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Collection Number: 04351

Collection Title: Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams Papers, 1827-1979

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.

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Size 500 items
Abstract Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams was the daughter of Jane Elizabeth Crichton (1840-1891) and Philip Guston Alston (1839-1924), a farmer and Confederate Army captain, of Warren County, N.C. She married Archibald Davis Williams, a planter in Franklin County, N.C. The collection includes personal and business correspondence of the Alston, Williams, Crichton, and Tunstall families of Warren and Franklin counties, N.C. The bulk of the collection consists of personal correspondence. Prior to the Civil War, family correspondence of the Alston and Williams families described economic conditions, family activities, slavery, and business and agricultural concerns. During the Civil War, while serving in the Confederate Army, Philip Guston Alston wrote letters about his business affairs. There are also descriptions of military service, imprisonment, and the progress of the war by several other people. From 1870 to 1890, letters detail Philip Guston Alston's unsuccessful attempts at farming in Warren County, N.C., and the daily lives and concerns of his family members. There are also letters from his sons, describing their work and daily lives in western North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and Turkey, including descriptions of the tobacco market in Turkey. After 1900, Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams received letters from Philip Guston Alston in South Carolina, and from her daughters regarding family matters and their teaching careers. Miscellaneous items include leaflets, church bulletins, concert programs, poetry, cards, and invitations, school records, genealogical records, wills, pamphlets, and autorgraph albums.
Creator Williams, Lucy Tunstall Alston, 1869-1940.
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.
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 Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams papers #4351, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of Southern women and their families in the 19th century, Series A.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Henry Lewis, Chapel Hill, NC, January 1983. (Henry Lewis is a grandson of Lucy T. A. Williams.) Twelve-item addition received from Henry W. Lewis in April 1986 and integrated into papers December 1992.
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: Henry Wilkins Lewis, David Bost, Sandra Nyberg, 1982-1984

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was arranged and prepared, in part, by Henry Wilkins Lewis, the grandson of Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams, and the donor of these papers.

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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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George Washington Alston (1801-1849) + Marina Priscilla Williams (1810-1897) (of Cherry Hill plantation, Fork Township, Warren County, N.C.)

Philip Guston (1839-1924) + (1) Jane Elizabeth Crichton (1840-1891) (of Maple Cottage, Buxton Place, and Sunny Hill in Fork Township, Warren County, N.C., and later of Marlboro County, S.C.)

Philip Guston, Jr. ("Pegie") (1864-1933) + Virginia Williams Graham (d. 1971) (of Warren County, N.C., and later of Texarkana, Ark.)

Philip Graham (1918-1980) + Florince Kitchen (of Texarkana and Little Rock, Ark.)

George Warren (1866-1912) + Laura June King (1871-1938) (of Texarkana, Ark.)

Marion Frances + Henry Clark Bourne (of Tarboro, N.C.)

Katherine Crichton + Preston W. Edsall (of Raleigh, N.C.)

Philip King + Virginia Coxe (of Oakland, Cal.)

Lucy Tunstall (1869-1940) + Archibald Davis Williams, Jr. (1856-1911) (of Linwood farm, Franklin County, N.C.)

Jane Crichton (Jennie) (1892-1978) + Edmund Wilkins Lewis (of Jackson, N.C.)

Henry Wilkins (b. 1916) (of Chapel Hill, N.C.)

Philip Alston (1921-1977) + Janie Stephenson Parker (b. 1920) (of Jackson, N.C.)

Jane Crichton (b. 1929) + Algernon Augustus Zollicoffer, Jr. (b. 1924) (of Henderson, N.C.)

Mary Lewis (Mamie) (1894-1979) (of Warrenton, N.C.)

Archibald Davis, III (1896-1960) (of New York, N.Y.)

Lucy Alston (1904-1967) + William Albert Graham (of Flemingsburg, Ky.)

Mary Lewis Graham + (1) Marion Henry Tuttle Seawell + (2) John Robert Sayre

William Albert, Jr. (of Flemingsburg, Ky.)

Hugh Crichton (1871-1896) (of Warren County, N.C., and later of Beard's Creek, Ga.)

William Henry (1873-1947) + Rowena Watson (1879-1970) (of Bronxville, N.Y.)

Jane Crichton (b. 1910) + (1) Kenneth Roberts Telfer (ofBronxville, N.Y.) + (2) Walter Edwin Thomas (of Hilton Head)

William Henry, Jr. (b. 1915) + Kathleen Steisguth (of Syosset, N.Y.)

William Watson (b. 1916) + Frances (Francie) Buckner Kemper) (of Bronxville, N.Y.)

Matilda (Tillie) (b. 1920) + William Joseph Colihan (of Greenwich and later Essex, Conn.)

Philip Guston (b. 1921) + Jane Alden Durfee (Dede) (of Bronxville, N.Y.)

Ella Lee (Nettie) (1875-1951) + Harry Hill Thorne (of Warrenton, N.C.)

Crichton Alston (b. 1900) + Van Kearney Davis (of Warrenton, N.C.)

Samuel Williams (1878-1937) + Anna Williams ("Annie Branch") Ballard (b. 1876) (of Texarkana, Ark.)

Helen E. (b. 1903) + Augustus Garland Lee (of Texarkana, Ark.)

Louis (originally Lewis) Watson (1884-1960) + Charlotte Niven McKinney (1886-1955) (of Morganton, N.C., and Baltimore, Md.)

Mary Niven (1918-1981) (of New York and Nice)

William Henry (1841-1907) (of Fork Township, Warren County, N.C.)

George Washington, Jr. (1845-1916) + Elizabeth (Bettie) Faulcon Alston (1849-1948) (of Cherry Hill plantation, Fork Township, N.C.)

