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Guide to the William Watts Ball papers, 1778-1952 and undated

Abstract

Newspaper editor and author.

Collection houses personal and political correspondence, financial and business papers, speeches, editorials, notes, printed materials, account books, a diary, photographs, and scrapbooks, documenting William Watts Ball's activities as editor of several South Carolina newspapers, including The State and the News and Courier, both of Columbia. Topics referred to include American and South Carolina politics in the 20th century; the South Carolina textile industry; African Americans in the South; the Great Depression and the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration; newspapers and the newspaper business; education in South Carolina; conditions and problems stemming from both World Wars; prohibition; states' rights; South Carolina social life and customs; Roman Catholicism in South Carolina; international issues; and business and family matters. Correspondents include J. J. McSwain, D. C. Heyward, John Gary Evans, John Hays Hammond, M. F. Ansel, David D. Wallace, James C. Hemphill, Ambrose E. Gonzales, Thomas R. Waring, Nathaniel B. Dial, James F. Byrnes, Ulrich B. Phillips, Josephus Daniels, Bernard M. Baruch, Warrington Dawson, Ellison D. Smith, Max Fleischman, Nicholas Roosevelt, Wendell Willkie, Frederick H. Allen, and Archibald Rutledge.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Ball, W. W. (William Watts), 1868-1952.
Title
William Watts Ball papers, 1778-1952 and undated
Language of Material
English
Extent
31 Linear Feet, Approx. 26,000 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Collection consists of personal and political correspondence, diaries, business papers, speeches, editorials, notes, printed matter, personal account books, memorandum books, photographic materials, and scrapbooks. The papers document a long period in Southern history, and reflect Ball's activities as editor of several newspapers, including The State, of Columbia, S.C., and the News and Courier, also of Columbia, S.C. The main group is concerned with national and South Carolina history for the first half of the 20th century. Topics referred to include American politics; the South Carolina textile industry; African Americans in the South; the depression and the F. D. Roosevelt administration; newspapers and the newspaper business; education in South Carolina; conditions and problems stemming from both World Wars; prohibition; states' rights; South Carolina social life and customs; Roman Catholicism in South Carolina; international issues; and general business and family matters.

A substantial portion of the papers consists of family correspondence containing information on school and college life; Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s; social life and customs in Laurens, Charleston, and Columbia, South Carolina; and England, the Italian battlefront, and a journey across the Atlantic during World War II. Other letters come from editors, publishers, educators, politicians, financiers, and industrialists, principally from South Carolina, although some national figures are found. These correspondents include J. J. McSwain, D. C. Heyward, John Gary Evans, John Hays Hammond, M. F. Ansel, David D. Wallace, James C. Hemphill, Ambrose E. Gonzales, Thomas R. Waring, Nathaniel B. Dial, James F. Byrnes, Ulrich B. Phillips, Josephus Daniels, Bernard M. Baruch, Warrington Dawson, Ellison D. Smith, Max Fleischman, Nicholas Roosevelt, Wendell Willkie, Frederick H. Allen, and Archibald Rutledge.

Ball's financial papers, scattered throughout the collection, generally relate to real estate investments, stock holdings in textile mills, and the Depression as it affected his financial situation. A major part of the correspondence pertains to state and national politics. Letters discuss Tillmanism and Bleasism; the state primary system and election reform; state and national elections; opposition to the New Deal and the formation of the Southern Democratic Party; and other local, state, and national issues.

Material on race relations begins as early as 1916, but is particularly abundant from the 1930s onwards. Involved with the issue of states' rights versus federal control, the "Negro problem" includes the anti-lynching movement, enfranchisement and control of the African American vote, racial unrest, segregation, and other matters. The papers reveal Ball's interest in education, especially the development of schools of journalism, the expansion of the state-supported college system, the University of South Carolina, and the South Carolina School for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind.

Other papers relate to Ball's editorship of various South Carolina newspapers, principally The State and the News and Courier, and to his publishing efforts. There is also material on the textile industry in South Carolina, labor unrest and unionization, prohibition, women's suffrage, the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, recollections by Ball and others of social life, customs and politics during the 1870s through the 1890s, the economic and industrial development of South Carolina, genealogy of the Watts and Ball families, and drafts and copies of speeches and editorials.

The photographic items include 34 black-and-white photographs (ca. 1840-1940), chiefly consisting of group and individual portraits of W. W. Ball's family, friends, and colleagues in journalism. There are several views of the Ball family's ancestral plantation home in Laurens, S.C. Volumes include family account books, 1911-1942, a memorandum book beginning in 1901; scrapbooks, 1893-1951; a digest of the military service of Frank Parker, 1894-1945; and Ball's diaries, 1916-1952.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

