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Papers of Long and Wilburn Families, 1839-1944

Sixty-three manuscripts, 1839-1944 and undated, two manuscript volumes, 1845-1846 and 1850-1852, and six photographs, undated, are associated with the interrelated Long and Wilburn families of Union County. The earliest items in the collection are antebellum business and legal documents: a sale bill of the estate of Allen Saxon made by Hugh Saxon, administrator, 2 April 1829-2 January 1830; a petition from James Jeffries, administrator of the estate of Nathaniel Jeffries, to the Court of Ordinary, 28 March 1842, requesting orders for the sale of personal property from said estate; and a sale bill, 20 March 1848, of the estate of Joshua Franks.

The collection includes but few Civil War items. A letter of 19 July 1864, from Maria D. Noland, Mt. Air, expresses sympathy upon the death of Mrs. Davis' son William, "another of the brave youthes, that have fallen in this unholy War," and laments that her own son Jamie might have met the same fate—"Will this War ever end, have we not been Scurged enough, but God has permitted it, for some wise purpose, we were growing too proud and mercenary, we thought of self & the things of this world, too much, & had forgotten God from whome all those blessings flow, he has scurged our country from the Sea shore, to the mountain top, I believe he will not stay his rod of venge[a]nce, until we are more humble, & more prayerful, we must feel & know that he is all in all." J.G. Long's letter of 6 January 1865, written from a camp near Adams Run to John D. Long, states his belief that Sherman would "Go awl over the State befor he is Satisfide" and inquires about two slaves John D. had recently purchased.

Items from the latter half of the nineteenth century include a letter of 11 November 1882 from the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, Columbia, to Mrs. M.E. Davis, Cross Keys, Union County, forwarding a receipt for expenses of Thomas E. Davis; a legal agreement, 21 September 1896, Union County, Cross Keys Township, between T.M. Burnett and Miss Sophronia Whitmire stipulating that she was to be boarded at a cost of $4.00 per month and indicating that Burnett had rented from B.G. Wilburn "a part of the Cross Keys Tract of Land and a portion of the buildings including a part of the Brick dwelling house"; and a newspaper obituary for Exy J. Wilburn, thirteen-year-old daughter of D.N. and Alice Wilburn who died 5 February 1897.

Chief among twentieth-century items of interest are a "Tribute of Respect from Cross Keys Lodge No. 137, A.F.M.," issued 8 July 1916 in memory of former South Carolina legislator B.G. Wilburn (1847-1916); a letter, 26 April 1939, from Allan Nicholson, Union, congratulating Mrs. J.G. Long on her ninetieth birthday—"Like your well known husband, Sheriff Long, you have always had the courage of your convictions, and have been cool under even most trying conditions, and your outstanding example on this that night fifty-one years ago when you stood near Sheriff Long prepared to withstand everything to uphold the honor and dignity of the law to protect a humble negro who had been committed to your husband's custody, is an experience which will live on and on to inspire others to equally loyal, courageous and patriotic service"; and a letter, 25 January 1944, from F.M. Easterlin, state president of The Old Age Pension Association of South Carolina, to W.C. Wilburn, Union, announcing a meeting at the Union County courthouse—"The time has come to strike a real blow for a decent old age pension....From every County we are sending telegrams from the meetings to the Governor, Representatives and Senators, and we are signing petitions appointing committees to handle them and for the first time I believe that the aged people can look into the future with hope for a real pension based on manhood and womanhood."

Both families played an active role in the governance of Union County. An undated broadside, "Claude Wilburn For Sheriff," suggests that "Claude Wilburn's life is his best endorsement. He has had experience in the Sheriff's Office. He has served as Magistrate of his Township. He possesses the necessary qualifications for Sheriff. He deserves your support." An undated campaign card features an image of J[ames] Gideon] Long, who for twenty years was sheriff of Union County; and a copy of the 26 January 1921 issue of Union's Progress newspaper announces J.G. Long's death—"he...served well his State not only in the days of the civil war, but in the even more troublous times of Reconstruction days, when he did much to help restore white supremacy, he having been the first man in this State to organize the now famous Ku Klux Klan in South Carolina." "At the request of Former Sheriff Long," the article indicates, "he was buried in his Confederate uniform, and in his hand was a small Confederate flag."

The collection also includes photographic images of James G. Long, John Duck Long, and unidentified persons and two account books from anonymous Union District mercantile establishments.

| 1999 Manuscripts Collections | 1999 USCS Table of Contents | South Caroliniana Library |

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