Dorothy Repiton Knox Papers

1820-1980, 1917-1975; 1917-1975
Manuscript Collection #180
Knox, Dorothy Repiton, 1896-1993
Physical description
3.455 Cubic Feet, consisting of correspondence, newspaper columns and clippings, literary manuscripts, scrapbooks, pamphlets, and genealogical material.
Preferred Citation
Dorothy Repiton Knox Papers (#180), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1820-[1917-1975]-1980) consisting of correspondence, newspapers, clippings, literary manuscripts, scrapbooks, pamphlets, movie based correspondence, genealogical records.

Biographical/historical information

Dorothy Repiton Knox (b. January 31, 1896), the daughter of Daisy Lamb Repiton and Henry Elijah Knox, Jr., was born in Charlotte, N.C. She attended Charlotte's Queens College, a Presbyterian institution for women. During World War I she worked as a Red Cross volunteer in Charlotte, aiding servicemen at the Southern Railway Station as well as destitute families in the poorest sections of Charlotte and surrounding mill villages. After the war she launched her literary career and for a short period operated a bookstore in her home on Sunnyside Avenue. A member of the Charlotte Junior League, she published numerous articles locally and in the national Junior League publication. She penned regular columns for the Charlotte News and the Charlotte Observer between 1933 and 1974. For further information, see an autobiographical sketch in folder #180.14.j.

Scope and arrangement

The papers are divided into six subgroups reflecting Miss Knox's literary career and other interests. The first subgroup, consisting of correspondence, newspaper columns, and periodical publications, reflects Miss Knox's general literary career from the 1920's through 1975. Correspondence chronicles her efforts to publish articles in periodicals such as The American Golfer, The Publishers' Weekly, The Retail Bookseller, and Home Friend Magazine. The bulk of correspondence concerns her columns published between 1933 and 1974 in the Charlotte News and the Charlotte Observer. Fan letters and mail from disapproving readers predominate. Much of the correspondence deals with various aspects of life in Charlotte.

Notable correspondence discusses the annual newspaper institutes of the N.C. Press Association (Nov., 1936; Dec., 1940), the condition of Charlotte's mill village houses (Feb., 1937), Margaret Mitchell's attitude concerning fame and the preparation of sets for the movie based on Gone With the Wind (May, July, Aug., 1937), editorial policy and interests of Life magazine (July-Sept., 1937; July-Oct., 1939), Charlotte's Cook-Kelley-Cottrell gambling case (Aug., 1937), and Charles Lindberg's pacifism and the efficacy of entering World War II (Sept.-Oct., 1939; July, 1940; June, 1941).

Additional significant correspondence includes a denunciation of the policies of Franklin Roosevelt (Nov., 1940) and letters concerning race relations (Dec., 1940; July, 1943), W. J. Cash's Mind of the South (June, 1941), and the efforts of Socialist agitators to inflame industrial workers (Aug., 1941).

Carbon copies of letters from Miss Knox and interesting letters of Negroes written in response to her columns concern alleged German agitation of Negroes (May, Aug.-Sept., 1942, [ca. 1942]), the proper role of Negro domestic servants (Oct., 1941), and the grievances of black laundry workers (July, 1944).

Letters also concern German attacks on U.S. ships (Nov., 1941), the library of and books donated to the Mecklenburg Sanatorium (Dec., 1941), prostitutes frequenting the Charlotte bus station (July, 1943), the career and work of Walter Duranty (July, 1943), E. P. Dutton's controversial book Under Cover (July-Aug., 1943), persons in the Charlotte area with knowledge of countries dominated by Axis powers (Jan., 1944), and a mother's frustrating experiences while maintaining a home and caring for her children (Sept., 1945).

Additional correspondence concerns the Charlotte Symphony (Nov., 1946), Knox's association with the J. B. Ivey Company of Charlotte (1949-1956), Lake Norman's reproduction steamboat ROBERT E. LEE (Oct., 1964), interest in the use of electric automobiles (Oct., 1966), the Food Distribution Program of the N.C. Department of Agriculture (May, 1971), and Charlotte's ugliness and the removal of old trees there (undated).

Intra-office memos from W. Carey Dowd, Jr., and Brodie S. Griffith of the Charlotte News (1934-1946, undated), commend Miss Knox's work.

Knox's newspaper columns, including those pasted in two scrapbooks, constitute a rich source of information on cultural, political, historical, sociological, economic and other aspects of Charlotte and the surrounding area. The columns include "I Believe Everything," a daily piece published in the Charlotte News (1933-March, 1947); the semiweekly "Don't Quote Me," written for the J. B. Ivey Company and published in the Charlotte Observer (Sept., 1949-Feb., 1956); and a weekly piece, also printed in the Observer (March, 1961-1974). Miscellaneous newspaper articles are interspersed among the regular columns.

