Robert Ann Rhodes Speight Memoir

Manuscript Collection #515
Speight, Robert Ann Rhodes
Physical description
0.11 Cubic Feet, 103 pages and 7 items, consisting of a memoir, letter, certificate, family record, picture, and a family tree with notes.
Preferred Citation
Robert Ann Rhodes Speight Memoir (#515), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Memoir (1825-1970) including correspondence, certificates, letters, family records, picture, and a family tree with notes.

Biographical/historical information

In 1924 Robert Ann Rhodes Speight wrote the history of her life and travels in Kentucky (her birthplace), Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. Her father, John Wesley Rhodes, was a Methodist preacher who moved to a new congregation approximately every two years. She married William Haywood Speight in Florida in 1866 and they had three daughters: Alma, Daisy, and Laurie.

Scope and arrangement

The collection consists chiefly of Mrs. Speight's memoirs which describe her life as a child, including schools she attended and a long trip her family made by carriage and horseback from Kentucky through Tennessee and Georgia to their new home in Florida. She mentions being bled for typhoid fever and seeing slaves in Albany, Georgia, celebrating Christmas with drinking and fireworks.

The memoir describes life in Florida during and after the Civil War, including the scarcity of food, clothes, and supplies; education; and experiences teaching school. After her marriage in 1866, she and her husband moved to Georgia and then to eastern North Carolina where he worked in timber and she taught school to supplement the family income. There are vivid descriptions of areas in which they lived, especially on the Satilla River in Georgia, and some discussion of the schools.

Correspondence consists of a letter (1970) from Francis Speight to Mrs. B. W. Wells concerning family history. Also in the collection is a family tree with explanatory notes; two pages from a family record (1825) listing births, baptisms, and a marriage; aphotograph of Mrs. Speight; and a United Daughters of the Confederacy membership certificate for Alma Speight Duncan.

Administrative information
Custodial History

October 8, 1986, 102 pages; Reminiscences (1924) of nineteenth century life and travel in Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. Gift of Mrs. Maude Barnes Wells, Raleigh, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Maude Barnes Wells

Processing information

Processed by M. Cherry, February 1988

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
Speight, Robert Ann Rhodes
Florida--Social life and customs--19th century
Georgia--Social life and customs--19th century
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
Wayne County (N.C.)--Social life and customs--19th century