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.
The March 2010 addition (Acc. 101270) was processed with support from Elizabeth Moore Ruffin.
|Size||3.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 900 items)|
|Abstract||The Royster family of Raleigh, N.C., descended from James Daniel Royster (1790?-1870?) and Mary Ashley Royster (1795?-1880?). The collection includes correspondence, writings, printed items, and financial, legal, and military documents, relating to Royster family members. The bulk of the material is correspondence, 1890s-1950s, of Hubert Ashley Royster, M.D., (1871-1959), grandson of James Daniel Royster and a prominent and pioneering Raleigh surgeon, concerning his practice, life in Raleigh, the Medical Department in Raleigh of the University of North Carolina, and related matters. Prominent among correspondents are psychiatrist James K. Hall and Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels. Also included are a few letters from Iowa Michigan Royster (1840-1863), a son of James Daniel Royster, two written in 1858 while he was a student at the University of North Carolina and three during his service with the 1st North Carolina Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War. The Addition of March 2010 consists of photographs, circa 1887-1904 (bulk 1898), of Royster family members, town scenes, African Americans, and soldiers at camp and in town during the Spanish-American War. Also included are photocopies of portraits of Hallie Lee High Royster and her sons, Percy Lake Royster and Wilbur High Royster, and panoramic postcards of Raleigh, N.C.; St. Mary's College, Raleigh, N.C.; and North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now North Carolina State University), Raleigh, N.C.|
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.
The family of James Daniel (1790?-1870?) and Mary Ashley (1795?-1880?) Royster were residents of Raleigh, N.C. The couple had eight children, all named in a rather unusual fashion. According to his great-grandson, Henry P. Royster (the donor of a portion of these papers), James Royster had grown "weary of hearing names around the house such as Tom, Dick, and Harry." Thus started the "American states series" (see genealogical list), with the eight Royster children being named after states. The boys were Vermont Connecticut, Iowa Michigan, Arkansas Delaware, Wisconsin Illinois, and Oregon Minnesota; the girls were Louisiana Maryland, Virginia Carolina, and Georgia Indiana.
Vermont Connecticut Royster married Hallie Lee High and with her had two sons, Wilbur High Royster (b. 1887) and Percy Lake Royster (b. 1888).
Iowa Michigan Royster (1840-1863), was a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, graduating with highest honors in 1860. After graduation, he served the university as a tutor, but left this position and enlisted in the 1st North Carolina Cavalry as a private in 1862. On 5 June 1863, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 37th Regiment North Carolina Volunteers. Iowa Royster was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg and died ten days later.
Wisconsin Illinois Royster (1845-1930), served Adjutant General Richard Gatling as a mail clerk during the Civil War before being transferred to Dr. E. Burke Haywood of Raleigh as a surgeon's assistant. From this experience, he developed an interest in medicine and, in 1866, he left Raleigh for Bellevue Medical School in New York City, graduating two years later. After practicing medicine for a brief period in New York, he returned to Raleigh in 1870, married Mary Wills Finch (1845-1920), and set up a practice in Raleigh. Dr. W. I. Royster became a locally prominent physician, having in 1870 been a founding member of the Raleigh Academy of Medicine, the state's first local medical society.
Wisconsin and Mary Royster had four children, one of whom, Hubert Ashley Royster (1871-1959), followed in his father's footsteps as a physician. (Another son, James Finch Royster, was later a professor of English at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.) After completing his secondary education at Raleigh Male Academy, Hubert A. Royster entered Wake Forest College. While there, he had the distinction of participating in the first intercollegiate football game in North Carolina. Following his graduation in the spring of 1891, Royster entered the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.
H. A. Royster graduated from medical school in 1894, and, like his father, established a practice in Raleigh. Ten years later, however, he restricted his practice to surgery and became the first surgical specialist in the state. H. A. Royster became a prolific writer and speaker on surgery, and was president of the Southern Surgical Association in 1926. He served as surgeon-in-chief at Saint Agnes Hospital and as a surgeon at Rex Hospital in Raleigh. Royster's career as a medical instructor began in 1895, when he was appointed to the faculty of the Leonard Medical School of Raleigh's Shaw University (which spawned in him an interest and concern for what was then known as Negro medicine). From 1902 to 1910, he served as dean and professor of gynecology at the University of North Carolina Medical Department in Raleigh, and he was professor of surgery at Wake Forest College of Medicine from 1934 to 1938. During World War I, he was appointed to the Medical Advisory Board of the National Defense Council (probably due to the patronage of then Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, with whom Royster corresponded).
H. A. Royster married Louisa Page of Maryland in 1901. The couple had three children, two of whom, Henry Page and Hubert Ashley Jr., became physicians. Dr. H. A. Royster retired from medicine in 1938, and died on 7 November 1959.
