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|Size||7,800 items (14.0 linear feet)|
|Abstract||Charles Phillips Russell was a journalist, biographer, and member of the faculty of the English Department, 1931-1937, and the School of Journalism, 1937-1954, at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. The collection includes correspondence, writings, financial and legal material, diary volumes, subject files, and drawings and photographs of Charles Phillips Russell. Professional correspondence, primarily 1931-1969, relates chiefly to writing and publishing books and articles, to the work of colleagues and former students, and to higher education. Included is correspondence with publishers (Brentano's, William Morrow, Scribners, and others) and with newspapers and magazines in North Carolina and New York. Letters from Russell's mother, Lucy Phillips Russell, deal with life in Rockingham, N.C.; with her writing; and with Russell's career. Writings include drafts, research notes, outlines, synopses, and printer's proofs of Russell's books, plays, short stories, articles, poems, and newspaper columns and of works by others. Much of this material relates to Russell's biographies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Paul Jones. There are also papers documenting Russell's financial affairs; short diary and other volumes; subject files pertaining to organizations with which Russell was associated and topics of interest to him; scrapbooks of clippings of articles by and about Russell and on other topics; photographs and photograph albums with images of Chapel Hill, N.C., Russell, family members, and friends; drawings by Russell and family members; an audio tape of a radio production about Horace Williams by John Ehle; and a home movie.|
|Creator||Russell, Charles Phillips, 1884-1974.|
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.
|5 August 1884||Born, Rockingham County, N.C., oldest child of Moses Harris and Lucy (Phillips) Russell|
|1904||A.B., University of North Carolina|
|circa 1905-1906||Reporter, Charlotte Observer|
|1911-1913||Writer, New York Press and Sunset Magazine|
|1914||Married Phyllis Meltzer (later divorced)|
|1914-1919||Writer, Philadelphia Evening Ledger (for a time, that paper's London correspondent)|
|1915||Son, Leon Bazalgette, born|
|circa 1919-1920||Staff member, Printer's Ink Publishing Company, New York, N.Y.|
|circa 1920-1925||Lived in England; worked in advertising and as a reporter for the London Daily Express|
|1925-1931||Freelance writer, copy editor, and advertising copywriter, New York, N.Y.|
|1928||Traveled in Mexico|
|1931||Married Caro Mae Green|
|1931-1937||English Department faculty member, University of North Carolina|
|1932||Daughter, Claire Phillips, born|
|1936||Daughter, Avery Battle, born|
|1937-1954||School of Journalism faculty member, University of North Carolina|
|1954-1958||Editor, The News Leader, Chapel Hill|
|1954-1974||Freelance writer, private writing instructor, and community activist, Chapel Hill|
|22 November 1974||Died, Chapel Hill|
The papers of journalist, writer, and University of North Carolina professor Charles Phillips Russell of Rockingham, N.C., and Chapel Hill, N.C., consists of correspondence, writings, photographs, drawings, printed items, financial and legal items, scrapbooks and manuscript volumes of various kinds, subject files, an audiotape, and a film.
Russell's professional correspondence, primarily 1931-1969, relates chiefly to writing, placing, and publishing his books and articles with publishers (Brentano's, William Morrow, Scribner's, Dodd and Mead, and others) and with newspapers and magazines in North Carolina and New York; with the work of colleagues and former students; and with other aspects of the worlds of writing, publishing, and higher education. There are also letters to Russell from individuals important in liberal political causes, in Chapel Hill area community services, in local history, and in nature study. Russell's more personal correspondence is primarily with members of his family, particularly his mother, Lucy Phillips Russell, who discussed life in Rockingham, N.C., her her own writing, and her son's career.
Writings include material relating to book-length projects, plays, short stories and articles, poems, and newspaper columns by Russell. There are also items relating to writings of others. Included are research notes, outlines, synopses, handwritten and typed drafts, and printer's proofs. Among these these items are seven apparently completed drafts of unpublished book-length manuscripts, three unpublished and never produced full-length dramas, and many shorter pieces that were never published. Early drafts of most of Russell's published books are also included.
