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Guide to the Braxton Craven Records and Papers, 1839-1882

Abstract

Braxton Craven (1822-1882) served as an administrator and educator during the nineteenth century evolution of Trinity College (Randolph County, N.C.). Craven was Principal of Union Institute (1842-1851), President of Normal College (1851-1859), and President of Trinity College (1859-1863, 1866-1882). In addition, Craven actively participated in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and the Order of the Masons in North Carolina. Collection includes correspondence, sermons and addresses, diaries, legal and financial papers, teaching materials, subject files, and photographs and portraits of Braxton Craven. Correspondents include John Wesley Alspaugh, Charles Force Deems, David Lowry Swain, David Settle Reid, Henry Toole Clark, and Calvin H. Wiley. Subjects include the Methodist Episcopal Church, college financial affairs, and the activities of the Trinity Guard, a unit of student-soldiers that Craven formed during the Civil War.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
University Archives, Duke University.
Creator
Craven, B. (Braxton), 1822-1882.
Title
Braxton Craven records and papers, 1839-1882.
Extent
4,000 Items, , 9.2 linear feet
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult Duke University Archives.
Language
English.

Administrative Information

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Copyright for official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Contents of the Collection

The correspondence of Braxton Craven that survives documents the financial struggles of Normal College and later Trinity College. During the 1850s and 1860s, the correspondence describes attempts to gain state aid to the College and the formation of a cadet corps at Trinity. Included are typed copies from the original correspondence in the North Carolina Department of Archives and History in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Methodist Church seems to dominate the correspondence after 1859, when it becomes the chief financial supporter of the College. A few surviving family letters are also present. They pertain to the illness and death of Craven in 1882. Also included is a letterbook (1870-1882) that contains copies of letters, receipts, bylaws of the Trinity Normal School, bursar accounts, and faculty salary payments. Major correspondents include John Alspaugh, member of the Board of Trustees of Trinity College, Bishop Edward R. Ames of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Calvin Henderson Wiley, John S. Brown and Governors Thomas Settle Reid, David Lowry Swain and Henry Toole Clarke of North Carolina.

Arrangement: chronological

Correspondence
Box 1 Folder 1-6

Include sermons given by Craven at church services, commencements, and funerals. Some are incomplete or fragments of sermons. Also present are 14 volumes that contain drafts of sermons by Craven. The notebooks, mainly pocketsize, include Scriptural passages glued to pages, with handwritten exegeses beneath them.

Arrangement: alphabetical.

