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Collection Number: 00835

Collection Title: John DeBerniere Hooper Papers, 1778-1911

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 1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 800 items)
Abstract John DeBerniere Hooper was a student, tutor, and professor at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., and a teacher in schools in several other North Carolina locations, including Raleigh, Littleton, Fayetteville, and Wilson. His daughter was Frances DeBerniere Hooper Whitaker, wife of Spier Whitaker. The papers of John DeBerniere Hooper consist of correspondence with his father-in-law, William Hooper, professor at the University of North Carolina, Furman University, South Carolina College, and president of Wake Forest University, and with other Hooper, Jones, and DeBerniere family members in North Carolina and South Carolina. Topics include politics, teaching, the University of North Carolina, and family news. Early papers, 1778-1798, provide information on the Forceput Plantation, located on the Cape Fear River outside of Wilmington, N.C. There are also letters, 1829-1830, from students at a female academy in Chatham County, N.C. Civil War era materials are sparse, but there are some documents that critique Civil War politics and an 1861 letter from a slave named Jerry, who had been hired out to serve students at the University of North Carolina. Later materials relate primarily to Hooper family history compiled by Frances DeBerniere Hooper Whitaker.
Creator Hooper, John DeBerniere, 1811-1886.
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
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 John DeBerniere Hooper Papers #835, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Bessie L. Whitaker, 1943-1946. One item given by Mrs. Ralph H. Graves, January 1944.
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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Processed by: Library Staff, 1963

Encoded by: Bari Helms, March 2005

Updated by: Nancy Kaiser, March 2021

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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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Born at Smithville (now Southport), N.C., John DeBerniere Hooper was a tutor and professor at the University of North Carolina and a teacher in several North Carolina towns. He was the second son of Archibald Maclaine Hooper and Charlotte DeBerniere Hooper. Hooper's paternal ancestors were prominent citizens of North Carolina, and his mother's father, John DeBerniere, was a British army officer of Huguenot ancestry who brought his family to North Carolina.

Hooper grew up in Wilmington, N.C., with well-educated parents who managed to send their children to good schools despite the family's financial troubles. With the support of a prosperous widowed cousin, Hooper entered the University of North Carolina as a freshman in the middle of the 1827-1828 academic year. He quickly rose to the top of his class, and, in 1831, he graduated as the only member of his class to achieve the highest grades in every field of study. While excelling in the usual classical studies, Hooper also gained proficiency in French language and literature.

After graduation, Hooper remained in Chapel Hill as a tutor in languages. He remained there until 1833, when he left to take a position at the new Episcopal School for Boys in Raleigh. In July 1836, Hooper was appointed professor of modern languages at the University of North Carolina and, in 1838, was promoted to professor of Latin. In 1843, he resumed teaching French in addition to his work in Latin.

On 20 December 1837, Hooper married Mary Elizabeth Hooper, who was doubly related to him as the daughter of Professor William Hooper, his father's cousin, and of Frances Jones Hooper, his mother's cousin. The couple had four children: Helen Wills, Fanny Whitaker, Henry DeBerniere, and Julia Graves. In 1848, Hooper and his wife left Chapel Hill to join her father in farming and conducting a school for boys near Littleton in Warren County, N.C. Hooper remained there until 1860, when he joined his brother-in-law, Thomas C. Hooper, in conducting the Fayetteville Female Institute. He left the Fayetteville Female Institute to join the faculty of the Wilson Female Institute. When the University of North Carolina reopened in 1875, Hooper was appointed professor of Greek and French. He remained at the University until his death in 1886.

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The papers of professor and teacher John DeBerniere Hooper consist of correspondence with his father-in-law, William Hooper, professor at the University of North Carolina, Furman University, South Carolina College, and president of Wake Forest University, and with other Hooper, Jones, and DeBerniere family members in North Carolina and South Carolina. Topics include politics, teaching, the University of North Carolina, and family news. Early papers, 1778-1798, provide information on the Forceput Plantation, located on the Cape Fear River outside of Wilmington, N.C. There are also letters, 1829-1830, from students at a female academy in Chatham County, N.C. Civil War era materials are sparse, but there are some documents that critique Civil War politics and an 1861 slave letter from a slave named Jerry, who had been hired out to serve students at the University of North Carolina. Later materials relate primarily to Hooper family history compiled by Frances DeBerniere Hooper Whitaker.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1778-1911.

