Mamie E. Jenkins Papers

Manuscript Collection #31
Jenkins, Mamie E. (Mamie Elizabeth), 1875-1957
Physical description
1.3 Cubic Feet, consisting of correspondence, letters of recommendation, notes, programs, receipts, newspapers, East Carolina University materials, publications, manuscript drafts, and miscellaneous.
Preferred Citation
Mamie E. Jenkins Papers (#31), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1898-1946, undated) including correspondence, newspapers, notes, programs, etc. compiled by a teacher in the English Department of East Carolina Teachers Training School.

Biographical/historical information

Miss Mamie E. Jenkins (1875-1957) taught in the English Department at East Carolina Teachers College for thirty-six years. She was one of the first three faculty members to be selected for service at East Carolina Teachers Training School. Jenkins served from 1909, when the school opened, until 1946. One of the first four women to receive a baccalaureate degree from Trinity College (Duke University), Miss Jenkins subsequently was awarded a master's degree by Columbia University and did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin and other leading schools. Before coming to Greenville, she taught in the public schools of Durham and Wilmington, N.C., and at Martha Washington College in Virginia and Granada College in Mississippi. During her years of service at East Carolina, she was deeply involved in the development of the institution. She edited the Training School Quarterly (1914-1922), served as a faculty advisor for the school newspaper Teco Echo for fourteen years, and directed the college news agency for eighteen years. Miss Jenkins was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Delta Kappa Gamma, and the A.A.U.W. The faculty-alumni building on the East Carolina campus was named in her honor.

Scope and arrangement

Papers include letters of recommendation from such notable educators as William Ivey Cranford, Joseph Gregoire de Roulhac Hamilton, Charles Knapp, Edwin Mims, and William W. Flowers.

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence from Miss Jenkins's relatives, specifically her brothers, George (Baltimore and New York) and John Wilbur (New York and Washington, D.C.)., and her sisters, Fredericka Peace Jenkins (Harlan, Kentucky, andNorth Carolina) and Fannie Burt Jenkins (Raleigh, North Carolina). The letters reflect the problems of various family members prior to, during, and following the Depression of 1929 and the effects that the coming of the Roosevelt administration had upon the nation. References are made also to the presidential election of 1932 and to the nature of political patronage in the Roosevelt administration (1930s and 1940s). Complaints of the shortage of goods owing to rationing during World War II also is described in the correspondence. The letters of Fredericka Peace Jenkins describe life in Harlan Kentucky, and discuss the great coal strike which occurred there when labor unions attempted to unionize the mines prior to World War II (1931).

Additional correspondence includes letters from East Carolina Teachers College President Robert H. Wright and Jenkins's students, former students, and friends. Letters of particular interest discuss Russian prisoners in Japan during the Russo-Japanese War, the patriotism of the Japanese, and the readjustment problems of Japanese returning to Japan after living in the United States (Feb. 5, 1905); the life of a teacher at Fleming School in Pitt County, N.C. (Nov. 12, 1922); and a Japanese relocation camp in Colorado during World War II (Feb. 10, 1943). The correspondence also includes references to the possibility of East Carolina Teachers College joining the university system (July 1, 1944) and to the trial of Dr. Leon Meadows, president of the college, on charges of misappropriation of funds (Aug. 26, 1944).

The East Carolina material includes memorials written on the death of Robert H. Wright, bulletins and programs concerning entertainment events at the college, a description of English courses offered, a list of men graduates of the college, and an essay on the teacher's responsibility of encouraging scholarship. Publications of the college consist of a booklet concerning the career of Robert H. Wright, a bulletin describing the school's music program, and the Alumni Association Bulletin (Dec. 1944).

Miss Jenkins's personal papers include essays and articles discussing women in the South, the suffragist movement, orphans in North Carolina, and reflections about an enslaved person in the household.

Miscellaneous material includes receipts; post cards, including a view of St. Thomas Church at Bath, N.C.; and a periodical, The Clarion (British Honduras, June 10, 1909). Other miscellaneous material consists of school notebooks, a book of familiar quotes, a financial notebook, and a book of poetry.

Administrative information
Custodial History

November, 1, 1967, ca. 700 items; Papers (1898-1946, undated) of Miss Mamie E. Jenkins, consisting of correspondence, newspapers, notes, programs, and miscellaneous items. Given by Mr. Wendell W. Smiley, Greenville, N.C.

April 8, 1981, 380 items; Papers (1905-1947, undated), including correspondence, ECU materials, publications, manuscript drafts, and miscellaneous. Gift of John Oden, Bath, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mr. Wendell W. Smiley

Gift of John Oden

Processing information

Processed by D. Lennon

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Descriptions updated by Jennifer Overstreet, July 2020

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Jenkins family--Correspondence
Jenkins, Mamie E. (Mamie Elizabeth), 1875-1957
Meadows, Leon Renfroe, 1884-
Wright, Robert Herring, 1870-1934
Corporate Names
East Carolina Teachers College--Faculty
East Carolina Teachers College--History
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
Orphans--North Carolina
Presidents--United States--Election--1932
Public schools--North Carolina--Pitt County
Rationing--United States--History--20th century
Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905
Slaves--North Carolina
Strikes and lockouts--Coal mining--Kentucky
Teachers--North Carolina--Pitt County
Women--Southern States--Social life and customs
Women--Suffrage--United States--History
World War, 1939-1945--Economic aspects--North Carolina
Harlan (Ky.)--Social life and customs
Japan--Social life and customs

Container list
Box 1 Folder a Correspondence, 1898 - 1918
Box 1 Folder b Correspondence, 1921 - 1922
Box 1 Folder c Correspondence, 1923 - 1924
Box 1 Folder d Correspondence, 1925
Box 2 Folder a Correspondence, 1926
Box 2 Folder b Correspondence, 1927
Box 2 Folder c Correspondence, 1928
Box 2 Folder d Correspondence, 1929
Box 3 Folder a Correspondence, 1930
Box 3 Folder b Correspondence, 1931
Box 3 Folder c Correspondence, 1932
Box 3 Folder d Correspondence, 1933
Box 4 Folder a Correspondence, 1934
Box 4 Folder b Correspondence, 1935
Box 4 Folder c Correspondence, 1936
Box 4 Folder d Correspondence, 1937
Box 4 Folder e Correspondence, 1938
Box 5 Folder a Correspondence, 1939
Box 5 Folder b Correspondence, 1940
Box 5 Folder c Correspondence, 1941
Box 6 Folder a Correspondence, 1942
Box 6 Folder b Correspondence, 1943
Box 6 Folder c Correspondence, 1943
Box 7 Folder a Correspondence, 1944
Box 7 Folder b Correspondence, 1945
Box 7 Folder c Correspondence, 1946-1947
Box 7 Folder d Correspondence, undated
Box 7 Folder e Correspondence, undated
Box 8 Folder a Miscellaneous
Box 8 Folder b Miscellaneous
Box 9 Folder a East Carolina Teachers College Materials
Box 9 Folder b Mamie Jenkins Personal Papers
Box 9 Folder c East Carolina Teachers College Publications