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Collection Number: 00788

Collection Title: Willis R. Williams Papers, 1851-1910.

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.


This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

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Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 236 items)
Abstract Willis r. Williams was a planter and state legislator, of Pitt County, N.C. The collection includes family correspondence of Willis R. Williams, consisting chiefly of letters exchanged between him and his family while he was visiting the North Carolina and Virginia springs for his health in the 1850s, and while he was a legislator, 1866-1867 and 1885-1891. Letters deal with family and plantation matters and his health. Also, some letters from constituents during his second term in the legislature, and two scrapbooks of clippings, circa 1870-1890.
Creator Williams, Willis R., fl. 1851-1891.
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 Willis R. Williams Papers #788, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of Southern women and their families in the 19th century, Series A.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Bruce Cotten of Baltimore, Md., before 1940.
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

Willis Robert Williams, planter and state legislator of Pitt County, N.C., was born in 1826 at the family home near Falkland, N.C. Sometime before 1851, he married Harriet P. Leary of Edenton, N.C.

Williams served as a state representative from Pitt County in the North Carolina General Assembly for one term, 1866-1867, and as a state senator from 1885 to 1891. In addition, he served on the state Board of Agriculture and, for more than twenty years, as a justice of the peace. He was also an active member of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry in North Carolina.

Williams died at his home in Pitt County in 1910.

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Family correspondence of Willis Robert Williams (1826-1910), planter and state legislator of Pitt County, N.C., consisting chiefly of letters exchanged between him and his family while he was visiting North Carolina and the Virginia springs for his poor health in the 1850s, and while he was a legislator, 1866-1867 and 1885-1891. Letters deal primarily with family and plantation matters and his health. Also included are a few letters from constituents during his second term in the legislature, and two scrapbooks of miscellaneous newspaper clippings, circa 1860-1895.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1851-1910.

About 160 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Chiefly family correspondence, 1851-1910, of Willis Robert Williams (1826-1910), planter and state legislator of Pitt County, N.C., and members of his family, with some business and legal documents. Williams wrote or received most of the letters while he was recuperating at various North Carolina and Virginia mineral springs for his poor health in the 1850s, and while he was a state legislator, 1866-1867 and 1885-1891. His principal correspondents were his wife Harriet and other family members Letters deal primarily with family and plantation matters and his health. There are also a few letters from constituents during Williams's second term in the legislature. Also included assorted accounts, tax receipts, a presidential pardon for his role in the Civil War, and other items.

Folder 1

1851-1857 #00788, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1851-1910." Folder 1

Folder 2

1858-1860 #00788, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1851-1910." Folder 2

Folder 3

1861-1866 #00788, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1851-1910." Folder 3

Folder 4

1867-1878 #00788, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1851-1910." Folder 4

Folder 5

1882-1891 #00788, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1851-1910." Folder 5

Folder 6

1892-1910 #00788, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1851-1910." Folder 6

Folder 7

Undated #00788, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1851-1910." Folder 7

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Scrapbooks and Clippings, circa 1860-1895.

About 500 items.

Two scrapbooks with miscellaneous newspaper clippings, circa 1860-1895, of inspirational poems, prayers, sketches of literary and political figures, brief facts about weather and the natural sciences, and other snippets of information. Also included are five folders of loose clippings which Williams, or perhaps his wife, collected.

Folder 8-12

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

Folder 11

Folder 12

Loose clippings #00788, Series: "2. Scrapbooks and Clippings, circa 1860-1895." Folder 8-12

Folder 13-14

Folder 13

Folder 14

Scrapbooks #00788, Series: "2. Scrapbooks and Clippings, circa 1860-1895." Folder 13-14

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Processing Information

Processed by: Patrick Huber, January 1993

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

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