Thomas A. Person Papers, 1924-1948

Manuscript Collection #303

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

Title: Thomas A. Person Papers
Creator: Person, Thomas A., 1874-1943
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1924/1978, undated) of a prominent Greenville, NC tobacconist, including correspondence, financial papers, programs, certificates, a bond, debt, letters, annual statements, etc.
Extent: 0.22 Cubic feet, 185 items , including correspondence, financial papers, programs, certificates, a bond, and miscellaneous.

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

Accessions Information

April 30, 1976, ca. 50 items; Personal files of Greenville, N.C., tobacconist. Gift of Sam B. Underwood, Jr., Greenville, 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

Thomas A. Person Papers (#303), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Sam B. Underwood, Jr.

Processing Information

  • Processed by C. Cook, January 1982

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


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

Thomas Arrington Person (1874-1943) was a prominent Greenville tobacconist. He was born in Northampton County and raised in Franklin County as one of at least six children: Thomas, Arthur (later of Louisburg), Priestly (of Wake Forest), Joseph M. (of Enfield), Eugene (of Macon, Ga.) and Abiah. Person attended an academy affiliated with Louisburg College, where many of his relatives had been educated in the mid-1800s. He married Annie Mason, of Portsmouth, in 1898, and in 1906 moved to Greenville, where he founded T.A. Person and Company, a subsidiary of JP Taylor Tobacco Company. In 1915 he became president of the Person-Garrett Tobacco Company; he retained this post until his retirement in 1921. Person served as a steward of Jarvis Memorial Methodist Church from 1933 to 1935, and as a trustee of Louisburg College from 1939 to 1942.

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

Personal correspondence in the collection (1924-1948, undated) is of limited historical interest, as it consists mainly of letters from Person's brothers and friends requesting loans. Other correspondence mentions concern about the health of his mother and discusses the rental of various properties that Person owned. Two letters of interest (Oct., 1936; Sept., 1937) concern the reconstruction of a road serving summer cottages on Atlantic Beach. This file also contains letters from state historical organizations and correspondence concerning Mrs. Person's execution of her husband's estate. Another personal file includes Thomas A. Person's obituary and family registration and membership cards.

During the 1930s Louisburg College suffered a tremendous debt. Papers in the collection include a letter concerning the reduction of this debt (June, 1943), a debt settlement statement (Oct., 1938), a redeeming bond in Person's name (Mar., 1938), a pamphlet about the "Living Endowment" program, and several financial statements of Louisburg College (1939, 1940). The file also contains a letter and an invitation to Walter Patten's inauguration as president of the college in 1940. Letters concerning theF.A. Person Scholarship Fund (1943) are present, as is a pithy pamphlet of "Pungent Paragraphs from the new Lousiburg College."

Financial papers include Universal Leaf Tobacco Company annual statements (June, 1922-June, 1932) as well as proxy statements and several letters to shareholders. The financial papers also contain a list of recorded sales on the Richmond Stock Exchange (July-Oct., 1927), a price report for tobacco in eastern North Carolina (1942), and a U.S.D.A. statement of special allotment crops. Also included is a comparative statement of condition for Guaranty Bank and Trust Company (1941, 1942) and information about the liquidation of The Hood System Industrial Bank (1934), both of Greenville.

Church-related material includes letters referring to the application of Person's sister for employment at the Methodist Orphanage in Raleigh, lists of stewards of Jarvis Memorial Methodist Church (1933-1935), a letter about that church's building fund (1948) and some general church correspondence, as well as two pamphlets about the 1931 World Conference on Stewardship and Church Finance in Scotland. The most interesting item in this file is a letter (undated) discussing the movement of and additions made to the church owned by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in Conetoe, N.C.- probably in 1933 or 1934.

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 :

  • Greenville, N.C.

Autograph Entries :

  • Crittenden, Charles Christopher (2) (1943)

Subject Entries :

  • ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C.
  • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE— Tobacco Industry
  • EDUCATION— COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES— Louisburg College
  • MONEY AND BANKING— Greenville, N.C.
  • RELIGION— Churches— Edgecombe Co., N.C.
  • RELIGION— Churches— Greenville, N.C.

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

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. To see what's been digitized in this collection, please click on the "View Digitized Objects" tab, or look for hyperlinks in the container list
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