callout

James E. Shepherd Papers


James Edward Shepherd (1847-1910), lawyer and jurist, was born at Mintonville, near Suffolk, Virginia, the son of Thomas Swepson Shepherd (1811-1860) and his first wife Ann Eliza Browne (1813-1852). Shepherd attended the University of North Carolina in 1867 and 1868, and was admitted to the bar and opened a practice in Wilson in 1869. Shepherd was elected one of the justices of the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1888 and was appointed chief justice in 1892.The collection consists of letters, deeds, bills of sale, bill of lading, subpoenas and other legal writs, printed matter, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, and paper photographs.

Title

James E. Shepherd Papers

Collection Number

PC.1876

Date(s)

1806 - 1884

Language

English

Physical Description
Items
91
Abstract

James Edward Shepherd (1847-1910), lawyer and jurist, was born at Mintonville, near Suffolk, Virginia, the son of Thomas Swepson Shepherd (1811-1860) and his first wife Ann Eliza Browne (1813-1852). Shepherd attended the University of North Carolina in 1867 and 1868, and was admitted to the bar and opened a practice in Wilson in 1869. Shepherd was elected one of the justices of the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1888 and was appointed chief justice in 1892.

The collection consists of letters, deeds, bills of sale, bill of lading, subpoenas and other legal writs, printed matter, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, and paper photographs.

Physical Location

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

Creator

Shepherd, James E.

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


Divided into papers and photographs.


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, April, 2006

Encoded by Lee Todd, April, 2008


James Edward Shepherd (1847-1910), lawyer and jurist, was born at Mintonville, near Suffolk, Virginia, the son of Thomas Swepson Shepherd (1811-1860) and his first wife Ann Eliza Browne (1813-1852). Upon the death of his father, young Shepherd appears to have been put in the care of his much older brother, William Samuel Shepherd (1838-1862), who moved to Murfreesboro, North Carolina. Upon the opening of the Civil War, William S. Shepherd sent his younger brother James back to Suffolk to work as a clerk while he sought and obtained a commission as first lieutenant in Company F., 1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry. At Suffolk, hating the job of clerk, the not quite fourteen-year-old James claimed to be aged eighteen and joined Company A (composed of Suffolk men), 16th Regiment, Virginia Infantry, as a private. At the end of summer in 1862, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia moved into Maryland during its first invasion of the North. During this campaign young Shepherd revealed the fact that he was aged only fifteen and was discharged from military service near Frederick, Maryland, on September 8. Nine days later his brother, William, was killed at the Battle of Sharpsburg, Maryland. Shepherd saw no further service as a soldier. Instead he spent the remainder of the war as a telegraph operator under contract with the C.S.A. War Department, first at the Narrows of New River in Giles County, Virginia, then at Wilson, N.C. In the meanwhile his sisters, Elizabeth Minton Shepherd and Frances S. Shepherd, who had been living with family members in the Suffolk area, moved to Forest Hill in the mountains of Virginia. The elder of the two, Elizabeth, earned an income by teaching school in both places.

At the war's end Shepherd visited his sisters and kinsmen in Virginia then returned to Wilson, N.C., where he sought employment as a telegrapher in the late summer of 1865. After studying law at the University of North Carolina in 1867 and 1868, Shepherd was admitted to the bar and opened a practice in Wilson in 1869. In 1872 Shepherd married Elizabeth Bowen Brown (1853-1929), daughter of Sylvester T. Brown, a lawyer of Washington, N.C., who had refugeed during the civil war years in Wilson, but who had returned home shortly after 1870. Upon his marriage Shepherd moved to Washington and joined his legal practice in partnership with that of an established local lawyer, Thomas Sparrow.

In 1875 Shepherd was elected delegate from Beaufort County to the Constitutional Convention of that year. The following year, 1876, he was elected judge of the Beaufort County Inferior Court, an office he held until 1882 when he was elected judge of the Superior Court. After six years on that bench Judge Shepherd was elected one of the justices of the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1888 and was appointed chief justice in 1892. Shepherd served as chief justice until 1895 when he was defeated for re-election to the high court. Having taught law at the University of North Carolina for eight summer terms, he was awarded an honorary LL.D. degree by the university in 1889. Upon his departure from the bench Shepherd was free to resume his practice of law and did so, entering into partnership with Charles M. Busbee of Raleigh. Having moved his family from Washington to Raleigh upon his election to the Supreme Court, Shepherd resided in the capital until his death.