Marina Priscilla (1868-1893) + Edward Alston Williams (1863-1938)

Carolina Matilda (1871-1964)

Ruina Williams (1873-1894)

Edgar Faulcon (1875-1965) (of Cherry Hill plantation, Warren County, N.C.)

Solomon Williams Alston (1877-1949) (of Cherry Hill plantation, Warren County, N.C.)

George Garland (1877-1949) + Mary Plummer Thorne (1872-1947) (of Airlie, Halifax County, N.C.)

William Wyatt (1881-1881)

George Vernon (1883-1962) + Martha Mahone (1882-1962)

Elizabeth Thomas (1885-1971) + William Henry Thorne (1876-1953) (of Airlie, Halifax County, N.C.)

Jane Crichton (1888-1975)

Morton W. (1891-1971) + Mamie White (b. 1895) (of Fork Township, Warren County, N.C.)


William Williams (1760-1838) + (1) Ruina Webb (of The Fork, Warren County, N.C., and the Reuben Town, Centerville, area of Franklin County, N.C.) + (2) Elizabeth Kinchen Kearney (1769-1863)

Robert Webb (1792-1822) + Hartwell Hodges Davis (1793-1870) (of Vine Hill plantation, Franklin County, N.C.)

Ruina Temperance (1814-1897) + Samuel Thomas Alston (1806-1860) (of Tusculum plantation, Warren County, N.C.)

Philip Guston (1843-1928) + (1) Elizabeth Crawford Williams (1846-1902) (of Centerville and Louisburg, N.C.) + (2) Temperance Lou King

Elizabeth Faulcon (1849-1948) + George Washington Alston, Jr. (1845-1916) (of Cherry Hill plantation, Warren County)

Elizabeth + James Yarborough (of Franklin County)

Robert Edgar (1817-1904) + Valeria Virginia Kearney (1822-1907) (of Myrtle Lawn plantation, Warren County, N.C.)

Martha Harriet (1819-1873) + Benjamin Thorne Ballard (1813-1894) (of Rocky Hill plantation, Franklin County, N.C.)

Robert Edgar (1839-1893) + Sarah Agnes Branch (1847-1891) (of Warren County, N.C.)

Anna Williams (Annie Branch) + Samuel Williams Alston (1878-1937)

Archibald Davis (1821-1904) + Lucy Ann Lewis (1822-1879) (of Vine Hill plantation, Franklin County, N.C.)

Elizabeth Crawford (1846-1902) + Philip Guston Alston (1843-1928)

Robert Lewis (d. 1864 in the Confederate States Army)

Hartwell Hodges (Hodgie) + Charles K. Pender (of Edgecombe County, N.C., and Baltimore, Md.)

Charles Lewis (1849-1853)

Rosa + J. Henry Bryan (of Granville County, N.C., and later of Franklin County)

Archibald (Baldie) Davis, Jr. (1856-1911) + Lucy Tunstall Alston (1869-1940) (of Linwood farm, Franklin County) (see Alston family for children)

Eloise (Ella) + David Nicholson Sills (1836-1897) (of Nash County, N.C. and later Baltimore, Md)

Edward Alston (1863-1938) + (1) Marina Priscilla Alston (1868-1893) (of Battleboro, N.C.) + (2) Uva Lee Avent (1877-1918) + (3) Myra Harrison

Lillian Littlejohn + S. Edson Sturgis

Louis Napoleon + Mamie Ridley Watson (of Kinston, N.C.)

Marina Priscilla (1810-1897) + George Washington Alston (1801-1849) (of Cherry Hill plantation, Warren County, NC)


George Pugh Tunstall (b. 1770) + Temperance Boddie Williams (sister of William Williams, 1760-1838)

Samuel Williams (d. 1864) + Ann Whitmell Tunstall (of Danville, Va.)

Nathaniel Richard (1804-1870) + Martha Harrison (of Franklin County, N.C.)

Nora + ? Block (of Pass Christian, Miss.)

Sarah + ? Block (of Pass Christian, Miss.)

Mary Emily (Polly) (d. 1863) + John W. Hunt (of Franklin County, N.C.)

George (1808-1889) + Frances Clanton Russell (d. 1848) (of Franklin County, N.C.)

Martha Frances + Elijah Petit (of Texas)

George Dudley (1839-1864)

Nathaniel Richard (b. 1840) + Annie M. Hudgins

Landon Clanton (1845-1883)

Mary F. (Polly) (b. 1848)

Elizabeth Barker + Nathan Patterson (d. 1849) (of Franklin County, N.C.)

Caroline Matilda (1821-1902) + Henry Blount Hunter, Jr. (of Warren County, N.C.)

Francis Pugh + Mary Rives (of Petersburg, Va.)

Elizabeth Barker + James Turner (of Mississippi)

Samuel S.

Mariam Stamps + (1) Peyton Randolph Tunstall + (2) James T. Pope

Lucy Henry (1811-1879) + Hugh Crichton (1806-1841) (of Brunswick County, Va., and later Franklin County, N.C.)

Anna (1836-1908) + Lewis Nathan Watson (1834-1911) (of Rockland farm, Warren County, N.C.)

William Randolph (1859-1937) + Jane Hinton (1861-1930) (of Raleigh, N.C.)

Mary (Mamie) Lewis (1864-1939) + William Armistead Burwell (1863-1912) (of Warrenton, N.C.)

Robert Tunstall (1867-1940) + Rebecca Ould (Mamie) Pettyjohn (of Warrenton, N.C.)

Sallie (Mitt) Crichton

Whitmell Jerman (1872-1942)

Ivey + (1) Bessie Curtis (of Enfield, N.C.) (2) Sue White (3) Ellie Saunders

Lucy Henry + Paul T. Cahoon (of Suffolk, Va.)

