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John D. Bellamy, Jr. Legal Records

Identifier: LCF-MS-002

Scope and Contents

This collection is the property of the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society and is housed in Randall Library Special Collections as part of a long-term loan agreement between the Society and the Library.

This collection contains legal records pertaining to the Wilmington law firm, John D. Bellamy & Sons. Most of the records are directly related to John Dillard Bellamy, Jr. (24 March 1853-25 September 1942), and Bellamy’s law associates, including his son Emmett Hargrove Bellamy (12 February 1891-31 March 1952). John D. Bellamy, Jr., was a Democratic congressman, North Carolina legislator, politician, lawyer, and manufacturer. Types of materials include correspondence, court documents, and legal documents pertaining to civil actions, admiralty cases, bankruptcy cases, estate disputes, divorce cases, and other types of civil cases. Most of these legal cases and actions are related to New Hanover County and other southeastern North Carolina counties. Materials date from 1898 to 1953.


  • Creation: 1898-1953


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

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

Biographical / Historical

John D. Bellamy, Jr.

John Dillard Bellamy, Jr., was born March 24, 1853 to Dr. John Dillard Bellamy and Eliza McIlhenny Harriss. He was educated under George W. Jewett at Cape Fear Military Academy, then graduated from Davidson College in 1873. He received a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1875, then began practicing law in Wilmington He was Wilmington city attorney from 1892 to 1894. A lifelong Democrat, he served in the North Carolina Senate in 1891 to 1892 and in the United States Congress from 1899 to 1903. Bellamy was also a leader of the Wilmington Coup d’état of 1898. Having, established the Wilmington law firm John D. Bellamy & Sons, where he was a law associate with his sons William McKoy Bellamy and Emmett Hargrove Bellamy, he became president of the North Carolina Bar Association in 1926.

Bellamy married Emma Mary Hargrove on November 25, 1876 in Granville County, North Carolina. They had seven children, Eliza McIlhenny Bellamy Williamson, John Hargrove Bellamy, William McKoy Bellamy, Charles Sturdivant Bellamy, Emmett H. Bellamy, Mary Hargrove Bellamy Barroll, and Marguerite Grist Bellamy Gillette. John D. Bellamy, Jr., died on September 25, 1942 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Emmett H. Bellamy

Emmett Hargrove Bellamy was born February 12, 1891, in Wilmington, North Carolina, to John D. Bellamy, Jr., and Emma Mary Hargrove Bellamy. He attended Cape Fear Academy, then graduated from the University of North Carolina and Columbia University, graduating in 1912 and 1915, respectively. During World War I, Emmett Bellamy served with the United States military in France, reaching the rank of First Lieutenant. Upon his return to Wilmington, he became an attorney and associate of his father’s law firm, John D. Bellamy & Sons. Emmett H. Bellamy was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1921, then the Senate in 1923. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1940 and 1944. Emmett H. Bellamy married Lillian Frances Maxwell on March 24, 1924, in Manhattan, New York. He died March 31, 1952, after being shot by Albert Raymond Reinhart in the elevator of the Charlotte Law Building in Charlotte, North Carolina.


7 Containers (Contains 7 document boxes.)

Language of Materials



Materials are arranged into the following series: Correspondence, 1908-1950; Estate and Property Records, 1909-1953; Legal Cases and Actions, 1898-1951; and Other Legal Documents, 1903-1940.

The Legal Cases and Actions series is divided by several subseries: Bladen County, 1928-1941; Brunswick County, 1911-1941; Columbus County, 1909-1939; Cumberland County, 1929; Lenoir County, 1910; New Hanover County, 1904-1944; Onslow County, 1908-1929; Pender County, 1905-1938; Wilson County, 1929; Federal Cases, 1924-1931; Divorce Cases, 1912-1951; Admiralty Cases, 1914, 1926; and Veteran Claims, 1898-1948.

Acquisition Information

This collection is on permanent loan from the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society as of January 29, 2021.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Caroline Waller in Spring 2021.

John D. Bellamy, Jr. Legal Records
Caroline Waller
2021 February 22
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository