Herbert Floyd Seawell, Jr., Papers

Manuscript Collection #496
Seawell, H. F. (Herbert Floyd), 1904-1983
Physical description
28.86 Cubic Feet, consisting of correspondence, land records, legal materials, financial records, photographs, pamphlets, speeches, editorials, and miscellaneous materials.
Preferred Citation
Herbert Floyd Seawell, Jr., Papers (#496), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1926-1983) including correspondence, land records, legal materials, financial records, photographs, pamphlets, speeches, editorials, and miscellaneous materials.

Biographical/historical information

Herbert Floyd Seawell, Jr., (1904-1983) was the son of Herbert Floyd Seawell, Sr., and Ella McNeill Seawell of Moore County, N.C. He attended Wake Forest College (1922-1926) and as an attorney joined his father in the firm of Seawell and Seawell in Carthage, N.C. In 1926 he was a candidate for Solicitor in Moore County on the Republican ticket. In 1927 he was appointed Referee in Bankruptcy, a position he held until 1941. Seawell was active in his community, serving as a member of the Board of Commissioners for the town of Carthage (1938-1941) and as town attorney (1943). Politically very active in the Republican party from the mid 1920s, he ran for governor on that ticket in 1952. When he lost and was passed over for the position of district attorney, he disassociated himself from that party and became politically more conservative. During the 1960s and 1970s, Seawell was very active as a dinner speaker, editorial writer, and also in his church and national religious organizations. He published two books, Sir Walter, The Earl of Chatham (1959) and Satire in Solid Skitches (1974), made guest appearances with Jesse Helms on WRAL-TV, and was a trustee of Gospel Chapel Mission from the time of its incorporation in 1957. In the early 1970s, Seawell joined the American party and ran for governor on that ticket in 1976. Professionally, he was associated briefly in the practice of law with Edgar T. Chapman (1931), Allen W. Brown (1951), and Percy H. Wilson (1954). After the mid 1960s, Seawell took fewer and fewer legal cases, and finally in 1971 he formed the firm of Seawell, Pollock, Fullenwider, Van Camp, and Robbins. His final years were devoted to religious activities and conservative politics.

Scope and arrangement

The majority of the collection concerns Seawell's legal career, specifically his civil cases, and includes wills, loans, deeds, promissory notes, debts, bankruptcies, divorces, drunk driving, paroles, and workman's compensation cases. Since he was a Referee in Bankruptcy, there are a number of files concerning bankruptcy cases, particularly between 1927 and 1929. An increasing number of workmen's compensationcases appear in the files, primarily involving mill workers and silicosis (1931-1938). Among the unusual cases are ones involving the violation of music copyright by the Dunes Club of Pinehurst and payments to I. T. Cohen (1937-1938), the copyright of the Jugtown Ware trademark and the controversy over the health of Juliana Busbee (1959), a case involving contribution to the delinquency of a minor (1927-1928), and a rape trial involving a male student (1956). Numerous files pertain to legal work for the community. These include work on the incorporation of Pinehurst (1932), the Hemp Sanitary District (1934), road repairs to the local school house (1939), and road improvement in Carthage (1946). There is also some information about the District Soil Conservation Agreement for the Upper Cape Fear region (1946). Other records report Seawell's involvement in the name change of the town of Hemp to Robbins (1943), the Hemp Country Fair in 1931, and the Fayetteville Historical Celebration (1939), where he served as judge at the parade and helped with the Scotch Historical Celebration Committee and the Moore County Committee.

Prior to World War II, a former client moved back to Germany and wrote to Seawell describing Germany's war preparations, the bombing of Freiburg, and the takeover of Norway. During the war years Seawell served on a Registrant's Advisory Board and on the Legal Aid Committee to help draftees with business and debt problems. Entertainment of soldiers (1941), rationing (1943-1944), and the organization of a Red Cross chapter in Moore County (1944) are all wartime topics discussed in this correspondence.

Segregation, integration, and civil rights are topics reflected in a variety of contexts throughout the collection. Many of Seawell's civil cases as well as a number of paroles were for black clients. Other correspondence discusses the Negro vote as a factor in the 1952 Republican campaigns, integration in N.C. prisons, and the success of the prison-education program (1963). In 1954, W. E. Debnam wrote thanking Seawell for a copy of his article, "Treatise on Color" ; in 1964 Sam Ervin commented on the Civil Rights Bill; and in 1983 Seawell received information on KKK rallies.

Temperance as a political topic from 1932-1942 appears in the United Dry Forces campaigns in North Carolina, in a variety of drunk driving cases, in the sale of liquor, and then personally in his religious and family correspondence.

Political correspondence documents Seawell's involvement in the Republican Party (1932-1960), as well as detailing events and activities concerning party organization, campaigns, candidates, precinct activity, primaries, financing, debt, patronage, and party friction. Materials reflect Seawell's candidacy for governor in 1952, his involvement in the presidential campaign for Eisenhower in N.C., and his role in a controversy over an appointment as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District (1953-1954). Seawell's good friend, Theron Lamar Caudle, also had difficulty with the Republican administration and their letters discuss both Seawell's non-appointment and Caudle's trial on charges of conspiracy to defraud the federal government (1953). Seawell became more conservative in the 1960s, and materials reflect his support of Jesse Helms, the Congressional Club, and the American Party (1976).Other topics discussed include Seawell's candidacy for governor on the American party ticket (1976), his support of Beverly Lake, Jr., for governor (1980), and the position of Robert Morgan on the Panama Canal controversy (1978).

A religious series pertains to Seawell's increasing involvement in the Gospel Chapel Mission in Carthage, his financial support of the Chapel, and his activities with the Christian Business Mens Committee and the Full Gospel Business Mens International. There is some correspondence with his son-in-law, Dr. Paul Freed, who was instrumental in the Voice of Tangier, which later became Trans World Radio, broadcasting religious programs throughout the world (1955-1983).

A personal series includes a grade card from Wake Forest, correspondence with his family, information on his mother's and brother's estates, a controversy over letters sent to his niece at Bob Jones University by one of her friends, family genealogy, and Seawell and McNeill legal documents. Personal correspondence includes information on his activities with the N. C. Bar Association, bills, memberships, donations, and income tax.

A folder of miscellaneous materials includes biographical information on Lee County people, a funeral oration for Cleveland Cagle, an article on the "New South" by Henry W. Grady, notes on the Fayetteville Historical Celebration and a copy of Seawell's speech at the presentation of the James McNeill Johnson portrait to the Carthage Courthouse.

Publications include some from the N.C. Bar Association, a Fayetteville Women's Club Yearbook for 1956-1957, and a memorial address by Frank Porter Graham at the presentation of the Aaron Ashley Flowers Seawell portrait to the Supreme Court of N.C. (1953).

Clippings include biographical sketches of prominent Chatham County people from the Chatham News.

An oversize folder includes the February 1897 issue of S.A.L.MAGUNDI (a Seaboard Air Line paper), featuring the town of Carthage. There is a survey of McLendon's Creek (1920) and a 1957 map of Moore County. A 1913 photograph of the N.C. Bar Association in Asheville, political posters, and a political cartoon are included as are his certificate to practice law (1925) and one to continue as a Referee (1931). Finally, there are two larger-than-oversize posters from his 1952 and 1976 campaigns for the governorship.

Administrative information
Custodial History

November 6, 1984, 18 cubic feet; papers of Moore County, N.C., attorney, including correspondence (1928-1982), legal files, speeches, pamphlets, photographs, and miscellaneous. Gift of Mrs. Betty Jane Freed, Morristown, N.J.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Betty Jane Freed

Processing information

Processed by M. Boccaccio, May 1987

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Caudle, T. Lamar, 1904-1969--Correspondence
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
Freed, Paul E.--Correspondence
Helms, Jesse
Lake, I. Beverly (Isaac Beverly), 1934-
Seawell, H. F. (Herbert Floyd), 1904-1983
Corporate Names
American Party (N.C.)
Christian Business Men's Committee International
Congressional Club (Washington, D.C.)
Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International
Gospel Chapel Mission
Republican Party (N.C.)--History--20th century
Civil rights--North Carolina
Governors--North Carolina--Election
Lawyers--North Carolina--Carthage
Temperance--North Carolina
Workers' compensation--Law and legislation-- North Carolina
World War, 1939-1945--Germany
World War, 1939-1945--Norway
World War, 1939-1945--War work--Red Cross
North Carolina--Politics and government--20th century
Pinehurst (N.C.)--History
Robbins (N.C.)--History

