James E. Shepherd Papers, 1859-1915

Manuscript Collection #199

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: James E. Shepherd Papers
    Creator: Shepherd, James E. (James Edward), 1847-1910
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Papers (1859-1915) consisting of correspondence, financial records, promissory notes, newspapers, a scrapbook of poems, etc.
    Extent: 0.22 Cubic feet, 80 items , consisting of correspondence, financial records, promissory notes, newspapers, a scrapbook of poems and miscellaneous material.
  • Description

    The Shepherd papers generally reflect the early law practice of James E. Shepherd. Legal papers include several legal briefs and personal notes dealing with particular cases. The briefs concern estate settlements, petitions to sell land, and property ownership.

    Much of the correspondence relates to Shepherd's early legal activity of collecting past due debts for his clients. Of particular interest is a letter (1876) from Edward Ransom (president of the 1875 N. C. Constitutional Convention) to Shepherd commenting on the 1875 State Constitutional convention and claiming to be insulted by the Democratic party's offer to nominate him as lieutenant governor.

    Shepherd's financial papers include his business ledger in partnership with Thomas Sparrow (1871-77). This ledger records legal fees charged by Shepherd and Sparrow and also reveals personal purchase of cotton (1878) for possible resale. The bulk of the financial papers consists of promissory notes, receipts for county and state taxes, several shipping bills, and other miscellaneous material.

    Other materials in the collection consists of a scrapbook of poems (1881), several pamphlets, a personal notebook, financial figures apparently reflecting a division of income between Shepherd and Sparrow while law partners and several undated election tickets [1876].

  • Biographical / Historical Note

    James E. Shepherd (1847-1910), a graduate of the University of North Carolina law school, was admitted to the bar in 1868. After beginning a legal practice in Wilson, he moved to Washington, where he opened a law partnership with Thomas Sparrow. Shepherd became active in politics, serving as the chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee in Beaufort County. In 1875, he represented Beaufort and Pamlico counties in the state Constitutional Convention and authored the important provision concerning county government. After serving six years as Superior Court judge, Shepherd was elected to the state Supreme Court in 1888. In 1892, he was appointed Chief Justice and served in that capacity for two years. After 1894, Shepherd returned to private practice with his son.

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

    March 23, 1972, 80 items; Papers consisting of correspondence, receipts, promissory notes, legal papers, newspapers, ledger, scrapbook and miscellaneous. Gift of Mrs. William Withers, Raleigh, N. C.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Mrs. William Withers

    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

    James E. Shepherd Papers (#199), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Processed by G. Stinagle, May 1972

    Encoded by Apex Data Services

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