The majority of these papers is divided into subgroups concerning Taylor's political interests, law practice, personal affairs, and speech-making. The collection also contains a few miscellaneous files.
For additional information, see file of biographical material in this collection (#192.18.g).
The political subgroup reflects Taylor's activities and duties as an elected official as well as his interest in Democratic Party politics.
The lieutenant governor series (1948-1952) contains considerable correspondence and other material reflecting Taylor's varied duties as the presiding officer of the North Carolina Senate. The general correspondence files contain largely routine letters from constituents and legislators, the latter often complimentary of Taylor's work in the Senate. Many letters constitute requests for appearances by Taylor. Carbon copies of Taylor's replies reveal his method of handling constituents' requests and his relationships with other Democrats.
Correspondence of Taylor, several states' lieutenant governors, and other interested persons (May-Sept., 1949; Aug., Dec., 1950; May, 1951) concerns Taylor's desire to reduce the number of committees in the N.C. Senate.
Other topics include the need for better school buildings in North Carolina, particularly for Negroes (July, 1948); an ABC store referendum bill for Greensboro (Apr., 1949); the Michigan legislature's resolutions proposing a constitutional amendment to regulate federal taxes (Apr., 1949); a flood near Canton in Haywood County (June, 1949); the history and current plans of Negro 4-H clubs in North Carolina (July, 1949); the case of a Durham County youth exposed to older prisoners in a Durham prison (July, 1949); the possible hazards of attempts to politicize the Young Democratic Club of North Carolina (Aug., 1949); and the development and present condition of Appalachian State Teacher's College (Sept., 1949).
Additional correspondence concerns Taylor's opposition to a state-owned cement plant and other competition with business (Sept., 1949); incidents of the 1946 Haywood County trial of Ennis Sentelle and an alleged "Waynesville Courthouse ring" (Sept., 1949); prominent persons who signed a World Federation resolution before Congress (Jan., 1950); blood distribution efforts of the Red Cross in Charlotte and their desire that theHighway Patrol be allowed to continue distributing blood (Jan., 1950); a program of the N.C. Conference for Social Service (Apr., 1950), J.D. Messick's opposition to consolidation of the administrations of teacher colleges (Aug., 1950); Christopher Crittenden's support of a new cultural center for state agencies (Sept., 1950); the state's fiscal problems and the need to fund new school buildings and supplemental salaries for teachers (Sept., Oct., 1950); the lack of space for reporters in the N.C. Senate chambers (Oct., 1950); a resolution of Catawba County car dealers urging the General Assembly to correct North Carolina's poor highway safety record (Dec., 1950); the controversy surrounding the dismissal of state forester W. K. Reichler (Nov., 1951); the view of Charles M. Dickson concerning the harmfulness of presidential politics and the issue of Truman's appointment of an ambassador to the Vatican (Nov., 1951); and the financial needs of the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina (Dec., 1951).
Charles B. Aycock Anniversary files (Dec., 1950-June, 1952) concern Taylor's work with a committee to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Aycock's inauguration as governor. Correspondence, including letters from Clarence Poe and Lindsay C. Warren, discuss the publication of the proceedings of the General Assembly on January 15, 1951. The files also include topics of speeches given that day and material concerning the acquisition by the state of a portrait of Aycock by Howard Chandler Christy. Other letters in the series concern W. Kerr Scott's expression of the need for $80,000,000 for construction of schools for Negroes (June, 1951) and efforts of the Charles B. Aycock Memorial Commission to restore Aycock's birthplace (Apr., 1952).
Josephus Daniels Memorial Commission files (1951-1953) reflect work by Taylor, Clarence Poe, Lindsay Warren, and others to propose a suitable memorial to Josephus Daniels. Their recommendation of an arboretum of native plants at North Carolina State College was never carried out, owing to the refusal of the 1953 General Assembly to appropriate funds. Included in the files is a speech by L. P. McLendon, "The Old Reliable," and a letter of Lindsay Warren (July, 1951) discussing the work of the General Accounting Office and "Ethics in Government."
Better Schools and Roads files (Apr., 1949-Dec., 1952), including correspondence and miscellaneous material, reflect the work of the Better Schools and Roads corporation to promote bond issues to raise money for schools and roads. Included is correspondence (Apr.-May, 1952) concerning the decision to use surplus funds to produce a film discussing proper landscaping and development of school grounds and highways. A transcript of W. Kerr Scott's radio address (May 10, 1949) as support of the bond issue also is included.
