Thomas Smith Deed for 240 Acres, Bladen County, NC, 25 Sept. 1799

Thomas Smith Deed for 240 Acres of Land p. 1Thomas Smith Deed for 240 Acres of Land

Source:  Ralph C. Deal Collection (ECU Manuscript Collections #0027)

Staff Person:  Jonathan Dembo

Description:

This deed, survey and plat seen above, dated 25 September 1799, granting 240 acres of land in Bladen County, North Carolina to Thomas Smith, was signed by North Carolina Governor Richard Dobbs Spaight, who also signed the U. S. Constitution. Spaight (1758 – 1802) was North Carolina’s 8th governor after American independence. The first native-born American to be elected Governor, he served three one-year terms, 1792 – 1795.  Born in New Bern to the son of a colonial official, Spaight was educated in Ireland and Scotland.  He returned to America to serve as an aide to American General Richard Caswell, during the Revolutionary War, 1778 – 1781.

After the Revolution, Spaight served as a representative from North Carolina in the Continental Congress, 1782 – 1785, and in the North Carolina House of Commons, 1785 – 1788, where he became Speaker of the House.  In 1787 he became a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.  He was only 29 when he signed the document.

During his term as Governor, Raleigh was chosen as the site for the new State Capitol and Chapel Hill was chosen as the site for the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. As governor, Spaight was also the chair of the first UNC Board of Trustees.  Spaight died in 1802 as the result of an wound sustained in a duel at New Bern with his bitter political rival, Federalist John Stanly.  Spaight’s son, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr. (1796 – 1850) served as both congressman, 1823 – 1825, and governor, 1835 – 1836;  his grandson, Richard Spaight Donnell (1820 – 1867) served as a congressman from North Carolina, 1847 – 1849.

Fannie Wallace Letter to Mannie & Sissie Tuten 29 July 1863

Source: Arthur Whitford Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection, #18.1.a
Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo
Description: Letter from Fannie Wallace to Mannie and Sissie Tuten, 29 July 1863

Fannie Wallace Civil War Letter 29 July 1863

This little letter is from a young woman in Greensboro, North Carolina to her grandparents, Mannie and Sissie Tuten. It offers a glimpse into social life in the South during the crisis of the Civil War. Written less than a month after the Battle of Gettysburg (1-3 July) and the Fall of Vicksburg (4 July 1863) that ended any hope of Confederate victory, Fannie makes no mention of these disasters. Instead, she focuses on her family and social activities, her friends and her parties. She writes that her cousins are visiting and wishes they could be with them too. She passes on Nancie’s request for some snuff. Fannie knows there is a war on and that there are shortages. Indeed, she proclaims her patriotism: she is writing with Confederate ink on a Confederate spelling book and danced with two Confederate officers at a Ball. Either she did not understand the seriousness of the military situation, or, perhaps, more likely, did not wish to think about them or burden her grandparents with her worries.

Russian Phrase Book

4 April 2012

Source: Special Collections Reference Collection PG2689 .U56 1943

Staff Person: Ralph Scott

Description: This restricted World War II publication by the War Department “contains the Russian words and expressions you are most likely to need.” It was designed for use by Allied service personnel serving in the Soviet Union. The book contains such useful phrases as “Help”, “I am lost”, “I am poisoned”, “He was bitten by a snake” as well as “The U.S. Government will pay you” translated into Russian. One section on communications contains the phrases “reverse the charges” and “Will you speak to anybody at that number?” Designed as handy little helps for service personnel the book was designed to be shown to the person speaking Russian, and no doubt came in handy when “in-country.” While the publication was restricted, it could be shared with “persons of undoubted loyalty and discretion.” This Army Technical Manual as well as a number of others were given to Joyner Library by Professor Larry Babits of the History Department.

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.