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John J. Burney, Jr. Legislative Papers

Identifier: SC-MS-033

Scope and Contents

This collections contains the legislative papers of North Carolina State Senator John J. Burney, Jr. Senator Burney represented New Hanover County from 1966-1972. The legislative papers consist primarily of correspondence, bills, publications, printed materials and newspaper clippings, covering a broad spectrum of social, economic and political issues during his time in office. Topics include taxation, environmentalism, transportation and infrastructure, Wilmington College (now UNCW), and water resources. Also included in this collection are political materials relating to the Beverly Lake Sr. vs. Terry Sanford Gubernatorial Campaigns in 1960 and 1962.


  • Creation: 1960 - 1972


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical Note

John Jay Burney, Jr. a Wilmington, North Carolina native, born October 5, 1924, attended New Hanover County Schools, graduated from Wake Forest College with a B.S. degree in 1950 and from Wake Forest College of Law School with an LL.B. in 1951. In addition to his work as a lawyer, he was a member of local, regional and national bar associations and a member of various civic and social clubs, including the Elks, Shriners, American Legion and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. An active participant in Democratic politics, he was selected as one of North Carolina's Outstanding Young Democrats in 1959. Burney served as District Solicitor of the Eighth Solicitorial District from 1954-1963.

In 1966, Burney ran for State Senate from the 10th [NC] Senate District, comprising Duplin, New Hanover, Pender and Sampson Counties and served for three terms. He involved himself with environmental and educational issues, taxation, property insurance for coastal home owners, and amendments to the state law dealing with the sale of alcoholic beverages. He also played an active role in preventing a restructuring of the North Carolina higher education system. Senator Burney was a tireless supporter of Wilmington College, later the University of North Carolina at Wilmington; the University honored him by naming the student center, the Burney Student Support Center. Senator Burney also served on the General Statutes Commission, 1967-1968.

In 1972, John Burney decided not to run for reelection; he returned to Wilmington and his law practice. Burney died in Wilmington on April 10, 2010.


37 Containers (Contains 36 document boxes and 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

Senator Burney's papers had been arranged in topical order. This original order has been maintained in corresponding series, with additional topics added as necessary. Within the topical categories, the arrangement is initially chronological, then alphabetical.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by John J. Burney, Jr. in 1982.

Processing Information

Originally processed by Patricia B. McGee in 1998. In 2015, this manuscript collection was re-foldered and re-housed with current archival standard materials by Christine Hockaday.


John J. Burney, Jr. Legislative Papers
Patricia B. McGee
1998 January 6
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Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository