New Bern-Craven County
Public Library

a member of the Craven-Pamlico Regional Library System

"Treasures of the Kellenberger Room"
Exhibit Panels

The Treasures of the Kellenberger Room exhibit is a collection of some of the rarer and seldom seen items in the collections of the Kellenberger Room. Below are the exhibit labels of the items on display in the Library exhibit cases during September 2010.

The Planet, New Bern: West Street Graded School, 1915.
The first annual for West Street Graded School, the first city-operated public school for African-Americans in New Bern.

J. Gaskill McDaniel, Vagabond Verses, n.p., n.d., ca. 1931.
The first collection of the poems of  J. Gaskill McDaniel (1910-1976), New Bern poet, raconteur, and publisher of the weekly New Bern Mirror.

Published charters and by-laws of the Atlantic Steam Fire Engine Company, No.1 and the New Berne Steam Fire Engine Company, No. 1. , 1935 and ca. 1930.
New Bern’s two best known volunteer fire companies were formed in 1845 and 1865  respectively and were the forerunners of today’s modern municipal fire department.

Manuscript volume, “Entries of Lots in the Town of New Bern,” 1753-1811, and “Town Taxes,” 1779.
The earliest surviving municipal record book for the city, this volume contains the records of lots granted by the town commissioners, as well as the town tax list for 1779.

Letter, Isaac Guion, New Bern, to Joseph Clay, Georgia, 22 April 1791.
President George Washington visited New Bern April 20 through April 22, 1791 on his tour of the Southern states. Dr. Isaac Guion, prominent New Bern patriot and merchant, sent this letter to an associate in Georgia via the president’s party, writing that “I cou’d not omit Writing you by so favorable an oppty the president of the U.S. having favored Us with a Short Visit & going to your State Colo Jackson of his family condescended to be the Bearer.”

A Collection of All the Public Acts of Assembly, of The Province of North-Carolina. Now in Force and Use. Together with the Titles of all such Laws as are Obsolete, Expir’d, or Repeal’d. New Bern: James Davis, 1752. [incomplete copy]
Long known as Swann’s Revisal, this printed compilation of North Carolina’s laws was first printed in New Bern by James Davis in 1751. This incomplete copy is from the second edition and contains the laws for 1752. James Davis (1721-1785) was North Carolina’s first printer.

The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments: Newly Translated out of the Original Tongues, And with the former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised. Oxford: Thomas Baskett, 1753.
Family Bible of Dr. Peter Custis (1781-1842), botanist, explorer, and physician of New Bern. As a young man Custis was one of the leaders of an expedition dispatched to the Red River country by President Thomas Jefferson. Custis later settled in New Bern, married and raised a family. His son, Dr. Peter Barton Custis (1823-1863), was a Confederate Army surgeon.

Graham Daves, A Sketch of the Military Career of Captain John Daves of the North Carolina Continental Line of the Army of the Revolution: together with Some Facts of Local and Family History; by His Grandson, Major Graham Daves, C.S.A., Baltimore: Friedenwald Co., 1892
John Daves (1748-1804) served in the North Carolina Continental line with distinction and helped organize the North Carolina Society of Cincinnati following the war.

The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Edinburgh: Blair and Bruce, 1812.
New Testament containing birth, marriage and death records, 1798-1877, for the DeGraffenried family in North Carolina and Georgia . The American branch of the DeGraffenried family traces its ancestry from Baron Christopher DeGraffenried, founder of New Bern, through his son Christopher who settled in Virginia.

Letter, November 7, 1861, DeWitt Clinton Fowler to “Dear Brother” [Probably Charles Fowler]
Writing from Fort Macon in November 1861, DeWitt Fowler (1836-1870) describes the wreck of the U.S. Steamer Union on Bogue Banks. Fowler served in Company B, 1st NC Artillery and was captured at Fort Macon on April 26, 1862 and paroled until exchanged in August 1862. Later wounded on the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, Fowler was assigned to the Invalid Corps in Jun 1864. After the War, he returned to his home near the Bay River, where he died in 1870.

Abstract of the [Revolutionary War] Army Accounts of the North-Carolina Line: Settled by the Commissioners at Halifax from the 1st September, 1784, to the 1st February, 1785; and at Warrenton in the year 1786--Designating by Whom the Claims Were Receipted for Respectively. np, nd, ca. 1794.
Believed to be the “complete and well-preserved copy…in the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court of Craven county” mentioned by Maj. Graham Daves in a letter to the Southern History Association (Jan. 1901). The volume contains the names and ranks of claimants, the amount paid to each (in pounds, shillings, and pence), and the person who received the payment. About 120 copies were believed to be printed.

