus chorus (incomplete)

25 January 1967Seven hymns from Hymn Book of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. 1897. Also, two "spontaneous songs:" What a Happy Time 3 stanzas plus chorus

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms 3 stanzas plus chorus

21 April 1967 I'd Rather Marry a Young Man 2 stanzas plus chorus

Frankie Silvers 7 of 15 stanzas

I Left My Father...(Civil War ballad) 14 stanzas

3 May 1967 Chicken Soup A So Good (chant) 11 lines

12 July 1967 The Cat Came Back 5 stanzas plus chorus

Coal Black Lady 2 stanzas plus chorus

Folder P-4372/1

R. E. Jones Barnes's dulcimer, September 1966. Enclosure from letter of 4 October 1966. #04372, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1966-1968." Folder P-4372/1

Folder P-4372/2

R. E. Jones Barnes's dulcimer, October 1966. Enclosure from letter of 10 November 1966. Info. on verso: "Made by Sue C. Watts (Mrs. A. E.). This shows shape of each end." #04372, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1966-1968." Folder P-4372/2

Folder P-4372/3-5

P-4372/3

P-4372/4

P-4372/5

R. E. Jones Barnes's dulcimer, October 1966. Enclosures from letter of 10 November 1966. #04372, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1966-1968." Folder P-4372/3-5

Folder P-4372/6

Dewey D. Moose and his dulcimer, October 1966. Enclosure from letter of 10 November 1966. #04372, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1966-1968." Folder P-4372/6

Folder P-4372/7-9

P-4372/7

P-4372/8

P-4372/9

R. E. Jones Barnes's dulcimer, October 1966. Enclosures from letter of 10 November 1966. #04372, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1966-1968." Folder P-4372/7-9

Folder P-4372/10

St. John's Baptist Church, Taylorsville, NC., December 1966. Enclosure from letter of 25 January 1967. Info. on verso: "St. Johns Baptist Church 1965." #04372, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1966-1968." Folder P-4372/10

Folder P-4372/11

St. John's Baptist Church, Taylorsville, NC, December 1966. Enclosure from letter of 25 January 1967. Info. on verso: "St. Johns Baptist Church 1926." #04372, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1966-1968." Folder P-4372/11

Folder P-4372/12

Rev. James Calvin Rowe of St. Johns Baptist Church, December 1966. #04372, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1966-1968." Folder P-4372/12

Folder P-4372/13

Rev. James Calvin Rowe preaching, December 1966. Enclosure from letter of 25 January 1967. #04372, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1966-1968." Folder P-4372/13

Folder P-4372/14

Choir of St. John's Baptist Church, December 1966. Enclosure from letter of 25 January 1967. #04372, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1966-1968." Folder P-4372/14

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Ballads, 1849-1904.

circa 80 items.

Transcriptions, circa 1849-1904, of ballads, and sheet music, transcribed in 1966.

The transcriptions are arranged in two subseries: original transcriptions, partially dated from 1849-1898; and photocopies of transcriptions, partially dated from 1884-1904. When known, references are given to Laws or Child numbers, preference being given to the former. [Sources for these numbers are: G. Malcolm Laws, Native American Balladry, rev. ed. (Philadelphia, 1964; ballads A through I); G. Malcolm Laws, American Balladry From British Broadsides (Philadelphia, 1957; ballads J through Q); Francis James Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1884-1898), 5 vols.)]

The following information is given for each original transcription (Subseries 2.1): title or first line, first few lines of the ballad, number of stanzas, Laws or Child number, and any signatures or dates. Photocopies of articles about the ballad or of variant copies of the ballad are in some cases included with the original transcription.

For the photocopies of transcriptions (Subseries 2.2), the following information is noted: title or first line, number of stanzas, Laws number. Some of these are also signed, primarily by children of Ruth E. Jones Barnes and Thomas Barnes: Martha, Laura (1861-1949), Elizabeth Emeline (1865-1938), Julia, or Thomas. Most of the photocopies are from originals which in 1968 were in the possession of Ella Deal and Mrs. Newtie Deal Johnston, daughters of Laura Barnes Deal.

A list of the titles or first lines of ballads for which there is sheet music is given for Subseries 2.3. This music was transcribed by Daniel Patterson from the singing of Sue Campbell Watts in August 1966.

Subseries 2.4 contains a recording of ballads by Swift W. Gwaltney.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. Original Transcriptions.

