#9019 Ney Memorial Association Scrapbook

Ney Memorial Association Scrapbook

MSS #9019

July 1995

Abstract: Scrapbooks and other materials maintained by the Ney Memorial Association, Charles Allison, Sr., compiler and leading force in the Association, featuring the association's promotion of the belief that Napolean Bonaparte's leading general, Marshal Michel Ney, spent his last years in western North Carolina under an assumed name, Peter Stuart Ney, and was buried at the Third Creek Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, NC..

Online catalog terms:

Allison, Charles Sr.

Ney Memorial Association

Ney, Michel

Ney, Peter Stuart d.1846

Third Creek Presbyterian Church

Size: Approximately two linear feet.

Provenance: Gift of the Ney Memorial Association

Access: Series III. containing originals to those preservation photocopies found elsewhere in the collection may be used with staff permission only.

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

The Ney Memorial Association was founded at Davidson College in 1946 for the collection and preservation of relics associated with the western North Carolina schoolmaster, Peter Stuart Ney, who--among other claims to local fame--designed the Davidson College seal.

Peter Stuart Ney was believed by many individuals in western North Carolina to have been Marshal Michel Ney of France, Napoleon's "Bravest of the Brave," who was supposedly executed December 7, 1815 by a firing squad under orders from the Court of King Louis XVIII. Peter Stuart Ney arrived in North Carolina in 1822 and served as a multilingual and highly educated schoolteacher who, after infrequent drinking bouts, would let slip snippets of his former life as an associate of Napoleon.

Over the years, all manner of amateur and professional sleuths--from handwriting specialists to forensic scientists--have attempted to determine if the body buried in the cemetery of Third Creek Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, N.C. is that of a dashing military genius or a fanciful backwoods educator. The members of the Ney Memorial Association, however, needed no additional proof. The original officers of the group included Bishop Howard E. Rondthaler of Winston Salem, Dr. J. Edward Smoot (an early writer on the legend), James T. Graham of Cleveland, N.C., Mrs. Virginia Smoot (daughter of Edward), J. Weston Clinard, Chalmers G. Davidson (Librarian at Davidson College), and Charles W. Allison, Sr., owner of the Allison Fence Company in Charlotte, N.C.

The Memorial Association gathered Ney relics (now on deposit with the Davidson College Library), brick veneered the Third Creek Presbyterian Church Session House where Ney taught, and erected a mausoleum over the grave of the schoolteacher. They also held regular meetings that memorialized the man called "one of North Carolina's greatest mysteries."

The two scrapbooks and other materials brought together here contain photgraphs of members of the Association, newspaper clippings of its activities, three films and some oral histories committed to "Sound Sciber" disks as well as correspondence between its members. The Association's gavel is on display in the Edith M.Clark History Room's rare book cabinet.

Series Descriptions

Series I. Scrapbooks

1946-1953

Arrangement: chronological

Two scrapbooks maintained by the Ney Memorial Association. Scrapbook I. contains photographs, newspaper clippings, snapshots, and correspondence between members. Most of these materials were left in the scrapbook, but one of the scrapbook's "pouches" contained approximately thirty letters. Preservation photocopies were made from these letters and the photocopies were interfiled with loose correspondence taken from Rowan Public Library's History Room subject and surname files (McCubbins Collection). The originals of this correspondence were filed separately in the collection. Scrapbook II. contains photographs taken at a Ney Memorial Association meeting held at Third Creek Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, NC.

Box List:

Box 1. Scrapbook I.

Scrapbook II.

Series II. Loose Materials.

1945-1953

Arrangement: chronological Correspondence, newspaper clippings, stationery samples, membership cards, mausoleum plans, two manuscript articles, a pamphlet, and loose photographs pertaining to the Ney Memorial Association. One of the manuscript articles and the pamphlet were written by Charles Allison. The third manuscript is a translation of Rene Arnaud's The Death and Resurrection of Marshal Ney.

Box List:

Box 2.

Folder 1. Correspondence

Folder 2. Guest List--Third Creek Presbyterian Church

Folder 3. Stationery samples

Folder 4. Membership Cards

Folder 5. Mausoleum Plans

Folder 6. "Was Peter Stewart Ney . . . Marshal Ney of France?"

Folder 7. "Was Marshal Ney Executed?"

Folder 8. "Death and Resurrection of Marshal Ney"

Folder 9. Clippings

Folder 10. Loose Photographs

Series III. Originals.

1946-1953

Originals of those items that needed to be photocopied due to preservation concerns. Preservation copies of these items appear elsewhere in this collection. Researchers are asked to consult originals only by staff permission.

Box List.

Box 2.

Folder 11. Originals of correspondence found in Scrapbook I.

Folder 12. Originals of correspondence found in McCubbins Collection

Folder 13. Originals of Newspaper clippings found in Scrapbook I.

Folder 14. Originals of Clippings Found in McCubbins Collection