Learn about upcoming major facilities work in Wilson Library.

Collection Number: 00570

Collection Title: Lee S. Overman Papers, 1918-1931.

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.


This collection was processed with support, in part, from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 13.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 14000 items)
Abstract Lee Slater Overman, lawyer, legislator, and U.S. senator, was born in Salisbury, N.C., where he opened a law office and served as president of the Salisbury Savings Bank. In 1878, he married Mary Paxton Merrimon, and they had three daughtrs. In 1882, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and was reelected four times, serving as speaker of the House for the 1893 session. In 1914, Overman became the first U.S. senator from North Carolina to be elected by popular vote, having been previously appointed to the seat by the state legislature in 1902 and again in 1909. Despite his political conservatism, Overman supported most of the Federal Reserve Act, the income tax law, and federal assistance to farmers. He wrote and sponsored the Overman Act of 1918, which gave the president extraordinary powers to coordinate government agencies in wartime. However, Overman stood firm in his conservatism as a leader of southern resistance to woman suffrage. Overman served almost 28 years on Capitol Hill. Correspondence of Overman with his constituents and with North Carolina and national leaders. Letters reflect a broad spectrum of the interests and opinions of Overman's constituents in regard to the federal government and relate to many of the major issues of the 1920s, including pensions for World War I veterans, the proposed sale of the Muscle Shoals facility, farm legislation, prohibition, foreign relations, race relations, immigration restrictions, and the bitter fight among North Carolina Democrats during the 1928 presidential campaign. The collection covers only the latter part of Overman's long political career, and there is a gap in the papers from November 1921 to May 1924. For earlier material see the papers of Edwin Clarke Gregory, Overman's son-in-law, at Duke University Library.
Creator Overman, Lee S. (Lee Slater), 1854-1930.
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

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 Lee S. Overman Papers #570, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. Edwin C. Gregory of Salisbury, N.C., before 1940, and from Davis Library in September 1996 (Acc. 96128).
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.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Processing Information

Processed by: Lisa C. Tolbert, May 1994

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was processed with support, in part, from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

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.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Related Collections

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Lee Slater Overman (1854-1930), lawyer, legislator, and U.S. senator, was born in Salisbury, N.C., the son of William H. and Mary E. Slater Overman. Overman graduated from Trinity College in 1874. For the next two years he taught at one of the state's first public schools in Winston, and in 1876, Trinity awarded him a master of arts degree. A lifelong Methodist and friend of public education, Overman served on the board of trustees of Duke University and The University of North Carolina. Both schools awarded him an honorary LL.D. degree, as did Davidson College.

Overman worked in the 1876 gubernatorial campaign of Zebulon B. Vance and subsequently became Governor Vance's private secretary. During these years, Overman read law and was admitted to the North Carolina bar in 1878. That same year he married Mary Paxton Merrimon, the daughter of Augustus Summerfield Merrimon, a U.S. senator and chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. They eventually had three daughters: Margaret Gregory, Kathryn Hambley, and Grace Snow. Another daughter and a son died in infancy.

In 1880, Overman opened his own law office in Salisbury and became president of the Salisbury Savings Bank. In 1882, he was elected to the state House of Representatives, and was reelected four times, serving as speaker of the House for the 1893 session. In 1914, Overman became the first U.S. senator from North Carolina to be elected by popular vote, having been previously appointed to the seat by the state legislature in 1902 and again in 1909.

Despite his political conservatism, Overman supported most of the measures of the Wilson administration, including the Federal Reserve Act, the income tax law, and federal assistance to farmers. He wrote and sponsored the Overman Act of 1918, which gave the president extraordinary powers to coordinate government agencies in wartime. The senator also worked for the creation of a Department of Labor and for passage of the Clayton Anti-Trust Act. Through Josephus Daniels, President Wilson persuaded Overman to cast the deciding vote for the confirmation of Louis D. Brandeis for the U.S. Supreme Court. However, Overman stood firm in his conservatism as a leader of southern resistance to woman suffrage.