49 items.
Folder 2

Amid the Hours that Rapid Fly "Amid the hours that rapid fly Amid the flowers that soon must die" 2 stanzas (perhaps unconnected?) #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 2

Folder 3

Barbara Allen "In Scarlett town where I was born There was a fair maid dwelling" 10 stanzas (incomplete?) Child 84B #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 3

Folder 4

Charming Beauty Bright "When I was a young man I courted a beauty brite On whom I had placed my whole hearts delight" 10 stanzas Laws M3 Signed, "Ruth E. Jones," dated 18 November 1852. #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 4

Folder 5

Dieing Minor (The Landslide) "Companions draw nigh they say I must die Early the summons has come from on high" 3 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 5

Folder 6

The False Lover "I loved thee in my days of joy When thow was but a slender boy" 11 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 6

Folder 7

The Farmers Boy "The sun had set behind the hills When are you dreary mourned All merry and cold a lad there came Up to the farmers door" 5 stanzas Laws Q30 Signed, "William R. Jones" #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 7

Folder 8

Father Dear Father "O father dear father come kiss me once more And stand by my bed just tonight Your Nettie will walk through the valley of death" 5 stanzas plus chorus Signed, "Florence Barnes," dated 27 March 1890 #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 8

Folder 9

Frankie and Albert "Little Frankie was a good girl As anybody knows" Laws 13 Signed, "Edd C. Campbell" #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 9

Folder 10

I Think I'll Get Married "I think I'll git mare I am giting old Too long alone I've lived in the bleak world and cold" 4 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 10

Folder 11

Jack Monroe "Poor Jack has gone a sailing with trouble in his mind A leaving of this country his darling girl behind" 8 stanzas Laws N7 #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 11

Folder 12

Jimmy and Nancy (Nancy of Yarmouth) "Lovers I pray lend an ear to my story And take example by this constant pain" 28 stanzas Laws M38 Signed, "William B. Jones," and dated 9 August 1855 in red ink; dated 1853 in same ink as text. #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 12

Folder 13

Johnny Doyle "Last Saturday evening way late in the night As me and my love was about to take flight" 8 stanzas Laws M2 Signed, "Ruth E. Jones" #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 13

Folder 14

Lilly Dear "Oh Lily dear it grieves me The tale I have to tell Old master sends me roaming So Lily fare yu well" 4 stanzas plus chorus (See also a copy of this in the stitched packet, folder 30) #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 14

Folder 15

Lord Thomas and Fair Elenor "Dear mamma dear mamma come riddle us both Come riddle us both as one For me to marry fair Elenor Or to bring the brown girl home" 56 lines Child 73D #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 15

Folder 16

Me Thinks the Time.. "Me thinks the time is drawing nigh When you and I must part" 8 stanzas (See also a copy of this in the stitched packet, folder 30) #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 16

Folder 17

Miss Polly "Miss Polly being the squires daughter Most wonderful and beautiful and (fair?)" (Polly is re-united with her disguised lover, William Taylor, after a long absence) 6 stanzas Similar to Laws N29-N33, N36 Signed, "F. M. Parkes to Emily Jones," dated 16 December 1853 #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 17

Folder 18

The Murder of Laura Foster (Tom Dula, Dooley, or Duly) "I met her on the hill side And there you might suppose" 7 stanzas plus chorus Laws F76 Signed, "Florence Barnes Camp(b)ell," dated May 1897 #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 18

Folder 19

My Brethern.. "My Brethern I have found a land that doth abound In fruits as sweet as (manna?)" 7 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 19

Folder 20

Perry's Victory (2 copies) I: "Ye tars of Columbia give ear to my story Who fought with brave Pery where cannon did roar" 11 stanzas Signed, "R. Emma Jones," dated 1 November 1857 #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 20

II: "The tenth of September Let us all remember" 18 lines (incomplete?) #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 20

Folder 21

I: Poor Drunkards "Poor drunkards poor drunkards take warning by me The frutes of transgression behold I now see" 7 stanzas Dated (on verso) 25 July 1856 #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 21

II: Christ in the Garden "While nature was sinking in stillness to rest The last beam of daylight shown dim in the west" 8 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 21

Folder 22

Pretty Fair Maid "Pretty fair maid out in garden, A (gay) young soldier was passing by" 7 stanzas Laws N42 Signed, "F. Sue Campbell" #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 22