All things are teachers, and all teaching is necessary
Box 1 Folder 7
Anti-Christ
Box 1
Asking but not recovering
Box 1
The Atonement of Christ
Box 1
Beauty Rebuked
Box 1
Babes in Christ
Box 1
Baccalaureate Sermon
Box 1
Belief
Box 1
Be ready
Box 1
Besetting Sins
Box 1
The Best Gifts
Box 1
The Blood of Christ
Box 1
Born Again
Box 1
Brotherhood
Box 1
Brotherly Love
Box 1
The Christian Ideal
Box 1 Folder 8
Christian Kindness
Box 1
Christian Life
Box 1
Christian Manliness
Box 1
The Christian's Prize
Box 1
The Church
Box 1
Christmas 1854
Box 1
The Church of God
Box 1
Comfort Ye, My People
Box 1
Conscience, a Test of Duty
Box 1
Counting the Cost
Box 1
Courage
Box 1
Currency in God's Kingdom
Box 1
Danger of missing heaven
Box 1 Folder 9
The Day of Small Things
Box 1
The Day of Trouble
Box 1
Demonstrating the Heart
Box 1
Denominationalism
Box 1
Denouncing Sinners
Box 1
Diversity in Unity
Box 1
Divine Life
Box 1
The Diving Omniscience
Box 1
Doc's Religion Satisfy the Soul
Box 1
Edification
Box 1
The Effective Element of Christianity
Box 1
Elegance and Durability of Christianity
Box 1
The Emphatic Work of the Church
Box 1
Enough Help Already Given
Box 1
Equal Error of Sensationalism and Rationalism
Box 1
Evangelism
Box 1
Every Man needs a Pastor
Box 1
The External Manifestations of God's People
Box 1
The Fall and Atonement
Box 1
Family Religion
Box 1
The Father draweth them
Box 1
Feeding and Governing the Flock
Box 1
Final Destiny
Box 1
The Fixed and Variable
Box 1
The Friendship of the World
Box 1
Fruits meet for Repentance
Box 1
Given to Idols
Box 1 Folder 10
God's Anger Turned Away
Box 1
God's Graciousness to Penitents
Box 1
God's Mercy to those that Cry
Box 1
God's Providence
Box 1
God's Providence of Doing and Permitting Founded on Contingency
Box 1
The Great Deliverance
Box 1
The Great Promise
Box 1
Healing for the Nations
Box 1
Heaven
Box 1
Help only in God
Box 1
A Higher Status of Life possible and necessary
Box 1
Honest Failure
Box 1
How God is Known
Box 1
House of Prayer
Box 1
Human Happiness
Box 1
The Hurt of my People
Box 1
Immortality
Box 1
Impudence
Box 1
The Influence of the Dead upon the Living and the Living upon the Dead
Box 1
Instant in Season
Box 1
Job
Box 1 Folder 11
The Judgements of God
Box 1
Keeping the Heart
Box 1
The Kingdom of Christ
(3 versions)
Box 1
The Lamb of God
Box 1
The Last Judgment
Box 1
Laying up Treasures
Box 1
Let out the Light
Box 1
Life in the Light of the Gospel
Box 1
Life of the Spirit
Box 1
Love, the only improving power
Box 1
The Magna Charta
Box 1 Folder 12
The Man with enough
Box 1
The Manifestations of the Spirit
Box 1
Methodism
Box 1
The Mission of Christ
Box 1
Mutual Help
Box 1
Necessity and Sources of Regeneration
Box 1
Necessity and Atonement
Box 1
Obligation to return Favors
Box 1
Our Father
Box 1
Our Natural Character
Box 1
Our Value to God
Box 1
Parental Duties
Box 1 Folder 13
Paul's Position
Box 1
The Pecuniary part of Religion
Box 1
Philanthropy
Box 1
The Philosophy of Experience
Box 1
A Plea for Missions
Box 1
Power of the Gospel
Box 1
Praise, A Religious Duty
Box 1
The Praise of Men
Box 1
Prayer and Faith
Box 1
Prayers
Box 1
Preliminary Sufferings of Christ
Box 1
The Prodigal
Box 1
The Profit of Church Membership
Box 1
Proof of the Divinity of Christ
Box 1
The Prospects of Praying, Believing Man
Box 1
Proud Looks
Box 1
Proverbs . . . .
Box 1
Proving the Heart
Box 1
Prudence
Box 1
The Publican
Box 1
The Ransomed of the Lord
Box 1 Folder 14
Rebuilding the Temple
Box 1
Reformation
Box 1
Reproof
Box 1
Regeneration
Box 1
Religion is satisfactory the soul
Box 1
Resisting Evil
Box 1
Resisting the Devil
Box 1
The Resurrection of Christ
Box 1
Retribution
Box 1
The Salvation of God
Box 1
Satan . . .
Box 1
Saving Sinners
Box 1
Scenes in the Future
Box 1
Self Denyal and the Cup
Box 1
The Sinner cannot comprehend his own estate
Box 1
The Sinner destroys God
Box 1
The Sinner's controversy with God
Box 1
Sitting together in heavenly places
Box 1
The Social Estate
Box 1
The Songs of the Temple
Box 1
The Spiritual Conflict
Box 1
The Stature of Christ
Box 1
Straight Paths
Box 1
The Sufferings of Christ
Box 1
Sunday School Lecture
Box 1
Taking the Kingdom
Box 1 Folder 15
Terms of Discipleship
Box 1
Testing the Trees
Box 1
True Worshippers
Box 1
Trusting in God
Box 1
Trusting in the Lord
Box 1
Unfaltering Trust
Box 1
The Unspeakable Gift
Box 1
Victory of Sin
Box 1
Waiting for the Holy Spirit
Box 1
The Way of the Lord
Box 1
Weeping is brief
Box 1
We see Darkly
Box 1
What shall I do
Box 1
The Whole Christian
Box 1
The Will of the Lord
Box 1
The Word of the Lord
Box 1
Working for the Multitude
Box 1
Wounded in the house of our friends
Box 1
Yielding to the Will of God
Box 1
Incomplete Sermons
Box 1 Folder 16
Funeral Sermons
Box 1 Folder 17
Sermons - Volumes [Old catalog Nos. 794-803]
Box 1 Folder 18-22
Sermons - Volumes [Old catalog Nos. 804-806, Sketchbook, 1880]
Box 2 Folder 23-24
Dedications, 1882.

