Politics is a major topic of interest from the 1880s through 1900. Republican interests, patronage, conventions, nominations, and collaboration with the Populist party are discussed. Correspondence from Matthew Quay (1888) discusses the possibility of a recount after White's defeat for the Congressional election. John J. Mott was anxious to have White appointed collector of the Internal Revenue for N.C. (1889) and mentions party interests and state politics. Thomas Settle discusses the importance of patronage in Rockingham Co., N.C., to insure future Republican victories (1889). E.C. Duncan talks about his own recent victory notwithstanding the defection of the Populists (1896). A folder of political items includes an affidavit (1865) signed by White to protect the constitution and support laws concerning the emancipation of slaves, an excursion ticket (1889) for a Democratic party cruise "Up Salt River," N.C. House of Representatives Rules for the 1921 session, political cartoons, a draft of an act amending the N.C. Code defining the form of ballots (undated), tariff tracts (1888) in favor of protection, an undated brochure on the provisions of the Force Bill, and political essays and speeches. White's political career is also noted in some of the clippings.
Other aspects of White's career documented in less detail include his appointments as collector of Internal Revenue for the 4th District of North Carolina. There is some correspondence (1889) about appointments for deputy collectors and the need to resurvey because of illicit distilleries in Johnston and Harnett counties. A file of adjusted and supplemental accounts also includes endorsements for White as collector; schedules of records, books, and property that were turned over to him (1879); deputy collectors' bonds; and a receipt for spirits in the warehouse (1883). An assessment book (1868-1869, 1877-1882) notes the name of the assessor and the assessed, city or town, occupation or item assessed, the number in an abstract book, quantity of items, valuation, tax rate, and total tax. A file of tax receipts includes bridge tolls (1873-1876) turned over while White was chairman of the Perquimans County Board of Commissioners.
Education is a constant topic of family interest. Several of White's children attended Guilford College and there is much correspondence between college friends (1889-1920). A basketball game at Bryn Mawr is described (1894) as are trips to visit friends after graduation, weddings, and other activities of daily life. Belvidere Academy was supported by the family and in 1902 a subscription campaign for a new schoolhouse was run. Lists of former graduates and letters from them sending their subscriptions and news testify to the success of the project. White's first wife, Margaret, attended the Friends Boarding School (1852-1853) in Richmond, Indiana. A folder includes poems and notes from school friends. His second wife, Emma H. White, attended Earlham College Preparatory Class (1869-1870) in Indiana and a folder for Earlham includes programs and essays. Other items of educational interest are a high school commencement program (1877) from Knightstown, Indiana, and a certificate from Earlham College Preparatory Department (1891).
Temperance and prohibition were prominent family concerns. The Women's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) minutes (1899-1902) contain the constitution and minutes of their first convention of the 1st District, held in Elizabeth City (1899). Emma H. White was president and Cora White was secretary. Reports from local unions in Bethel, Edenton, Belvidere, and surrounding communities are included. Plans of work, public meetings, and jails and almshouses are also mentioned. The Belvidere Auxiliary minutes note visiting schools, mothers' day meetings, reform schools, and accommodations for the insane (1899-1900). The minute book (1874-1903) for the Temperance Association of Perquimans and Chowan counties includes the constitution and notes meeting locations, membership and, from 1896, work with the W.C.T.U. Other materials include clippings, songs, speeches, handbills, publications, broadsides, and posters. Thomas J. Jarvis, Robert B. Glenn, Edwin Webb, J.Y. Joyner, and Charles B. Aycock all published in favor of prohibition. The W.C.T.U.
National Educator (1905) gives selections to be used in their medal contest and the catechism (1903, 1906) details their program. A statement before the N.C. House Committee on Education (undated) is included. Also of interest is a series of W.C.T.U. handbills on suffrage.
One particularly interesting file is that of Lucy White's monthly and annual welfare work reports for the mill towns of White Oak (1916-1917) and Proximity (1918-1929) in Guilford County, N.C. The monthly reports specify children's, mill girls', and women's classes, noting subject taught (normally sewing and cooking), the number in the class, and the average attending. By the mid 1920s, the reports also noted additional activities such as parties, P.T.A. meetings, banquets, neighborhood classes, and yard inspections. A sewing notebook indicates assignments by class group.
Religious material relates primarily to the Society of Friends and includes the proceedings (1906) of their tract association, lists of members of the 1902 home classes, a Friends Academy calendar (1874-1875), a program for the Indiana Yearly Meeting (1874), and some essays. There is also a Friends publication on prohibition. The "Little Folks Paper" (1892-1893), a Sunday School paper for children, is also included. One of the ledgers includes the costs to the yearly meeting trustees for setting up the meeting (1834-1835), while another notes expenses of the committee of the poor (1852-1853) and the building committee (1854).
Much of the early correspondence (1862-1906) is between family members and concerns land holdings in Indiana, Iowa, and North Carolina, discussing rentals, repairs, taxes, and sales. Additionally, deeds indicate land also held in Kansas, Illinois, and Missouri, including executor's releases. Other family topics are diverse. Lucy Haughton (1850) talks about schools in the Beech Grove, Indiana area and her own study of medicine. Elihu White writes to his father in 1862 from Connersville, Indiana, about the father's loan to his other son for a farm. White mentions some conscripts who had been delayed and then finally "skedatled." Lawton, Oklahoma, is described (1902) by a friend who moved there and Emma White's stepmother describes Mineral Wells, Texas (1909), and talks about prices, crops, and weather.
Financial records include a general store ledger for Woodville, N.C. (1830-1833) and Suttons Creek, N.C. (1834); a mill account ledger (1838-1843), which also includes flour, meal, general supplies, and apples sold; and two personal account books (1900-1923), which include notes of family births, deaths and marriages, visits, money loaned, purchases, farm accounts, and labor costs. A journal for the steamer
HARBINGER (1879-1894), home ported in Norfolk, Virginia, notes manifest locations, freight, commission and wharfage, and indicates transfers to the Winslow Line of the Norfolk Southern Railroad. Guano accounts are included for the years 1883-1888.
Advertising cards (1890-1893) include those for foods, cigarettes, soaps, perfumes, thread, and a variety of household products. Photographs are mainly of family members though there is one of the Piney Woods Meeting House. A prospectus (1894) for the Southern Cotton Mill in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., and correspondence detail plans of the Roanoke Rapids Power Company to build a canal and two large cotton mills. An oversize folder includes posters and broadsides related to prohibition; certificates; and issues of the
North Carolina White Ribbon (1908), the
Chowan Baptist (1906-1908), the
Contributor (1876), and
The North Carolinian (1898).