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This is a collection guide. 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. To see what's been digitized in this collection, click on the thumbnail at the top right of this page
or look for hyperlinks in the container list and/or the preliminary inventory.
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 .
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.
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.
Gift of Mrs. William Withers
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
James E. Shepherd Papers (#199), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Processed by G. Stinagle, May 1972
Encoded by Apex Data Services
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Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection, without the consent of those individuals, may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which East Carolina University assumes no responsibility.