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Family and Personal Papers

16 October 1859. Leonard Henderson to his mother.

"had it not been for one of the servants . . . he must inevitably have perished"

16 October 1859. Leonard Henderson to his mother.

Leonard Henderson, a student from Salisbury, tells the harrowing story of another student, James Thompson, who caught fire "while trying to light one fluid lamp by another." The students did not attempt to save him because they feared catching fire, too, "and had it not been for one of the servants belonging to the building he must inevitably have perished." Thompson lived until 1873. Henderson was killed in the Battle of Cold Harbor in 1864.

19 October 1861. Letter from Jerry Hooper to Master.

"If you are satisfied please let your humble slave know"

19 October 1861. Letter from Jerry Hooper to Master.

Jerry Hooper was a slave of John De Berniere Hooper, an 1831 graduate and later professor of the university. At the time Jerry wrote this letter, John De Berniere was teaching at the Fayetteville Female Institute. It appears that Jerry had been allowed to live in Chapel Hill and to hire himself out as a servant. But, as he explains, "when the war broke out the students volunteered and did not pay me for my labor."

Volume 4, 1818-1842.

"customary for students to hire servants"

Volume 4, 1818-1842.

Appointed bursar in 1836, Professor Mitchell not only collected tuition and fees but also acted as banker for the students' spending money. Students would deposit money with him, and he would disburse it as needed for expenses such as board, firewood, washing and servant hire. It seems to have been customary for students to hire servants to perform services that were outside the regular duties of the college servants. On page 107 are entries for payments made 31 January 1839 on behalf of several students: $4.00 to Dave [Barham] for an unspecified service done for William Logan; $20.00 to Mrs. Nunn for Hairston's board; and a total of $4.25 to November [Caldwell] for firewood supplied to Avery, Burton, and Smallwood.