Chronology of Pitt County History

Source:  Chronology of Pitt County History, Joyner – NC Broadsides

Staff Person:  Dale Sauter

Description:  Today’s pick features “Chronology of Pitt County History,” a broadside by Jessamine Shumate.  Shumate was a very well-regarded artist, historian and cartographer.  She was born in 1902 in Horsepasture, Virginia, and died in 1990 in Greenville, North Carolina.

Shumate’s art represented a variety of techniques.  Other historical-related works by Shumate included Historical Map of Virginia, Historical Map of Henry County, Virginia, Historical Map of Guilford County, and North Carolina Historical Map of Pitt County, North Carolina. The papers of Shumate are located at The University of Virginia.




American Legion 40-Year Member Certificate

Source: Minnie B. Parker Scrapbook Manuscript Collection #89

Staff Person: Martha G. Elmore

Description: Minnie Bell Parker lived most of her adult life in Norfolk, Virginia,  after being born October 10, 1881, in Wilson Co., N.C.  She was a nurse and during World War I she was a nurse with the American Expeditionary Force in France.  After the war she was active in the American Legion and this colorful 40-year continuous membership certificate was presented to her on June 24, 1960.  She died in Raleigh, N.C., on July 5, 1976.  To see a scrapbook she kept while in France during World War I, go here


President Carter: FREE THE WILMINGTON 10


Wilmington 10 Demonstration Poster

President Carter: FREE THE WILMINGTON 10

North Carolina Collection  NoCar F265.N4 P74 1977

Staff Person:
Susan Holland

In October 1972, Ben Chavis along with nine other defendants were sentenced in the February 1971 firebombing of Mike’s Grocery in Wilmington, NC. The arson stemmed from long-standing frustration among African Americans due to the slow movement of school desegregation and other social reforms in the state. Known as the Wilmington 10, the group was perceived as political prisoners and were the subject of documentaries and news articles. Human rights groups including Amnesty International and the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression took up the cause to release the prisoners. In 1977, in response to President Carter administration’s accusations of Soviet Union human rights violations, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression called for rallies in cities across the United States to free the Wilmington 10. In January 1978, North Carolina’s Governor Jim Hunt refused to pardon the prisoners, though he commuted their sentences. In 1980, a federal appeals court overturned the Wilmington 10’s conviction, and they were released. In May 2012, forty years after their conviction, the Wilmington 10 asked Governor Beverly Purdue for pardons.

Broadside (circa 1883) offering farmland and timberland near New Berne, N.C.

Source: Edward B. Ellis, Jr. Papers #753.4

Staff Person: Dale Sauter

Description: Original broadside (circa 1883) offering a “Rare Chance for Capitalists!”  Offered for rent or lease by Mrs. Virginia Harrison of New Berne, N.C. is Camp Palmer, “one of the finest farms in Eastern North Carolina.”  She also states she has “a good cotton farm” and “fine timber lands” available as well.

Evangelical Baptist Mission Poster

Source: Willard and Daisy Rowe Papers, Manuscript Collection #1181

Staff Person: Maury York

Description: Willard and Daisy Rowe of Franklin County, North Carolina, established the Evangelical Baptist Mission in 1960. They carried out missionary work in Franklin County and in Guatemala for more than 45 years. They engaged in personal witnessing, established churches, wrote newspaper columns in English and Spanish, sponsored Bible courses through correspondence, and ministered to migrant workers. In 1963, they began radio broadcasts throughout Central America and Mexico. During some of their time in Guatemala, the Rowes faced resistance from the Catholic Church and dangers associated with political unrest. This poster, published ca. 1977, highlights some of their work.

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.

Broadside Advertising UNC-Chapel Hill Baseball Game

Source: J. Bryan Grimes Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #54

Base Ball! Faculty vs. Seniors

Base Ball! Faculty vs. Seniors

Staff Person: Maury York


This broadside from the J. Bryan Grimes Papers was designed to attract spectators to a baseball game on May 23, 1896, between graduating seniors and faculty members at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Officials for the game included President George Tayloe Winston and former President Kemp Plummer Battle. J. Bryan Grimes, an alumnus of the university, was a prosperous Pitt County farmer and later served as North Carolina’s secretary of state. To see the finding aid for the J. Bryan Grimes Papers, go to Manuscript Collection #54.

The Fugitive Slave Act Passed by, the Senate and House of Representatives September 12, 1850 & Approved by, President Millard Fillmore September 18, 1850

Source: The Fugitive Slave Act, East Carolina Manuscript Collection MB0001 (Miscellaneous Broadsides)

The Fugitive Slave Act

The Fugitive Slave Act

Staff Person: Lynette Lundin


In the 1840’s the Underground Railroad was very busy due to the 1842 Supreme Court ruling of “Prigg” v. “Pennsylvania,” which held that states could pass laws prohibiting interference with runaway slaves.

This era ended when Congress passed The Compromise of 1850, which was a chain of bills whose purpose was to stabilize territorial and slavery issues. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was the fourth of five laws used to placate the South, giving slave owners immense powers to retrieve their escaped slaves. This version required federal judicial officials to execute warrants in ALL States and territories, even that prohibited slavery. For instance, section 5 of the act states, “be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of all marshals and deputy marshals to obey and execute all warrants and precepts issued under the provisions of this act, when to them directed; and should any marshal or deputy refuse to receive such warrant or other process, when tendered, or use all proper means diligently to execute the same, he shall on conviction thereof, be fined the sum of ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS….” The law also mandated ordinary citizens to help slave catchers: ALL GOOD CITIZENS ARE HEREBY COMMANDED TO AID AND ASSIST…”

In addition, any person helping a runaway slave could be imprisoned and fined: “any person who shall knowingly or willingly obstruct, hinder or prevent such claimant,…DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY TO ESCAPE from claimant…, or SHALL HARBOR or CONCEAL such fugitive, so as to prevent the discovery and arrest of such person,…, shall, for either of said offences be subject to a fine not exceeding ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS and IMPRISONMENT NOT EXCEEDING SIX MONTHS….

This law was pro-slavery; it gave controlling force to the Southern states and slave owners. It was passed to help settle the turmoil between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions, but it only postponed the inevitable Civil War.

This broadside can be found in Manuscript Collection MB0001 (Miscellaneous Broadsides).

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Prohibition Propaganda Broadside, Circa 1908

Source: Getsinger Family Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection, #172

Staff Person: Dale Sauter


February 20th, 2008, will mark the 75th anniversary of the proposal by Congress of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution. This Amendment brought about the repeal of Prohibtion in the United States. The amendment was fully ratified on December 5th, 1933, by 36 states. It was eventually ratified by all states except South Carolina.

Prohibition in the United States (making illegal the manufacture, sale, or transportation of liquors) was initially accomplished by the proposal of The Eighteenth Amendment on December 18th, 1917. This amendment was fully ratified on January 16th, 1919, by 36 states. It was eventually ratified by all states except Rhode Island. This amendment is notable as the only amendment to the Constitution that has been repealed. Prohibition didn’t officially go into effect until January 16th, 1920. A summary of the law can be found below.

Source: United States

For more information, on Prohibition, please refer to the source above.

For information on the Getsinger Family Papers or any other collections we hold, please contact us for further details.

To view an enlarged version of the image, click on the image itself.