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Guide to the Scarborough family papers, 1760-1945, 1996 and undated, bulk 1830-1930

Abstract

Family based in Mt. Gilead, Montgomery County, North Carolina; relatives were located in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. Related family names include Clarke, McLeod, Nash, and Smart.

Correspondence, legal and financial papers, and other materials dating from the 1700s to the 1940s, relating to the Scarborough family based in Mt. Gilead, Montgomery County, N.C. Papers document rural life in N.C., cotton and tobacco farming, mercantile activities, and the experiences of family members in the Civil War and World War I, and their careers as teachers, local officials, and members of the Republican Party in the 20th century. Includes many letters from friends and relatives who migrated to other Southern states. Bound volumes include account books, court dockets, a scrapbook, a family history, and public school district registers. There are a few items referring to slaves, including two lists of slave names, most likely from N.C. Over 100 Civil War letters were exchanged between family members at home and relatives and friends serving as Confederate soldiers in N.C. locations such as High Point (Camp Fisher), Greenville, Raleigh (Camp Mangum), Tarboro, and Wilmington; Petersburg, Virginia; and Camp Winder and Jackson Hospitals in Virginia. The letters refer to battles, troop movements, camp life, the status of various individuals both at home and abroad, prices of commodities and produce, and life in home towns such as Mt. Gilead, NC, and Bruceville and Warrior Stand, Alabama.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Scarborough family
Title
Scarborough family papers, 1760-1945, 1996 and undated, bulk 1803-1930
Language of Material
English
Extent
6.0 Linear Feet, Approx. 2300 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Correspondence, legal and financial papers, and other materials dating from the 1700s through the 1940s, relating to a family of cotton farmers, merchants, and local officials based in Mt. Gilead, Montgomery County, N.C. Papers document rural life in N.C. in the 19th and 20th centuries, the experiences of family members in the Civil War and World War I, and their careers as teachers and justices of the peace. Includes many letters (chiefly 1832-1874) from friends and relatives who migrated to other Southern states. Bound volumes include memoranda, ledgers and account books, criminal and civil dockets, a scrapbook, notes on family history and genealogy, and public school district registers, all relating to the Scarborough family, especially H. M Scarborough (Justice of the Peace) and Henry T. Scarborough, owner of Fairview Farm in Mt. Gilead and the historian of the family.

There are references to slaves in several documents in the Legal and Financial Papers Series, including a list of slave names belonging to the Ledbetters and Dunns (probably in Montgomery County, N.C.), and a mention in the 1817 will of Samuel Clarke (witnessed by two Scarboroughs) of a female slave transferred to a family member.

There are 115 Civil War letters dating from 1860-1864, exchanged between family members at home and family or friends serving in locations such as High Point (Camp Fisher), Greenville, Raleigh (Camp Mangum), Tarboro, and Wilmington, N.C.; Petersburg, Virginia; and from Camp Winder and Jackson Hospitals in Virginia toward the end of the war. The letters are very detailed and speak of battles, troop movements, camp life, the status of various individuals both at home and abroad, prices of commodities and produce, and life in home towns such as Mt. Gilead, NC, and Bruceville and Warrior Stand, Alabama.

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 »

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Collection is open for research.

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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.

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

The correspondence is arranged chronologically, centering chiefly around the periods 1832-1874 and 1914-1933, and consists primarily of exchanges between members of the large and widespread Scarborough family. Samuel, Franklin and Henry T. Scarborough, all active in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries, figure prominently among the letter writers. Mount Gilead, North Carolina is the epicenter of the exchanges, but letters also come from other counties in North Carolina, and from Alabama, South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Texas, and Virginia.

