This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.
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.
|Size||2.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1,400 items)|
|Abstract||Kenan family, chiefly of Duplin County, N.C., and Dallas County, Ala., and the related Graham family of Duplin County. The collection includes correspondence among various members of the Kenan and Graham families, relating to activities of relatives in North Carolina, Alabama, Maryland, and other southern states. Letters document the political, domestic, and economic interests of well-to-do Southerners between 1810 and 1900. In their letters, the Kenans and Grahams discussed contemporary concerns, such as slavery and plantation life; the activities of Confederate congressman Owen Rand Kenan (1804-1887); educational opportunities for young men and women; religion; agricultural problems in the old and new South; turn-of-the-century experiences of young scholars and other members of the Kenan family; and the role of William R. Kenan, Jr. (1872-1965), in publicizing the discovery of calcium carbide. In addition to the letters, there are financial and legal papers that pertain to the political, business, and military activities of various Kenans and Grahams. Also included are account books, bills and receipts, printed material, and miscellaneous papers illustrating the wide-ranging interests of members of these two families: Thomas S. Kenan's Civil War service in the 43rd N.C. Regiment; medicine; the University of North Carolina, especially in the 1890s; women's work; the Democratic Party; and the restoration of Liberty Hall, the Kenan homestead in Kenansville, Duplin County, N.C. Also included are a few recipe books; a brief travel diary from trips to Canada in 1895 and 1897; and photographs of various family members and their acquaintances, including Graham Kenan (1883-1920) and friends during their undergraduate days at the University of North Carolina, ca. 1904. Union Carbide materials include two letterpress books documenting the early history of the Union Carbide Company and its predecessor companies and "Union Carbide Corporation: A Brief Look at Historical Highlights" (1991) by M. A. Hill, which traces the formation of the company and the growth of chemicals and plastics production and technical facilities in the United States. The Addition of 2007 contains correspondence, notes, and clippings, 1806-1947, pertaining to the Kenan family, chiefly to Chauncey Graham and Stephen Graham, and to Mary Lilly Kenan Flagler Bingham. The Addition of February 2008 includes a likeness of James Kenan (1740-1810).|
|Creator||Kenan (Family : Duplin County, N.C.)|
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.
The Kenan and Graham families have been prominent in North Carolina since the early days of the area's settlement. Thomas Kenan (d. 1766) moved to the colony in the 1730s and established himself in Duplin County. Thomas's oldest son, James (1740-1810), fought in the Revolution and was the progenitor of most of the Kenans who figure in these papers. For a likeness of James Kenan see the Addition of February 2008.
Thomas Kenan (1771-1843), James's first son, married Mary Rand (1781-1856) and was the father of Owen Rand Kenan (1804-1887), a noted Confederate congressman. Owen and his sister Mary Rand Kenan (1823-1855) married into the Graham family. Most of the Kenans of Owen's generation moved in 1833 to Dallas County, Ala., leaving Owen Rand Kenan behind to manage the family's holdings in North Carolina. Owen's descendants include James Graham Kenan, a public official in Duplin County; William Rand Kenan, Sr., prominent citizen of Wilmington, N.C., and trustee of the University of North Carolina; William Rand Kenan, Jr., chemist, prosperous businessman, and philanthropist; Owen Hill Kenan, a physician; and Mary Lily Kenan, who married, first, Henry Morrison Flagler and, second, Robert Worth Bingham, U.S. ambassador to Great Britain.
Sarah Rebecca Graham (1817-1871) married Owen Kenan in 1836, and her brother, Chauncey William Graham (1819-1866), married Owen's sister Mary in 1846. John Graham emigrated to America in 1718 and settled in the North. One of John's grandsons, Chauncey, moved to the Murfreesboro, N.C., area in 1788, and Chauncey's son, Stephen, father of Sarah and Chauncey Williams Graham, settled near Kenansville. Stephen and his progeny became large landowners in Duplin County.
Note that the chart below lists only family members who figure significantly in these papers.