Container list
Box 1 Legal Files: General, 1926-September 1928
Box 2 Legal Files: General, October 1928-May 1929
Box 3 Legal Files: General, June 1929-March 1931
Box 4 Legal Files: General, April-December 1931
Box 5 Legal Files: General, January 1932-December 1934
Box 6 Legal Files: General, January 1934-June 1935
Box 7 Legal Files: General, July 1935-February 1937
Box 8 Legal Files: General, March 1937-July 1938
Box 9 Legal Files: General, August 1938-March 1939
Box 10 Legal Files: General, April-November 1939
Box 11 Legal Files: General, December 1939-May 1941
Box 12 Legal Files: General, June-July 1941
Box 13 Legal Files: General, August 1941-June 1942
Box 14 Legal Files: General, July-September 1942
Box 15 Legal Files: General, January-June 1943
Box 16 Legal Files: General, August-December 1943
Box 17 Legal Files: General, January-August 1944
Box 18 Legal Files: General, September 1944-May 1945
Box 19 Legal Files: General, June 1945-February 1946
Box 20 Legal Files: General, March 1946-January 1947
Box 21 Legal Files: General, February-December 1947
Box 22 Legal Files: General, January-September 1948
Box 23 Legal Files: General, October 1948-May 1949
Box 24 Legal Files: General, June 1949-January 1950
Box 25 Legal Files: General, February-September 1950
Box 26 Legal Files: General, October 1950-May 1951
Box 27 Legal Files: General, June 1951-March 1952
Box 28 Legal Files: General, April 1952-March 1953
Box 29 Legal Files: General, April 1953-February 1954
Box 30 Legal Files: General, March 1954-January 1955
Box 31 Legal Files: General, February 1955-May 1956
Box 32 Legal Files: General, June 1956-February 1958
Box 33 Legal Files: General, March 1958-May 1959
Box 34 Legal Files: General, June 1959-February 1961
Box 35 Legal Files: General, March 1961-September 1962
Box 36 Legal Files: General, October 1962-February 1964
Box 37 Legal Files: General, March 1964-1976
Box 38 Legal Files: General, 1977-1983, undated; Aberdeen Company, 1937; Allred vs Davis, 1940-1941; John Anthony, 1941; H. Baker & Co., 1931-1932; R. M. Ballard, 1939-1940; James Barber, 1927; Bessie Barnum, 1943; Barrett Admin. vs Parker, 1941-1948; U.L. Barrett, 1930; Barrow vs Barrow, 1940-April 1941
Box 39 Legal Files: Barrow vs Barrow, May 1941-1942; Raymond Beasley, 1938-1939; Beck vs Beck, 1938; Elizabeth Wade Bell, 1941; Glenn Benner, 1939; W. P. Benner, 1935-1937; Berryman vs Hoyle, 1940-1941; Kate Biddle, 1937-1938; L.L. Biddle II, 1935-1937; John Black, 1937-1941; Paul Bluchroeder, 1943-1947; Blue vs Buttry, 1948; George Blue, 1939; Bogan vs Addison, 1942-1943; Louise Brand, 1932-1937
Box 40 Legal Files: Mrs. Edgar Brewer, 1940; Mary Brewer, 1935; Willie Britt, 1941-1942; C. B. Brook, 1938; Lonnie Brower, 1939-1942; Brower vs Thomas, 1938-1941; George W. Brown, 1937; Lessie Graves Brown, 1940; O.W. Brown, 1942-1944; R. W. Brown, 1937-1941; W. C. Brown, 1927-1928; W. T. Brown, 1936-1938; Brown-Rogers-Dixon, 1934; Harry Buckley, 1937; H.C. Buckminster, 1936-1938; Tinnie Burden, 1938; A. Burker & Co., 1935-1938; G. J. Burney, 1939-1940; Juliana Busbee, 1959; A. J. Butler, 1930
Box 41 Legal Files: Thomas Caddell, 1940-1941; A. M. Caddle, 1940-1943; E. H. Caddle, 1938-1941; Jonah Cagle, 1930-1931; E. Fischer Caldwell, 1924-1932; Margaret Hahn Cameron, 1942; Cameron vs Cameron, 1937-1939; Naomi Cameron, 1939-1941; Candor Furniture, 1939; A. Benson Cannon, 1940-1942; Carroll vs Gardner, 1935-1938; Nannie Carswell, 1945-1946; George Carter, 1938-1944; R. C. Carwell, 1940-1941; Case vs Arnold, 1937-1940; George W. Case/Cynthia Lamm, 1937-1938
Box 42 Legal Files: Central Chemical Co. vs Martin, 1932-1940; Chriscoe vs State Hospital Assoc., 1941-1942; W. M. Chriscoe, 1935; Citizens Bank & Trust vs Highland Park Hotel, 1936-1937; W. H. Coffey, 1943-1946; Cole vs Moore County Hospital, 1935-1936; Mabel Jones Connelly, 1940-1942; Mrs. Wm. A. Cook, 1937-1938; Coral Gables vs Nettie Ayres, 1933-1937; Covington vs James, 1937-1938; Credit Clearing House, 1929-1930; Cummings vs Dowd, 1939-1940; Davis vs Bostic, 1939-1940; Davis vs Standard Mineral Co., 1937; Dismukes vs White, 1928
