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John Franklin Wooten Papers, 1843-1942 (bulk 1843-1891), undated

(Manuscript Collection #789)

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

Title: John Franklin Wooten Papers
Creator: Wooten, John Franklin
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1843-1942; bulk 1843-1891) of Kinston, NC, attorney John Franklin Wooten and members of the Wooten, Harper and Moseley families of Lenoir Co., NC, and the Christian family of Virginia including correspondence, deeds, plats, financial records and miscellany.
Extent: 0.25 Cubic feet, 1 box, 1 oversize folder, correspondence, deeds, court records, financial records and land surveys

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

Accessions Information

November 21, 1999 75 items; Papers (1843-1899, 1919-1942) of Kinston, NC attorney and members of the Wooten and Moseley families, including correspondence, deeds, plats, and miscellany. Donor: Mrs. Cameron R. Dudley.

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

John Franklin Wooten Papers (#789), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mrs. Cameron R. Dudley

Processing Information

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

  • Processed by Brandie Cline April 2006. Revised by Martha Elmore March 2012.


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

John Franklin Wooten (November 22, 1824?-November 9, 1903) was an attorney in Kinston, North Carolina. He attended William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia with a law degree in 1845, the same year that he married Mary Adams Christian (June 6, 1829-May 28, 1878) of West Point in King & Queen County, Virginia. The Wooten, Moseley, and Harper families were all based in Lenoir County, NC.

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

The material in the papers belonged to various members of the Wooten, Moseley, Christian, and Harper families. The majority of the collection consists of correspondence belonging to John Franklin Wooten and Mary Christian Wooten dating from 1843 to 1868. Most of the correspondence between Mr. and Mrs. Wooten prior to 1845 is love letters while letters written after 1845 detail Mr. Wooten’s travels and domestic concerns. Other letters are from friends and relatives. The remaining letters in the collection (#789.1.i-j) are addressed to various members of the Christian family (1852 – 1866) and to John and Mary Wooten's daughter Fannie Moseley (1878, 1933). Throughout all of the correspondence can be found many letters written by Etheline N. Christian Phillips (later Tudor) to her sister Mary Christian Wooten.

The collection contains legal and financial documents belonging to the Wooten, Moseley, and Harper families. The Wooten family’s documents consist of a deed for land in Lenoir County, NC, a University of Virginia diploma belonging to Richard C. Wooten and records detailing the settlement of two estates. The first, the estate of James Christian of Charlottesville (Mary Christian Wooten’s father), was settled with the assistance of A. B. Evans (assumed to be an attorney) and involved the division of land and sale of slaves. This included the sale of a slave named Henry. The second, the estate of Council Wooten, was settled in Jefferson County, Florida. The settlement also involved a suit between Lafayette Wooten and John F.Wooten, Marion Wooten, and Council Wooten’s widow. The records for the division of this estate include descriptions of the disputed land in Lenoir County, NC, and a description of how the estate’s slaves were divided, including the first name and approximate age of each slave. The documents belonging to the Moseley family include deeds for land belonging to W. O. and Wiley J. Moseley in Lenoir County, NC; records of money owed W. O. Moseley; a Certificate of Shares for Chesterfield Manufacturing Company in Chesterfield County, VA, belonging to Fannie D. Moseley; and a document related to W. O. Moseley and his role as administrator of Fannie C. Murphy’s estate. A land deed and hand drawn survey of land located in Lenoir County, NC, belonging to John F. Harper are also included in the collection.

Other items in the collection include drafts of two county histories, “Lenoir County” (possibly a school child's paper) and “La Grange & Vicinity”; poems and anecdotes clipped from newspapers; drafts of two poems, “Spring & Youth” and “Getting Drunk Again”; two booklets, “A Mason on Self – Knowledge” and “The Name and Family of Moseley”; and an unsigned, undated photograph of a young woman taken at Campbell C.H., VA.

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

Jump to a section?

