HMS Bucton Castle

Source: A.M. Handley Journal, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #1064

Pen and ink sketch of the H.M.S. Bucton Castle.

Pen and ink sketch of the H.M.S. Bucton Castle.

Staff Person: Jon Dembo

Description:
Attached is a pen and ink sketch of the HMS BUCTON CASTLE, a three-masted sailing ship. It was drawn on the inside front cover of his journal by one of her passengers, Capt. A. M. Handley. An officer in the British 19th Infantry Regiment, Handley was traveling to India to join his unit and help reestablish order after the recently suppressed Indian Mutiny (1857). He kept his journal to occupy his time sailing from Gravesend, England to Calcutta. He certainly had plenty of time to occupy for the voyage took a total of 160 days from January to June 1859. That may explain the extreme pains Handley took to number and name all the sails, masts and decks on this small pen and ink sketch. The original closely written 136-page journal measures only 9 mm by 15 mm.

In his journal Handley recorded his day to day observations of life aboard the BUCTON CASTLE, including descriptions of the personalities on board, shipboard routine, the ship’s time-keeping system, and a meeting with the whaling ship Isabella. There was much to surprise him. The following excerpt is from his first day aboard ship:

    “3 o’clock. Ship just towed into harbour; went on board immediately & to our immense surprise were told by the captain that if he had not had to wait for us, he would not have anchored at all at Gravesend. All passengers on board except ourselves. Finally embarked at ½ past 10 o’clock, same night. Too late to put up berths & so slept on the ground. Had not been in bed long before a baby in the next cabin began to cry & simultaneously a loud “mew” in the cabin made us aware that we had a cat shut up in it, with us. When the baby stopped the cat began, & between the two sleep was impossible. Thus [I] passed the first night on board.”

After a while he became more used to the routine and was able to remark:

    “Tea at 6. Grog at 8 and bed at 10.”

Anyone who has been irritated by modern travel — the discomfort, expense, delay, unpleasant fellow travelers and surly employees — may sympathize with Handley who endured this and more for more than six months. And without email or web access.

On April 1st 1859 Handley commented:

    “All Fools Day, especially dedicated I should think to those who are fools enough to go to Calcutta round the Cape when they had the chance of going overland.”

If anyone has any questions, or would like to see the actual journal, it is available to the public in the Special Collections Department search room.

Source: A. M. Handley Journal, pp. 1-2, 4, 44-45. (East Carolina Manuscript Collection #1064.1.a).

Click on the image to see an enlarged version.

ECTTS Faculty Meeting Minutes

Source: University Archives, FA0000

ECTTS Faculty Meeting Minutes

ECTTS Faculty Meeting Minutes

Staff Person: Suellyn Lathrop

Description:
Long before there was any thought of a faculty senate, there were ten faculty members and a president starting a two-year school for a student body consisting of 104 women and 19 men. Students enrolled on October 5th, classes began and on October 19th the faculty held their first weekly meeting. The first order of business was the curriculum which had been set up by President Wright. Adjustments were made and the meeting adjourned.

The second meeting is also recorded on this first page. The first item on the agenda was “What shall we do with students who willfully or otherwise fail to attend recitation.” It was decided that absences should be reported to the president daily. The faculty continued to meet over the years discussing curriculum, student discipline and activities and the business of running a college. Even before there was shared governance, there was shared governance.

The meeting minutes are available for research in the University Archives, record group FA0000.

May Day: 1938 for Democracy, Jobs, Security, Peace!

Source: May Day: 1938 for Democracy, Jobs, Security, Peace!, Hoover Pamphlet HX86.M34 1938

Staff Person: Maury York

Description:
This pamphlet, published by the Workers Library Publishers (New York) in 1938, is from the rich holdings of the Hoover Collection on International Communism. Decrying the efforts of “hard-faced reactionaries of fabulous wealth” to undermine the desires of the common people of America, the author tells what working people want: “We want democracy. We want jobs. We want security. We want peace.”

May Day: 1938 for Democracy, Jobs, Security, Peace!

May Day: 1938 for Democracy, Jobs, Security, Peace!

