Nell Wise Wechter Papers

1957-1974, undated
Manuscript Collection #177
Creator(s)
Wechter, Nell Wise
Physical description
1.45 Cubic Feet, includes five archival boxes
Preferred Citation
Nell Wise Wechter Papers(#177), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Repository
ECU Manuscript Collection
Access
No restrictions

The Nell Wise Wechter Papers contains copies of the authors' books, Taffy of Torpedo Junction (1957), Betsy Dowdy's Ride (1960), Swamp Girl (1971), and The Mighty Midgets of Chimcamacomico (1974). Also included are the typed and written drafts, typed manuscripts with revisions, original manuscripts, and galley proofs for her books. There is also correspondence from the Library of Congress, British Embassy, and Mariners Museum regarding Wechters' requests for information to assist her in writing her novels.


Biographical/historical information

Nell Wise Wechter (1913-1989) was born and raised in Stumpy Point, North Carolina. She attended East Carolina College, where she received her Diploma, 1933, B.S., 1951, & M.A., 1952. Wechter also attended Guilford College and UNC Greensboro in pursuance of graduate degrees in English and Social Studies, and she later worked towards a Ph.D. at UNC Chapel Hill (1956-1964).

She taught in North Carolina as a teacher for 30 years and authored several books, The Romance of Juniper River (1937), Taffy of Torpedo Junction (1957), Betsy Dowdy's Ride (1960), The Mighty Midgetts of Chicamacomico (1974), and Swamp Girl (1971). Wechter won numerous regional and state awards for her work, including the George Washington Gold Medal (1950) from the Freedoms Foundation, American Association of University Women Award for Best Young People's Book by a North Carolina author (1957), National Teachers Medal (1958) from the Freedoms Foundation, and Catholic Children's Book Club of America (1960). Wechter donated all of her original manuscripts to Joyner Library of East Carolina University in August of 1971 with "the hope that they may be of some help to other writers coming along."

Wechter married her husband, Robert William Wechter, in 1943. Together they had one daughter and two grandchildren, who live in Atlanta, Georgia. Wechter and her husband retired and lived on her plantation home on the Pamlico Sound, where they enjoyed gardening and participating in their local Methodist church.


Scope and arrangement

The Nell Wise Wechter Papers contains copies of the authors' books, Taffy of Torpedo Junction (1957), Betsy Dowdy's Ride (1960), Swamp Girl (1971), and The Mighty Midgets of Chimcamacomico (1974). Also included are the typed and written drafts, typed manuscripts with revisions, original manuscripts, and galley proofs for her books. There is also correspondence from the Library of Congress, British Embassy, and Mariners Museum regarding Wechters' requests for information to assist her in writing her novels.

The collection also contains a letter from the author to Dr. Wendell Smiley, ECU librarian, with a request to have her items donated to East Carolina University, along with her updated biography (1971), and a press release from the ECU News Bureau regarding her work and the donation of her collection. There is a photograph of Wechter at a ceremony and possible speech notes (unknown authorship), depicting her donation to Joyner Library at ECU.


Administrative information
Custodial History

August 12, 1971 5 items, 3 pgs, 0.260 cubic feet. Biographical sketch and literary manuscripts for Taffy of Torpedo Junction, Betsy Dowdy's Ride, and Swamp Girl. Gift of Mrs. Nell W. Wechter

December 6, 1971, (addition 1), 3 volumes, 0.260 cubic feet. Copies of novels Taffy of Torpedo Junction, Betsy Dowdy's Ride, and Swamp Girl, Gift of Mrs. John F. Blair

June 30, 1972, (addition 2), 2 items, 2 pgs, 0.260 cubic feet. Galley proofs and page proofs for Betsy Dowdy's Ride. Gift of Mrs. Nell W. Wechter

January 20, 1975, (addition 3), 9 items, 9 pgs, 0.260 cubic feet. Manuscripts, Galley, and notes for novels Teach's Light and The Mighty Midgets of Chicamacomico. Gift of Mrs. Nell W. Wechter

January 17, 1984, (addition 4), 4 items, 4 pgs, 0.260 cubic feet. Manuscripts for Teach's Light, Betsy Dowdy's Ride, Swamp Girl, and Taffy of Torpedo Junction. Gift of Mrs. Nell W. Wechter

July 29, 2003, (addition 5), 78 items; The Mighty Midgetts of Chicamacomico, by Nell Wise Wechter. Photographs of J. Foster Scott. Illustrations of Richard P. Sisson (Manteo, NC: Times Printing Co., Inc., copyright 1974) pertaining to the Midgett family, 1874 - 1972, and their service as Coast Guard life savers on North Carolina' s Outer Banks. Soft Cover. Donor: Mrs. Nell W. Wechter.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Nell W. Wechter

Gift of Mrs. John F. Blair

Processing information

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Processed by Meredith Clark on July 5, 2018.

Copyright notice

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


Language of material

English

Key terms
Personal Names
Teach, Edward, -1718--Juvenile fiction
Wechter, Nell Wise
Wechter, Nell Wise. Betsy Dowdy's ride
Wechter, Nell Wise. Swamp girl
Wechter, Nell Wise. Taffy of Torpedo Junction
Wechter, Nell Wise. Teach's light
Wechter, Nell Wise. The Mighty Midgetts of Chicamacomico
Corporate Names
United States. Coast Guard--Biography
Places
North Carolina--Fiction
North Carolina--Juvenile fiction