Elihu A. White Papers, 1830-1931

Manuscript Collection #14

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

Title: Elihu A. White Papers
Creator: White, Elihu A.
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1830-1931) including correspondence, speeches, property records, deeds, appointments, clippings, financial records, etc. of a Quaker farmer and business leader in Belvedere (NC).
Extent: 2.17 Cubic feet, 700 items , including correspondence, speeches, schedules of property, deeds, appointments, clippings, political cartoons, newspapers, financial records, a tax assessment book, publications, certificates, Temperance Society minutes, broadsides, posters, photographs, and miscellany.

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

Accessions Information

September 27, 1967, 53 items; Papers (1862-1898) of Elihu A. White, including correspondence, speeches, schedules, deeds, military orders from the Second Military District (1868), an act of relief of soldiers in the Civil War, political appointments, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, political cartoons, and a newspaper.

March 4, 1968, 15 items; Newspaper clippings relating to career of Elihu A. White.

April 23, 1979, 1 volume; Ledger (1852-1855).

September 23, 1981, 1 volume; Daybook (1869-1890).

August 25, 1982, 1 volume; Tax assessment book (1868-1869, 1877-1882).

September 26, 1983, 3 items; Letters of endorsements (1893), House Rules (1921), and directory of state and county officials (1922).

December 12, 1988, 2 volumes; Daybook (1900-1909) and photocopy of the Guilford Collegian (1900).

March 29, 1989, 6 items; Certificates (1879-1889) and a sketch.

May 25, 1989, ca. 650 items and 6 volumes; Papers of Perquimans County, N.C., family, including correspondence (1850-1930); Temperance Society minutes (1875-1901), speeches, fliers, brochures, and other literature; mill village welfare worker's reports (1916-1929); ledgers (1830-1843); and miscellany. Deposited by Rev. Harold White, Belvidere, 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

Elihu A. White Papers (#14), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Originally loaned by Rev. Harold White
  • Loan reaffirmed by Charles H. White, son of Rev. Harold White

Processing Information

  • Processed by M. Boccaccio, May 1990

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

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

Elihu Anthony White (1824-1900) was a Quaker farmer and business leader from Belvidere, N.C. After serving as postmaster of Newby's Bridge (1858-1861), White was elected as a Republican to the N.C. Senate (1868-1870). He was justice of the peace in 1873 and served on the Perquimans County Board of Commissioners (1873-1878). In 1879 White was appointed collector of Internal Revenue by President Rutherford B. Hayes. He was a delegate to the Republican national conventions in 1884, 1888, and 1896. Also, in 1888, White was reappointed as collector by President Benjamin Harrison and in 1894 he became a member of the board of trustees of the University of North Carolina. In the mid 1890s, White became chairman of the Perquimans County Board of Education.

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

Politics is a major topic of interest from the 1880s through 1900. Republican interests, patronage, conventions, nominations, and collaboration with the Populist party are discussed. Correspondence from Matthew Quay (1888) discusses the possibility of a recount after White's defeat for the Congressional election. John J. Mott was anxious to have White appointed collector of the Internal Revenue for N.C. (1889) and mentions party interests and state politics. Thomas Settle discusses the importance of patronage in Rockingham Co., N.C., to insure future Republican victories (1889). E.C. Duncan talks about his own recent victory notwithstanding the defection of the Populists (1896). A folder of political items includes an affidavit (1865) signed by White to protect the constitution and support laws concerning the emancipation of slaves, an excursion ticket (1889) for a Democratic party cruise "Up Salt River," N.C. House of Representatives Rules for the 1921 session, political cartoons, a draft of an act amending the N.C. Code defining the form of ballots (undated), tariff tracts (1888) in favor of protection, an undated brochure on the provisions of the Force Bill, and political essays and speeches. White's political career is also noted in some of the clippings.

Other aspects of White's career documented in less detail include his appointments as collector of Internal Revenue for the 4th District of North Carolina. There is some correspondence (1889) about appointments for deputy collectors and the need to resurvey because of illicit distilleries in Johnston and Harnett counties. A file of adjusted and supplemental accounts also includes endorsements for White as collector; schedules of records, books, and property that were turned over to him (1879); deputy collectors' bonds; and a receipt for spirits in the warehouse (1883). An assessment book (1868-1869, 1877-1882) notes the name of the assessor and the assessed, city or town, occupation or item assessed, the number in an abstract book, quantity of items, valuation, tax rate, and total tax. A file of tax receipts includes bridge tolls (1873-1876) turned over while White was chairman of the Perquimans County Board of Commissioners.

