Reid Family Papers, 1804-1968

Manuscript Collection #381

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

Title: Reid Family Papers
Creator: Reid family
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1804-1968) consisting of correspondence, financial records, deeds, records of payments, weighting receipts, taxes, tax lists.
Extent: 0.22 Cubic feet, 159 items, consisting of correspondence, financial records, deeds, and miscellaneous.

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

Accessions Information

March 14, 1979, 80 items; Originals and copies; Washington County, N.C., family papers (1804-1940), including correspondence, financial papers, land records, and miscellaneous

March 18, 1981, 55 items; Papers of Washington County, N.C., family, including correspondence, financial records, and miscellaneous. Gift of Mrs. Sabrie Reid, Plymouth, 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

Reid Family Papers (#381), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mrs. Sabrie Reid

Processing Information

  • Processed by I. Berent; C. Crews, March 1991

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


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

This collection is divided into five main divisions: financial papers and correspondence (1859, 1877-1894) of J. M. Reid, a late-nineteenth-century cotton producer; personal correspondence and miscellaneous items (1883-1922) of Miss Maggie DeCormis(?) from her sisters, nephews, and nieces (1886-1918); the personal correspondence of Joseph K. and Sabrie Williams Reid (1927-1968); the papers, records, and correspondence of Sheriff Joseph K. Reid (1923-1956); and copies of nineteenth-century deeds and miscellaneous items. Most of the items relate to Washington County, N.C.

Receipts and business correspondence (1877-1894) of Jeremiah M. Reid of Plymouth and White Marsh, N.C., reflect dealings with businesses, including cotton factors in Malvern, Pa.; Baltimore, Md.; Richmond, Norfolk, and Lynchburg, Va.; and Plymouth and Washington, N.C. Although all of this material offers considerable insight into the economic aspects of Reid's cotton business, the receipts and correspondence from "Elliot Bros., Cotton Factors" of Baltimore (1878-1887, 1891) most clearly reflect cotton market variations and the prices of various grades of cotton in the 1880s. An 1891 letter also alludes to notifying an insurance company of the destruction of Reid's property by fire.

Miscellaneous items among the J. M. Reid records include a record of payments from J. P. Newberry (1877-1878); a receipt for land in Washington Co., (1878); invoices regarding Reid and Duke (later J. M. Reid and Son), dealers in boots and general merchandise (1877-1891); and a weighing receipt for the Elliot Brothers from C. L. Prince & Co., "Public Weigher" of Baltimore (1885).

Maggie DeCormis's correspondence is mainly from her sisters, nephews and nieces, and a friend writing from Creswell, Grimesland, and Plymouth, N.C. Generally, all of the letters deal with personal, everyday happenings. Scattered references are made to the millinery trade in Plymouth, N.C. (late 1880s-1900) and to soup kitchens being used to help feed the many people sick during the flu epidemic of 1918. Also discussed are hemorrhagic fever (1900), the "gripps" (1901), the use of morphine to treat a toothache (1900), and treating other illnesses with quinine (1889). One letter (1887) mentions a Negro woman being caught by her husband in adultery with a white man. Miscellaneous items found with the correspondence are a grade report (1883) from Peace Institute in Raleigh, N.C., a commencement program (1919) from F. W. B. Seminary in Ayden, and a concert program (1922) from Oxford Orphanage.

Personal correspondence of Joseph K. and Sabrie Williams Reid consists mainly of love letters (1927) written to and from Sheriff Reid, of Plymouth, N.C., and Sabrie Williams during her business trip to Raleigh, N.C., before their marriage. References are made to the sale of poisoned liquor in Roper, N.C. (Dec. 6); and a prevalence of pneumonia in Plymouth (Dec. 8).

Later letters (1928-1937) are written by Sabrie when she was visiting family in Alabama. In one letter she mentions a bumper crop of cotton (1937). Correspondence from Izola Williams to Sabrie originates in Guatemala (1967) and Mexico (1968). The writer compares Guatemala City's climate with that of Mexico City, explains the Guatemalan monetary system, and mentions attending a Presbyterian church. The letter from Mexico describes an extended family and its sleeping arrangements, and a Presbyterian Bible school. Also included is a broadside (undated) advertising a literary and historical performance to be given at Wrightsville Beach, N.C., by Edmund Alexander of Wilmington, N.C., to benefit the Babies' Hospital.

