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|Size||3,800 items (8.5 linear feet)|
|Abstract||Edwin Robeson MacKethan was born in Fayetteville, N.C., on 7 September 1869. He was graduated from University of North Carolina in 1891. During the 1890s, MacKethan spent several years in Savannah, Ga., but later returned to Fayetteville where he lived and practiced law for the remainder of his life. During the campaign of 1900, MacKethan was elected president of the White Supremacy Club of Fayetteville and served as Cumberland County's representative to the state legislature. A Democrat, he served in the state senate, 1925-1929, and was later elected mayor of Fayetteville. The collection includes correspondence, financial material, legal papers, and other items of Edwin R. MacKethan and family of Fayetteville, N.C. Included is correspondence among MacKethan brothers in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and between the MacKethan children at college, in New York City, and aboard United States Navy ships and their parents. There are letters and other papers pertaining to MacKethan's legal practice and other businesses in Fayetteville and to his political career in the North Carolina legislature and as mayor of Fayetteville. Other business papers from the 1840s and 1850s refer to the Clarendon Bridge Company, the Fayetteville and Northern Plank Road Company, and the Dobbin Horse Company. Some materials relate to disfranchisement of African Americans; to students and teachers at the United States Naval Academy and at the University of North Carolina; to the Civil War experiences of a relative stationed near Wilmington, N.C.; and to the stock market crash of 1929. Also included are printed items pertaining to White Supremacy and Prohibition, poems, essays, maps, photographs, and genealogical material. The Addition of July 2016 consists of two bound volumes of genealogical material about the MacKethan family prepared by Edwin R. MacKethan, III.|
|Creator||MacKethan, Edwin R. (Edwin Robeson), 1869-1951.|
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Edwin R. MacKethan's MacKethan (also McKethan) grandparents were A. A. McKethan (Alfred Alexander McKethan) and Loveday Campbell McAllister McKethan, whose children were Hector McAllister MacKethan (1834-1881); E. T. MacKethan (Edwin Turner MacKethan) (1840-1888), Edwin R. MacKethan's father; and Alfred Augustus MacKethan (1847-1915).
E. T. MacKethan married Janie Wright Robeson. Their children were Edwin R. MacKethan (Edwin Robeson) (1869-1951), Alfred A. MacKethan (Alfred Augustus) (1871-1919), John Alexander MacKethan (1875-1926), David Gillespie MacKethan (1877-1958), and Eliza Street MacKethan (1880-1884).
Edwin R. MacKethan was born at the old "Cool Spring Place" in Fayetteville, N.C., on 7 September 1869. He entered Davidson College in 1886 and transferred to the University of North Carolina from which he was graduated in 1891. MacKethan also attended law school at UNC, and received the degree of B.L. in 1892.
For a few years in the 1890s, MacKethan lived in Savannah, Ga. He later returned to Fayetteville, where he lived and practiced law for the remainder of his life. He served in the Spanish American War and was an officer in the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry after the war. MacKethan also was commandant with the rank of captain in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and held a number of other honorary positions as well.
During the campaign of 1900, MacKethan was elected president of the White Supremacy Club in Fayetteville, and, that same year, he received the County Convention's nomination for the North Carolina State House of Representatives. The campaign was a hot and vigorous one, resulting in an overwhelming victory for the Democratic Party and the Suffrage Amendment (i.e., the denial of the suffrage to blacks). MacKethan was elected to the state legislature with one of the largest votes ever recorded in Cumberland County.
As the only veteran of the Spanish American War in the General Assembly, MacKethan was selected chair of the House's Committee on Military Affairs. He was also a member of the Judiciary Committee, the Committee on Railroads and Railroad Commission, and several others. MacKethan later served in the North Carolina State Senate (1925-1929) and as mayor of Fayetteville.
