Van S. Watson Papers, 1930-1943

Manuscript Collection #69

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

Title: Van S. Watson Papers
Creator: Watson, Van S.
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1930-1943 undated) consisting of correspondence, bills, petitions, speeches, reports, etc., relating to legislative career, gasoline tax, fishing laws, legislative bills, creation of state motor vehicles department, and reports of NC Agricultural Extension service.
Extent: 0.43 Cubic feet, 257 items , consisting of correspondence, bills, petitions, speeches, reports, pamphlets, periodicals, and miscellaneous items.

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

Accessions Information

November 18, 1968, 224 items; Correspondence, legislative papers, periodicals, and miscellaneous papers of Van S. Watson, Rocky Mount and Nash County, N.C. Deposited by Mrs. F.B. Everett, Palmyra, N.C., daughter of Van S. Watson.

December 12, 1968, 33 items; Copies of clippings and a certificate. Loaned for copying by Mrs. Fate Baker Everett, Palmyra, 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

Van S. Watson Papers (#69), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mrs. F.B. Everett
  • Loaned by Mrs. Fate Baker Everett

Processing Information

  • Processed by T. Sloan, December 1968

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

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

Van Sharpe Watson (1891-1943) was a prominent resident of Rocky Mount and was active in both farming and politics. In addition to his extensive agricultural interests, Mr. Watson was alderman (1925-1929) and mayor (1929-1931) for the city of Rocky Mount, N.C., and state representative (1933) and state senator (1941, 1943) from Nash County to the N.C. General Assembly.

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

The correspondence is largely concerned with his legislative career, with a small amount of personal correspondence included. Letters from many state government officials for the period are present. Such figures as University of North Carolina President Frank P. Graham, N.C. Governors J. Melville Broughton and R. Gregg Cherry, and N.C. Secretary of State Thad Eure are represented by letters in the papers.

A portion of the correspondence deals with a controversy arising from the passage of a legislative act by Watson to provide elected officials for the Rocky Mount Recorders Court. A number of petitions supporting the bill are in the papers. Other correspondence deals with gasoline tax and grading, fishing laws, and the Nash County health officer (1941).

Speeches include a copy of Governor Broughton's address on fair labor standards, and speeches by Mr. Watson on the government tobacco program, the eight months school year, taxation, and his acceptance as mayor of Rocky Mount. Several speeches from the 1941 Council of State Governments meeting are included.

Legislative bills include copies of those concerning the creation of the state motor vehicles department, regulation of speed sales, use of public notices, use of condemnation by thestate conservation and development department, changes in the Nash County Board of Health, and Watson's bill to exempt stored farm produce from double taxation.

Reports concern the N.C. Agricultural Extension Service, the N.C. Board of Charities and Public Welfare, the N.C. Board of Health, and state school book prices (1925-1943). Most of the reports include budgetary requests and data.

Miscellaneous material includes legislative items such as seating charts, rules of order, and members and committee lists for the 1941 and 1943 general assemblies. Programs of various sorts, election certificates, and a list of committees for the Rocky Mount city government are included.

Pamphlets and periodicals are also present in the papers, the bulk of them being of legislative origin. These include directories of members, committees, etc. Of interest are two reprints (1940) of comments on alleged Communism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a controversy of some size and duration within the State. Two pamphlets concern the State Highway and Public Works biennial report and Public Assistance statistics for North Carolina (1940).

Periodicals include an official bulletin of the National Defense Advisory Commission (1941), and issues of Southern City (February 1941) and State Magazine (January 18, 1941). Newspapers included are the Raleigh, N.C. News and Observer (March 7, 1941); Greensboro Daily News, Farm Edition (January 26, 1941), and Rocky Mount Evening Telegram (February 8, 10, 11, 1941).

For related material, see the Belcher Family Papers #67.1 and the Andrew B. Benedict Papers #68.1.

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, Rocky Mount

Autograph Entries :

  • Ballentine, L[ynton] Y[ates], "Stag"1943
  • Broughton, J[oseph] Melville 1941, 1943
  • Cherry, R[obert] G[regg] 1943
  • Coltrane, D[avid] S[tanton] 1941
  • Eure, Thad[deus] [Armis] 1942
  • Graham, Frank P[orter] 1941
  • Larkins, John D[avis] Jr. 1943
  • McMullan, Harry 1941, 1943
  • Shuford, Forrest H[erman] 1943

Subject Entries :

  • AGRICULTURE--Agencies--1940s
  • AGRICULTURE--Financial Papers
  • AGRICULTURE--Law and Legislation
  • AGRICULTURE--Tobacco
  • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE--Labor and Laboring Classes
  • EDUCATION--COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES--University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • N.C.--STATE DEPARTMENTS--Board of Health
  • LABOR--Railroads
  • ORGANIZATIONS--Council of State Governments
  • PUBLICATIONS--Periodicals
  • PUBLICATIONS--Periodicals
  • PUBLICATIONS--Periodicals--The State
  • ROCKY MOUNT, N.C.--Politics and Government

Date Entry :

  • 1941-1945

Newspaper Entries:

Greensboro, N.C.
  • Greensboro Daily News
    • January 26, 1941
Raleigh, N.C.
  • News and Observer
    • March 7, 1941
Rocky Mount, N.C.
  • Evening Telegram
    • February 8, 10, 11, 1941

Pamphlet Entries :

Author Entries
Title Entries
  • Bulletin, The Woman's College of the University of North Carolina Greensboro 
  • Communism and Socialism at Chapel Hill (1940)
  • David Clark Answers Pridgen (1940)
  • Directory of State and County Officials of North Carolina (1941)
  • Directory of State and County Officials of North Carolina and Members of the General Assembly (1933)
  • Eure Parliamentary Aid - At a Glance (1941)
  • Historical Events of Ancient Pasquotank 
  • Inviting You to Elizabeth City 
  • Joint Report of the North Carolina Legislative Boards of the Order of Railway Conductors, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, Regular Session (1943)
  • North Carolina General Assembly, House of Representatives, Session 1933; Members, Committees, Rules (1933)
  • North Carolina General Assembly, Senate Session 1941; Members, Rules, Committees (1941)
  • North Carolina General Assembly, Senate Session 1943; Members, Rules, Committees (1943)
  • Peace, A Junior College for Women (1940)
  • Public Assistance Statistics (1940)
  • Sphinx, Or the Answer to the Riddle of Life 
  • Thirteenth Biennial Report of the State Highway and Public Works Commission of North Carolina (1939-1940)

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

Description: Photo (1)
Date: 1906
Call Number: p-69/?

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

Box 1#0069.1
Correspondence, Speeches
Box 2#0069.2
Speeches, Petitions, Clippings
Box 3#0069.3
Reports, Miscellaneous, Pamphlets, Periodicals

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 Department, 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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