Taylor served as chairman of the State Board of Education. General State Board of Education correspondence concerns the ethics of advertising for teachers (May, 1949), William Cola Allen's criticism of the state for allowing new North Carolina history texts tocompete with his (June, July, 1949), criticism by the State Federation of Labor of a medical group's high school essay contest designed to arouse opposition to W. Kerr Scott's "Public Health" measure (Jan., 1952), and the support of the Communication Study Commission for appropriations for a state-wide audio-visual program in the public schools (Aug., 1952). Other files concern the death of Superintendent of Public Instruction Clyde Erwin (1952) and progress between 1900 and 1950 in North Carolina's public schools.
The Commission on Interstate Cooperation file (July, 1949-Dec., 1951) includes correspondence and other material concerning the Southern Regional Conference of the Council of State Governments held in Asheville September 8-9, 1949.
Correspondence (Apr.-Dec., 1951) reflects the work of Lt. Gov. James Allen of Alabama and the Council of State Governments to organize a conference of lieutenant governors held at Chicago Jan. 10-11, 1952.
A file of material concerning W. Kerr Scott includes a typescript of a meeting concerning "Contingent Teacher Raises" and a typescript outlining arguments against state operation of a cement plant in Eastern North Carolina.
Additional lieutenant governor-related files include correspondence and printed material concerning a 1953 bill authorizing a new building for the State Department of Archives and History, photographic portraits of Taylor by Robert Shoaf of Lexington (1951), Taylor's tenure as lieutenant governor, and the make-up of the 1949 General Assembly.
The 1943 General Assembly series consists of one file containing scattered correspondence concerning William D. Carmichael's recommendation that the Advisory Budget Commission add $184,000 to the War Bonus Fund (Feb.) and the need to retain the Department of Tax Research as a separate entity in state government (Feb.).
Taylor's lieutenant governor campaign series (1947-1948), organized alphabetically by county, constitutes an interesting record of the candidate's campaign philosophy and techniques as well as the nature of his support throughout the state. In many cases, the correspondence reflects the nature of the Democratic Party in the counties. Specific issues addressed include the chances of Brandon Hodges winning if he chose to oppose Taylor for the Democratic nomination (Buncombe, Cleveland, Lenoir), the campaign of Charles M. Johnson for governor (Buncombe, Wake), a farmer's emphatic support for W. Kerr Scott (Franklin), North Carolina's placement on the "free list" of history texts denying the validity of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (Haywood), Democratic politics in Johnston County (Johnston), Herbert Hoover's desire for advice for the Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of theGovernment (Wake, Feb., 1948), and the need for additional state funds for public schools (Yadkin). Of particular interest is Taylor's letter of April 1947 (Wake) describing his deliberations about whether to enter the race.
Several miscellaneous files concern Taylor's campaign. Included in the correspondence from outside North Carolina is a letter from James F. Latham, a judge of the Military Government Court in Mannheim, Germany, describing the issues dealt with by the court, including murder, rape, and prostitution (Aug., 1947). Additional files include printed material, typescripts, and financial papers.
Anson County Democratic Executive Committee files reflect Taylor's efforts to secure from Senators Josiah Bailey and Robert Reynolds positions and other favors for Democratic constituents. Included in the Bailey file (1935-1942) are letters concerning the need for a branch of the WPA in Anson County to be used by Anson, Richmond, Stanley, and Montgomery counties (Aug., 1935); the need of rural citizens for WPA support during winter months (Nov.-Dec., 1935); the political aspirations of Congressman Franklin Wills Hancock, Jr. (Dec., 1935); a speech in Wadesboro by Richard T. Fountain and his attempt to unseat Bailey (Apr., June, 1936); Bailey's position on the issues of the campaign (May, June, 1936); and the efficacy of giving war workers eight-hour work days, overtime compensation, and the right to strike (Mar., 1942). Correspondence with Reynolds concerns his attempts to secure positions for persons recommended by Taylor.