Sarah + James H. Dent (of Franklin County, N.C.)

James H. (of Franklin County, N.C.)

Lucy Henry + J. Adolphus Thomas (of Franklin County, N.C.)

Jane Elizabeth (1840-1891) + Philip Guston Alston (1839-1923)

Hugh Randolph (1841-1909) + Hermenia Hansen (of Galveston, Tex., and later of Mobile, Ala.)

Lucy Tunstall (1893-1981) + Thomas Browne Snevely (of Mobile, Ala.)

Charles Edward Stuart (b. 1895) + Kathleen O'Conner (of Little Rock, Ark.)

Susan Randolph (b. 1896)

Anne Randolph (b. 1898)

Hugh Erne (b. 1903)

Temperance Williams (d. 1885) + William Richmond King (d. 1888) (of Franklin County, N.C.)

William Richmond + Pattie S. Sills (of Franklin County)

Joel G. King + Bettie D. Massenburg (of Warrenton, N.C.)

Laura June (1871-1938) + George Warren Alston (1866-1912)

Marion Norwood + Mary Melissa Payne (of Norfolk, Va.)

Nora Lillington King (of Warrenton, N.C.)

Robert Edward + Della Hunter Pope (1856-1931)b

Mary L. T.

Peyton Randolph (d. 1858) (of Franklin County)

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This collection of more than 500 letters and assorted documents records the activities of one segment of the extensive Alston-Williams-Tunstall-Crichton family connection that was centered in Warren and Franklin counties in North Carolina. The central figures in the correspondence are Philip Guston Alston (1839-1924), his wife, Jane Elizabeth Crichton (1840-1891), and their daughter, Lucy Tunstall Alston (1869-1940), wife of Archibald Davis Williams, Jr. (1856-1911). The papers were amassed and preserved initially by Lucy Williams then by her daughter, Mary Lewis Williams (1894-1979) at their residence in Warrenton. At the death of Mary Williams they were placed in the custody of her nephew, Henry Wilkins Lewis, who has prepared this survey.

Pre-Civil War Papers

The earliest letter in this collection was written by Elizabeth Johnston Alston (1780-1866) to her daughter, Mary Hardee Alston (later Mrs. Whitmel H. A. Kearney), then staying with members of Mrs. Alston's family at Hayes plantation near Edenton in Chowan County, N.C. Writing on 29 February 1827, from Warren County, Mrs. Alston gave a graphic description of the economic distresses that impelled so many from that area to migrate to the south and west (Folder 22).

A second letter, 3 August 1839, from Wake Park plantation near Bolivar, Tenn., and written by Temperance Boddie Williams, wife of Dr. Calvin Jones (1775-1846), gives insight into the relative prosperity that she and her Connecticut-born husband had found "beyond the mountains" after his brilliant and versatile career in North Carolina. The letter was addressed to Temperance's sister, Marina Priscilla Williams (Mrs. George Washington Alston) congratulating her on the birth of her first child, Philip Guston Alston, on 20 March 1839 (Folder 22).

The Washington Alstons had two additional children: William Henry (b. 1841) and George W. Jr. (b. 1845). The father died in 1849, leaving the home plantation, Cherry Hill, to his wife and placing his minor sons under the guardianship of his brother, Philip Guston Alston (1803-1852), and his cousins, Edward Alston (1797-1856) and John Buxton Williams (1815-1887).

The younger Philip Guston Alston was sent to an academy in Ridgeway, N.C., and in 1855 to the University of North Carolina, where he acquired a lifelong taste for history and English literature. (An autograph album that dates from his college years is preserved in the collection.) In 1857, apparently with the approval of his one surviving guardian, Alston left the University to begin life as a farmer on the plantation left him by his uncle-guardian for whom he had been named, the land on which the young man's great grandfather Philip Alston, the first of that name, had settled before the middle of the eighteenth century.

Civil War Documents

A few business papers in the collection attest to Philip Guston Alston's agricultural experience with the slave labor he inherited from his father, an effort that he maintained throughout the Civil War concurrently with service as a captain in the Confederate States Army. The remaining Civil War documents are letters from family connections, not from Alston himself.

12 November 1860: Robert Lewis Williams (son of Archibald Davis and Lucy Ann Lewis Williams of Vine Hill plantation, Franklin County, N.C.) wrote from school at Brownsville, N.C., telling his sister, Hartwell Hodges (Hodgie), something of local reaction to the election of Abraham Lincoln. (Folder 22)

9 February 1863: Hugh Randolph Crichton wrote to his sister, Jane (soon to be wife of Philip Guston Alston) from camp on the Rapidan twelve miles from Gordonsville, Va., reporting on skirmishes there. (Folder 12)

Undated: letter from Crichton to his mother, Mrs. Hugh Crichton (Lucy Henry Tunstall) is almost illegible. (Folder 12)

3 May 1864: Robert Lee Williams, then a lieutenant in the Confederate States Army, wrote to his sister from a camp near Taylorsville, Va. (Folder 22)

15 June 1864: Nathaniel Richard Tunstall, from a General Hospital in Petersburg, Va., wrote to his father, George Tunstall, in Louisburg, N.C. (Folder 22)

11 August 1864: Hugh Randolph Crichton wrote from near Petersburg to his sister, Jane. (Folder 12)

28 August 1864: Hugh Randolph Crichton "on skirmish" near Petersburg wrote to Captain and Mrs. Philip Guston Alston (his sister, Jane). (Folder 12)

30 November 1864: Miss Polly Tunstall wrote to her cousin, Jane Alston, lamenting the death of George Dudley Tunstall. (Folder 22)