Sources for this biographical note include a typescript copy of a speech by Dr. John A. Fewell given on 23 April 1953 at the University of North Carolina Medical School (see folder 57), a typescript biography of H. A. Royster by Alexander Webb Jr., "A Surgeon's Surgeon," (see Volumes 4 and 5), and a letter from Robert H. Baker to the Southern Historical Collection located in the control file.
James Daniel Royster + Mary Ashley
Indiana Georgia Royster + ? Collins
Vermont Connecticut Royster + Hallie Lee High
Wilber High + Olivette Broadway
Vermont Connecticut Royster (b. 1914)
Virginia Carolina Royster + ? Howell
Iowa Michigan Royster (1840-1863)
Oregon Minnesota Royster
Arkansas Delaware Royster (d. 1894)
Wisconsin Illinois Royster (1845-1930) + Mary Wills Finch (1845-1920)
James Finch (1879-1930)
Hubert Asheley Royster (1871-1959) + Louise Page
Virginia Page (b. 1902)
Hubert Ashley Royster Jr. (b. 1905)
Henry Page Royster (b. 1909)Back to Top
Almost half of this collection consists of correspondence received by Dr. Hubert Ashley Royster, with the remainder consisting largely of printed material and writings related to his medical career. Also included are letters and writings of Iowa Michigan Royster, including letters relating to his time as a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and his service in the Civil War, and scattered correspondence and writings of other members of the Royster family. A few letters also relate to the family of Josiah Finch, whose daughter, Mary Wills Finch, was the mother of Hubert Royster.
Correspondence, deeds, a will, stock certificates, a marriage license, blueprints, a speech script, and newspaper clippings relating to various Roysters, specifically Wilbur High Royster (1807-1951) and Olivette James Broadway Royster (b. 1889), parents of Vermont C. Royster, who was the source of this accession; their son, and Vermont Royster's brother, Thomas Broadway Royster (b. 1919), who was killed at the Battle of Tarawa, 23 November 1943, and his wife, Eleanor Bryan Badger Royster, who were married 10 October 1941; Hattie Lee High, wife (and first cousin) of the first Vermont Connecticut Royster, and Mary Finch Royster, wife of Dr. Wisconsin Illinois Royster; and David Royster, Sr. (b. circa 1755) and David Royster, Jr. (1777-1865), grandfather and father of James Daniel Royster, whose correspondence with each other predates all other material contained in this collection.
Letters of Mary Wills Finch in Raliegh to Wisconsin Illinois Royster in Lake Mahopac, New York, before their marriage, with a few letters from Wisconsin Illinois Royster to Mary Wills Finch. Finch was the daughter of James Finch, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Raleigh. Royster had just finished his studies at the Bellevue Medical School in New York and was a resident in a hospital in Lake Mahopac. The letters chiefly include family information and anticipate the couple's being reunited in the future.
Two letters addressed to David Royster at school in Raleigh, N.C., from his father, David Royster. One, dated 7 March 1812, is from Warren County, N.C.; the other, dated 24 December 1817, is from Henderson County, Ky. Both letters discuss family matters.
The Addition of March 2010 consists of photographs, circa 1887-1904 (bulk 1898), of Royster family members, town scenes, African Americans, and soldiers at camp and in town during the Spanish-American War. Also includes photocopies of portraits of Hallie Lee High Royster and her sons, Percy Lake Royster and Wilbur High Royster, and panoramic postcards of Raleigh, N.C.; St. Mary's College, Raleigh, N.C.; and North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now known as North Carolina State University), Raleigh, N.C.Back to Top
Chiefly correspondence received by Dr. Hubert Ashley Royster from fellow physicians and other professionals concerning Royster's medical career.
The early correspondence (1838-1879) consists of letters from Iowa M. Royster to his parents, James Daniel and Mary Ashley Royster, and his sister, Arkansas Delaware Royster, as well as several letters written to other correspondents by M. L. Finch (probably related to Josiah Finch, father of Mary Finch Royster). Iowa Royster graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1860, and two of his letters were written while he was a student there. (One describes a lecture on electricity given by Dr. Charles Phillips). Other correspondence dates from the Civil War, including three letters written by Iowa Royster during his service with the 37th North Carolina Regiment (CSA); letters from his girlfriend, Kate Kerr, to Iowa's mother, Mary Ashley Royster, lamenting the death of Iowa; and a description of the Battle of Big Bethel, Va. (10 June 1861), possibly written by W. H. Finch (probably a relative of Josiah Finch). Postwar letters include a description (possibly by a medic) of the death of Iowa Royster, letters from Wisconsin Illinois Royster to his future wife, Mollie Finch, while he was attending New York City's Bellevue Medical School, and letters from various correspondents to W. I. Royster.
