The collection consists primarily of drafts for articles and speeches on a variety of subjects.
Included are several drafts of a pamphlet or article which Hartness wrote on Robert E. Lee and the Civil War. The Lee material includes commentary on General "Stonewall" Jackson, General Ulysses S. Grant, the Battle of Gettysburg, various Civil War campaigns, and the South before and during the war. Of major interest are two articles or speeches on the topic of prohibition and the repeal effort in 1933. Hartness had been Superintendent of the Anti-Saloon League (1908) and a leading proponent of prohibition. One article is entitled "The Adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment" and the other "Can We as a People Afford in the Interest of Temperance and Economy to Repeal the 18th Amendment?" . Also pertaining to the prohibition issue is a printed broadside signed by Frances Renfrow Doak appealing to women voters of North Carolina and a typed tabulation of the statewide vote on the issue.
Other articles, speeches, and drafts in the collection include the Battle of Alamance (May 16, 1771), slavery, the "Old South," and portions of drafts concerning the Constitution and Jeffersonian America.
Correspondence consists of a letter (1932) from S. A. Ashe commenting on Hartness' pamphlets on Robert E. Lee and Stone Mountain, Georgia, and a printed campaign letter from Hartness appealing for support as a candidate for secretary of state (1932). Also included is a typescript account of a trip from North Carolina to California (undated) and a copy of the will of Hartness.