Papers (1736–2018) including correspondence, financial documents, legal documents, personal and family materials, printed materials, and photographic materials collected by E. Frank Stephenson Jr. relating to the Benjamin B. Winborne Family, the R. J. Gatling Family, E. Frank Stephenson Jr., and other people in North Carolina and Virginia, especially the Murfreesboro, North Carolina, area. The documents were collected by E. Frank Stephenson Jr. for research use while writing numerous historical publications and to make the items available for other researchers to utilize. Many of Mr. Stephenson's publications are also included in the collection.
B. B. Winborne
Benjamin Brodie Winborne (14 April 1854–1919) practiced law in Hertford County, North Carolina. He was the son of Major Samuel Darden Winborne and Mary H. Pretlow Winborne (d. 24 August 1900) and the grandson of Martha Warren Winborne, possibly the daughter of Robert Warren. In his youth, he attended Buckhorn Academy near Como under the tutelage of J. H. Picot, a school teacher of recent French ancestry. In 1871 he entered Wake Forest College and stayed until 1872. He graduated from Columbia University's law school in June 1874. Winborne then entered employment as a law clerk in the firm of Smith and Strong in Raleigh, North Carolina until he came of age on 14 April 1875 to be admitted to the North Carolina bar. Two months after his admission to the bar, Winborne moved to Winton, North Carolina. He was elected solicitor in 1877. In January 1880, he moved to Murfreesboro, North Carolina and practiced law there until his death in 1919. From 1891 to 1897 excluding the brief period that he served in the 1895 legislature, he served as judge of the Hertford County Criminal Court. Winborne served in the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1895, 1905, 1907, and 1908 (special session), ran for Speakership of the House in 1905, and ran for North Carolina Attorney General in 1908. During the years of Winborne's law practice, his firm was known successively as B.B. Winborne (1875 to c.1879), Winborne Brothers (c. 1879 to 1892), Winborne and Lawrence (1892 to 1909), Winborne and Winborne (1908 to 1919), and eventually Stanley Winborne.
On 23 December 1879, Winborne married Cornelia (Nellie) Vaughan (b. 1853 or 1854), the daughter of Uriah Vaughan, a wealthy Hertford County landowner. To this marriage were born Stanley Winborne who became an attorney, member of both the North Carolina House of Representatives and North Carolina Senate, and North Carolina Corporation Commissioner; Benjamin Brodie Winborne Jr., who became a farmer and merchant, and Uriah Vaughan Winborne and Micajah Winborne who died in childhood. Stanley Winborne married Frances Sharp Jernigan, (daughter of Thomas Roberts Jernigan) in April 1912, and to this marriage were born Stanley Winborne Jr., Mollie J. Winborne, Thomas P. Winborne, Frances J. Winborne, Rosa Vaughan Winborne, Vaughan Sharp Winborne, and Samuel Pretlow Winborne. Winborne's brother, Robert Warren Winborne, who practiced law with him in Murfreesboro until 1891, married Dora Merrifield (daughter of an Indiana judge), and moved to Virginia. Their sons were Roger Merrifield Winborne and Robert Warren Winborne Jr. Dora Merrifield Winborne died in 1900, and Robert Warren Winborne married Rosa Vaughan, sister of Nellie Vaughan Winborne and daughter of Uriah Vaughan. No children were born to this marriage.
R. J. Gatling
Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling (12 September 1818–26 February 1903) was born in Hertford County, North Carolina, to Jordan Gatling (14 May 1783–13 April 1848) and Mary Barnes Gatling (30 October 1795–30 September 1868). Jordan Gatling owned and farmed a large tract of land in Hertford County. Jordan and Mary married on 30 October 1795, and had six children: Thomas Barnes Gatling (29 September 1811–14 May 1857), Mary Ann Gatling (29 September 1813–4 October 1838), James H. Gatling (15 July 1816–2 September 1879), Richard Jordan Gatling, Wa. Jesse Gatling (19 July 1826–6 August 1884), and Martha Sarah Gatling (29 September 1828–22 July 1846).
