Guide to the Scarborough family papers, 1760-1945, 1996 and undated, bulk 1830-1930
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.
- Collection Number
- Scarborough family papers
- 1760-1945, 1996 and undated, bulk 1803-1930
- 6 Linear Feet, Approx. 2300 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
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.
Organized into the following four series: Correspondence, Genealogy and Family Papers, Legal and Financial Papers, and Volumes.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
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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.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Scarborough family Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
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.
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.
Clippings chiefly consist of poems and articles on household hints and home remedies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Clarke family (N.C.)
- McLeod family (Ala.)
- Nash family (N.C.)
- Scarborough family (N.C.)
- Smart family (Ala.)
- Agriculture -- Southern States
- Cotton -- Cultivation -- Southern States
- Farmers -- Southern States -- Correspondence
- Farms -- North Carolina -- Montgomery County
- Migration, Internal -- Southern States
- Tobacco -- Cultivation -- Southern States
- World War, 1914-1918 -- North Carolina
- Alabama -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- Bruceville (Ala.) -- History
- Camp Fisher (N.C.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- Camp Mangum (N.C.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- Mount Gilead (Montgomery County, N.C.) -- History
- North Carolina -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- North Carolina -- History
- Raleigh (N.C.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- Wilmington (N.C.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- Warrior Stand (Ala.) -- History
The Scarborough family papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1950-1958.
Processed by Joanne Fairhurst, Matthew Warren, February 2013
Encoded by Joanne Fairhurst, Paula Jeannet, Matthew Warren, February 2013
Revised for materials returned from Conservation, Alice Poffinberger, July 2015