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Collection Number: 01625

Collection Title: Henry Horace Williams Papers, 1835-1948

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 5.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2000 items)
Abstract Henry Horace Williams (1858-1940) was professor of philosophy and theology at the University of North Carolina from 1890 to 1940. Papers of Henry Horace Williams include personal and professional correspondence; drafts of writings by Williams; and papers of the Williams estate. There are several notebooks kept by Williams during his student days at Yale and Harvard universities. Most of the correspondence is between Williams and former students, including novelist Thomas Wolfe, playwright Paul Green, United States Circuit Judge John J. Parker, United States Senator Josiah William Bailey, and historian and educator Albert Coates. The papers of the Williams estate include correspondence of Francis Bradshaw, executor of the estate. Also included in the collection are some papers of Williams's wife, Bertha Colton Williams.
Creator Williams, Henry Horace, 1858-1940.
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 Henry Horace Williams Papers #1625, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Use copy of audio recording available on compact disc (CD-1625/1).
Acquisitions Information
Received as transfers from various offices on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and from the Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill, N.C., 1949-1979.
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

Henry Horace Williams (1858-1940) was born in Gates County, N.C., and educated in the public schools of that area. He attended college at the University of North Carolina, graduating in 1883, when he was awarded the first earned advanced degree (a Master of Arts) in the college's history. Williams did graduate work at Yale Divinity School and at Harvard.

Williams was Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina from 1890 until 1940. He was Kenan professor, 1921-1935, and professor emeritus, 1936-1940. He chaired the Philosophy Department from 1890 until 1935. Williams was popular in the classroom and on campus, due to his Socratic manner of presentation and the scope of his materials, beyond Kant to Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel then being translated. These and his stands on issues were sometimes controversial.

Williams was the author of four books: Evolution of Logic (1925), Modern Logic (1927), The Education of Horace Williams (1936), and "Toward a Philosophy of Life," published posthumously under the title, Origin of Belief (William Beidler, editor, 1978).

In 1891, Williams married Bertha Colton of Middletown, Conn. She died in 1922. In 1927, Williams adopted Miriam Young Bonner.

See also: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Papers of Henry Horace Williams and the Williams estate include correspondence, legal and financial materials, notebooks, and typescripts. Much of the correspondence in the collection is between Williams and his former students, including a long letter from novelist Thomas Wolfe, a few letters from playwright Paul Green, and letters from United States Circuit Court Judge John J. Parker, United States Senator Josiah William Bailey, and historian and educator Albert Coates. There are several notebooks from Williams's days as a graduate student at Yale Divinity School and Harvard University. Typed copies of many speeches and essays remain, as well as a large part of the manuscript of Williams's book, Modern Logic. The records of the Williams estate include a large number of land deeds and mortgages, bills from Williams's creditors, and correspondence of Francis Bradshaw, executor of the estate.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1888-1948.

About 900 items.

Arrangement: chronological. Undated items are alphabetical by author.

Correspondence to and from Horace Williams, beginning with his days as a student at Yale and Harvard Universities and continuing through his long tenure as a professor at the University of North Carolina. There are some items from after Williams's death, dealing primarily with Robert W. Winston's biography of Williams and the activities of the Horace Williams Society.

Much of the correspondence in this series consists of letters to Williams from his former students. These include a long letter from Thomas Wolfe in 1921, several letters from Paul Green, and frequent letters from United States Circuit Judge John J. Parker and United States Senator Josiah William Bailey. Almost all of the letters in this series written by Horace Williams are addressed to either Ralph Harper or Sidney Robins--both former students with whom he corresponded frequently. There is occasional correspondence with university administrators, including letters from Presidents Harry Woodburn Chase and Frank Porter Graham.

Included in the earlier correspondence are several letters from Bertha Colton, Williams's wife, written to him before they were married.

Some time periods are better represented than others--there are clusters of letters around certain events, including many letters of congratulation following Williams's initial acceptance of a teaching position at University of North Carolina in 1890 and then his appointment to a Kenan Professorship in 1920. There are many letters discussing and/or requesting Williams's book, The Education of Horace Williams, published in 1936.

