Collection Number: 05399

Collection Title: D.I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929

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 4.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 50 items)
Abstract David Irvin Craig (1849-1925) was a white Presbyterian minister in Reidsville, N.C. The collection includes diaries, accounting books, notebooks, and some loose papers. Diary entries, 1884-1925, describe Craig's perspective on the Wilmington massacre and coup of 1898, called "race riots" by its white supremacist supporters, that murdered Black citizens, overthrew elected government, drove opposition Black and white political leaders out of Wilmington, and destroyed Black-owned property and businesses. Craig commented on other racist violence against Blacks, also called "race riots" by the perpetrators, that followed Black world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson's defeat in 1910 of white former world heavyweight boxing champion Jim Jeffries. Craig also described his experiences with African Americans at the polls on election days. Other topics include President Grover Cleveland's appearance at the Great Centennial Celebration of the Presbyterian General Assembly in May 1888; local and national elections; prohibition; meetings with the Synod and Orange Presbytery in the General Assembly; his perspective on farm life, family members, and the local gossip; history of the Craig and Strayhorn famiies; and his experiences on the Craig family "plantation" in Orange County, N.C. Accounting books include information about marriages, baptisms, and burials performed by D.I. Craig; insurance information; lists of new members of Reidsville Presbyterian Church; salary, expenditure, and debt information for D.I. Craig and his family; sermons preached; and prayer meetings held at Reidsville Presbyterian Church. The notebooks, 1876-1878, consist of a collection of writings, sermons, and lectures given by educators at the Theological Seminary in Columbia, S.C., and they also include some written thoughts and reflections of D.I. Craig. Loose papers, 1878-1925, include clippings mentioning D.I. Craig's life and work, a program for Reidsville Presbyterian Church, and photographs of New Hope Cemetery in the 1920s. The Addition of August 2010 consists of a single volume providing genealogical information about the Craig family written by D.I. Craig in 1899. Among the enclosures are a transcription of a letter purported to have been found by a servant at a federal army camp near Camden, S.C. Dated 26 February 1865, the letter from Thomas J. Myers to his wife in Boston, Mass., recounts the looting and pillaging that occurred, likely in Camden, S.C., as General William T. Sherman's army travelled north through the state.
Creator Craig, D. I. (David Irvin), 1849-1925.
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 D.I. Craig Papers, 1878-1925, #5399, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Eleanor Craig Snellings of Richmond, Va., and David E. Craig of Tallahassee, Fla., in June 2008 (Acc. 100969).
Addition of August 2010 received from Mildred C. Tilly of Nashville, Tenn. (Acc. 101327).
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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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

David Irvin Craig was born in Orange County, N.C., to James Newton Craig and Mary Emeline Margaret Strayhorn on 11 February 1849. He received his early education at the old Hughes Academy at Cedar Grove, N.C.; was a student at Davidson College between 1874 and 1875; and in 1878, he graduated from the Theological Seminary in Columbia, S.C. He was licensed to preach in May 1878 in Greensboro, N.C., and was invited to pastor at the Reidsville Presbyterian Church in Reidsville, N.C. Craig married Isabel Gertrude Newman of Columbia, S.C., on 7 September 1881. During their 33-year marriage, they had four children: Marion Craig Purcell of Salisbury, N.C.; Carl B. Craig of Laurinburg, N.C.; Irvin M. Craig of Wilmington, N.C.; and Louise Craig of Reidsville, N.C.

D.I. Craig served as the pastor for the Reidsville Presbyterian Church until 1921, when his health began to fail; however, he continued as the Pastor Emeritus until his death on 9 February 1925. In addition to serving as the pastor of the Reidsville Presbyterian Church, D.I. Craig was elected as a representative of Orange Presbytery in the General Assembly; served as Moderator of Synod and the Presbytery; was one of ten original Regents of Barium Springs Orphanage; held the Stated Clerk position for both the Orange Presbytery and the Synod; was a trustee of Davidson College and a member of the Board of Directors; and was a trustee for the Union Theological Seminary. Craig also served as a scholar for the Synod and Presbytery of North Carolina. He wrote historical publications and treatises on Presbyterianism, including A history of the development of the Presbyterian Church in North Carolina and of the Synodical home missions: together with evangelistic addresses by James I. Vance and others (1907) and A historical sketch of New Hope Church, in Orange County, N.C. (1891).