James Edward Shepherd (1847-1910), lawyer and jurist, was born at Mintonville, near Suffolk, Virginia, the son of Thomas Swepson Shepherd (1811-1860) and his first wife Ann Eliza Browne (1813-1852). Upon the death of his father, young Shepherd appears to have been put in the care of his much older brother, William Samuel Shepherd (1838-1862), who moved to Murfreesboro, North Carolina. Upon the opening of the Civil War, William S. Shepherd sent his younger brother James back to Suffolk to work as a clerk while he sought and obtained a commission as first lieutenant in Company F., 1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry. At Suffolk, hating the job of clerk, the not quite fourteen-year-old James claimed to be aged eighteen and joined Company A (composed of Suffolk men), 16th Regiment, Virginia Infantry, as a private. At the end of summer in 1862, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia moved into Maryland during its first invasion of the North. During this campaign young Shepherd revealed the fact that he was aged only fifteen and was discharged from military service near Frederick, Maryland, on September 8. Nine days later his brother, William, was killed at the Battle of Sharpsburg, Maryland. Shepherd saw no further service as a soldier. Instead he spent the remainder of the war as a telegraph operator under contract with the C.S.A. War Department, first at the Narrows of New River in Giles County, Virginia, then at Wilson, N.C. In the meanwhile his sisters, Elizabeth Minton Shepherd and Frances S. Shepherd, who had been living with family members in the Suffolk area, moved to Forest Hill in the mountains of Virginia. The elder of the two, Elizabeth, earned an income by teaching school in both places.

At the war's end Shepherd visited his sisters and kinsmen in Virginia then returned to Wilson, N.C., where he sought employment as a telegrapher in the late summer of 1865. After studying law at the University of North Carolina in 1867 and 1868, Shepherd was admitted to the bar and opened a practice in Wilson in 1869. In 1872 Shepherd married Elizabeth Bowen Brown (1853-1929), daughter of Sylvester T. Brown, a lawyer of Washington, N.C., who had refugeed during the civil war years in Wilson, but who had returned home shortly after 1870. Upon his marriage Shepherd moved to Washington and joined his legal practice in partnership with that of an established local lawyer, Thomas Sparrow.

In 1875 Shepherd was elected delegate from Beaufort County to the Constitutional Convention of that year. The following year, 1876, he was elected judge of the Beaufort County Inferior Court, an office he held until 1882 when he was elected judge of the Superior Court. After six years on that bench Judge Shepherd was elected one of the justices of the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1888 and was appointed chief justice in 1892. Shepherd served as chief justice until 1895 when he was defeated for re-election to the high court. Having taught law at the University of North Carolina for eight summer terms, he was awarded an honorary LL.D. degree by the university in 1889. Upon his departure from the bench Shepherd was free to resume his practice of law and did so, entering into partnership with Charles M. Busbee of Raleigh. Having moved his family from Washington to Raleigh upon his election to the Supreme Court, Shepherd resided in the capital until his death.


[Identification of item], PC.1876, James E. Shepherd Papers, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Seven family letters, eighteen photographic images, and seven miscellaneous items were given by Mrs. Sandra Johnson Walker of Raleigh in 1997. Sixty-two business and legal letters and documents were given by Mrs. Frances H. Myers of Raleigh in 1974.


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.

A small body of James E. Shepherd's papers is held by the Manuscript Department, William R. Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham, N.C. Of the 155 items in that collection some date from 1892 and relate to Shepherd's appointment as chief justice. Most of the remainder, ranging in date from 1901 to 1906, presumably relate to the second period of Shepherd's law practice while in partnership with Charles M. Busbee in Raleigh.


Family papers in this collection are essentially limited to seven letters, eighteen photographic images, and one of Judge Shepherd's visiting cards. The letters range in date from 1864 to 1866. All were written to Shepherd's younger sister, Frances S. (1848-1938). Six of them were written by Shepherd and one was written by their older sister Elizabeth. All were written for the purpose of keeping the three orphaned teenagers in touch with one another during the troubled period of the war and the months immediately following it. Such news as they contain relates to kinsmen and friends. Shepherd's letter of September 4, 1865, includes comments on the post-war commercial growth of Wilson, N.C.,  "a brisk little place". Elizabeth's letter of April 20, 1866, describes changes at Forest Hill where she has returned to her teaching duties. A visiting card of Shepherd's is filed in the same folder as the family correspondence. The family photographic images are described separately at the conclusion of this finding aid.