There are also papers documenting Russell's financial affairs; short diaries and other volumes; subject files pertaining to organizations with which Russell was associated and topics of interest to him; scrapbooks of clippings of articles by and about Russell and on other topics; photographs and photograph albums with images of Chapel Hill, Russell, family members, and friends; drawings by Russell and family members; an audio tape of a radio production about Horace Williams by John Ehle; and a home movie.Back to Top
Typescripts of original letters that may have been used by Charles Phillips Russel in his research or sent to him by others and simply retained as materials of interest. The letter of 22 April 1826 an application for the position of Professor of Modern Languages at the University of North Carolina, written to I. Wetmore of Raleigh, N.C., by G. S. Fafinesque (original in University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). The letter of 23 September 1843 is a letter of advice from J. R. Wortendyke to an unidentified man about to enter college.
The earliest letters are addressed to Moses Harris and Lucy Plummer (Phillips) Russell from her parents, Charels and Laura Caroline (Battle) Phillips, concerning family matters and local affairs in Rockgham, N.C., and Chapel Hill, N.C. A birthday note, 4 August 1887, from his frandmother Phillips is the first item addressed to Charles Phillips Russell. This is followed by a letter of 5 May 1893, from half-brother Reid Russell discussing family and his studies at the University of North Carolina. Letters from a former teacher, Anna M. Smith, describe her life in Blanco, Tex. Her letter, 15 February 1899, refers to Russell's preparations for entering the United States Naval Academy. Later letters from maternal uncles Alexander Phillips of the Bible Institute for Chr; istian Workers in Nashville, Tenn., (29 August 1900) and Samuel Phillips (15 April 1902) make clear that Russell enrolled at UNC, with which the Phillips family had long been associated.
With the exception of a few routine letters, there is a considerable gap in the papers at this point. The first item from Russell's post-graduation career is a letter of recommendation (21 August 1921) for him from business partner Roy Dickinson, associate editor at the Printer's Ink Publishing Company, New York, N.Y. Other letters relate to the publication of Russell's articles in Advertisers' Weekly, The World, McNaught's, and American Mercury; to circulation and publishers' receptions of Russell's manuscripts; and to appearances on the New York lecture circuit. Most of this correspondence is related, however, to the researching, publication, and public reception of Russell's early biographical studies Benjamin Franklin: The First Civilized American (1926), John Paul Jones: Man of Action (1927, and, to a lesser degree, Emerson: The Wisest American (1929). The Franklin book was both a popular success and important in establishing a new trend toward critical biography. There are also materials relating to Russell's first novel The Fumbler (1928) and to Red Tiger (1929), the tale of Russell's 1928 travels in Mexico and the Yucatan exploring the remains of Mayan culture; detailing negotiations with Bretano's, the Macaulay Company, and agents Brandt and Brandt about advances and royalties, book club sales, jacket design, publicity, and serialization; and documenting Russell's association with Printer's Ink Company as writer and editor.
There are scattered materials relating to Russell's financial affairs, including stock investments and properties. Personal letters are chiefly from Lucy Phillips Russell on topics including state and regional politics; Rockingham affairs; family concerns; and her Presbyterian church work, book club membership, and summer camp counseling. These letters also document Charles Phillips Russell's activities, including his writings (e.g., 26 May 1924; 21 February 1926, 7 March 1926, 12 June 1926), production of his dramas (17 August 1925, 11 February 1928), a visit with Helen Keller (3 January 1926), a 1930 trip to France (25 April 1930), and Horace Williams (26 July 1927, 11 February 1928).
There are also letters from cousin Cornelia Spencer Love about drama at the UNC, including the activities of Frederick Koch and Paul Green (11 September 1925); Horace Williams discussing the writings of both men and the development of a new scheme promoting logic as a working philosophy of life (21 November 1925, 6 February 1927); Parisian editor and friend Leon Bazalgette on Russell's writing (28 March 1926); former Daily Express colleague Pat Hastings describing changes at the paper (24 March 1926); and Frank Porter Graham reporting his recommendation, with Louis Graves, of Russell for a position in the UNC English Department (1 August 1930).
