Papers Find a Home at UNCP
UNC Pembroke's Sampson-Livermore
Library is the new home to a significant collection of letters and
documents of the founders of Robeson County.
The library officially
accepted the papers from Judge Henry A. McKinnon, who represented Historic
Robeson, Inc. The papers were placed on a continuing loan basis. The
documents - personal letters, state land grants, business and legal
papers - will be stored in the Special Collections room and available
to the public.
The papers were
contributed to Robeson County by the families of Jacob Rhodes and Ralzmon
and Augustus Fuller during the county's bicentennial celebration in
Rhodes, who died
in 1824, was acknowledged as one of the founders of Lumberton and Robeson
County in the late 18th century.
who died in 1846, was a prominent businessman and played an important
role in the early history of Robeson County. Augustus was his son.
thing about the papers is what they reveal about life in those times,"
Mr. McKinnon said. "Especially revealing are the letters back and
forth to family in Alabama during the period immediately following the
Civil War. These were tough times."
Mr. McKinnon is
a retired Superior Court judge and a leading historian of the county.
served in the Revolution. He was truly an entrepreneur and a character
of his time," Mr. McKinnon said. "He was a surveyor, land
speculator, tanner, farmer and businessman with diverse interests in
shipping and even fish nets on the coast."
The Fuller family,
which moved to Robeson County in the 1830s, were also entrepreneurs
in early Robeson County.
papers, you have documentation of the Fuller family, their business
affairs, personal lives and so on," Judge McKinnon said. He thanked
the university for housing the collection.
"I think it's
great that this university has a place to keep local historical documents,"
he said. "The only other place for these would be the State Archives,
but who would ever see them there?"
In receiving the
documents, Library Director Elinor Foster thanked Mr. McKinnon for his
continuing interest in preserving important pieces of local history.
are welcome and will be here for research purposes," Dr. Foster
said. "This is Judge McKinnon's second contribution of research
materials to the library and to the Native American Resource Center
on our campus."
staff members Carlene Cummings and Lillian Brewington organized and
cataloged the papers. Ms. Cummings, who read every document, said there
is a great deal of interesting material in the collection.
"They are fascinating,
and it was hard to work with them and not read them," Ms. Cummings
said. "I found the letters to be particularly interesting regarding
their personal lives during this time period in the history of Robeson
Mr. McKinnon described
the personal lives of these families as occasionally "unusual"
but more often than not "very honorable."
The papers are available
during library hours. Questions may be directed to Ms. Cummings at 910.521.6835
to University Newswire