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||11.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2,000 items)|
|Abstract||Charles Walter Tillett (1888-1952) was a prominent Charlotte, N.C., lawyer, supporter of the United Nations, and University of North Carolina trustee. The collection includes correspondence, speeches, writings, and research materials of Tillett. Over half of the materials are documents Tillett used in researching his speeches and articles. Many items relate to the United Nations and international law. Most of Tillett's speeches and articles deal with international concerns, although some pertain to local Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, state, and national Democratic Party politics; legal matters; and civic organizations. Correspondence, which dates from 1907 to 1952, largely concerns legal matters; fund-raising campaigns for various organizations; Tillett's work for the American Bar Association's section on International and Comparative Law; and his involvement in various activities at the University of North Carolina, including his service on the Board of Trustees. There are also materials relating to various aspects of his legal career and a few relating to his personal life. Among Tillett's correspondents were Josephus Daniels, John C. B. Ehringhaus, Edward Kidder Graham, Frank Porter Graham, and Tillett's wife Gladys Avery Tillett. Also included are some materials relating to Tillett's parents.|
|Creator||Tillett, Charles Walter, 1888-1952.|
|Curatorial Unit||Southern Historical Collection|
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.
Charles Walter Tillett (1888-1952) was born in Mangum, N.C., 6 February 1888, the son of Charles Walter and Carrie Patterson Tillett. He was educated at the Webb School, Bell Buckle, Tenn.; earned an A.B. degree from the University of North Carolina in 1909; and studied law at the University of North Carolina in 1909 and 1910. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Order of the Golden Fleece, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
Tillett, like his father, chose to enter the legal profession and was admitted to the Bar in 1910. After a short period as a company commander during World War I (he never saw combat), he practiced law in Charlotte, N.C., and, at the time of his death, was senior partner in the law firm of Tillett, Campbell, Craighill, and Randleman. Tillett became prominent in his profession, serving as chair of the American Bar Association's Section on International and Comparative Law (two terms), president of the North Carolina Bar Association (1935-1936), and member of the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners (1933-1943), which he helped to establish.
A major proponent of the United Nations and international law, Tillett wrote and spoke frequently on the United Nations and served as an unofficial correspondent for the Charlotte News at the San Francisco Conference in 1945. His advocacy of international law led him to testify before a United States Senate subcommittee in 1952, urging acceptance by the United States of compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Tillett served on the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina from 1932 to 1937. He also served as president of the General Alumni Association and of the Horace Williams Philosophical Society.
Tillett engaged in civic work as well, serving on the Charlotte School Board from 1919 to 1923 and as attorney for the city modernists during the evolution controversy in North Carolina in the 1920s. Tillett was active in the Democratic Party, serving as a delegate to the 1944 Democratic National Convention. Charles Tillett's wife, Gladys Avery Tillett (1891-1984), whom he married in 1917, was even more active in the Party, and the two collaborated in their speech writing and probably on other efforts as well.
Tillett, who had suffered from clinical depression, committed suicide by plunging to his death from his Charlotte office building on 23 December 1952.Back to Top
The collection includes correspondence, speeches, writings, and research materials of Charles Walter Tillett. Over half of the materials are documents Tillett used in researching his speeches and articles. Many items relate to the United Nations and international law. Most of Tillett's speeches and articles deal with international concerns, although some pertain to local Charlotte, N.C., and Mecklenburg County, N.C., state, and national Democratic Party politics; legal matters; and civic organizations. Correspondence, which dates from 1907 to 1952, largely concerns legal matters; fund-raising campaigns for various organizations; Tillett's work for the American Bar Association's section on International and Comparative Law; and his involvement in various activities at the University of North Carolina, including his service on the Board of Trustees. There are also materials relating to various aspects of his legal career and a few relating to his personal life. Among Tillett's correspondents were Josephus Daniels; John C. B. Ehringhaus; Edward Kidder Graham; Frank Porter Graham; and Tillett's wife, Gladys Avery Tillett.