Includes transcript of a speech given by Craven at dedicatory celebrations of a cotton factory in Concord, North Carolina.

Box 2 Folder 25
Education.

Speeches given on the topic of education -- normal schools, collegiate education, female education, testing, and scholarships.

Box 2 Folder 26-27
Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

Topics include unity within the church, and the centennial of the Methodist Church.

Box 2 Folder 28
Fragments of addresses given by Craven.

Topics include education, labor problems, and the Masonic rites and creeds.

Box 2 Folder 29

Although the diaries span the years of 1845-1874, entries do not appear for every year. A partial transcript has been made for a particularly detailed section of Craven's 1868 diary. Handwritten portions of diaries from 1845 and 1855 also are included. The volumes date from the years 1861 (2 volumes), 1868, 1869, 1871, and 1874. These volumes are pocketsize, and some contain ideas for sermons, notes and comments on the weather, farming, preaching, Methodist conferences, and the state of the institution. Also included in this series is a short diary which was kept in 1867 by Craven's eldest daughter, Emma L. Craven. An undated memoranda notebook kept by Braxton Craven is also present.

Arrangement: chronological.

Diaries
Box 2 Folder 30-34

Personal legal papers primarily dealing with transactions of land and money to and from Craven. Topics include receipts, letters of guardianship for orphans, last wills and testaments, indentures, petitions, deeds and legal disputes in which Craven was involved While this series does span the years of 1850-1882, it does not include material from all years. Financial material pertains to the personal finances of Braxton Craven with some items related to the Craven family. Topics in this series include receipts, inventories, promissory notes, and bank ledgers. Also in this collection, are two ledgers (1872-1875) from the Shaw and Company Store, of which Braxton Craven was a partner.

Arrangement: Legal papers alphabetical by topic; financial papers chronological.

Legal Papers
Box 2 Folder 35-44
Financial Papers
Box 2 Folder 45-54

Notes from lectures given by Craven, class lists and grade books, and outlines of instruction. The lecture notes have become confused and are roughly arranged alphabetically by subject. It is difficult to ascertain whether these lectures were given at the Union Institute, Normal College or Trinity College. The class lists and grade books are from classes that Craven personally taught and are not for the entire College. The outlines of instruction are summaries of the classes which Craven was teaching during 1850.

The series also includes student papers and essays, including valedictory and salutatory speeches delivered at Trinity College in 1872 and 1873. There is also a bound volume of 15 graduation speeches from class of 1880. Topics include industrial waste, the Confederate States of America, success, time, music, government, and philosophy. Some fragments of student papers are present.