Richard Jordan Gatling copied records in the office of the county clerk in Hertford County at age 16. At age 19, R. J. took a position teaching school, but he soon abandoned this position to enter the realm of merchandising. Richard Jordan Gatling invented the screw propeller used in steam-vessels, but when he applied for a patent in 1839, he found that a patent had already been granted to someone else for the same invention. Soon after, he invented a seed-sowing machine for sowing rice and received a patent for his invention. He also adapted his machine to sowing wheat in drills. R. J. moved to St. Louis in 1844 and worked as a clerk in a dry-goods store. By 1845, his seed-sowing machines were so popular that he gave up all other occupations to focus on improving and selling these machines.
While traveling from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh by steamboat in the winter of 1845–1846, R. J. Gatling contracted small-pox and lay without medical attention for 13 days because his steamboat was stuck in the ice. It was this experience that led R. J. to study medicine. He took classes at the Indiana Medical College, Laporte, and at the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati. He concluded his studies in 1850, and then resumed the manufacturing and selling of his seed-sowing machines in Indianapolis. He received many prizes and medals for his drills. Another agricultural invention introduced by R. J. Gatling was a double-action hemp brake. In 1849, he introduced the idea of distributing power from a main source to other points by way of compressed air in pipes laid beneath the ground as gas and water pipes are laid. R. J. invented a steam-plough to be operated by both animal and steam power in 1857, but was unable to work out the details due to ill-health.
Richard Jordan Gatling married Jemima T. Sanders (May 1837–26 September 1908) on 24 October 1854. Richard and Jemima had five children: Mary S. Gatling (5 October 1855–?),Ida Gatling (5 September 1858–13 January 1911), Willie S. Gatling (24 January 1861–?), Richard Henry Gatling (7 March 1870–14 January 1941), and Robert Boone Gatling (9 October 1872–2 December 1903).
The invention for which Dr. Gatling is most well-known is the machine gun known as the Gatling gun, conceived in 1861. When the Civil War broke out, Dr. Gatling realized that most of the casualties in war were the result of disease and exposure, so he sought to invent a labor-saving device for war. He thought that if one man could do the work of a hundred, by way of a machine, then many men could be saved from danger and large armies would no longer be necessary. Dr. Gatling constructed and fired the first Gatling gun in the spring of 1862 in Indianapolis. It fired 250 shots per minute. Gatling guns were first employed by the Union forces under James Butler on the James River near Richmond. The guns were adopted by the government and, in August 1866, the government ordered 100 of them. The Gatling gun was soon adopted by Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Egypt, and England. Dr. Gatling settled in Hartford Connecticut and founded the Gatling Gun Company.
Dr. Gatling accumulated both wealth and fame following his invention of the Gatling gun. By 1897, however, his wealth had vanished and he was living in New York City with his wife and daughter. He turned his attention to inventing a tractor in 1901, but his health failed. On 23 February 1903, he died penniless. Two ships were named after him by the U.S. government during World War II, and his gun was revived in 1958 as the Vulcan gun on U.S. warships and warplanes.
E. Frank Stephenson Jr.
E. Frank Stephenson Jr. is a native of the Murfreesboro-Como area of North Carolina. He received his associate degree from Chowan University and received his master's degree from North Carolina State University. Stephenson is married to Margaret Long Stephenson and has two sons and a daughter. In 1966, he became the Director of Admissions at Chowan University and has worked at Chowan University ever since. While working at Chowan, Stephenson founded the Upward Bound program. Through this program, students with college potential in Bertie, Northampton, and Hertford counties are identified and recruited for a six-week summer residential program. They also receive academic help and attend tutoring sessions during the school year. More than 3,700 students have participated in this program. Stephenson is also an advocate for historic preservation in North Carolina, and pioneered the "adaptive use" concept. He is a well-known historian and author who works to preserve northeastern North Carolina heritage. He has published more than twenty books, and has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Nancy Susan Reynolds Award. In 2014 Chowan University awarded Stephenson an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Degree and in 2015 The North Carolina Literary and Historical Association awarded him the Dr. Christopher Crittenden Memorial Award.
The collection is divided into seven series: Winborne Family, Gatling Family, E. Frank Stephenson Jr., Other North Carolina-Related Materials, Non-North Carolina-Related Materials, Photographic Materials, and Oversized Materials. Each series is then divided into subseries based on type of material (i.e. Correspondence, Financial and Legal Documentation, Personal and Family Materials, etc.), with the exception of the Photographic Materials series, which is subdivided by topic.