Towboat Oliver C. Shearer

Source: Marietta Manufacturing Company Records, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #742

M.V. Towboat "Oliver C. Shearer" being built

M.V. Towboat "Oliver C. Shearer" being built

Staff Person: Emily Blankenship

Description:
The Marietta Manufacturing Company records were officially donated to the Special Collections Department in the spring of 1997. A team of four library staff and students traveled to West Virginia to obtain the records. After spending two days retrieving over 200 cubic feet of records and packing them in a van, the team completed the nearly 900 mile roundtrip back to Greenville. The administrative (paper) records of the company are now processed. The finding aid is available online at: Manuscript Collection 742.

The photo below is of the towboat Oliver C. Shearer on the day it was launched, Dec. 8, 1960. The boat was built by Marietta for the O. F. Shearer River Transportation Company. If you look closely, there are 6 men standing under the boat readying the carriage and cradles (which hold the hull) for release and greasing the ways (rails) for the launching.

According to the January 9, 1961 edition of the Inland Waterways Journal, “Mrs. Oliver C. Shearer christened the boat at 3 p.m. and within seconds a hand ratchet was tripped. The boat slowly gained momentum until she careened down into the waters of the Ohio River, going in a 45 degree angle to port, and then lazily falling back to starboard before she settled and righted herself, head toward the shore. Numerous Marietta workmen in rowboats pulled out to retrieve the carriage and cradles on which the Oliver C. Shearer had made her trip down the ways.”

O.F. Shearer and Sons began operations in the early 1920s moving materials on the Kentucky River. By the 1950’s O.F. Shearer & Sons offices were located in the Union Central Tower in Cincinnati and the company concentrated on Ohio and Kanawha river business. In 1973, the firm was sold to the American Electric Power Co. Today AEP and its sister company, Memco Barge Lines, are major players in the inland river industry. The O.F. Shearer and Sons company records are in the care of the Pt. Pleasant, WV River Museum.

The Oliver C. Shearer still carries its original name, but is now owned by Campbell Transportation out of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Please contact the Special Collections Department with any questions or comments.

Ada Delutuk Blackjack

Source: Inglis Fletcher Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #21

Ada Blackjack and her son.

Ada Blackjack and her son.

Staff Person: Martha Elmore

Description:
Ada Delutuk was an Eskimo born in Alaska in 1898 who was raised from the age of about ten by missionaries in Nome. By 1921 she was divorced from Jack Blackjack and had temporarily placed her sick child Bennett in an orphanage while she tried to earn a living as a seamstress. At this same time, Vilhjalmur Stefansson was putting together an arctic expedition to Wrangel Island which was located 200 miles northeast of Siberia and 400 miles northwest of Alaska. Ada Blackjack and several Eskimo families were recruited to help the four members of the expedition: Allan Crawford, Lorne Knight, Fred Maurer, and Milton Galle. When it came time for the ship Silver Wave to depart on September 9, 1921, Ada Blackjack was the only Eskimo who showed up to accompany the expedition. Despite misgivings, she sailed with the four men.

On September 16, 1921, the expedition arrived at Wrangel Island claiming it for Great Britain and the ship departed, leaving them on their own for a year. On August 20, 1922, the ship Teddy Bear left Nome to retrieve the five people and to leave new colonists on Wrangel Island, but the ice pack was unusually thick and they were forced to turn back. Meanwhile the expedition eventually realized that a relief ship wasn’t coming and because game was not as plentiful during the second year, three of the men decided to attempt to cross the ice to Nome via Siberia. They left behind Knight, because he had scurvy, and Ada. Eventually Stefansson was able to find financial support to send another relief ship and they found Ada on August 20, 1923. Knight had died on June 23, 1923, and no sign was ever found of the other three men.

A newspaper clipping (Feb. 27, 1924) showing a photograph of Ada Blackjack and her son, and an excerpt from her Feb. 6, 1924, statement to U.S. Marshal E. R. Jordan, Nome’s chief of police, concerning the expedition can be found in the Inglis Fletcher Papers #21 (finding aid at Manuscript Collection 21). Inglis was a good friend of Stefansson and she befriended Ada in February 1924 and accompanied her on a trip to California from Seattle.