Education is a constant topic of family interest. Several of White's children attended Guilford College and there is much correspondence between college friends (1889-1920). A basketball game at Bryn Mawr is described (1894) as are trips to visit friends after graduation, weddings, and other activities of daily life. Belvidere Academy was supported by the family and in 1902 a subscription campaign for a new schoolhouse was run. Lists of former graduates and letters from them sending their subscriptions and news testify to the success of the project. White's first wife, Margaret, attended the Friends Boarding School (1852-1853) in Richmond, Indiana. A folder includes poems and notes from school friends. His second wife, Emma H. White, attended Earlham College Preparatory Class (1869-1870) in Indiana and a folder for Earlham includes programs and essays. Other items of educational interest are a high school commencement program (1877) from Knightstown, Indiana, and a certificate from Earlham College Preparatory Department (1891).

Temperance and prohibition were prominent family concerns. The Women's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) minutes (1899-1902) contain the constitution and minutes of their first convention of the 1st District, held in Elizabeth City (1899). Emma H. White was president and Cora White was secretary. Reports from local unions in Bethel, Edenton, Belvidere, and surrounding communities are included. Plans of work, public meetings, and jails and almshouses are also mentioned. The Belvidere Auxiliary minutes note visiting schools, mothers' day meetings, reform schools, and accommodations for the insane (1899-1900). The minute book (1874-1903) for the Temperance Association of Perquimans and Chowan counties includes the constitution and notes meeting locations, membership and, from 1896, work with the W.C.T.U. Other materials include clippings, songs, speeches, handbills, publications, broadsides, and posters. Thomas J. Jarvis, Robert B. Glenn, Edwin Webb, J.Y. Joyner, and Charles B. Aycock all published in favor of prohibition. The W.C.T.U. National Educator (1905) gives selections to be used in their medal contest and the catechism (1903, 1906) details their program. A statement before the N.C. House Committee on Education (undated) is included. Also of interest is a series of W.C.T.U. handbills on suffrage.

One particularly interesting file is that of Lucy White's monthly and annual welfare work reports for the mill towns of White Oak (1916-1917) and Proximity (1918-1929) in Guilford County, N.C. The monthly reports specify children's, mill girls', and women's classes, noting subject taught (normally sewing and cooking), the number in the class, and the average attending. By the mid 1920s, the reports also noted additional activities such as parties, P.T.A. meetings, banquets, neighborhood classes, and yard inspections. A sewing notebook indicates assignments by class group.

Religious material relates primarily to the Society of Friends and includes the proceedings (1906) of their tract association, lists of members of the 1902 home classes, a Friends Academy calendar (1874-1875), a program for the Indiana Yearly Meeting (1874), and some essays. There is also a Friends publication on prohibition. The "Little Folks Paper" (1892-1893), a Sunday School paper for children, is also included. One of the ledgers includes the costs to the yearly meeting trustees for setting up the meeting (1834-1835), while another notes expenses of the committee of the poor (1852-1853) and the building committee (1854).

Much of the early correspondence (1862-1906) is between family members and concerns land holdings in Indiana, Iowa, and North Carolina, discussing rentals, repairs, taxes, and sales. Additionally, deeds indicate land also held in Kansas, Illinois, and Missouri, including executor's releases. Other family topics are diverse. Lucy Haughton (1850) talks about schools in the Beech Grove, Indiana area and her own study of medicine. Elihu White writes to his father in 1862 from Connersville, Indiana, about the father's loan to his other son for a farm. White mentions some conscripts who had been delayed and then finally "skedatled." Lawton, Oklahoma, is described (1902) by a friend who moved there and Emma White's stepmother describes Mineral Wells, Texas (1909), and talks about prices, crops, and weather.

Financial records include a general store ledger for Woodville, N.C. (1830-1833) and Suttons Creek, N.C. (1834); a mill account ledger (1838-1843), which also includes flour, meal, general supplies, and apples sold; and two personal account books (1900-1923), which include notes of family births, deaths and marriages, visits, money loaned, purchases, farm accounts, and labor costs. A journal for the steamer HARBINGER (1879-1894), home ported in Norfolk, Virginia, notes manifest locations, freight, commission and wharfage, and indicates transfers to the Winslow Line of the Norfolk Southern Railroad. Guano accounts are included for the years 1883-1888.

Advertising cards (1890-1893) include those for foods, cigarettes, soaps, perfumes, thread, and a variety of household products. Photographs are mainly of family members though there is one of the Piney Woods Meeting House. A prospectus (1894) for the Southern Cotton Mill in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., and correspondence detail plans of the Roanoke Rapids Power Company to build a canal and two large cotton mills. An oversize folder includes posters and broadsides related to prohibition; certificates; and issues of the North Carolina White Ribbon (1908), the Chowan Baptist (1906-1908), the Contributor (1876), and The North Carolinian (1898).

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

Card Catalog Entries Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Reading Room's card catalog. This system is no longer maintained, but it is left in place to help on-site researchers locate particular topics in the collection.