MacKethan married Lulie Biggs (d. 1967), sister of James Crawford Biggs and Jeanette Biggs. They had two sons: Edwin R. MacKethan, Jr., who became a lawyer and banker and eventually lived in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Norfolk, Va.; and Crawford Biggs MacKethan, who lived in Fayetteville.Back to Top
The collection includes correspondence, financial material, legal papers, and other items of lawyer, Democratic politician, white supremacist, and prohibitionist Edwin R. MacKethan and family of Fayetteville, N.C. Included is correspondence among MacKethan brothers in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and between the MacKethan children at college, in New York City, and aboard United States Navy ships and their parents. There are letters and other papers pertaining to MacKethan's legal practice and other businesses in Fayetteville and to his political career in the North Carolina legislature and as mayor of Fayetteville. Other business papers from the 1840s and 1850s refer to the Clarendon Bridge Company, the Fayetteville and Northern Plank Road Company, and the Dobbin Horse Company. Some materials relate to disfranchisement of African Americans; to students and teachers at the United States Naval Academy and at the University of North Carolina; to the Civil War experiences of a relative stationed near Wilmington, N.C.; and to the stock market crash of 1929. Also included are printed items pertaining to White Supremacy and Prohibition, poems, essays, maps, photographs, and genealogical material. The Addition of July 2016 consists of two bound volumes of genealogical material about the MacKethan family prepared by Edwin R. MacKethan, III.Back to Top
1840s: Business correspondence, mainly about stock in the Clarendon Bridge Company which had been entrusted to A. A. McKethan (Edwin R. MacKethan's grandfather) and others to administer for the benefit of the Fayetteville and Northern Plank Road Company.
1850s: Letters to E. T. MacKethan from his family concerning business matters, college life, family matters, and national politics.
1860s: Mostly letters written after the Civil War from prospective customers about purchasing buggies to A. A. MacKethan and Sons of Fayetteville, N.C. A letter from a student at the University of North Carolina comments on student life and the election of 1860. There are several Civil War letters from Hector MacAllister MacKethan to E. T. MacKethan. Hector was stationed at Camp Whiting near Wilmington, N.C. The letters discuss military matters, abolitionists, and the financial problems of soldiers' wives.
1870s: Letters regarding the death of N. T. Harris; letters between Alfred A. MacKethan (Edwin R. MacKethan's brother) and his grandparents concerning family matters; and letters from Eliza S. Robeson to her daughter, Janie Robeson MacKethan, about family matters.
1880s: Letters to Alfred A. MacKethan from his aunt, Mary Harris, sister of Janie Robeson MacKethan and widow of N. T. Harris. They are mostly about family matters, especially health and education. There are letters from G. M. McMillian to his relatives about life at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis (exams, expulsions, duties, food, lessons, naval balls, life aboard the USS Constellation, and the treatment of freshmen by upperclassmen). A midshipman at Annapolis, Alfred A. MacKethan, wrote his mother, Janie Robeson MacKethan, about cadet life drills, courses and grades.
There are numerous letters to and from various MacKethan family members discussing family matters, sickness, and social affairs in Fayetteville. Edwin R. MacKethan, a student at the University of North Carolina, received several letters from his family in Fayetteville.
1890s: Numerous letters between MacKethan family members about the latest news, legal matters, and financial matters, with some mention of race relations, politics, and the Spanish American War. Alfred A. MacKethan corresponded often with his mother and other family members about life at the Naval Academy and about life aboard ship. In the latter part of the decade, David Gillespie MacKethan corresponded with family members from Davidson College. There is also a great deal of correspondence connected with Edwin R. MacKethan's legal practice in Fayetteville.
1900-1910: Edwin R. MacKethan, who was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives as a Democrat and white supremacist in 1900, received letters from his constituents in Cumberland County and from Democratic party leaders across the state. He also received several bulletins marked "confidential" from the National Association of Democratic Clubs, an association of supporters of William Jennings Bryan. Much of the political correspondence concerned the Dispensary Bill (alcohol control) and the disfranchisement of blacks.
There is considerable correspondence between Navy Lieutenant Alfred A. MacKethan and his mother and his brother Edwin R. MacKethan. In 1900, Alfred was in charge of the United States Hydrographic Office in Savannah, Ga. From there he was ordered to Manila, Phillipine Islands, and then to Japan and other Asian countries. In 1902, Alfred resigned from the Navy and went into the construction business in Jacksonville, Fla., where he continued his correspondence with his family in Fayetteville.
There is much business correspondence relating to Edwin R. MacKethan's law practice in Fayetteville and correspondence among MacKethan family members and relatives in North Carolina. There are a few letters from Dr. David MacKethan of Tampa, Fla., to his brother, Alfred A. MacKethan, in Jacksonville and from John Alexander MacKethan, a student at the University of the South, to his mother.
