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Collection Number: 04135

Collection Title: Southall and Bowen Family Papers, 1833-1959 (bulk 1860-1906).

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 4.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1,700 items)
Abstract The Southall, Bowen, Wheeler, Moore, and Peebles families resided in Lowndes County, Miss.; Northampton County, N.C.; Hertford County, N.C.; Denver, Colo.; Norfolk, Va.; Wayne County, Mich.; Ramsey County, Minn.; and Bulloch County, Ga. The collection contains the family correspondence and other papers of these families. Included are mostly brief and routine family letters, 1846-1860; affectionate letters during the Civil War between sisters in Columbus, Miss., and Hertford County, N.C., about family and community affairs and their teaching careers; letters from Confederate soldiers in many places, especially Wilmington, N.C., 1863-1864; and letters from Thomas L. Moore, officer on the C.S.S. "Florida." Also included are letters written by family members about their lives and careers, including the work of William Cornelius (Neil) Bowen (died 1912), lawyer of Jackson, N.C., and Denver, Colo.; Episcopal Church affairs; community matters; and family activities and household management. Among the later papers are letters, 1890s, from students at St. Mary's School in Raleigh, N.C. There are also diaries of Sarah Clifton Southall of Columbus, Miss., 1859-1860; of Emily Bland Southall of Jackson, N.C., 1862, including a detailed description of the federal invasion of North Carolina; and of Julia M. Southall, 1862- 1876, written while she was teaching in Columbus, Miss., at Wesleyan Female College in Murfreesboro, N.C., and in West Point, N.Y., and including her reflections on teaching.
Creator Bowen (Family : Northampton County, N.C.)

Southall (Family : Lowndes County, Miss.)
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.
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 Southall and Bowen Family Papers, #4135, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Bland Clifton Bowen of Long Beach, N.C., 1977. Additional material received from Julia Bowen Peebles Seibert of Raleigh, N.C., December 1987 (Acc. 88021).
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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Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, March 2010

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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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

Members of the Southall, Bowen, Wheeler, Moore, and Peebles families have resided in Lowndes County, Miss.; Northampton and Hertford counties, N.C.; Denver, Colo.; Norfolk, Va.; Wayne County, Mich.; Ramsey County, Minn.; and Bulloch County, Ga.

Sarah Clifton Wheeler (died 1861) was educated in Wilmington, Del. In 1835, she married James Hunter Southall (circa 1788-1862) and they moved to Columbus, Miss., where James Southall may have been connected with the Columbus Female Institute. They had six children: Julia Munroe (born 1838); Emily Bland (1843-1878); James Hunter; Annie Rebecca (born 1851); Frances Josephine (1853-1893); and Joseph Branch (circa 1855-1866). When Sarah Clifton Wheeler Southall died in 1861, her children Emily Bland, Annie Rebecca, James, and Frances Josephine returned to North Carolina where they lived with their aunt and uncle Julia Munroe Wheeler and Godwin Cotten Moore (1806-1880) in Hertford County, N.C. Julia and Joseph Branch remained in Columbus, where Julia kept house for her father until his death in 1862 and taught at Columbus Female Institute. After Joseph Branch Southall's death in 1866, Julia Munroe Southall moved to Murfreesboro, N.C., and taught at Wesleyan Female College.

In 1877, Frances Josephine (Josie) Southall married William Cornelius (Neil) Bowen (died 1912), a lawyer of Northampton County, N.C. They had five daughters: Harriet (born 1878); Julia Southall (born 1880), who married Calvert Goosely Peebles; Ellen Britton; Josephine (born 1886); and Bland Clifton (born circa 1890). In 1890, William Cornelius Bowen moved to Colorado, while his wife and children remained in Jackson, North Carolina. Frances Josephine Bowen died in 1893, and her sister, Julia Southall, moved to Jackson to care for her children, as their father remained in Colorado.

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The collection is chiefly family correspondence and other papers of four generations of the Southall, Bowen, Wheeler, Moore, and Peebles families of Lowndes County, Miss.; Northampton and Hertford counties, N.C.; Denver, Colo.; Norfolk, Va.; Wayne County, Mich.; Ramsey County, Minn.; and Bulloch County, Ga. The earliest papers are letters from Sarah Clifton Wheeler to her parents describing a visit to Philadelphia, Pa., and her school in Wilmington, Del. The papers, 1846-1860, are family correspondence between Sarah Clifton Wheeler Southall in Columbus, Miss.; her husband traveling in Mississippi and Louisiana; her relatives in North Carolina, Alabama, and Washington, D.C., especially her sister Julie Munroe Wheeler Moore in Murfreesboro, N.C., and her brother John Hill Wheeler in Washington, D.C.; and her children traveling and visiting in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. Letters focus on health and personal affairs, children, household management, and neighborhood news especially marriages and deaths, with occasional comments on politics and frequent references to personal religious faith.