Excerpt from statement of Ada Blackjack to U.S. marshal E. R. Jordan.

Excerpt from statement of Ada Blackjack to U.S. marshal E. R. Jordan.

Click on the images to see enlarged versions.

World War II Diary

Source: Frank A. Armstrong Jr., Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #35

Frank Armstrong diary entry.

Frank Armstrong diary entry.

Staff Person: Lynette Lundin

Description:


Frank A. Armstrong Jr. Papers Collection # 35 has 18 boxes which are composed of correspondence, memoirs, autobiographical information, military records, and many photograph albums. A novel and film, “Twelve O’clock High,” were composed of his wartime experiences. He was awarded Distinguished Service Medal, and from the Department of the Interior an award for conservation. “Wake the Sleeping Giant” is the autobiography of Lieutenant General Frank A. Armstrong, Jr., USAF as told to William E. Hickinbotham. This is from a diary kept while in England as a military observer. This gives us a glimpse into life in England in November of 1940. The reference to Fluffy, I believe is a nick name for his wife. I truly love how people let us see the world through their eyes. The finding aid for this collection is Manuscript Collection 35.

Click on the image to see an enlarged version.

Marietta Manufacturing Company, “Made Mechanically Correct”

Source: Marietta Manufacturing Company Records, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #742

Staff Person: Dale Sauter

Description:
This week’s pick comes from The Marietta Manufacturing Company Records, 1906-1995, n.d. (bulk 1930-1965). M.M.C., the initials for the Marietta Manufacturing Company, also stood for its slogan, “Made Mechanically Correct.” This slogan resounded for generations, particularly with those associated with trade on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Marietta was a ship manufacturing company that began near Marietta, OH in 1852. Following a major flood on the Ohio River in 1913, the company moved to Point Pleasant, West Virginia where they remained until their closing in 1984.

The records were officially donated to the Special Collections Department in the spring of 1997. A team of four library staff and students traveled to West Virginia to obtain the records. After spending two days retrieving over 200 cubic feet of records and packing them in a van, the team completed the nearly 900 mile roundtrip back to Greenville.

In previous years all of the photographic images and a good number of the ship plan drawings have been conserved and processed by Lynette Lundin and her student assistants. The administrative (paper) records of the company have been processed. You can find a general finding aid to the records at the following.

Manuscript Collection 742

The current finding aid is in the proofing stage, but we plan to upload it very soon. There is also an historical compilation available which uses old newspaper clippings and other sources. This is “The History of Marietta Manufacturing Co.,” compiled by Captain Charles H. Stone. The call number is HD9727.W4 S76 2000 and is available in the stacks (circulating) and in the Special Collections Reference Collection (non-circulating).

The photo below (circa 1923) is of the towboat Standard, built by Marietta for Standard Oil of Ohio in 1923.

The towboat Standard.

The towboat Standard.

Now called Barbara H, it is also the oldest unaltered sternwheel towboat still in operation. A website for Barbara H can be found at the following.

Please contact us with any questions or comments you may have.

World War I Draft Notice

Source: Moore Family Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #275
Charles O’Hagan Laughinghouse Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #267
Edgerton Family Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #361

World War I draft notice

World War I draft notice

Staff Person: Brian Johnson

Description:
This document is a NOTICE OF CALL AND ORDER TO APPEAR FOR PHYSICAL EXAMINATION issued by the Local Board for the County of Pitt, State of North Carolina, Greenville, N. C. on July 30, 1917 to Allen Thurman Moore notifying him that he has been called for military service by the United States to serve in World War I, that he has been issued Serial No. 2376 with order no. 425, and is to appear at the office of the Local Board at 1:30 P. M. on Aug 6, 1917. The notice is signed by the Chairman of the Local Board of the War Department, Joseph John Laughinghouse and the Clerk of the Local Board, Michael Edgerton.

Allen Thurman Moore was the son of David C. Moore who served as Clerk of the Superior Court. Allen Moore again was ordered to appear for a physical examination on January 30, 1918 and was found qualified for special and limited military service.

Prior to the war he attended the University of North Carolina and after which he lived in Greenville, NC.