Overman served almost twenty-eight years on Capitol Hill. On 12 December 1930, he died in his Washington apartment at the Shoreham Hotel after suffering a stomach hemorrhage. According to his request, the funeral service was conducted in the chamber of the U.S. Senate. Overman was buried in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Salisbury. For additional information see The Dictionary of North Carolina Biography.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Correspondence of Senator Overman with his constituents and with North Carolina and national leaders. Letters reflect a broad spectrum of the interests and opinions of Overman's constituents in regard to the federal government and relate to many of the major issues of the 1920s, including pensions for World War I veterans, the proposed sale of the Muscle Shoals facility, farm legislation, prohibition, foreign relations, race relations, immigration restrictions, and the bitter fight among North Carolina Democrats over the presidential election of 1928 (Overman supported Alfred E. Smith, in opposition to the senior senator from North Carolina, Furnifold M. Simmons; North Carolina's electoral votes went to Herbert Hoover, the Republican candidate). In addition to national issues that preoccupied constituents of the 1920s, letters document numerous local concerns of small town and rural North Carolinians of the period.

The collection covers only the latter part of Overman's long political career, and there is a gap in the papers, from November 1921 to May 1924. For earlier material see the papers of Edwin Clarke Gregory, Overman's son-in-law, at Duke University Library. The correspondence is arranged chronologically, with a few folders of loose enclosures and other materials filed at the end of the collection.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Lee S. Overman Papers, 1918-1931.

