Cherry, Ada Pearce, Papers

Manuscript Collection #586

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: Ada Pearce Cherry Papers
    Creator: Cherry, Ada Pearce
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Papers (1861-1933, undated) of Greenville, NC singer, songwriter, and director of Jarvis Memorial Methodist Church including correspondence, news articles, photographs, genealogical information, portraits, etc.
    Extent: 0.143 Cubic Feet, 119 items , consisting of correspondence, news articles, photographs, and miscellaneous.
  • Description

    Three letters (1861, 1862) from Confederate Secretary of Navy Stephen Russell Mallory to J. J. Cherry in Greenville, N.C., concern the charter of Cherry's steamer, the COTTON PLANT, for use at Roanoke Island, N.C., and Norfolk, Va. (Sept.-Nov. 1861), damage to the vessel, and difficulty in negotiating payment for use and repairs. There are three letters from Greenville, N.C., fraternal organizations: two from the Greenville [Masonic] Lodge No. 284 and the Woodson Lodge of the Knights of Pythias (1873, 1877) thanking Mrs. Cherry for recent musical performances, and one from the Tar River Lodge of the Knights of Pythias (1905) memorializing member J. B. Cherry at his death. A photocopied letter (1885) from Mary W. Jarvis, wife of Gov. Thomas J. Jarvis, writing from Brazil, details her reaction to the news of the death of a niece, and mentions yellow fever and weakness caused by Brazil's climate. Three letters (1889-1891) between James B. Cherry, Jr., and his parents while attending the Davis School, a military school in La Grange, N.C., concern spending money and requests for supplies. One letter (1899) from James Cherry to his wife details his upcoming eye surgery at Johns Hopkins and thecosts involved. A large fire in Greenville, N.C., (1903) is chronicled in another letter. A 1931 letter from the DeVaignie Music Corporation invites submission by Mrs. Cherry of the manuscript of the song "How Firm a Foundation," while a clipping (1931) notes her ownership of a new copyright for the tune.

    A newspaper clipping notes the completion (1880) of a new Methodist church in Greenville, N.C. Two undated obituaries for Blount Coleman Pearce contain biographical data and note that he was the first man in North Carolina to be arrested as a member of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). A 1905 memorial to James Burton Cherry includes biographical data.

    Miscellaneous items include a hand-written copy of an act (1795) appointing trustees for Pitt Academy, in Greenville, N.C. (found in the oversized folder); an 1873 commencement program from Wesleyan Female Institute; a hand-written list of "firsts" for the "new ME Church" at Greenville (1880); and an undated memorial by the Patient Circle of the King's Daughters and Sons of Greenville at the death of Ada Cherry.

    Also included is a picture booklet, "The White City by Lake Michigan, a Souvenir in Albertype" from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois.

    Numerous photographs are mostly of the Hopkins and Scott families of Maryland and the West Coast. Many give genealogical information. Included are family portraits and photographs of family homesteads, Scott burial sites in Maryland and California, as well as two tintypes of dead children (1876).

    Of major significance is the cabinet photograph "The Horse in Motion" of Leland Stanford's horse Mahomet. This 1878 image taken by Eadweard Muybridge was significant in documenting animal locomotion. This item is kept in the vault separate from the rest of this collection, but access is not restricted.

    For related material, see Collection #604.1.

  • Biographical / Historical Note

    Ada Pearce Cherry (Aug. 13, 1856-June 28, 1934) was the daughter of Blount Coleman Pearce and Ann Kinsaul Pearce, of Greenville, N.C. She graduated from the Wesleyan Female Institute, Staunton, Va., and achieved local renown as "Greenville's Sweet Singer." She was choir director and soloist at Jarvis Memorial Methodist Church, and, at the age of seventy-six, received the copyright for a new tune to the old hymn "How Firm a Foundation." On March 16, 1875, Miss Pearce married James Burton Cherry (Jan. 17, 1840-Mar. 13, 1905), a widower with two daughters, and later had a son, James B. Cherry, Jr. The elder Mr. Cherry served Pitt County as clerk of Superior Court for several years up to 1868, and as county treasurer (1874-1890, 1898-1904).

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

    December 12, 1989, 92 items; Papers (1861-1905), including correspondence, photographs, clippings, resolutions, and miscellaneous. Gift of Mr. Sam Underwood, Jr., Greenville, N.C.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Mr. Sam Underwood, Jr.

    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

    Ada Pearce Cherry Papers (#586), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Processed by C. Crews, February 1991

    Encoded by Apex Data Services

Container List

Box 1

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Sensitive Materials Statement

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection, without the consent of those individuals, may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which East Carolina University assumes no responsibility.

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Container List

Box 1

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