April 30, 1976, ca. 50 items; Personal files of Greenville, N.C., tobacconist. Gift of Sam B. Underwood, Jr., Greenville, N.C.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Thomas A. Person Papers (#303), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
- Gift of Sam B. Underwood, Jr.
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.
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.
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 :
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.