Woman’s Portrait, Civil War

Source: Moore Family Papers (ECU Manuscript Collection #275)

Staff Person: Lynette Lundin

Description:

Guilford Andrews carried this woman’s portrait, during the Civil War. He was a member of Company E. 43rd Regiment, known as “The Edgecombe Boys”.  He enlisted at the age of 22, on January 28th 1862.  He was mustered in at Camp Mangum, near Raleigh. He was wounded in the elbow at or near Bethesda Church, Virginia, on May 30th 1864. http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/totopotomoy-creek/maps/totopotomoy-creek-may.html He returned to duty on September-October, 1864, and was promoted to Corporal, on November 1st 1864. He was then captured near Petersburg, Virginia on March 25th 1865. He was a prisoner at Point Lookout, Maryland, and he was released on June 22nd 1865, after taking the Oath of Allegiance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_Lookout,_Maryland

The daguerreotype#  P-275/112, was produced on a silver coated, copper 1/9-plate, and the cover  to the case is missing. The date of the image is September 26th 1863 at Orange Court House. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_county_courthouses_in_North_Carolina

Houses on West First Street, with Sycamore Hill Baptist Church in the background, Greenville, NC

Houses on West First Street, Greenville, NC

Houses on West First Street, Greenville, NC

 

Source: Greenville Urban Renewal Files, 1959-1977, Manuscript Collection #674, Image P674/197

Staff Person: Dale Sauter

Description: Houses on West First Street, with Sycamore Hill Baptist Church in the background. Part of the Drive Redevelopment Project, Greenville, NC, circa 1960s.

There will be a related Community Scanning Day on Saturday, March 4, 2017, 9am until 1pm at Sycamore Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 1001 Hooker Road, Greenville, North Carolina, 27834.

Help us preserve your history! If you have photographs of the downtown Greenville area, or other items, please contact: Charlotte Fitz Daniels at FITZDANIELSC16@ECU.EDU or 252 328-0287

Also, please visit this related exhibit and reception.

“Beyond Bricks and Mortar” documents the people who lived and worshipped in the former neighborhood adjacent to the historic Sycamore Hill Missionary Baptist Church in downtown Greenville, NC.

Location:  Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery, Joyner Library, East Carolina University

Exhibition Dates: January 20 – March 26, 2017

Reception: Friday, March 3, 2017, 5pm until 8pm

Leo Jenkins on Guadalcanal

"Joe Cool on Guadalcanal."

“Joe Cool on Guadalcanal.”

Source:  Leo Jenkins papers, UA90-06

Staff Person:  Arthur Carlson

Description:  This image features Leo Warren Jenkins serving on Guadalcanal.  Born in Succasunna, New Jersey, Jenkins enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1942 upon completion of his doctoral degree at New York University.  For his distinguished service, Jenkins was awarded a Bronze Star and two presidential unit citations.  In 1947, Jenkins accepted the position of Dean of Men at then East Carolina Teachers College.  He succeeded John D. Messick as President of East Carolina College in 1960 and in 1967 he was designated as the first Chancellor of East Carolina University.  As president and chancellor, Jenkins oversaw major increases in student enrollment, the addition of a medical school, a major building campaign, and spearheaded the drive for university status.  Upon his retirement in 1978 he continued to serve the citizens of North Carolina as a special assistant for Economic Development for Governor James B. Hunt, Jr.  Jenkins passed away on January 14, 1989.  Ever proud of being a Marine, he once remarked, “…it has been brought to my attention that there are more Marines enrolled in this institution than in any other college or university in the world. This pleases me very much for I shall always be proud of my association with these men. Since revolutionary war days, it has always been said that once a Marine always a Marine. This will be my lasting honor.”

Construction History at ECU

Source: 55-01-0506 University Archives

Staff Person: Dale Sauter

Description:  Since we are under considerable construction at present, the following image offers some past history of construction of and around Joyner Library.  The image features an exterior view of J.Y. Joyner Library on the East Carolina University campus during the 1974 construction of the west wing addition to the library. Mendenhall Student Center in the background.

Douglas MacArthur

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Source: Robert Frederick Sink Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #255

Staff Person: Lynette Lundin

Description: A Photograph of the General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, General Robert A. McClure, Lieutenant General Robert Frederick Sink. Lieutenant General Robert Frederick Sink was born in Lexington, North Carolina and served in both World War II and Korea. General Sink had a distinguished career as a pioneer in the use of airborne warfare. As commander of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the Army Airborne Corps, he was sent to Europe in 1942. He subsequently participated in the Allied Invasion of Normandy, parachuting under cover of dark before seaborne troops landed. His troops saw action at the Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne. After World War II, he served as Chief of Staff of the RYUKUS command (1949), assistant commander of the Seventh Infantry Division in Korea (1951), and member of the Joint Airborne Troop Board at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (1954). In 1958, Sink was given command of the Strategic Army Corps (STRAC) and the 18th Airborne. In 1960, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and took command of the U.S. Army in the Caribbean, a post he held until his retirement in 1961 due to poor health. Sink died at Fort Bragg in 1965.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

Source: Jan Sellars Coward Collection, (Manuscript Collection #1112)

Staff Person: Jennifer Joyner

Description: With Fall approaching, many are visiting the beach for the last time this season. One tourist attraction at the North Carolina coast is the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Located south of Nags Head, the current Bodie Island Lighthouse was built in 1872. Two other Bodie Island Lighthouse structures, no longer in existence, were built in 1847 and 1859.  Today’s structure stands 150 feet tall and has a signal that’s visible for 19 miles. The Bodie Island Lighthouse recently underwent a massive 3-year, $5 million restoration. It reopened in April 2013, and the public can now climb all 214 steps to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy the views of the Outer Banks.

