Finding Aid of the Robert Martin Douglas Letters, <date calendar="gregorian" era="ce" normal="1866/1873">1866 - 1873</date>, PC.1802

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Finding Aid of the Robert Martin Douglas Letters, <date calendar="gregorian" era="ce" normal="1866/1873">1866 - 1873</date>, PC.1802

Abstract

Robert Martin Douglas (1849-1917) was the son of Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, celebrated U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate in 1860, and Martha Denny (Martin) Douglas of Rockingham County, North Carolina. Robert served first as private secretary to Governor William Woods Holden and later to President Grant. The letters in this collection were all written to Douglas during the period falling between his graduation from Georgetown University and his resignation as private secretary to President Grant. Copies of his replies to the letters are not present.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Robert Martin Douglas Letters
Call Number
PC.1802
Creator
Douglas, Robert Martin
Date
1866 - 1873
Extent
143.00 items
Language
English
Repository
State Archives of North Carolina

Series Quick Links

    Restrictions on Access & Use

    Access Restrictions

    Available for research.

    Use Restrictions

    Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], PC.1802, Robert Martin Douglas Letters, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.

    Arrangement Note

    Chronological

    Biographical Note

    Robert Martin Douglas (1849-1917) was the son of Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, celebrated U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate in 1860, and Martha Denny (Martin) Douglas of Rockingham County, North Carolina. Mrs. Douglas was the daughter of Robert and Mary (Settle) Martin, consequently niece of Judge Thomas Settle (1789-1857) and Elizabeth (Settle) Reid, and cousin-german to Judge Thomas Settle (1831-1888) and Governor David Settle Reid (1831-1891). Mrs. Douglas died in January, 1853, leaving her sons Robert M. and. Stephen A. in the care of their grandmother, Mary (Settle) Martin. Upon the senator's remarriage in 1856 to Adele Cutts (great-niece of Dolly Payne Madison), the boys returned to Washington, and remained in her care following the death of their father in 1861. Robert became a Catholic and was educated in Loyola College and Georgetown University. Upon graduation in 1867, he paid a visit to his mother's family where he formed a strong affection for and alliance with Thomas Settle, his cousin at one remove. Stephen A. continued his studies at Georgetown University and did not come to Rockingham County until 1869.

    In July, 1868, Robert M. Douglas was appointed private secretary to Governor William Woods Holden, and in March, 1869, he resigned to accept the appointment as private secretary to President Grant. He held the latter office until March, 1873, when he was appointed marshal in the newly created Western District of the U.S. Circuit Court and settled in Greensboro.

    Douglas had intended attending Judge Pearson's law lectures at Richmond Hill upon his graduation from Georgetown University, but put off his legal studies in favor of his appointments as private secretary. Some while after his marriage to Jessie Madeleine Dick in 1874, he read law under his father-in-law, Judge Robert Paine Dick, in Greensboro, and qualified for the bar in 1885. In 1896 Douglas was elected on the Republican ticket to a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court, where he remained despite Democratic Party efforts to dislodge him from the bench. Upon expiration of his term in 1905, Douglas left the Supreme Court and returned to his law practice in Greensboro. In addition to his practice, he was an active businessman and organized the chamber of commerce in Greensboro. He was a director of the Greensboro Loan and Trust Company until his death in 1917.

    Contents of the Collection

    Subject Headings

  1. Dick, Robert P. (Robert Paine), 1823-1898
  2. Douglas, Robert M. (Robert Martin), 1849-1917
  3. Douglas, Stephen A.
  4. Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 1813-1861
  5. Holden, Joseph William, 1844-1875
  6. Holden, W. W. (William Woods), 1818-1892
  7. Keogh, Thomas B. (Thomas Bernard), b. 1840
  8. Pool, John, 1826-1884
  9. Settle, Thomas, 1831-1888
  10. Starbuck, Darius H.
  11. Settle, Thomas
  12. William Martin Douglas
  13. William Woods Holden
  14. Holden, Joseph W.
  15. Douglas, Stephen A.
  16. Costa Rican Railway Company
  17. Ku Klux Klan (19th cent.)--North Carolina
  18. Republican Party (N.C.)
  19. Ku Klux Klan
  20. Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )
  21. Democratic party
  22. Elections--United States--1872
  23. Political campaigns
  24. North Carolina--Politics and government--1865-1950
  25. Peru
  26. Acquisitions Information

    Gift of Robert Dick Douglas, Greensboro, N.C., 1992.

    Processing Information

  27. Processed by George Stevenson, June, 1992
  28. Encoded by Lee Todd, April, 2008