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Collection Number: 05634-z

Collection Title: Ellen Whitehurst Papers, circa 1930 and undated

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.


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Size 4 items
Abstract Ellen Cook Whitehurst was born in 1856 in Elizabeth City, N.C., to Nancy Cook, an enslaved woman, and an unknown father. The collection includes a letter, circa 1930, from Ellen Cook Whitehurst of New York to William White Griffin of Kinston, N.C., a cousin through their common Cook family line. The letter is a twenty-page manuscript written as reminiscences of Whitehurst's life and family history. Also included are several background and contextual items: a verbatim transcription of the letter, a key to the individuals mentioned in the letter, and a copy of Ellen Whitehurst's obituary.
Creator Whitehurst, Ellen, 1856-1944.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Ellen Whitehurst Papers #5634-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Ann Brennan and Camilla Herlevich in June 2015 (Acc. 102255).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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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.

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Ellen Cook Whitehurst was born in 1856 in Elizabeth City, N.C., to Nancy Cook, an enslaved woman, and an unknown father, whom Whitehurst knew to be white. Her grandfather, Nancy Cook’s father, was Thomas Murphy Cook, also a white man. Whitehurst explained in her reminiscences that she was eventually "bound" to the Cook family after the Civil War and raised by Thomas Murphy Cook's mother, Emily Murphy Cook (her white great-grandmother), alongside members of the Cook family.

Ellen Cook married Walter Whitehurst (b. 1855). The couple had seven children: Catherine (b. 1886), Olivia (1888-1950), Mary (b. 1891), Alice (b. 1893), Edward (1896-1938), Alvin (b. 1898), and Mattie (b. 1902). The family later migrated to New York City and settled in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood. Ellen Cook Whitehurst died in New York in 1944.

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The collection includes a letter, circa 1930, from Ellen Cook Whitehurst of New York to William White Griffin of Kinston, N.C., a cousin through their common Cook family line. The letter is a twenty-page manuscript written as reminiscences of Whitehurst's life and family history. Also included are several background and contextual items: a verbatim transcription of the letter, a key to the individuals mentioned in the letter, and a copy of Ellen Whitehurst's obituary.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Ellen Whitehurst Papers, circa 1930 and undated

4 items.

The collection includes a letter, circa 1930, from Ellen Cook Whitehurst of New York to William White Griffin of Kinston, N.C., a cousin through their common Cook family line. The letter is a twenty-page manuscript written as reminiscences of Whitehurst's life and family history. Also included are several background and contextual items: a verbatim transcription of the letter, a key to the individuals mentioned in the letter, and a copy of Ellen Whitehurst's obituary.

Folder 1

Letter, circa 1930 #05634-z, Series: "Ellen Whitehurst Papers, circa 1930 and undated" Folder 1

Digital Folder DF-05634/1

Background documents, undated #05634-z, Series: "Ellen Whitehurst Papers, circa 1930 and undated" DF-05634/1

Background documents are born-digital and can be accessed in the Carolina Digital Repository by clicking on the folder number.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jodi Berkowitz, November 2015

Encoded by: Jodi Berkowitz, November 2015

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