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.
This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.
|Size||3.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 900 items)|
|Abstract||The collection includes family and personal correspondence among members of the Phillips family, long associated with Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina, including mainly letters from University professor Charles Phillips; his wife, Laura (Battle) Phillips; their daughter, Lucy (Phillips) Russell (1862-1962), writer, of Rockingham, N.C.; and Lucy's son, Charles Phillips Russell (b. 1884), journalist of New York and London, author, and University professor from 1931. Also included are personal and social letters from other relatives and friends, mostly female; miscellaneous short writings, including Laura's recollections of the school run by Lucien and Caroline (Fraser) Murat at Bordentown, N.J.; and letters, 1841-1861, from the Murats.|
|Creator||Phillips, Charles, 1822-1889.|
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.
Charles Phillips (1822-1889) was the son of James and Julia Vermeule Phillips of Chapel Hill, N.C. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina, 1841; a tutor, 1844-1854; professor of mathematics, 1854-1868 and 1875-1879; and professor emeritus, 1879-1889. He taught at Davidson College, 1868-1874.
Cornelia Phillips (1825-1908) daughter of James and Julia Vermeule Phillips, married James Munroe Spencer in 1855 and went with him to Alabama. At his death in 1861, she and her daughter Julia James "June" Spencer came back to Chapel Hill. In the years following the Civil War, Cornelia P. Spencer was instrumental in rallying public support for the University of North Carolina, particularly after its second closing in 1870. During her last years, she lived in Cambridge, Mass., with her daughter and son-in-law.
Laura Caroline Battle Phillips (1824-1919) was born at "the Falls of the Tar River," now Rocky Mount. She was the youngest child of Joel Battle and his wife Mary "Pretty Polly" Johnston Battle. From 1839 to 1841, she attended a boarding school in Bordentown, N.J., conducted by Lucien Murat (son of Joachim Murat and Caroline Bonaparte) with the assistance of his wife, the former Caroline Fraser of Charleston, S.C., and her sisters Eliza, Jane, and Harriet. After Laura left the school, she corresponded with Caroline Murat and Jane Fraser until 1861. Laura Battle was married to Professor Charles Phillips on 8 December 1847 at the Battle home in Chapel Hill. Their children included sons William and Alexander and daughters Mary and Lucy. After Phillips's death in 1889, Laura went to live near her son William B. Phillips in Birmingham, Ala.
Lucy Plummer Phillips Russell (1862-1962) was the daughter of Charles and Laura Battle Phillips. As a school teacher in Rockingham, N.C., she met Moses H. Russell, a Rockingham merchant, and they were married in 1883. Their children included son Charles Phillips Russell and daughter Susan Russell Crosland.
Charles Phillips Russell (b. 1884) graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1904. He was a journalist in New York and London throughout the 1920s, an author, and a professor of English and journalism at University of North Carolina after 1931.Back to Top
The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence between various members of the related Phillips, Russell, and Vermeule families, and of the writings of Lucy Phillips Russell and her mother Laura Battle Phillips. Early items, primarily 1841-1861, consist mostly of letters to Laura Battle Phillips from her friends at the Murat school in New Jersey, especially from sisters Caroline Murat and Jane Fraser.Back to Top
Chiefly letters, 1839-1841, from Laura Caroline Battle to her mother Mary "Polly" Johnston Battle, written while she was at the Murats' school in New Jersey; and letters, 1842-1861, to Laura Battle Phillips from friends she made at school, primarily from Jane Fraser and her sister Caroline Murat, who ran the school. (Typed transcriptions of some of these letters are in subseries 3.1.) There are also a number of letters to Laura B. Phillips from other students at the school, including Antonia Avenu and Zenobia Lucca of Puerto Rico. Letters from Jane Fraser concern the affairs of the school and the Murat and Fraser families in New Jersey and, after 1849, in France.
Also included are a letter, 1801, from Joel Battle to his future father-in-law Amos Johnston; a letter, 1834, from Christopher Columbus Battle to his mother, Polly Johnston Battle; letters, 1847, from Christopher C. Battle in Mexico with the U.S. Army, to his sister Laura and to Charles Phillips, regarding their engagement; and letters, 1853, to Laura Battle Phillips from her husband Charles Phillips, who was in Cambridge, Mass.
Correspondence of various members of the Phillips family, including letters, 1870-1899, from Cornelia Phillips Spencer to her sister-in-law Laura Battle Phillips; letters, 1862-1889, from Charles Phillips to his wife Laura Battle Phillips and to their daughters Lucy and Mary from the Phillips home in Chapel Hill and from the Presbyterian Hospital in New York; letters, 1890-1899, from Alexander and William B. Phillips in Alabama and Tennessee to their mother Laura Battle Phillips and to their sister Lucy Phillips Russell; and correspondence, 1889-1899, between Laura B. Phillips, in Birmingham, Ala., and her daughter Lucy P. Russell, in Rockingham, N.C.
Also included are a few letters, chiefly 1887-1889, from Reid Russell to his stepmother Lucy P. Russell and to his father M. H. Russell, written while Reid was a student at the Virginia Military Institute.
Correspondence of various members of the Russell family, consisting primarily of letters from Charles Phillips Russell to his mother Lucy P. Russell. Included are letters, 1900-1904, from Phillips Russell at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where he was editor of the University Magazine published by the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies; letters, 1906-1908, from Russell in New York, where he was working at McClure's Magazine; and letters, 1914-1925, from Russell in La Haye, Paris, and London, where he was a journalist and an advertising representative for Printer's Ink Publications. Included with these letters are many clippings, mostly reviews of Russell's biographies of Benjamin Franklin and John Paul Jones and of his other work. In one letter, 1925, to his sister Susan R. Crosland, Russell enclosed a book of his poems, titled Flowings.