Papers, 1861-1865, are primarily letters between Julia and Emily Bland Southall. These are warm, sentimental letters, much concerned with the affection between the two sisters and their grief over the death of their parents, but dealing also with local and family affairs, the other children, visits to and from relatives, their teaching careers, and the Civil War. There are also letters to both girls from friends and relatives commenting on the war and its effect on civilian population in Alabama, North Carolina, and New York, as well as more personal affairs. Included also are scattered, largely personal letters from soldiers in Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina, which provide some information on camp life and military affairs, and more detailed letters from T. L. Moore, an officer on the C. S. S. "Florida." in Mobile, Ala., and later naval attache in Paris, France. There are a number of letters from Julian Godwin "Jule" Moore, son of Godwin Cotten and Julia Moore, to his parents and to Julia and Emily Bland Southall, which include detailed description of military and camp life in Wilmington, N.C., in 1863 and 1864.

Papers, 1870-1876, consist primarily of letters among James Hunter Southall with the United States Lake Survey in Detroit, Mich.; Julia Southall, a teacher at Wesleyan Female College, Murfreesboro, N.C., West Point, N.Y., and Detroit, Mich.; Emily Bland Southall and Julia Moore of Hertford County, N.C.; Annie Rebecca Southall who married Walter Biggs of Norfolk, Va., in 1875; and Frances Josephine Southall, a student at Wesleyan Female College and later a teacher in Detroit, Mich. The Southall children write of their personal lives and religious feelings; their affection for each other; their careers, spouses and children; mutual friends; events in the communities in which they lived; and the schools with which they were associated, especially Wesleyan Female College.

Beginning in 1872 are a few scattered items of William Cornelius (Neil) Bowen, a lawyer of Northampton County, N.C., and letters between him and Frances Josephine Southall, whom he married in 1877. There are also scattered letters to the Southall children from friends and relatives in New York, West Virginia, and Alabama.

Papers, 1877-1893, are primarily letters between William Cornelius (Neil) Bowen and Frances Josephine Bowen and letters to them from friends and relatives, especially Frances Josephine's brother James and sisters, and Neil's aunt and uncle Fannie and J. Blodgett Britton, of Warrenton, Va. These family letters are similar to those described above. Subjects frequently mentioned are their careers, especially teaching, law and politics; their children and spouses; the Episcopal church; and events in their respective communities. There is also business and political correspondence of William C. Bowen, including six letters to him from Furnifold M. Simmons about North Carolina and national politics and a series of letters about the settlement of the estate of Samuel Britton, his great-grandfather.

Papers, 1890-1893, are chiefly between William Cornelius Bowen and Frances Josephine Bowen, after William moved to Colorado for health reasons. Letters discuss management of the farm and other property, local politics and other events, and their five daughters.

Papers, 1894-1900, are letters between William Cornelius Bowen in Colorado and his daughters in North Carolina, especially Harriett, and between Harriett, her sisters, and her Southall relatives, especially her aunt Julia Moore. During the 1890s, each of the Bowen daughters attended St. Mary's School in Raleigh, N.C., and their correspondence gives an interesting picture of the school during the period and of their relationships. Their letters also provide information about household management, dress-making, the Episcopal church, community affairs, and their own activities.

The correspondence, 1900-1914, is similar to that of the 1890s, consisting primarily of letters among the Bowen daughters and letters to them from their relatives, but the volume decreases sharply after 1901. There are no papers between 1914 and 1921. There are only scattered letters after 1921, pricipally correspondence between Julia Southall Bowen Peebles in Hendersonville, N.C., and her husband Calvert Goosely Peebles, on their farm in Hubert, Ga., and in Jackson, N.C. There are also a few letters to Julia Peebles from her sisters, her children, and other relatives.