The Democratic National Convention series contains correspondence, printed material, and miscellany concerning Taylor's attendance at the 1948 and 1952 conventions. The bulk of the correspondence concerns routine travel arrangements for the 1952 convention and requests by presidential nominee hopefuls for support. Notable correspondence reflects Jonathan Daniel's desire to be elected a member of the credentials committee and his possible support for Richard Russell (May, 1952), a Martin County lady's favorable opinion of William O. Douglas (June, July, 1952), the views of and support for Estes Kefauver (July, Aug., 1952), Taylor's support for Alben Barkley and his thoughts about why Barkley was nominated (July, 1952), Cameron Morrison's effectiveness as a chairman of the N.C. delegation (July, 1952), and the strong opposition to Adlai Sevenson by an Albama man because of his stand in 1948 against seating delegates from Mississippi (Sept., 1952).
The 1958 State Democratic Convention keynote address series contains correspondence relating to Taylor's speech before the convention and copies of the speech.
Among the three items in the mayor of Wadesboro series (1920-1921) is a telegram (Feb., 1920) to Internal Revenue Collector Josiah William Bailey requesting whiskey for the treatment of influenza in Wadesboro.
The Robert Gregg Cherry series includes material concerning the 1944 gubernatorial campaign. Correspondence is supplemented by a typescript of a radio talk made in behalf of Cherry by William B. Umstead and Taylor (Apr., 1944), a draft speech lauding Cherry, and printed material concerning the campaigns of Cherry and his Democratic opponent, Dr. Ralph McDonald.
Files concerning the campaign of 1944 contain correspondence from various Democrats and printed material related to their races. A sarcastic speech criticizes the campaign tactics and senate record of Robert Rice Reynolds.
The 1948 campaign is represented by printed material pertaining to Democrats' races for governor, state treasurer, and Congress. A pamphlet concerns the
Plan of Organization [of the] Democratic Party of North Carolina. Also included is an undated newspaper editorial critical of the campaign of W. Kerr Scott.
The William B. Umstead series (1947-1952) consists of correspondence, campaign literature, and printed material reflecting Taylor's interest in Umstead's political career. Carbons of Taylor's letters to Umstead congratulating him on victories or actions comprise most of the correspondence. The file also includes Umstead's mimeographed statement denying he opposed the REA while in Congress, his address before the 43rd Annual Convention of the North Carolina League of Municipalities, and a 1952 newspaper article describing him.
An additional file relates to the claims by the Anson County Welfare department covering payments made for old age assistance.
Taylor's law subgroup relates to his private practice and work as the attorney for Anson County and Ansonville.
A file of general correspondence (Dec., 1942-Mar., 1960) concerns scattered issues Taylor dealt with as an attorney. In an October 1951 letter, Taylor expresses dismay because the law regarding ABC stores in Durham was not having the effect of retarding bootlegging and the consumption of alcohol. Other letters discuss the policies of the North Carolina Telephone Company in regard to stockholders (Oct., 1956), proper courtroom etiquette and rules for court clerks and sheriffs (Feb., 1958), and routine issues relating to his clients.
Legal papers, including deeds, wills, and a court case (1940s-1950s), involve the Ashcroft, Thomas, Horne, Lowery, Moore, Quick, Rennick, Robinson, Rayfield, Rook, Taylor, Wall, Whisnot, and White families of Anson County. Also included is the will of Frank T. Wooten of Chadbourn.
General Anson County attorney files (1952-1957) include correspondence and records concerning the lack of work and storage space in the Anson County Courthouse (Oct., 1953), protests against the change in location of Highway 52 (1954), the need for renovations to the Anson County Courthouse and plans to improve the structure (1956-1957), farming in the county (1955), and the desire of vocational teachers to receive the same pay increases as academic teachers (Apr., 1957).
Additional Anson County-related legal files concern Anson County tax foreclosures (1955-1956) and a county beer and wine sale referendum (1950), as well as municipal tax sales (1934-1945), the telephone exchange (1943), ordinances (1928-1945), elections (1941-1945), and miscellaneous legal matters (1930-1941) in Ansonville. A file of resolutions lauding area leaders also is included in this series.
A variety of files concerning Taylor's board memberships, World War I service, private life, and friendships comprise the personal subgroup.
Meredith College trustee files (1947-1951) include routine correspondence as well as letters and other materials concerning the school's 50th anniversary celebration (1949). Also included is a photograph of the trustees taken in 1948 or 1949.
