Chatham County Scrapbooks Document Cultural Moments of the 1950s

Newspaper clippings describing a "weird incident" of "mental telepathy" during the Civil War. The article was published in the Sanford Herald in 1952.
Newspaper clippings from Chatham County Scrapbook [Book 1]. The article was published in the Sanford Herald on July 14, 1952.

Two more scrapbooks on the history of Chatham County are now available on our site thanks to the Chatham County Historical Association. These scrapbooks primarily include newspaper clippings from The Sanford Herald and The Chatham Record, many of which are authored by Esther Womble Adickes. These articles recount local events and histories, several of which are retrospective.

One of the striking things about this collection of articles is how often they reflect on the Civil War in a romanticized way. Adickes sometimes refers to it as the “war between the states” and reminisces about some of the institutions of Chatham county before the war, including the Taylor Plantation. These kinds of articles are significant because they are from the 1950s—almost 100 years after the Civil War ended—documenting a resurgence of racism during the Jim Crow era.

This kind of rose-tinted retrospection has been in the news recently in relation to Confederate statues and monuments, many of which were erected during the early 20th Century. These newspaper clippings give some context to the historical moment in which many of these monuments were constructed.

You can see both scrapbooks in this batch here. To see more from the Chatham County Historical Association, you can visit their partner page and their website.

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