Della Barlow Papers

Manuscript Collection #107
Barlow, Della
Physical description
0.11 Cubic Feet, 65 items , correspondence, receipt, and a bill of sale.
Preferred Citation
Della Barlow Papers (#107), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1866-1872) consisting correspondence to suitor, romantic and personal letters, receipt, bill of sale, difficulty of making train connection, dispute between older and younger, etc.

Biographical/historical information

The collection consists of the correspondence of Miss Della Barlow of Tarboro, N.C., and her suitor, Col. John M. Perry, a lawyer living in Beaufort, N.C.

Scope and arrangement

The letters primarily are of a romantic and personal nature with occasional references to political, economic, and social matters of the day.

Miss Barlow and Col. Perry began their courtship in 1860 and renewed it at the close of the Civil War. Col. Perry's letters to Miss Barlow (1864, 1866-1868) are far more numerous than hers to him (1867-1868) and are more likely to contain allusions to events of general interest.

Perry comments on the economic hard times in the area (April 2 and 5,1867) and the poor cotton crop (26 April, 9 June, 9 July 1867), reconstruction government in the state (18 and 30 August, 1 September 1867), the military rule of General Daniel E. Sickles (17 May, 18 July 1867), the political turmoil of the times, and the prospect of Negro rule (2 April 1867). He calls Beaufort dull and unprogressive (13 April 1867), "fast becoming a second rate fishtown;" and he is not willing to invest in real estate there because of the uncertainty of the town's future (18 September 1867). In response to the problems of sickness in the town, he gives a recipe for curing colds (21 December 1867). Perry tells of the New England whalers who incurred the ire of the people of Beaufort by taking whales in the area (2 and 5 April 1867). He comments on shipwrecks and the people of the Outer Banks called "wreckers" who make money by collecting and selling items washed ashore from stricken vessels (9 February 1868).

Also included are references to the difficulty of making train connections between Beaufort and Tarboro (2 June 1867), and disputes between older and younger members of a church congregation in Beaufort (2 and 7 April 1867). Perry also describes a "colored" baptism ceremony, and comments on the blacks' "excitable temper" (2 April 1867).

Of all the letters in the Barlow collection, only two are not correspondence between Barlow and Perry. One is a letter from Perry to Col. Thomas S. Kenan in Kenansville containing a humorous recipe for turtle soup (20 May 1867). The other is a love letter from Samuel L. Chissom of Galveston, Texas, to Miss Barlow (7 July 1867).

Included in the papers is a receipt for payment for dwelling repairs (1871) and a bill of sale for purchases at Mrs. M. E. Bond's store (1872) in Tarboro.

Administrative information
Custodial History

January 13, 1970, 65 items; Papers consisting of correspondence (1866-1872). Gift of Mrs. J. L. Johnson, Wilmington, N.C., and Mrs James A. Doggett, Greensboro, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mrs. J. L. Johnson and Mrs James A. Doggett

Processing information

Processed by C. Stearns; I. Berent, January 1981

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Barlow, Della, 1840-1870--Correspondence
Perry, John M.--Correspondence
Sickles, Daniel Edgar, 1825-1914
African Americans--Southern States--Rites and ceremonies
Cotton--North Carolina--Beaufort
Medicine--Formulae, receipts, prescriptions
Prices--North Carolina
Railroads--North Carolina
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)--North Carolina
Shipwrecks--North Carolina--Outer Banks
Whaling--North Carolina--Beaufort
Beaufort (N.C.)
Beaufort (N.C.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Tarboro (N.C.)