A major segment of the correspondence consists of letters to William M. Hinton's son William R. Hinton at Trinity College and daughter Elizabeth Hinton at Greensboro Normal School. These letters, from family and friends, discuss Elizabeth City's growth (1916), court cases (1907, 1916), the possibility of war with Germany (1917), and family health. There also is a group of letters to Elizabeth from her future husband, J. B. Kittrell, discussing wedding plans and general news about health, business, and social activities.
Papers on education include correspondence to and from William M. Hinton illustrating his extensive involvement at Central Academy in Littleton (1901-1905), in Belhaven (1907-1911), and in Pasquotank County (1911-1918). Speeches, essays, and newspaper articles written by Hinton about the importance of education are included. There also is a clipping about Hinton's observations on the rapid growth of the Universityof North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one about him as superintendent in Elizabeth City, and a handwritten physical description of Belvidere Acadamy in Perquimans County (undated). Hinton's certificates for two shares of stock in the Albemarle High School Company (1906), to teach in elementary public schools (1907), and as superintendent (1917) are included. The papers on education also include an address given by Mrs. James Greene Fearing (William M. Hinton's daughter Mary) on "Safety Education in North Carolina" (1924).
Correspondence, speeches, and essays reflect a variety of political and social issues in which Hinton was involved. His strong stand for prohibition is stated in his correspondence (1903, 1910, 1916, 1917, 1928), Anti-Saloon League literature which he collected (1903), and speeches he presented to the Women's Christian Temperance Union. Hinton's tributes to Robert E. Lee and Woodrow Wilson are included. He chaired the Pasquotank County chapter of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and corresponded with Addie Bagley Daniels about the organization (1922). Hinton also corresponded with Cameron Morrison supporting his gubernatorial campaign (1920), Representative Lindsay Warren (1924, 1929), Craven County Representative Owen H. Guion (1904), and Josephus Daniels (1928) of the Raleigh
News and Observer. Hinton's speeches nominating Lee S. Overman to the U.S. Senate and William B. Shaw and D. M. Clark as solicitors are included. He wrote "Letters to the Editor" and collected campaign literature opposing Al Smith's presidential candidacy and defending Furnifold M. Simmons against political attacks. Also of interest is a list of men who had not paid their poll tax by March 1, 1903, and a copy of an address by William G. McAdoo supporting the League of Nations (1919).
Hinton's most noted speech, "Powers that Move the World," expressed his belief in the ability of the powers of "a Noble Aim or Purpose," "the liquor traffic," and "thought" to "move the world." Miscellaneous other speeches, including some about the importance of the church, are also included. Other writings by Hinton include poems to his wife and poems and essays about his family and community. Hinton collected poems and newspaper clippings on various subjects which are also included.
Financial records include receipts for Albemarle High School tuition (1904), music lessons (1904), building supplies sold to the Pasquotank County Board of Education (undated), and general personal expenses. There is a deed for land in Elizabeth City (1897) and an itemized account of the estate of William R. Hinton (1937).
Miscellaneous papers include a pamphlet by Lindsay Warren entitled "Beaufort County's Contribution to a Noble Era of N.C. History" (1930). This pamphlet discusses political battles in Beaufort County before, during, and after the Civil War. Also included is a Pitt County Chamber of Commerce Bulletin (1924).
Photographs in the collection depict members of the Hinton family, and their relatives and friends. A photograph of the home of Elizabeth and J. B. Kittrell on East Fifth Street in Greenville, N.C., which subsequently became the Delta Delta Delta Sorority House, and one of Admiral Dewey are included. A second group of pictures were J. B. Kittrell's and consist of World War I photographs in France. There is also a record of J. B. Kittrell's unit, M Company, 56th Infantry, describing events from Waco, Texas, to the battlefields of France.
The collection contains a scrapbook of papers concerning Hinton's death. Included are letters from Lindsay Warren (1931) and Josephus Daniels (1931), and also various clippings about Hinton's thirty-five years' work in education (1929, 1931).