Folder 1

1918-1919

Folder 2

1920 January-May

Folder 3

1920 June-October

Folder 4

1920 1-23 November

Folder 5

1920 24-30 November

Folder 6

1920 1 December

Folder 7

1920 2 December

Folder 8

1920 3 December

Folder 9

1920 4-5 December

Folder 10

1920 6 December

Folder 11

1920 7 December

Folder 12

1920 8 December

Folder 13

1920 9 December

Folder 14

1920 10 December

Folder 15

1920 11-12 December

Folder 16

1920 13 December

Folder 17

1920 14 December

Folder 18

1920 15 December

Folder 19

1920 16 December

Folder 20

1920 17 December

Folder 21

1920 18-19 December

Folder 22

1920 20 December

Folder 23

1920 21-22 December

Folder 24

1920 23-25 December

Folder 25

1920 27-30 December

Folder 26

1920 31 December 1920

Folder 27

1921 1-3 January

Folder 28

1921 4 January

Folder 29

1921 5 January

Folder 30

1921 6-7 January

Folder 31

1921 8-9 January

Folder 32

1921 10 January

Folder 33

1921 11 January

Folder 34

1921 12 January

Folder 35

1921 13 January

Folder 36

1921 14 January

Folder 37

1921 15 January

Folder 38

1921 16-17 January

Folder 39

1921 18 January

Folder 40

1921 19 January

Folder 41

1921 20 January

Folder 42

1921 21 January

Folder 43

1921 22-23 January

Folder 44

1921 24 January

Folder 45

1921 25 January

Folder 46

1921 26 January

Folder 47

1921 27 January

Folder 48

1921 28 January

Folder 49

1921 29 January

Folder 50

1921 30-31 January

Folder 51

1921 1 February

Folder 52

1921 2 February

Folder 53-55

Folder 53

Folder 54

Folder 55

1921 3 February

Folder 56

1921 4-5 February

Folder 57

1921 6-7 February

Folder 58

1921 8 February

Folder 59

1921 9 February

Folder 60

1921 10 February

Folder 61

1921 11 February

Folder 62

1921 12 February

Folder 63

1921 13-15 February

Folder 64

1921 16-17 February

Folder 65

1921 18-19 February

Folder 66

1921 20-22 February

Folder 67

1921 23-24 February

Folder 68

1921 25 February

Folder 69

1921 26 February

Folder 70

1921 28 February

Folder 71

1921 1-2 March

Folder 72

1921 3-4 March

Folder 73

1921 5-6 March

Folder 74

1921 7-8 March

Folder 75

1921 9-10 March

Folder 76

1921 11 March

Folder 77

1921 12 March

Folder 78

1921 14 March

Folder 79

1921 15 March

Folder 80

1921 16-17 March

Folder 81

1921 18 March

Folder 82

1921 19-21 March

Folder 83

1921 22-23 March

Folder 84

1921 24-25 March

Folder 85

1921 26-27 March

Folder 86

1921 28-29 March

Folder 87

1921 30-31 March

Folder 88

1921 1-4 April

Folder 89

1921 5-7 April

Folder 90

1921 8-10 April

Folder 91

1921 11 April

Folder 92

1921 12 April

Folder 93

1921 13 April

Folder 94

1921 14 April

Folder 95

1921 15 April

Folder 96

1921 16 April

Folder 97

1921 17-18 April

Folder 98

1921 19 April

Folder 99

1921 20-21 April

Folder 100

1921 22 April

Folder 101

1921 23-24 April

Folder 102

1921 25 April

Folder 103

1921 26 April

Folder 104

1921 27-28 April

Folder 105

1921 29-30 April

Folder 106

1921 1-2 May

Folder 107

1921 3-4 May

Folder 108

1921 5 May

Folder 109

1921 6 May

Folder 110

1921 7 May

Folder 111

1921 8-9 May

Folder 112

1921 10 May

Folder 113

1921 11-12 May

Folder 114

1921 13 May

Folder 115

1921 14 May

Folder 116

1921 15-16 May

Folder 117

1921 17 May

Folder 118

1921 18-19 May

Folder 119

1921 20 May

Folder 120

1921 21-23 May

Folder 121

1921 24 May

Folder 122

1921 25 May

Folder 123

1921 26-27 May

Folder 124

1921 28-29 May

Folder 125

1921 30-31 May

Folder 126

1921 1 June

Folder 127

1921 2 June

Folder 128

1921 3-4 June

Folder 129

1921 5-6 June

Folder 130

1921 7 June

Folder 131

1921 8 June

Folder 132

1921 9 June

Folder 133

1921 10 June

Folder 134

1921 11 June

Folder 135

1921 12-13 June

Folder 136

1921 14 June

Folder 137

1921 15 June

Folder 138

1921 16 June

Folder 139

1921 17-18 June

Folder 140

1921 19-20 June

Folder 141

1921 21 June

Folder 142

1921 22 June

Folder 143

1921 23-24 June

Folder 144

1921 25-26 June

Folder 145

1921 27-28 June

Folder 146

1921 29 June

Folder 147

