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Robert Ann Rhodes Speight Memoir, 1825-1970

(Manuscript Collection #515)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Robert Ann Rhodes Speight Memoir
Creator: Speight, Robert Ann Rhodes
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Memoir (1825-1970) including correspondence, certificates, letters, family records, picture, and a family tree with notes.
Extent: 0.11 Cubic feet, 103 pages and 7 items, consisting of a memoir, letter, certificate, family record, picture, and a family tree with notes.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

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.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

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

Preferred Citation

Robert Ann Rhodes Speight Memoir (#515), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mrs. Maude Barnes Wells

Processing Information

  • Processed by M. Cherry, February 1988

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

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.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

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.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

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.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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