About 500 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Correspondence is composed chiefly of family letters that document teaching, politics, family activities, marriages, deaths, and other topics. Scattered throughout are letters concerning the University of North Carolina. In addition, materials about other schools with which the family was affiliated are also included: Episcopal School for Boys in Raleigh, Wake Forest College, South Carolina College, and a girl's school in Chatham County, N.C. Early papers, 1778-1798, provide information on the Forceput Plantation on the Cape Fear River outside of Wilmington. The Civil War era material is sparse, but there are some documents that critique Civil War politics. Also included is an 1861 slave letter from a slave named Jerry, who had been hired out to serve students at the University of North Carolina. The material dated 1870-1879 documents Hooper's return to Chapel Hill and includes an 1879 letter in which he compares the duties of professors in the antebellum and post-bellum periods. The later correspondence, 1900-1911, consists primarily of material relating to Hooper family history compiled by Frances DeBerniere Hooper Whitaker.

See also Series 3. Volumes.

Folder 1

1778-1798

Folder 2

1800-1809

Folder 3

1810-1819

Folder 4

1820-1829

Folder 5

1830-1831

Folder 6

1832-1833

Folder 7

1834-1835

Folder 8

1836

Folder 9

1837

Folder 10

1838-1839

Folder 11

1840-1844

Folder 12

1845-1849

Folder 13

1850-1853

Folder 14

1854-1859

Folder 15

1860-1869

Folder 16

1870-1879

Folder 17

1881-1889

Folder 18

1890-1894

Folder 19

1895-1899

Folder 20

1900-1903

Folder 21

1904

Folder 22

1905

Folder 23

1906-1911

Folder 24

Archibald Maclaine Hooper and Charlotte DeBerniere Hooper, undated

Folder 25

Mary Hooper, daughter of A. M. Hooper; Mary Elizabeth Hooper, daughter of William Hooper and wife of John DeBerniere Hooper; and Frances Jones Hooper, wife of William Hooper, undated

Folder 26

William Hooper, Mary Elizabeth Mallett Jones, and Julia DeBerniere, undated

Folder 27

Miscellaneous fragments, undated

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Genealogical Material, undated.

About 150 items.

Arrangement: By family name.

Genealogical material documents the DeBerniere family, Crommelin family, Clark family, and Hooper family. Also included are biographical narratives of Peter Mallett and Eliza Comerford Lutterloh. The Daughters of the American Revolution papers, compiled by Frances DeBerniere Hooper Whitaker, include some material on the Edenton Tea Party, which occurred 25 October 1774, when 51 ladies of Edenton, N.C., met to reenact the Boston Tea Party.

See also Series 8. Volumes.

Folder 28

DeBerniere and Crommelin families

Folder 29a-30

Hooper family

Folder 31

Clark family

Folder 32

Peter Mallett autobiography

Folder 33

Eliza Comerford Lutterloh narrative

Folder 34

Miscellaneous genealogy

Folder 35

Daughters of the American Republic

Folder 36

Printed items

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Volumes, 1803-1908.

7 items.

Arrangement: Roughly by type.

Volumes primarily document DeBerniere and Hooper family history. Several of the volumes are copies of letters sent from distant DeBerniere and Hooper relatives.

Folder 37

Volume 1

Unbound volume contains copies of letters from relatives in England to members of the DeBerniere family in Charleston, S.C., that concern family news, comments on current affairs, and some family history. Correspondents include Elizabeth Longley (Mrs. Henry) DeBerniere, Mrs. C. Wray from Ireland, and Charlotte DeBerniere (Mrs. Newton) Smart.

Folder 38

Volume 2

Unbound volume contains disorganized material on the DeBerniere family, including copies of letters from Elizabeth Longley (Mrs. Henry) DeBerniere, Colonel Henry DeBerniere. Topics include literary notes, DeBerniere genealogy, and Ireland.

Folder 39

Volume 3

The volume documents Hooper family history and includes the beginning of an autobiography of Dr. William Hooper.

Folder 40

Volume 4

Contains miscellaneous notes by Frances DeBerniere Hooper Whitaker on Hooper family history, on her reading, and on some writings of A. M. Hooper.

Folder 41

Volumes 5 and 6

Volumes contain Daughters of the American Republic and Colonial Dames material.

Folder 42

Volume 7

A commonplace book, probably kept by Frances Pollock Jones (Mrs. William) Hooper, contains a few slight and scattered diary entries.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Oversize Papers.

Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-835/1

Oversize papers

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Pictures.

Image Folder PF-835/1

William Hooper and the Hooper Penn Monument at Guilford Battleground

Image Folder PF-835/2

William Hooper portrait

Snapshot of an oil painting by Joe Wallace King of Winston-Salem, N.C. The original portrait is at Reynolds Hall at Wake Forest University. Also, a photocopy of a photograph of William Hooper and Frances Pollock Jones (1798-1863).

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Pictures (PF-835/1-2)

Oversize papers (XOPF-835/1)

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