Letters from Berkeley G. Tobey, cousin Frances Phillips, and Otho Ross concern writing and publishing, the promotion of Horace Williams and this work through the Horace Williams Philosophical Society (26 September 1929, 1 July 1930), and the appointment of Frank Porter Graham as UNC president (1 July 1930). There are also indications of Russell's involvement with social concerns, including his support of the League for Mutual Aid and the Committee of 100 for Defense of Imprisioned Needle Trade Workers.
In fall 1931, Russell joined the facilty of the University of North Carolina as an associate professor in the English Department and instructor of the University's first class in creative writing. In 1937 (see 20 June 1937), he was transferred to the School of Journalism, where he stayed until his retirement in 1954, having served as acting dean in 1953. Correspondence shows his participation in the Chapel Hill Battle Park Association's attempts to develop a bird sanctuary (1932-1938); the annual Dogwood Festival (1934); the American Federation of Teachers (president of the local chapter, 1937); the Advisory Council for the Institute for Research in Folk Music Development; the Burlington Defense Committee (1935-1940); the North Carolina Historical and Literary Society (president, 1935); and the North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians.
There is considerable material relating to Russell's publications, including articles in American Mercury, Atlantic Monthly, Virginia Quarterly Reivew, and Esso Road News. There is also material about his newspaper columns: the "Literary Lantern," taken over from Elizabeth Lay Green in 1932 and written with Caro Mae Green Russell; "Carolina Calendar," introduced in 1934, and "Outdoors Today," introduced in 1939. These latter show Russell's interest in nature, particularly ecology and birdlore. Also documented are his books The Harvesters (1932); William the Conqueror (1933); The Glittering Century (1936); and The Woman Who Rang the Bell (1949), about Russell's great-aunt Cornelia Phillips Spencer, for which he was awarded the 1949 Mayflower Cup.
Letters show that Russell was director of the Southern Writers' Conference, Blue Ridge, N.C., in August 1935; taught at the Southern Summer School for Workers, Asheville, N.C., July-August 1939, and at the Black Mountain College Institute of the Textile Workers of America, September 1942 and 1943; and edited manuscripts, newsletters, and journals. There is correspondence with Albert Coates as head of the UNC Insitute of Government (13 June 1947) and historian Bell I. Wiley (21 May 1942).
Letters from Russell's mother, Lucy Phillips Russell, dominate personal correspondence, particular after 1945. Beginning in 1937, she wrote about efforts to produce and market her memoirs, which appeared in segments in regional newspapers (7 November 1948) and appeared in book form as A Rare Pattern (1957). Her interests in family heritage; her son's activities; and Chapel Hill's Presbyterian minister, Charles Jones (2 July 1952, 8 December 1952, 1 January 1953, 2 March 1953, 4 August 1953) are also documented.
Russell married Caro Mae Green, a native of Harnett County, N.C., in 1931; they had two daughters, Claire Phillips (1932- ) and Avery Battle (1936- ). There are scattered letters between Russell and his wife, particularly July-August 1939 when he was teaching at the Southern Summer School for Workers and summer 1950 when his family traveled to Mexico. Correspondence to Caro Mae from relatives and friends is particularly heavy during 1936 and includes letters from historian Allan Nevins discussing her writing and his scholarly efforts (21 September 1936, 20 December 1936). There are special occasion messages to Russell's daughters from Lucy Phillips Russell, and letters between Avery Battle Phillips and her parents while she was a student at Putney School in Vermont in the mid-1950s. There are also scattered letters from Leon Bazalgette Russell, Russell's son from his previous marriage, who lived with his father in 1931 and later moved to California. Russell also corresponded with Berkeley G. Tobey, attorney Arthur Springarn, William Morrow editor Frances Phillips, Frank Porter Graham, former newspaper colleague Carl Sandburg (29 November 1941), Scribner's editor Maxwell Perkins (17 October 1932), author-poet John Gould Fletcher, S. Phillips Verner, Don McKee, T. Swann harding, and M. S. Radoff.