Arrangement: alphabetical; student papers chronological

Aesthetics
Box 3
Astronomy
Box 3
Beauty
Box 3
Botany
Box 3
Chemistry
Box 3
Education
Box 3
Elocution
Box 3
Fine Arts
Box 3
Geology
Box 3
Government
Box 3
Latin
Box 3
Law
Box 3
Logic
Box 3
Mathematics
Box 3
Mineralogy
Box 3
Natural Science
Box 3
Philosophy
Box 3
Psychology
Box 3
Rhetoric
Box 4 Folder 94-97
Theology
Box 4
Zoology
Box 4
Class lists and grade books, 1850-1882
Box 4 Folder 98-99
Outlines of instruction, 1850
Box 4 Folder 100
Student papers, 1840-1872
Box 4 Folder 101-103

Papers pertaining to the Order of the Masons, of which Craven was a member. Trinity College also had its own Lodge. Included within this series are bylaws of the Trinity Lodge, minutes of meetings, copies of Master Mason's Certificates, and a partial list of members.

Arrangement: None

Masonic papers
Box 4 Folder 104-105

This series documents Braxton Craven's involvement with the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Included in this series is a roll book of the North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church, of which Craven was secretary (ca. 1870s). Inside the book are provisions for lay and clerical delegates.

Arrangement: None

Methodist Episcopal Church South
Box 4 Folder 106-107

Primarily formal portraits of Braxton Craven with some images of Craven's family, his wife, Irene L Craven, and his tombstone in Trinity, North Carolina. Formats include tintype, ambrotype, engraving, and silhouette.

Arrangement: chronological.

Photographs and portraits
Box 4 Folder 108-109

This Hebrew Bible was printed in Germany in 1839 and was the property of Braxton Craven. Craven's daughter gave it to the Reverend B.F. Hargett, after her father's death. Hargett gave the Bible to the Reverend Wilbur G. McFarland, who died in 1955.

Bible, 1839
Box 4 Folder 110
Bible, 1970

Caricatures of Braxton Craven are on the rear paste-down and fly-leaf.

Box 9
Sermons
Box 5 Folder 111
Class Lecture Notes
Box 5 Folder 112
Portrait
Box 5 Folder 113
Trinity Account books, 1855-1863
Box 6
Trinity College Class Book and Accounts, 1860-1863
Box 7
Trinity College Roll Book, 1864-1869
Box 7
Trinity College Grade Book, 1860-1861
Box 7
Trinity College Roll Book, 1860-1861
Box 7
Notebook that includes grades and sunday school records, circa 1875-1876
Box 7
Miscellaneous notebook with clippings
Box 7
Framed box containing: 1859 slave contract signed by Braxton Craven; 1880 promissory note signed by Craven; undated carte de viste of Craven (photo by Rufus Morgan); pocket pistol dated 1845.
Box 8
Scrapbook of "interesting love stories" clipped from serial publications, 19th century
Box 10

Historical Note

Educator and Methodist clergyman, Braxton Craven was born in Randolph County, N.C., in 1822. Craven became licensed to preach in 1840, earned an A.B. (Hon.) in 1849 from Randolph-Macon College, and received various other degrees during his lifetime. His career included the following educational and administrative positions: Student-teacher, Union Institute (1841-1842); Principal of Union Institute (1842-1851); President of Normal College (1851-1859); President of Trinity College (1859-1863, 1866-1882). Braxton Craven died in 1882.

Duke University (Durham, N.C.) was established in 1924 and evolved from the following institutions: Brown's Schoolhouse (Randolph Co., N.C), 1838-1839; Union Institute (Randolph Co., N.C.), 1839-1851; Normal College (Randolph Co., N.C.), 1851-1859; Trinity College (Randolph Co., N.C.), 1859-1892 and (Durham, N.C.), 1892-1924).

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Braxton Craven Records and Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

Received from multiple sources, including transfers from other campus units prior to the founding of University Archives:

Processing Information

Torrence N. Thomas, Jill Katte; Completed October 2002

Encoded by Joshua McKim, 2002

Updated by Sherrie Bowser, June 2008

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.