The collection contains materials relating to the Benjamin B. Winborne Family (1851–1977). These materials include correspondence to and from B. B. Winborne and Nellie Winborne, as well as their sons, Stanley Winborne and B. B. Winborne Jr. The correspondence includes letters of business, as well as personal letters between family members and friends (October 1972–October 1964). Much of the correspondence is business correspondence to B. B. Winborne concerning various cases. Other correspondence is written to Nellie from various family members about everyday life. There are also many letters between B. B. and Nellie and their sons once their sons moved away from home (January 1896–October 1964). Also included are financial and legal documents of the Winborne Family (February 1879–June 1956). Some of the financial documents are receipts from different family purchases. There are some business financial documents, as well as documents of offerings collected in Sunday School. The financial documents dating after B. B. Winborne's death are family financial documents, which include receipts, checks, and bank statements. The legal materials consist of documents from the Winbornes' employment as lawyers. Other materials in the series include class schedules and notes, as well as various advertisements, tracts, calling cards, and fliers (1851–1977). Related photographic materials are found in the Photographic Materials series.
The papers also include materials relating to Richard Jordan Gatling and his family (1848–1980). The correspondence includes letters to and from R. J. Gatling, W. J. Gatling, John Gatling, Jack W. Gatling, Eleanor Gatling, R. H. Gatling, and John W. Gatling (1848–1966). The letters to and from R. J. Gatling are mostly to or from family members. Some mention the Gatling gun (2 August 1865, 21 December 1873). There is also a letter written by R. J. Gatling concerning "the trial of the man, Vann, who killed my Brother," James H. Gatling (18 October 1879). There is a letter written by John Gatling to B. B. Winborne. The financial and legal documents relate to James Henry Gatling and his estate (1840–1964). Also included are personal and family materials containing information about R. J. Gatling, the Gatling gun, and R. J.'s death, as well as information about his family (1846–1980). Of particular interest is a notebook (1849) compiled by R. J. Gatling while he attended Ohio Medical College (692.11.g). The Gatling Family printed material includes articles about R. J. Gatling and the Gatling gun, as well as two engraving plates for Dr. and Mrs. R. J. Gatling and other advertisements, fliers, and tracts belonging to the Gatlings. Related photographic materials are found in the Photographic Materials series.
The E. Frank Stephenson Jr. series contains documents written by and about E. Frank Stephenson Jr. (1964–2010). The correspondence (September 1964–July 2002) consists of letters both to and from Mr. Stephenson and many are regarding historic preservation in North Carolina. Of particular note are the letters (692.14.c, 692.14.d) from Andy Griffith (30 December 1977; 9 June 1978; 6 February 1978). The majority of this series consists of printed material by or about Mr. Stephenson (1964–2010). It contains nineteen of Mr. Stephenson's books (see container list), and many of his articles. Also included are book reviews of some of his books, articles about Mr. Stephenson, photocopies of some of some of his awards, and press releases about Mr. Stephenson. There are also some photographs taken by Mr. Stephenson in the Oversize Materials series.
The collection also contains materials relating to various individuals in North Carolina (1786–2003). These materials include correspondence, financial and legal documentation, personal and family materials, and printed materials. Of particular interest are the financial documents of the Daniel and Shaw Drug Company (692.17.e, 692.17.f), and an assortment of ships manifests (692.18.c). The personal and family materials consist mostly of genealogical research materials about many North Carolina families and individuals, including the Baker Family, Stephen Barton Jr., Oliver Perry Copeland, George Grimes, Albert Gamaliel Jones, the Lawrence Family, the Little Family, the Maney Family, the Wheeler Family, the Winborne Family, and families from Murfreesboro, North Carolina. There is also a diary (1856–1858, 1861) written by Annie Dillard of Hertford County (692.19.a), and eleven Cluett Peabody and Company detachable shirt cuffs (692.19.m). The bulk of the North Carolina-Related Materials series consists of printed materials. This includes books, magazines, newsletters, programs, and newspaper clippings. These printed materials were separated by region. Folders 692.20.a – 692.21.h contain North Carolina printed materials relating to areas outside of Northeastern North Carolina. Folders 692.22.a–692.23.i contain printed materials relating to Murfreesboro, North Carolina. Folders 692.23.j–692.23.u contain printed materials relating to Hertford County, excluding Murfreesboro. Folders 692.24.a–692.25.u contain printed materials relating to Northeastern North Carolina, excluding Hertford County. Of particular interest is an 1896 Soldier's Hand Book, U.S.A., Revised, which belonged to Thomas Boxiles of Como, North Carolina (692.23.l). Also of interest is a rare book entitled, Carter Family of North Carolina: Descendants of Robert Carter of Bertie County (1914), by Carolyn Agnes Foster Marbourg (692.24.e). Many of these printed materials related directly to subjects that Mr. Stephenson wrote about, such as the Meherrin Indian Tribe and herring fishing. There are also a variety of items about historic preservation, in which Mr. Stephenson was particularly interested. Related photographic materials are found in the Photographic Materials series. There are also related oversize materials in the Oversize Materials series.
