The Life of Senator Robert Morgan

Senator Morgan attending the presentation of a new Wind Generator

Source: Robert Morgan Papers #268

Staff Person: Sherry Cortes

Description: Senator Robert Morgan was a North Carolina native, born and raised in Lillington, N.C.  This collection contains personal papers, Senatorial documents, newspapers, photographs and correspondence spanning Morgan’s life.

Senator Robert Morgan was born in Lillington, North Carolina in 1925.  Following his public school education, he went on to attend the Wake Forest Law School, became a skilled trial lawyer and quickly rose from Clerk of Court to the position of President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina State Senate.  He began donating his papers to East Carolina University in the mid-1970s and continuously donated his personal and professional works until he passed away in 2016.  I started working on the Senator Robert Morgan Papers Processing Project in April, 2017 for East Carolina University’s Joyner Library.  As the project archivist for this collection, it has been an exciting opportunity to chronicle the life and accomplishments of such a prominent figure in North Carolina history.  Senator Morgan served as a North Carolina State Senator from 1955-1969, and as a one-term US Senator from North Carolina from 1975-1981, but his prolific career beyond the political arena put a mark on so much of the State’s history.

The Robert Morgan Papers is the largest collection of personal and professional documents amassed by East Carolina University and is currently housed in the Special Collections Division of Joyner Library at East Carolina University (ECU).  The collection holds information regarding the Senator’s professional and personal life.  The Morgan archives chronicle his service in the Vietnam and Korean Wars, his rise to North Carolina Attorney General and his role in creating landmark consumer protection measures, his tenure as an ECU University Trustee and his fight to establish a medical school at East Carolina University, his controversial stance on the Panama Canal, his leading role in the Energy Crisis, and his repositioning of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).  These documents also shed light on his ideological metamorphosis from a “traditional Southern Democrat” to the national Democratic mainstream particularly in the area of desegregation.

Senator Morgan’s Papers include personal and family documents, legislative and campaign files, correspondence, North Carolina Attorney General and U.S. Senator files, ECU Board of Trustees and State Bureau of Investigations files.  Photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, speeches, books, films, audiotapes, diaries, microfilms and oversized materials are in our archives as well.  We hired two graduate assistants in May, 2017, Daniel Hemme and Martha Mihich who have been invaluable in completing the description and arrangement of the collection.  In addition to the graduate assistants, Special Collection Curator, Dr. Jonathan Dembo and volunteer Dick Wolfe have been helping to move the process along quickly.  Between the four of us we have currently completed describing 1012 boxes of the 1075 total in the collection.  I am also collaborating with Justin Borer to help in the digitization of audio tapes, manuscripts and photographs of interest.  Conservator Lawrence Houston has been providing conservation advice and assistance in handling damaged or fragile documents. We are all working as quickly as possible to digitize the chosen objects so they can be fully accessible in the online Digital Repository.

Once we have fully completed the processing of the paper and digital elements of the collection we will work on the exhibit which will be available for viewing on the 3rd floor of Joyner Library in

Graduate Assistant, Martha Mihich, hard at work

early 2018.  As work continues, we will be sharing updates about our progress on an ongoing basis and what we are finding.  There will be future posts to provide more information about Senator Morgan and some of the interesting items we find during processing.  Researchers will be able to locate the collection’s finding aid online if they are interested in accessing Senator Morgan’s Papers.

For more information on Senator Morgan’s Papers and the continuing progress of the project, please contact Sherry Cortes, Project Archivist at cortess17@ecu.edu or (252) 328 – 0276

Safe Conduct

Source: Robin Brabham Collection, E.C. Manuscript Collection #1175

Staff Person: Nanette Hardison

Description:
This statement dated December 1, 1862 was written by Union officer Major Charles E.  Mears to Thomas Midgett of Croatan, N.C.  to give him and his family safe conduct while traveling around the area. The statement also gave him permission to keep his property. 

Safe Conduct Statement

Domestic Disturbances

Special Collections Reference U 230 .U6 1945
United States Army Field Manuals are currently published by the Army’s Publishing Directorate. Over 500 manuals are currently in use. They provided detailed directions for soldiers to use in the field on a variety of topics including tactics and repair of equipment. This particular manual, published in 1945 provided instructions to troops on how to control domestic disturbances. Topics covered included: authorization regulations for the use of military troops to control civil unrest, crowd control, mob tactics, “offensive actions against a city,” and restoration of civil order. The manual ends with tactical directions for the use of chemical agents to control civilian groups. The tactics and methods outlined in this manual were used by federal, state and local authorities in the 1960s and 1970s to control civil and student unrest in the United States.

U. S. Army Provost Marshal’s Office Pass No. 11382 (1863)

Source: Shirley Kilpatrick Collection #10.1.d.

Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo

Description: U. S. Army Provost Marshal’s Office Pass No. 11382 was issued in Union-occupied New Orleans on 4 February 1863.  It allowed John A. Miltz of New Orleans to travel from New Orleans to New York on the Steamer EMPIRE CITY.  It is accompanied by Miltz’s oath of allegiance as a U. S. citizen dated 8 October 1862 and his certificate of citizenship filed in a New York court on 12 October 1868.   A search of both Confederate and Union Civil War records has revealed a tale of complex and divided loyalties.   John A. Miltz, it seems, served in both Confederate and Union units in Louisiana during the Civil War.  The records even reveal the possibility that Miltz may have been serving on both sides at the same time.   John Miltz enlisted first on the Confederate side in Company B, of the 4th Louisiana Infantry on 25 May 1861.   However, he was also listed as serving as a private in Company I of the Chalmette Regiment, Louisiana Militia, between March and May of 1862 when he might have been on leave from the 4th Louisiana Infantry.   He was again serving with the 4th Louisiana Infantry when he was captured at Baton Rouge, Louisisan on 5 August 1862 and appears on a list of Confederate prisoners held on the U. S.  prison ship ALGERINE on 5 October 1862.  After signing his oath of citizenship, on 8 October 1862, he was apparently released.  However, it appears that he then reenlisted as John Metz, again on the Confederate side  but this time in  Company F of the 20th Louisiana Infantry Regiment.  This unit had been formed in February 1862 but in December of 1862 it was consolidated with the 13th Regiment due to severe losses it suffered at the Battle of Shiloh.  It then suffered very heavy casualties at the Battle of Chickamauga and by December 1863 had lost 43% of its strength.  Whether because of the hard fighting or some other reasons, Miltz then left the 13/20th soon after.  It was at this point that he obtained his pass to leave New Orleans and travel to New York.   By October 1864, however, he had returned to Louisiana and had enlisted on the Union side in the 1st Louisiana Cavalry Regiment.  He served in Companies E., C. & H. under a variety of names, including John Maltz, John Matz, John Meltz, or John Metz (but not John Miltz).  He then appears on the roster of the 2nd Louisiana Cavalry Regiment (Union), which was organized in New Orleans in November 1863.  He again registered variously as John Maltz, John Matz, John Meltz, or John Metz.  Starting as a private he eventually gained promotion to corporal.  Apparently, he enjoyed his service with the Union forces better than he had the Confederate side for after the war he returned to New York where he obtained his U. S. Citizenship.  How these documents found their way into the Kilpatrick Collection remains a mystery.