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William H. Wills papers, 1712-1993

Author: William H Wills
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The collection includes family, religious, plantation, and business papers, chiefly 1803-1882, of Wills family members in Halifax County and relatives in Washington and Edgecombe counties, N.C. Correspondence documents the life of itinerant ministers and Methodist Protestant and Methodist Episcopal Church affairs, 1840s-1890s, with information on circuit travel, camp meetings, finances, arbitrations, and race  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Diaries (Blank-books)
Correspondence
Diaries
Named Person: Joseph S Norman; Robert Snell; Cary Whitaker; Cary Whitaker; William H Wills; Whitaker family.; Wills family.
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: William H Wills
OCLC Number: 31693179
Notes: In the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#792).
Description: About 2000 items (3.0 linear ft.)
More information:

Abstract:

The collection includes family, religious, plantation, and business papers, chiefly 1803-1882, of Wills family members in Halifax County and relatives in Washington and Edgecombe counties, N.C. Correspondence documents the life of itinerant ministers and Methodist Protestant and Methodist Episcopal Church affairs, 1840s-1890s, with information on circuit travel, camp meetings, finances, arbitrations, and race relations within the church. Other topics include family life; boarding school life; plantation affairs; slavery; conflicts with Seminole Indians in Florida; camp and home life during the Civil War; and women teachers in the postbellum period. There are letters from students at Chowan Female Institute, Warrenton Female College, and Baltimore Female College, and from teachers in several locations, including the Oxford Orphan Asylum. Civil War letters are from soldiers in the 2nd, 17th, and 43rd North Carolina regiments, and from a slave who travelled with them. Religious papers include reports, trial documents, sermons, essays (most written by a woman), circuit class books, and marriage licenses. Plantation papers include correspondence and legal and financial materials relating to cotton planters in eastern North Carolina and Florida. There are also a few travel diaries documenting journeys in the antebellum South, and a diary commenting on life in Key West, Miami, and Tampa, Fla. The Addition of April 2011 includes three bound travel journals and several hundred pages of undated sermon notes. The journals, covering 1851-1856 and 1866-1882, document Wills's activities as a Methodist Protestant circuit rider in North Carolina, including date and location of services, a selected biblical passage, and the general topic for the sermon. Locations include Bethesda, Harmony, Union, Corinth, Eden, Marsh Chapel, among others. However, it is unclear whether these are the names of towns or congregations where he visited. Sermon notes, some written on envelopes, include a biblical passage followed by detailed exegesis of the passage with references to related texts and Wills's own thoughts and interpretation. There are also scanned photographs and documents relating to Wills and Whitaker family members and a Whitaker family history.

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