Russell's brother-in-law, author-playwright Paul Green, wrote about his work as a Hollywood scriptwriter (22 October 1932, 7 November 1932, 18 January 1933, 15 Setpember 1944); former Daily Express colleague Pat Hastings wrote about living in war-torn London (21 May 1942); letters show the activities of Otho Ross, Ed McDonald, Sidney Robins, and others in promoting the reputation of Horace Williams.
There are also items documenting Russell's finances and genealogical information on the Phillips and Spencer families (12 November 1941, 19 July 1942, August 1943, 28 July 1942).
After retiring from UNC, Russell continued writing, teaching, and working as a community activist. Beginning in May 1954, he served as director and editor of the Chapel Hill News-Leader, but policy differences with other staff members led to his severing his connection with the paper in August 1958 (e.g., 26 September 1944, June 1945, June-August 1958). Russell wrote articles for the Raleigh News and Observer, the Chapel Hlll Weekly, and the Progressive Farmer. He negotiated with the Rogers Terrill agency and publishers Dodd and Mead about his Thomas Jefferson: Champion of the Free Mind (1956). From 1958 to 1962, he worked on a history of the North Carolina regiments of the Continental Line for the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati (published privately as North Carolina in the Revolutionary War in 1965). He wrote a play, called "Queen of April," about the Civil War romance of the UNC President David Swain's daughter, Ellie Swain, with a Yankee soldier, which was never published. With the sponsorship of the local historical society, he prepared a pamphlet on 23 Historic Sites in Chapel Hill and the informal local history, These Old Stone Walls (1972).
Russell was active in the North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians, the Historical Society of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Revolutionary Bicentennial Commission, and he often spoke to groups on local history topics. He was also active as an advisor to those seeking assistance with their writing. In 1961, he instituted a series of private classes for small groups of adults and provided advice on an individual basis to former students and others. Always an avid student of educational methodology, he began a manuscript in 1966 called "Great Teahers and What They Taught." He received awards honoring his career as writer and teacher, including honorary membership in the North Carolina Press Association (27 July 1950) and honorary degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
In addition to scattered letters from Lucy Phillips Russell and his children and grandchildren, there are letters from Otho G. Ross; philosopher-minister Sidney Robins; Frances Phillips; poet Thad Stem; newspapermen Clifton Daniel, Tom Wicker (24 February 1957, 27 June 1966, 16 February 1973), Rolfe Weill, Ed Yoder, and Don McKee; author Marion Brown; and scriptwriter Carl Selwyn Pugh.
Russell's continued participation in community affairs is shown in letters relating to the Chowder and Torch Club, the Chapel Hill Bird Club, the Association for Aging and Community Relations, and the Allied Arts Council of Durham. His devotion to the preservation of natural resources is showing in letters documenting his efforts to preserve the University-held Mason Farm and in his correspondece with noted naturalist John Terres (1967-1973). He wrote in support of the admission of women to the University of North Carolina Order of the Golden Fleece (27 March 1970), of which he was a charter member. On current events, he often wrote to politicians offering his opinions, including letters to Hubert H. Humphrey on United States involvement in Vietnam (26 September 1968), New York Congressman Allard K. Lowenstein on draft reform, and Senator Geroge McGovern on racial problems (1972).
Material relating to book-length projects, most of which eventually were published. Included are handwritten and typed versions, outlines, preliminary drafts, research notes, proofs, synopses, and, rarely, comments by others about draft versions.
"Great Teachers and What They Taught": project at the time of Russell's death, which includes material on John Dewey, William James, Jesus, A. Bronson Alcott, Comenius, Fredrich Froebel, Maria Montessori, Socrates, Pestalozzi, Confucius, Sarmiento, and Gandhi #04004, Subseries: "2.1. Book-length Works." Folder 299-305
Chiefly typed and handwritten drafts, notes, and comments by others. Most of these works are one-act or incomplete.
Short stories, many with historical contexts; social and political commentaries, especially about aspects of the New South; observations of nature; character sketches; and reminiscences; and essays on local history, family life, the arts (espeically writing), travel, health, and education. Many of these are unpublished; published versions of some of these are filed in the printed material series. Some were written by Russell under pen names.