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes 14 diaries, one account book, one day book, one cash book, two notebooks, and loose papers, all relating to white Presbyterian minister D.I. Craig of Orange County, N.C.

Diary entries, 1884-1925, describe Craig's perspective on the Wilmington massacre and coup of 1898, called "race riots" by its white supremacist supporters, that murdered Black citizens, overthrew elected government, drove opposition Black and white political leaders out of Wilmington, and destroyed Black-owned property and businesses. Craig commented on other racist violence against Blacks, also called "race riots" by the perpetrators, that followed first Black Heavyweight Champion of the World (1908-1915) Jack Johnson's defeat of Jim Jeffries, a white Heavyweight Champion of the World who came out of retirement to fight Johnson on 4 July 1910. Craig also described his experiences with African Americans at the polls on election days. Other topics in the diary include President Grover Cleveland's appearance at the Great Centennial Celebration of the Presbyterian General Assembly in May 1888; local and national elections; prohibition; meetings with the Synod and Orange Presbytery in the General Assembly; his perspective on farm life, family members, and the local gossip; history of the Craig and Strayhorn famiies; and stories of his experiences on the Craig family "plantation," which was established in Orange County, N.C., during the 1750s.

The account book, 1878-1924, includes information about marriages, baptisms, and burials performed by D.I. Craig. It also contains insurance information and lists new members of Reidsville Presbyterian Church, 1878-1897, with some gaps.

The day book, 1912-1923, contains salary, expenditure, and debt information for D.I. Craig and his family.

The cash book, 1914-1929, contains information on sermons preached and prayer meetings held at Reidsville Presbyterian Church as well as a list of baptisms, marriages, and funerals performed by D.I. Craig. There are also loose papers throughout the book primarily addressed to D.I. Craig's son, Carl B. Craig.

The notebooks, 1876-1878, consist of a collection of writings, sermons, and lectures given by educators at the Theological Seminary in Columbia, S.C., and they also include some written thoughts and reflections of D.I. Craig.

Loose papers, 1878-1925, include clippings mentioning D.I. Craig's life and work, a program for Reidsville Presbyterian Church, and photographs of New Hope Cemetery in the 1920s.

The Addition of August 2010 consists of a single volume titled "Origin and History of the Craig Family" written by D.I. Craig. The volume contains extensive genealogical information about the Craig family, including the ancestry of D.I. Craig's mother, Emeline Strayhorn Craig, and those of his wife, Isabel Newman Craig, through her paternal and maternal lineages. There is also detailed information on the early lives of D.I. Craig's children; genealogical information on the Mitchell family of Ottowa, Kan., and on other Craig relations in both North Carolina and South Carolina; and a listing of Craig relations in the New Hope Church cemetery in Orange County, N.C. Other information in the volume is written in another hand and includes a transcription of an obituary of a relative who died in the Battle of Bean's Station (14 December 1863) and a transcription of a letter, called the "Yankee Letter" in the volume, purported to have been found by a servant at the federal camp near Camden, S.C. The transcriber gave the history of the letter's transcription, noting that it was copied from a previous transcription that had been copied from the original letter. Dated 26 February 1865, the letter from Thomas J. Myers to his wife in Boston, Mass., recounts the looting and pillaging that occurred, likely in Camden, S.C., as General William T. Sherman's army travelled north through the state.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929.

50 items.
Folder 1

Account book, 1878-1924 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." Folder 1

The account book includes information about marriages, baptisms, and burials performed by D.I. Craig. It also consists of contains insurance information and lists new members received by Reidsville Presbyterian Church from 1878 to 1897, with some gaps.

Oversize Volume SV-5399/1

Day book, 1912-1923 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/1

The day book contains salary, expenditure, and debt information for D.I. Craig and his family.

Folder 2

Diary, 1884-1885 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." Folder 2

Includes a short history of the Craig and Strayhorn families.

Folder 3

Diary, 1886-1887 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." Folder 3

Folder 4

Diary, 1888-1889 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." Folder 4

Includes President Grover Cleveland's appearance at the Great Centennial Celebration of the Presbyterian General Assembly in May 1888.