Business papers include correspondence, bills of sale, deeds, assignments, and lawsuit papers all dating from 1873 and 1874 when Shepherd was in legal practice with Thomas Sparrow at Washington, N.C. Of the deeds and land papers in the collection, most have sequential numbers assigned to them, and though they range in date from 1806 to 1857, they appear to relate to one another in an unspecified land dispute in which Shepherd's firm acted for one of the disputants. There is, too, a single document relating to a lawsuit in Florida concerning a mill near Pensacola owned by a Mr. Fowle of Washington, N.C., whose interests were represented by a Florida firm as well as by the firm of Sparrow and Shepherd.

Two files of papers concern the settlement of debts and legal fees owing in 1874 from estates of decedents: William L. Kennedy of Beaufort and Greene counties, and Thomas D. Swindell of Hyde County. Yet another file of papers relates to a lawsuit involving the schooner  "John Griffiths" following its return to Washington in 1873 from a voyage to the West Indian island of St. Martin. Legal action was brought against the vessel by various creditors, by one of its shippers, and by its mate and seamen for back wages. The file includes a bill of lading at St. Martin, subpoenas, assignments, bills of sale, and record of the vessel's enrollment under the federal act regulating coastal trade.

Three files of papers relate to properties, or interest in properties, owned by Isaiah Respess, businessman and former mayor of Washington and state representative from Beaufort County. The first file contains an 1874 assignment by Respess to his attorneys-at-law, Sparrow and Shepherd, of a quarter interest in a French spoliation claim originally belonging to Joseph B. Hinton for a vessel seized on the high seas by the French sometime prior to the year 1801. Included in the file is a printed copy of an 1849 U.S. Senate document on the subject of pre-1801 French spoliation claims and an 1872 leaflet on the same subject by a Washington, D.C., attorney specializing in such claims, James H. Causten. This same 1874 deed of assignment includes a second assignment from and to the same parties and conveys quarter interest in a legacy under the last will and testament of Hull Anderson of Liberia, a free man of color, to Joseph B. Hinton.

The second file relating to Respess property concerns a steam sawmill located at the southeastern edge of Washington that Respess had purchased from the lumber magnate Benjamin F. Hanks in 1859. Despite the fact that Respess had been arrested as a Unionist sympathizer and sent to Richmond where he was imprisoned, tried for treason, and released by the C.S.A. government, his sawmill was destroyed by U.S. military forces during the Civil War. Consequently Respess lodged a claim with the Southern Claims Commission for the value of the mill. The file contains an 1874 assignment from Respess to Sparrow and Shepherd of a quarter interest in the pending claim; an 1867 affidavit by Benjamin F. Hanks (the younger) describing and assessing the value of the steam sawmill and identifying Respess as  "a thorough going Union man"; an 1873 letter from the Washington, D.C., attorney, J. M. Cutts, regarding the claim; an example of a claim that had been allowed by Congress but disallowed by the president for stipulated reasons; and an 1863 receipt to Respess from a federal quartermaster for corn meal taken for use of the U.S. government.

The third file relating to Respess property concerns guano deposits on Roncador Island in the Caribbean in which he held half-interest. The file contains an 1869 letter to Respess asking for the specific location of the island and deposits so that shipping arrangements might be made; an 1874 deed of assignment of a quarter interest in the deposits from Respess to James E. Shepherd and Mary B. Tayloe; and a draft of an inquiry from Shepherd to the U.S. Secretary of State about the legal status of the original claim to the deposits.

There are five miscellaneous documents in the collection, two of which have a Shepherd connection: (1) an 1870 insurance policy on the life of Shepherd; (2) a booklet to be used by Democratic Party sub-district committeemen in  "getting out the vote" in the 1876 presidential election. Two of the items have no discernible connection to Shepherd: (1) an 1872 invitation to a  "Hop" at the National Hotel in Raleigh written by  "John" on letterhead of the Raleigh drug firm, Pescud, Lee & Co., to  "bear Belle"; (2) a brief 1884 biographical statement, or vitae, of James Fair Latimer (1845-1892), professor of metaphysics at Davidson College in 1872, and professor of ecclesiastical history and polity at Union Theological Seminary from 1884 to 1892. The fifth miscellaneous item in the collection is a small duodecimo edition of  The Christian's Manual, compiled by the Rev. T. Merritt from the works of John Wesley and published at New York in 1832. The volume was owned by Judge Shepherd's mother, Ann Eliza (Browne) Shepherd and was autographed by her in 1835. This volume is filed in the first box of materials along with the family letters.