Papers Dating from 1870 to 1890

On 2 February 1864, while still in uniform, Philip Guston Alston was married in Louisburg, N.C., to Jane Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh and Lucy Henry (Tunstall) Crichton. Jane, born on 22 April 1840, was twenty-four and, due to financial necessity brought on by her mother's long widowhood as well as the wartime economy, had been teaching at the Archibald Davis Alston plantation near Philip's mother's Cherry Hill. An album that she began keeping while a student at Louisburg College forms part of the collection. (Folder 27A)

Philip and Jane settled on the land he had acquired from his uncle and built a house they called Maple Cottage to replace an older house that had been destroyed by fire. The first of their eight children, a son, was born two days after Christmas in 1864 and named for his father. Although Alston attempted to adjust to a system of free labor, he was not a successful farmer. Eventually he lost the land on which Maple Cottage had been erected and moved to a residence on the eastern outskirts of Warrenton, where several of the Alston children attended school in the 1880s. Reports and certificates from this period may be found in the collection.

Late in the decade of the 1880s the family rented Buxton Place near Cherry Hill and were living there in July 1890 when the eldest daughter, Lucy Tunstall Alston (1869-1940), was married to her cousin, Archibald Davis Williams, Jr. (1856-1911). For the seventeen-month period that Jane Crichton Alston survived her daughter's marriage, the two women maintained constant communication through the exchange of notes carried by members of the family and others over the dozen or so miles between Buxton Place and Linwood, the Franklin County farm on which Lucy and her husband ("Baldie") made their home. These undated notes, filled with expressions of affection and advice, are part of the collection.

Indeed, it is with this period that the bulk of the papers have their beginning. One of the most interesting groups is the set of letters written by Hugh Randolph Crichton (1841-1909) from Galveston and Mobile, for it reflects not only his efforts to make his way in the business world but also his financial aid to his sister and brother-in-law as they struggled to continue farming.

When Jane (Crichton) Alston died in December 1891 at the age of fifty-one, leaving seven unmarried children, Lucy Williams was thrust into the role of foster mother as well as advisor and confidant for her financially-inept father, who disbanded his household, sending his four older sons to find work where they might and placing his sixteen-year-old daughter, Ella, and his younger sons, Samuel (age thirteen) and Louis (age seven) with Mrs. Williams at Linwood.

The collection contains letters from each of the older sons, Philip Guston (Pegie), George, Hugh, and Henry, that give useful insight into their struggle to make their way in business in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and even Turkey. Later letters and documents attest their success.

Early Twentieth Century

Archibald Davis Williams, Jr., died in 1911, an event that led his wife to move her household from the Franklin County farm to Warrenton. These events are mirrored in the correspondence.

By the time he was sixty years old Philip Guston Alston had left Warren County and had initiated an effort to sell life insurance in South Carolina. There he was married to the widowed Lucy McColl Roper and made his home at her residence near Tatum in Marlboro County. The letters that he wrote to Mrs. Williams in the period from 1898 to 1908 and her letters to him, as well as those of several of his grandchildren, give informative glimpses of family life and interests but contain only rare references to politics and events outside the domestic circle.

The two older children of Lucy Alston and Archibald Davis Williams, Jane (Janie) and Mary (Mamie), were among the earliest students in the newly established East Carolina Teachers Training School at Greenville, N.C. Their letters tell of their initial efforts to earn a living as teachers in the public schools of several small North Carolina communities.

In 1915 Jane Williams was married to Edmund Wilkins Lewis of Jackson, and her letters to her mother from 1915 to 1924 tell of her life as a bride and young mother with an especially vivid account of the influenza epidemic of 1918.

Letters to Mary Lewis Williams form the balance of the collection. These reflect her association with the business, cultural, and social life of Warrenton from 1911 until 1979 as well as the activities of the other members of this family in the same period.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams Papers, 1827-1979.

Folder 1

Letters of George Warren Alston to various family members, 1881-1907

Correspondents include Alston's mother, Jane Crichton Alston, his father, Philip Guston Alston, and his sister, Lucy Tunstall Alston. The correspondence covers the years 1881-1907 and deals largely with the writer's attempts to find employment. He was in Warrenton, N.C., from 188-1890, Fort Payne, Ala., in April 1890, Anniston, Ala., in April and May 1890, and Texarkana, Ark., from June 1890 to 1907. (51 items)

Folder 2

Letters of Hugh Crichton Alston to various family members and others, 1883-1893

Correspondents include Alston's mother, Jane Crichton Alston, his father, Philip Guston Alston, his brother, Philip (Pegie) Guston Alston, his brother, Lewis (later spelled Louis) Watson Alston, his sister, Lucy Tunstall Alston, his sister, Ella Lee Alston, his uncle, Hugh Randolph Crichton, Harry Guston Williams, his wife, Elizabeth McDuffie Williams, and John Buxton Williams. The correspondence covers the years 1888-1893 and tells of the writer's experience as a young man in his first employment in Keyser, N.C., from 1888-1890 in the lumber business, and in Beard's Creek, Ga., from 1890-1896, working for J. R. McDuffie Co., dealers in naval stores and lumber. (38 items)

Folder 3

Notes of Jane Elizabeth Crichton (Mrs. Philip Guston Alston) to her daughter, Lucy Tunstall Alston during the first year of her marriage to Archibald (Baldie) Davis Williams, 1890-1891

Jane Elizabeth Crichton was living either at Buxton Place or Sunny Hill, farms in Fork Township, Warren County, N.C.; her daughter was then living about twelve miles distant at Linwood, a farm near the village of Centerville in Franklin County, N.C. Only one of the notes is dated (11 February 1891); one, however, is written on the back of a letters dated 12 January 1891, from Marina Priscilla Alston to Lucy Tunstall Williams; another is written on the back of a letter from Hugh Crichton Alston to Lucy Tunstall Williams on 2 January 1891; and two others are written on the backs of business letters or other documents. In these notes the writer addresses her daughter as "Lute," a family nickname that was pronounced as if spelled "Lutie." In reading the notes it is helpful to know that Lucy's first child was either stillborn or died shortly after birth. Her first surviving child was named for the writer of these notes, Jane Crichton Williams, born 4 June 1892. (34 items)

