Norman Player Farrior Papers

Manuscript Collection #191
Farrior, Norman Player
Physical description
3 Cubic Feet, 10 items , consisting of correspondence, diaries, clippings, plays, articles, and miscellaneous material.
Preferred Citation
Norman Player Farrior Papers (#191), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1912-1965, undated) consisting of correspondence, diaries of missionary activities, letters, Genealogical information.

Biographical/historical information

Norman P. Farrior, born on December 6, 1890, was a Presbyterian minister and missionary. A native of Duplin County, North Carolina, and a graduate of Davidson College, he served in the Navy during World War I (1917-1919), was a missionary to Mexico (1921-1924), worked in home missions in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Florida (1917, 1925-1943), and served as pastor of several churches in Duplin County, NC, from 1943 until his death in 1970. Throughout his life Farrior maintained a lively interest in ecclesiastical matters, submitting many articles to religious publications and corresponding with missionaries in Mexico, China, and the Congo along with ministers in home missions in the United States. Farrior also actively corresponded with numerous Congressmen and newspaper editors concerning public issues of his day.

Scope and arrangement

Much of the collection's correspondence (1931-1965) and the diaries (1912-1941) reflect Farrior's ecclesiastical interests. Of particular note are the diary entries pertaining to Farrior's experiences as a missionary in Mexico and his correspondence with other missionaries in such places as Mexico, China, and the Congo.

The Mexican diaries offer vivid descriptions of missionary activities and personal observations of life in Morelia, Mexico (1923-1924). A graphic account of a Mexican revolution and its effects upon Morelia are amply provided (1924).

Of particular significance are the letters from Protestant missionaries in Mexico, which describe the general feeling of hostility against them, their monetary problems, evangelizing efforts, and achievements (1931, 1963, undated). Also of interest are the letters from missionaries in China describing conditions in the vicinity of Chunking and Shanghai resulting from Japanese attacks (1932, 1940, 1941) and hardships encountered by missionaries returning after World War II (1946). Several letters from Christian missionaries in the Congo describe the disturbed conditions during the civil war there and their successes in establishing secondary and nurse's training schools and a hospital (1961, 1962, 1965).

Numerous letters to the editors of religious magazines and copies of articles submitted to them reflect Farrior's enlightened views on home mission work, its demands and compensations (1950), the problem of minister shortages (1961), ideas of how to better serve small congregations (1962), and his views on the relationship of personal faith and ethics to church creeds and dogmas (1953). Also of interest are his views regarding the proposed merger of the northern and southern Presbyterian churches (1947, 1953, 1954, 1963), and his criticisms of and suggestions to strengthen the Presbyterian higher educational system.

The bulk of the correspondence and newspaper clippings relate to Farrior's varied interests in secular matters. Many references to the civil rights movement during the 1960s and segregation are contained herein. Particularly interesting are Senators Hubert H. Humphrey's views and desires on civil rights legislation (1949), Allen J. Ellender's comments on his efforts against such legislation (1949), and B. Everett Jordan's position on civil rights (1964). Also of interest are Senator Jordan's comments upon apparent misuse of the Fifth Amendment (1965) and Senator Homer Ferguson's views regarding the relationship between organized labor and management (1946).

The remainder of the collection concerns various facets of Farrior's life. Interesting entries in the diaries comment upon social activities in eastern North Carolina, such as the observation of Old Christmas and plays performed in various communities (1917); the transporting of troops from France at the end of World War I (1917-1919); his social life as a student at Union Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia (1920-1921); and preaching in various localities in North Carolina (1920). Included in the collection are church materials such as bulletins and sermon notes; a short history of the Mount Zion Presbyterian Church, Rose Hill, NC, 1858-1958; a brief undated description of Presbyterian Church activities in central Florida; a short article recounting the historical progress of Presbyterians in Duplin County from 1736 to 1939; description of the bicentennial celebration and history of the Grove Presbyterian Church, Kenansville, NC; and a brief historical sketch of Duplin County and Kenansville.

Also included in the collection are six plays obviously pertaining to Farrior's activities as a missionary, a humerous "open letter" to Alf Landon published in 1936, a genealogy of the Farrior family, and two address books containing personal and general information.

Administrative information
Custodial History

March 30, 1972, 27 items; Papers (1921-1925), including two diaries, correspondence, a play, and miscellaneous.

April 27, 1972, ca. 200 items; Papers (1912-1965), including correspondence, diaries, articles, clippings, and miscellaneous. Gift of Mrs. Hazel F. Stapleton, Greenville, NC, and Mrs. Martin L. Friedman, Washington, DC.

October 8, 1982, (unprocessed addition 1), 4 items; Correspondence (1931-1932) and a photograph. Donor: Mrs. Hazel F. Stapleton.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Hazel F. Stapleton

Gift of Mrs. Martin L. Friedman

Processing information

Processed by G. Stinagle, February 1973

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
Farrior family
Farrior, Norman Player
Corporate Names
Grove Presbyterian Church (Kenansville, N.C.)
Mount Zion Presbyterian Church (Rose Hill, N.C.)
Union Theological Seminary in Virginia
Civil rights movements--United States
Missionaries--North Carolina--Duplin County
Presbyterian Church--Florida
Presbyterian Church--Missions--China
Presbyterian Church--Missions--Congo (Democratic Republic)
Presbyterian Church--Missions--Mexico
Presbyterian Church--North Carolina--Duplin County--History
Segregation--Law and legislation--United States
World War, 1914-1918--France
China--Description and travel
Congo (Democratic Republic)--Description and travel
Duplin County (N.C.)--History
Morelia (Michoacan de Ocampo, Mexico)--Description and travel
North Carolina--Social life and customs--20th century

Container list
Box 1 General correspondence, plays, and clippings
Box 2 Personal, sermon, and church notes; miscellaneous church material, diaries, photograph, and miscellaneous items
Folder os1 Newspaper reprints