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Arthur Family Papers, 1798-1929

(Manuscript Collection #235)

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

Title: Arthur Family Papers
Creator: Arthur family
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1798-1929) consisting of estate papers, land records, financial papers, letters, genealogical notes, petition, etc.
Extent: 0.22 Cubic feet, 325 items , consisting of correspondence, estate papers, land records, financial papers, a cipher book, and miscellaneous.

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

Accessions Information

July 18, 1973, 325 items; Papers (1798-1929) of a Craven County, N.C., family, including correspondence, estate papers, land records, financial papers, a cipher book, and miscellaneous. Loaned by Mrs. Nancy Opphile, New Bern, N.C.

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

Arthur Family Papers (#235), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Loaned by Mrs. Nancy Opphile

Processing Information

  • Processed by C. Joyner, May 1974

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


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

The collection primarily concerns the nineteenth century Craven County family of Michael and Sidney Gatlin Arthur and their seven children. Michael and Sidney Arthur were married in 1825 and during the next thirteen years they had six sons and a daughter. The Arthurs lived near present day Ernul in the Little Swift Creek District of the county.

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

The correspondence consists of four letters covering the period between 1843 and 1880. The first letter (1843) is from Michael Arthur's brother in Alabama. The letter reflects family matters, crop conditions, pressures of an uncertain economy, their brother's estate, and plans to move westward. The second letter (1859) is from another brother, this one living in Tennessee. He comments on his ownership of land in Knox County, Tennessee, farm crops, religious life, and family movements. A third letter (1863) is from Colonel Cherry of the 15th North Carolina Reserves stationed in Greenville, N.C. The colonel comments on Negroes joining the Union cause, lack of Union bravery, Confederate troop movements in Pennsylvania, the siege of Vicksburg, Lee's motives for moving northward and the results on the South if he is successful, Confederate deserters, and Union faith in "buffaloes" and Negroes.

Financial papers (1804-1929) constitute a major segment of the collection. Included are records of the purchase and hire of slaves (1806-1812), promissory notes, debt contracts, teacher's salary receipts (1860), school tuition receipts, music class agreement (undated), and receipts for state and local taxes (1804-1889). Also of interest are estate and guardianship records for the estates of John Arthur (1836), Elizabeth Arthur (1845), Ephrian Arthur (1845), Nancy Arthur (1846), and Michael Arthur (1873).

Although considered as miscellaneous materials, there are several items of an educational nature which are worthy of special note. These include the constitution, speakers' list, and speeches of the Little Swift Creek Debating Society (1859); a cipher book; a record of division of school committee money between white and black schools (1876); and an application for a state teacher's certificate (1918). The oversize materials include the above mentioned teacher's certificate application and a promissory note.

Miscellaneous items include family genealogical notes, land records, petition for work on the public roads of Craven County (1855-1871), marriage certificate for Ephrain Arthur and Nancy Gatlin (1827), and poems.

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

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.

What is this page? Click here to learn more abou this webpage
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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