Correspondence constitutes a large part of the collection. Antebellum letters deal primarily with family affairs although comments are found on camp meetings held in Wilkes County (1844-1848), a grippe epidemic (1848), Christmas festivities (1848), and funeral arrangements for an elderly woman (1860). One letter from the war years refers to the legality of the impressment of provisions by General Jenkins' Cavalry (1863).
Except for a letter commenting on some cases of typhoid fever in Elkin, N.C. (1867), there are no letters for the post war years until the 1880's. These letters concern the treatment of a patient in an insane asylum (1884); the subjects taught at Notre Dame of Maryland, a Catholic Girls' School in Embla, Maryland (1888); and an invitation for James Gordon Hackett to be part of a committee to welcome William Jennings Bryan to Asheville, N.C. (1896).
Letters after the turn of the century are primarily concerned with the political affairs of J. G. Hackett. Much of this correspondence concerns his appointment to the Board of Directors of the State Prison (1901), his chairmanship of that group (1905), and his activities in connection with the State Prison. Of particular interest is a discussion of the use of convict labor to build and repair railroad lines in the state (1907). Another letter concerns Richard N. Hackett's nomination to run for Congress (1906). Letters from the 1920's and 1930's concern James Gordon Hackett's proposed air line from Elkin to Boone, N.C. (1922), the possibility of George Gordon Battle of North Carolina running for President since the "Tea Pot" investigation may harm the front running candidates (1924), and James Gordon Hackett's appointment to the Board of Agriculture (1928). Other letters throughout this section concern genealogical information of the Hackett, Gordon, and Grimes families.
Correspondence of the 1940's deals with the history of the Masonic Lodge in Wilkes County (1942), Army life at Camp Wheeler, Georgia (1942) and Fort Myers, Florida (1944), and suggestions that a U.S. rehabilitation hospital be built in the Bushy Mountains section of North Carolina (1943). Other items of interest include an excerpt of the eulogy to the last Confederate soldier in Watagua County, Jesse Elihu Luther (1946); a tribute to Josephus Daniels (1941); and a tribute to Governor Zebulon Vance (1942). Also of interest are comments on Hoey's campaign for the U.S. Senate (1943), a suggestion that a road be built up Bushy Mountain (1946), and genealogical information on the Allen, Stokes, and Gordon families of Wilkes County.
Legal papers consist mainly of receipts of payments to witnesses in Wilkes County law cases for 1848 to 1851. Other items include the guardianship of Richard N. Hackett granted to James G. Hackett (1886), notes of settlement (1857-1861, 1886), receipts (1857-1864), and a list of notes belonging to J. B. Wodson (1882).
Financial papers consist mainly of orders for supplies from a Philadelphia firm (1854), a list of doctor's fees with a description of treatment rendered (1848-1853), and promissory notes (1806-1863) belonging to James Bryan Gordon and his estate.
Miscellaneous papers include an authorization to pay a teacher for teaching in a common school (1859); a note of termination of an indenture (1874); an extract from theAnnual Report on the Rivers and Harbors of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina (1897); numerous newspapers from northern North Carolina and Richmond, Virginia (1886-1903); a copy of the resolutions of the Wilkes County Democratic Mass Meeting (1910) and handbills of North Wilkesboro and Wilkes County (1923, 1928). Other items of interest are a copy of the biennial message of Angus W. McLean (1927), an article on vivisection (1947), notes on how to dye wool or silk red, a eulogy to William Austin Sydnor, Jr., and numerous photographs of Grimes, Bryan, and Williams family members.
Oversized materials include newspapers from Henderson, North Wilkesboro, Pittsboro, and Raleigh, N.C., and Richmond, Va., for the 1880's and 1890's; appointment certificate (1901) to the Board of Directors of the State Prison; and an 1859 list of pupils and authorization for a teacher's payment in Wilkes Co., N.C.
For related collections see: Grimes-Bryan Papers (#16), J. Bryan Grimes Papers (#54), John Herritage Bryan Papers (#147), and Robert F. Hackett Papers (MF0005).