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Guide to the Worth family papers, 1844-1955 and undated

Abstract

Prominent family of plantation owners, lawyers, politicians, and businessmen from Randolph County, North Carolina, residing in Asheboro and Wilmington.

Correspondence, business records, and other papers, pertaining chiefly to family matters, business affairs, opposition to Southern secession, politics in North Carolina, fertilizer manufacturing and marketing, textile industry, Zebulon Baird Vance, and patronage during the early years of Woodrow Wilson's presidency. Includes letters to Jonathan Worth (1802-1869), lawyer and governor of North Carolina, to his son, David Gaston Worth (1831-1897), commission merchant and manufacturer, when he attended the University of North Carolina and when he was superintendent of the salt works at Wilmington, N.C., during the Civil War; correspondence of David with his wife, Julia Anna (Stickney) Worth, and his son, Charles William Worth, when attended Bingham School and the University of North Carolina; and letters of Barzillai Gardner Worth. Other correspondents include Edwin Anderson Alderman, Robert Bingham, Josephus Daniels, Hannibal Lafayette Godwin, John Wilkins Norwood, Lee Slater Overman, James Hinton Pou, Cornelia (Phillips) Spencer, and George Tayloe Winston.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Worth family.
Title
Worth family papers 1844-1955 and undated
Language of Material
English
Extent
1.5 Linear Feet, Approx. 694 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The papers of the Worth family of North Carolina contain correspondence, business records, and other papers, pertaining chiefly to family matters, business affairs, opposition to Southern secession, politics in North Carolina, fertilizer manufacturing and marketing, textile industry, Zebulon Baird Vance, and patronage during the early years of Woodrow Wilson's presidency. Includes the papers of Jonathan Worth (1802-1869), lawyer and governor of North Carolina, including a few of his official papers as governor during Reconstruction, 1865-1868; correspondence relating to his business interests and law practice; and letters of Jonathan Worth and Martitia (Daniel) Worth in the 1850s to a son at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, concerning family matters and the construction of a plank road near Asheboro, North Carolina. Also among the papers identified with him are commissions signed by him as governor and a copy of a newspaper article concerning a speech he delivered at the Negro Educational Convention (October 13, 1866) and a certification of election returns in Beaufort County (October 20, 1866).

Materials relating to David Gaston Worth (1831-1897) contain essays from David Worth's college days; Civil War correspondence concerning financial conditions in the Confederacy and the Confederate salt works at Wilmington, North Carolina; material relating to the Bingham School, Mebane, North Carolina, and the Fifth Street Methodist Church, Wilmington, North Carolina; there are also some business papers.

Later papers consist of business records belonging to William Elliott Worth: a ledger, 1906-1911, for William E. Worth and Company, dealers in ice, coal, wood, and other merchandise; and records of the Universal Oil and Fertilizer Company, including a ledger, 1903-1914, and a letterpress book, 1906-1907, concerning the manufacture and marketing of various fertilizers, cottonseed oil, and related products.

The papers of Charles William Worth contain letters written to and from his parents while he was a student at the Bingham School, Orange County, N.C., and at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and letters from many prominent North Carolinians advocating for his appointment as American consul at Shanghai, China, and other political posts, 1912-1913 and later years.

The collection also contains five account books, 1888-1924, of Worth & Worth and its successor, The Worth Co., a large Wilmington firm of grocers and commission merchants which also traded in cotton and naval stores.

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.

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.

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

Information folder and correspondence, 1844-1877
Box 1
Correspondence, 1878-1899
Box 2
Correspondence, 1900-1924 and undated
Box 3
Financial papers, legal papers, miscellaneous, and printed materials
Box 3
Financial volumes, 1888-1907
Box 4
Business letterbook, chiefly written by William Elliott Worth, 1906-1907
Box 4
The Worth Company cash journal, Wilmington, 1920-1924

One of the largest wholesale grocery firms in N.C. at the time.

Volume F:148
Worth & Worth, Journal J, 1895-1912
Volume F:6994
Universal Oil and Fertilizer Company ledger, Wilmington, 1903-1914
Volume F:6995
William E. Worth & Company ledger, Wilmington, 1906-1911
Volume F:6996
Worth & Worth, Journal H, 1889-1891
Volume ff:6993

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Jonathan Worth Papers, 1798-1899 (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Worth Family Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Worth Family papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1969-1971.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library staff, November 2011

Encoded by Matthew Warren, April 2012

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 70-173, 70-174, 71-250

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

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.