A Proclamation

My father, James Robert Hawkins was mayor of Durham between 1971 and 1975. This was a turbulent time in the history of Durham, when the schools were integrated, Hope Valley was annexed into the city limits and the freeway divided Hayti. The development of the Research Triangle Park was a dream my father had, andContinue reading “A Proclamation”

Durham History Told from the Grave

To me, the evolution of Durham started with John Ruffin Green and his cured bright leaf tobacco that placed Durham on the map. Malbourne Angier, a store owner, and a passionate citizen of our city made a huge impact on expanding Durham beyond the few store fronts on Main Street. And then there is W.Continue reading “Durham History Told from the Grave”

Durham in Lights

The year is 1913, and Richard Harvey Wright and Julian Carr have acquired a fifty year franchise to provide the city with electric lights and power to run the streetcars. Durham Traction Company has finally begun to see a surge in ridership and now with the license to provide power to the city, they decideContinue reading “Durham in Lights”

Hidden Women

Where did their stories go? As I have studied the men that were known to be the founding fathers of Durham, I began to wonder about the women that loomed in the shadows. We live in a different time where women can shine brightly, but in the late 1800’s, women in Durham were only knownContinue reading “Hidden Women”

1893 in Durham

The year is 1893 in Durham, North Carolina. Julian Shakespeare Carr is the president of the William T. Blackwell Company. This company, with its playful bull painted on the sides of buildings all over the United States, has dominated the industry since the early 1870’s. But there is shift in the winds. Just across theContinue reading “1893 in Durham”

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, oneContinue reading “History in the Present”

The Bull

I know that many of us, me included, assumed the bull was the trademark of the American Tobacco Company. But for those who think this way, they are as far from the truth as you can get. James Buchanan Duke, the president of the W. Duke Sons and Company, (later to become the American TobaccoContinue reading “The Bull”

The Events of 1901

Yesterday, I spent time going through box twenty-three of the four hundred boxes in my great uncle’s archives. The box was a treasure trove of documents that clearly defined what Uncle Richard was doing in January and February of 1901. If Uncle Richard wasn’t discussing the purchase of tobacco through his Gorman Wright Leaf TobaccoContinue reading “The Events of 1901”

The Complexities of a Man

A few years ago, Julian Shakespeare Carr was at the forefront of the Silent Sam controversy in Chapel Hill. If you do any research, what Julian shared as he was presenting this monument to the University of North Carolina will alarm you. My intention is not to defend him or his actions, but to enlightenContinue reading “The Complexities of a Man”

A Man With No Excuses

What will our future generations have to say about us? Or maybe the question should be, what incredible feats can we say we have accomplished in our lifetime? Richard Harvey Wright lived in a time where good medical care was practically nonexistent and travel was very difficult. But even so, Richard didn’t allow the lossContinue reading “A Man With No Excuses”