Walter L. Daniels Papers

Manuscript Collection #96
Daniels, Walter L.
Physical description
0.43 Cubic Feet, 144 items , correspondence, daybooks, clippings, newspapers, poetry, pamphlets, plays, ballot, and miscellaneous items.
Preferred Citation
Walter L. Daniels Papers (#96), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1803-1957, undated) including correspondence, original poetry, essay, income from tobacco, Civil War causalities, pamphlets, ballot, deeds and indentures, genealogical records.

Biographical/historical information

This collection primarily contains the correspondence, original poetry, and essays of Walter L. Daniels, a local literary and political figure who lived at Blount's Creek, N.C., for eighty years.

Scope and arrangement

Correspondence of interest includes a letter (undated) from L. O. Cratch calling for the re-election of Herbert C. Bonner as representative of the First Congressional District. Another letter (Dec. 6, 1953) contains genealogical information tracing Daniels' mother as the great granddaughter of Joshua Hill, a Revolutionary War soldier from North Carolina. A third letter (April 20, 1947) contains information pertaining to the Christian Science religion. Also included are correspondence and records of the Association of Warren Families of which Daniels was a member.

The bulk of the collection is made up of the original poetry and essays of Walter L. Daniels. The main themes of these poems and essays, which are within several daybooks, are religion, the improvement of one's personal life, and Daniels' philosophy of life. Daniels' interest in poetry is also reflected in newspaper clippings of poems. Included are poems from the "Songs of the Soil" series by Frank L. Stanton and several from a column entitled "Today's North Carolina Poem."

In addition to writing poetry, Daniels maintained partial diaries for 1939, 1946, 1948, 1949, and 1950. In these diaries, he reflects upon the condition of the United States after World War II, reasons behind the resignation of Harold Ickes from the Truman Administration, the dispute over the extension of the Office of Price Administration, relations with Russia, Democratic opposition to Truman from Southern governors and Congressmen, and the income from tobacco in North Carolina. One daybook, titled "This and That," contains information on cuneiform writing, the early mankinds of Europe, world religions, church membership in the United States in 1955, and casualities of the Civil War.

Besides being a poet and author, Daniels also was an editor and publisher as he maintained his own monthly newspaper, Plain Letters. Included in the collection are copies of the newspaper for November 1913, January 1914, and March 1914. In these editions, Daniels printed poems and short essays concerning the value of education and religion.

Although this collection contains no political correspondence, Daniels' interest in politics is reflected in the political newspapers and pamphlets that he collected. Included are two copies of The Protectionist (1916), a Republican newspaper; and one copy of The Roosevelt Record (October 1936), a paper exhorting President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. Another item of interest is a Special Message of the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress on April 14, 1908 which urges Congress to provide appropriations for four battleships. Also included are a political pamphlet by the Honorable Hannis Taylor entitled A Political Dictatorship: A Review of President Wilson's Administration; the Republican Handbook for the Beaufort County Campaign 1916; and several official ballots from various elections.

Miscellaneous items include several deeds and indentures involving the sale and transfer of land in Beaufort County in the early 1800s; an account of the lynching (1888) of Thomas Frazier of Blount's Creek; the genealogical records of several families of the Blount's Creek area; the financial records of the Josie Ecklin Alligood estate of which Daniels was executor; a copy of the Program of Exercises for North Carolina Day: McIver Memorial Day (Feb. 14, 1906), which gives a sketch of the life and contributions of Charles Duncan McIver and a resume of Southern educational policies; an issue of the Bank of Washington News (April 1918); a brochure stating the commercial and industrial advantages of Washington, N.C.; and copies of the plays, The Bank Cashier by W. C. Parker and Listening In by Charles E. Sommer.

The oversize folder contains an 1803 Beaufort Co., N.C., land grant for Ormond Ecklin, deeds dated December 1823 and December 1830, and the already mentioned political newspapersThe Protectionist and The Roosevelt Record.

Administrative information
Custodial History

September 24, 1969, 2 document cases; Papers including correspondence, daybooks, clippings, newspapers, poems, ballots, and miscellaneous papers of W. L. Daniels. Gift of Mrs. Warren Gaskins, Bath, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Warren Gaskins

Processing information

Processed by R. Weaver, January 1971

Encoded by Apex Data Services

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
Bonner, Herbert Covington, 1891-1965
Daniels, Walter L.
American newspapers--North Carolina
Christian Science--North Carolina
Deeds--North Carolina--Beaufort County
Lynching--North Carolina--Beaufort County
Poets, American--North Carolina
Beaufort County (N.C.)--Genealogy
United States--Politics and government--20th century
Washington (N.C.)

Container list
Box 1 Correspondence, clippings, poems, plays, ballots, miscellaneous
Box 2 Daybooks, Josie Ecklin Alligood estate records
Folder os1 Beaufort Co., N.C., land grant (1803) and deeds (1823, 1830), and newspapers The Roosevelt Record (October 1936) and The Protectionist (1916)