Kenan Family Collection
Scope and Contents
The collection also documents Kenan Family History, including publications on the history, restoration, and preservation of Liberty Hall plantation in Kenansville, Duplin County. Other items include an opinion piece and miscellaneous notes by North Carolina Attorney General and former Confederate colonel Thomas S. Kenan. A letter from Alvaretta Kenan Register about her research on her family and a description and illustration of the Kenan Family Coat of Arms complete the family history portion of the collection.
Finally, the collection includes information on the extended Kenan family, including a pamphlet about the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum at Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, Florida. Henry Morrison Flagler was the husband of Mary Lily Kenan, a native of Kenansville and niece of Thomas S. Kenan.
Conditions Governing Access
Biographical / Historical
James Kenan married Sarah Love ("Sallie") in 1770 and they had eight children. After the first Liberty Hall burned sometime in the 1790s, their eldest son Thomas Stephen Kenan II (1771-1843) built the second Liberty Hall ca. 1800. After serving three terms in the United States House of Representatives, Thomas S. Kenan II moved to Selma, Alabama in 1811. Owen Rand Kenan (1804-1887), son of Thomas S. Kenan II, then assumed management of Liberty Hall.
Owen Rand Kenan and his wife Sarah Rebecca Graham (d. 1871) had four children, including Thomas S. Kenan III (1838-1911). As Owen Rand Kenan sat in the First Confederate Congress, Thomas S. Kenan III rose to the rank of colonel in the Confederate Army. After the war, Thomas S. Kenan III practiced law, later holding the office of Attorney General of North Carolina from 1877 to 1885.
Another son of Owen Rand Kenan, William Rand Kenan (1845-1903), held the rank of captain with a Confederate militia unit. William Rand Kenan was, after the Civil War, an insurance agent and merchant in Wilmington where he helped lead the white supremacist Coup and Massacre of 1898.
William Rand Kenan had four children with his wife Mary Hargrave (1842-1916). His daughters included Mary Lily Kenan Flagler (1867-1917), who was the second wife and widow of Standard Oil magnate Henry Morrison Flagler; Sarah Graham Kenan (1876-1968); and Jessie Hargrave Kenan Wise (1870-1968). Upon their deaths, the latter two donated their Market Street houses to the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
.2 Linear Feet (Contains 1 document box)
- Kenan Family Collection
- Special Collections Staff
- 2021 August 12
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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- Script of description
- Language of description note