The original document and many other legal papers can be found in the Moore Family Papers, collection #275 in the Manuscript Collection of the Special Collections department, Manuscript Collection 275. Related collections are the Charles O’Hagan Laughinghouse Papers (#267) and the Edgerton Family Papers (#361).

Peking Opera on Contemporary Revolutionary Theme

Source: Shachiapang, Hoover ML50.Z99 S404 1967ML/50/Z99/S404/1967

Cover of Shachiapang

Cover of Shachiapang

Staff Person: Ralph Scott

Description:

“Having seen your performance, I wish to express my thanks to you for the excellent work you have done. Please convey my thanks to the comrades of the cast! History is made by the people, yet the old opera (and all the old literature and art, which are divorced from the people) presents the people as though they were dirt, and the stage is dominating by lords and ladies and their pampered sons and daughters. Now you have restored historical truth, and thus a new life is opening up for the old opera. That is why this merits congratulations. The initiative you have taken marks an epoch-making beginning in the revolutionization of the old opera. I am very happy at the thought of this. I hope you will write more plays and give more performances, and so help make this practice a common one which will prevail throughout the country.” – Chairman Mao Zedong — 9 January 1944

Permanent Bureau of Afro-Asian Writers. Shachiapang; model Peking opera on contemporary revolutionary theme. Colombo {Sri Lanka}, Afro-Asian Writers’ Bureau, 1967. 60p. illus. 10 cm. Hoover Collection ML 50 Z99 S404 1967

Audio files of the Peking Opera can be found on the web.

USS Merrimack aka CSS Virginia

Source: John L. Porter Collection, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #850

USS Merrimack aka CSS Virginia

USS Merrimack aka CSS Virginia

Staff Person: Jon Dembo

Description:

Attached is an original pen & ink sketch of the MERRIMAC (sic), the famous Confederate ironclad ram. The sketch was made in 1862 by Naval Constructor John Luke Porter (1831-1893) who had helped convert her into the first ironclad warship. The sketch is part of a notebook / diary which he began writing in 1860 and continued until after the Civil War. A slightly edited version of the text was published as John L. Porter: Naval Constructor of Destiny, by Alan B. Flanders in 2000. However, this may be the first time that this image has ever been published.

Originally a frigate in the US Navy known as the USS MERRIMACK, the retreating federal forces had burned her to the waterline in 1861 in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent her use by the Confederacy. Porter, one of the few professional naval constructors in service to the Confederacy led the team that raised and converted her into an ironclad warship.

Upon commissioning, the Confederate Navy renamed her CSS VIRGINIA. Almost immediately, on 8 March 1862, the MERRIMAC engaged in a series of historic naval battles sinking or damaging several wooden Union warships in an attempt to break their blockade of Southern commerce. In doing so, she decisively proved the superiority of iron over wooden-hulled warships. She made history again, on 9 March, when she fought the even more radical Union ironclad, the USS MONITOR, off Hampton Roads, Virginia. That battle, which ended in a tactical draw, was the first ever between iron hulled warships. It ushered in the age of iron and steel warships which endures to the present day. The battle between the MONITOR and the MERRIMAC proved a strategic victory for the Union by preserving the blockade and thus, may have spelled the doom of the Confederacy.

Later during the Civil War Porter went on to build more than a dozen ironclads for the Confederacy and become the head of Confederate Navy ironclad building program. Among a variety of other writings, the Porter notebook / diary contains two versions of the story of raising and re-fitting the MERRIMAC and concludes with a description of Porter’s experiences during the final days of the Civil War in Eastern North Carolina.

In later years, Southern sympathizers tended to avoid using the name MERRIMAC to describe the vessel; Porter, a loyal southerner, however, consistently used his slightly corrupted version of the ship’s original name instead of VIRGINIA. In the wake of the famous battle between the MONITOR and MERRIMAC, Porter engaged in a long-running controversy with Lt. John M. Brook, CSN, who also claimed to have been chiefly responsible for raising the MERRIMAC. Both sides continued the battle until long after the principals were deceased but without settling the matter decisively.

The Porter notebook / diary may be found in the John L. Porter Collection (#850) along with a variety of other materials relating to Porter. Please contact the Special Collections department if you have any questions.

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