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.
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.
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.
Gift of Mrs. F.B. Everett
Loaned by Mrs. Fate Baker Everett
Processed by T. Sloan, December 1968
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.