42 episodes

Connecting the Docs is a podcast from the State Archives of North Carolina where archivists connect documents from our collection to fascinating, true stories from the past. Sometimes the documents solve a puzzle; other times, they lead to one.

Connecting the Docs: True Stories from the Old North State connectingthedocsnc

    • History
    • 5.0 • 13 Ratings

Connecting the Docs is a podcast from the State Archives of North Carolina where archivists connect documents from our collection to fascinating, true stories from the past. Sometimes the documents solve a puzzle; other times, they lead to one.

    Uncovered Stories, Episode 3: The Revolutionary Ruthey Jackson Letter

    Uncovered Stories, Episode 3: The Revolutionary Ruthey Jackson Letter

    Welcome back to the final series of Season 4, “Uncovered Stories.” In this series, you’ll hear about incredible records that archivists uncovered during work assigned for other, sometimes unrelated projects. These discoveries add new significant research topics to collections held by the State Archives for decades and shine a light on people and subjects upon which previous collection guides did not focus.   
     
    In the last episode of the series, host John Horan welcomes Digitization Archivist Caitlin Martell and former Connecting the Docs intern and current Assistant Oral Historian Annabeth Poe to discuss an overlooked letter from one of the Archives’ private collections. Caitlin found the letter, written in 1781, while digitizing documents about John Williams, a Granville County lawyer and Continental Congress delegate, for America’s 250th anniversary. The letter caught her eye because within a series of letters about troop rations and political movements, it had an unusual author with an unusual request. A dying Hillsborough woman named Ruthey Jackson was asking Williams to take in her daughter Nancy, who was the result of an affair with one of North Carolina’s most famous Revolutionary War generals. Join us as we discuss the letter, reveal Nancy’s father, and investigate what happened to Ruthey, Nancy, and the other characters in this 1700s soap opera. 
     
    From the Archives 
     
    The Letter: PC.176.1: John Williams Papers, 1772-1781 [digitized, pages 65-66], https://digital.ncdcr.gov/Documents/Detail/john-williams-papers-1772-1781/425265?item=425574. 
     
    21.111.48, 49, and 52: Special Agents’ Reports on Claims, Vol. XI, British Records Series (Microfilm z.5.149N from PRO Series T 79/84, 85 & 88). 
     
    CR.044.101: Apprentice Bonds and Record, Granville County (Boxes 1-4). 
     
    CR.044.102: Bastardy Bonds and Records, Granville County (Boxes 1-4).  
     
    CR.044.510: Guardian Bonds, Granville County, 1758-1927. 
     
    CR.044.801: Wills, 1749-1968, Granville County. 
     
    CR.073.101: Apprentice Bonds and Records, 1780-1905, Orange County (Boxes 1-3). 
     
    CR.073.102: Bastardy Bonds and Records, 1782-1908, undated, Orange County (Boxes 1-3). 
     
    CR.073.301: Minute Docket, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1752-1868. 
     
    CR.073.801: Wills, 1752-1968, Orange County. 
     
    MF-C.012.80001: Brunswick County Wills, 1764-1954. 
     
    "North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970, Orange County, Deeds, 1753-1793, Vol. 1 & 2,  images, accessed through FamilySearch. 
     
    "North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970, Orange County, Land Records, 1778 and 1779-1795,  images, accessed through FamilySearch. 
     
    US Census Bureau, 1790 United States Federal Census, New Hanover County, Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010, images reproduced by FamilySearch (accessible through the Archives). 
     
    US Census Bureau, 1800 United States Federal Census, Granville County, Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010, images reproduced by FamilySearch (accessible through the Archives). 
     
    Secondary Sources 
     
    Samuel Ashe, Biographical History of North Carolina Volume III, Greensboro, NC: Charles L. Van Noppen Publisher, 1906, page 129. 
     
    Mrs. John C. Bernhardt, “Burton, Robert,” North Carolina Encyclopedia (NCPedia), 1979, revised November 2022, https://www.ncpedia.org/biography/burton-robert. 
     
    Louise Littleton Davis, Nashville Tales, Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Co., 1981. 
     
    M.M. Edmonds, “Williams, John,” North Carolina Encyclopedia (NCPedia), 1996, https://www.ncpedia.org/biography/williams-john. 
     
    Marjoleine Kars, Breaking Loose Together: The Regulator Rebellion in Pre-Revolutionary North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. 
     
    Ransom McBride, “Claims of British Merchants,” North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal 9, no.3 (1983); 156; 11, no. (1985); 29. 
     
