|Title:||George W. McNeill Papers|
|Creator:||McNeill, George W.|
|Repository:||ECU Manuscript Collection|
|Abstract:||Papers (1831-1946) including correspondence, legal and financial papers, newspapers, articles on local business, hotels, banks, and miscellaneous.|
|Extent:||5.16 Cubic feet, consisting of correspondence, legal and financial papers, and newspapers.|
September 12, 1984, ca. 2,100 items; Papers (1892-1937) of a Moore County, N.C., attorney and Democratic Party official, including correspondence, legal papers, and miscellaneous. Gift of Miss Meade Seawell, Carthage, N.C.
January 5, 2007, (unprocessed addition 1), 428 items, 1.25 cubic feet; Papers (1880-1946, n.d. [Bulk: 1900-1905]) of a Carthage, Moore County, North Carolina attorney, Democratic Party political activist, and real estate developer, including business, political and personal correspondence, financial papers, legal papers, and printed materials. See preliminary inventory attached. Donor: George Stevenson, Private Manuscripts Archivist, N.C. State Archives.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
George W. McNeill Papers (#492), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Processed by M. Boccaccio, October 1985
Encoded by Apex Data Services
A native of Carthage, N.C., George W. McNeill, the son of Alexander Hamilton McNeill, was a lawyer and Moore County Clerk of Superior Court. McNeill attended the University of North Carolina and Wake Forest College Law School. He began his practice in Carthage in 1900 and at the same time managed real estate in the county. McNeill was chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee of Moore County and served in that capacity during the 1910s. He was related by marriage to the Blue family and the Seawell family. For information about these families and life in Carthage, see Meade Seawell, Edgehill Entry: Tale of a Tarheel Town, Edwards and Broughton, Raleigh, 1970. For related materials see the Herbert Floyd Seawell, Jr., Papers, #496, and the Herbert Floyd Seawell, Sr., Papers, #497.
A file of Blue correspondence contains an 1874 letter from M. J. Blue, at school in Cool Springs, to his brother. In 1881 there is a note on the sale of rosin and in 1891 a letter from H. F. Seawell to John King regarding the bill for the charter of the Brownstone and Encampment Company.
The George W. McNeill correspondence has a substantial amount of material concerning the Democratic Party in the state and in Moore County. Correspondence (1909-1926) concerns the appointment of postmasters, election campaigns (1910-1914), applications (1913) for cotton statistician and county cotton agent, and Moore County political activities in general. Other political correspondence concerns an act to protect Moore County forests from fire (Feb. 1911), the W. W. Kitchin senatorial contest (July 1911), requests of various candidates for support (1911), a letter from Walter Clarke(Aug. 22, 1912), and information on the presidential campaign of Woodrow Wilson (Sept.-Oct. 1912). Much of the latter material is from the various members of the Campaign Committee discussing strategy: Josephus Daniels (Sept. 9, 1912) regarding the Democratic National Textbook, Thomas P. Gore (Sept. 14, 1912) on the campaign, letters on how to make a successful campaign, and various pamphlets and publications (Oct. 19, 22, 1912). The Women's National Wilson and Marshall Organization (Oct. 23, 1912) discusses their activities, and other letters concern poll holders (Oct. 23, 1912), speaking engagements (Oct. 29, 1912), the Negro vote (Oct. 30, 1912), and Rule 11 governing Senate primaries (Nov. 7, 1912). Other political correspondence (1912-14) concerns appointments for U.S. District Attorney for Eastern and Western North Carolina, allotment of judges at the Senate primaries, poll holders and registrars, and primary expenses. A letter from Thomas D. Warren (Aug. 22, 1914) concerns election law and poll books. Correspondence for 1915 concerns the candidates for State Attorney General, while a letter from J. Bryan Grimes (Oct. 4, 1915) discusses his candidacy for Secretary of State, and a letter from Thomas D. Warren (Oct. 26, 1915) is concerned with the equalization of taxes. The political correspondence decreases substantially from 1916 on, though there is one letter from Thomas D. Warren (Oct. 24, 1916) concerning the Democratic administration in Moore County.
Correspondence concerning McNeill's land activities and real estate concerns span the length of his correspondence, 1906-1941, from the sale of timber in 1906 to the purchase and sale of various tracts of land in Moore County to the establishment of George W. McNeill Real Estate ca. 1909, which deals with town lots, hardwood, pine timber, and farm and grazing lands. In this real estate capacity, McNeill arranged the sale of some of his sister's land (July 1911) as well as that of other relatives (July 1921, April 1924, April 1927). Sale of timber and rosin were regular concerns and McNeill was occasionally confronted with the theft of these items from his lands (April 1914). In terms of land development, McNeill was continually involved in activities to increase the value of his holdings. In 1912 he investigated ducks as egg producers; in June of 1914, he investigated stocking the ponds and streams on his land with goldfish and sunfish, applying to the Bureau of Fisheries for the original stock; through 1915 and into the early 1920s, McNeill continually purchased agricultural fertilizers and chemicals; and in 1917-1918, there is a substantial amount of correspondence relating to purebred Angus cattle, bulls, sow pigs, and Duroc hogs.
