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Halifax County Historical Association Papers, 1816-2010

(Manuscript Collection #115)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Halifax County Historical Association Papers
Creators: Halifax County Historical Association
Williams, Maxville Burt, died 2011
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1961-2007) of the Halifax County Historical Association (N.C.) including correspondence of general nature concerned with group tours, bibliography sketch, financial records, membership rolls, itineraries etc. Various historical documents, photographs, ephemera and clippings relate to the history of Halifax County including Rosenwald schools and Brick School among many other topics (1816-2011). Other items (1972-2011) such as manuscripts, printed materials, computer diskettes, and a DVD concern the work of Maxville Burt Williams, a social studies teacher, principal, author and playwright and his works relating to the history of Halifax County, North Carolina, including First For Freedom a play about the Halifax Resolves of 1776; The Struggle, a play about Halifax County during the American Revolution; and The Schroonchers, a play about Eastern North Carolina in the summer of 1948.
Extent: 8.0 Cubic feet, correspondence, newspaper clippings, minutes, membership rolls, financial records, tour itineraries, bulletins, memorandums, programs, photographs, and miscellaneous.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

January 4, 1970, ca. 400 items; Papers (1961-1969), including correspondence, bulletins, programs, memorandums, leaflets, clippings, and miscellaneous. Gift of Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives, Greenville, N.C.

October 15, 1971, (unprocessed addition 1), 65 items.; Correspondence, membership lists, clippings, programs (1970-1971). Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.

March 10, 1976, (unprocessed addition 2), 15 items.; Correspondence (1970-1972), notices, clippings, etc. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.

April 27, 1977, (unprocessed addition 3), 10 items.; Correspondence (1969-1970). Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.

August 28, 1980, (unprocessed addition 4), 10 items.; Papers (1979-1980), including correspondence, a speech, and statistics. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.

April 30, 1986, (unprocessed addition 5), 75 items.; Newspaper clippings. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.

October 13, 1986, (unprocessed addition 6), 120 items.; Records (1967-1970), including correspondence, clippings, programs, membership lists, etc. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.

December 29, 1987, (unprocessed addition 7), ca. 100 items.; Clippings, photographs, programs, and newsletters. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.

June 21, 1989, (unprocessed addition 8a), ca. 100 items.; Clippings, programs, and correspondence. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.

June 12, 2002, (unprocessed addition 8), 0.9 cubic feet; Papers (undated, 1816-2002 bulk: 1997-2002) compiled by a member of the Halifax County Historical Association including clippings, correspondence, photographs, and printed materials relating to the history of Halifax County, the communities of Halifax, Littleton, Roanoke Rapids, and Weldon, and various social, educational, and civic organizations in the county. Donor: Rives, Ralph Hardee (Dr.).

May 30, 2003, (unprocessed addition 9), 78 items, 0.25 cubic feet; Papers (2000-2003) including clippings, correspondence, printed materials and ephemera relating to the history of Halifax County, the communities of Halifax, Littleton, Roanoke Rapids, and Weldon, and various social, educational, and civic organizations. Donor: Rives, Ralph Hardee (Dr.).

July 7, 2006, (unprocessed addition 10), 234 items, 0.45 cubic feet; Papers (1938-1993, 2000-2006, undated) including clippings, correspondence, ephemera, photocopies of historical documents, Littleton United Methodist Church 125th anniversary file, pamphlets, periodicals, and photographs relating to the history of Halifax County, North Carolina, and the activities of the association. See preliminary inventory attached. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives

October 4, 2006, (unprocessed addition 11), 58 items, 0.25 cubic feet; Collection (1955-2006, undated) including clippings, correspondence, ephemera, photocopies, etc., relating to the history of Halifax County, North Carolina, and the activities of the Halifax County Historical Association, playwright Maxwell Burt Williams, the 250th anniversary of the birth of General William R. Davie, 1756-1820, and the William R. Davie High School reunion. See preliminary inventory attached. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives

November 9, 2006, (unprocessed addition 12), 25 items, 0.25 cubic feet; Collection (1919-1931) of Tillery School, Enfield High School, and Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America certificates and diplomas relating to William Almarine Pope, William Almarine Pope, Jr. and Annie Coffield Pope of Enfield, Halifax County, North Carolina. Printed forms. See preliminary inventory attached. Donor: Mrs. Wilbur Earl (Ruth Sykes) Bowden

October 11, 2007, (unprocessed addition 13), 50 items, 0.25 cubic feet; Clippings, Correspondence, Notes, Etc. (2005-2007, undated) relating to the history of Halifax County, North Carolina and the activities of the Halifax County Historical Association. Donor: Ralph Hardee Rives