Folder 4

Letters to Jane Elizabeth Crichton from various family members, undated

Correspondents include Jane Elizabeth Crichton's mother, Lucy Henry Tunstall writing from her home in Louisburg, N.C.; her mother-in-law, Marina Priscilla Williams writing from her home, Cherry Hill plantation in Fork Township, Warren County, N.C.; her sister, Anna Crichton writing from her home, Rockland farm near Ridgeway, Warren County, N.C.; her aunt, Temperance Williams Tunstall writing from the home of her son, Dr. Joel G. King, in Warrenton, N.C.; and her sister-in-law, Elizabeth (Bettie) Faulcon Alston writing from Cherry Hill plantation. (6 items)

Folder 5

Letters of Laura June King to her cousin and future sister-in-law, Lucy Tunstall Williams, 1890

Letters were written immediately prior to and soon after Lucy's marriage in July of that year to Archibald Davis Williams, Jr. (3 items)

Folder 6

Letters of Louis (originally spelled Lewis) Watson Alston to his sister, Lucy Tunstall Williams, and two miscellaneous items, 1886, 1961, and undated

Miscellaneous items consist of: a note, 1886, from his mother, Jane Crichton Alston enclosing a cutting of the child's hair at age 2 and a copy of an executor's initial report to court in Baltimore in administering Alston's estate, 1961. Letters were written from the home of his aunt, Anna Watson, near Ridgeway, N.C.; from Heartsease, Edgecombe County, N.C., where he found a job; and from Morganton, N.C., where he, his wife, and twins lived. (9 items)

Folder 7

Letters of Philip Guston Alston to his daughter, Lucy Tunstall Williams, 1898-1908

Letters were written from a farm near Tatum in Marlboro County, S.C. Alston's second wife, Lucy McColl Roper, bolonged to the McColl-Roper family connection: John W. Roper first married Henrietta McLaurin and had one child; following his first wife's death, Roper married Lucy McColl by whom he had four children; the Roper children were Daniel C. (by his first wife) and Eula, Thomas, Dell, and John (called Jack) (by his second wife). After Roper's death his widow, Lucy McColl Roper was married to Philip Guston Alston as his second wife, and it was on her farm that he was living when these letters were written. In addition to the Roper children, Alston mentions his wife's sister, Elizabeth (Lizzie) McColl, and his own children, in particular Louis Watson Alston. The letters record Alston's work as an insurance agent in South Carolina and the physical problems he suffered with his throat. (11 items)

The papers of Daniel C. Roper, later Secretary of Commerce in the cabinet of Franklin D. Roosevelt, are deposited in the library of Duke University and should be consulted for information on the family life of the South Carolina group into which Alston married.

Folder 8

Letters to Philip Guston Alston from various family members, 1891-1915

Correspondents include Dr. Edgar Williams of Myrtle Lawn plantation, Fork Township, Warren County, N.C., in 1891; his grandson, Archibald Davis Williams, III, in 1905 and 1906; his daughter, Lucy Tunstall Williams in 1906; his daughter Ella Lee Thorne, undated and 1905; his granddaughter, Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams, describing student life at the new East Carolina Teachers Training School at Greenville, N.C., and her first position as a teacher in the public school in Hookerton, N.C., in 1909, 1910, and 1914; his granddaughter, Crichton Alston Thorne, in 1912; his granddaughter, Lucy Alston Williams, 1915; his son, William Henry Alston, 1909; his daughter-in-law, Laura June (King) Alston, 1910 and 1912; his daughter-in-law, Rowena (Watson) Alston, wife of William Henry Alston, 1912; his daughter-in-law, Annie Branch Alston, 1915; and a letter to Lucy McColl Alston from Alston's granddaughter, Jane (Jennie) Crichton Williams, 1905. (19 items)

Folder 9

Miscellaneous business papers of Philip Guston Alston, 1859-1883

All of these items were found in Alston's wallet, one that he apparently used many years before his death. (31 items) Notable items include: 1 January 1867, a document settling executorship and guardianship of John Buxton Williams, who had served as executor of George W. Alston and as guardian for his two younger sons, William Henry Alston and George W Alston, Jr.; George W. Alston was father also of Philip Guston Alston; 20 May 1868, assumption of debt by William Henry Alston of Philip Guston Alston to Henry Blount Hunter as guardian of the children of Charles Kennedy; 1 January 1869, "Agreement of Labor" form made out in the name of Philip Guston Alston but left blank. One of the provisions of the form requiring the landowner-employer to "encourage the establishment of schools" for the children of his employees was stricken out.

Folder 10

Letters and Notes of Philip (Pegie) Guston Alston, Jr. to his father, Philip Guston Alston, his mother, Jane (Crichton) Alston, and sister, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams, 1884-1891

Letters deal with a young man's initial work experience away from home (at Palmyra, Halifax County, N.C.), his religious commitment, and his understanding of the stress generated by the death of his mother and the consequent need to make provisions for his younger sister, Ella Lee Alston, and younger brothers, Samuel Williams Alston and Louis Watson Alston. (10 items.)

