Collection Number: 02493

Collection Title: Hobbs and Mendenhall Family Papers, 1787-1949

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 from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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Size 4.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 700 items)
Abstract Collection contains family and personal letters, articles, and volumes, chiefly dating from 1870, concerning the political and religious activities, travels, and careers of members of the white Mendenhall family and the white Hobbs family of Guilford County, N.C. The papers reflect the Quaker view of life and relate to several reform movements, including anti-slavery, women's health and education, and pacifism. Topics include the Mendenhall's aid to enslaved people attempting to self-emancipate from North Carolina to a free state in 1864; use of labor of imprisoned people by Western North Carolina Railroad in the 1870s; construction of an asylum in Morganton, N.C., for people with mental health problems in the 1870s; state appropriations for schools for Black students in North Carolina in 1891; a treatise on pregnancy and childbirth; travel in England, 1890-1891; service with a Quaker relief organization in France during World War I; student educational experience at Haverford College, 1870s; teaching at New Garden College, 1876-1884; and the college presidency at Guilford College, 1888-1915. Materials include correspondence, accounts books, scrapbooks, diaries, religious notebooks, and other notes.
Creator Hobbs (Family : Guilford County, N.C.)



Mendenhall (Family : Guilford County, N.C.)
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 Hobbs and Mendenhall Family Papers #2493, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy of Nereus Mendenhall's treatise on pregnancy and childbirth (folder 33) available.
Acquisitions Information
Received from A. W. Hobbs of Chapel Hill, N.C., in 1943.
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Nereus Mendenhall (1819-1893), a white Quaker, graduated from Haverford College in 1839; received his medical degree from Jefferson College, Pa., in 1845; and abandoned his medical practice for health reasons. He taught in the New Garden Boarding School at Greensboro, N.C., and later became a civil engineer and surveyed many railroads in North Carolina. In 1860, he returned to the New Garden School as principal and kept it open during the Civil War, which he opposed along with secession and Reconstruction. He served two terms as a Democrat in the state legislature and, in 1876, was appointed to faculty of the Penn Charter School in Philadelphia. He helped with the construction of the state asylum at Morganton and the State Penitentiary. He was a learned and devout member of the Society of Friends. He married Oriana Wilson in 1851.

Mary Mendenhall Hobbs (1852-1930), daughter of Nereus and Oriana Mendenhall, was also a member of the Society of Friends. She married L. L. (Lewis Lyndon) Hobbs and with him dedicated her life to education in North Carolina, especially that of women. She held no official position at Guilford College, but was the third woman to receive a degree from the University of North Carolina. She wrote on many subjects and was prominent in aiding all efforts for peace. She and Lyndon Hobbs had five children: Lewis Lyndon, Richard Julius Mendenhall, Allen Wilson, Walter, and Gertrude. Richard served with a Quaker relief organization in France during the First World War.

Lewis Lyndon Hobbs (1849-1932), son of Lewis and Phoebe Cook Hobbs, was a member of the Society of Friends and graduated from Haverford College in 1876. He accepted an appointment to teach at the New Garden College from 1876 to 1884 and was elected president of Guilford College (as New Garden had then become) from 1888 to 1915. He helped to establish the first rural grade school in North Carolina.

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Collection contains family and personal letters, articles, and volumes, chiefly dating from 1870, concerning the political and religious activities, travels, and careers of members of the white Mendenhall family and the white Hobbs family of Guilford County, N.C. The papers reflect the Quaker view of life and relate to several reform movements, including anti-slavery, women's health and education, and pacifism. Topics include the Mendenhall's aid to enslaved people attempting to self-emancipate from North Carolina to a free state in 1864; use of labor of imprisoned people by Western North Carolina Railroad in the 1870s; construction of an asylum in Morganton, N.C., for people with mental health problems in the 1870s; state appropriations for schools for Black students in North Carolina in 1891; a treatise on pregnancy and childbirth; travel in England, 1890-1891; service with a Quaker relief organization in France during World War I; student educational experience at Haverford College, 1870s; teaching at New Garden College, 1876-1884; and the college presidency at Guilford College, 1888-1915. Materials include correspondence, accounts books, scrapbooks, diaries, religious notebooks, and other notes.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932.

About 450 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Primarily correspondence of both families, mainly concerning theological issues. Also included are a few deeds, plats, and indentures.