The Non–North Carolina–Related Materials include two items of correspondence (1843, 1965) and numerous printed materials (1839–1996). The printed materials consist of articles, journals, magazines, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, programs, and reports. Folders 692.27.a–692.27.s contain printed materials relating to Virginia. Included in the Virginia printed materials is a flier autographed by Tiny Tim from when he performed as part of the Great American Circus in Courtland, Virginia (692.27.j).
Also included in this collection are photographic materials relating to the Winborne Family (1895–1940), the Gatling Family (1902–1905), Joel C. Holland (1941–1942), Northeastern North Carolina (1890–1941), and the Roanoke–Chowan News Herald (1935–2004). The Winborne Family photographs consist of two photograph albums (692.28.a, 692.28.b), and Winborne-Brett Family photographs (692.29.a, 692.29.b). The Gatling Family photographs contain photographs of the Gatling Family (692.29.c), as well as photographs of portraits of the family members painted by Oliver Perry Copeland around 1842 at the Jordan Gatling plantation in Maney's Neck, North Carolina (692.29.d). The Joel C. Holland Photographs (1941–1942) are studio portrait prints and negatives taken by Joel C. Holland of various individuals in northeastern North Carolina, and southeastern Virginia (692.30). Also included in the photographic materials are prints and negatives of numerous people and places in northeastern North Carolina (1890–1941). Many of these photographs are of historical houses, including the Vinson House (692.31.l), the Thad E. Vann Home (692.31.n), the Moore House (692.31.p), and the David A. Barnes House (692.32.c). There is also a photograph album (1916–1919) made by Kate J. Dobbs while she was a student at Chowan College (692.32.a). Finally, the photographic materials contain prints and negatives from the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald. These materials came from the newspaper's photograph files.
The oversize material in this collection consists of artifacts, calendars, correspondence, financial and legal documentation, newspapers, and photographs. The artifacts are Cluett and Peabody and Company detachable shirt collars and a pair of white stockings. The calendars are business calendars from companies in northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia (1907–1929). The artifacts and calendars were previously stored in oversize folders, but have been moved to box 77. The letter in this series is from James Gordon & company to Mssrs. Joseph G. Rea & Company, Murfreesboro, N.C. (19 March 1842), and this letter is accompanied by an account (15 November 1841–18 March 1842). There are six legal documents relating to northeastern North Carolina (1718–1753). The bulk of the newspapers in this series are from northeastern North Carolina or southeastern Virginia. The photographs include photographs of Murfreesboro, North Carolina taken by E. Frank Stephenson Jr. (1968), and a photograph of a reunion of Civil War veterans from northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia (1910).
May 24, 2003, 4 items; Charity and Children, Newspaper, Organ of the Thomasville Baptist Orphanage, Thomasville, N.C., Thursday May 12 1904. Vol. 17, no. 34. Donor: Mr. E. Frank Stephenson Jr.
Gift of Mr. E. Frank Stephenson Jr.
Gift of children: Caroline F. Stephenson, John L. Stephenson, Eugene F. Stephenson
Gift of grandchildren: William F. Stephenson, Marlon J. Kunstler, Lucye S. Kunstler
Processed by Amanda Keeny, 2011
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.