Guide to the Craven-Pegram Family Papers, 1785-1966
The Craven-Pegram Family Papers span the period 1785 to 1966, with the bulk dating from 1892 to 1958. The collection chiefly consists of correspondence among various family members and friends, and photographs. Included are legal and financial papers, writings and speeches, genealogical material, newsclippings, and printed material. While the principal focus of the collection is Sallie Kate Craven (Kate) and her sister, Emma L. (Craven) Pegram and her family, information about earlier generations of the Craven, Pegram, and Leach families is included in the legal and genealogical material.
The major strength of the collection is the information on the descendents of the first president of Trinity College, Braxton Craven. The letters document the lifestyles and roles of young girls and women in the late 19th and early 20th century and the socialization process of girls. Additionally, single career women, married women who raised a family at home, and a widow supporting a family are represented in the collection.
Other topics in the Correspondence Series include: the impact of Trinity College on the development of a community and the effects of the loss of the institution, Columbia University's Physics Department, the economic depression of the 1930s and how it impacted upon Pegram family members, high school and college education in North Carolina, and the process by which young men obtained jobs and established themselves in their occupation. Some of George B. Pegram's letters describe his attendance at the New York World's Fair in 1939 and describe social occasions he went to that were attended by Dwight David Eisenhower (1949, Jan. 30 and Dec. 31), then president of Columbia. Annie M. Pegram's letters home (1904-1948) recount her many activities at Greensboro College and her involvement in community life in Greensboro. A few letters dating from the turn of the century into the 1940s provide a glimpse at hiring domestic help, particularly cooks. Through the collection, one is able to study the functions of the family both as an economic and social unit.
Of particular interest to those studying the history of Trinity College are the weekly letters of Kate Craven to Emma L. Pegram (1892- 1903) after she and her family moved to Durham in 1892. In addition to news about family and friends in Trinity, N.C., Kate also discussed her bitterness over the movement of Trinity College to Durham and its effect upon the Trinity community. The correspondence series also contains an unsigned, undated letter, relating to a contract Braxton Craven had signed with the U.S. government about the education of Cherokee boys at Trinity College.
Emma Pegram's letters, written chiefly to her son George from the mid-1890s to 1903, contain many comments about the administrators and faculty of Trinity College and Trinity Park School in Durham. Scattered references are made to John Carlisle Kilgo, president of Trinity College, and his family.
A letterbook primarily containing letters which Nannie (Bulla) Craven wrote to her son, Harvey Bernard Craven, details the financial hardships faced by the widowed parent of five sons. She wrote the majority of the letters, 1893 and 1896, from Trinity, N.C. while Harvey was a student at Trinity College. Her letters also provide a glimpse of the Trinity community after Trinity College moved to Durham. There are scattered references to Trinity High School, a tuition based school in Trinity that remained after the college was relocated, and its faculty. The narrow parameters within which women of the period lived are clearly illustrated.
Correspondents other than family members include: M. H. Lockwood (1897), who taught in the Department of Physics at Trinity College; Thomas Arthur Smoot (1898-1900), who was the headmaster at Trinity (N.C.) High School, 1895-1896, professor of physics and chemistry at Greensboro (N.C.) Female College, 1898-1900, and later a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; and Jerome Dowd (1941-1945) who wrote a book about Braxton Craven, entitled The Life of Braxton Craven.
- Collection Number
- Craven-Pegram Family papers
- 11.4 Linear Feet, Approximately 6,565 items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Correspondence, 1862-1965 and undated
- Legal Papers, 1785-1961.
- Financial Papers, 1898-1908.
- Writings and Speeches, 1914-1951 and undated
- Genealogy, (bulk undated)
- Miscellaneous, 1873-1958 and undated
- Clippings, 1890s and 1960s and undated
- Printed Material, 1875-1942 and undated
- Pictures, 1850s to 1950s.
- Oversize Materials
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in this collection are unknown at this time. For more information, consult a Reference Librarian and the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Craven-Pegram Family Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Primarily documents the relationships of family and friends in the Craven and Pegram families. A letterbook, 1893-1898 contains about 150 letters, mostly from Mrs. Nannie (Bulla) Craven to her son Harvey Bernard Craven while he was a student at Trinity College in Durham, N.C.
Legal Papers, 1785-1961. 200 items. (.3 linear ft.) Deeds, wills, insurance policies, summons, and teacher contracts, principally relating to members of the Craven, Pegram, and Leach families. Many of the earlier deeds concern property in Randolph County, N. C. Also includes information beginning in 1838 about the settlement of the Bucknier Lanier estate which involved a number of slaves. Other documents pertain to a court case (1891) brought by the High Point, Randleman, Ashboro, and Southern Railroad to obtain the right of way to property owned by the Cravens and Pegrams.
There are folders for the estates of Braxton and Irene (Leach) Craven; Sallie (Kate) Craven; John Edward Pegram; and William Howell Pegram, Sr. Two categories: papers and estates.
Arranged chronologically within each.
Ledger (1898-1899) from the Roxboro Institute maintained during the period George B. Pegram was principal of the school listing tuition payments for students.
Also receipts from various businesses, bank deposit slips, and information pertaining to interest statements. Loose materials are arranged chronologically.
The volumes are arranged chronologically immediately following the loose materials.
Political speeches before civic groups, primarily made by W. H. Pegram, Sr. and John Edward Pegram. Also a eulogy delivered by W. H. Pegram, Sr. honoring James H. Southgate as well as other eulogies, including one for W. H. Pegram, Sr. Contains stories about Brazil by W. B. Lee, who was with the Methodist Board of Missions in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and travelogues prepared by Jerome Dowd about his families' trips to Arkansas, Tennessee, and Florida during 1938. Some of the writings are anonymous.