However, collection may contain materials to which the Acknowledgment of Legal Responsibilities and Privacy Rights form applies. Patrons must sign this form before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 24-hour delay in obtaining these materials.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, 1852-1905
Box 1
Correspondence, 1906-1909
Box 2
Correspondence, 1910-1911
Box 3
Correspondence, 1912-1913 Feb.
Box 4
Correspondence, 1913 Mar.-1914
Box 5
Correspondence, 1915
Box 6
Correspondence, 1916
Box 7
Correspondence, 1917
Box 8
Correspondence, 1918-1919 June
Box 9
Correspondence, 1919 July-1920 Feb.
Box 10
Correspondence, 1920 Mar.-Dec.
Box 11
Correspondence, 1921-1922 June
Box 12
Correspondence, 1922 July-1923 Aug.
Box 13
Correspondence, 1923 Sept.-1925 Aug.
Box 14
Correspondence, 1925 Sept.-1926 Sept.
Box 15
Correspondence, 1926 Oct.-1927 Aug.
Box 16
Correspondence, 1927 Sept.-1928
Box 17
Correspondence, 1929
Box 18
Correspondence, 1930-1931
Box 19
Correspondence, 1932 Jan.-June
Box 20
Correspondence, 1932 July-Dec.
Box 21
Correspondence, 1933 Jan.-Aug.
Box 22
Correspondence, 1933 Sept.-1934 May
Box 23
Correspondence, 1934 June-Dec.
Box 24
Correspondence, 1935 Jan.-Sept.
Box 25
Correspondence, 1935 Oct.-1936 June
Box 26
Correspondence, 1936 July-1937 Feb.
Box 27
Correspondence, 1937 Mar.-Aug.
Box 28
Correspondence, 1937 Sept.-1938 Feb.
Box 29
Correspondence, 1938 Mar.-Oct.
Box 30
Correspondence, 1938 Nov.-1939 June
Box 31
Correspondence, 1939 July-Dec.
Box 32
Correspondence, 1940 Jan.-May
Box 33
Correspondence, 1940 June-1941 Feb.
Box 34
Correspondence, 1941 Mar.-Dec.
Box 35
Correspondence, 1942 Jan.-July
Box 36
Correspondence, 1942 Aug.-1943 Mar.
Box 37
Correspondence, 1943 Apr.-Dec.
Box 38
Correspondence, 1944 Jan.-June
Box 39
Correspondence, 1944 July-Dec.
Box 40
Correspondence, 1945 Jan.-Oct.
Box 41
Correspondence, 1945 Nov.-1946 Oct.
Box 42
Correspondence, 1946 Nov.-1947
Box 43
Correspondence, 1948
Box 44
Correspondence, 1949 Jan.-Oct.
Box 45
Correspondence, 1949 Nov.-1950 Apr.
Box 46
Correspondence, 1950 May-1951 July
Box 47
Correspondence, 1951 Aug.-1952 (Duplicate letters)
Box 48
Correspondence, undated [1910-1919, 1920s]
Box 59
Correspondence, undated [1920s]
Box 50
Correspondence, undated [1930s]
Box 51
Correspondence, undated [1930s, 1940s]
Box 52
Correspondence, undated [1940s]
Box 53
General papers, 1897-1952 [restrictions now lifted]
Box 54
Legal papers, 1778-1951; Legislation
Box 55
Financial papers, 1833-1919
Box 56
Financial papers, 1920-1952; Income tax
Box 57
Writings, speeches, 1883-1929
Box 58
Writings, speeches, 1930-1952
Box 59
Writings, speeches, undated
Box 60
Miscellany: report cards; genealogy
Box 61
Miscellany: business reports, 1905-1924; greeting cards
Box 62
Photographs
Box 63
Newspaper clippings
Box 64
Newspaper clippings
Box 65
Printed materials
Box 66
Printed materials
Box 67
Volumes

Notebooks, calendars, and other small volumes.

Box 68
Volumes

Notebooks and calendars

Box 69
Diary, volumes I-V, 1916-1922
Box 70
Diary, volumes VI-VIII, 1922-1930
Box 71
Diary, volumes IX-XI, 1932-1940
Box 72
Diary, volumes XII-XIV, 1948
Box 73
Diary, volumes XV and indexes, 1951-1952 and undated
Box 74
Photocopies of articles and books chiefly on American and newspaper history, 1918-1946 and undated

Selected pages with Ball's annotations were photocopied. Arranged in rough chronological order by date of publication.

(54 items)
Box 75
The Brass Check [hard-bound book] by Upton Sinclair (with Ball's annotations)
Box 75
News is What We Make It [hard-bound book] by Kenneth Stewart (with Ball's annotations)
Box 75
The Industrial Revolution in the South [hard-bound book] by Broadus and George Sinclair Mitchell (with Ball's annotations)
Box 75
Additional correspondence, 1900-1952 and undated
(9 folders)
Box 76
Frank Parker: Digest of Military Service Record, 1894-1945
Volume L:1312
Account book, 1911-1915
Volume F:6767
Account book, 1916-1921
Volume ff:6768
Account book, 1921-1931
Volume ff:6769
Account book, 1932-1942
Volume ff:6770
Memorandum book, 1901
Volume M:6771
Scrapbook, 1893-1946
Volume L:6772
Scrapbook, 1895-1941
Volume F:6773
Scrapbook, 1909-1926
Volume F:6774
Scrapbook, 1910-1930
Volume L:6775
Scrapbook, 1915-1932
Volume L:6776
Scrapbook, 1939-1951
Volume F:6777
Panoramic group photo, Publishers and Editors of the U.S. Tour of New Hampshire, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, [New Hampshire], July 17, 1926
Oversize Folder 1
Panoramic group photo, 53rd Convention Protestant Episcopal Church, Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, [Missouri], October 9-24, 1940
Oversize Folder 1

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], William Watts Ball papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The William Watts Ball papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as gifts from 1954 to 1986.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library staff, September 2011

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, Matthew Warren and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, May 2012 and March 2013

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 48-1767, 48-1862, 48-1585, 48-1900, 56-386, and 95-112

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.