Family photographs take the form of daguerreotypes, tintypes, cartes-de-visite, ambrotypes, and mounted and candid paper photographs, and include images of members of the Shepherd and Browne families.

Divided into papers and photographs.


Family papers in this collection are essentially limited to seven letters, eighteen photographic images, and one of Judge Shepherd's visiting cards. The letters range in date from 1864 to 1866. All were written to Shepherd's younger sister, Frances S. (1848-1938). Six of them were written by Shepherd and one was written by their older sister Elizabeth. All were written for the purpose of keeping the three orphaned teenagers in touch with one another during the troubled period of the war and the months immediately following it. Such news as they contain relates to kinsmen and friends. Shepherd's letter of September 4, 1865, includes comments on the post-war commercial growth of Wilson, N.C.,  "a brisk little place". Elizabeth's letter of April 20, 1866, describes changes at Forest Hill where she has returned to her teaching duties. A visiting card of Shepherd's is filed in the same folder as the family correspondence. The family photographic images are described separately at the conclusion of this finding aid.

Business papers include correspondence, bills of sale, deeds, assignments, and lawsuit papers all dating from 1873 and 1874 when Shepherd was in legal practice with Thomas Sparrow at Washington, N.C. Of the deeds and land papers in the collection, most have sequential numbers assigned to them, and though they range in date from 1806 to 1857, they appear to relate to one another in an unspecified land dispute in which Shepherd's firm acted for one of the disputants. There is, too, a single document relating to a lawsuit in Florida concerning a mill near Pensacola owned by a Mr. Fowle of Washington, N.C., whose interests were represented by a Florida firm as well as by the firm of Sparrow and Shepherd.

Two files of papers concern the settlement of debts and legal fees owing in 1874 from estates of decedents: William L. Kennedy of Beaufort and Greene counties, and Thomas D. Swindell of Hyde County. Yet another file of papers relates to a lawsuit involving the schooner  "John Griffiths" following its return to Washington in 1873 from a voyage to the West Indian island of St. Martin. Legal action was brought against the vessel by various creditors, by one of its shippers, and by its mate and seamen for back wages. The file includes a bill of lading at St. Martin, subpoenas, assignments, bills of sale, and record of the vessel's enrollment under the federal act regulating coastal trade.

Three files of papers relate to properties, or interest in properties, owned by Isaiah Respess, businessman and former mayor of Washington and state representative from Beaufort County. The first file contains an 1874 assignment by Respess to his attorneys-at-law, Sparrow and Shepherd, of a quarter interest in a French spoliation claim originally belonging to Joseph B. Hinton for a vessel seized on the high seas by the French sometime prior to the year 1801. Included in the file is a printed copy of an 1849 U.S. Senate document on the subject of pre-1801 French spoliation claims and an 1872 leaflet on the same subject by a Washington, D.C., attorney specializing in such claims, James H. Causten. This same 1874 deed of assignment includes a second assignment from and to the same parties and conveys quarter interest in a legacy under the last will and testament of Hull Anderson of Liberia, a free man of color, to Joseph B. Hinton.

The second file relating to Respess property concerns a steam sawmill located at the southeastern edge of Washington that Respess had purchased from the lumber magnate Benjamin F. Hanks in 1859. Despite the fact that Respess had been arrested as a Unionist sympathizer and sent to Richmond where he was imprisoned, tried for treason, and released by the C.S.A. government, his sawmill was destroyed by U.S. military forces during the Civil War. Consequently Respess lodged a claim with the Southern Claims Commission for the value of the mill. The file contains an 1874 assignment from Respess to Sparrow and Shepherd of a quarter interest in the pending claim; an 1867 affidavit by Benjamin F. Hanks (the younger) describing and assessing the value of the steam sawmill and identifying Respess as  "a thorough going Union man"; an 1873 letter from the Washington, D.C., attorney, J. M. Cutts, regarding the claim; an example of a claim that had been allowed by Congress but disallowed by the president for stipulated reasons; and an 1863 receipt to Respess from a federal quartermaster for corn meal taken for use of the U.S. government.

The third file relating to Respess property concerns guano deposits on Roncador Island in the Caribbean in which he held half-interest. The file contains an 1869 letter to Respess asking for the specific location of the island and deposits so that shipping arrangements might be made; an 1874 deed of assignment of a quarter interest in the deposits from Respess to James E. Shepherd and Mary B. Tayloe; and a draft of an inquiry from Shepherd to the U.S. Secretary of State about the legal status of the original claim to the deposits.