Chiefly notes and correspondence concerning the genealogical history of the Craven, Leach, and Pegram families. Most of the material relates to the Pegram family, including a printed history of the family.
Arranged alphabetically by name of family.
Kate Craven's notes about the Braxton Craven house and family cemetery in Trinity, N.C.; school reports for George Braxton, Irene, and William H. Pegram, Jr.; information about John Edward's farm in Orange County, N.C.; diplomas; certificates; a war ration book; a floor plan for the Pegram house on Buchanan Blvd.; a 1963 list of items Annie Pegram gave to Trinity Methodist Church in Durham; and notes about teaching public speaking and English. Also miscellaneous volumes. Two categories: loose materials and volumes.
Arranged chronologically within each.
Chiefly obituaries of Craven, Pegram, and Leach family members. Also information about a fire at the Greensboro Female College in 1904; several clippings about the professional activities of George Braxton Pegram, including information about his work in the atomic energy field; and a few relating to James and Nannie (Bulla) Craven's children.
Arranged chronologically by decade.
Chiefly invitations and commencement programs of various schools and academies in North Carolina, including Thomasville Female College, Roxboro Institute, Trinity High School (Trinity, N. C.), Bethel Hill Institute, Trinity Park High School (Durham, N.C.), and Bellwood Institute. Also a few calling cards.
Primarily photographs of Craven and Pegram family members, including Braxton and Irene (Leach) Craven. The oldest photographs are a daguerreotype of Irene (Leach) Craven, a tintype of Braxton Craven, and an ambrotype of Emma (Craven) Pegram.
Also includes photographs of persons associated with Trinity College, including John Spencer Bassett, Julian S. Carr, Robert Lee Flowers, John Carlisle Kilgo and his family, M. H. Lockwood, Samuel Fox Mordecai, Dred Peacock, and James Haywood Southgate, as well as a photograph of Josephus Daniels, Southern Conservatory of Music students, and Trinity High School faculty and students.
A few are of various locations and events in Durham, Durham County, and Trinity, N. C. They include for Durham, the Bennett Place, the fire on March 23, 1914, the William Howell Pegram home at 308 Buchanan Blvd., and for Durham County the Bennehan Cameron home. There are photographs of the following places in Trinity, N. C. the: Braxton Craven home; Trinity Hotel; railroad station; and Springfield and Trinity cemeteries. Two categories: people and geographic.
Arranged alphabetically within each.
The children and grandchildren of Braxton Craven (1822-1882), first president of Trinity College in Randolph County, N.C., and his wife, Irene (Leach) Craven, are the principals in the Craven-Pegram Family Papers. The children of Braxton Craven most prominently represented are Sallie Kate (Kate) and Emma Lenora Craven, who married William Howell (W. H.) Pegram. The grandchildren primarily featured are those of Emma L. and W. H. Pegram, George Braxton, Annie McKinnie, Irene Craven, John Edward, and William Howell Pegram, Jr.
Kate Craven, who attended Greensboro College, returned to her family's home in Trinity, N.C. to live until 1928, when she moved to Durham. Kate lived with two of Emma and W. H. Pegram's children, Irene and John Edward (Edward or Ned) Pegram, until her death in 1945.
Emma L. Craven (d. 1904) and W. H. Pegram (d. 1928) married in 1875 and lived in Trinity, N.C. until 1892, when they moved to Durham, N.C. W. H. Pegram was a professor in Trinity College from 1873 to 1919 and professor emeritus from 1919 to 1928. He taught chemistry and for many years was secretary to the faculty.
Annie M. Craven (d. 1966) graduated from Trinity College and began teaching German and mathematics at Greensboro Female College in 1901. She was involved with the social and religious life on the campus and also taught Sunday school at the Greensboro jail for several years. During the 1920s, the N.C. Board of Charities and Public Welfare appointed her to the Guilford Board of Public Welfare. In 1938, she became a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. With only a brief interruption in her tenure at Greensboro Female College, after a fire in 1904, she retired from the College in 1948. After her retirement, she lived in Durham with her sister Irene and her brother John Edward.
William H. Pegram, Jr. worked in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas. In 1916 he married Rosalie Pitzlin of Houston, and they settled there.
John Edward Pegram (d. 1951) tried several different occupations including school principal, lawyer, businessman, and farmer.
Irene Craven Pegram (d. 1958) taught for several years at West Durham High School and in the Durham city school system into the 1920s. After a period of ill health, she retired to manage the Pegram family home. Irene and John Edward, both of whom never married, continued to live in the home.
George Braxton Pegram (1876-1958) graduated from Trinity College and served as a school administrator in Trinity and Roxboro, N.C. In the fall of 1899, he went to Columbia University where, during his fifty seven years of association with the school, he was a student, professor of physics, dean of graduate studies, vice-president, and adviser to the president. He was a pioneer in the field of atomic energy research, became one of the country's leading physicists. During the 1950s, he was an educational consultant at the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies in Tennessee. He married Florence Bement in 1909, and they had two children William Braxton and John Bement Pegram. The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections, 1970-1971 describes a collection of about 35,000 items of his professional and personal papers located at Columbia University.
The daughter-in-law of Braxton and Irene (Leach) Craven, Nannie (Bulla) Craven (d. 1937), married James Lucius Craven, a physician. He died in 1885 at the age of thirty-five, leaving her with five sons to rear. She supported herself and the children by teaching at Archdale and then at Trinity High School in Trinity, N.C.
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The Craven-Pegram Family Papers were given to Duke University Library in 1968 through the settlement of the Annie McKinnie Pegram estate. Copyright interests in these papers have not been transferred to the University.
Processed by Janie C. Morris
Completed October 31, 1990
Encoded by Alvin Pollock, Electronic Text Unit, UC Berkeley Library