Literary manuscripts, mostly articles, concern William Bryan of Craven County, "Local Columnists on Regular Beats," the need for all classes of women to work together to avoid class war, and the necessity of employment for talented, older women. Other manuscripts reflect Miss Knox's interest in visitation policies at hospitals, the plight of elderly persons displaced form familiar surroundings, and women's fashions. Two articles discuss her bouts with nervous exhaustion. "The Dollop," a forty-two-page short story, discusses cats.

Periodical articles (1922-1947) reflect Knox's interest in golf, the retail book trade, and miscellaneous topics. They appear in issues of The American Golfer (1922-1923); Southern Golf Magazine (Sept., 1926); Publisher's Weekly; The Retail Bookseller; and Extra Money (1928-1932).

Knox's newspaper publications include articles on golf, letters to editors of newspapers, and reprints of several of her outstanding columns. A considerable quantity of clippings concerning or mentioning Miss Knox amplify the general literary career material.

The children's Bible book subgroup reflects Miss Knox's desire to publish a juvenile book containing notable stories from the King James translation with handsome illustrations. Untitled at first, the book came to be known as The Power and the Glory. Correspondence (1931-1972), especially that of the early 1930's, traces Miss Knox's attempts to interest publishers, including The P. F. Volland Company, Macmillan Company, Good Housekeeping, Life, Simon and Schuster, and J. B. Lippincott. Miscellany concerning the book, including her May 1, 1931, article in The Retail Bookseller, an outline, and a rough draft of a letter, is followed by a loose-leaf edited draft of The Power and the Glory.

The cerebral palsy hospitals subgroup concerns the efforts of Miss Knox and other state leaders to obtain adequate facilities for the care and training of children afflicted by cerebral palsy (spastics). Correspondence (Dec., 1942-1972), including letters from William Allan, Thomas O'Berry, George Ross Pou, and Lenox Dial Baker, traces the development of plans for the North Carolina Cerebral Palsy Hospital at Durham, completed in 1950. Additional correspondence concerns past efforts of the state to aid spastics (Dec., 1946), a survey by the Charlotte Altrusa Club to determine the number of spastics in Mecklenburg Co. (Dec., 1946), and a Federal appropriation for training personnel to care for victims of cerebral palsy and arthritis (Dec., 1950).

Periodical articles and pamphlets discuss victims of cerebral palsy and their needs. The pamphlets concern the North Carolina Cerebral Palsy Hospital and The Spastics Hospital in Charlotte.

Newspaper clippings, most of which were written by Miss Knox, emphasize similar themes.

The Junior League subgroup consists of Miss Knox's writings in Junior League Bulletin, Junior League Magazine, and Charlotte's Junior League Crier (1926-1936, undated), as well as her newspaper articles concerning philanthropic endeavors of this Charlotte Junior League. Many of the clippings discuss the league's hospital for homeless children and efforts to find parents for the children.

A subgroup of genealogical material contains correspondence, notes, photographs, and miscellany relating to the Knox family of New York, Massachusetts, California, and North Carolina, as well as Miss Knox's mother and maternal grandmother.

Letters of Robert C. Thomas of San Francisco and the copies of letters supplied by him discuss the religious views of Lois Knox of Blandford, Mass., as expressed to Reuben Knox of Mamakating, N.Y., and Kinston, N.C. (1820's-1830's). Other letters (1849-1850) and explanatory notes accompanying them concern a wagon train traveling from St. Louis to California. Notable passages describe a cholera epidemic in the St. Louis area and aspects of Fort Kearney (at the present site of Nebraska City).

The subgroup also contains substantive genealogical notes concerning the Knox family (1690's-1890's), including the Knoxes and the Kilpatrick family of Kinston, N.C.

Additional genealogical material includes three letters to poet Jane Printer [Mary Stewart (Lamb) Repiton] (1877, 1889, 1892) of Bloominburg, N.Y., and Boston; an autobiographical sketch and photographs of Dorothy Knox; photographs of Henry E. Knox and the interior of St. James Church, Goshen, N.Y. (1890); a note concerning the marriage of Daisy Lamb Repiton and Henry Elijah Knox, Jr.; a newspaper article concerning the William Wilson Lamb House in Norfolk, Va.; and a copper plate announcing the death of Mrs. M. S. L. Repiton (Nov. 2, 1897).

The World War I subgroup reflects Miss Knox's friendship with several soldiers and pilots from Charlotte or stationed briefly at Camp Greene there. Letters describe camp life and other activities in the United States, England, France, and Germany, as well as the men's feelings about the war.

