GREENVILLE, N.C. (7/18/2012) — East Carolina University’s Joyner Library hosted a luncheon July 11th honoring the $100,000 gift to the Betty Debnam Hunt and Richard M. Hunt Endowment for the library’s Teaching Resources Center (TRC).
Faculty, family, and distinguished guests gathered to dedicate the Betty Debnam Hunt Instructional Technology Classroom. Funds from the endowment will be used to provide technology support making the classroom one that provides the opportunity for current and future teachers to discover cutting edge technology and resources. Additionally, the endowment will allow the selection of resources to further support the development of the Debnam Resource Center for Family Literacy established in March 2004.
“It is evident that education remains a strong theme in Ms. Hunt’s life with the establishment of this endowment to the TRC,” says Linda Teel, Head of Service for the Teaching Resources Center.
Hunt, of Raleigh, hailed from a family of journalists in eastern North Carolina devoted her career to education as a school teacher, children’s author and creater of “The Mini-Page,” a syndicated newspaper supplement for children.
The group viewed digitized versions of “The Mini-Page Archives” (which contains volumes from 1969-2007) and lunched on recipes featured in her children’s book “Rookie Cookie Cookbook: Everyday Recipes for Kids.”
“It is an honor to celebrate the naming of the Betty Debnam Hunt Instruction Technology Classroom,” says Larry Boyer, Dean of Academic Library and Learning Resources. “The endowment will enhance the academic success of future educators and we thank Betty for the years of service to education and generosity to Joyner Library.”
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The letter, written by Annie E. Bogart, went to auction Jan. 31, part of a large, private collection of Civil War memorabilia being auctioned by Cohasco Inc., a dealer in and auctioneer of manuscripts, books, antiquarian materials and collectibles in Yonkers, N.Y.
While Annie Bogart had no direct descendants — she instead helped raise the family of her older brother, Col. David Nevius Bogart — it was her brother’s great-great-grandchildren, two sisters who grew up in Washington and now live in Virginia, who purchased the letter and donated it Tuesday to the Manuscripts and Rare Books Department of East Carolina University’s Joyner Library.
Kathleen Hinds Kennedy and Melody Hinds Moen remember stories of “Aunt Annie” from childhood, as told by their grandmother who was the youngest of Col. David Nevius Bogart’s brood.
“We felt compelled to buy the letter,” Moen and Kennedy agreed. “We wish that we could have bought all three.”
Moen and her husband met with Maury York, assistant director of Joyner Library’s special collections, hoping to find a home in eastern North Carolina for the letter.
“We wanted it to stay in North Carolina,” said Moen, of deciding to donate the letter to the library. “They very much wanted the letter. We viewed the facilities, and (York) assured us it would be available to students and international scholars.”
The letter comes at the right time for the special collections department, which is currently featuring a 150th-anniversary Civil War exhibit.
“This letter is an unusually descriptive and important letter that documents the burning of Washington in 1865,” said York. “Given that we’re in the midst of sesquicentennial, it’s of particular interest right now.”
In the letter, Bogart speaks not only of meeting Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard on a trip to Greensboro, but of the trip by rail to the then-capitol of North Carolina, during which the railway was lined by the dispossessed, those who had lost their homes and livelihoods to war.
Not all was gloom in the Civil War era: Bogart also speaks of a summer trip to Tarboro prior to the burning of Washington, where she and others went riding and sailing on the river every day and enjoyed the company of the “fine young officers.”
“There was a lot of resiliency, along with the suffering,” said Kennedy.
York said the department is deeply grateful for Moen’s and Kennedy’s generosity, saying the library staff would “do all we can to take care of it and make it available for anyone doing research” in related fields.
Annie Bogart’s letter will be encapsulated, meaning each sheet will be pressed between two layers of Mylar, and stored in an acid-free folder and box in climate-controlled, secured stacks. The public does not have access to the secure area — materials are brought out to researchers under close supervision instead.
York made a point of saying that his department is always interested in talking with anyone in possession of family manuscripts in Washington and Beaufort County.
“We try very hard to document the history of eastern North Carolina,” he added.
Annie Bogart’s letter documents a pivotal point in Washington’s history, but for Moen and Kennedy, the letter does much more, allowing them a glimpse into the life and personality of a woman who previously existed only in childhood stories.
Said Moen, “It really does mean a lot to read something like this and that ancestor just comes alive to you.”
Article taken from Washington Daily News – http://www.wdnweb.com
URL to article: http://www.wdnweb.com/2012/03/28/civil-war-letter-returns-home-to-eastern-n-c/