In a letter to Governor Charles B. Aycock, 28 May 1901, Edwin R. MacKethan urged that the death sentence given a black man for raping a white woman be commuted to life imprisonment. There are two letters in 1909 to Mary Baker Eddy (apparently never mailed) from a devotee. There is a letter to Lieutenant Alfred A. MacKethan from Adelaide Worth Bagley (a daughter of Jonathan Worth, governor of North Carolina, 1865-1867), 3 June 1900, about the memorial to her son, Worth Bagley, the first American serviceman to die in the Spanish American War.
1910-1919: Most of the correspondence up to 1916 relates to Edwin R. MacKethan's legal practice. The great majority of the materials after 1916 are letters from Alfred A. MacKethan to his mother from the United States Naval Academy, where he was a teacher. Apparently MacKethan returned to the Navy because of the need for experienced officers in World War I. There are also a few letters between other family members.
On 22 April 1916, there is a notice (never mailed) from Edwin R. MacKethan to the State Board of Elections of his intention to run for governor of North Carolina.
1920s: Edwin R. MacKethan was elected as a Democrat to the North Carolina State Senate in 1925 and in 1929, so there is considerable correspondence about political matters between 1924 and 1929. Included is a letter, 7 October 1924, from the chair of the Democratic Party about the agenda for the next election. There is also a letter, 31 January 1929, to Walter Clark on political matters. Two letters, 10 February 1925 and 16 March 1929, concern the funding of institutions of higher education for blacks in North Carolina. Correspondence pertaining to MacKethan's law practice continues through the decade.
Between 1925 and 1929, letters passed between Edwin R. MacKethan, Jr., an undergraduate and law student at the University of North Carolina, and his parents. Edwin, Jr., also corresponded with girlfriends at Peace College in Raleigh and at the North Carolina College for Women in Greensboro.
In the fall of 1929, Edwin R. MacKethan, Jr., moved to New York City, and, with the endorsement of Governor Angus W. McLean (letter of 2 September 1929), got a job with an investment banking firm. On 24, 27, and 30 September, he wrote letters to his parents describing the stock market crash. In September 1929, Crawford B. MacKethan entered the University of North Carolina and began corresponding with his parents about college life. Lulie Biggs MacKethan was a high ranking official in the North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy as evidenced by a letter of 20 August 1925.
1930s: There are several letters from Crawford at the University of North Carolina and from Edwin, Jr., in New York City to their parents. In letters, 23 April and 24 June 1930, Edwin, Jr., described two visits to him by Governor McLean in New York City. At the second visit, the Governor met with Edwin and several other young North Carolina men then working in New York City and gave them advice on how best to get ahead in the business world. The Governor also offered comments on the depression. Edwin, Jr., in a letter dated 14 May 1934, described to his mother a "Garden Party" he attended at the White House that was hosted by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Edwin, Jr.'s sister, Elizabeth Cooper MacKethan, wrote a lengthy letter in 1934 to her mother describing her life at Peace College in Raleigh.
Letters, March-October 1932, detail Edwin R. MacKethan, Sr.'s illness and convalescence at a hospital in New Jersey. His illness continued, and, by 1939, he was hospitalized and near death in a Veteran's Hospital in Augusta, Ga.
1940s-1970s: There are several letters relating to genealogical matters. Edwin R. MacKethan, Jr., who was a vice president of a bank in Norfolk, Va., corresponded with his mother, who was appointed by Governor Dan K. Moore as a director of the Confederate Women's Home in Fayetteville in September 1965. There is also correspondence concerning Crawford B. MacKethan, who was in the real estate business in Fayetteville in the 1960s.
Included are materials relating to the Clarendon Bridge Company, the Fayetteville and Northern Plank Road, and the Dobbin Horse Company.
Printed material is divided into political and non-political items. Political material pertains to prohibition, imperialism, trusts, black colleges, the white supremacy campaign of 1900-1901 in North Carolina, and other matters.
Non-political printed material is mainly commercial and business advertisements, addresses, and programs of religious and fraternal organizations. Included is "A Big Day at the Fair," a 1900 address by James B. Dudley, president of the "Agricultural and Technical College for the Colored Race" in Greensboro, N.C.
