Guide to the Worth family papers, 1844-1955 and undated
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.
- Collection Number
- Worth family papers
- 1844-1955 and undated
- 1.5 Linear Feet, Approx. 694 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
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.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
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How to Cite
[Identification of item], Worth Family Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
One of the largest wholesale grocery firms in N.C. at the time.
- Jonathan Worth Papers, 1798-1899 (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Alderman, Edwin Anderson, 1861-1931
- Bingham, Robert
- Daniels, Josephus, 1862-1948
- Godwin, Hannibal L. (Hannibal Lafayette), 1873-1929
- Norwood, John Wilkins, 1865-1945
- Overman, Lee S. (Lee Slater), 1854-1930
- Pou, James H. (James Hinton), 1861-1935
- Spencer, Cornelia Phillips, 1825-1908
- Vance, Zebulon Baird
- Worth, William Elliott
- Winston, George Tayloe, 1852-1932
- Worth family
- Worth, Charles William
- Worth, David Gaston
- Worth, Jonathan
- Worth, Julia Anna Stickney
- Bingham School (Orange County, N.C.)
- Business records -- North Carolina
- Commission merchants -- North Carolina
- Fathers and sons -- Southern States
- Fertilizer industry -- North Carolina
- Governors -- North Carolina
- Industries -- North Carolina
- Patronage, Political -- United States
- Salt industry and trade -- Confederate States of America
- Textile industry -- North Carolina
- Universities and colleges -- North Carolina
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill -- Students
The Worth Family papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1969-1971.
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