There are five miscellaneous documents in the collection, two of which have a Shepherd connection: (1) an 1870 insurance policy on the life of Shepherd; (2) a booklet to be used by Democratic Party sub-district committeemen in  "getting out the vote" in the 1876 presidential election. Two of the items have no discernible connection to Shepherd: (1) an 1872 invitation to a  "Hop" at the National Hotel in Raleigh written by  "John" on letterhead of the Raleigh drug firm, Pescud, Lee & Co., to  "bear Belle"; (2) a brief 1884 biographical statement, or vitae, of James Fair Latimer (1845-1892), professor of metaphysics at Davidson College in 1872, and professor of ecclesiastical history and polity at Union Theological Seminary from 1884 to 1892. The fifth miscellaneous item in the collection is a small duodecimo edition of  The Christian's Manual, compiled by the Rev. T. Merritt from the works of John Wesley and published at New York in 1832. The volume was owned by Judge Shepherd's mother, Ann Eliza (Browne) Shepherd and was autographed by her in 1835. This volume is filed in the first box of materials along with the family letters.

Family photographs take the form of daguerreotypes, tintypes, cartes-de-visite, ambrotypes, and mounted and candid paper photographs, and include images of members of the Shepherd and Browne families.


  • Anderson, Hull, 1784-1852
  • Hinton, Joseph B.
  • Kennedy, William L.
  • Latimer, James Fair, 1845-1892
  • Respess, Isaiah
  • Shepherd, Elizabeth Bowen Brown, 1853-1929
  • Shepherd, James Edward, 1847-1910
  • Shepherd, William Samuel, 1838-1862
  • Swindell, Thomas Dupree, 1830-1874
  • Shepherd family
  • John Griffiths (Ship)
  • United States. Commissioners of Claims
  • French spoliation claims
  • Guano industry
  • Lawyers--North Carolina
  • Sawmills
  • Beaufort County (N.C.)
  • Wilson (N.C.)
  • Legal correspondence
  • Photographs

Box: PC.1876.1  
Family Correspondence
1864-1866

18788
Deeds and Land Papers, , n.d.
1806-1873

18789
Estates

Kennedy, William L. (Beaufort & Greene Co.)
1874
Swindell, Thomas D. (Hyde Co.)
1874

18792
Fowls Mill, Pensacola, Fla.
1873

18793
French Spoliation Claim, ,1872-1874
1849 1872-1874

18794
Guano Deposits, ,1874
1869 1874

18795
Miscellanea
1870-1874

18796
Miscellanea --The Christian's Manual
1832

18797
Schooner, John Griffiths (Lawsuit)
1873

18798
Southern Claims Commission
1872-1873

Box: PC.1876.2  
William Samuel Shepherd (1838-1862), Lieutenant, Co. F, 1st Regt., N.C. Infantry, .
c. 1860

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Daguerreotype

18800
James Edward Shepherd (1847-1910) and his sister Elizabeth Minton Shepherd, .
mid-1850s

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Tinted daugerreotype

18801
James Edward Shepherd (1847-1910)

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Carte-de-visite

18802
James Edward Shepherd (1847-1910)

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Tintype

18803
James Edward Shepherd (1847-1910) on a boardwalk

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Mounted photograph

18804
Elizabeth Bowen (Brown) Shepherd (1853-1929) at the Shepherd residence, 407 N. Wilmington St., Raleigh

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
4
candid photographs

18805
James E. Shepherd, Jr. (1875-1891)

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Carte-de-visite

18806
Miss Hannah Brown (1859-) and her nephew James E. Shepherd, Jr. (1875-1891)

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Tintype

18807
Dr. Samuel Browne (?), Virginia
ca. 1840?

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Tinted ambrotype

18808
Dr. James Samuel Browne (1816-1874), Virginia

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Tinted ambrotype

18809
Dr. James Samuel Browne (1816-1874), Suffolk, Va.

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Carte-de-visite

18810
Elizabeth Browne (?), Suffolk, Va.
ca. 1860

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Tinted ambrotype

18811
Unidentified couple, possiblyUncle Virginius and Aunt Fannie so frequently mentioned by the Shepherd children, by Samuel Broadbent (1810-1880), .
ca. late 1850s

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Tinted daguerreotype

18812
James Shepherd Bonner, aged 3 1/2 years, Washington, N.C.

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Mounted studio photograph

18813
Russell Shepherd, Guilford College, N.C.
ca. 1900

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
Mounted studio photograph