Folder 1

1888-1899 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 1

Folder 2

1900-1906 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 2

Folder 3

1907-1909 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 3

Folder 4

1910-1911 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 4

Folder 5

1912-1914 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 5

Folder 6

1915 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 6

Folder 7

1916-1917 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 7

Folder 8

1918-1919 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 8

Folder 9

1920 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 9

Folder 10

1921 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 10

SEP-1625/1

Letter, Thomas Wolfe to Horace Williams, circa September 1921 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." SEP-1625/1

Restriction to Access: The original item is not available for immediate or same day access. Please contact staff at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu to discuss options.

Folder 11

1922 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 11

Folder 12

1923 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 12

Folder 13

1924 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 13

Folder 14

1925 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 14

Folder 15

1926-1927 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 15

Folder 16

1928-1929 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 16

Folder 17

1930-1931 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 17

Folder 18

1932 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 18

Folder 19-20

Folder 19

Folder 20

1933 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 19-20

Folder 21

1934-1935 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 21

Folder 22-23

Folder 22

Folder 23

1936-1937 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 22-23

Folder 24

1938-1939 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 24

Folder 25-26

Folder 25

Folder 26

1940 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 25-26

Folder 27

1941-1948 #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 27

Folder 28-29

Folder 28

Folder 29

Undated #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 28-29

Folder 30

Cards #01625, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1888-1948." Folder 30

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Writings, 1887-1940.

About 120 items.

Notes, essays, speeches, and writings by Horace Williams. There are several hardbound notebooks containing notes from Williams's classes on philosophy and theology at Yale and Harvard. Most of the notes made by Williams are undated, often handwritten on a single sheet of paper. It is difficult to tell whether these were made in preparation for lectures or on other occasions. There is one folder of notes and lists of what presumably are exam questions. Most of the typed manuscript of Williams's book, Modern Logic, is found in this series. In addition to the notes and notebooks are ten typed essays or speeches written by Williams. Many of these are also undated and unlabeled.

Folder 31

"The Collapse of Science," 4 typed pages #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 31

"The Third Problem of Logic," 15 typed pages #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 31

"Thinking," 16 typed pages #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 31

"The Absolute," 10 typed pages #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 31

"Notes for Graduate Students," 7 typed pages #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 31

"Philosophy 10: 21 September 1928," 12 typed pages #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 31

"The Logic of Morality," 4 typed pages #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 31

"To the Senior Class, Chapel, 3 June 1927," 7 typed pages #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 31

Folder 32

"The 17 Types of Judgment," "A Study in Logic," 47 typed pages, 6 page outline #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 32

Folder 33

"Die Idee des Erkennens," 72 typed pages #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 33

Folder 34

"Der Mechanismus," 53 typed pages #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 34

Folder 35

Volume 1. Notes on Hebrews and other subjects #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 35

Folder 36

Volume 2. On New Testament Theology, under Russell #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 36

Folder 37

Volume 3. Common Place Book: definitions, quotations, comments. Pictures of statues are pasted on pages. #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 37

Folder 38

Volume 4. Elementary French language study notes #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 38

Folder 39

Volume 5. Notes on New Testament, Paul, etc. New Haven, 1887-88 #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 39

Folder 40-41

Folder 40

Folder 41

Volumes 6-7. "Hegel's Religious Philosophie," a reproduction by H. H. Williams, Harvard, 1889 #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 40-41

Folder 42

Volume 8. "A Thesis in Biblical Theology," H. H. Williams, 1888 #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 42

Folder 43

Volume 9. Lecture notes on Brahmanism, German philosophers, and other subjects #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 43

Folder 44

Volume 10. Philosophy lecture notes #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 44

Folder 45

Volume 11. Lecture notes on theology, philosophy #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 45

Folder 46

Volume 12. Lecture notes, Fishe on Christian Doctrine #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 46

Folder 47

Volume 13. Notes on Bible, textual criticism, Hexateuch #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 47

Folder 48

Volume 14. Notes on philosophy #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 48

Folder 49

Volume 15. Notes on Kant, philosophy, theology, ethics #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 49

Folder 50

Volume 16. Notes on the church and doctrinal theology #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 50

Folder 51

Volume 17. Notes on Kant, etc. #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 51