Genealogical material, North Carolina legislative material, naval and military material, newspaper clippings, essays and poems, college-related material, maps, and miscellaneous material.
Genealogical material contains information on the Biggs (of Kentucky), Taylor (of Granville County), McAlester, McNeill, and McKethan (of Cumberland County), Robeson, Tunstall, Lane, and Hill (of Virginia) families. Included is a biographical essay about "Captain Edwin R. MacKethan" of Fayetteville. More genealogical material was added in September 2003 (Acc. 99654). The added material includes a booklet, "Some Bible and Cemetery Records of the MacKethan Robeson Family," compiled by Edwin R. MacKethan III, July 2003, and other genealogical papers, chiefly photocopies of items from public records compiled by Edwin R. MacKethan (1869-1951).
Legislative material contains speeches, proposed legislation, and notes by Edwin R. MacKethan, mainly on White Supremacy and Prohibition.
Naval material relates to Lieutenant Alfred A. MacKethan and includes his report cards while a cadet at the United States Naval Academy; some of his naval medical reports; invitations to receptions and balls; and a number of his naval orders (bound), 1893-1899. An order dated 19 June 1897 was signed by T. Roosevelt, acting secretary of the Navy.
Military material pertains mostly to the annual meetings of members of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Company, organized in 1793 and active in the Confederate Army. Other material relates to the Granville Gray and the Lulie Biggs McKethan chapters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Essays and poems include essays on legal subjects; the Bartram House, an estate on the upper Cape Fear River; women`s suffrage; the Battle of Elizabethtown; historian and Supreme Court Justice Walter Clark; and a near hanging in Savannah, Ga., in 1924. There are also poems to the Confederate dead and others about the Mississippi River.
College-related material consists mostly of grade reports on Edwin R. MacKethan while a student at the University of North Carolina, 1887-1890. Maps include a city map of Raleigh (1891); a guide map (color) of Washington, D.C. (1904); a map of the Pan American Exposition, Buffalo, N.Y. (1900); a street map of Fayetteville, N.C. (1900); and two street maps of the District of Columbia (1908 and 1917). Real estate plats are of property in Prince Georges County, Md.; Washington, D.C.; and Fayetteville, N.C. Miscellaneous material includes wedding and party invitations, receipts, business cards, and records pertaining to the Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville.
Account books, ledgers, and notebooks pertaining mostly to business enterprises of Edwin R. MacKethan in Cumberland County, N.C., in the 19th century. Volume 6 contains lists of "polls due" in three Cumberland County townships in 1901-1902.
Volume 9 contains diary entries, business notes, and genealogical information, 1898-1901, but not always in chronological order.
Volume 10 was the property at different times of at least two people: H. W. Lilly and E. W. Willking. The volume was first a record book of a merchant in Fayetteville wherein the names of North Carolina merchants were listed by county. Records were also kept on census information; the Bank of Fayetteville, 1830; contributions from people in North Carolina and other states to aid the victims of an 1831 fire in Fayetteville; the incorporation of railroad corporations in 1833-1834; freight rates; a list of toll rates for commodities on the Cape Fear River, 1816-1855; imports and exports from Fayetteville, 1828-1838; and other subjects. Most of the pages in Volume 10 include mounted newspaper clippings. The clippings, with few exceptions, date from the 1850s through the 1870s. A clipping from 1842 lists persons by county (incomplete) who filed for bankruptcy in the federal district courts. There are four pages of business receipts made out to Willking and Co. in 1826, and a statement, 3 April 1865, pertaining to a slave signed by DeWitt Clinton.
Volume 11 is a privately printed pamphlet by Jessie A. Butler, entitled "Anglo-Saxon Israel," which argues that Anglo-Saxons are the direct descendants of the ten last tribes of Israel.
Mostly black-and-white pictures of Edwin R. MacKethan, his siblings, and his children. There are also pictures of street scenes and churches in or near Fayetteville, N.C., and pictures of unidentified college students at the University of North Carolina.
The Addition of July 2016 consists of two bound volumes of genealogical material about the MacKethan family prepared by Edwin R. MacKethan, III.
Items separated include pictures (P-4298/1-46; OP-P-4298/47-49) and oversize papers (OP-4298--two folders).Back to Top
Finding aid updated in July 2016 by Jodi Berkowitz because of addition.Back to Top