Minutes (1887-1907) including correspondence, minute book, debt.
The Old Sparta Farmers' Alliance was organized on December 16, 1887, in Tarboro, N.C., and met there until June 1888 when a separate Tarboro Alliance was formed. Thereafter, meetings were held in Old Sparta, N.C. After August of 1893, no meetings were held until October 1903 when the group was reorganized by a representative from the State Alliance.
The minutes consist largely of organizational and procedural information, including the complete constitution and bylaws, rules of order, form of business, names of members and officers, financial reports, and general proceedings.
Elias Carr was elected the first president (1887-1890) and continued to be an influential leader after his two years in office. Inasmuch as Carr was active in farmers' associations on a broad scale, the minutes contain frequent references to interaction with the N.C. Farmers State Alliance as well as discussions of national events like the Ocala (January 8, 1891) and Birmingham (June 20, 1889) conventions.
The Sparta Alliance strongly supported the Edgecombe County Alliance and had a fraternal relationship with the local Granges. They joined the Grange in resisting the monopoly on cotton bagging and worked with the County Alliance to arrange cooperative purchase of fertilizer, cotton bagging, and other commodities. In 1889 they approved a resolution from the county on establishing a Cotton Exchange System.
Although the Alliance was not a charitable organization, the group frequently voted to assist members who had experienced personal catastrophes. At one point the Sparta Alliance tried to secure a cooperative loan to aid its members who were in debt because of poor crops in 1889.
In what may be considered an addendum to the minute book, separate sheets of paper dated during 1905-1906 contain the names of more than 150 applicants for veterans' crosses of honor. Unfortunately, there is no identification of the war for which the crosses were being awarded, although several of the names do appear in published Civil War rosters.
Gift of Miss Cora Edwards
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ollen Johnson
Processed by L. Yoder, August 1989
Encoded by Apex Data Services
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