Folder 52

Volume 18. Dr. Day's lectures, 1886. Bible text and church matters #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 52

Folder 53

Volume 19. Notebook, Philosophy 3 #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 53

Folder 54

Volume 20. Notes on Bible, politics, economics, dogma, etc. #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 54

Folder 55

Volume 21. Journal containing names of persons ordering "The Evolution of Logic" #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 55

Folder 56

Typed pages 10-198 of Modern Logic #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 56

Folder 57

Notebook (unnumbered loose-leaf pages). Notes on persons and topics, arranged in alphabetical order #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 57

Folder 58

Class notes, exam questions #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 58

Folder 59

Unidentified manuscripts and fragments; notes and miscellany, unsorted #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 59

Folder 60

Miscellaneous writings #01625, Series: "2. Writings, 1887-1940." Folder 60

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Legal and Financial Materials, 1889-1938.

About 100 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Correspondence, receipts, and legal documents. All of the correspondence concerns Williams's legal or financial affairs. Many letters are from Williams's creditors requesting payments or from business partners detailing potential transactions. There are many letters from George Winston, president of North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now North Carolina State University), with whom Williams often conducted business. There are some details of livestock purchases and sales, but very little material regarding Williams's extensive land transactions.

Folder 61

1889-1910 #01625, Series: "3. Legal and Financial Materials, 1889-1938." Folder 61

Folder 62

1911-1920 #01625, Series: "3. Legal and Financial Materials, 1889-1938." Folder 62

Folder 63

1925-1938 #01625, Series: "3. Legal and Financial Materials, 1889-1938." Folder 63

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Estate of Horace Williams, 1835-1944.

About 500 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Upon Horace Williams's death in 1940, Francis Bradshaw was named executor of the Williams estate. This series contains the correspondence and legal and financial materials maintained by Bradshaw during the settlement of the estate, which was reached in 1944.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.1. Correspondence, 1893-1944.

About 200 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

The majority of the correspondence is between Francis Bradshaw and Horace Williams's friends, tenants, and creditors. There are some personal reminiscences in letters that were written immediately after Williams's death, but most of the correspondence is in regard to the settlement of the Williams estate. Many of the letters are attached to bills or copies of contracts made by Horace Williams. A few of the letters and documents concern plans by the estate to repair and restore the Horace Williams house. There are a few letters by and about Robert Winston who was in the process of gathering material for a biography of Horace Williams ( Horace Williams: Gadfly of Chapel Hill (University of North Carolina Press, 1942)). In addition to the Bradshaw correspondence, there are a few letters written to Horace Williams between 1893 and 1940 dealing almost entirely with financial and insurance concerns.

Folder 64

Horace Williams Correspondence, 1893-1940 #01625, Subseries: "4.1. Correspondence, 1893-1944." Folder 64

Folder 65

Estate Correspondence: 1940 #01625, Subseries: "4.1. Correspondence, 1893-1944." Folder 65

Folder 66-67

Folder 66

Folder 67

Estate Correspondence: 1941 #01625, Subseries: "4.1. Correspondence, 1893-1944." Folder 66-67

Folder 68

Estate Correspondence: 1942 #01625, Subseries: "4.1. Correspondence, 1893-1944." Folder 68

Folder 69

Estate Correspondence: 1943-1944 #01625, Subseries: "4.1. Correspondence, 1893-1944." Folder 69

Folder 70

Undated #01625, Subseries: "4.1. Correspondence, 1893-1944." Folder 70

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940.

About 400 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Legal documents, including the final account of the estate of Horace Williams, property inventories, the probate of Williams's will, deeds, and adoption papers for Miriam Young Bonner (adopted by Williams in 1927). The property inventories include lists of real estate, furniture, livestock, and books owned by Williams at the time of his death. Williams's extensive land dealings are well documented by a large number of deeds and mortgages ranging from 1835 to 1940, when he donated a large tract of land to the University of North Carolina. There are a few blueprints and hand-drawn maps of land Williams was considering buying. There are also blueprints for the Horace Williams house.