1921 30 June

Folder 148

1921 1 July

Folder 149

1921 2-5 July

Folder 150

1921 6-7 July

Folder 151

1921 8 July

Folder 152

1921 9-11 July

Folder 153

1921 12-13 July

Folder 154

1921 14 July

Folder 155

1921 15-16 July

Folder 156

1921 17-18 July

Folder 157

1921 19-20 July

Folder 158

1921 21 July

Folder 159

1921 22-23 July

Folder 160

1921 24-26 July

Folder 161

1921 27-28 July

Folder 162

1921 29 July

Folder 163

1921 30-31 July

Folder 164

1921 1 August

Folder 165

1921 2-3 August

Folder 166

1921 4-5 August

Folder 167

1921 6-8 August

Folder 168

1921 9-11 August

Folder 169

1921 12 August

Folder 170

1921 13-15 August

Folder 171

1921 16 August

Folder 172

1921 17 August

Folder 173

1921 18 August

Folder 174

1921 19-20 August

Folder 175

1921 21-23 August

Folder 176

1921 24-25 August

Folder 177

1921 26-27 August

Folder 178

1921 28-31 August

Folder 179

1921 1-4 September

Folder 180

1921 5-6 September

Folder 181

1921 7-8 September

Folder 182

1921 9-12 September

Folder 183

1921 13-14 September

Folder 184

1921 15-16 September

Folder 185

1921 17-19 September

Folder 186

1921 20-21 September

Folder 187

1921 22-23 September

Folder 188

1921 24-25 September

Folder 189

1921 26-27 September

Folder 190

1921 28-29 September

Folder 191

1921 30 September

Folder 192

1921 1-2 October

Folder 193

1921 3-4 October

Folder 194

1921 5-6 October

Folder 195

1921 7 October

Folder 196

1921 8 October

Folder 197

1921 9-10 October

Folder 198

1921 11-12 October

Folder 199

1921 13-14 October

Folder 200

1921 15-16 October

Folder 201

1921 17 October

Folder 202

1921 18 October

Folder 203

1921 19-20 October

Folder 204

1921 21-22 October

Folder 205

1921 23-26 October

Folder 206

1921 27-28 October

Folder 207

1921 29-31 October, and November

Folder 208

1924 May-June

Folder 209

1924 July

Folder 210

1924 August

Folder 211

1924 September

Folder 212

1924 October

Folder 213

1924 November

Folder 214

1924 December

Folder 215

1925 March

Folder 216

1925 1-13 April

Folder 217

1925 14-30 April

Folder 218

1925 1-18 May

Folder 219

1925 19-30 May

Folder 220

1925 1-16 June

Folder 221

1925 17-30 June

Folder 222

1925 1-21 July

Folder 223

1925 22-31 July

Folder 224

1925 1-19 August

Folder 225

1925 20-31 August

Folder 226

1925 2-17 September

Folder 227

1925 18-30 September

Folder 228

1925 1-15 October

Folder 229

1925 16-31 October

Folder 230

1925 2-16 November

Folder 231

1925 17-30 November

Folder 232

1925 December

Folder 233

1926 June-24 July

Folder 234

1926 25-31 July

Folder 235

1926 2-15 August

Folder 236

1926 16-31 August

Folder 237

1926 1-17 September

Folder 238

1926 18-30 September

Folder 239

1926 1-14 October

Folder 240

1926 15-30 October

Folder 241

1926 1-4 November

Folder 242

1926 5-18 November

Folder 243

1927 March

Folder 244

1927 1-11 April

Folder 245

1927 12-19 April

Folder 246

1927 20-30 April

Folder 247

1927 2-21 May

Folder 248

1927 22-31 May

Folder 249

1927 1-15 June

Folder 250

1927 16-30 June

Folder 251

1927 1-11 July

Folder 252

1927 12-20 July

Folder 253

1927 21-30 July

Folder 254

1927 1-11 August

Folder 255

1927 12-24 August

Folder 256

1927 25-31 August

Folder 257

1927 1-13 September

Folder 258

1927 14-30 September

Folder 259

1927 1-7 October

Folder 260

1927 8-18 October

Folder 261

1927 19-24 October

Folder 262

1927 25-31 October

Folder 263

1927 1-7 November

Folder 264

1927 8 November

Folder 265

1927 9-14 November

Folder 266

1927 15-30 November

Folder 267

1927 December

Folder 268

1928 January-May

Folder 269

1928 1-15 June

Folder 270

1928 16-30 June

Folder 271

1928 2-12 July

Folder 272

1928 13-18 July

Folder 273

1928 19-31 July

Folder 274

1928 1-9 August

Folder 275

1928 10-14 August

Folder 276

1928 15-27 August

Folder 277

1928 28-31 August

Folder 278

1928 1-11 September

Folder 279

1928 12-18 September

Folder 280

1928 19-24 September

Folder 281

1928 25-29 September

Folder 282

1928 1-8 October