Geographic Entry :

  • North Carolina, Perquimans County

Autograph Entries :

  • Coltrane, D[aniel] B[ranson] (2) 1897
  • Hobbs, L[ewis] L[yndon] 1894
  • McIver, Charles D[uncan] 1894
  • Mott, J[ohn] J[ames] (3) 1889
  • Quay, M[atthew] S[tanley] 1888
  • Settle, Thomas 1889

Subject Entries :

  • BRIDGES- -Toll Bridges- -1870s
  • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE- -Advertising- -1890s
  • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE- -Fertilizer- -1880s
  • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE- -Financial Papers- -Perquimans Co., N.C.
  • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE- -General Stores
  • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE- -Manufacturing- -Cotton Textiles
  • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE- -Manufacturing- -Flour-mills
  • CRIME AND PUNISHMENT- -Distilling, Illicit- -1889
  • EDUCATION- -PRIVATE SCHOOLS- -Perquimans Co., N.C.
  • GUILFORD CO., N.C.- -Education
  • HEALTH AND MEDICINE- -Medical Education- -1850
  • HOME ECONOMICS- -Vocational Training
  • LAND- -Deeds and Sales- -Illinois
  • LAND- -Deeds and Sales- -Indiana
  • LAND- -Deeds and Sales- -Iowa
  • LAND- -Deeds and Sales- -Kansas
  • LAND- -Deeds and Sales- -Missouri
  • LAND- -Deeds and Sales- -North Carolina
  • N.C.- -GENERAL ASSEMBLY- -Law and Legislation
  • POLITICS- -Cartoons- -1890s
  • POLITICS- -Law and Legislation- -Force Bill
  • POLITICS- -Patronage- -1889
  • POLITICS- -Populist Party
  • POLITICS- -Republican Party- -N.C.- -19th Century
  • PROHIBITION- -Organizations- -Temperance
  • PROHIBITION- -1874-1903
  • RECONSTRUCTION- -Law and Legislation
  • RECONSTRUCTION- -Loyalty Oaths
  • RELIGION- -Baptist- -Publications
  • RELIGION- -Publications
  • RELIGION- -Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • SPORTS- -Basketball
  • SUFFRAGE- -Women- -Publications
  • TARIFF- -Publications
  • TAXATION- -19th Century
  • TAXATION- -Liquors
  • TRANSPORTATION- -Railroads- -Edenton and Norfolk Railroad
  • TRANSPORTATION- -Railroads- -Norfolk Southern Railroad
  • TRANSPORTATION- -Ships and Shipping- -HARBINGER
  • WAR- -CIVIL- -Conscription
  • WELFARE RELIEF- -Social Work- -Guilford Co., N.C.

Pamphlet Entry :

  • A Menace to Liberty: Concise Statement of the Provisions of the Force Bill

Newspaper Entries:

Edenton, N.C.
  • Chowan Baptist
    • September 1906
    • November 1906
    • February 1907
    • April 1907
    • June-October 1907
    • February 1908
Elizabeth City, N.C.
  • The North Carolinian
    • August 3, 1898
Morganton, N.C.
  • North Carolina White Ribbon
    • December 1908

Date Entries :

  • 1850-1859
  • 1860-1869
  • 1870-1879
  • 1880-1889
  • 1890-1899
  • 1916-1919
  • 1920-1929

Images below are listed alphabetically by subject. This list reflects only those portions of the collection for which negatives have been prepared.

BUSINESS AND COMMERCE- -Manufacturing- -Textiles Furniture
Description: Factory district looking East
Location: High Point, NC
Date: 1908
Call Number: p-14.1

Description: Women students standing together
Location: Greensboro, NC
Date: 1890's
Call Number: p-14.11

Description: Woman standing in front of college building
Location: Greensboro, NC
Date: 1890's
Call Number: p-14.8

Description: Students sitting on grass
Location: Greensboro, NC
Date: 1890's
Call Number: p-14.10

Description: Faculty standing together on a hill
Location: Greensboro, NC
Date: 1890's
Call Number: p-14.7

RELIGION- -Society of Friends- -Churches
Description: First Piney Woods Meeting House
Location: Perquimans Co., NC
Date: 1880's
Call Number: p-14.1

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

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Series 1:
Box 1#0014.1
Correspondence, 1850-1931, undated
Series 2:
Political Material
Series 3:
Tax Collection Material
Series 4:
Temperance Material
Box 3#0014.3
Temperance Material: Clippings, Essays, Poems, Broadsides, Cards, and Music
Series 5:
Welfare Work Reports and Notebook
Series 6:
Education Records
Series 7:
Society of Friends Material
Series 8:
Legal and Financial Papers
Series 9:
Ledgers, Daybooks, Account Books
Box 10#0014.10
Internal Revenue Assessment Book, 1868-1882
Series 10:
Series 11:
Series 12:
Personal Papers
Series 13:
Oversize Materials

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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