Almost all letters dating after the 1800s are to or from Hubert A. Royster. The letters Royster wrote to his parents while he was a student at Wake Forest College, and later at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in the early 1890s. Later material consists largely of incoming correspondence, much reflecting Royster's long and varied career as a surgeon. The letters detail his years as dean at the University of North Carolina Medical Department in Raleigh (including some correspondence with University of North Carolina President Francis P. Venable about the future of the medical school), as a surgeon at Rex Hospital, as surgeon-in-chief at Saint Agnes Hospital in Raleigh, and as a prominent writer in the field of medicine. Much of the correspondence is from Dr. James K. Hall, a prominent psychiatrist (and University of North Carolina graduate). Notable correspondents include Dr. C. Everett Koop, later United States surgeon-general in the Reagan administration (folder 30), Alabama Senator Lister Hill (folders 22 and 23), Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels (folders 6, 9, 15, 17, 20, 24-26, 28), and Secretary of War Newton D. Baker (folder 9). Daniels and Baker wrote concerning Royster's appointment to the Medical Advisory Board of the National Defense Council in 1916. Daniels continued the correspondence later while ambassador to Mexico, asking Royster for recollections to be included in Daniel's autobiography. Of special interest is a letter of 14 August 1935 in which Royster relates to Daniels some details of Woodrow Wilson's visit to Raleigh in May 1911.
Primarily newspaper clippings relating to the medical career of Dr. H. A. Royster. Also included is an obituary of Iowa M. Royster (1863), articles Royster clipped for his own reference, and an article on Louise Finch Royster, Dr. H. A. Royster's wife.
Issues of and reprints from medical journals, other periodicals, and university catalogs, reflecting the academic and medical career of Dr. H. A. Royster. Included are reprints of journal articles written by Dr. Royster and several issues of periodicals and journals giving biographical information about him.
Graduation and banquet invitations, and programs for various banquets, collegiate and medical society functions, and plays and concerts, in most of which Dr. H. A. Royster was involved. These items reflect his activities as an amateur musician and singer, as well as his career as a speaker on medical topics.
Various booklets, tickets, and pamphlets relating to Dr. Royster's career.
Bills, deeds, property valuations (including a list of valuations and property owners in certain sections of Raleigh for 1833 and 1835), as well as legal items relating to a medical negligence suit brought against Dr. Royster in 1925.
Items include two commissions (signed by North Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance) naming Iowa M. Royster a second lieutenant in the 37th North Carolina Regiment, a Confederate Treasury Department voucher assigning the remaining pay of Iowa M. Royster to his father, James D. Royster, and some papers relating to Dr. H. A. Royster's service in the Naval Reserve.
Chiefly notes for articles and speeches written and delivered by Dr. H. A. Royster. Also included are some writings of Iowa M. Royster, Wisconsin I. Royster, a list of speeches, and a bibliography of Dr. H. A. Royster.
Memoranda, rosters, grade reports, and other material relating to the Roysters, most of it relating to Dr. H. A. Royster's academic and medical careers. Included is an application for membership in the United Daughters of the Confederacy (dated 21 June 1902) by Mary Wills Royster, and a medical officer's badge, pass, and certificate for the 1912 Democratic National Convention, which was issued to H. A. Royster.
|Special Format Image SF-P-4183/12|
Photographs, circa 1887-1904 (bulk 1898), of Royster family members, town scenes, African Americans, and soldiers at camp and in town during the Spanish-American War. Also includes photocopies of portraits of Hallie Lee High Royster and her sons, Percy Lake Royster and Wilbur High Royster, and panoramic postcards of Raleigh, N.C.; St. Mary's College, Raleigh, N.C.; and North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now known as North Carolina State University), Raleigh, N.C.
|Image Folder PF-4183/1||
Panoramic postcards of St. Mary's School, Raleigh N.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; and North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now known as North Carolina State University), Raleigh, N.C. Also includes photocopies of portraits of Hallie Lee High Royster and her sons, Wilbur High Royster and Percy Lake Royster.
|Image Folder PF-4183/2||
Soldiers at camp and in town during the Spanish-American War.
|Image Folder PF-4183/3||
African American men, women, and children, most of whom are unidentified. Those who are identified, perhaps by Hallie Lee High Royster, are "Mary," the nurse of two boys, and "Aunt Mandy," a cook, both of Raleigh, N.C.
|Image Folder PF-4183/4||
Images of Royster family members, including Wilbur Royster and Percy Royster; town life; a train station; horse and wagons; and the town pump at Newbern Avenue.
Processed by: John Beam, June Bratcher, Jane H. Odom, February 1985; David Weber, November 1987; Roslyn Holdzkom, April 1990, August 1991; Kiley Orchard, May 2010
The March 2010 addition was processed with support from Elizabeth Moore Ruffin.
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008Back to Top