Also included are letters, 1920, from Lucy Phillips Russell to her daughter Susan and to the Rockingham, N.C., Post-Dispatch, describing in detail a trip to Europe with her son Phillips Russell and his wife Phyllis Russell. There are a number of scattered letters from other members of the Russell family, chiefly to Lucy Phillips Russell from her grandchildren Leon, Claire, and Avery Russell.
Family letters to E. C. Vermeulen of Philadelphia, and other letters relating to the Vermeule(n) family, relatives of the Phillipses.
Property Papers, 1885, 1887, and 1910, relating to the house and lot at 516 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, N.C., transferred in 1887 from Charles and Laura Battle Phillips and many other Phillipses to Joseph A. Holmes; from Holmes to Mrs. Fannie MacRae in June 1907; and Mrs. MacRae to Charles Herty in June 1910. In 1968, the property was owned by Mrs. C. T. Woollen, who inherited it from her sister Nellie Roberson.
Three drafts of Laura B. Phillips's reminiscences, written when she was 85, about her school days in New Jersey. Included in the reminiscences are information about the Murat and Fraser families in America and in France and typed transcriptions of letters sent to Laura Phillips by Jane Fraser, Caroline Murat, and various students at the school. (Originals of these letters are in subseries 1.1.)
Various writings of Lucy Phillips Russell, including reminiscences; articles; a short story entitled "Eagle's Feather"; a speech on "How Our Bible Came to Us," given to the North Carolina Branch of the King's Daughters and Sons; and several handwritten drafts and typescripts of her autobiography, A Rare Pattern.
Writings by various authors, including a poem labeled "Verses spoke at Oxford by his grace the Duke of Beaufort, 1763"; two copies of an address, in rhymed couplets, of Captain Cornelius Vermeule of the First Regiment of Somerset Brigade, N.J., delivered at his resignation of command in 1802; "Some Revolutionary Incidents in the Raritan Valley," by Cornelius C. Vermeule; and "The Shades of Marie Antoinette," by Hatabel Heyer.
Genealogical notes on the Vermeule family and ancestry of Charles Phillips; obituaries for James Spencer, Adrian Vermeule, and Lucy Phillips Russell; a tribute to James Phillips which appeared in Wilson's Presbyterian Almanac of 1868; clippings, mostly of articles by or about Lucy P. Russell or Charles Phillips Russell; and miscellaneous items, including patterns for knitting baby booties, a catalog of the Exhibit of the Prince Achille Murat Collection, and a mailing label from A. Meneely's Sons, Bell Founders.
Volume 5. The pulpit hymn book of James Phillips, given to him in 1861 by his son Samuel F. Phillips, who inscribed it in the name of his two-year-old son John. The volume contains notes by James Phillips and his daughter Cornelia Phillips Spencer. #02462, Series: "5. Volumes, 1861-1888 and undated." Folder 61
Images P-2462/1-8 were numbered previously, probably by Phillips. Brief notes concerning the individuals in P-2462/1-5, 7-8 are filed with the pictures. The previously numbered picture 6 is missing.
|Image P-2462/40-43 (SF)|
Eight images of local (Chapel Hill) residences and buildings, circa 1885-1950, including the old Presbyterian church, South building (1903), and the former homes of Charles Phillips, James Phillips, Cornelia Phillips Spencer, and Kemp Plummer Battle. Photos: 6.5 x 10.9 cm. to 25.3 x 20.7 cm. #02462, Series: "6. Pictures, 1855-1955 and undated." P-2462/55-62
Mary E. Harkness, circa 1870-1890. Carte-de-visite. Photographer: F.M. Turner, Tuscaloosa, Ala. Information on verso: "Mary E. Harkness, 2nd child of Robt and Civille Amanda, his wife, who was the daughter of C.J. and Mary Slocumb Gulley." #02462, Series: "6. Pictures, 1855-1955 and undated." P-2462/77
Civille Slocumb Harkness, circa 1870-1890. Carte-de-visite. Information on verso: "Civille Slocumb Harkness, 5th child of Robert Harkness and his wife Civille Amanda, who was the oldest daughter of Calvin Jones Gulley and his wife, Mary Slocumb Gulley." #02462, Series: "6. Pictures, 1855-1955 and undated." P-2462/78
Maria Speare, circa 1860-1875. Carte-de-visite. Photographer: Jacob Laldt (?) and Co., Philadelphia, Pa. Information on verso: "Miss Maria Speare, who lived with Miss Mary Smith, the donor of 'Smith Hall'." (This info. incorrectly states that Mary Smith was the donor of Smith Hall.) #02462, Series: "6. Pictures, 1855-1955 and undated." P-2462/86
|Image P-2462/89 (SF)|
Former home of Cornelia Phillips Spencer. Mounted albumen print: 8.6 x8.6 cm. Information on verso: "This looks as it did when C.P.S. lived there, white palings all across the front.--L.P.R." (Lucy Phillips Russell). P-2462/61 is a duplicate of this photograph. #02462, Series: "6. Pictures, 1855-1955 and undated." P-2462/96
Processed by: Rebecca Hollingsworth, December 1992
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008
This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.Back to Top