Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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Stanly County Scrapbooks, Ledgers, Postcards, and Civil War Letters Now Online

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center recently digitized a variety of materials from the Stanly County Museum in Albemarle, N.C. Prominent in the materials is information on the Jones family.

The Jones Family Materials

Brothers James Read Jones, left, and Will Jones (circa 1861-1862). Their letters, among others, comprise the Jones Family Letter Collection from the Stanly County Museum.

Brothers James Read Jones, left, and Will Jones (circa 1861-1862). Both were soldiers from Indiana in the Union army. Their letters, among others, comprise the Jones Family Letter Collection from the Stanly County Museum.

The  Jones Family Letter Collection was donated to the Stanly County Museum by Janice H. Mitchener. The letters, which number in the hundreds, are correspondence between James Read Jones, his wife Achsah Gilbert Pleas Jones, and various friends and other members of their family. The complete, numbered letters appear first in the collection (Letters 1-169), followed by incomplete letters (Loose 1-51). Biographical information about the Jones family is at the end of the letter collection (Documents 1-5). The numbered letters are roughly grouped–first are James Read Jones’s letters, and then Achsah Gilbert Pleas Jones’s letters (for a chronology, see Document 5).

The correspondence tracks many threads: the couple’s relationship, from infancy to past marriage, and the life and death in 1862 of Will Jones, James Read Jones’s brother. Though the letters date from January 1861 to April 1894, the bulk of the letters date from 1861-1862, when James and his brother served in the Union army. As Documents 2-4 detail, Sergeant J. R. Jones was mustered into Company E, 36th Regiment of the Indiana Infantry, in September 1861. He met Achsah Gilbert Pleas and on April 7, 1862, just after the Battle of Shiloh, they were married. Sgt. Jones was promoted to Second Lieutenant in March 1862 but discharged for an inguinal hernia on December 2, 1862. He then spent much of his life traveling the world as a Quaker minister, while Achsah raised their children in North Carolina. Achsah and Jimmy were married until Achsah’s death in 1898.

The Jones Family materials also includes a scrapbook. The James Read Jones Scrapbook of Writings is a collection of letters and newspaper clippings by or about James Read Jones. Dated materials in the collection range from 1885-1911. The scrapbook includes many newspaper columns and articles written by J. R. Jones, as well as assorted correspondence, photographs, and poems.

School newspapers

Also new are newspapers from two Albemarle schools. There are two late 1930s issues of The Seven Stars newspaper from Albemarle Central Elementary School, and several volumes of The Full Moon newspaper from Albemarle High School:

  • Volume 11, numbers 3-4 (December 14, 1934 – February 14, 1935)
  • Volume 12, numbers 1-6 (October 18, 1935 – May 15, 1936)
  • Volumes 24-33 (October 3, 1958 – May 24, 1967)
  • Volumes 56-63 (September 1990 – June 1998)

Other new materials include:


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