October 11, 2007, (unprocessed addition 14), 26 items, 0.25 cubic feet; Papers (1972-2007, undated) relating to Maxville Burt Williams, a social studies teacher, principal, author and playwright and his works relating to the history of Halifax County, North Carolina, including First For Freedom a play about the Halifax Resolves of 1776; The Struggle, a play about Halifax County during the American Revolution; and The Schroonchers, a play about Eastern North Carolina in the summer of 1948, including manuscript, printed, computer diskettes & oversized materials. See preliminary inventory attached. Donor: Ralph Hardee Rives

March 5, 2008, (unprocessed addition 15), 2 items, 0.001 cubic feet; Harris, Bernice Kelly. Letters (1/21 - 8/3/1972) to Maxville B. Williams relating to his plays "The First Freedom" and "The Schroonchers," dated Seabord, North Carolina. TLS. See preliminary inventory attached. Donor: Ralph Hardee Rives

June 7, 2010, (unprocessed addition 16), 2 items, 0.043 cubic feet; By-Laws of the H & W Lake Club, Incorporated 1953, Halifax County, Enfield, North Carolina , compiled by Betty Bullock (Whitakers, N.C.?: The Club?, 2009) Pamphlet; also a letter from Betty Bullock, Whitakers, N.C. (14 Oct. 2009) to Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives, Enfield, N.C. concerning her efforts to compile the history of the club. Printed & TLS. See preliminary inventory. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.

June 8, 2010, (unprocessed addition 17), 1 item, 0.001 cubic feet; Christmas 1977: The Seven Joys of Mary, by Elizabeth and Paul Green (1977) Broadside; Sheet music including score & libretto; 15th Century Carol; 17th Century Melody; with holograph note from Paul Green, Chapel Hill, N.C., to Mr. and Mrs. Maxville Burt Williams, Enfield, N.C. 1 item. 2 p. (ca 0.001 cubic feet) Rec 12/16/2009. Note: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives received the Christmas 1977 song fas a gift from Paul & Elizabeth Green. Holograph note: "We are still enjoying "First for Freedom!" Many thanks once more. Paul Green." "First for Freedom" was a play written by Dr. Rives. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.

January 5, 2011, (unprocessed addition 18), 4 items, 0.011 cubic feet; DVD (2010) of outdoor drama titled “First for Freedom” written by Maxville B. Williams and presented in Halifax, N.C. It’s presentation was sponsored by the Halifax County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Halifax County Arts Council. The play was first produced in 1976 as part of the celebration of the Bicentennial of the United States. Three newspaper clippings (2010, undated) discuss the play and a historical novel Mr. Williams wrote based on his play.

May 30, 2012, (unprocessed addition 19), 2 items, 0.58 cubic feet; Two scrapbooks containing photographs, programs, clippings, posters, brochures and a script documenting the 1976, 1977 and 1978 seasons of “First for Freedom,” an outdoor drama about the Halifax Resolves written by Maxville B. Williams. The scrapbooks were assembled as a gift for Thomas Seward Dickens, Jr., who played the part of Jonathan Lawson in the play. Also included are loose clippings, programs and correspondence for 1977-1986 related to the play. Gwendolyn B. Dickens, widow of Thomas Seward Dickens, Jr., donated the scrapbooks to the Historic Halifax Site on October 30, 1996. Donor: Carl L. Burke of Historic Halifax State Historic Site.

June 28, 2012, (unprocessed addition 20), 0.85 cubic feet; The material falls into five series. Maxville B. Williams’ material (1972-2011) includes correspondence and emails, musical scores, publications, clippings, reviews and play scripts. Clippings (1954-2011) and items (2008-2011) including correspondence, brochures, programs and a magazine are related to Halifax Co. history and current events. The Halifax County Genealogical Society series contains newsletters (2007-2011) and 2008 by-laws and clippings. The Education series (1913-2010) contains articles, correspondence, clippings, brochures, slides and programs about Rosenwald schools, Brick School and Halifax Co. schools plus a ledger (1881-1890) containing proceedings of the School Comm. for District No. 5 in Halifax Co. Materials (2007-2011) related to the Historical Halifax Restoration Association include correspondence, minutes, flyers and reports. Donor: Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

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

Preferred Citation

Halifax County Historical Association Papers (#115), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives
  • Gift of Ruth Sykes Bowden
  • Gift of Maxville Burt Williams

Processing Information

  • Processed by R. Weaver, January 1971

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The Halifax County Historical Association was organized during the months of July and August of 1966 in Halifax County, North Carolina, by Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives. This organization was created to kindle a deeper interest in the rich history of Halifax County.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Correspondence in the collection is of general nature and is primarily concerned with the formation of group tours and with the obtaining of guest speakers for the dinner meetings of the Association. However, of interest is a letter (April 24, 1967) expressing the desire that the "Grove House," home of the patriot Willie Jones, should be restored. Another letter (May 5, 1969) contains information on the Haliwa Indians of Halifax and Warren Counties. Other letters cite the involvement of Halifax County in the Civil War (November 13, 1969), and the activities of James O'Hara, a Negro congressman from Halifax County during Reconstruction (November 13, 1969).

