Collection Number: 04683

Collection Title: Bennett and Hill Family Papers, 1850-1962

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 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 150 items)
Abstract Hill and Bennett family members include John E. Hill (b. 1836), a shoemaker who served with the Confederacy; his wife, Mary Eugenia Bennett Hill; her father, Risden H. Bennett; and her brothers Samuel Pines Bennett, who served in Clingman's Brigade and was killed in the Battle of Seven Pines in 1865, and Presly Lemuel Bennett, who served in the 2nd North Carolina Infantry Regiment. The Hill family lived in Tiverton, Devonshire, England, and the Bennetts in Wadesboro, Anson County, N.C. John E. Hill settled in North Carolina in the 1850s. Correspondence, 1850-1901 and 1949, among members of the Bennett and Hill families, and a few financial items relating to John E. Hill's shoemaking business; Eugenia Bennett Hill's 1853 diary; and a few miscellaneous items. Letters, 1850-1860, are from Risden H. Bennett and various friends to Eugenia, first at Salem Academy and then at home in Wadesboro, and discuss family and school activities. There is much discussion of the health of family members and slaves. Items, 1861-1865, include letters that describe troop movements and camp life to Eugenia and her father from her brothers in the field with unidentified Confederate Army regiments, and a photocopy of John E. Hill's prisoner-of-war record. There are also letters, 1864-1874, from and about John E. Hill's relatives in England. Beginning around 1870, there are letters, bills, and other items from suppliers of shoemaking equipment. The 1853 diary, 32 pages, of Eugnia Bennett Hill (then Eugenia Bennett) has short entries relating to housework and family visits. Other items include clippings, 1858 and 1962, about Bennett family ancestor Mary Dunn, a Revolutionary War herbalist.
Creator Bennett (Family : Wadesboro, N.C.)

Hill (Family : Hill, John E. (John Edwin), 1836-1895)
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 Bennett and Hill Family Papers #4683, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Typed transcriptions of many of the letters and of the diary are included.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Risden Hill in November 1993 (Acc. 93149) and July 1994 (Acc. 94100).
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: Roslyn Holdzkom, December 1993, November 1994

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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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

John Edwin (Jack) Hill was born in Barnstaple, Devonshire, England, in 1836, the oldest of eight children. He came to the United States in the 1850s, worked as a shoemaker, and fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. In 1869, he returned to England to visit his parents.

Mary Eugenia (Eugenia) Bennett was the elder daughter of Risden H. Bennett and his first wife, Charity Ann Ingram Bennett. Eugenia's brother, Samuel Pines Bennett, was the oldest child of this marriage and was killed in the Battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks) in 1865. Among Eugenia's other siblings were her brother Presly Lemuel Bennett; her sister Wincy Sophia Bennett, who married Benjamin Franklin Knotts; and her brother Roland Risden (Bud) Bennett, who married Elizabeth Helen Knotts. After Charity Ann Ingram Bennett's death, Risden H. Bennett married Mary Ann (Mollie) Allen Gulledge, widow of Thomas Gulledge and mother of Julia and Clelia. Risden and Mollie also produced Mary Annie Bennett, who later married Charles Fisher Bennett, her first cousin's son.

Risden H. Bennett was the youngest of thirteen children of William N. and Susannah Dunn Bennett. William N. Bennett was the son of William Bennett of Bennettsville, S.C., and his first wife, Nancy Huckston (Hoxton) Bennett, who died in childbirth, apparently in Virginia. This William Bennett was the son of William Bennett of Richmond County, N.C., who may have been born in Somerset, England, in 1717. Susannah Dunn Bennett was the only child of Isaac and Mary Sheffield Dunn.

Eugenia's mother's family, the Ingrams, came to North Carolina from Culpeper County, Va. Like the Bennetts, the Ingrams tended to share names over generations; Eugenia had a brother and an uncle named Presly and a sister, an aunt, and a cousin named Wincy.

Eugenia received her early education at Salem Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was courted by her cousin John Gaston Bennett, but refused his proposal in favor of John Edwin Hill. John and Eugenia had four children: Elizabeth (Bettie) Ann Hill, who married James Monroe Paylor and lived in Laurinburg, N.C.; Henry Pines Hill, who married Mary Jane Hudson and died in his early thirties; Benjamin (Ben) Risden Hill, who married first Susan Gertrude Strickland, with whom he had six children, and second Nezzie Irene Smith, with whom he had five children; and John Edwin Chapman (Chap or Big Chap) Hill, who married Susan Caroline Treadway. Chap and Susan's eldest son was John Edwin Chapman Hill, Jr., who married Bonnie Lee Gray, his mother's second cousin. Among this couple's children was Risden H. Hill.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Correspondence, 1850-1901 and 1949, among members of the Bennett and Hill families, along with some bills, receipts, and accounts relating to John Edwin Hill's shoemaking business; Eugenia Bennett Hill's 1853 diary; and a few miscellaneous items. Typed transcriptions of many of the letters (interfiled with the letters) and of the diary were supplied by the donor.

Correspondence and related items:

1850-1852: Chiefly letters from Risden H. Bennett to his daughter Eugenia, a student at Salem Academy. Letters discuss Eugenia's progress at school and family activities. There is much discussion of the health of family members and slaves. There are also some letters to Eugenia from friends.

1853-1860: Chiefly letters from friends to Eugenia at home in Wadesboro. Letters discuss activities of the correspondents and of mutual friends. In 1860, there is a letter to Eugenia from John Gaston Bennett, a cousin who wished to marry her.

1861-1865: Letters to Eugenia and her father from her brothers, describing troop movements and camp life. Included is a photocopy of John Edwin Hill's war record showing that he became a prisoner of war in September 1863 and was exchanged in February 1865. Also included is a letter dated 7 November 1864 from Henry E. Hill, John Edwin Hill's father, in Tiverton, Devonshire, England, to his son, discussing chiefly family news.

1869-1874: Letters to Eugenia from her husband, John Edwin Hill, as he traveled to see his family in England. In 1873-1874, there are letters about family matters from Henry E. Hill in England to his son in North Carolina. Around 1870, there are letters, bills, and other items from suppliers of shoemaking equipment.

1889-1949: Items chiefly relate to the children of John Edwin and Eugenia Hill. These include a few business items, 1880s, of son Henry Pines Hill of Wadesboro and a few letters discussing family news, 1889, 1900, and 1949, of daughter Elizabeth (Bettie) Ann Hill Paylor of Laurinburg, N.C.

Diary of Eugenia Bennett: Diary, 32 pages, of Eugenia Bennett with entries dated 1 January - 26 November 1853. Entries tend to be quite terse and describe household activities--chiefly sewing and weaving--and visiting done by family members. A typed transcription of the diary has been provided by the donor.

Miscellaneous items: A few typed transcriptions that do not match originals in this collection, but which may be present in other collections at the Southern Historical Collection; three clippings, 1958-1962, about Mary Dunn, Revolutionary War herbalist and Bennett family ancestor; a notebook with accounts for shoes and a few school compositions, 1852 and 1866, of Eugenia Bennett and Elizabeth Hill; and an extensive family tree supplied by the donor.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Bennett and Hill Family Papers, 1850-1962.

Folder 1


Folder 2


Folder 3


Folder 4


Folder 5


Folder 6

1874-1901; 1949

Folder 7


Folder 8

Diary of Eugenia Bennett

Folder 9


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