The rest of the correspondence pertains to McNeill's law cases and includes guardianships, collection of debts, settlement of estates, sale and purchase of tracts of lands, deeds, moonshining, claims, murder, transfers of property, debts and mortgages, and the foreclosure on McNeill's land in 1934-1935. Some of the more extended cases involve the Wadsworth guardianship of the Upchurch children (1906-1907) and the death of Moses Wadsworth in 1907, with the settlement of his debts and estate; the settlement of the Alexander H. McNeill estate (1908, 1912-1913); the commutation of sentence forGrady Lane (June 26, 1914), who was sentenced for murder; the transfer of property of the Bethel A.M.E. Church of Buffalo, N.Y., to C. S. Palmer (March-June 1915); the foreclosure on the Wilcox property; and the Silkworth interest in the Roseland property (Jan.-Oct. 1919) and Denton property (July 1923-May 1924).
One letter from McNeill (April 21, 1931) comments on the effects of the Depression, new buildings, and activities in Carthage.
A file on George W. McNeill's finances includes an account book for 1901-1903 with income and disbursements, promissory notes, tax receipts, bills, bank statements, and a book listing trees by type (undated) cut and/or sold.
McNeill's legal files include land surveys of various tracts, court term calendars, contracts, summonses, promissory notes, indentures, bills, deeds, agreements, and tax receipts. Some of the more extensive materials include the settlement of the A. H. McNeill estate (1907-1909) and McNeill el al vs. Graves (1913); State vs. John Kelly (1911), State vs. Luck, (1911), and U.S. vs. Garner (1916), concerning bootlegging; and various railway accidents and fires, including J. D. McDonald vs. Railway (1911), Ritter vs. Foster Co. and Norfolk-Southern R.R. (1920), and McQueen vs. SAL Railway (undated). A file of miscellaneous legal finances includes receipts, promissory notes, and accounts, which are not McNeill's personal receipts and are likely to pertain to some case.
A file of A. H. McNeill correspondence includes information on deeds, balances on notes, estates, and cases. A file of his legal cases concerns indentures, receipts, deeds, judgments, wills, and estates. A legal notebook for 1877 details various cases and notes and maxims of land. A file of financial papers includes promissory notes, accounts, and receipts, and is an accompanying file to the legal file.
Several miscellaneous volumes include a Civil and Criminal Docket, 1887-1903, before M. M. Frye, Mayor; a letterpress book belonging to Charles A. McNeill, brother of George and also a lawyer, with information about cases, estates, briefs, politics, and primaries; a book of postal regulations for 1889, belonging to R. L. McNeill; and a book of pathology lectures (undated) which includes diagnosis and treatment for typhoid, typhus, scarlet fever, chicken pox, and sunstroke, as well as a number of other illnesses.
A file of political items includes Democratic primary results for Moore County, Mineral Springs, and Greenwood Township, 1914. Other materials include a brochure on Joseph W. Folk for President, proposed amendments to the N.C. Constitution for 1914, a synopsis of the Primary Law and Criminal Provisions by the Election Law, broadsides for Thomas H. Calvert for Attorney General (1915), a Plan of Organization of the Democratic Party of North Carolina State and District Committees, and the 7th District Rules and Regulations for holding a primary (1912).
An agricultural file includes a notebook listing trees on the Glascock tract and cotton picked on the McNeill farm, a fertilizer account book, cattle and fishery booklets, and issues of Farming and Banking Monthly and of Woods Crop Special.
A file of miscellaneous N.C. materials includes a 1912 booklet on Raleigh, another on Bat Cave and Chimney Mountain, and one on the Yarborough Hotel. Also included in the file are short history of the Worth family; a representative list of Southern buildings, birds, and game of North Carolina; a brochure, "Some facts concerning Moore County" ; a clipping on Joyland orphanage; the street plan for the Glenwood subdivision in Greensboro; and a draft of a pamphlet on Carthage by George H. Humber.
A file on the McNeill genealogy includes a list of relatives living outside of Moore County.
A file on religion includes an extract of a meeting of the Carthage Presbyterian Church (1895), subscriptions to the Carolina YMCA, tracts, and hymns.
A miscellaneous file includes a book of quotations, a composition book of Evaline McNeill, liquor advertisements, poems, and clippings.
A file of post cards include Efird's Marble Works in Monroe and the B.N. Duke residence, the New Academy of Music, and the Stagg residence in Durham.
A file of photographs includes two of the Neenah Reynolds family, but the rest are not identified.
Numerous North Carolina, Moore County, and Carthage newspapers are included in the collection (492.10, 492.10os2-3).
Oversize materials include the Southern Pines Tourist, c. 1900, which has sections on Carthage, Sanford, Niagara, Southern Pines, and the school system. It includes photographs of people, homes, views, and has articles on local businesses, hotels, banks, and so on. An unidentified ledger for 1877-1881 has various accounts. A Criminal Docket for the Superior Court of Moore County, August Term 1886, is also included. This volume gives name of party, nature of action, names of sureties, and amount of bail, as well as the names of the state's witnesses. A 1921 crop census map shows acreage and number of livestock. Several indentures and one plot from the 1800s are also filed with these materials.
For further McNeill land holding information, see the H. F. Seawell, Sr., Papers.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Reading Room's card catalog. This system is no longer maintained, but it is left in place to help on-site researchers locate particular topics in the collection.
Below is material taken from a preliminary inventory and represents content from the collection that is unprocessed.
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.