The subject matter of the correspondence spans from health to crops, the Civil War to World War I, family history to politics, and slavery to race relations. Specific topics include the regional post office (the Scarboroughs served as postmasters), crops, disease and sickness, teaching, business matters, religion, politics (tariff, constitution, secession, farm relief bills, Republicanism, nullification), land sales, traveling to California to find gold, the Civil War (camp life, emancipation, troop movements, conditions during the war), Reconstruction, teaching as a profession, fire on a Pee Dee River Trestle, the Mexican War, crashes in crop prices, the home front during World War I, Davenport Female College, Lenoir College, Davidson College, women working, county extension services, the early oil industry, urbanization and development (railroads, dams, bridges, roads), and patents. One family member writes about life as a professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, during the 1920s. In the 1920s Henry T. Scarborough undertook a family history, sending out letters of inquiry to Scarboroughs across the South; thus there are many replies during this period that offer genealogical information.

Correspondents include the following Scarboroughs: Samuel, Thomas, Frank (Franklin), S.E. (Sarah?), William, Edmund, Benjamin, Calvin, Sarah, Wilson, Piety, Martha, Ambrose, Wylie, Alfred, Franklin, Wilson, Mary Ann, Bett, John, Saul, Ada, Sallie, Mary, Pearl, Myra, Cordelia, Henry, Elmo, J.H., J.B., Myrtle, W.W., Charles, Sam, Julia, and Nannie. Also prominent are members of the Andrews, Ballard, Billingsly, Boling, Clarke, Covington, Gardner, King, McCrae, McLeod, Merchison, Nash, Smart, and Williams families.

Place names appearing most frequently in family letters include Mt. Gilead, NC; Bruceville, AL; Warrior Stand, AL. Other prominent names include Benton County, AL; Shelby County, AL; Fayette County, TN; Russell County, AL; Forsythe, Monroe County, GA; Madison County, TN; White Plains, AL; Washington County, AK; Simpson County, KY; Newberry District, SC; Lawrenceville, Montgomery County, NC; Asheville, NC; Campbell County, GA; Talladega County, AL; Macon, AL; Salisbury, Rowan County, NC; Knoxville, TN; Gibson's Store, NC; Franklin County, KY; China Grove, NC; Tuskegee, AL; Rockingham, NC; Proctor's Creek, VA; Thomasville, NC; Greensboro, NC; Lynchburg, VA; Kerrville, TN; Louisville, KY; Miami, FL; Covington, KY; Sherman TX; Annapolis, MD; Stoughton, WI; New Smyrna, FL; Goldsboro, NC; Seagrove, NC; Davidson College; Davenport Female College, Lenoir, NC; Bluefield, West VA; El Dorado, NC; and Coconut Grove, FL.

There are 115 Civil War letters dating from 1860-1864, exchanged between family members at home and family or friends serving in locations such as High Point (Camp Fisher), Greenville, Raleigh (Camp Mangum), Tarboro, and Wilmington, NC; Petersburg, VA; and from Camp Winder and Jackson hospitals in VA (1864). There are no letters from 1865 or 1866; the correspondence resumes in 1867. Individuals who write or appear most frequently are Franklin and Samuel Scarborough; Martin Smart from Alabama(a cousin); Joseph Smart; C.C. Wade from N.C.; William G. Gardner; Susan McLeod; Mary A. Scarborough; and Sarah Scarborough (mother to Franklin and Samuel). The letters speak of battles, the merging of units, troop movements, camp life, illnesses, the military and personal status of various individuals both at home and abroad, prices of commodities and produce, and life in home towns during the war.