Folder 11

Letters and postcards of William Henry Alston to his father, Philip Guston Alston, his sister, Lucy Tunstall Williams, and his uncle, William Henry Alston, 1897-1904

Letters and cards were written from Henderson, N.C. (1897); London, Dresden, and Cavalla (Turkey) (1901); Constantinople (1903); and Dresden (1904). The letters from Cavalla are of interest because they describe Turkish customs and go into detail as to how tobacco was processed and marketed there. Alston had gone abroad as an employee of one of the major tobacco manufacturers. (15 items)

Folder 12

Letters of Hugh Randolph Crichton to various family members and two miscellaneous items, circa 1863-1864 and undated

Includes a clipping from a Petersburg, Va., newspaper dated 25 December 1864 reporting Crichton's imprisonment at Fort Delaware and a typed extract from a memorial address on Crichton by Judge Saffold Berney, Mobile, Ala., 6 December 1909. The letters are addressed to the writer's sister, Jane (Crichton) Alston, his brother-in-law, Philip Guston Alston, his mother, Lucy Henry (Tunstall) Crichton, his nephew, George Warren Alston, and his nephew, Hugh Crichton Alston. Includes a letter to Jane from camp on the Rapidan River, twelve miles from Gordonsville, Va., reporting on skirmishes there, 9 February 1863; an undated letter from Crichton to his mother, Mrs. Hugh Crichton, that is almost illegible; a letter from Hugh Randolph Crichton near Petersburg to Jane, 11 August 1864; a letter from Crichton to Captain and Mrs. Philip Guston Alston (his sister, Jane) "on skirmish" near Petersburg, 28 August 1864. (14 items)

Folder 13

Letters of Jane (Jennie) Crichton Williams to various family members, 1903-1924

Correspondents include her mother, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams; her grandfather, Philip Guston Alston; her aunt, Ella (Nettie) Lee (Alston) Thorne; her step-grandmother, Lucy (McColl) Roper; her sister, Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams; her sister, Lucy Alston Williams; her son, Henry Wilkins Lewis; and her cousin, Crichton Alston Thorne. The letters were written from Cherry Hill plantation, 1903; Linwood farm near Centerville, Franklin County, N.C., 1904-1907; Warrenton, N.C., where the writer was attending Graham School, 1908; Townsville, Vance County, N.C., where the writer held her first position as a school teacher, 1913; Washington, D.C., where the writer was on her honeymoon, 1915; and from Jackson, N.C., where she lived after her marriage, 1915-1924. This folder also contains letters from two of her children, Henry Wilkins Lewis and Philip Alston Lewis, to their grandmother, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams, and to their aunt, Lucy Alston Williams. (69 items)

Folder 14

Letters of Hartwell Hodges (Hodgie) Williams of Pikesville, Md., to her brother, Archibald Davis Williams, Jr., and her sister-in-law Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams at the time of their wedding, 1890 (2 items)

Folder 15

Letters of Ella Lee Alston written from Littleton, N.C., to her sister Lucy Tunstall (Alston Williams), summer 1900.

A letter (unsigned), dated Brinkleyville, N.C., 25 January 1891, apparently to Jane (Crichton) Alston, her mother, and a letter from the writer's daughter, Crichton Alston Thorne to Archibald Davis Williams, III, are also included in this folder. (4 items)

Folder 16

Miscellaneous items of Jane (Jennie) Crichton Williams, 1910-1912 and undated

The first is a poem entitled "Centerville" in which the writer attempts to describe the Franklin County, N.C., near which she lived with her family. The second is the program of Music Recital in which the subject was a participant at East Carolina Teachers Training School, Greenville, N.C., 20 December 1910. The third is a letter from the subject postmarked Greenville, N.C., 9 January 1912, to her mother, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams and her aunt, Ella Lee (Alston) Thorne, who were then living in Warrenton, N.C.; this letter describes in detail the writer's visit to the Tarboro, N.C., home of Edwin Cherry, one of her suitors. (3 items)

Folder 17

Letters of Lucy Tunstall Alston to various family members, 1890-1923, 1981, and undated

Correspondents include her mother, Jane Elizabeth (Crichton) Alston, undated written in 1890-1891; her father, Philip Guston Alston, while he was a resident of Marlboro County, S.C., 1904 and 1918; her brother, Philip Guston Alston, Jr., 4 April 1905; her cousin, Lucy Tunstall Crichton in Mobile, Ala., 17 September 1923, with a typed commentary written by the writer's grandson, Henry Wilkins Lewis, 13 September 1981; and her husband, Archibald Davis Williams, Jr. (52 items)

Folder 18

Letters to Lucy Tunstall Alston from various family members, 1879-1921 and undated

Correspondents include her niece, Marion Frances Alston, from Tarboro, N.C.; her brother, Philip Guston Alston, Jr.; her cousin, Lucy Tunstall Crichton (sometimes referred to as her "aunt"); her cousin, Della Pope Hunter from Louisburg, N.C.; her cousin, Mary T. King, from Louisburg, N.C.; J. W. Jenkins, a Methodist minister asked to perform her marriage ceremony; her sister-in-law, Charlotte Niven McKinney from Binghamton, N.Y., and Morganton, N.C.; her sister-in-law, Hartwell Hodges (Hodgie) Williams, from Baltimore, Md.; her granddaughter, Jane Crichton Lewis, from Jackson, N.C.; her grandson, Philip Alston Lewis, from Jackson, N.C.; her cousin, James H. Dent from Franklinton, N.C.; her sister-in-law, Eloise (Ella) Williams from Baltimore, Md.; her sister-in-law, Rowena Watson, from White Plains and Bronxville, N.Y.; her cousin, Sallie Crichton Watson, from near Ridgeway, N.C.; her son, Archibald Davis Williams, III, from New York, N.Y.; her cousin, Buxton Barker Williams, a lawyer in Warrenton, N.C.; her husband's sister-in-law, Mamie Ridley Watson, from Spring Hope, N.C.; and her daughter, Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams, from Goldsboro, N.C. A substantial number of the letters are concerned with family events of importance: the death of her mother, Jane (Crichton) Alston, in December 1891; her marriage to Archibald (Baldie) Davis Williams, Jr. in July 1890; and the births of three children to William Henry and Rowena (Onie) (Watson) Alston: William Henry Alston, Jr. (1915), William Watson Alston (1916), and Philip Guston Alston (1921). This folder also contains a portion of a letter from Mary (Mamie) Lewis Watson, her cousin. (29 items)

