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|Size||3.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1650 items)|
|Abstract||George Edwin Butler was co-superintendent of public instruction of Sampson County, N.C., and lawyer of Clinton, N.C.; trustee of the University of North Carolina; director of the Bank of Clinton; member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, 1905; member of the Republican State Executive Committee; delegate to several Republican national conventions; and unsuccessful candidate for several offices, including state attorney general, U.S. Senator, Superior Court judge, and Supreme Court Judge. The collection includes correspondence, notes, printed material, and other items of Geo. E. Butler, relating primarily to his political career, including his campaign for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate in 1930 and his attempts to secure appointment as judge of the U.S. Court of Claims in 1929, the Federal Power Commission in 1930, clerk of federal court in 1932, and federal receiver for failed banks in 1932. Other files relate to the North Carolina Bar Association, 1925-1926; public education in North Carolina, 1922; and criminal prosecution resulting from the failure of the Bank of Clinton, 1929-1932. A series of general political material, 1924-1939, reflects Butler's involvement in Republican Party organization and politics as well as his concern with federal and national political activities. The collection contains material relating to Charles A. Jonas, Isaac M. Meekins, Marion Butler, H. Brownlow Jackson, W. Giles Mebane, and Jake F. Newell, among others.|
|Creator||Butler, Geo. E. (George Edwin), 1868-1941.|
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.
George Edwin Butler was born on 5 June 1868 in Salemburg (Sampson County), NC . His parents, Wiley Butler and Romelia Ferrill, had six children (4 boys and 2 girls). One of George's brothers, Marion, was the United States Senator from North Carolina from 1895 to 1901 and national Chairman of the Populist Party.
George Butler attended Salem High School and went on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1887 to 1889. He then returned to Sampson County and was the principal of Salem High School for three years. In 1893 he again went to Chapel Hill, this time to study law. After the completion of these studies, Butler returned home and became the co-superintendent of public instruction for Sampson County. He also set up a law practice in Clinton, North Carolina.
Butler ran successfully for a seat in the North Carolina State Senate in 1897, but, with the coming of the Spanish-American War in 1898, his political life was set aside as he volunteered for duty in Cuba and was commissioned a major in the First North Carolina Regiment. During his service in Cuba, Butler, in addition to his normal duties, served as a Summary Court Martial Officer and was president of the General Court Martial Board of the Seventh U. S. Army Corps. He was addressed as "Major" for the rest of his life.
Following the war, Butler returned to his law practice in Clinton and married Eva B. Lee on 8 January 1902. The couple had three sons (Algernon, Edwin, and Mossette) and one daughter (Frances). During this period, Butler, in addition to practicing law, became a trustee of the University of North Carolina and a director of the Bank of Clinton. He also continued his interest in politics and was elected to the North Carolina State House of Representatives in 1905 as a Republican.
Following his term in the House, Butler resumed his law practice but continued an active involvement in Republican politics both as a candidate for various offices and as a state Republican Party executive. The offices Butler sought during the following years included state Attorney General, Superior Court Judge, and Supreme Court Judge in 1924. He also ran for the Republican nomination to the U. S. Senate in 1930 and was the Republican candidate for Congress from the Third District on two occasions. He was unsuccessful in all of these races. Butler continued to be an active member of the Republican State Executive Committee and served as a delegate to several Republican National Conventions.
In addition to his political interests, George Butler was involved in many aspects of civic life. He was twice president of the Sampson County Agricultural Society and was the first president of the Sampson County Chamber of Commerce. He also served as commander of the North Carolina Home Guard during World War I, and was a member of the Ports and Terminals Commission under Governor Morrison from 1921 to 1925. He was head of the state organization of the Rotary Club and was chairman of the Executive Committee of the North Carolina State Bar Association. For many years, Butler held the position of vestryman at St. Pauls Episcopal Church in Clinton.
Butler had a special interest in public education in North Carolina. He advocated local taxation for public schools, consolidated school districts, raising standards for county superintendents, and equal educational opportunity for all children of the state.
Butler died in Clinton on 1 May 1941. At the time of his death he was a member of the Committee to Revise the State Constitution.
Sources:These papers; Biographical Clippings File, North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill.Back to Top
George E. Butler's political and legal activities are documented in a series of subject files, a general political file, and a clippings file. The most extensive subject file concerns Butler's campaign for the Rupublican nomination to the United States Senate in 1930. Other files relate to the North Carolina Bar Association, 1925-1926; public education in North Carolina, 1922; criminal prosecution resulting from the failure of the Bank of Clinton, 1929-1932; and attempts by Butler to secure appointment as judge of the United States Court of Claims, 1929, the Federal Power Commission, 1930, clerk of federal court, 1932, and federal receiver for failed banks, 1932. A series of general political material, 1924-1939, reflects Butler's involvement in Republican Party organization and politics as well as his concern with state and national political issues. Items in the clipping file concern Butler's political activities, 1929-1936.
Most prominent North Carolina Republicans as well as a number of national leaders of the 1920s and 1930s are represented by correspondence in the subject or general political files. These include Charles A. Jonas, Isaac M. Meekins, Marion Butler, H. Brownlow Jackson, W. Giles Mebane, and Jake F. Newell.
Files containing the papers of George Butler came to the Southern Historical Collection with those of his son and law partner, Algernon Lee Butler. The papers have been kept, in so far as possible, in the order in which they were received. In some cases this results in a certain amount of overlapping: for instance, for material relating to Butler's campaign for nomination to the United States Senate it is necessary to look at both the Senate Campaign series and the General Political series. Within each series the papers have been reorganized to make them easily accessible.Back to Top
Arrangement: Outgoing - Chronological.
Arrangement: Incoming - Alphabetical by correspondent.
Correspondence, printed material, and notes covering a broad range of Butler's political concerns. Included are materials on a number of elections; state Republican Party organization; and state and national political issues.
Arrangement: Outgoing - Chronological.
Arrangement: Incoming - Alphabetical by correspondent.
Correspondence, printed material and notes relating to Butler's attempt to win the nomination of the Republican Party to be United States senator from North Carolina in 1930.
Correspondence regarding George Butler's attempt to secure a Court of Claims judgeship, 1929; his attempt to gain appointment first as general council and later as commissioner of the Federal Power Commission, 1930; his application to be made a United States government receiver for failed banks, 1932; and his possible appointment to the position of clerk of the Federal Court, 1932.
Correspondence, legal papers, and notes relating to criminal and civil charges brought against George Butler and others as a result of the failure of the Bank of Clinton.
Correspondence concerning public education in North Carolina; inquiries from various counties concerning their tax rates; draft of a bill proposing an equal allotment of public school funds and a uniform rate of taxation for the public schools; correspondence relating to procedures and fees in the United States District Court in Wilmington, North Carolina; and correspondence relating to the annual meeting of the North Carolina Bar Association, 1926.
Newspaper clippings concerning George Butler and the Senate race of 1930; the Court of Claims judgeship in 1929; and an account of a speech Butler made in 1936 attacking FDR and the New Deal.
Processed by: Harry McKown, Laura O'Keefe, John White, Barbara Logsdon, March 1985
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008Back to Top