1808-1837 Nov. 15
Box 1
1838 Feb. 1-1839 Nov. 29
Box 1
1840 Feb. 22-1842 Sept. 10
Box 1
1843 Jan. 8-1847 Feb.6
Box 1
1847 Mar. 3-1849 Dec. 4
Box 1
1857 Nov. 20-1850 June 2
Box 1
1858 Jan. 1-1859 Nov. 28
Box 1
1862 June 29-1860 Feb. 3
Box 1
1862 July 22-1863 Dec. 29
Box 1
1864 Jan. 12-1867 Sept. 7
Box 1
1867 Sept. 21-1869 Dec. 7
Box 2
1873 July 4
Box 2
1874 Jan. 24-1879 Jan. 26
Box 2
1880 Feb. 9-1903 Apr. 20
Box 2
1903 Apr. 20-1913 Sept. 13
Box 2
1914 Feb. 4-1918 Aug. 11
Box 2
1920 Jan. 31-1921 Dec. 31
Box 2
1922 Jan. 16-1922 May 18
Box 3
1922 May 18-1922 June 30
Box 3
1922 July 2-1922 Dec. 31
Box 3
1923 Jan. 18-1924 Jan. 3
Box 3
1924 Jan. 7-1924 Dec. 31
Box 3
1935 July 2-1922 Dec. 31
Box 3
1927 Jan. 24-1927 Dec. 12
Box 3
1927 Sept. 11-1929 Aug. 22
Box 3
1930 Jan. 17-1931 Jan. 31
Box 3
1931 Feb. 27-1945 Oct. 4
Box 3
Undated correspondence
Box 3

This series is divided into two subseries: Family History and Printed Materials. The first consists of family papers such as birth announcements, original verses and essays, notes on the history of Montgomery County, invitations, graduation announcements, stencils of maps (student work), drawings, certificates, histories of the region, and extensive genealogical lists of the Scarborough family from the 1700s to the early 20th century. There is also a medallion, and seven early 20th century photographs of unidentified individuals, with one family group shot by a Mt. Gilead photographer. There are also extensive genealogical materials in the Volumes Series. The latest date, 1996, is a letter from a person researching the Hancock family.

Printed materials include newspaper clippings (with photocopies), Mt. Gilead Methodist Church membership list, several election ballots, and membership cards for the National Republican League. There is also a publicity flier for "In the Land of Cotton," a novel published by Texas family relation Dorothy Scarborough in 1923 (Macmillan). The materials are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Family History

(5 folders)
Family papers, 1833-1934 and undated
(2 folders)
Box 4
Family papers, handmade medallion, undated
Box 4
Genealogy, 1815-1922, 1996 and undated
Box 4
Photographs, circa 1910s-1927
(7 items)
Box 4

Printed Materials

(3 folders)
Clippings, 1905-1936 and undated

Clippings chiefly consist of poems and articles on household hints and home remedies.

(2 folders, photocopies)
Box 4
Printed material, 1846-1940 and undated
Box 4

Legal papers, primarily dating from the nineteenth century, including deeds, summonses, a will, land grants, reports on local election results, sheriff's reports to the state treasurer on tax collections, and inventories of estates. Financial papers are chiefly bills and receipts relating to farming operations. There are also several accounts, stock share certificates, and lists of debts. There are references to slaves in several documents, including a list of slave names belonging to the Ledbetters and Dunns (two family names that appear in Montgomery County, NC), and a mention in the 1817 will of Samuel Clarke (witnessed by two Scarboroughs) of a female slave transferred to a family member.

1760-1819
Box 5
1783-1874
Box 5
1830-1854
Box 5
1820-1829
Box 5
1830-1869
Box 5
1871-1880
Box 5
1880-1891
Box 5
1830-1869
Box 5
1783-1874
Box 5
1760-1819
Box 5
1820-1829
Box 5
1900-1905
Box 5
1906-1914
Box 5
1915-1929 and undated
Box 5
1860-1919
Box 6
1920-1930 and undated
Box 6
Land grants, deeds, 1785-1816?

Fragile items for conservation, please consult research services before using. Include original grant for Montgomery County.

Box 6

Series includes varied bound materials, including memoranda, ledgers and account books, criminal and civil dockets, a scrapbook, a volume of extensive genealogical notes, and registers of public school districts, all relating to the Scarborough family, especially Henry T. Scarborough. Records document farm finances, legal transactions, and the family's involvement in public service. The genealogical notes contain family records for many individual Scarborough family members, with births, deaths, and marriages. There are also extensive family history materials in the Genealogy and Family Papers Series.

Memoranda, spelling book, ledger, 1911-1927, undated

The memoranda books date to 1911, 1920-1921, and 1927. One of the books includes advertising for Columbia Fertilizers; the ledger, dated to 1916, includes lists of voters, financial accounts, receipts, and clippings.

