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Robert Martin Douglas Letters


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.

Title

Robert Martin Douglas Letters

Collection Number

PC.1802

Date(s)

1866 - 1873

Language

English

Physical Description
Items
143
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.

Physical Location

For current information on the location ofthese materials, please consult the Public Services Branch, State Archives of North Carolina.

Creator

Douglas, Robert Martin

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


Available for research.


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.


Processed by George Stevenson, June, 1992

Encoded by Lee Todd, April, 2008


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.


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.


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


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


Additional information on topics found in this collection may be found in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS)  http://www.ncarchives.dcr.state.nc.us.


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. Those letters dating from 1867 to the spring of 1869 concern family and personal matters. Those dating from the spring of 1869 to the spring of 1873 include some letters relating to the Chicago and Mississippi estate of Stephen A. Douglas, the mining interests of Robert M. Douglas and of General Robert Williams (second husband to Adele Cutts Douglas) and Robert M. Douglas's interest in railroad development in Costa Rica and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). The majority of the letters from this latter period, however, relate to Republican Party affairs, appointments to vacant offices, election campaigns, and so forth. The writers, are chiefly from that segment of the Republican Party in North Carolina that supported the election of Grant for a second term, represented by William Woods Holden, Joseph W. Holden, Thomas Settle, and Robert Paine Dick; there are letters, as well, from other party members not especially identified as part of that element, notably Thomas B. Keogh, William A. Harris, and Darius H. Starbuck. Their letters reflect, to some extent, east-west tensions within the party, internal opposition to the re-election of Senator John Pool, and struggles over distribution of party patronage. Several of the letters discuss the election of 1872, the relationship of the Ku Klux Klan to the Democratic Party, Klan activities, and indictment of Klansmen. Two of Thomas Settle's letters while U.S. minister to Peru discuss the Peruvian elections of 1871 (  "disgraceful") and the letters of Henry M. Keith concern the affairs of the Costa Rican Railway Company.


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. Those letters dating from 1867 to the spring of 1869 concern family and personal matters. Those dating from the spring of 1869 to the spring of 1873 include some letters relating to the Chicago and Mississippi estate of Stephen A. Douglas, the mining interests of Robert M. Douglas and of General Robert Williams (second husband to Adele Cutts Douglas) and Robert M. Douglas's interest in railroad development in Costa Rica and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). The majority of the letters from this latter period, however, relate to Republican Party affairs, appointments to vacant offices, election campaigns, and so forth. The writers, are chiefly from that segment of the Republican Party in North Carolina that supported the election of Grant for a second term, represented by William Woods Holden, Joseph W. Holden, Thomas Settle, and Robert Paine Dick; there are letters, as well, from other party members not especially identified as part of that element, notably Thomas B. Keogh, William A. Harris, and Darius H. Starbuck. Their letters reflect, to some extent, east-west tensions within the party, internal opposition to the re-election of Senator John Pool, and struggles over distribution of party patronage. Several of the letters discuss the election of 1872, the relationship of the Ku Klux Klan to the Democratic Party, Klan activities, and indictment of Klansmen. Two of Thomas Settle's letters while U.S. minister to Peru discuss the Peruvian elections of 1871 (  "disgraceful") and the letters of Henry M. Keith concern the affairs of the Costa Rican Railway Company.


  • Dick, Robert P. (Robert Paine), 1823-1898
  • Douglas, Robert M. (Robert Martin), 1849-1917
  • Douglas, Stephen A.
  • Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 1813-1861
  • Holden, Joseph William, 1844-1875
  • Holden, W. W. (William Woods), 1818-1892
  • Keogh, Thomas B. (Thomas Bernard), b. 1840
  • Pool, John, 1826-1884
  • Settle, Thomas, 1831-1888
  • Starbuck, Darius H.
  • Costa Rican Railway Company
  • Ku Klux Klan (19th cent.)--North Carolina
  • Republican Party (N.C.)
  • Elections--United States--1872
  • North Carolina--Politics and government--1865-1950
  • Peru