    John F. Reed, “Nash, Francis,” North Carolina Encyclopedia (NCPedia), 1991, htt

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Uncovered Stories, Episode 2: Marginalized Communities in Early Statehood General Assembly Records

    Uncovered Stories, Episode 2: Marginalized Communities in Early Statehood General Assembly Records

    Welcome back to the final series of Season 4, “Uncovered Stories.” In this series, you’ll hear about incredible records that archivists uncovered during work assigned for other, sometimes unrelated projects. These discoveries add new significant research topics to collections held by the State Archives for decades and shine a light on people and subjects upon which previous collection guides did not focus. 
    In this second episode, former Connecting the Docs Intern and current Assistant Oral Historian Annabeth Poe takes the hosting stage and interviews Friends of the Archives 2023 Summer Intern Hannah Nicholson about her project, creating a LibGuide about the records of marginalized communities in the General Assembly records from the years of early statehood, 1777 to 1789. What started as a research question into these records stemming from the Archives’ continued efforts to prepare for America’s 250th anniversary became a much larger project as more records of various categories emerged. Hannah and Annabeth discuss two incredible stories in particular: the fascinating emancipation of Hannah Bowers by Margaret Gaston (yes, the Gaston family for which the county is named) and the roller-coaster saga of Ned Griffin, an enslaved man who was promised freedom by his enslaver if he would serve in his place in the Revolutionary War. Learn how both stories as well as the other records documenting women’s history, African American history, American Indian history, and religious minority communities show how the bills, resolutions, petitions, and other legal records of the General Assembly have incredible significance to the social and cultural history of North Carolina. 
    Please note that the LibGuide discussed in this episode is undergoing final edits. Look for it on the State Archives website later this year! 
     
    Records cited: 
    All records from General Assembly Record Group, General Assembly Session Records, 1777-1789. 
     
    May 15: Senate bill to give Ned Griffin his freedom (petition and messages only), May 15, 1784, General Assembly Session Records, April-June 1784, Box 3. 
     
    Dec. 12: House bill to emancipate Hannah, alias Hannah Bowers, of the estate of Alexander Gaston (with petition), December 12, 1786. General Assembly Session Records, November 1786-January 1787, Box 3. 
     

    • 29 min
    Uncovered Stories, Episode 1: Finding Enslaved Labor in the Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s Papers

    Uncovered Stories, Episode 1: Finding Enslaved Labor in the Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s Papers

    Welcome to the final series of Season 4, “Uncovered Stories.” In this series, you’ll hear about incredible records that archivists uncovered during work assigned for other, sometimes unrelated projects. These discoveries add new significant research topics to collections held by the State Archives for decades and shine a light on people and subjects upon which previous collection guides did not focus. 
     
    In this first episode, host John Horan and regular panelist Josh Hager are joined by State Agency Description Archivist Alexandra Dowrey and Digital Description Archivist Caroline Waller. Over the past two years, Alexandra and Caroline have worked on a large-scale project to modernize the housing and description for the Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s Papers, a massive collection of financial records dating from colonial times to the early 20th century. While they expected to find some documentation of enslaved labor, especially in records pertaining to the State Capitol building, the volume and scope of these records across various parts of the collection was a major discovery. In this episode, Alexandra and Caroline will discuss the important and often heart-wrenching accounts that they have catalogued in this collection. Among other stories, you’ll learn about how enslaved laborers working on the Capitol’s construction had the well-honed skills of a master artisan and how a series documenting import and export taxes include record of the trafficking of eighty enslaved persons to work on infrastructure projects in the Great Dismal Swamp. 
     
    As you might expect, this episode includes frank discussions of slavery and the daily life of enslaved persons. This episode may prove upsetting to some listeners. Our hope is that this episode will bring new attention to this collection that will enable the proper acknowledgement of these enslaved individuals and to enable further historical and genealogical research. 
     
    Sources: 
    Confiscated Lands, Halifax County, 1780-1809. Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s Papers, SR.204.22.014. 
     
    Eighty enslaved Africans arrived at Port Roanoke on the Brig Camden on June 10, 1786. Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s Papers, Ports, SR.204.40.033. 
     
    Navigation and Canal Companies: Cape Fear and Deep River Navigation Company, Payrolls, November 1859, Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s Papers, SR.204.10.013. 
     
    Public Claims of Individuals Against the State, 1733-1769, Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s Papers, SR.204.41.001. 
     
    State House: Pay Claims, Warrants, and Receipts, 1821; State House: Hire of Enslaved Persons, 1821; State Capitol: Laborer’s Pay and Enslaved Labor, 1837-1839 in Receipts and Pay Claims, Capital Buildings, Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s Papers, SR.204.8.  

    • 52 min
    Ask an Archivist: Fan Letters

    Ask an Archivist: Fan Letters

    Have you ever wanted to ask an archivist why your photos are fading away? Or why only some records are digitized? Or whether they actually wear white gloves when handling old records?  
    Well, good news! In this episode, our archivists will answer questions just like these that have been sent in from listeners like you! Inspired by the annual #AskAnArchivist day on social media and other popular programs, this episode will cover best practices for preserving family records, how archivists decide what to digitize, tips for researching at the State Archives, and more! 
    Also be sure to check out the links below for further resources! 
      
