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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Kathrine Robinson Everett, April 30, 1985. Interview C-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

A sketch of family connections and the importance of education at the turn of the twentieth century

Everett talks about her family and their influences on her as she grew up in the late 1890s and early 1900s in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Her father was a prominent lawyer in Cumberland County. Everett's mother died when she was still a baby and her great aunt, Georgie Hicks, moved from Faison, North Carolina, to help her father raise her and her sister. Everett strongly emphasizes the importance of education in her family—she notes that both her mother and father were well-educated for the time, as was her great aunt. Everett suggests that this, along with the fact that her family was "well-established" and that her father was "forward looking" in his thinking regarding women's capabilities, were influential factors in her own education and career later on.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Kathrine Robinson Everett, April 30, 1985. Interview C-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

KATHRINE ROBINSON EVERETT:
My name is Kathrine Robinson Everett. I was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the younger of two girls.
PAMELA DEAN:
O.K. Let's go on and talk about your family just a little bit. Start with your father. Do you know where he . . .
KATHRINE ROBINSON EVERETT:
My father was a lawyer, Henry McDiarmid Robinson. He was a native of Cumberland County and had practiced law for a number of years. In fact, when he died he was dean of the Cumberland County Bar Association. My mother came from Duplin County, was Mary Hill Robinson. Both my father and my mother had been very well educated for those times. My father had gone to Bingham as a young man first and then to the University of Virginia. My mother was educated at Mary Baldwin, in Virginia, and then Atlantic Female Seminary, where she had different certificates. They both came from well established families in North Carolina. I was lucky. Now, what do you want me to tell? My mother died when I was a year and a half old and my great aunt, Miss Georgie Hicks (who was never married) came to live with us and help rear us.
PAMELA DEAN:
Now was that on your mother's side?
KATHRINE ROBINSON EVERETT:
That was on my mother's side. She was from Faison, North Carolina and was kin to the Faisons and the Hicks and Hills and a number of people down there. My great aunt Georgie Hicks was a remarkable person. She was well educated, too, for those times. She was at St. Mary's when Sherman came through in 1865 and tells a rather interesting account. She got a message that the Northern soldiers had come up from Wilmington and they came through Faison and they stopped over there. And some of them had gone to her father's home. There was no news between the people at that time: everybody was afraid that Raleigh was going to be burned and their houses being burned as Sherman came along. And her parents had asked that he, (the soldier)-when he went through Raleigh-try to get in touch with her and tell her that they were all right. So she got this message (at 16, I think she was, at St. Mary's) that a Yankee soldier wanted to see her. She was scared to death and the lady principal was, but said, "I'll go in there with you when you see him, so I'll protect you all I can." So when they met, that was for the message. My great-aunt not only was educated at St. Mary's, but she went to Charlotte later to what became Queens College. So we had the advantage of people who appreciated education. And my father was very forward looking. He believed that women had enough sense to do whatever they wanted to if they tried. So he encouraged us rather than discouraged you from trying to do things.