Box 6
Accounts, 1839-1863

Two small bound manuscript accounts, no covers, relating to the Scarborough family, including entries for blacksmithing, sharpening plows, and making coffins. Also includes one loose bill for cotton.

Box 6
Account book, bound, 1867-1885

Begins with school attendance records from Cumberland County, N.C., 1867-1868, kept by S.E. Scarborough, presumably their teacher. The volume then was used as an account book in another hand, probably S.H. Scarborough, listing purchases for personal use, and sales of farm produce, wheat straw, and various other goods and services. These two individuals may be Samuel and Sarah Scarborough, husband and wife.

Box 6
Account book, 1887-1894

Accounts for Henry T. Scarborough, containing personal and farm accounts, payments for labor, and records of his service as supervisor for work on the public roads.

Box 7
Account book, 1896-1900

Accounts relating to Henry T. Scarborough.

Box 7
Account book, 1909-1919

Accounts relating to Henry T. Scarborough.

Box 7
Criminal and civil docket, 1869-1876

The following criminal and civil dockets, dating from 1869-1911, pertain primarily to H.M. Scarborough's work as Justice of the Peace in the late 1800s. A J.R. Scarborough also appears as a J.P. in the 1890s.

(7 volumes)
Box 8
Criminal and civil docket, 1883-1899
Box 8
Criminal and civil docket, 1893-1899
Box 8
Criminal and civil docket, 1900-1902
Box 9
Criminal and civil docket, 1902-1905
Box 9
Criminal and civil docket, 1907-1910
Box 9
Criminal and civil docket, 1909-1911
Box 9
Daybook and scrapbook, 1803-1926

Volume assembled by H.T. Scarborough containing farm accounts; clippings on regional politics and other issues or events; copies of letters, wills, and deeds; lists of marriage banns in Montgomery County; and many pages of "courses and distances," or boundaries of acreage and lots belonging to various individuals in Montgomery County.

Box 10
Ledger, 1920-1929

Ledger of H.T. Scarborough with a few personal accounts.

Box 10
Notes on family history, compiled by Henry T. Scarborough, 1915-1922

Contains handwritten genealogical material describing the origins of the Scarborough family, a copy of a letter, and some financial accounts regarding a deceased relative's estate. The family history stretches from the family's 17th century English origins to the 1920s. In the notes, H. T. Scarborough repeats a traditional story of an Occahannock Indian massacre perpetrated by Col. Edmund Scarborough around 1671 in an area still known as Scarborough's Neck, Accomack County, Virginia.

Box 10
Register of Public School Districts, 1881-1887

Public school register of F.B. Bray of District No. 25 of Randolph County, North Carolina, 1881-1883, and District No. 62 of Chatham County, North Carolina, 1885-1887, containing incomplete records of pupils' names, attendance records, names of textbooks, amounts of teachers' salaries, and names of members of the local school committee.

Box 10
Register of Public School Districts, 1894-1900

Register of District No. 46 of Montgomery County, North Carolina, 1894-1900.

Box 10

Historical Note

According to Henry T. Scarborough's genealogical notes, the N.C. Scarboroughs descended from Edmund Scarborough, Surveyor General of Accomack County, settling in Montgomery County, N.C. in the mid-1700s. From there, family members migrated to various locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. Related family names include Ballard, McLeod, Nash, and Smart (Alabama). The Scarboroughs of N.C. engaged in farming, blacksmithing, teaching, and acting as justices of the peace in Montgomery County. Several family members served in Confederate units during the Civil War, including Franklin Scarborough, who appears most frequently in Civil War correspondence (44th Regiment, NC Infantry); the names Samuel and Ambrose are also mentioned in passing.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Scarborough family papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Scarborough family papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1950-1958.

Processing Information

Processed by Joanne Fairhurst, Matthew Warren, February 2013

Encoded by Joanne Fairhurst, Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, Matthew Warren, February 2013

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

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.