The University of North Carolina series includes correspondence of William B. Rodman (1946) discussing in detail the work of the Medical Care Commission and the efficacy of establishing a four-year medical school for the University of North Carolina. His letter of August 9 criticizes the decision of the Committee of Medical Schools, chaired by Dr. Paul F. Whitaker of Kinston, to recommend the construction of hospital facilities at Chapel Hill. Additional correspondence, typescripts, and printed material (1950-1961) concern the university system's annual O. Max Gardner award and its recipients. Included are Edwin Gill's speech, "Oliver Max Gardner- The Man," given at North Carolina State College (1953) and Howard Odum's speech, "Symbol and Reality of Consolidation" (1953). Correspondence and printed material discuss Gordon Gray and his inauguration as president of the consolidated university (1950).
A file on the Commission for the Defense of Democracy Through Education (1942) includes correspondence and printed material concerning the role of schools in the war effort.
The American Legion Celebration series (1922) documents Taylor's work in behalf of the Wadesboro American Legion Post No. 31 to organize a celebration centered around the unveiling of a monument to World War I soldiers and sailors. The monument was erected by the Thomas-Wade Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
General personal correspondence from Taylor and his family (1913-1921) documents their activities and interests. Letters from Kate (Ward) Taylor- the bulk of these files- concern the effect of World War I on the family's eating habits (Aug., Oct., 1918), influenza in the Winton area and precautions to take to avoid it (Feb., 1919), Winton's new school and electric plant (Dec., 1919), and real estate and other aspects of Ocean View, Va. (1920). A letter of Simeon Taylor, Jr. ("17th/3rd Co./MM Regt./Air Service") written in France (Apr., 1919) reveals his disgust at still being in Europe and mentions a depot congested with trucks, autos, planes, and equipment being shipped to America. Correspondence of Simeon P. Taylor concerns a recent tax revaluation and his fear of burdensome controls (Feb., 1920), his fear of Republican gains in national elections owing to Democratic disunity (Feb., 1920), economic aspects of the lumber industry in Eastern North Carolina (Mar., Apr., 1920), and timber speculation in Florida (Apr., 1920). Letters of Genevive Taylor, a student at Chowan College, discuss interest in music there ([Oct., 1919?], [Feb., 1920?]), cases of influenza ([Feb., 1920]), improvements under the new president and a fire ([Nov., 1920]), and other aspects of college life. Hoyt P. Taylor's April 12, 1920, letter to his father mentions improvements in Wadesboro, including water mains, lights, a municipal building and firehouse, and the surfacing of streets.
Considerable correspondence and papers (1929-1933) reflect the efforts of Taylor and his mother to settle the estate of Simeon P. Taylor. Their work involved the payment of taxes on land in Washington, Hertford, Columbus, and Pender counties in North Carolina as well as on property in Ocean View, Va., where Mrs. Taylor lived. The papers reveal the effect of the Depression on the value of Taylor's extensive land holdings and on Mrs. Taylor's ability to meet her financial obligations. Correspondence discusses Taylor family genealogy ([Mar., 1930]), the theft of Taylor's trees in Washington County's Cowan Swamp (Aug., 1930), and hazards involved in using all of Mrs. Taylor's Ocean View property as collateral for a loan (Nov., Dec., 1931). Taylor's will is enclosed in a letter of May 12, 1930.
A file of letters and telegrams (1936) express sympathy concerning the death of Kate (Ward) Taylor.
The Frank Wooten Taylor series (1940-1956) concerns the efforts of Taylor to remedy the muscular dystrophy of his son, Frank Wooten. Letters and printed material discuss the disease and possible treatments for it.
Additional files of general personal correspondence (1926-1964, undated) reflect relatively unimportant aspects of Taylor's personal life. A considerable quantity of the correspondence reveals Taylor's cordial relationships with many prominent politicians of the period. A letter of October 19, 1945, encloses a speech of Robert Gregg Cherry given in Wadesboro. Additional correspondence concerns a fundraising campaign to reopenChowan College (Dec., 1947, Apr., 1948), an attempt by former students to purchase a car for Wake Forest College Professor E. W. Timberlake (May, June, 1949), a speech of C. W. Tillett advocating a stronger United Nations (Nov., 1950), counseling being done by a minister at N.C. Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem (Nov., 1953), and work to erect a memorial to General William C. Lee at Dunn (Apr., 1957).
