Collection Number: 02957

Collection Title: Norvell Winsboro Wilson Papers and Collection of Pearman and Scott Family Papers, 1842-1901.

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 rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 50 items)
Abstract The Norvell Winsboro Wilson and Pearman and Scott Family Papers include letters, diaries, and a scrapbook. Letters, 1842-1869, are chiefly from members of the Pearman and Scott families, who were likely free Blacks living in New Kent County, Va.; Sandusky, Ohio; and Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Letters describe family life, a school for African American children to be set up in Richmond, and feelings about seeking freedom and opportunity for their children. Among the correspondents in these papers are Lucey Pearman, Elizabeth Porter, Peter Lennard, Eliza Pearman, Robert Ellett, Ann Taylor Geddy, William F. Pearman, and William Scott. The diaries are intermittent, 1862-1878, recording pastoral visits, Baptist conventions, social news, and cash accounts of Norvell Winsboro Wilson (1834-1878), a white Baptist minister in Chapel Hill, N.C., and Hillsborough, N.C., 1861-1867; Farmville, Va., and Richmond, Va., 1867-1875; and New Orleans, La., 1877-1878. The scrapbook of clippings documents Wilson's career and writings. There is no apparent connection between the Pearman and Scott families, who were related through marriage, with the Wilson family.
Creator Wilson, Norvell Winsboro, 1834-1878.

Pearman family.

Scott family.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
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 Norvell Winsboro Wilson Papers and Collection of Pearman and Scott Family Papers, #2957, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [Note: Previous title: Norvell Winsboro Wilson Papers]
Acquisitions Information
Received from Sophie (Mrs. Wins F.) Wilson and her daughter Frances (Mrs. Clifford) Downey of Richmond, Va., 1953.
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
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

The Pearman and Scott families, who were likely free Blacks, appear to have been related through the marriage of Lucey Pearman and William C. Scott. Most Pearman family members remained living in New Kent County, Va., while some Lucey Pearman, William F. Pearman, and William C. Scott moved first to Sandusky, Ohio, and later to Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Lucey Pearman had at least one sister, Elizabeth Porter, and possibly a sister or daughter in Eliza Pearman.

Norvell Winsboro Wilson (1834-1878) was a white Baptist minister in Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, N.C., 1861-1867; Farmville and Richmond, Va., 1867-1875; and New Orleans, La., 1877-1878. Wilson was born in Franklin, Pendleton County, Va., and was ordained in the Baptist ministry around 1858. He married Sallie F. Betts of Black Walnut, Halifax County, Va., June 1861. Their children were Ernest, Knox, Wins, Lilie, Daisy, Kurtz, and Littell.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The Norvell Winsboro Wilson and Pearman and Scott Family Papers include letters, diaries, and a scrapbook. Letters, 1842-1869, are chiefly from members of the Pearman and Scott families, who were likely free Blacks living in New Kent County, Va.; Sandusky, Ohio; and Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Letters describe family life, a school for African American children to be set up in Richmond, and feelings about seeking freedom and opportunity for their children. Among the correspondents in these papers are Lucey Pearman, Elizabeth Porter, Peter Lennard, Eliza Pearman, Robert Ellett, Ann Taylor Geddy, William F. Pearman, and William Scott. The diaries are intermittent, 1862-1878, recording pastoral visits, Baptist conventions, social news, and cash accounts of Norvell Winsboro Wilson (1834-1878), a white Baptist minister in Chapel Hill, N.C., and Hillsborough, N.C., 1861-1867; Farmville, Va., and Richmond, Va., 1867-1875; and New Orleans, La., 1877-1878. The scrapbook of clippings documents Wilson's career and writings. There is no apparent connection between the Pearman and Scott families, who were related through marriage, with the Wilson family.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Norvell Winsboro Wilson Papers, 1842-1901 and undated.

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, May 2009

Conscious Editing Work by: Nancy Kaiser, July 2020. Updated title (previous title: Norvell Winsboro Wilson Papers), abstract, 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 rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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