An important part of the Kenan family papers consists of letters among various members of the Kenan and Graham families. This correspondence relates to activities of relatives in North Carolina, Alabama, Maryland, and other southern states. It concerns the political, domestic, and economic interests of well-to-do southerners between 1810 and 1900. In their letters, the Kenans and Grahams discussed contemporary concerns, such as slavery; educational opportunities for young men and women; religion; agricultural problems; turn-of-the-century experiences of young scholars and other members of the Kenan family; and the role of William R. Kenan, Jr., in publicizing the discovery of calcium carbide.
In addition to the letters, there are financial and legal papers that pertain to the political, business, and military activities of various Kenans and Grahams. Also included are diaries, account books, printed materials, pictures, and miscellaneous papers that illustrate the wide-ranging interests of members of these two families--in medicine; the University of North Carolina and other institutions; travel in the United States and Canada; women's work; the Democratic Party; and the restoration of Liberty Hall, the Kenan homestead in Duplin County, N.C. Union Carbide materials include two letterpress books documenting the early history of the Union Carbide Company and its predecessor companies and "Union Carbide Corporation: A Brief Look at Historical Highlights" (1991) by M. A. Hill, which traces the formation of the company and the growth of chemicals and plastics production and technical facilities in the United States. There is also a reel of microfilm containing typed transcriptions of public records relating to Kenan family members. The Addition of 2007 contains correspondence, notes, and clippings, 1806-1947, pertaining to the Kenan family, chiefly to Chauncey Graham and Stephen Graham, and to Mary Lilly Kenan Flagler Bingham. The Addition of 2008 includes a likeness of James Kenan (1740-1810).Back to Top
Largely family correspondence of Graham and Kenan family members. Letters among members of the Graham family are chiefly from the 1810s through the 1860s, while correspondence of the Kenans is scattered throughout these years and constitutes the bulk of the later material.
Early letters describe the family life and education of the Kenans and the Grahams. Included are references to slave riots and rebellions, various political events, religious matters, and the agricultural pursuits of Kenan family members. Letters from the 1860s through the 1880s relate to the role Owen Rand Kenan played in the Confederate government, comment of experiences of the Kenans in the Civil War--as soldiers, prisoners of war, and observers--and contain additional information about the Kenans' farm and business pursuits.
Correspondence of the 1890s consists mainly of letters to and from Owen Hill Kenan, a physician. During the 1930s and early 1940s, letters document William R. Kenan, Jr.'s interest in clarifying the historical record of how he and others discovered calcium carbide at Chapel Hill. Other correspondence consists business letters, greeting cards, and other letters relating to Owen Hill Kenan.
Mostly bills, receipts, account records, and promissory notes of the Kenans and the Grahams. Antebellum items include legal and medical receipts, receipts for sales of slaves and other slave papers, and papers collected by Owen Rand Kenan and Stephen Graham as administrators of various estates. Civil War materials consist primarily of receipts and bills of Thomas S. Kenan, colonel of the 43rd North Carolina Regiment. Later papers are lumber receipts from Kenan enterprises, tax and insurance receipts and papers, and other personal and family finance items.
Deeds, surveys, wills, estate papers, agreements, indentures, contracts, warrants, and other legal papers of Graham and Kenan family members. Early papers include land grants to and from various Kenans; copies of wills of Thomas, Elizabeth, James, and Sarah Kenan and of Sally Graham; and items relating to Graham and Kenan professional concerns, slaves, lands, and domestic affairs. Material from the 1850s and 1860s includes papers of Owen Rand Kenan and Thomas Stephen Kenan relating to business and professional concerns, land, participation in the Civil War, and other matters. Later papers pertain to James Graham Kenan's lumber interests and his activities as sheriff of Duplin County. There are also papers relating to insurance policies and to various other undertakings of the Kenans. See also Series 6.
Chiefly newspaper articles, many about Kenan family members; political and agricultural society broadsides; and pamphlets. Among the early items are lodge bylaws, slave patrol regulations, campaign literature, and miscellaneous government publications. Duplin County and Kenan family history and the restoration and opening as a historic site of Liberty Hall, the Kenan family home in Kenansville, are major topics of the later material. See also Series 6.