Folder 283

1928 9-16 October

Folder 284

1928 17-31 October

Folder 285

1928 1-7 November

Folder 286

1928 8-13 November

Folder 287

1928 14-30 November

Folder 288

1928 December 1928

Folder 289

1929 January-April

Folder 290

1929 May-June

Folder 291

1929 1-15 July

Folder 292

1929 16-31 July

Folder 293

1929 1-8 August

Folder 294

1929 9-19 August

Folder 295

1929 20-31 August

Folder 296

1929 September

Folder 297

1929 October

Folder 298

1929 November

Folder 299

1929 2-4 December

Folder 300

1929 5-6 December

Folder 301

1929 7-9 December

Folder 302

1929 10-12 December

Folder 303

1929 13-18 December

Folder 304

1929 19-26 December

Folder 305

1929 27-31 December

Folder 306

1930 1-6 January

Folder 307

1930 7-9 January

Folder 308

1930 10-13 January

Folder 309

1930 14-15 January

Folder 310

1930 16-17 January

Folder 311

1930 18-20 January

Folder 312

1930 21-22 January

Folder 313

1930 23-24 January

Folder 314

1930 25-27 January

Folder 315

1930 28 January

Folder 316

1930 29-31 January

Folder 317

1930 1-3 February

Folder 318

1930 4-5 February

Folder 319

1930 6-7 February

Folder 320

1930 8-10 February

Folder 321

1930 11-12 February

Folder 322

1930 13 February

Folder 323

1930 14-17 February

Folder 324

1930 18-20 February

Folder 325

1930 21-23 February

Folder 326

1930 24-26 February

Folder 327

1930 27-28 February

Folder 328

1930 1-2 March

Folder 329

1930 3-4 March

Folder 330

1930 5-7 March

Folder 331

1930 8-11 March

Folder 332

1930 12-13 March

Folder 333

1930 14-17 March

Folder 334

1930 18-20 March

Folder 335

1930 21-23 March

Folder 336

1930 24-26 March

Folder 337

1930 27-28 March

Folder 338

1930 29-31 March

Folder 339

1930 1-4 April

Folder 340

1930 5-8 April

Folder 341

1930 9-13 April

Folder 342

1930 14-17 April

Folder 343

1930 18-22 April

Folder 344

1930 23-25 April

Folder 345

1930 26 April

Folder 346

1930 27-30 April

Folder 347

1930 1-5 May

Folder 348

1930 6-8 May

Folder 349

1930 9-10 May

Folder 350

1930 12 May

Folder 351

1930 13-15 May

Folder 352

1930 16-20 May

Folder 353

1930 21-23 May

Folder 354

1930 24-27 May

Folder 355

1930 28-31 May

Folder 356

1930 2-6 June

Folder 357

1930 7-11 June

Folder 358

1930 12-13 June

Folder 359

1930 14-16 June

Folder 360

1930 17-18 June

Folder 361

1930 19-20 June

Folder 362

1930 21-24 June

Folder 363

1930 25-26 June

Folder 364

1930 27-30 June

Folder 365

1930 1-4 July

Folder 366

1930 5-7 July

Folder 367

1930 8-10 July

Folder 368

1930 11-13 July

Folder 369

1930 14-16 July

Folder 370

1930 17-19 July

Folder 371

1930 20-22 July

Folder 372

1930 23-28 July

Folder 373

1930 29-31 July

Folder 374

1930 1-4 August

Folder 375

1930 5-8 August

Folder 376

1930 9-14 August

Folder 377

1930 15-18 August

Folder 378

1930 20-25 August

Folder 379

1930 26-30 August

Folder 380

1930 1-5 September

Folder 381

1930 6-12 September

Folder 382

1930 13-18 September

Folder 383

1930 19-22 September

Folder 384

1930 23-25 September

Folder 385

1930 26-30 September

Folder 386

1930 1-5 October

Folder 387

1930 6-9 October

Folder 388

1930 10-16 October

Folder 389

1930 17-24 October

Folder 390

1930 25-31 October

Folder 391

1930 1-8 November

Folder 392

1930 9-15 November

Folder 393

1930 16-20 November

Folder 394

1930 21-29 November

Folder 395

1930 1-10 December

Folder 396

1931 and undated

Folder 397

Loose enclosures, clippings

Folder 398

Loose enclosures, printed materials

Folder 399

Loose enclosures, miscellaneous

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of September 1996 (Acc. 96128), 1929.

1 item.

Letters of Lee S. Overman, 1929, a copy of the state of New York's ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and an article about a letter purported to have been written by Cotton Mather. These items were bound into a pamphlet. They were in the circulating collection of the University of North Carolina Library until 1996.

Folder 400

Addition of September 1996

Back to Top