Folder 71

Final Account of the Estate of Horace Williams #01625, Subseries: "4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940." Folder 71

Folder 72

Probate of Will, 31 December 1940 #01625, Subseries: "4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940." Folder 72

Folder 73

Property inventories #01625, Subseries: "4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940." Folder 73

Folder 74

Inventory of books in the Williams estate #01625, Subseries: "4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940." Folder 74

Folder 75

Adoption papers for Miriam Young Bonner #01625, Subseries: "4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940." Folder 75

Folder 76

Deeds and Mortgages: 1835-1888 #01625, Subseries: "4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940." Folder 76

Folder 77

Deeds and Mortgages: 1890-1899 #01625, Subseries: "4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940." Folder 77

Folder 78

Deeds and Mortgages: 1900-1904 #01625, Subseries: "4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940." Folder 78

Folder 79

Deeds and Mortgages: 1905-1909 #01625, Subseries: "4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940." Folder 79

Folder 80

Deeds and Mortgages: 1910-1919 #01625, Subseries: "4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940." Folder 80

Folder 81

Deeds and Mortgages: 1922-1940 #01625, Subseries: "4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940." Folder 81

Folder 82

Blueprints and maps #01625, Subseries: "4.2. Legal and Financial Materials, 1835-1940." Folder 82

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Bertha Colton Williams Materials, 1861-1887.

14 items.

Items belonging to Bertha Colton of Middletown, Conn., before she was married to Horace Williams. There is some correspondence, primarily letters of recommendation commending Colton's talents as a teacher of drawing and painting. There are two items in the series written by Henry M. Colton, possibly Bertha Colton's father. The first is a single handwritten sheet entitled "Facts about my brother Horace's death," the second is an account book containing Henry and Lucy Colton's financial transactions from 1861 to 1876. Also included are Bertha Colton's autograph book and a sketch book filled with pencil sketches.

Folder 83

Correspondence #01625, Series: "5. Bertha Colton Williams Materials, 1861-1887." Folder 83

Folder 84

Letters of recommendation #01625, Series: "5. Bertha Colton Williams Materials, 1861-1887." Folder 84

Folder 85

Volume 22: 1861-1876. Account book containing account of Henry M. Colton with Middletown Bank and personal, household, school, and other accounts of Lucy T. Colton #01625, Series: "5. Bertha Colton Williams Materials, 1861-1887." Folder 85

Folder 86

Volume 23: 1872-1879. Autograph album, Bertha Colton #01625, Series: "5. Bertha Colton Williams Materials, 1861-1887." Folder 86

Folder 87

Volume 24: Undated. Pencil sketches by Bertha Colton #01625, Series: "5. Bertha Colton Williams Materials, 1861-1887." Folder 87

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 6. Clippings, 1918-1940.

About 100 items.

Newspaper clippings about Horace Williams. Primarily coverage of Williams's speeches and sermons, but some general articles about his teaching, farming, and former students are included. The earlier clippings appear to have come from a scrapbook kept by Williams.

Folder 88

1915-1919 #01625, Series: "6. Clippings, 1918-1940." Folder 88

Folder 89

1925-1940 #01625, Series: "6. Clippings, 1918-1940." Folder 89

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 7. Pictures, 1888-1946.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 8. Interview, 23 March 1940.

1 item.

Copy on three acetate discs (78 rpm) of an interview, conducted 23 March 1940, with Henry Horace Williams at his home. Other voices heard on the recording are those of Francis F. Bradshaw, Fred Weaver, and Katherine King. According to a note from Jane Ross Hammer, the interview references the discovery of a cheating ring on the University of North Carolina campus.

The interview was apparently originally recorded on one acetate disc at 33-1/3 rpm and copied onto these three acetate discs. The location of the original recording is unknown. These discs are not in good condition and are difficult to hear, so a use copy, containing all of the material from the three discs, was produced on one compact disc.

Audiodisc D-1625/1-3

D-1625/1

D-1625/2

D-1625/3

Interview with Henry Horace Williams, 23 March 1940 #01625, Series: "8. Interview, 23 March 1940." D-1625/1-3

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Processing Information

Processed by: Nicholas Graham, April 1998

Encoded by: Jackie Dean, December 1998

Revisions: Finding aid updated in February 2005 by Linda Sellars.

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