August 26, 1970, 127 items; Correspondence (1921-1925). Loaned by Mr. George Rountree, Jr., Wilmington, N.C.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
George Rountree Papers (#140), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
- Loaned by Mr. George Rountree, Jr
George Rountree (b. Kinston, N.C., 1855) was a Wilmington, N. C. attorney, superior court judge and state legislator. A graduate of Harvard (1877) and Judge Strong Law School, he practiced law in Wilmington from 1885 until the 1940's in partnership at various times with J. O. Carr, Louis Poisson, and Thomas W. Davis. Rountree and Carr represented the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company for a number of years. George Rountree was married to Meta Alexander Davis, daughter of George Davis, a Confederate Congressman and prominent North Carolina attorney. The Rountrees had three daughters and two sons.
George Rountree was active in the Democratic Party in North Carolina and served in the N.C. General Assembly (1899-1901). In 1899, he and William Allen, another prominent North Carolina attorney, greatly influenced drafting of the suffrage amendment proposed in the General Assembly.
The correspondence in this collection consists, for the most part, of letters written by George Rountree to his son George, Jr., while the latter was attending Harvard (1921-1925). Although much of the material contained in the correspondence is personal in nature, the elder Rountree often included comments on the political, commercial, and social events of the period covered.
From a legal standpoint, he discusses a controversy raging in North Carolina in 1922 over incursions made by out-of-state Menhaden fisheries, a 1923 incident of railroad labor violence in North Carolina and a resulting murder trial, and his own complaints about the profession of railroad lawyers. He comments on the tariff question in one letter (1922) and makes reference to a letter which he wrote to Senator Furnifold M. Simmons and which he says was reprinted in part by the
News and Observer (Raleigh). In another letter (1923) Rountree records quite frankly his views on democracy, aristocracy, and government in the antebellum South. Late in 1924 he discusses the loss by theDemocrats of the presidential election and comments upon the effects in the South of Charles W. Bryan's vice presidential candidacy.
A reference is made to the accommodations and atmosphere of the Sir Walter Hotel, Raleigh, North Carolina, a new structure when Rountree stayed in it in 1924. Several references are made to a legal controversy aroused when the town of Kinston, N.C., first attempted to install city water (1923).
Copies of a letter from W. N. H. Smith to George Davis and one from Governor Zebulon B. Vance to George Davis are attached to a 1923 letter. The letters involved the appointment of Davis (Rountree's father-in-law) to the North Carolina Supreme Court (1878) and his decision to decline the appointment.
The collection contains one copy of the Annual Report of King's Crosstie Company of New York (1924), which details experiments being conducted by the county in the use of "permanent" crossties. V. R. C. King, President of the company, was Rountree's son-in-law.
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, Wilmington
Autograph Entries :
- Smith, W[illiam] N[athan] H[arrell] copy, 1878
- Vance, Z[ebulon] B[aird] copy, 1878
Subject Entries :
- BUSINESS AND COMMERCE--Fishing
- BUSINESS AND COMMERCE--Railroads
- DAVIS, GEORGE
- ELECTIONS--U.S. President--1924
- HOTELS, INNS, AND TAVERNS
- KINSTON, N.C.
- LAW AND LAWYERS--Railroads
- SOUTH, THE--Politics and Government
- TRANSPORTATION--Railroads--Law and Legislation
Date Entry :