Miscellaneous lists, 1853-1968 #04225, Series: "5. Other Material, 1789-1996 and undated." Folder 49
A list of slave births; voting returns, presumably from Duplin County; two morning reports of Company, 43rd North Carolina Regiment; and various other lists.
Certificates, 1865 and undated #04225, Series: "5. Other Material, 1789-1996 and undated." Folder 50
Membership certificates, military appointments, and other items.
Lyrics, poems, word games, 1928-1919 and undated #04225, Series: "5. Other Material, 1789-1996 and undated." Folder 51
Various songs, poems, and instructions for writing in code.
Recipes and household hints, 1810-1899 #04225, Series: "5. Other Material, 1789-1996 and undated." Folder 52
Handwritten and printed recipes and household hints collected by the Kenans.
Owen Hill Kenan materials, 1890s #04225, Series: "5. Other Material, 1789-1996 and undated." Folder 54
Calling cards, advertisements, excursion passes, and other items from Owen Hill Kenan's time in Baltimore.
Tests and examinations, 1890-1899 #04225, Series: "5. Other Material, 1789-1996 and undated." Folder 55
College tests in chemistry, medicine, arithmetic, grammar, and geography.
A speech, perhaps by Thomas Stephen Kenan, to the Confederate veterans of Duplin County, and two other speeches.
Genealogical materials, 1789-1996 and undated #04225, Series: "5. Other Material, 1789-1996 and undated." Folder 57-58
Notes, sketches, essays, and other papers relating to the Graham, Kenan, Howard, and other families. Also included are two copies of a video tape of Frank Kenan's 1996 funeral, shot by WTVD in Durham, N.C. (VT-4225/1-2; broadcast video cassettes).
Materials relating to members of the Kenan family of Duplin County, N.C. #04225, Series: "6. Microfilm, 1748-1966." Reel M-4225/1
Typescripts of photocopies of original materials, which are privately held, were loaned for microfilming in August 1980.
Part I: Deeds, ca. 1744-1966, 466 pp. Kenan family members as grantors. Includes index.
Part II: Deeds, ca. 1749-1940, 244 pp. Kenan family members as grantors. Includes index.
Part III: Miscellaneous Kenan family papers, 1790-1896, 27 pp. These include letters, commissions, and a land grant involving various members of the Kenan family. Only two letters, 26 September 1831 and 20 September 1833, are not available in Series 1.
Part IV: Kenan family Duplin County court records, 1815-1927, 28 pp. Includes two indexes, one to abstracts of Duplin County records included in these typed transcripts and the other to Duplin County records in the office of the Duplin County Clerk of the Court.
Part V: Wills, 1762-1920, 85 pp. Kenan family members wills. Includes index.
Part VI: Kenan family members in The Colonial and State Records of North Carolina and other historical works, ca. 1748-1926, 385 pp. Includes index.
Part VII: Marriage records, 1788-1901, 3 pp. List of Kenan family brides and grooms.
Part VIII: "The Kenans of Duplin County, North Carolina," undated, 5 pp. Biographical sketches of early Kenans in Duplin County, including Thomas Kenan, who immigrated from Great Britain, and his sons and grandsons.
Account book, owner unknown, but various members of the Kenan family are mentioned in entries (formerly volume 3).
Volume 2: Account book/medical notebook, 1864-1866 and 1866-1891, 320 pp. #04225, Series: "7. Volumes, 1859-1939." Folder 62
Account book and medical notebook of Chauncey William Graham. Entries 1866-1891 relate to Graham's estate (formerly volume 4).
Notebook of Annie E. Hill Kenan, containing chiefly religious remarks (formerly volume 1).
College and legal notebook of Thomas C. Kenan (formerly volume 2).
Brief journal of trips made by Annie Kenan to Canada in 1895 and 1897.
Notebook, probably of Annie Dickson Kenan, containing addresses (formerly volume 8).