Letter, June 3, 1863, James A. Weston to “Mrs. Mayhew”
James A. Weston (Capt., Co. F, 33rd NC) writes to Mrs. Mayhew to announce the death of her son, Thomas W. Mayhew (Capt., Co. F, 33rd NC), “of Typhoid fever, May 12 at Globe Hospital, Richmond.” Both Weston and Mayhew were residents of Hyde County.

Vincent Colyer, Brief Report of the Services Rendered by the Freed People to the United States Army in North Carolina, New York: Colyer, 1864.
Colyer (1825-1888) founded the United States Christian Commission to provide religious support to U.S. troops during the Civil War. In 1862, General Ambrose Burnside appointed Colyer Superintendent of the Poor, with the duty of providing employment for the thousands of slaves who escaped to Union lines. In 1864, he published his Brief Report detailing his experiences in New Bern. After the War, Colyer traveled throughout the West and provided humanitarian aid to the Native Americans.

“Root Hog or Die, No. 5” (New York: H. De Marsan, n.d.) “Written on board U. S. Gunboat Com. Barney, after the Battle at Newbern, N. C., by a Blue-Jacket."
This anonymous poem discusses the Burnside Expedition through eastern North Carolina during the Civil War. Places mentioned in the poem are Roanoke Island, Elizabeth City, and New Bern. Apparently written in March 1862, Henry De Marsan later published the poem as this broadside ballad.

“Colonel Clarke—a la Capt. Jinks” (N.p.:n.p., 1874?)
This anonymous poem was probably written in 1874 when William John Clarke (1819-1886), who had failed to gain the Republican nomination, ran as an independent candidate for Governor of North Carolina. The poem discusses Clarke’s role in 1870 of heading the state militia with two companies of black troops to quell political unrest and Ku Klux Klan activity in the Raleigh area. By 1880, Clarke apparently gave up on politics, and practiced law with his son in New Bern, where he died in 1886. He is buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery.

The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature for the Year 1770, London: J. Dodsley, 1771.
This 18th-century volume bears the inscription “Taken from Claremont, the residence of Governor Spaight, Newbern, N.C. 1862[2 later overwritten as 0]. Clermont Plantation was the large brick residence of Gov. Richard Dobbs Spaight upstream from New Bern on the south side of the Trent River. During the early days of the Union occupation of New Bern the house was surrounded by military camps and was extensively vandalized by Northern troops. The house was stripped of its contents and partially dismantled.

I.P. Hatch, An Autobiography of I.P. Hatch of New Bern, N.C. and an Early History of Craven, Jones, Pamlico, Carteret and Lenoir Counties, np:nd, ca. 1963.
Isaiah Prophet Hatch (1871-1967), African-American businessman and undertaker, compiled this autobiography and local history in the early 1960s. Detailing his early life and rise in business, the volume also serves as a history of New Bern’s African-American community from the 1880s to the early 1960s.

The Old North State, A Patriotic Song Written By The Late Wm. Gaston Of North Carolina And by him adapted to a German Melody And Arranged For The Piano Forte by R. Culver, Philadelphia: George Willig, 1844.
Engraving, William Gaston, A.B. Durand after a painting by George Cooke, second-half 19th century.
William Gaston (1778-1844), attorney, U.S. Congressman, and justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court was born in New Bern in 1778. A noted orator, politician, and champion of religious toleration, he is today best remembered as the author of The Old North State, the official anthem of North Carolina. The sheet music displayed here was published the year of his death.

J[ohn] B. Ernul, Life of a Confederate Soldier in a Federal Prison (Vanceboro, N.C.: n.p., n.d. [1910?])
Describes the experiences of a Craven County resident while in a northern prison camp during the Civil War. John B. Ernul (1843-1918) enlisted in 1st Co. I, 10th Regiment, NCST, on September 17, 1861, at the age of 18. On April 16, 1863, he was transferred to Company A, 1st Battalion, N.C. Local Defense Troops (Whitford's Battalion N.C. Partisan Rangers), which later became Company A, 67th Regiment, NCST. Ernul was wounded and captured on March 7, 1865, and sent to Point Lookout, Maryland. Discharged from prison on June 11, 1865, he returned to New Bern on June 23 (taken from his narrative). After the war, Ernul moved form his Vanceboro area home to New Bern, where he was listed as a shingle dealer in the 1880 census. He married Nancy Potter (April 7, 1852-September 18, 1899) on May 7, 1876. Ernul died January 13, 1918 (or January 14, 1918, according to his tombstone), at the age of 74, and is buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery in New Bern.