Series 1:
Correspondence, 1843-1933
  • Box 1#0789.1
    • Folder a#0789.1.a
      Correspondence between John Franklin Wooten and Mary Christian Wooten. Includes letters written during courtship (1843 - 1845) and after marriage (1847) and references to the Washington Society, Mr. White School, and wedding plans. (1843-1847) 8 items, 16 pages.
    • Folder b#0789.1.b
      Correspondence from Etheline N. Christian Phillips and Richard S. Phillips to John F. and Mary Wooten. Includes references to the effects of the Civil War, the death of Richards S. Phillips' father, plans to build a school in Charlottesville, VA, and business matters. (1852-1858, 186?, undated) 6 items, 12 pages.
    • Folder c#0789.1.c
      Correspondence from Richard C. Wooten and John C. Wooten to their parents, John F. and Mary Wooten. Letters written at the University of Virginia and Episcopal High School. Includes references to university life, financial concerns, lectures, and the erection of a monument to Thomas Jefferson at the University of Virginia. (1867-1868) 4 items, 7 pages.
    • Folder d#0789.1.d
      Letter from "Aunt Fannie" (possibly Fannie Thomas). Includes references to hiring servants, the sale of a slave (Arnold), details of a new home in Kinston and the move from Clinton, NC, to Kinston, NC. (1853) 1 item, 2 pages.
    • Folder e#0789.1.e
      Letter from Edward Wooten to his cousin, John F. Wooten. Written at a theological seminary in Fairfax, VA. Lists numerous Civil War battlefields and refers to the Confederate Army. Also includes a reference to the Bishop Atkinson. (1867) 1 item, 2 pages.
    • Folder f#0789.1.f
      Letter from F. A. Sullivan to John F. Wooten. Discussion of John F. Wooten and Mary Christian's courtship and of the 1844 Presidential race between James K. Polk and Henry Clay. (1844) 1 item, 2 pages.
    • Folder g#0789.1.g
      Correspondence from L. L. Page (Possibly Lavinia Christian Page) to John F. Wooten and Mary Wooten. Discusses a lawsuit that forced a slave (Henry) to be sold from her father's estate. Also includes references to her husband (a doctor), her membership in an Episcopal church, and the death of a sister in childbirth. (1851, undated) 4 items, 6 pages.
    • Folder h#0789.1.h
      Letters of condolence to John F. and Mary Wooten for the death of a son and of Mary's mother. Includes references to funeral customs, canning of produce for winter use, milking cows, and a description of a county fair. (1853-1867) 5 items. 8 pages.
    • Folder i#0789.1.i
      Correspondence to members of the Christian family. Includes letters to Marie Christian and Richard S. Phillips. (1854, 1867, 1886) 3 items, 8 pages.
    • Folder j#0789.1.j
      Correspondence to Fannie Moseley. Includes letter from Etheline "Ethie" Tudor of condolence on the death of Fannie's mother (Etheline's sister) Marie Christian Wooten and from the Attorney General of Kentucky concerning Wooten family reunions and genealogy. (1878, 1933) 2 items, 4 pages.
Series 2:
Legal and Financial Documents, 1855-1925
  • Box 1#0789.1
    • Folder k#0789.1.k
      Wooten family financial and legal records. Includes 1883 deed to John F. Wooten for land in Lenoir County, an I.O.U., a diploma awarded to Richard C. Wooten from UVA, and records concerning the estate of James Christian, including the sale of a slave (Henry). Court documents related to the division of the estate of Council Wooten. Suit between Lafayette Wooten and John F., Marion, and Grissey Wooten. Includes a letter explaining the arrangement of the documents, a report labeled "AB," a report labeled "CD" detailing the division of land and slaves (with first name and approximate age of each slave), an additional court record, and an account of money owed to Lafayette Wooten by John F. Wooten. (1855-1888) 10 items, 19 sheets.
    • Folder l#0789.1.l
      Moseley family financial and legal records. Includes record of money owed to J. W. Moseley by F. D. Moseley, I.O.U.s made out to W.O. Moseley by Rob B. Gilliam, legal document signed by Fannie C. Murphy related to W. O. Moseley, deeds for land to W. O. Moseley and W. J. Moseley, and a Certificate of Shares for Chesterfield Manufacturing Company in Chesterfield County, Virginia belonging to Fannie D. Moseley. (1852-1925) 7 items, 9 pages.
    • Folder m#0789.1.m
      Land records of John F. Harper. Includes land indenture and a hand drawn land survey. (1878, 1885) 2 items, 3 pages.
    • Folder n#0789.1.n
      Draft, "History of Lenoir County." No documented author. 1 item, 12 pages.
    • Folder o#0789.1.o
      Draft, "La Grange & Vicinity" by C. S. Wooten. Local history. (1942) 1 item, 4 pages.
    • Folder p#0789.1.p
      Pamphlet, "The Name and Family of Moseley." Compiled by the Media Research Bureau in Washington, DC. Includes genealogical information about the Moseley family and a short bibliography. Tri-fold. 1 item, 14 pages.
    • Folder q#0789.1.q
      Miscellaneous. Newspaper clippings, Mason booklet titled " Mason on Self - Knowledge" (missing pages), photograph of a woman taken at Campbell C.H., VA, and unsigned poem titled "Spring & Youth." (1886, undated) 7 items, 26 pages.
Series 3:
Oversized Materials Folder, 1844 - 1891, n.d.
  • Oversize Folder os1#0789.os1
    • Survey (May 1868) of Lands at Monticello (Lenoir County, NC). Lands of Cicero Whitfield, Samuel Mewborn, T. Askew, Curtis Phillips, W. J. Moseley, and Augustus Moseley.  (item #1)
    • Letter (September 21, 1844) from Mary Christian to John Franklin Wooten.  (item #2)
    • Letter (May 18, 1845) from F[annie] A. J. [T.?] to Mary Christian Wooten.  (item #3)
    • Letter (February 10, 1845) from F. A. Sullivan to John Franklin Wooten.  (item #4)
    • Letter (January 29, 1853) from L. L. Page to Mary Christian Wooten.  (item #5)
    • Letter (July 4, 184?) to Mother [Possibly Amy C. Christian] and Sir Ben, care of James Christian, from John F. and Mary Wooten.  (item #6)
    • Letter (July 11, 1845) to Lavinia Christian. Signature unclear.  (item #7)
    • Deed (March 1, 1875) between W. O. Moseley and Wiley J. Moseley for land in Lenoir County, NC.   (item #8)
    • Poem, "Getting Drunk Again." Signature unclear.  (item #9)
    • Deed (August 1891) to W. O. Moseley from Henry and Stella Gray for a parcel of land in Vance Township, Lenoir County, NC.  (item #10)

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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