History in the Present

Stepping back into history has been a journey unlike anything I have ever experienced. For the last two years I have made the thirty minute car ride to Duke University where the four hundred boxes of the Richard Harvey Wright archives are stored. Before entering the Rubenstein Library, I must walk past Duke Chapel, one of the most magnificent works of architecture in the country.

Before entering the library, I walk by James Buchanan Duke, the man who believed in the importance of education in the South. In 1924, months before his death, he donated forty million dollars to the Duke Endowment.

As incredible as the buildings are, it’s when I step inside the library, open up a box that has been organized by year, month, and day, and begin to read each document that a sense of joy runs through my veins.

Then the hunt for treasure begins. Each box holds at least four folders, containing at least one hundred documents. And every once in awhile, among the business transactions, I discover personal letters such as the one here. This letter was written to Richard soon after he left the Dukes for the Lone Jack Cigarette Company in Lynchburg, Virginia.

From the detailed letterhead to the beautiful handwriting, a story unfolds before my eyes. A story I would like to invite you to be a part of.

I’m excited to share that my book, A Story of Durham: Told the Wright Way, is now available for PRE-ORDER at an early bird price! The official release day is September 26, 2023. Click the link below to order your copy today!

For the past two years, I have been researching and writing about my grandfather’s uncle, Richard Harvey Wright. When I began my search, I knew very little about this man except that he was one of the founding fathers of Durham, North Carolina. But what I discovered was a story of passion, love, and a determination to succeed with no boundaries. My new book, A Story of Durham: Told the Wright Way, will cause you to reflect on your own history and hopefully create in you a desire to study your past to understand your presence.

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