There are also volumes, including diaries of Sarah Clifton Southall, 1859-1860; Emily Bland Southall, 1857 and 1862; and Julia Southall, 1868-1874; three autograph albums; a photograph album, circa 1900-1930; an account book, 1874-1877, of William C. Bowen and a volume of his legal notes; a scrapbook and undated personal journals of Julia Southall; a copy of the funeral sermon preached for Sarah Clifton Southall; a history of Wesleyan Female College; and five school exercise books.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Southall and Bowen Family Papers, 1833-1959 (bulk 1860-1906) and undated.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid

Folder 1


Folder 2


Folder 3


Folder 4

1850s, undated

Folder 5


Folder 6


Folder 7-8

Folder 7

Folder 8


Folder 9-10

Folder 9

Folder 10


Folder 11-12

Folder 11

Folder 12


Folder 13


Folder 14


Folder 15


Folder 16


Folder 17


Folder 18

1860s, undated

Folder 19


Folder 20


Folder 21


Folder 22


Folder 23


Folder 24


Folder 25


Folder 26


Folder 27-28

Folder 27

Folder 28

1870s, undated

Folder 29


Folder 30


Folder 31


Folder 32-33

Folder 32

Folder 33


Folder 34-35

Folder 34

Folder 35


Folder 36-37

Folder 36

Folder 37


Folder 38-39

Folder 38

Folder 39


Folder 40


Folder 41


Folder 42


Folder 43


Folder 44-45

Folder 44

Folder 45


Folder 46


Folder 47

Samuel Blodgett estate, 1890s

Folder 48


Folder 49


Folder 50


Folder 51


Folder 52


Folder 53


Folder 54


Folder 55


Folder 56

Southall, undated letters

Folder 57

Harriet Bowen, undated letters

Folder 58

Bowen, undated letters

Folder 59

Undated papers

Folder 60-61

Folder 60

Folder 61

Undated fragments

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-4135/1b

Oversize papers

Extra Oversize Paper Folder X-OPF-4135/1a

Oversize papers

Folder 62

Volume 1: Memorandum book of James Hunter Southall, 1856

Slight, scattered entries mostly consist of mathematical forumulas. Also contains brief diary, 19 July-3 September 1857, of Blannie Southall, with short, barely legible notes about school, visitors, family, daily activities, and growing religious feelings.

Folder 63

Volume 2: Diary of Sarah Clifton Southall, 1859-1860

Brief, sporadic entries about the weather; her daily life, especially housekeeping, visitors, and letters written and received; her children; community events, especially deaths; and her religious thoughts which predominate the last few months of the diary.

Folder 64-66

Folder 64

Folder 65

Folder 66

Volumes 3-5: Autograph albums of Emily Bland and Julia Southall, 1856-1859

Folder 67

Volume 6: "Funeral Sermon Preached on the Death of Mrs. Sarah C. Southall, by Dr. P. P. Neeley, July 14, 1861, Columbus, Mississippi."

Also contains comforting relgious poetry and a printed obituary.

Folder 68

Volume 7: Diary of Emily Bland Southall, January-March, 1862

Daily entries with emphesis on her reading; religious life; relations with her sisters, aunt, uncle, and other relatives; visitors; daily activities; grief over her mother's death and her sister Julia's absence; and her friendship with her cousin Julian Moore, who returned from prison on 10 February and rejoined the army on 19 March. Detailed entries, 10 February-1 March, describe the federal invasion of North Carolina.

Folder 69

Volume 8: Autograph album of Julia Southall, 1864

Includes signatures of Confederate generals Frank C. Armstrong, W. H. Jackson, L. L. Polk, and S. D. Lee.

Folder 70

Volume 9: Diary-journal of Julia M. Southall, 1862-1865

Long but scattered entries which are largely religious meditations and reflections on the death of her mother, her affection for, and separation from, her siblings. Also arithmetic and penmanship exercises.

Folder 71-72

Folder 71

Folder 72

Volumes 10-11: Diary of Julia Southall, 1868-1871

Daily, then weekly entries containing reflective, religious analysis of her life and its meaning and reports of her daily activities, especially books which she read, teaching, her relations with her sister Blannie, sermons heard, deaths and illness in the community, visits with friends, and a trip to Norfolk, Va., in August, 1869.

Folder 73

Enclosures from Volume 11

Include three essays and detailed pencil sketches of a paddle-wheel ship and a house.

Folder 74

Volume 12: Journal of Julia M. Southall, 1871-1876

Includes essays, comments, and aphorisms about life, human nature, and her own condition, as well as poetry.

Folder 75

Volume 13: Diary-journal of Julia M. Southall, 1873

Contains long cheerful daily entries about teaching and her pupils, events at West Point Military Academy, news from her sisters, visits and recreations with friends, and a trip to Detroit and New York City, including a railroad accident.

Folder 76

Volume 14: Diary of Julia M. Southall, 1873-1874

Scattered entries describing teaching and her pupils, a visit from her sister Josie and their trip to Boston, Mass., and New York City, conflict with the Wheeler family, her visit to New York City at Christmas, and other events.

Folder 77

Volume 15: Account book of William Cornelius Bowen, 1874-1877

Journal of funds received and paid, including personal expenses and legal fees. Also includes accounts receivable and payable, entered by name of creditor/debtor including legal clients, and a list of money loaned.

