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Zebulon Weaver Collection

Identifier: MSS 80-01

Scope and Contents

Zebulon Weaver (1872-1948) was a lawyer and U.S. Representative from western North Carolina. He was born in the Weaverville area of Buncombe County, NC. He was educated in the local schools, including Weaver College, and also studied law at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Admitted to the bar in 1894, Weaver practiced law in Asheville, NC, prior to entering politics.

Weaver served in the North Carolina House of Representatives (1907-1909) and the state Senate (1913-1915). A Democrat, he began his lengthy service in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1917. Although defeated in 1919, he successfully contested the election and continued serving consecutive terms until the election of 1928, when he was defeated again. Weaver was re-elected in 1930 and served from 1931-1946, when he was again defeated for re-election.

Retiring from politics, he resumed his law practice in Asheville, NC. He died in 1948, and was buried in Asheville's Riverside Cemetery.

Weaver was married to Anna Danvers. They had nine children, including their second son, Zebulon, Jr., who donated the collection.

During his tenure in the U. S. Congress, Weaver served on the House Judiciary Committee and also possibly served on veterans affairs and post office committees. His correspondence contains letters on the latter two subjects.

The correspondence also covers Weaver's involvement in establishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and development of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Weaver acted as attorney for the Park and was involved in the purchase of land. The collection contains newspaper clippings relating to this subject.

The collection also contains material on the Buncombe County Democratic Party Organization and Weaver's 1928 election campaign. .

Other subjects covered in the collection include Fontana Dam and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) projects in western North Carolina, various Congressional bills, and Weaver's law practice. In addition, miscellaneous projects in the western North Carolina area are mentioned throughout the collection.

The collection is arranged as follows:

1. Correspondence: 1895-1946.

2. Business Records, including account books, bills, receipts, and checks: 1895-1946.

3. Legal papers and documents, including deeds, tax materials, insurance policies, warranties, court petitions, affidavits: 1850-1946.

4. Political materials, including speeches: 1928.

5. Printed materials, including copies of bills, petitions, pamphlets, etc., all related to Weaver's job as a Congressman: 1922-1946.

6. Newspaper clippings, including clippings relative to Weaver's career and various projects with which he was involved: 1916-1946.

7. Miscellaneous materials, including genealogical and biographical information about Weaver and his family: 1939-1944.

8. Photographs, see container and folder list for description: 1937-1944 (most are not dated).

9. Maps, see container and folder list for description: 1927-1942.

A later addition to the collection includes further correspondence.

Topics mentioned in the correspondence in this addition include the proposal and establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, including the purchase of lands. Weaver served as Park Commissioner of the North Carolina Park Commission, and much of the correspondence reflects his service in that position. Included is a letter from Appalachian naturalist and writer Horace Kephart. Court cases include those involving several western North Carolina lumber companies: Champion Fibre, Suncrest, Montvale, and Ravensford. Other cases in which Weaver was involved are also included.

Most of the rest of the correspondence reflects the process of land acquisition and Weaver's interests in this activity. The impact of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Swain County, NC, also is reflected in this correspondence. Major correspondents include William E. Bird, former President of Western Carolina University; G. A. Schultz of the U. S. Department of Interior; and James Roosevelt, Administrative Assistant to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Also included in this collection are business records, court cases and papers, election materials, speeches, and newspaper clippings. The collection also includes the special files of Col. S. A. Jones concerning the 1918 discussions with the War Industries Board and U. S. Bureau of Mines and Mining regarding the availability of abrasive minerals in Jackson County, NC, soils. Naturally occurring garnet and rhodolite were proposed as substitutes for imported abrasives.


  • 1850 - 1960

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Repository Details

Part of the Hunter Library - Special Collections Repository

Cullowhee United States