Correspondence reflecting training and camp life in the United States concerns activities at Chickamauga Park near Chattanooga, Tenn. (June, 1917; [1917?]); medical training at the University of Pennsylvania (Nov., 1917); facilities, weather, and activities of servicemen at Ft. Riley, Kansas and leisure activities at Junction City, Kansas (Dec., 1917-Jan., 1918); and training at Camp Taylor in Louisville, Ky. (July, 1918).

Letters from servicemen stationed in or visiting England provide insight into military life there. Correspondence of Don Harris of the 17th Aero. Squadron describes the people of and camp conditions at Romsey (Feb., 1918), an air raid on London (Feb., 1918), camp accommodations at and the people of Catterick Bridge (Feb., Mar., 1918), and crowded conditions at the flying school of the Royal Flying Corps (Mar., 1918). Other Harris correspondence concerns the superfluity of military censorship (Mar., 1918), leisure activities at Peterborough (April, 1918), plays in London (Feb., Mar., 1918), and plans for further flight training at Marske and Stonehenge (April, 1918).

Most of the letters originate in France, though exact locations are not given. Correspondents include members of the 482nd Aero. Squadron, Ambulance Co. 33, Evacuation Hospital No. 7, Motor Supply Train 414, and "Hq. Sanitary Train" ; they concern troop and trench conditions, German air and artillery attacks, the people and villages of France, and the reflections of the men concerning war. Notable correspondence concerns life at an aerodrome and aspects of the air war (June, 1918), provisions and the role of the army and YMCA in providing them ([July, 1918?]), the frequency of mail and the importance of mail and other reading material to the troops (June-July, 1918), a YMCA facility for American and French soldiers (Oct., 1918), the nature of dugouts (Oct., 1918), activities of Ambulance Co. 33 (Oct., 1918), the absolute devastation of the Argonne section (Oct., 1918), a 1915 encounter of a monoplane and frightened German troops near Verdun (Dec., 1918), a Christmas celebration for French children at Tonnere and other leisure activities of American troops (Jan., 1919), the economy of a French widow near Nantes and the reluctance of the French to drink water (Feb., 1919), and the people and historic sites of Pau (Feb., Mar., 1919).

Correspondence originating in Germany after the armistice concerns officers' facilities and the casino at Prum (Jan., Feb., 1919). A letter from Lutzerath (Feb., 1919) describes farmers and farming techniques, the habits of the people and their attitudes toward the French and English, food supplies for adults and children during the war, and the "finality" of the towns in the area.

Other World War I correspondence concerns an incompetent photographer in Junction City, Kansas (Jan., 1918), chorus girls in New York City and "The Whistlin Pig" restaurant in Greenwich Village (Jan., 1918), New York City's reception of troopsreturning to the U.S. aboard the Mauretania (Dec., 1918), and the travels in France of soldiers on leave (Feb., Mar., July, 1919).

Correspondents include Don R. Harris, Dr. Vincent E. D. Bragg, Frank D. Bell, Johnny Lloyd, Earl E. Pease, Forrest L. Marsh, Frank Tracy, William Carey Dowd, Jr., Howard L. Mingos, and George A. Somarindyck.

Among the World War I era printed materials are pamphlets concerning the threat of Communist labor agitators, the American Red Cross Bureau of Canteen Service, and various activities at Camp Greene in Charlotte. Also included are a book of cartoons concerning the army, Training for the Trenches; the June 1, 1918 issue of The Propeller (Camp Greene); three 1918 issues of The Caduceus (Camp Greene); and a catalog of clothing manufactured by the House of Kuppenheimer (1918-1919).

World War I newspaper clippings concern a dramatic air mission of Don R. Harris (Aug., 1918) and his subsequent capture by the enemy and internment at The Hague, life of soldiers at Chickamauga Park and in France, and the war record of the 30th Division of U.S. troops.

A World War I scrapbook (1917-1919) contains letters, photographs, sketches, typescripts, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous printed material relating to Miss Knox's acquaintances and the war in general. Subjects treated include Chickamauga Park; Camp Greene; the aviation school at Georgia Tech in Atlanta; Fort Riley, Kansas; life on the homefront; the air war; medical training at the University of Pennsylvania and the effect of the war on the university's student body; Evacuation Hospital No. 7 of the A.E.F.; Red Cross volunteers at the Southern Railway Station in Charlotte; and activities of the 30th Division of U.S. troops.