This undated image of the Bodie Island Lighthouse was taken by Jan Sellers Coward of eastern North Carolina. For other images of eastern North Carolina, see the Jan Sellars Coward Collection (#1112), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library.

Fiction: Make-Believe or Something More?

Special note: This blog post was written by Edward Reges, M.A. ‘16, East Carolina University Department of English, as part of a special series highlighting the Stuart Wright Collection.

“Robert Penn Warren.” Stuart Wright Collection – Robert Penn Warren Papers (1169-014) East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.

Few could hope to have such an accomplished life as Robert Penn Warren. Three time Pulitzer Prize winner and the first Poet Laureate of the US, Warren’s prolific and versatile career includes ten novels, a collection of short stories, and numerous poems, dramas, and literary criticisms. He is also one of the most influential of the New Critics, a group that evaluated literary work by close reading and valued highly polished, difficult works characteristic of the Modernist period. Warren was taught by fellow Stuart Wright Collection author John Crowe Ransom.

Among several typescripts, manuscripts, and personal correspondence, the Stuart Wright Collection boasts more than 40 poems and over 60 pieces of literary criticism by Warren, many of which are unpublished or include revisions to original text in the poet’s own hand. This work of literary criticism preserves Warren’s remarkable views on literature. One such essay, titled “Fiction: Why Do We Read It?” shows the passion and importance he invested in fiction. On page 5, Warren quotes Freud’s assertion that the “’meagre satisfactions’ that man ‘can extract from reality leave him starving.’” What then can slate our hunger? According to Warren, it is fiction. On the same page, Warren asserts that:

In it we find, in imagination, not only the pleasure of recognizing our past, but the pleasure of experimenting with experiences which we deeply, and perhaps unwittingly, crave but which the limitations of life, the fear of consequences, or the severity of our principles forbid to us.

Thus, it is Warren’s belief that the act of reading fiction is not an escape from reality, but rather an escape to fiction (p2).

This is not the only role of fiction, however. Throughout “Fiction, Why Do We Read It?” Warren compares fiction to a daydream accessible to multiple individuals. It is this accessibility that makes fiction a social experiment of sorts. Warren explicates this concept on page 7:

To enter the publicly available day dream you have to surrender something of your own identity, have to let it be absorbed. You must identify yourself with somebody else, and accept his fate. You must take a role.

A reader may wonder at this point what value there is in surrendering a piece of their identity. After all, it is a piece of us, it is us in a sense. To sacrifice any bit of identity seems to compromise our sense of self. Warren doesn’t think so, however; in fact, he believes the opposite:

Play, when we are children, and fiction, when we are grownup, lead us, through role-taking, to a knowledge of others. But role-taking leads us, by the same token, to a knowledge of ourselves, really to the creation of the self. (9)

What Warren is saying is that to understand ourselves, we must have something to compare ourselves to, much like the relationship between light and darkness or hot and cold. Our concept of self, however, stems from within, not from perceptive senses like sight or touch. In order to make a comparison of who we are and who others are, we must take the role of someone else. At this point we can start to make statements such as “I’m not as brave as Aragorn” or “I could never fall in love with a vampire.” Comparisons such as these allow us to understand what we are and what we are not as individuals.

One would think, with the importance Warren grants fiction, that he would be an enthusiast of education in fiction writing.. In fact, Warren was adamant that fiction should not be taught in a university. On the second page of a literary essay titled “Courses in Writing,” Warren states:

It [the university] should realize that writing, except as a craft [technical and trade writing], is not to be taught – that the ideal is to create some semblance, however modest, of the natural community in which writing is learned by process of trial and error, of self-exploration of form.

Warren believes that fiction comes about from experimentation and peer review, not instruction. To instruct someone on how to compose fiction is to deny fiction its intrinsic value, supplementing it with popular styles and format in an effort to make a piece successful. To the new critics, nothing could be more villainous.

For more information on the New Critics, try the summary given here. For more insight into the mind of poet, author, and ersatz philosopher Robert Penn Warren, request one of his boxes from the Stuart Wright Collection and head to the third floor of Joyner library to enjoy.

WWI Scene of Devastation

Source: Emil Gorling Papers, MC #1200

Staff Person: Nanette Hardison

This image is from a postcard that is part of the Emil Gorling Papers, a collection that has postcards and photographs that show the result of the 1918 German Spring Offensive in Northern France and specifically the Noyon Campaign (April-August 1918). This particular scene is a building in Noyon, France that was damaged in April 1918 during that campaign. Emil Gorling was a German soldier in the 3rd Landwehr Division during World War I and his postcards and photographs of WWI show scenes of devastation and of German soldiers in the field.

Scouting for Food

Source: Boy Scouts of America, East Carolina Council Records, MC #1199

Staff Person: Nanette Hardison

This photo (1990) is from the Boy Scouts of America, East Carolina Council Records; a collection of documents that illustrates the history of the eastern N.C. branch of the Boy Scouts of America.  This picture was taken at a Boy Scout charity event called Scouting for Food; a food drive that the Boy Scouts conduct on a regular basis to collect food donations for the hungry. The picture shows a boy scout with two cub scouts preparing for the Scouting for Food Campaign.

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