    Suggested Resources for Preservation: 
    Northeast Document Conservation Center: https://www.nedcc.org/  
    Quick Preservation Tips: https://ncarchives.wpcomstaging.com/2015/04/27/quick-preservation-tips/   
    Family Oral History: https://ncarchives.wpcomstaging.com/2021/07/01/family-oral-histories-introduction-and-planning/   
    UNC-G Scrapbook Collection: https://gateway.uncg.edu/islandora/object/ua%3AUA0111?page=3&display=grid  
    Protecting Records: https://ncarchives.wpcomstaging.com/2021/04/30/mayday-saving-our-archives-2021-protecting-your-important-books-papers-and-photographs/  
     
    Suggested Resources for Research: 
    North Carolina Digital Collections: https://digital.ncdcr.gov/   
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/north-carolina-state-archives/  
    NC Land Grants: https://nclandgrants.com/  
    NC Maps: https://web.lib.unc.edu/nc-maps/  
    TranscribeNC: https://archives.ncdcr.gov/researchers/transcribenc   
    Journey of an Archival Record – Digitization and Access: https://connectingdocs.podbean.com/e/the-journey-of-an-archival-record-part-iii-digitization-and-access/   
    DOC Search Guides: https://archives.ncdcr.gov/documents/doc-search-guides   
    State Library’s Genealogy Guides: https://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/research/research-guides-and-tools#Genealogy-41   

    • 50 min
    Year of the Trail: Interview with Special Guest Secretary D. Reid Wilson

    Year of the Trail: Interview with Special Guest Secretary D. Reid Wilson

    2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the NC Trails System Act, and the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is celebrating with the Year of the Trail campaign, where all types of trails are being celebrated across the state. Join us as we conclude our three-part series exploring the “sights, sounds, and people” of North Carolina’s trail system. In this episode, we are joined by Secretary D. Reid Wilson for a special retrospective interview. We learn about the origins of the Year of the Trail Campaign, some of the great trail events that have gone on around the state, and we discuss finding peace through hiking.   
       
     
    Primary Sources:   
       
    General Assembly Session Records, May Session 1973, House Bill 436, “An Act to Create a Scenic and Recreation Trails System and to Provide for the Designation, Administration, Regulation, and Acquisition of Scenic Trails and Trail Rights-of-Way,” SR.66.8  
    https://axaem.archives.ncdcr.gov//solrDetailPages/series/NCA/Series_detail.html?fq=seriesLevelId:series-31391   
     
     
    Secondary Sources:  
     
    https://www.dncr.nc.gov/programs-services/featured-programs/nc-path 
     
    https://greattrailsnc.com/  
     
    https://www.alltrails.com/?ref=header  
     
     
    Other Links: 
     
    https://digital.ncdcr.gov/collections/carolina-christmas  

    • 38 min
    We Beg Your Pardon: The Saga of Slow Poke

    We Beg Your Pardon: The Saga of Slow Poke

    Happy Holidays! We all have heard of presidential pardons for turkeys at Thanksgiving. Of course, we know that since the first state constitution in 1776, North Carolina governors have had the ability to declare executive clemency to people. But have you heard of a governor pardoning a possum? In this episode we are joined by Records Description Archivist Mike Childs to learn about Slow Poke the Possum of Harnett County, the only possum to be officially pardoned from his sentence to be eaten! Slow Poke’s incredible journey begins in 1970, when he was entered into a beauty contest. The winner of the contest would be subject to Possum Pickin’ Day, a celebration championed by North Carolina Governor Bob Scott, who often partook in eating possums, a rural delicacy. When Slow Poke won the beauty contest and his fate was set, public outcry led Governor Scott to make history by pardoning the possum from becoming his next main course. Long live Slow Poke! 
     
    Resources: 
    SR.370.2.242: Governor Robert Scott Record Group, General Correspondence, Governor's File, Political Folder - Releases, Press, January-March: Proclamations Folder (Box 242) 
     
    SR.370.2.257: General Correspondence, Governor's File, Statements, E-Q: Folder H (Box 257) 
     
    SR.370.2.257: General Correspondence, Governor's File, Statements, E-Q: Folder P-Q (Box 257) 
     
    SR.370.17.7: Executive Mansion Files, 1970 Correspondence, August-December; Invitations Declined, January-February (Box 7) 
     
    PC.1317: Robert Scott II Papers, 2011 Addition, Scrapbooks 

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Telorth ,

Very informative

This podcast includes background on historic happenings in North Carolina and general information on collections and archival documents.

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