Papers (1789-1906) including correspondence, financial papers, legal records, public school registers, newspapers, promissory notes, receipts, copy of marriage and birth, etc.
The Ellis family of Calico Precinct in Pitt County has been active in agricultural and educational pursuits since the early nineteenth century. In 1886, Oliver Ellis established the Ellis Carriage Works in Kinston for the construction of buggies, surreys, and hackabouts. This business operated until automobiles replaced the buggy as the major means of transportation.
Correspondence for the Civil War period is written by several Confederate soldiers to Miss Bettie A. McGlohorn. The most frequent correspondent was one Richard Oliver Smith, a lieutenant in the 27th N.C. Regiment commanded by Colonel G. E. B. Singletary of Greenville. Included are letters from New Bern, Raleigh, Wilmington, Richmond, Petersburg, and Charleston in which comments touch upon camp life, battles, attitudes toward officers, and Union activities in eastern North Carolina. One letter (1861) refers to a school in Pitt County operated by Mrs. Ellis.
Post-war correspondence is concerned primarily with family matters, farming, and the carriage business. Letters (1883-1885) from relatives in Tennessee, Texas, and Alabama describe living conditions, crops, and weather conditions in these states, particularly in the area of Jackson, Tennessee. Of particular importance are letters (1886-1894) pertaining to the operation of Ellis Carriage Works in Kinston. Information concerns the financial condition of the business, indebtedness, prices of carriages, and competition with Hackney buggies, which were sold in the same town.
Financial records include general merchandise accounts, promissory notes, and receipts. Of particular note are accounts with the Greenville firms of Caleb Cannon & Company (1853-1860), Alfred Forbes (1872-1882), John S. Congleton & Company (1881-1886), and Harry Skinner & Company (1887-1888).
Of particular significance are materials related to public education in Pitt County. Included are four Public School Registers, a School Committeemen's Book, and two North Carolina Teacher Certificates (1892, 1894). The Public School Registers (1878-1906) contain school census records, yearly and monthly reports of teachers, grade statistics, attendance records, records of teachers' salaries and texts used, plus general statistics concerning students and their guardians.
Also of note are deeds, land grants, and land surveys for property in the Swift Creek area of Pitt County plus two records of the hiring of slaves (1825, 1858).
Miscellaneous materials include a copy of marriage and birth records taken from the Ellis family Bible, an advertisement for Latham's Cotton Planter (1870), and a brochure for Ellis Carriage Works. Oversize materials include a diploma from Empire State Teacher's Class (1891) and a copy of The Kinston Free Press (Sept. 3, 1898).
Gift of Mrs. Bruce Ellis Boyd
Gift of Miss Lottie Ellis
Gift of Marjorie Ellis Boyd Dunn
Processed by C. Harrison, January 1975
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.