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Van Eeden Settlement

Identifier: SC-MS-121

Scope and Contents

This manuscript contains information regarding Van Eeden. Much of the manuscript contains correspondence between Alvin Johnson and the settlers, revealing the working and social conditions of Van Eeden at that time. Also included are daily journal entries by Sarnia Marquand, Alvin Johnson's secretary, providing a view other than that of the settlers.


  • 1938-1988

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 StatesĀ  copyright law.

Historical Note

Van Eeden, in Pender County, North Carolina was created by the efforts of Alvin Johnson and Hugh MacRae, who shared a passion for agriculture. Alvin Johnson, a first-generation American of Jewish descent, hoped to liberate Jews from Nazi Germany, and provide them with a means of support. Many German Jews tried to emigrate to the U.S., but were hindered by paperwork, and a need for sponsors and jobs. MacRae, experienced in placing immigrants in agricultural colonies, and Johnson, with his knowledge of land cultivation, went to President Roosevelt for assistance. In 1939, Hugh MacRae sold 100 acres of farmland to the Alvin Corporation, lead by Alvin Johnson of the New School for Social Research, in New York. Families began arriving with hopes of a new future. Each family was provided with 10 acres of land, a small house, and a cow, all of which was to be paid off in twenty-five years with the sale of their harvest. Unfortunately, the land and weather was harsh for most of the immigrants, and many left in search of professions more suited to their educational levels. Many were University-trained and knew nothing of farming.


.6 Linear Feet (Contains two document boxes)



Acquisition Information

Method and date of acquisition unknown.

Van Eeden Settlement
Partially Processed
Melissa Blake
24 June 1998
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository