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.
|Size||2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 170 items)|
|Abstract||William McKendree Robbins was professor at Normal College (later Trinity College), Randolph County, N.C., 1851-1853; lawyer in Alabama, and Salisbury and Statesville, N.C.; and North Carolina congressman, 1873-1878. Papers consist of love letters, 1849-1854, between Robbins and his future wife, Mary Montgomery; letters, 1855-1857, about life in Glennville County, Ala.; a diary of and correspondence received by his nephew/ward Alabama congressman Gaston Ahi Robbins (born 1859), including material, 1882-1890, about politics at Trinity College, and eight letters, 1886, from Varina Howell Davis and her daughter, Varina Anne Jefferson Davis. There are also miscellaneous family correspondence; writings, scrapbooks, and diaries of William McKendree Robbins, pertaining primarily to his activities as Gettysburg Battle Field commissioner, 1894-1905; clippings; photographs; and family history material.|
|Creator||Robbins, William McKendree, 1828-1905.|
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William McKendree Robbins (1828-1905) was professor, lawyer, state legislator, and North Carolina congressman. Robbins was born in Randolph County, N.C., and was educated at Randolph-Macon College. He was a professor of mathematics at Normal (later Trinity) College, 1851-1853, and opened a female college in Glennville, Ala., 1855, a project he soon abandoned in favor of practicing law. During the Civil War he served with Company G, 4th Alabama Regiment, in Virginia and Tennessee. After the war he began a law practice in Salisbury, N.C., and later became a state senator, 1869-1873, and United States congressman representing the 7th North Carolina District, 1873-1878. After his last congressional term he returned to practicing law in Statesville, N.C., with his son-in-law B. F. Long. He later served as Gettysburg Battle Field commissioner, 1894-1905.
William McKendree Robbins was married to Mary Montgomery of Montville, S.C., in 1854. They had two children, William and Mary Alice. After his wife's death in 1858, Robbins married her sister Martha Montgomery. They had four children, Montgomery (1866-1893), Gertrude, Maude, and Frank C. Robbins. William McKendree and Martha Robbins also raised Gaston Ahi Robbins and Mamie Lafayette Robbins, after the death of Julius Robbins, William McKendree's brother.Back to Top
The papers consist of love letters, 1849-1854, between William McKendree Robbins and his future wife, Mary Montgomery; letters, 1855-1857, about life in Glennville County, Ala.; a diary of and correspondence received by his nephew/ward Alabama congressman Gaston Ahi Robbins (born 1859), including material, 1882-1890, about politics at Trinity College, and eight letters, 1886, from Varina Howell Davis and her daughter, Varina Anne Jefferson Davis; and letters, 1882-1884, from Martha Montgomery Robbins describing her William McKendree Robbins's political campaign for a North Carolina congressional seat. There are also miscellaneous family correspondence; writings, scrapbooks, and diaries of William McKendree Robbins, pertaining primarily to his activities as Gettysburg Battle Field commissioner, 1894-1905; clippings; photographs; and family history material.Back to Top
Chiefly family and social correspondence of the Robbins family. Also included are writings and speeches of William McKendree Robbins and clippings relating to family members and their interests.
Correspondence, 1849-1854, consists primarily of love letters between William McKendree Robbins and his future wife, Mary Montgomery. There are also letters, 1855-1858, from the couple to relatives concerning life in Alabama. Papers, 1859-1879, are scattered and include social correspondence of Mary Alice Robbins and items related to the death of Mary Montgomery Robbins and other family news.
Correspondence, 1882-1890, is primarily to Gaston Ahi Robbins from his sister and mother dealing with family problems and with politics at Trinity College. There are also some friendly letters, 1886-1888, to Gaston from Varina Howell Davis (Mrs. Jefferson Davis) and her daughter Varina Anne Davis. Correspondence, 1882-1884, from Martha M. Robbins to her stepdaughter/niece, Mary Alice Robbins and to her nephew Gaston Ahi Robbins contain descriptions of the defeat of William McKendree Robbins for a North Carolina congressional seat by the Liberal Anti-Prohibition Party candidate, Tyre York; the North Carolina cyclone of 1884; and the organization of the Woman's Union Temperance Society of Trinity College.
Correspondence, 1890-1905 and undated, is miscellaneous and includes social correspondence; letters from William McKendree Robbins in Gettysburg, Pa., to his family; letters from James Madison Leach Junior in Cape Town, South Africa, to his mother Eliza Montgomery Leach in Newberry, S.C.; sympathy notes to Mamie Lafayette Robbins on the death of her brother Gaston Ahi in the Park Avenue Hotel fire in New York City in 1902; and letter fragments.
Volumes include the diary, 1894-1905, of William McKendree Robbins; a book of poetry, 1846, composed by Eliza Lewis Montgomery Leach also containing genealogical data on the Taylor, Lewis, and Maclin families, probably added later by another family member; the diary, 1884, of Gaston Ahi Robbins; two scrapbooks of clippings about William McKendree Robbins, the Civil War, and the Gettysburg Battlefield Commission; and a catalog of the Branford Lock Works.
|Oversize Paper Folder OPF-4070/1b|
|Extra Oversize Paper Folder X-OPF-4070/1a|
Oversize papers (OPF-4070/1b, X-OPF-4070/1a).Back to Top
Processed by: SHC Staff
Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007
Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, July 2009
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.Back to Top