Folder 5

Diary, 1890-1891 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." Folder 5

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Diary, 1892-May 1894 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/2

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Diary, May 1894-August 1897 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/3

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Diary, August 1897-1900 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/4

Includes Craig's perspective on the Wilmington massacre and coup of 1898, called "race riots" by its white supremacist supporters, that murdered Black citizens, overthrew elected government, drove opposition Black and white political leaders out of Wilmington, and destroyed Black-owned property and businesses.

Oversize Volume SV-5399/5

Diary, 1901-September 1904 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/5

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Diary, September 1904-1907 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/6

Oversize Volume SV-5399/7

Diary, 1908-1910 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/7

Includes Craig's perspective on racist violence against Blacks, also called "race riots" by the perpetrators, that followed first Black Heavyweight Champion of the World (1908-1915) Jack Johnson's defeat of Jim Jeffries, a white Heavyweight Champion of the World who came out of retirement to fight Johnson on 4 July 1910.

Oversize Volume SV-5399/8

Diary, 1911-1914 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/8

Oversize Volume SV-5399/9

Diary, 1915-November 1917 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/9

Oversize Volume SV-5399/10

Diary, December 1917-May 1923 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/10

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Diary, June 1923-2 February 1925 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/11

Oversize Volume SV-5399/12

Cash Book, 1914-1929? #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/12

The cash book, 1914-1929?, contains information on sermons preached and prayer meetings held at Reidsville Presbyterian Church as well as a list of baptisms, marriages, and funerals performed by D.I. Craig. There are also loose papers throughout the book primarily addressed to D.I. Craig's son, Carl B. Craig.

Oversize Volume SV-5399/13-14

SV-5399/13

SV-5399/14

Notebooks, 1876-1878 #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." SV-5399/13-14

The notebooks, 1876-1878, consist of a collection of writings, sermons, and lectures given by educators at the Theological Seminary in Columbia, S.C., and they also include some written thoughts and reflections of D.I. Craig.

Folder 6

Loose papers #05399, Series: "1. D. I. Craig Papers, 1876-1929." Folder 6

Loose papers include clippings mentioning D.I. Craig's life and work, a program for Reidsville Presbyterian Church, and photographs of New Hope Cemetery in the 1920s.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2A. Origin and History of the Craig Family, in Orange County, N.C. (Addition of August 2010)

1 item.

Acquisitions Information: Accession 101327

The Addition of August 2010 consists of a single volume titled "Origin and History of the Craig Family" written by D.I. Craig containing extended genealogical information about the Craig family, including the ancestry of D.I. Craig's mother, Emeline Strayhorn Craig, and those of his wife, Isabel Newman Craig, through her paternal and maternal lineages. There is also detailed information on the early lives of D.I. Craig's children; genealogical information on the Mitchell family of Ottowa, Kan., and on other Craig relations in both North Carolina and South Carolina; and a listing of Craig relations in the New Hope Church cemetery in Orange County, N.C. Other information in the volume is written in another hand and includes a transcription of an obituary of a relative who died in the Battle of Bean's Station (14 December 1863) and the transcription of a letter, called the "Yankee Letter" in the volume, purported to have been found by a servant at the federal camp near Camden, S.C. The transcriber gave the history of the letter's transcription, noting that it was copied from a previous transcription that had been copied from the original letter. Dated 26 February 1865, the letter from Thomas J. Myers to his wife in Boston, Mass., recounts the looting and pillaging that occurred, likely in Camden, S.C., as General William T. Sherman's army travelled north through the state.

Folder 7

Origin and History of the Craig Family, in Orange County, N.C. #05399, Series: "2A. Origin and History of the Craig Family, in Orange County, N.C. (Addition of August 2010)" Folder 7

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jennifer Thompson, November 2008

Encoded by: Jennifer Thompson, November 2008

Revisions: SV-5399/12-14 were added in August 2009; Martin Gengenbach, November 2010

Conscious Editing Work by: Nancy Kaiser, August 2020. Updated abstract, subject headings, scope content note, and container list.

Since August 2017, we have added ethnic and racial identities for individuals and families represented in collections. To determine identity, we rely on self-identification; other information supplied to the repository by collection creators or sources; public records, press accounts, and secondary sources; and contextual information in the collection materials. Omissions of ethnic and racial identities in finding aids created or updated after August 2017 are an indication of insufficient information to make an educated guess or an individual's preference for identity information to be excluded from description. When we have misidentified, please let us know at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

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