Also included are biographical materials on Tillett and correspondence and legal papers of Tillett's parents, Charles W. Tillet (1857-1936) and Carrie P. Tillett.
Materials in the Addition of February 2001 have been arranged according to the organization scheme of the original deposit. Please see the Alphonso Calhoun Avery Papers (#3456) for legal materials and correspondence regarding Tillett's legal work for the estate of William Holland Thomas, Gladys Avery Tillett's grandfather.Back to Top
Arrangement: by subject.
United Nations documents, and newspaper clippings, periodicals, miscellaneous printed items, speeches, writings, and correspondence dealing with international concerns. Among items in this series are speeches and articles Charles Tillett wrote concerning the United Nations and international law, including a speech on the causes of World War I, as well as notes and printed material he used in researching his speeches and articles. Several of the articles were written by Tillett while he served as an unofficial correspondent at the San Francisco Conference in 1945. Much of the correspondence in this series deals with Tillett's service as member and chairman of the American Bar Association's Section on International and Comparative Law. Note that original file folder titles have, for the most part, been retained.
Arrangement: by subject.
Correspondence, printed material, and notes on various subjects and issues in which Charles Tillett was involved or had some interest. Much of the printed material was used by Tillett in researching his speeches. Correspondence and political and legal materials are also included in this series, documenting Tillett's involvement in Charlotte City and Mecklenburg County politics; various legal matters; his work on the commission formed to erect a memorial to the three North Carolina-born presidents on the State Capitol grounds; and his involvement in University affairs after graduation from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, including service on the Board of Trustees and as president of the General Alumni Association.
Correspondence dealing with the commission for a memorial to the three North Carolina presidents contains letters, largely of an official nature, from Josephus Daniels, written in 1947. The UNC material contains correspondence between Tillett and University President Edward Kidder Graham, written in the 1910s, concerning the Conference for Social Service, of which Tillett was a member, and the Mecklenburg Alumni Association. Also included is correspondence of a personal nature with Frank Porter Graham from the same period and printed and typescript copies of speeches given by Edward Kidder Graham, Frank Porter Graham, and Tillett at UNC. North Carolina Governor John C. B. Ehringhaus is represented by a letter he wrote to Tillett in 1933 concerning his educational policies. Note that original file folder titles have, for the most part, been retained.
|Oversize Volume SV-4438/2|
Arrangement: by subject.
Notes and research material used in various speeches and writings of Charles Tillett, as well as typescript and printed copies of speeches and articles. Subjects include religious, historical, political, and legal topics. Note that speeches and writings on the United Nations and international concerns are included in Series 1. Some speech material is also included in Series 2. Note that original file folder titles have, for the most part, been retained.
Chiefly letters received by Charles Tillett concerning legal matters, politics, articles Tillett wrote for newspapers and magazines, and personal matters (see especially letters from his wife Gladys Avery Tillett and son Charles Tillett III). Included is a description of the 1944 Democratic Convention by Tillett, who was a delegate, in a letter to his son. Noteworthy correspondents are Frank Porter Graham (folder 270) and Josephus Daniels (folder 269).
|Oversize Volume SV-4438/1|
Arrangement: by subject.
Speeches, writings, publications, and correspondence regarding the United Nations, national law, international law, and Charles Tillett's work as a lawyer. Speech topics include marriage, the United States Constitution, world government, and the United Nations Charter. Publications by Tillett concern the United Nations Charter and various legal issues. Much of the correspondence relates to the publication of Tillett's article on the United Nations Charter in the Ladies' Home Journal. Also included are legal proceedings from cases handled by the law firms of Tillett, Tillett, and Kennedy and Tillett and Campbell. There are also biographical materials on Tillett and correspondence and legal papers of his parents, Charles W. Tillett (1857-1936) and Carrie P. Tillett.
Note that materials in this addition are arranged according to the organization scheme of the original deposit.
Oversize volumes (SV-4438/1-2)Back to Top