The collection contains a variety of materials relating to family and local activities. Correspondence (1866, 1893-1971), though very limited, is primarily related to a search for Batts family genealogical information.
A 1942 letter describes a fire at a home in the country and wartime changes in Nashville, Tenn. Of particular interest is a 1966 reminiscence attached to a family letter. The reminiscence comments on the lives of former Batts family slaves in the early 1900s and details the formalities of Negro funerals; contains a sketch of the family home, Rosedale, along with a description of the various sections of property and the functions of the outbuildings; and gives short descriptions of a barbecue, drying apples and making cider, Christmas festivities, and canning in the first half of the twentieth century.
Edgecombe County land records (1748-1894, undated) constitute a significant portion of the collection. These include deeds of sale, land surveys, and a typed transcript of the court proceedings in a land recovery case (1897). Legal records (1808, 1859) include a dower of land left by Isaac Batts to his widow (1808) and Benjamin Batts' will(1859). Financial records include numerous contracts for the sale of slaves (1797-1847) and other miscellaneous financial papers.
The collection also contains extensive genealogical material relating to the Batts and Bryan families of eastern North Carolina, and to the Wolf family of Virginia and North Carolina, as well as related families (Pittman, Fielding, and Galloway). A clipping (1940) concerning Maryland native Margaret Wolf Galloway's 100th birthday in Tarboro, N.C., mentions the Baltimore riot of 1861 and the visit of the first Japanese ambassador to the United States in 1858.
Miscellaneous material includes a wide variety of largely unrelated items including an inventory of Batts family antiques and heirlooms (1972), a copy of W. P. Cummings' "The Earliest Permanent Settlement in North Carolina,"
American Historical Review, undated, about the Batts settlement; and a history of the Regard (Katherine) ring, a friendship (or regards) ring given to Katherine Knoblock by her father and passed down through the generations. One publication,
A Hand Book of Republican Misrule and Negro Domination..., Raleigh, Edwards, and Broughton, 1900, published for the Democratic Executive Committee of North Carolina, concerns a white supremacy campaign and the proposed literacy amendment to effectively disenfranchise Negro voters.
The oversized folder contains Edgecombe Co., N.C., land records (1736-1805) and three Tarboro, N.C., newspapers (1885-1896).