This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
|Size||5.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2000 items)|
|Abstract||Henry Horace Williams (1858-1940) was professor of philosophy and theology at the University of North Carolina from 1890 to 1940. Papers of Henry Horace Williams include personal and professional correspondence; drafts of writings by Williams; and papers of the Williams estate. There are several notebooks kept by Williams during his student days at Yale and Harvard universities. Most of the correspondence is between Williams and former students, including novelist Thomas Wolfe, playwright Paul Green, United States Circuit Judge John J. Parker, United States Senator Josiah William Bailey, and historian and educator Albert Coates. The papers of the Williams estate include correspondence of Francis Bradshaw, executor of the estate. Also included in the collection are some papers of Williams's wife, Bertha Colton Williams.|
|Creator||Williams, Henry Horace, 1858-1940.|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.
Henry Horace Williams (1858-1940) was born in Gates County, N.C., and educated in the public schools of that area. He attended college at the University of North Carolina, graduating in 1883, when he was awarded the first earned advanced degree (a Master of Arts) in the college's history. Williams did graduate work at Yale Divinity School and at Harvard.
Williams was Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina from 1890 until 1940. He was Kenan professor, 1921-1935, and professor emeritus, 1936-1940. He chaired the Philosophy Department from 1890 until 1935. Williams was popular in the classroom and on campus, due to his Socratic manner of presentation and the scope of his materials, beyond Kant to Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel then being translated. These and his stands on issues were sometimes controversial.
Williams was the author of four books: Evolution of Logic (1925), Modern Logic (1927), The Education of Horace Williams (1936), and "Toward a Philosophy of Life," published posthumously under the title, Origin of Belief (William Beidler, editor, 1978).
In 1891, Williams married Bertha Colton of Middletown, Conn. She died in 1922. In 1927, Williams adopted Miriam Young Bonner.
See also: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography.Back to Top
Papers of Henry Horace Williams and the Williams estate include correspondence, legal and financial materials, notebooks, and typescripts. Much of the correspondence in the collection is between Williams and his former students, including a long letter from novelist Thomas Wolfe, a few letters from playwright Paul Green, and letters from United States Circuit Court Judge John J. Parker, United States Senator Josiah William Bailey, and historian and educator Albert Coates. There are several notebooks from Williams's days as a graduate student at Yale Divinity School and Harvard University. Typed copies of many speeches and essays remain, as well as a large part of the manuscript of Williams's book, Modern Logic. The records of the Williams estate include a large number of land deeds and mortgages, bills from Williams's creditors, and correspondence of Francis Bradshaw, executor of the estate.Back to Top
Arrangement: chronological. Undated items are alphabetical by author.
Correspondence to and from Horace Williams, beginning with his days as a student at Yale and Harvard Universities and continuing through his long tenure as a professor at the University of North Carolina. There are some items from after Williams's death, dealing primarily with Robert W. Winston's biography of Williams and the activities of the Horace Williams Society.
Much of the correspondence in this series consists of letters to Williams from his former students. These include a long letter from Thomas Wolfe in 1921, several letters from Paul Green, and frequent letters from United States Circuit Judge John J. Parker and United States Senator Josiah William Bailey. Almost all of the letters in this series written by Horace Williams are addressed to either Ralph Harper or Sidney Robins--both former students with whom he corresponded frequently. There is occasional correspondence with university administrators, including letters from Presidents Harry Woodburn Chase and Frank Porter Graham.
Included in the earlier correspondence are several letters from Bertha Colton, Williams's wife, written to him before they were married.
Some time periods are better represented than others--there are clusters of letters around certain events, including many letters of congratulation following Williams's initial acceptance of a teaching position at University of North Carolina in 1890 and then his appointment to a Kenan Professorship in 1920. There are many letters discussing and/or requesting Williams's book, The Education of Horace Williams, published in 1936.
|Separated Folder SEP-1625/1|
Notes, essays, speeches, and writings by Horace Williams. There are several hardbound notebooks containing notes from Williams's classes on philosophy and theology at Yale and Harvard. Most of the notes made by Williams are undated, often handwritten on a single sheet of paper. It is difficult to tell whether these were made in preparation for lectures or on other occasions. There is one folder of notes and lists of what presumably are exam questions. Most of the typed manuscript of Williams's book, Modern Logic, is found in this series. In addition to the notes and notebooks are ten typed essays or speeches written by Williams. Many of these are also undated and unlabeled.
Correspondence, receipts, and legal documents. All of the correspondence concerns Williams's legal or financial affairs. Many letters are from Williams's creditors requesting payments or from business partners detailing potential transactions. There are many letters from George Winston, president of North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now North Carolina State University), with whom Williams often conducted business. There are some details of livestock purchases and sales, but very little material regarding Williams's extensive land transactions.
Upon Horace Williams's death in 1940, Francis Bradshaw was named executor of the Williams estate. This series contains the correspondence and legal and financial materials maintained by Bradshaw during the settlement of the estate, which was reached in 1944.
The majority of the correspondence is between Francis Bradshaw and Horace Williams's friends, tenants, and creditors. There are some personal reminiscences in letters that were written immediately after Williams's death, but most of the correspondence is in regard to the settlement of the Williams estate. Many of the letters are attached to bills or copies of contracts made by Horace Williams. A few of the letters and documents concern plans by the estate to repair and restore the Horace Williams house. There are a few letters by and about Robert Winston who was in the process of gathering material for a biography of Horace Williams ( Horace Williams: Gadfly of Chapel Hill (University of North Carolina Press, 1942)). In addition to the Bradshaw correspondence, there are a few letters written to Horace Williams between 1893 and 1940 dealing almost entirely with financial and insurance concerns.
Legal documents, including the final account of the estate of Horace Williams, property inventories, the probate of Williams's will, deeds, and adoption papers for Miriam Young Bonner (adopted by Williams in 1927). The property inventories include lists of real estate, furniture, livestock, and books owned by Williams at the time of his death. Williams's extensive land dealings are well documented by a large number of deeds and mortgages ranging from 1835 to 1940, when he donated a large tract of land to the University of North Carolina. There are a few blueprints and hand-drawn maps of land Williams was considering buying. There are also blueprints for the Horace Williams house.
Items belonging to Bertha Colton of Middletown, Conn., before she was married to Horace Williams. There is some correspondence, primarily letters of recommendation commending Colton's talents as a teacher of drawing and painting. There are two items in the series written by Henry M. Colton, possibly Bertha Colton's father. The first is a single handwritten sheet entitled "Facts about my brother Horace's death," the second is an account book containing Henry and Lucy Colton's financial transactions from 1861 to 1876. Also included are Bertha Colton's autograph book and a sketch book filled with pencil sketches.
Newspaper clippings about Horace Williams. Primarily coverage of Williams's speeches and sermons, but some general articles about his teaching, farming, and former students are included. The earlier clippings appear to have come from a scrapbook kept by Williams.
Copy on three acetate discs (78 rpm) of an interview, conducted 23 March 1940, with Henry Horace Williams at his home. Other voices heard on the recording are those of Francis F. Bradshaw, Fred Weaver, and Katherine King. According to a note from Jane Ross Hammer, the interview references the discovery of a cheating ring on the University of North Carolina campus.
The interview was apparently originally recorded on one acetate disc at 33-1/3 rpm and copied onto these three acetate discs. The location of the original recording is unknown. These discs are not in good condition and are difficult to hear, so a use copy, containing all of the material from the three discs, was produced on one compact disc.
Processed by: Nicholas Graham, April 1998
Encoded by: Jackie Dean, December 1998
Revisions: Finding aid updated in February 2005 by Linda Sellars.Back to Top