Folder 19

Letters of Marina Priscilla Alston to Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams, 1890-1892 and undated

The writer, niece of Philip Guston Alston, had married a brother of Archibald (Baldie) Davis Williams, Jr., husband of the addressee. The letters were written from Epsom in Vance County, N.C.; Cherry Hill plantation in Fork Township, Warren County, N.C.; and Battleboro in Edgecombe County, N.C. (6 items)

Folder 20

Letters to Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams and miscellaneous items that she collected, 1933-1978

Correspondents include: Frances Buckner Kemper, wife of her cousin, from Izmir, Turkey; Jane Alden (Durfee) Alston and her husband, Philip Guston Alston, her cousin, from Bronxville, N.Y.; Lucy Alston Williams, her sister; Louis Watson Alston, her uncle, from Binghamton, N.Y., and Baltimore, Md.; Mary Niven Alston, her cousin from New York, N.Y.; Matilda Alston, her cousin, from Greenwich, Conn.; William Henry Alston, her uncle, from Bronxville, N.Y.; Henry Wilkins Lewis, her nephew, from Cambridge, Mass., and Camp Beauregard, La.; Philip Alston Lewis, her nephew, from the United States Navy; George A. Manderioli, President of the Salesman Club of the Austin Nichols Co., N.Y.; Fairfax (Polk) Mitchell and her husband John G. Mitchell, from Jacksonville, Fla.; Mary Dancy Battle from Butner, N.C.; Dr. Claiborne Thweatt Smith, Jr., from Butner, N.C. and Rebecca Drane from Edenton, N.C. Miscellaneous items in the folder include: John Philip Sousa Band Concert Program, Raleigh, N.C., 4 March 1924; Mary Lewis Williams' confirmation certificate from Chapel of Christ Church, Raleigh, N.C., 23 November 1942; a humorous poem, "Attention, First Aiders," undated and unsigned but from the period of World War II; a poem, "As It Looks to Me," copied by Margaret (Peggy) Gill; two "sent-off" poems, "Memo to Mamie-O" and "Tune: Silver Threads Among the Gold," from employees of the Citizens Bank, Warrenton, N.C., at the time Mamie Williams was leaving for a European vacation; Cathedral Columns, a leaflet published in December 1958, by the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore, Md., picturing and describing the great Resurrection Window given to that church by Louis Watson Alston in memory of his wife, Charlotte Nevin (McKinney) Alston; ">In Memoriam, Louis Watson Alston, 28 June 1884-18 January 1960," a typed copy of a memorial written by Edward W. Phifer, M.D., Morganton, N.C., 1960; a 1967 Christmas card from her nephew Henry Wilkins Lewis; program of a chamber recital, 14 November 1970, Morganton, N.C., by Mary Niven Alston, Soprano, her cousin, and others; program from St. John's Episcopal Church, Williamsboro, N.C., 11 October 1970; map of Williamsboro Area for Colonial Dames visit, 21 October 1970; program booklet of the Granville-Warren Committee of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of North Carolina, 1967-1969; an article by Robert B. House entitled "The Poetry of Our Lives" from The Chapel Hill Weekly, 18 July 1971; "A Song of Seven Sisters" by Williams' nephew, Henry Wilkins Lewis for Christmas, 1977; "A Thorn(e)y Fault Corrected" by Henry Wilkins Lewis sent to Williams early in 1978; and a leaflet from the Church of the Resurrection, New York City, with a picture of the McManis organ given as a memorial to Charlotte Niven (McKinney) Alston and Louis Watson Alston by their daughter Mary Niven Alston, together with a description of the instrument and program recital by David Hewlett, 13 January 1963. (65 items)

Folder 20a

Letters to Lucy Tunstall Crichton Sneveley, 1923-1955

Correspondence consists of letters from: Mary (Mamie) Lewis Watson Burwell (Warrenton, N.C.) to Lucy Tunstall Crichton Sneveley (Mobile, Ala.), 9 January 1923; Fred A. Olds (Raleigh, N.C.) to same, 21 July 1926; Ivey Watson (Enfield, N.C.), 14 September 1942; 4 April 1947; 21 June 1949; Whit Morris (San Antonio, Tex.) to same, 12 August 1949; S. Porter Myers (Richmond, Va.) to same, 20 June 1951; and Sallie Davis Daniel (Santa Fe, N.M.) to same, 16 May 1955. (8 items)

Folder 21

Birth announcements, wedding invitations, and graduation invitations, circa 1908-1970 (22 items)

