The bulk of the Barbee Papers concerns his research, accomplished primarily between the years 1928-1958. The Papers are organized according to provenance into seven series, out-lining his historical interests. The series are: I: Abraham Lincoln; II: Death of Lincoln; III: Lincoln and Booth; IV: John Wilkes Booth; V: Conspirators; VI: Rose O'Neil Greenhow; and VII: American History. Because of the inter-relatedness of topics, the same subject files may be found in a number of series. An alphabetical index to subjects is appended to the finding aid and should be consulted. The Papers are largely subject-oriented. File headings as they appear in the folder descriptions are either in large case to indicate subject files or in small case to indicate correspondence files.
The Papers contain correspondence, manuscripts, transcribed material, photocopies of documents, newspaper clippings, printed material, and photographs. Transcribed material, photocopies of documents, and newspaper clippings represent an enormous amount of research through published and unpublished sources. Barbee was able to gain access to a great deal of material still in private hands, the continued existence of which is uncertain. It is interesting to note that Barbee was one of the scholars to read through the Lincoln Papers when they were opened to the public. Through his studies, he not only concerned himself with major historical figures, but identified many less central characters and spent a great deal of time in reconstructing their societal context.
Correspondence contains fascinating discussions of history, shared with a wide variety of individuals, in addition to including specific research inquiries in search of source material. Because of the years in which Barbee conducted his research, he was fortunate in being able to correspond with close relatives of historical figures from the Civil War era, such as Mrs. Lee D. Marie, grand-daughter of Rose O'Neil Greenhow. Barbee's large correspondence with historians includes letters from Paul M. Angle, Charles Beard, Samuel Ashe, Matthew Page Andrews, Frank Maloy Anderson, Ray P. Basler, Otto Eisenschiml, Lyon G. Tyler, Philip Van Doren Stern, Henry Steele Commager, Emmanuel Hetz, Archibald Henderson, and Albert J. Beveridge, among others. Other correspondents include Bennet Cerf, General Merritte W. Ireland, Stephen Early, Nicholas Murray Butler, Claude G. Bowers, Cordell Hull, Adlai Stevenson, Patrick Hurley, William Jennings Bryan and Lyndon B. Johnson. Other material of note includes original correspondence concerning the estate of Rose O'N. Greenhow. Included are letters between A.M. Waddell of Wilmington, North Carolina and Richard Savage, dated 1866-1869. The question of the Greenhow estate is particularly interesting since she was found after her death with large amounts of gold, presumably for the Confederacy. Also included in the Greenhow series are three photographs of - Greenhow, including a carte-de-visite taken in London shortly before her death, a memorial card after her death, and a da- guerreotype, date unknown.
Size: 25.0 linear feet; 17 boxes Dates: 1886-1956 (terminal) 1928-1956 (bulk)
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