Notebooks, probably of Owen Hill Kenan, while at school in the 1890s (formerly volumes 9-12).
College notebook of Graham Kenan (formerly volume 14).
Recipe book of Annie Kenan with miscellaneous other entries, including a few accounts of Owen R. Kenan (formerly volume 6).
Recipe book, owner unknown (formerly volume 7).
Volume 14: Analysis of Republican Party politics, 1902, 384 pp. #04225, Series: "7. Volumes, 1859-1939." Folder 70
Analysis of Republican Party politics, published by the Democratic Congressional Committee (formerly volume 13).
D. Hill's souvenir handbook of the 1907 United Confederate Veterans' reunion.
Josephus Daniels and Addie Daniels, undated #04225, Series: "8. Pictures, 1890s-1955 and undated." P-4225/14
"We send fond feelings from the Embassy fireside."
Photographs of Graham Kenan and others taken when Kenan was an undergraduate (A.B. 1904) at the University of North Carolina. Many of the photographs are of Kenan and his friends at the Mount Pisgah Forest retreat belonging to Professor Schenck of the University. There are a few photographs of campus buildings.
|Photograph Album PA-4225/1|
|Oversize Paper Folder OPF-4225/1b|
|Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-4225/1a-2a|
"Union Carbide Corporation: A Brief Look at Historical Highlights" by M. A. Hill (1991) #04225, Subseries: "Addition of May 2001 (Acc. 98961), 1991." Folder 73
Traces the background leading to the formation of Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation and the subsequent growth of chemicals and plastics production and technical facilities in the United States. A list of products and a bibliography are included. Photocopy of typescript, 13 pp.
Two letterpress books documenting the early history of the Union Carbide Company and its predecessor companies.
|Oversize Volume V-4225/S-17||
Volume 17: Letterpress book, 1896-1898 #04225, Subseries: "Addition of January 2004 (Acc. 99693), 1896-1899." V-4225/S-17
Includes letters of William Smith Horry, a leading figure in the carbide industry, describing management of a carbide plant in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and his attempts to invent and patent a carbide oven..
|Oversize Volume V-4225/S-18||
Volume 18: Letterpress book, 1896-1899 #04225, Subseries: "Addition of January 2004 (Acc. 99693), 1896-1899." V-4225/S-18
Letters of William Rand Kenan, Jr., to the Chicago home office while he managed a carbide plant in Appleton, Wis., and/or Sault St. Marie, Mich.
Correspondence, notes, and clippings, 1806-1947, pertaining to the Kenan family, chiefly to Chauncey Graham and Stephen Graham, and to Mary Lilly Kenan Flagler Bingham. Folder 74 contains a copy of Stephen Graham's last will and testament.
Digital image (JPEG) of James Kenan (1740-1810). The original likeness is housed in the Masonic Lodge of Greensboro, N.C.
|Data Compact Disc DCD-4225/1|
Western Union telegraph from Owen Hill Kenan to Mr. and Mrs. John Sprunt Hill, 29 November 1899.
Western Union telegraph from Owen Hill Kenan to Mr. and Mrs. John Sprunt Hill with congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of their marriage. The telegraph was sent in care of George W. (Washington) Watts, father of Annie Louise Watts, newly Annie Watts Hill.
Oversize papers (OPF-4225/1b; XOPF-4225/1a-2a)
Pictures (P-4225/1-57; OP-P-4225/1; PA-4225/1)
Oversize volumes (SV-4225/17,18)
Data Compact Disc (DCD-4225/1)Back to Top
Processed by: Staff, 1980-2004
Encoded by: Roslyn Holdzkom, July 2004
Revisions: Finding aid updated in May 2005 by Nancy Kaiser.
Updated by: Margaret Dickson, July 2007; Noah Huffman, February 2008; Jodi Berkowitz, July 2017; Nancy Kaiser, March 2021
This inventory was built on an inventory compiled by J. Hesson, assisted by K. Lanning and T. West in September 1980.
Note that some materials are typescripts of photocopies of original materials in private hands.Back to Top