Folder 1

Correspondence, 1787-1799 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 1

Folder 2

Correspondence, 1804-1842 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 2

Folder 3

Correspondence, 1849-1868 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 3

Included are letters regarding the Mendenhall's aid to people who were enslaved in North Carolina and attempting to self-emancipate to a free state in 1864.

Folder 4

Correspondence, 1870-1881 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 4

Included are letters concerning use of labor of imprisoned people by Western North Carolina Railroad and construction of an asylum in Morganton, N.C., for people with mental health problems.

Folder 5

Correspondence, 1883-1889 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 5

Folder 6

Correspondence, 1890-1899 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 6

Included are letters regarding North Carolina state appropriations for schools for Black students in 1891.

Folder 7

Correspondence, 1900-1904 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 7

Folder 8

Correspondence, 1905-1909 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 8

Folder 9

Correspondence, 1910-1917 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 9

Folder 10

Correspondence, 1869-1870 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 10

Folder 11

Correspondence, 1918 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 11

Folder 12

Correspondence, 1919-1921 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 12

Folder 13

Correspondence, 1922-1926 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 13

Folder 14

Correspondence, 1927-1929 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 14

Folder 15

Correspondence, 1930-1932 #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 15

Folder 16

Undated letters and other material #02493, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Material, 1787-1932." Folder 16

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Articles and Other Writings.

200 items.

Includes a treatise on pregnancy and childbirth, religious sermons, educational articles, newspaper clippings, and some genealogical information collected by Mary and Lyndon Hobbs.

Folder 17

Articles of Mary Mendenhall Hobbs #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 17

Folder 18

Papers of L. L. Hobbs #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 18

Folder 19

Biographical sketches and genealogy #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 19

Folder 20

Undated manuscripts #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 20

Folder 21

Sketches #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 21

Folder 22-25

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Articles #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 22-25

Folder 26

Review of Drummond's Natural Law in the Spiritual World #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 26

Folder 27-30

Folder 27

Folder 28

Folder 29

Folder 30

Miscellaneous articles #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 27-30

Folder 31

Miscellaneous fragments #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 31

Folder 32

Miscellaneous genealogical materials #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 32

Folder 33

Nereus Mendenhall's treatise on pregnancy and childbirth (microfilm available) #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 33

Folder 34

Fragments #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 34

Folder 35

Newspaper clippings about Gertrude W. Mendenhall #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 35

Folder 36

Newspaper clippings about Nereus Mendenhall #02493, Series: "2. Articles and Other Writings." Folder 36

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Volumes, 1797-1923.

39 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Folder 37

Daybook containing accounts with barbers and other trades people (V-2493/1), 1797 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 37

5 pages. Also chronological record of business transacted and letters received.

Folder 38

Arithmetic book (V-2493/2), 1798-1802 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 38

40 pages. Stephen Mendenhall.

Folder 39

Penmanship exercises and poems (V-2493/3), 1807-1808 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 39

50 pages. Mary Pegg.

Folder 40

Daybook and ledger with barber and cash accounts (V-2493/4), 1822 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 40

16 pages.

Folder 41

Account book (V-2493/5), 1832, 1837-1844, 1852 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 41

300 pages. Accounts of the estate of Judith Mendenhall; records of Quakers in Charleston, S.C.; description of Montgomery County (N.C.) lands; accounts of George C. Clark; register book for lands of George Mendenhall; accounts of James R., George C., and other Mendenhalls.

Folder 42

Young Lady's Remembrancer (V-2493/6), 1833-1848 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 42

60 pages. Album of Minerva T. Mendenhall.

Folder 43

Diary of Nereus Mendenhall (V-2493/7), 19 February 1851-29 November 1851 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 43

100 pages.

Folder 44

Scrapbook (V-2493/8), 1854 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 44

60 pages. Miscellaneous clippings of James R. Guilford, attorney, Guilford County, N.C.

Folder 45

Autograph album of Charlie M. Crump (V-2493/9), 1862 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 45

61 pages.

Folder 46

Letterpress copybook of Brenizer, Kellog and Co., Greensboro, N.C. (V-2493/10), 1867-1868 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 46

452 pages.

Folder 47

"Index Rerum" of Nereus Mendenhall (V-2493/11), 1869-1870 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 47

400 pages.

Folder 48

Accounts of the estate of Richard Mendenhall (V-2493/12), 1870-1883 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 48

383 pages. Includes other accounts.