Most materials are financial. Financial material consists primarily of bank account and insurance policy records, reyalty statements and records of payments for articles, tax records, and bills and receipts. These materials were sampled from the much larger group originally received. See also volume 30. Legal material includes contracts with publishers, wills, estate records, a passport, and miscellaneous certificates and agreements.
Mostly newspaper and magazine clippings. There are clippings of articles and other writings by Charles Phillips Russell and pieces about him and his work. Also included are other clippings, chiefly about Russell's family.
Clippings of Russell's writings include articles for the Charlotte Observer before 1910; articles on English themes and other topics written for Printer's Ink and Advertising Weekly during the 1920s; articles from the 1930s and 1940s for Progressive Farmer and the Chapel Hill Weekly on rural topics and natural history; feature articles on North Carolina history for the News and Observer, especially during the 1950s; book reviews, editorial notes, and biographical sketches; and other writings. See also scrapbooks for more clippings of work by Russell.
The eariest materials about Russell are book reviews from the 1920s. Beginning in the 1930s, there are notices of Russell's activities in Chapel Hill, including courses offered and other campus events, speaking engagements and other appearances, and writers' conferences. Biographical sketches of Russell begin in the 1940s and become more numerous in the 1950s. Tributes to Russell from the 1960s are included as are appreciations of him following his death in 1974.
Family clippings chiefly relate to Lucy Phillips Russell.
Some files created by Charles Phillips Russell and other created during processing of the collection. Note that correspondence, writings, financial and legal materials, and printed material relating to subjects in this series may be found in other series.
Subject files largely document organizations with which Russell was associated and a few of his interests and activities. Included is a typescript of the proceedings of the Southern Writers' Conference of 1935. There are also advertisements, many of which appear to have been designed by Russell; a file of materials about Russell and his family; and miscellaneous materials.
Twelve diary volumes, nine scrapbooks, six notebooks, two address books, and one account book. Four of the diary volumes cover trips by Charles Phillips Russell to Europe in 1914 and Mexico in 1928. Other diaries cover scattered periods, 1926-1936. Principal subjects are family events, friends, local affairs, and the weather. Scrapbooks contain clippings from newspaper and magazine articles, 1916-1942, by or about Russell, and about the deaths of freinds, art, music, and news items. One scrapbook also contains a few poems by others.
The six small notebooks contain Russell's notes on local history, agriculture, nature, and other topics. One of these volumes contains a list of things to do in January 1927. These notebooks consitute a small sample of similar books originally received with these papers. The address books are undated. The account book covers 1930 to 1932.
Mostly photographs, loose and in photograph albums, but also some drawings. About 140 loose photographs are pictures of Charles Phillips Russell alone or with others and two photograph albums contain similar pictures. There are also numerous pictures of family members and of his friends and associates. Other photographs are scenes in Chapel Hill, United States and Mexican locations Russell visited in the 1930s and 1940s, a Cherokee Indian fair in 1937, and an English fair in the 1920s. Also included are about 50 drawings and five sketchbooks of drawings, almost all either by Russell or by family members. When these papers were processed, a sample of similar pictures was selected for retention from a much larger number of pictures received.
T-4004/1: Thirdy-minute audiotape of an undated radio production called "The Eccentric," about University of North Carolina philosophy professor Horace Williams. The production was written by John Ehle and produced at the Communications Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. #04004, Series: "7. Audiotape and Film, 1940s and undated." Folder 697
Items separated include pictures (P-4004/1-408), oversize pictures (OP-P-4004/409-420), special format pictures (SF-4004/1), photograph albums (PA-4004/1-7), oversize papers (OP-4004: one diploma and twelve broadside advertisements), oversize volumes (V-4004/S-21, S-25 - S-29), one audiotape (T-4004/1), and one film (F-4004/1).Back to Top
Some materials transferred to the Hope Summerell Chamberlain Papers (#2545), the Cornelia Spencer Love Papers (#4131), the Charles Phillips Papers (#2462), and the Cornelia Phillips Spencer Papers (#683) during processing.Back to Top