The Joseph K. Reid material relates primarily to his tax collecting duties as sheriff in Washington County, N.C., (1923-1956). Correspondence concerns life in Reno, Nevada (1924); tax collections in the Albemarle Drainage District (1924); and legislation in the N.C. General Assembly pertaining to sales of personal property to pay for delinquent taxes (1931). A letter concerning a Roper, N.C., man charged with larceny in Baltimore, Md., (1956) accompanies the J. K. Reid correspondence, as do two (1956) from a Central Prison inmate in Raleigh, thanking Reid for helping his family.

Other records among J. K. Reid's papers include lists of property to be sold for delinquent taxes in the Pungo River Drainage District (1923), the Albemarle Drainage District (1923), and in Plymouth, Lee's Mill, and Scuppernong townships (1924); records of taxes collected by W. D. Peal of Creswell, N.C. (1926); a copy of a N.C. House Bill for the relief of Sheriff Reid and Leon S. Bray, the former treasurer of Washington Co., releasing them from liability for taxes deposited in United Commercial Bank of Plymouth which was closed in 1925; statements made before the Washington County Clerk of the Superior Court by a witness and an accused party relating to a Norfolk Va., holdup/murder (1941); and a photograph of a Negro man (with accompanying vital statistics) charged with the "murder of officer."

The final portion of the collection includes copies of deeds for land in Washington County (1806-1881), and Martin County (1850), mainly pertaining to the Walker and Reid families.

The oversize folder contains Washington Co., N.C., drainage district tax lists (1921-1922), a delinquent tax list (1925), and a photographic essay on Wilmington, N.C., which appeared in The Charlotte Observer (1921).

For a related collection, see #293 (Sabrie Williams Reid Papers).

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, Washington County

Autograph Entries :

    • Parker, R[obert] Hunt 1933
    • Rodman, W[illiam] B[lount] Jr. 1924

Subject Entries :

    • AGRICULTURE— Cotton— Alabama
    • AGRICULTURE— Cotton— Washington Co., N.C.
    • ALEXANDER, EDMUND
    • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE— Marketing— Cotton
    • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE— Maryland— Baltimore
    • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE— Plymouth, N.C.
    • CHARITIES— Orphans and Orphan Asylums— Oxford, N.C.
    • CRIME AND PUNISHMENT— Larceny— Baltimore, Md.
    • CRIME AND PUNISHMENT— Murder— Virginia
    • CRIME AND PUNISHMENT— Negroes
    • CRIME AND PUNISHMENT— Prisons— Raleigh, N.C.
    • CRIME AND PUNISHMENT— Sheriffs— Washington Co., N.C.
    • EDUCATION— COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES— Peace College— 1883
    • EDUCATION— PRIVATE SCHOOLS— Ayden, N.C.
    • GUATEMALA— General Description and History— 1967
    • HEALTH AND MEDICINE— Cures
    • HEALTH AND MEDICINE— Diseases— Influenza— 1918
    • HEALTH AND MEDICINE— Diseases— Pneumonia
    • LAND— Deeds and Sales— Martin Co., N.C.
    • LAND— Deeds and Sales— Washington Co., N.C.
    • MARYLAND— BALTIMORE— Business and Commerce
    • MEXICO— General Description and History— 1968
    • MONEY AND BANKING— Plymouth, N.C.— 1925
    • NEGROES— Crime and Punishment
    • NEGROES— Race Relations— Creswell, N.C.
    • NEVADA— RENO
    • PROHIBITION— Roper, N.C.
    • RELIGION— Presbyterian— Guatemala
    • RELIGION— Presbyterian— Mexico
    • SOCIAL LIFE AND CUSTOMS— Entertainment— Wrightsville Beach, N.C.
    • SOCIAL PROBLEMS— Adultery— Creswell, N.C.
    • TAXATION— Washington Co., N.C.
    • TRADES— Millinery— Plymouth, N.C.
    • VIRGINIA— NORFOLK— Crime and Punishment— Murder
    • WILMINGTON, N.C.— General Description and History— 1921

Date Entries :

  • 1882-1887
  • 1923-1927

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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