Folder 22

Miscellaneous letters, 1827-1937

Correspondence includes: Eliza P. Johnston to her daughter Mary (Polly) Hardee Alston written from Warren County, N.C., and addressed to Hayes, near Edenton, Chowan County, N.C., 29 February 1827, containing a graphic description of the economic distresses that impelled so many from that area to migrate to the south and west; Temperance Boddie Williams to her sister, Marina Priscilla Alston upon the birth of her first child, Philip Guston Alston, from near the Jones plantation near Bolivar, Tenn., to Alston at the post office address of their recently-widowed mother, Elizabeth Kinchen Williams, Reuben Town (now Centerville), Franklin County, N.C., 3 August 1839, also discussing the relative prosperity that she and her Connecticut-born husband had found "beyond the mountains" after his brilliant and versatile career in North Carolina; Robert Lewis Williams to his sister, Hartwell Hodges Williams written from Brownsville, N.C., while he was in school, and refers to the local reaction to Abraham Lincoln's election, 12 November 1860; Robert L. Williams again to his sister Hartwell (Hodgie) as a lieutenant in the Confederate Army from camp near Taylorsville, Va., 3 May 1864; Nathaniel Richard Tunstall to his father George Tunstall from General Hospital, Petersburg, Va., with an appended note to his daughter, probably Mary (Polly) F. Tunstall, 15 June 1864; Mary (Polly) F. Tunstall to her aunt Jane Elizabeth Crichton lamenting the death of her brother George Dudley Tunstall and concern for her remaining brothers, Nathaniel Richard and Landon Clanton Tunstall, and her uncle, Hugh Randolph Crichton, 30 November 1864; Sarah (Tunstall) Block in Pass Christian, Miss., to her cousin, Molly (Mary L. T. King?) in Louisburg, N.C., 2 December 1891; Samuel Williams Alston to his sister, Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams from Texarkana, Ark., where he had just begun work, 22 August 1900; Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams to Delle (Roper) McColl, step-daughter of the writer's grandfather, Philip Guston Alston, 18 July 1907; Lucy Alston Williams in Warrenton, N.C., to Mrs. Pleasants, a former neighbor near Centerville, N.C., 1912; S. H. Vance to Samuel Williams Alston, 12 December 1936; and P. F. Cleaver to F. E. Wilson in regard to Samuel Williams Alston who had recently died, 31 March 1937. (12 items)

Folder 23

Miscellaneous items, 1892, 1910, and undated

Items consist of: a handwritten copy of a poem, "Oh Did I Love Three Less!" to Pattie Tunstall (Martha Frances?); partial draft of a Memorial to John Graham, Jr. (1874-1892), who died in Ridgeway, N.C., 8 June 1892; an unsigned postcard addressed to Jennie C. Williams, East Carolina Teachers Training School, Greenville, N.C., with a hand-lettered copy of the toast to "The Old North State"; and an undated postcard with a picture of the town of Alston in England from Jane Crichton Alston to her father, William Henry Alston. (4 items)

Folder 24

School records, 1874-1909

Includes a report on Philip Guston Alston, Jr., by John Graham while at the Fork Institute, Warren County, N.C., 1 April 1874; John Graham's bill to Philip Guston Alston for tuition (George Warren Alston's?) for 1878 and 1879; "Cards of Approbation" awarded to Lucy Tunstall Alston from Miss Lucy Hawkins' School, Warrenton, N.C., 1879 and 1882, and to Hugh Crichton Alston, 1880; a report on Hugh Crichton Alston by Manuel Fetter from the Warrenton (N.C.) High School, 2 June 1884; report on Louis Watson Alston's first (1897) and fourth quarter (1898) by Graham and Watkins, principal of the Warrenton High School; report on Jane Crichton Williams' first quarter (1908-1909) by John Graham, principal of the Warrenton High School. (10 items)

Folder 25

Genealogical records, 1922-1963 and undated

Includes a notebook kept by Lucy Tunstall (Alston) Williams containing data concerning the Alston, Barker, Crichton, Savage, Shaw, Tunstall, Williams, and Lewis families; worksheets for Colonial Dames ancestry of Grace Jackson Alston; typed copy of the will of Thomas Barker, 1786; Bennett ancestry of Temperance Boddie Williams, written by Rie Alston Williams; inscriptions from the Davis family cemetery at Columbia Farm, Franklin County, N.C.; Gloster family Bible records, 1763-1828; memorandum regarding Colonel Philemon Hawkins (1752-1833) and Colonel Benjamin Hawkins (1754-1816); Hilliard ancestry of Elizabeth Hilliard, wife of Archibald Davis; typed copy of the will of Hartwell (Hodges) Davis-Drake, 1796; typed list of the children of William Kinchen Kearney; essay on Thomas Barker, 1960; list of ancestors of Mary Lewis Williams qualifying for Colonial Dames, Daughters of the American Revolution, etc.; final papers for Daughters of the American Revolution of Mary (Mamie) Lewis Williams; and miscellaneous coats-of-arms. (19 items)

Folder 26

Pamphlets and other printed materials, 1809, 1923-1972, and undated

Consists of three copies of "The Power and Excellence of Religion, Exemplified in the Happy Conversion and Triumphant Death of Miss Ruina J. Williams" by Joel Rivers published for the Tract Society of the methodist Episcopal Church, New York, 1809, with a silhouette of Ruina Williams; an Address at Presentation of the Portrait of Judge Walter A. Montgomery to the Supreme Court of North Carolina by T. T. Hicks, 1923; "In Memory of Lucy Williams Perry" by William Willis Boddie, 1925; "The Attitude of the Church Towards Dissection before 1500" by Mary Niven Alston for the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. XVI, No. 3, October, 1944; announcement of the publication of Marian Niven (Alston), The Altar and the Crown, The University Press, Sewanee, Tennessee, 1972; "An Easter Card-Letter" by Tasker Polk, undated; "Warren County" by Fred A. Olds, undated; and a list of the North Carolina Historical Highway Markers in Warren County compiled with additional information by Warren County Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, undated. (8 items)

Folder 27

Album of Jane Elizabeth Crichton (Mrs. Philip Guston Alston) while a student at Louisburg College, Louisburg, N.C., circa 1858

Folder 28

Autograph album of Philip Guston Alston while a student at the University of North Carolina, 1855-1857

Folder 29

Autograph album of Lucy Tunstall Alston (Mrs. Archibald Davis Williams, Jr.), circa 1886-1890

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