Folder 49

Secretary's record book of the Temperance Society of New Garden District, N.C. (V-2493/13), 1871-1877 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 49

80 pages.

Folder 50

Pocket notebook of G. L. Hobbs, New Garden, N.C. (V-2493/14), November 1872 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 50

80 pages.

Folder 51

Notes on lectures and accounts of Haverford College store (V-2493/15), 1875 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 51

38 pages. L. L. Hobbs.

Folder 52

Notes on mathematics, logic and lectures (V-2493/16), 1875 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 52

38 pages. L. L. Hobbs, Haverford College.

Folder 53

Commonplace book (V-2493/17), 1876 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 53

46 pages. L. L. Hobbs.

Folder 54

Personal notebook (V-2493/18), 1881-1883 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 54

41 pages. Accounts of personal expenses; list of subscribers; and roll of a primary Latin class.

Folder 55

Travel diary (V-2493/19), 1890-1891 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 55

175 pages. Tour of England.

Folder 56

Personal notebook (V-2493/20), 1891, 1897, 1902-1904 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 56

140 pages. L. L. Hobbs notebook containing subscription list, addresses, expenses on trip to Philadelphia in 1897; notes about a trip to England; subscriptions to Guilford College endowment and to Harriet Green Memorial fund.

Folder 57

Notebook (V-2493/21), 1903-1905 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 57

120 pages. L. L. Hobbs.

Folder 58

Notebook (V-2493/22), 1906-1907, 1915-1916 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 58

92 pages. L. L. Hobbs.

Folder 59

Notebook containing material on the Susanna Cocroft System of exercises and physical culture (V-2493/23), 1907 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 59

16 pages.

Folder 60

Notebook (V-2493/24), 1909-1912 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 60

120 pages. L. L. Hobbs.

Folder 61

Notebook on peace, Friends' educational work (V-2493/25), 1911 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 61

140 pages.

Folder 62

Minutes and notes on the Annual Meeting of Friends, Guilford College (V-2493/26), 1914 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 62

120 pages.

Folder 63

Notebook with list of delegates (V-2493/27), 1915 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 63

70 pages. L. L. Hobbs.

Folder 64

Notes on annual general Meeting of Friends at Guilford College, afternoon session on "Present Peace Problems" (V-2493/28), 1917 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 64

80 pages.

Folder 65

Notebook (V-2493/29), 1919-1923 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 65

120 pages. L. L. Hobbs.

Folder 66

Religious notebook (V-2493/30), 1920 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 66

150 pages. Sunday school class list and notes on Christ, apostles, Luther, and history of the Friends.

Folder 67

Notebook (V-2493/31), Undated #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 67

70 pages.

Folder 68

Religious notebook (V-2493/32), Undated #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 68

58 pages. Notebook with religious and ethical questions and answers, accounts, and subscriber list.

Folder 69

Pocket notebook (V-2493/33), Undated #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 69

120 pages. Notes and quotations inscribed Mendenhall, "Howland."

Folder 70

Bible quotations and notes (V-2493/34), Undated #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 70

29 pages.

Folder 71

Notes on Guilford College history, Quaker education (V-2493/35), Undated #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 71

28 pages.

Folder 72

History and hygiene notebook (V-2493/36), Undated #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 72

200 pages. Mary Mendenhall.

Folder 73

Notebook on education and right living (V-2493/37), Undated #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 73

140 pages.

Folder 74

Commonplace book (V-2493/38), Undated (TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE) #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 74

Microfilmed. Includes genealogy of James Ruffin Mendenhall, a poem by James R. Mendenhall "On the Power of the Mind," and an acrostic by Richard Mendenhall.

Folder 75

"Sketches on Tanning" (V-2493/39), 1849-1851 #02493, Series: "3. Volumes, 1797-1923." Folder 75

43 pages. Richard Mendenhall.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne Ruffing, February 1996

Encoded by: Eben Lehman, January 2007

Conscious Editing Work by: Nancy Kaiser, October 2020. Updated abstract, subject headings, biographical note, scope and content note, and container list.

Since August 2017, we have added ethnic and racial identities for individuals and families represented in collections. To determine identity, we rely on self-identification; other information supplied to the repository by collection creators or sources; public records, press accounts, and secondary sources; and contextual information in the collection materials. Omissions of ethnic and racial identities in finding aids created or updated after August 2017 are an indication of insufficient information to make an educated guess or an individual's preference for identity information to be excluded from description. When we have misidentified, please let us know at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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