Newspaper clippings contained in this collection are divided into two sections. The first group deals with the activities of the Halifax County Historical Association itself, while the second contains newspaper coverage of the Halifax Day Celebrations from 1967 through 1969. Activities of the Association include bus tours of Halifax County, Raleigh, and Washington, D.C., and dinner speeches by such people as Madame Suzanne Silvercruys, internationally known sculptor from Belgium, and Sir John Wedgwood, an authority on the interior decoration of the eighteenth century. Of interest is a clipping that contains a biographical sketch of Dr. William Wills, who was an eminent Methodist minister of Halifax County after Reconstruction era. Newspaper coverage of the Halifax Day Celebrations include information concerning the Halifax Resolves and biographical sketch of William R. Davie; Hutchins Burton of Halifax County, governor of North Carolina from 1825 to 18827; and Joseph Montford, first Colonial Clerk of Halifax County and the first and only Provincial Grand Master of the Masons for North America.

Miscellaneous material includes minutes, financial records, membership roles, tour itineraries, leaflets of historical sites, and news releases. Other items of interest include a history of the town of Halifax, North Carolina; a history of Halifax County in the 1920's; a history of the Weldon United Methodist Church (1959-1970); a copy of the deed to "The Grove," home of Willie Jones; and four bulletins of the Historical Halifax Restoration Association.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Card Catalog Entries Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Reading Room's card catalog. This system is no longer maintained, but it is left in place to help on-site researchers locate particular topics in the collection.

Geographic Entry :

  • North Carolina, Halifax County

Autograph Entries :

  • Allsbrook, Julian R[ussell] (3) 1966-1967
  • Carroll, Charles F[isher] 1968

Subject Entries :

  • BURTON, HUTCHINS
  • DAVIE, WILLIAM RICHARDSON
  • ETHNIC GROUPS--Indians of North America
  • HALIFAX, N.C.
  • HALIFAX CO., N.C.
  • JONES, WILLIE
  • MONTFORD, JOSEPH
  • O'HARA, JAMES
  • ORGANIZATIONS--Halifax County Historical Association
  • ORGANIZATIONS--Historical Halifax Restoration Association
  • RELIGION--Churches--Weldon, N.C.
  • RELIGION--Methodist
  • WAR--CIVIL--Halifax Co., N.C.
  • WAR--REVOLUTIONARY--Halifax, N.C.

Date Entry :

  • 1961-1969

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Box 1#0115.1
Correspondence
Box 2#0115.2
Newspaper clippings
Box 3#0115.3
Minutes, financial records, membership rolls, bulletins, memorandums, and miscellaneous

Preliminary Inventory Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Below is material taken from a preliminary inventory and represents content from the collection that is unprocessed.