Photographs and other material in the scrapbook reflect the activities of Miss Knox, Philip Woolcott, Don R. Harris, Vincent E. D. Bragg, William Carey Dowd, Jr., George A. Somarindyck, Howard L. Mingos, Earl E. Pease, and Forrest L. Marsh. A collection of poems concerns various aspects of the war.

Oversized material includes the DAR membership certificate of Daisy Lamb Repiton Knox (1909); the marriage certificate of Daisy and Henry Elijah Knox, Jr. (Sept., 1890); broadsides describing the "Seventy-Five," a French artillery piece (1919); views of Chickamauga Park and Chattanooga National Military Park (1913); the July, 1929, edition of The Home Friend containing "Happy Landing," by Dorothy Knox; a newspaper discussing aspects of Camp Greene (Oct., 1917); and newspaper articles and advertisements concerning German ships and submarines, liberty bonds, the 30th Division of U.S. troops, the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm, and the aftermath of the war.

Administrative information
Custodial History

September 17, 1971, 165 items and 1 volume; Correspondence, clippings, publications, a scrapbook, and miscellaneous (1917-1920).

April 20, 1976, (addition), 3 cubic feet; Correspondence, clippings, articles and newspaper columns (1930-1972). Gift of Miss Dorothy R. Knox, Charlotte, N.C.

January 7, 1985, (unprocessed addition 1), 75 items; Papers (1971-1984), including correspondence, clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous. Donor: Miss Dorothy R. Knox.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Miss Dorothy R. Knox

Processing information

Processed by M. York, August 1980

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
Cash, W. J. (Wilbur Joseph), 1900-1941. Mind of the south
Knox, Dorothy Repiton, 1896-1993
Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974
Mitchell, Margaret, 1900-1949
Family Names
Kilpatrick family
Knox family
Corporate Names
Junior League of Charlotte
North Carolina Press Association
American newspapers--North Carolina--Charlotte
Cerebral palsy--Hospitals--North Carolina
Socialism--North Carolina
Women journalists--North Carolina--Charlotte
Women--North Carolina--Societies and clubs
World War, 1914-1918--Personal narratives, American
World War, 1914-1918--Poetry
World War, 1914-1918--War work--Red Cross
Charlotte (N.C.)--Race relations
Charlotte (N.C.)--Social life and customs
North Carolina--Genealogy

Container list
Box 2 Columns: "I Believe Everything," Aug., 1933-Apr., 1935
Box 3 Columns: "I Believe Everything," May, 1935-Feb., 1937
Box 4 Columns: "I Believe Everything," Mar., 1937-Aug., 1938
Box 5 Columns: "I Believe Everything," Sept., 1938-Feb., 1940
Box 6 Columns: "I Believe Everything," Mar., 1940-Dec., 1941
Box 7 Columns: "I Believe Everything," Jan., 1942-June, 1943
Box 8 Columns: "I Believe Everything," July, 1943-Dec., 1944
Box 9 Columns: "I Believe Everything," Jan., 1945-Feb., 1947
Box 10 Folder a Columns: "I Believe Everything," Mar., 1947
Box 10 Folder b-j "Don't Quote Me," Sept., 1949-Dec., 1954
Box 11 Columns: "Don't Quote Me," and others, Jan., 1955-1966
Box 12 Columns, 1967-1974
Box 13 Folder a-b Literary Manuscripts
Box 13 Folder c Periodical Articles: Golf, 1922-1926
Box 13 Folder d Periodical Articles: Book Trade, 1928-1932
Box 13 Folder e Periodical Articles: Miscellaneous, 1926-1947
Box 13 Folder f Newspaper Articles: Golf
Box 13 Folder g Newspaper Articles: Letters to Editors
Box 13 Folder h Columns: Reprints
Box 13 Folder i-m Knox-related Clippings (Also see box 16 for other General Literary Career-Related Material)
Box 14 Folder a Correspondence, 1931-1941
Box 14 Folder b Manuscript
Box 14 Folder c Miscellany
Box 14 Folder d Correspondence, 1942-1972
Box 14 Folder e Printed Material
Box 14 Folder f Newspaper Clippings, 1942-1954
Box 14 Folder g Printed Material, 1926-1936
Box 14 Folder h Newspaper Clippings, 1928-1932
Box 14 Folder i Correspondence and Notes
Box 14 Folder j Correspondence, Photographs and Miscellany
Box 14 Folder k Hand-painted Paper Dolls (early 1900s)
Box 15 Folder a-f Correspondence, June, 1917-[1920?]
Box 15 Folder g Printed Material
Box 15 Folder h Newspaper Clippings
Box 16 Scrapbook of Columns, 1933-1934
Folder os1 Family Materials; World War I Era Miscellany; "Happy Landing" by Dorothy Knox