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Collection Number: 01031

Collection Title: Bumpass Family Papers, 1838-1972

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 150 items)
Abstract The collection includes diaries, scattered correspondence, and writings of a family of Methodist ministers and editors of church publications of North Carolina. Among other volumes are the diary, 1838-1844, and autobiography, 1842, of Sidney D. Bumpass (1808-1851), while a minister and editor at various places in North Carolina, and the diary, 1842-1854, of his wife, Frances Moore Webb Bumpass (1819-1898), editor and publisher of the "Weekly Message" of Greensboro, N.C., 1851-1871, and officer in the Women's Foreign Missionary Society. There is very little information about Frances's editing or missionary activities. Also among the volumes are the intermittent diary, 1874-1899, of Sidney and Frances's son, Robah Fidus Bumpass (1850-1933), who was a Methodist minister in the North Carolina Conference for 54 years, and a diary of Robah's 1906 trip to Europe and the Middle East. In addition, there are scattered letters, including one from 1847 about a service Sidney Bumpass led that was attended by Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker; poems by family members; and stories by Robah Fidus Bumpass. There are also four scrapbooks, chiefly containing 20th-century clippings on church and world affairs, and material collected by Paul F. Bumpass about racial violence in Tennessee in 1946 when he was the district attorney responsible for investigating and prosecuting the cases.
Creator Bumpass (Family : Bumpass, Frances M. (Frances Moore), 1819-1898)
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 Bumpass Family Papers #1031, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Partial typed transcription available.
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of Southern women and their families in the 19th century, Series A.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Allah, Lota, Nina, and Ethel Troy of Greensboro, N.C., in 1946; 14 July 1899 letter transferred from the Jonathan Daniels Papers in 1961; and received from James Richard Townsend of Durham, N.C., and Paul F. Bumpass of Franklin, Tenn., in 1973.
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: SHC Staff, 1940s-1970s; Roslyn Holdzkom, December 1992

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

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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.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Sidney D. Bumpass (1808-1851) was a Methodist minister of the North Carolina Conference, pastor, presiding elder, editor, and author. His wife, Frances Moore Webb Bumpass (1819-1898), edited and published The Weekly Message of Greensboro, 1851-1871, and was corresponding secretary of the North Carolina Conference of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society. Their son, Robah Fidus Bumpass (1850-1933), was for 54 years a Methodist minister in the North Carolina Conference, serving in Wilmington, Beaufort, New Bern, Kinston, Raleigh, and other North Carolina locations.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes a small number of letters among family members; other papers, including family history materials and writings chiefly of Robah Fidus Bumpass; and volumes, including diaries and scrapbooks.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1842-1933.

About 40 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. Sidney D. and Frances Moore Webb Bumpass, 1842-1847.

4 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Three letters from Sidney D. Bumpass to Frances Moore Webb, two before their marriage about his activities and desire to marry and one after their marriage about his work, including an 1847 service he led that was attended by Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker. There is also one letter from Frances Moore Webb Bumpass to her husband about her activities at home.

Folder 1


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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. Robah Fidus Bumpass, 1866-1933.

About 35 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Letters in the 1860s are to the young Robah Fidus Bumpass in Greensboro, N.C., from various friends; the 1899 letter relates to W. H. Bagley of Raleigh, who had just returned from Cuba; and the letters, 1928-1933, are from family members and friends to Robah commenting on his writings and giving news of their activities (see also volume S-12).

Folder 2

1866-1868; 1899

Folder 3


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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Papers

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Volumes, 1838-1972.

17 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.1 Sidney D. and Frances Moore Webb Bumpass Diaries, 1838-1854.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.2. Other Volumes, 1839-1933.

14 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Folder 16

Volume 4: History notebook of Frances Moore Webb, ca. 1839, including essays written before her marriage to Sidney D. Bumpass (formerly volume 15).

Folder 17

Volume 5: Book of collected poems, owner unknown, with facsimile autographs of political figures, 1860-1864 (formerly volume 16).

Folder 18

Volume 6: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpass, 3 January 1874-13 December 1877. Brief notes of a young Methodist preacher beginning his ministry in Warrenton, N.C. There is much about church affairs and other activities, including Robah's attending commencement at the Greensboro Female College and at Trinity College (formerly volume 4).

Folder 19

Volume 7: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpass, 1 January-28 December 1876. Brief notes, irregular and out of order by Robah, now married, working on the Wentworth circuit, and living in Ruffin, N.C. Entries record daily events, visits, sermons, church services, and heath concerns (formerly volume 5).

Folder 20

Volume 8: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpass, 1 January-29 November 1880. Entries about Robah living in the mountains near Shelby, N.C. Most entries relate to church affairs and spiritual reflections; there is little about Robah's personal life (formerly volume 6).

Folder 21

Volume 9: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpass, 30 July-7 August 1884. Brief notes, with considerable gaps, documenting a trip from Greensboro, N.C., to Chautauqua, N.Y., including brief visits to Washington, D.C., and Canada (formerly volume 7).

Folder 22

Volume 10: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpass, 27 December 1885-27 June 1886; 6 December 1898-15 August 1899. Entries documenting Robah's activities first at Randleman, and then at Wilmington, N.C. (formerly volume 8).

Folder 23

Volume 11: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpass, 12 June-6 August 1906. Beginning of entries documenting Robah's trip to Europe and the Middle East. Leaving Raleigh, he stopped at Richmond, Washington, D.C., and New York, from which he sailed. Included are fairly full descriptions of towns he visited, including Queenstown, London, Rouen, Paris, Marseilles, Naples, Athens, Constantinople, Smyrna, Samos, Beirut, and Damascus (formerly volume 9).

Folder 24

Volume 12: Diary of Robah Fidus Bumpass, 6 August-14 September 1906. Second volume of entries on European/Middle East trip. Entries describe Joppa, Port Said, Cairo, Alexandria, Naples, and Rome, with a retrospective discussion of Robah's visit to Jerusalem, where he fell ill (formerly volume 10).

Oversize Volume SV-1031/13

Scrapbook, 1918-1919, with clippings chiefly about international affairs

Folder 25

See SV-1031/13

Oversize Volume SV-1031/14

Scrapbook with clippings about natural history, science, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Josephus Daniels, and others. Included are letters, 1932-1933, relating to writings of Robah Fidus Bumpass

Folder 26

See SV-1031/14

Folder 27

Volume 15: Scrapbook with clippings chiefly about church news, mostly from Greensboro in the 1930s (formerly volume 13).

Folder 28

Volume 16: Scrapbook containing church papers, poems of James J. Montague, and clippings (formerly volume 14).

Folder 29

Volume 17: "The Bumpass Family from Person County, North Carolina" by Anne S. Bumpass and James R. Townsend, 1972. This compilation includes typed transcriptions of documents relating to family history.

Transcription Volume TV-1031/1

Bumpas journal, volume 1

Transcription Volume TV-1031/2

Bumpas journal, volume 2

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