Folder 23

I: Rebel Soldier "One morning one morning one morning in may I heard a por fellow lamenting and say" Fragment, signed Mrs. R. E. Barnes, dated 20 April 1867. (A photocopy of a complete transcription, signed, "Laura C. Deal," and dated 7 October 1884, is included) #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 23

II: Maggie Dear (on verso of "Rebel Soldier" fragment) "..When sorrows breakers around my heart shall hide Still may I find maggie a setting by my side" Fragment of the 2nd and 3rd stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 23

Folder 24

Rich Lady (Pretty Sally, The Fair Damsel from London) "There was a rich Lady from London she came Whose name it was Sally oh Sally by name" 2 copies, one incomplete, the other with 8 stanzas. Laws P9 (The complete copy has fragments of "Granny Knick-y-Nack" on the verso. See songs with correspondence, folder 1) #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 24

Folder 25

An S A.. "An s a now I mean 2 write 2 u sweet K T J" girl without a ll [This is the symbol for "parallel" (ll)] "The belle of U T K" 44 lines Signed, "R.E.J." (Ruth E. Jones) #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 25

Folder 26

Sign of the Sons of Temperance "Oh sweet the strains are swelling Where the sons of temperance meet" 4 stanzas Signed, "Ruth E. Jones," dated 7 August 1850. #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 26

Folder 27

The Sonnet "Where for eternal worlds I steer And seas are calm and skies are clear" 3 stanzas Dated 20 February 1849 #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 27

Folder 28

Wagoner Lad "I am a poor girl And my fortunes been bad I've a long time been courted By a wagoner lad" 10 stanzas Signed, "E. E. Deal for Mrs. R. E. Barnes," dated 8 May 1898 #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 28

Folder 29

Who Is My Sweetheart "Who is my sweetheart I'm sure I can't tell I'm sure I can't tell" 6 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 29

Folder 30

Stitched Packet, containing 6 ballads I. "The twilight of the trees and rocks Is in the light shades of locks" 7 stanzas Signed, "R. E. J." (Ruth E. Jones), dated 1 April 1852 #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 30

II. Lily Dear (See also a copy in folder 14) #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 30

III. Old Folks Are Gone "Far far in many lands I've wandered sadly and lone My heart was ever turning southward To all the dear ones at home" 3 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 30

IV. "Me thinks the time is drawing nigh" Signed, "R. E. Jones" (See also a copy in Folder 16) #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 30

V. "Young men I pray to lend attention To these few lines I'm about to write Its of a youth I'me agoing to mention Who lately courted a buteous bride" 2 stanzas (incomplete) #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 30

VI. Locks and Bolts (I Dreamed of My True Love) "Last night as I lay on my bed All in my arms I had her" 4 stanzas Laws M13 #04372, Subseries: "2.1. Original Transcriptions." Folder 30

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Photocopies.

26 items.
Folder 31

All for the Sake of Molly-O 7 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 31

Back to the One I Love So Well 5 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 31

Bonnie Blue Eyes 6 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 31

The Character of a Wonderful Prophet 15 lines #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 31

The Ballad of Charles Guiteau 3 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 31

Death Tis a Melancholy Call 9 stanzas Laws H5? #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 31

Folder 32

The Drunkards 5 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 32

Ellars Grave 7 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 32

Hard Working Miner 4 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 32

I Have a Little Rosewood Casket 7 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 32

I Once Love a Young Man 11 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 32

Folder 33

Jesse James Had a Wife 4 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 33

Johney 5 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 33

Lines on the Death of Little Clara Steck 9 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 33

Mr. Bar Keeper 8 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 33

Moon Light Alone 5 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 33

Folder 34

My Barke of Life 3 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 34

On the Banks of Ohio 4 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 34

The Orphan Girl 8 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 34

The Rambling Boy 9 stanzas Laws L12 #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 34

Sinful to Flirt 7 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 34

The Stormes Rise Over the Ocean 4 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 34

Folder 35

Sweet Ellerree 6 stanzas plus chorus #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 35

Two Little Boys 10 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 35

Two Little Children 4 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 35

Wayfaring Stranger 10 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 35

Widow in the Cottage by the sea 3 stanzas #04372, Subseries: "2.2. Photocopies." Folder 35

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.3. Sheet Music.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.4. Audio Tape.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Sandra Nyberg, May 1984

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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