The 371st Infantry series concerns Taylor's World War I service and his membership in the Association of Officers to the 371st Infantry.
Documents include Taylor's orders (1918) and affidavits (1933) of his fellow soldiers describing his participation and other events at an assault in the Champagne Sector of France, Sept. 28-29, 1918. General correspondence deals with, in addition to the routine affairs of the association, Taylor's attempt to get awards for his leadership during the Champagne battle (1933-1934); and the views of General Perry Miles concerning the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and the accomplishments of General MacArthur (Mar., 1943); the greed of labor unions and their impact on inflation (Oct., 1958); the Cold War and its effect on the election of 1960 (Sept., Oct., 1960); American's role in the Philippines at the turn of the century and its effect on the country's development (May, 1961); inaccuracies contained in
Little Brown Brother, a book by Leon Wolff (June, July, 1961); and Miles's work to completed his published memoirs (July, 1961). A letter of May, 1960, gives details about the Justice family in North Carolina.
Additional files contain correspondence relating to attempts to incorporate the association (May-Aug., 1960), newsletter and other publications of the association (1935-1961), reunion programs (1935-1963), membership rosters (1920-1963), photographs taken at reunions, and a map of the front lines in France ([1918?]).
Correspondence (1934-1936) and a file of miscellany relate to Taylor's effort to secure for Perry Miles a promotion from brigadier general to major general.
The T. Lamar Caudle series contains correspondence, typescripts, and newspaper clippings (1952-1960) concerning Caudle's dismissal from the Department of Justice, attempts to clear his of criminal charges, and Taylor's work to have him paroled.
Additional series concern Taylor's trips to South Dakota and Puerto Rico in 1949 and his interest in the poetry of C. T. Thrift of Ellerbe, N.C.
The "Old Gravel Controversy" series (1934-1940), a body of correspondence, typescripts, and mimeographed material with no apparent connection to Taylor other than his friendship with Fayette J. Cloud and B. V. Hedrick, producers of crushed gravel and sand, reflects the concern of several gravel companies about policies of the N.C. State Highway Commission. Topics discussed include standards for gravel and sand set by the state and discrimination against producers of gravel during a P.W.A. project in South Carolina. Most of the correspondence was generated by the W. R. Bonsal Company of Lilesville and Hamlet and the N.C. State College Engineering Experiment Station.
The collection's speech subgroup consists of files containing correspondence, speeches, notes, photographs, and printed material relating to Taylor's thoughts on a variety of issues and his appearances as a speaker or spectator at events from 1941 to 1964. Also included are thematic files on education, eulogies, highway safety, state government, democracy, the lessons of history, religion, and other subjects. Another file contains speeches by Josiah W. Bailey, Archibald Henderson, Frank Porter Graham, Charles M. Johnson, Sadler Love, and Joseph Melville Broughton.
Several miscellaneous files are included in the collection. Photographs depict members of the Taylor family as well as Harry Truman's 1948 visit to the Governor's Mansion in Raleigh, the dedication of the Emergency First Aid Station at Wadesboro (1950), an appearance by Gen. Omar Bradley at Chapel Hill, Taylor's appearance at Morris Field in Charlotte (Mar. 17, 1949), a dinner in Taylor's home attended by Gov. W. Kerr Scott, and William Penn's cottage at Philadelphia. Also included are financial papers (1918-1929); a file of Taylor biographical material; pamphlets (1959-1960) pertaining to Rotary Clubs in Thailand; Anson County deeds and promissory notes (1827-1869); and a miscellaneous file including an insurance policy of the People's Mutual Benevolent Association, a circular describing the Humphrey Turbine Water Wheel, a broadside (1935) announcing the forthcoming sale of Wadesboro Cotton Mills Company, a pamphlet containing historical sketches concerning the contributions of Negroes in America, and a mimeographed list of car assignments for the visit of Vice President Barkley to N.C. (Oct. 24, 1952).
A folder of oversized material contains a blueprint of the roof of the Anson County Courthouse in Wadesboro (1955); Anson County land records (1844); the Sept. 23, 1953 edition of
The Christian Observer containing Taylor's speech, "Christian Principles in Government," given at Presbyterian Junior College in Laurinburg; and a 1956 copy of the
Anson Record containing information on Paul Kitchin and his campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. For related material, see Collection #393.