Land Grant, June 11, 1720, Lords Proprietors to Christopher Gale.
The 640 acres of land mentioned in this land grant are on the Neuse River “a Little belowe hanging point.” Originally granted to William Brice in 1707, Brice sold the property to Thomas Urquehart, who died without heirs. At an inquisition held in Craven Courthouse on October 29, 1715, the property was found to have returned to the ownership of the Lords Proprietors. Christopher Gale (c1679-1735) served as Chief Justice of the colony of North Carolina.
Signing the land grant are:
Charles Eden
(1673-1722), Governor of North Carolina under the Lords Proprietors(1714-1722);
Thomas Pollock (1654-1722), President of the Council, twice served as acting Governor (1712-15 and 1722);
William Reed (1670?-1728), acting governor (1722-1724), President of the Council, Proprietor’s deputy (1712-1728);
Richard Sanderson (d. 1733), member of the Council, General Assembly, and Justice of the General Court;
John Hecklefield (d. 1721), member of the Council (1720-21);
John Lovick (d. 1733), Secretary to Council (1719-31) and deputy to Lord Craven;
and Daniel Richardson (d. 1724), Judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court (1723-24), Attorney General (1714-1724) and Receiver General (1713-1724) of the Colony.
The seal of the Lords Proprietors is located near the top left of the document.

Promissory note, F.T. Duffy to Frederick J. Jones, Cashier, Newbern Branch of the Bank of North Carolina, March 5, 1862.
A relic of peace-time New Bern, this note was signed nine days before the fall of New Bern to the Union forces under General Ambrose Burnside on March 14, 1862.

Presentation of a Flag Feb. 27th, 1896, from the City of Bern, Switzerland, Founded in 1191, to the City of New Bern, N.C., U.S.A. Founded in 1710, New Bern: N.S. Richardson & Son, 1896.
The renewal of the ties between New Bern and Bern, Switzerland began in 1891 when the mayor of New Bern attended the 700th anniversary of the founding of Bern. The city council of New Bern voted in 1894 to adopt the armorial bearings of the City of Bern. In response, the City of Bern, in 1896, presented a commemorative flag to New Bern, thus recognizing the town as its “daughter city.”

Mary Bayard Clarke, ed., Wood-Notes; or Carolina Carols: A Collection of North Carolina Poetry. Compiled by Tenella. Raleigh: Warren L. Pomeroy, 1854 [two volumes]
Mary Bayard Devereux Clarke (1827-1886), author, editor and noted New Bern poet, produced this compilation of the North Carolina poetry in 1854. She included seven of her own poems under the pen name “Tenella.” A later volume, Mosses from a Rolling Stone; or, Idle Moments of a Busy Woman (1866), was devoted solely to her poetry and appears under her own name.

John H. Wheeler, Sketch of the Life of Richard Dobbs Spaight of North Carolina, Baltimore: William K. Boyle, 1880.
Richard Dobbs Spaight (1758-1802), soldier, governor, congressman and signer of the U.S. Constitution, was born in New Bern and resided on his Clermont Plantation across the Trent River. Aside from being a signer of the Constitution, he is perhaps best known today for the manner of his death. Becoming embroiled in a protracted political dispute with New Bern attorney and congressman John Stanly, Spaight was killed by Stanly in a duel on September 6, 1802.

New Bern Celebrates 1710   New Bern’s founding year has been commemorated three previous times: the 200th anniversary in 1910; the 250th anniversary in 1960; and the 275th anniversary in 1985. Each occasion featured parades, pageants, speeches, visiting dignitaries, and in 1910, the State Fireman’s Convention and Tournament! Each event also generated souvenir programs, booklets, and special editions of the newspaper.
above: Souvenir program and schedule of events, 200th Anniversary, 1910  
right: Souvenir program, 250th anniversary, 1960  
below: Special edition of the Sun-Journal, 275th anniversary, 1985

New Bern Newspapers  
From the first newspaper printed in North Carolina, James Davis’ North Carolina Gazette of 1751, to the Sun Journal of today, more than seventy different papers have been published in New Bern.  Some have lasted for many years: the North Carolina Gazette of the 18th century; the Carolina Centinel and the Newbern Spectator of the early 19th century; the Daily Progress of the 1850s and 1860s; the Daily Journal and Weekly Journal of the late 19th and early 20th centuries; and the Sun-Journal since 1916.  Others have been short-lived (and quaintly named): Hornet’s Nest; Daily Nut Shell; Daily Delta; Good Samaritan; Campaign Anti-Radical; Daily Liberal; Steam Wagon; The Whale; and The Little But Loud (a miniature newspaper measuring one by two inches).  Some years have seen none or only one paper published, whereas from 1933 to 1941 New Bernians could take their pick of a weekly, The Times, and two dailies, the New Bern Tribune, and the Sun-Journal.