Box 4-8#0115.4-8
Contains material from unprocessed addtions 1 - 8a (see the "Accessions Information" section above for more information)
Box 11#0115.11
Contains material from unprocessed addtions 1 - 8a (see the "Accessions Information" section above for more information)
  • Box 13#0115.13
    • Folder a#0115.13.a
      Biographical, historical, and obituary clippings (1955-1962, 2006) relating to Enfield and Halifax County, North Carolina. 34 items. 49 p. Notes: Also includes photographic prints, newsletters, brochures, etc.
    • Folder b#0115.13.b
      Collection (1976-2003) of printed materials, clippings, and notes by and about Maxwell Burt Williams, author of "First For Freedom: An Outdoor Drama" (Halifax, NC, 1976) an historical pageant celebrating Halifax County history. 12 items. 75 p. Notes: Produced for the Bicentennial of the US & the Halifax Resolves, 1776-1976.
    • Folder c#0115.13.c
      General William R. Davie Anniversary Celebration (2005-2006), including clippings, programs, correspondence, etc. relating to the 250th anniversary of Davie's birth and the 9th class reunion of the high school named for him. Originals & photocopies. 12 items. 40 p. Notes: William R. Davie High School, Halifax County, NC, established in 1940, was named for the Revolutionary War general, 1756-1820.
  • Box 14#0115.14
    • Folder a#0115.14.a
      Annie Coffield Pope (1924-1926) Tillery School & Enfield High School, Halifax County, North Carolina, school certificates and diplomas. Printed forms. 7 items. 7 p.
    • Folder b#0115.14.b
      William Almarine Pope, Jr. (1924-1926) Tillery School, Halifax County, North Carolina, school certificates and diplomas. Printed forms. 13 items. 13 p.
    • Folder d#0115.14.d
      Correspondence (1972, 2007) relating to dramatist Maxville Burt Williams and his play The First For Freedom pertaining to the Halifax Resolves and Halifax County, North Carolina's role in the American Revolution produced by the Halifax County Historical Association. Originals & photocopies. 12 items. 15 p.
    • Folder e#0115.14.e
      First For Freedom, by Maxville Burt Williams (2007) a play about the Halifax Resolves and the role of Halifax County, North Carolina in the American Revolution. Computer diskette (3.5") and transcript. 2 items. 26 p.
    • Folder f#0115.14.f
      The Struggle, by Maxville Burt Williams (2006) a one act play about the American Revolution in a small eastern North Carolina town. Computer diskette (3.5") and transcript. 2 items. 5 p.
    • Folder g#0115.14.g
      The Schroonchers Meet the Flim Flam Man, by Maxville Burt Williams (2006) a play set in Slippery Creek, North Carolina in the summer of 1948. Computer diskette (3.5") and transcript. 2 items. 25 p.
    • Folder h#0115.14.h
      First For Freedom: An Outdoor Drama, by Maxville Burt Williams (1976) Brochures. 2 items. 2 p.
    • Folder i#0115.14.i
      First For Freedom '80: An Outdoor Drama, by Maxville Burt Williams (1980) Program. 1 item. 8 p.
    • Folder j#0115.14.j
      The Schroonchers, by Maxville Burt Williams (1972) Published by Maxville Burt Williams, Enfield, NC © 1972. First edition. Paperback. Pamphlet. 1 item. 30 p. Note: Biographical note about playwright on back cover.
    • Folder k#0115.14.k
      Reflections and Other Writings, by Maxville Burt Williams (1990) Published by Williams Publications, Enfield, NC © 1990. ISBN: 0-9625757-0-4 & Order form. Paperback. Pamphlet. 2 items. 29 p. Note: Biographical note about playwright on back cover.
    • Folder l#0115.14.l
      First For Freedom (Story of the Halifax Resolves): April 12, 1776, by Maxville Burt Williams (1972) Published by Johnson Publishing Company, Murfreesboro, NC © 1972 by Maxville Burt Williams. Book. Paperback. 1 item. 57 p. Note: Autographed with sentiment by "Max B. Williams". Donor notes "ECC Graduate". Subtitled: "Story of the First Official Act for American Independence."
    • Folder m#0115.14.m
      Harris, Bernice Kelly. Letters (1/21 - 8/3/1972) to Maxville B. Williams relating to his plays "The First Freedom" and "The Schroonchers," dated Seabord, North Carolina. TLS. 2 items, 2 pages.
  • Box 15#0115.15
    • Folder a#0115.15.a
      Scrapbook (Vol. 1) containing clippings, photos, brochures, programs, script,and a photocopy of a page of sheet music re the 1976 season of the outdoor drama "First for Freedom." Scrapbook was prepared as a gift for Thomas Seward Dickens, Jr., who played the role of Jonathan Lawson in the drama.
    • Folder b#0115.15.b
      Scrapbook (Vol. 2) containing clippings, photos, correspondence, programs, and correspondence re the 1977 and 1978 seasons of the outdoor drama "First for Freedom." Scrapbook was prepared as a gift for Thomas Seward Dickens, Jr., who played the role of Jonathan Lawson in the drama. Loose items cover the years 1977-1986.
Oversize Folder 14os1#0115.14os1
Annie Coffield Pope, William Almarine Pope, & William Almarine Pope, Jr. Documents (1919, 1926-1931): Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America Certificate; Tillery School & Enfield High School (Halifax County, North Carolina) school certificates and diplomas. Printed forms. 5 items. 5 p.
Oversize Folder 14os2#0115.14os2
First For Freedom: An Outdoor Drama. Book by Maxville Williams; Directed by Ira David Wood. Joseph Montfort Amphitheatre, Halifax, N.C. June 17 thru July 10: 8:15 nightly (1976) Poster. 1 item. 1 p. Note: Donor's notes on verso.

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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