Folder 78

Volume 16: Scrapbook of Julia Southall, 1880-?

Literary, religious, historical, travelogue, and biographical clippings not identified by either date or source.

Folder 79

Volume 17: Account book, 1884-1890

Unidentified journal of personal and household expenses with sporadic entries.

Folder 80

Volume 18: Journal, undated

This collection of personal thoughts, philosophy, and quotations from other sources is presumably of Julia Southall and appears to be a companion to volumes 9-14 and 24.

Folder 81

Volume 19: "Notes of Authorities on Questions of Law and in Equity"

Folder 82

Volume 20: Photograph album, undated

Photograph Album PA-4135/20

Volume 20: Photograph album, undated

Largely unidentified photgraphs and cyanotypes of individuals, both adults and children, and scenes in North Carolina and Virginia. Appears to be 1900-1930 and was probably assembled by Julia (Bowen) Peebles. Front picture is "Southerly," the Bowen home in Jackson, N.C.

Folder 83

Volume 21: "Chronicles of the Wesleyan"

History of Wesleyan Female College, Murfreesboro, N.C.

Folder 84-88

Folder 84

Folder 85

Folder 86

Folder 87

Folder 88

Volumes 22-26: School exercise books

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of 1987 (Acc. 88021)

About 500 items.

Please note, this material was arranged and described by the donor; only slight changes in arrangement and description were made during processing.

Folder 89

To William Cornelius Bowen, 1877-1893

Folder 90

Educational trust of Bowen children, 1858-1905

Folder 91

From Julia Ann Blodget Britton, 1866

Folder 92

From William Cornelius Bowen, 1867-1872

Folder 93-94

Folder 93

Folder 94

To Ellen Britton Moore, 1872-1892

Folder 95

From Ellen Britton Bowen, 1921-1934

Folder 96

Julia Southall Bowen Peebles from friends, 1909-1936

Folder 97

Julia Southall Bowen Peebles from Harriet Emily Bowen, 921-1930

Folder 98

Julia Southall Bowen Peebles from Hughes family, 1924-1934

Folder 99

Julia Southall Bowen Peebles from other family, 1909, 1934

Folder 100

Julia Southall Bowen Peebles from Calvert G. Peebles, 1921-1924

Folder 101

Julia Southall Bowen Peebles from Calvert G. Peebles, 1930-1934

Folder 102

Julia Southall Bowen Peebles from children, 1921-1936

Folder 103

Julia Southall Bowen Peebles from Julia Monroe Southall, 1921-1925

Folder 104

Julia Southall Bowen Peebles from Julia Monroe Southall Bowen, 1923-1925

Folder 105

Harriet Emily Bowen from Julia Southall Bowen Peebles, 1919-1933

Folder 106

Harriet Emily Bowen from Bland Clifton Bowen, 1924-1926

Folder 107

Harriet Emily Bowen from Josephine Bowen and Rev. I. Harding Hughes, 1920-1935

Folder 108

Harriet Emily Bowen from Ellen Britton Bowen, 1920, 1923, 1936

Folder 109

Harriet Emily Bowen correspondence with James and Julia Monroe Southall, 1920, 1922, 1930

Folder 110

Harriet Emily Bowen from children of Julia Southall Bowen Peebles, 1919-1945

Folder 111

Harriet Emily Bowen from Fred W. Morrison and Frank L. Nash, 1915, 1917-1920

Folder 112

Harriet Emily Bowen from former students

Folder 113

Harriet Emily Bowen from professional friends, 1916-1930

Folder 114

Harriet Emily Bowen from friends, 1916-1937

Folder 115-116

Folder 115

Folder 116

Harriet Emily Bowen from Mrs. Dennis Sutton, 1919-1927

Folder 117

Julia Monroe Southall from James H. Southall

Folder 118

Josephine Bowen Hughes to family, 1920

Folder 119

To Josephine Bowen, 1911-1920

Folder 120

John Blodgett Peebles

Folder 121

To Julia Bowen Peebles

Folder 122-123

Folder 122

Folder 123

W. C. Bowen mining investments, 1840-1928

Folder 124-128

Folder 124

Folder 125

Folder 126

Folder 127

Folder 128

Miscellaneous business papers, 1895-1937

Folder 129-130

Folder 129

Folder 130

Harriet Emily Bowen from Julia Bowen Peebles Seibert, 1951-1959

Folder 131

Miscellaneous family letters, 1920s-1970s

Folder 132

Miscellaneous financial and legal papers, 1870s-1930s

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