Box 43 Legal Files: Leta Dow Estate, 1937-1939; Jane Sears Dowd, 1927-1931; Frank Dudgeon, 1933-1936; Dunes Club of Pinehurst, 1938; George T. Dunlap, 1939; Dunn vs Brewer, 1946-1947; Eby vs Carter, 1941-1947; Cornelia Evans Will, 1915-1943
Box 44 Legal Files: G. W. Felgar, 1924-1927; Maud Ferguson, 1937-1940; F. B. Fields, 1931-1937; First National Bank, 1931; M. H. Folley, 1930-1936, 1941-1942; Forbes vs Forbes, 1940-1941; Eula Foster, 1937; Sam Fry, 1939-1940; Fry vs Fry, 1929; Aggie Furr, 1936-1938; L. L. Gardner, 1932; Percy Gardner, 1933; Ruth W. Gardner, 1938-1941; Gardner Judgements, 1932-1941; Gardner vs Bank of Pinehurst, 1940; Mrs. K. C. Garner, 1928; Garner vs Maness, 1933
Box 45 Legal Files: Ora Gibson, 1939-1940; Gladys Dunlop Graves, 1939-1940; J. C. Hammond, 1937-1940; Elizabeth Harper Hardy, 1944-1948; Willie Ernest Hatch, 1935; J. G. Hayer, 1940-1941; Mattie Henley, 1940; Home Insurance Co., 1930; Hood vs Coursey, 1935-1936; A. H. Hurwitz, 1929-1930; Hussey vs Caddell, 1945-1946; W. L. Kennerly, 1929-1930; Kennerly Estate, 1937-1942; J. W. Latting, 1925-1929; Joseph Levy, 1931-1932; Rachel Levy, 1924-1930; Lewis Cafe, 1941
Box 46 Legal Files: Boyce Littlefield, 1934; Wilma Lynn, 1933-1936; Mac Innes, 1936-1938; Mason & Gardner, 1932-1933; Thomas vs McLaughlin, 1944; Margaret McLean, 1930-1935; McMaster vs McMaster, 1941; Josie McNeill Woltz, 1932; Meriden National Bank, 1936-1940; Mrs. W. M. Milan, 1939; Mitchum vs James, 1936-1938
Box 47 Legal Filles: North Carolina Corp., 1933-1934; Page Trust Co., 1933-1934; Amos Palmer, 1941-1944; Parent Bodies vs Barrett, 1941-1942; Walter E. Parker, 1929-1939; O. Tracy Parks, 1937-1940; Pinehurst Dept. Store vs Davidson, 1937-1938; Raymond Bros, 1932-1935; E. M. Ritter, 1933-1936; Sandon & Co., 1938-1942; W. Washington Sears, 1927-1931; Silicosis Cases, 1937-1938; Robert Skinner, 1936-1938; Smith vs Litchfield, 1943-1944; J. C. Steele, 1933-1934; Ray Stutts, 1939; G. B. Suggs, 1936
Box 48 Legal Files: Demus Taylor, 1932-1933; U.S. vs 1940 Ford Coach, 1946; Tayntor Estate, 1933-1934; P. H. Waddell, 1928-1931; J. S. Warman, 1938; Wilson/Connors, 1935; Joseph Wood, 1940-1941; Yemasee Naval Stores vs Carroll, 1933-1938; S. Safford Young, 1938; Case List, 1942-1952; Account Book, 1927-1951
Box 49 Legal Files: Daily Record, 1953-1966
Box 50 Religion: Christian Business Men's Committee, Programs; Correspondence— Christian Business Men's Committee, 1953-1983; Full Gospel Business Mens International, 1960-1983; Gospel Chapel, 1945-1982; General Correspondence, 1939-1954
Box 51 Religion: General Correspondence, 1955-1976
Box 52 Religion: General Correspondence, 1977-1983, undated; Trans World Radio Correspondence, 1955-1983; Religious Publications; Speaking Engagements: Correspondence, 1947-1955
Box 53 Speaking Engagements: Correspondence, 1956-1974
Box 54 Speaking Engagements: Correspondence, 1975-1983; Politics: Correspondence, 1926-1953
Box 55 Politics: Correspondence, 1954-1979
Box 56 Politics: Correspondence, 1980-1983, undated; Pamphlets; Printed Materials; Editorials, 1943-1983
Box 57 Personal: Family Correspondence, 1926-1983; Family Genealogy; Family Legal Materials, 1834-1975; Appointments, 1971-1982
Box 58 Personal: Appointments, 1983; Correspondence, 1927-1974
Box 59 Personal: Correspondence, 1975-1983; Photographs; Carthage, N.C., Views; Biography; Certificates; Sir Walter, The Earl of Chatham; Miscellaneous; Printed Materials
Box 60 Personal: Clippings; Legal Correspondence: P. H. Wilson, 1954-March 1955
Box 61 Legal Correspondence: P. H. Wilson, April-December, 1955; Correspondence: Henry Seawell, 1926-1947; Ella McNeill Seawell Estate Papers, 1949-1956
Folder os1 S.A.L.MAGUNDI, Map, Photographs, Posters, Political Cartoon, Certificates
Folder os2 Campaign Poster 1952
Folder os3 Campaign Poster 1976