Hunter, Charles N., approximately 1851-1931

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Black educator, journalist, and reformer from Raleigh, North Carolina.

From the description of Charles N. Hunter Papers, 1850s-1932 and undated. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 19643200

Charles Norfleet Hunter was born of slave parentage in the early 1850s in Raleigh, North Carolina. Hunter was the son of artisan Osborne Hunter, slave of William Dallas Haywood, a member of one of Raleigh’s most prominent families. Hunter’s mother died when he was three and he was raised by an aunt. Hunter was prominent in efforts to provide better educational facilities and curriculum for African Americans in North Carolina and was instrumental in constructing several schools for African Americans in the state. He served as principal for many schools in the state and served as editor of several newspapers and publications. As a member of the North Carolina Industrial Association, he also sought to expand the opportunities for African Americans in agriculture and industry.

  • circa 1851: Born of slave parents, Osborne and Mary Hunter, in Raleigh, N.C.
  • 1869 - 1874 : Employed at Raleigh Branch Freedman's Savings Bank; assistant cashier by 1874, when the bank failed
  • 1875: Began teaching in Maxton, N.C.
  • 1879: One of the founding members of North Carolina Industrial Association, along with brother, Osborne Jr.
  • 1880: Secretary of North Carolina Industrial Association and editor of its publication, Journal of Industry
  • 1881 - 1884 : Worked as clerk in Raleigh Post Office
  • 1888: Teacher in Durham Colored Graded School; editor of Progressive Educator of N.C.
  • 1889: Principal of Garfield Graded School in Raleigh, N.C.; agent for A.S. Barnes and Co. publishers, New York
  • 1890: Principal of Oberlin Graded School in Raleigh, N.C.
  • 1892: Treasurer of North Carolina Industrial Association
  • 1896: Appointed Principal of Garfield School in Raleigh, N.C.
  • 1900: Brother, Osborne, Jr., died
  • 1902: Partner with J. H. Lewis in Inter State Real Estate and Employment Agency, Trenton, N.J.; Principal of Oberlin School in Raleigh, N.C.
  • 1903: Member of the faculty of North Carolina State Colored Normal School, Franklinton, N.C.
  • 1905: Appointed Principal of Colored High School in Raleigh, N.C.; daughter, Eva, died of pneumonia and possible malaria in July; son, Charles, died of illness in December
  • 1906: Appointed Principal of Chavis School in Raleigh, N.C.
  • 1907: Played an active role in preparing the N.C. Negro Exhibit for the Jamestown Exposition; Colored Secretary of the N.C. Commission of the Jamestown Exposition; Secretary of Negro Development and Exposition Co. of USA; Superintendent of the Raleigh Branch of the North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association
  • 1908: Traveling Agent of the North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association; Member of the North Carolina Republican Executive Committee
  • 1910: Editor of Our Advance, a paper in Raleigh; Principal of Public School, Method, N.C.
  • 1915: Leading figure in building of Berry O'Kelly Training School (previously known as Method School) in Method, N.C.; served as the school's principal
  • 1916: Secretary of N.C. Republican Executive Committee
  • 1917: Editor of Raleigh Independent
  • 1918: Moved to Portsmouth, Va. in Jun.; served as foreman for laborers in the Norfolk Navy Yard
  • 1921: Moved back to Raleigh, N.C.; again made editor of Raleigh Independent
  • 1922: Assigned teaching position at Pleasant Hill School, Garner, N.C.
  • 1923: Served as Principal of Haywood High School in Haywood, N.C. (Chatham County); Principal of Horton Public School in Pittsboro, N.C.; wife, Eliza, died after stroke
  • 1924: Appointed Principal of Booker T. Washington School in Wilson's Mills, N.C. (Johnson County)
  • 1926: Served as teacher in Manchester, N.C.
  • 1927: Served as teacher in Bridge, N.C.
  • 1928: Author of review of Negro Life in North Carolina with My Recollections
  • 1931: Died in Raleigh, Sept. 4; survived by daughters, Emma Hunter Satterwhite and Lena M. Hunter

From the guide to the Charles N. Hunter Papers, 1850s-1932 and undated, (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Charles N. Hunter Papers, 1850s-1932 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Hunter, Charles N., ca. 1851-1931. Charles N. Hunter Papers, 1850s-1932 and undated. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874. Correspondence, 1829-1874 Houghton Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Place Name Admin Code Country
North Carolina--Durham
North Carolina--Raleigh
United States
North Carolina
Durham (N.C.)
African American business enterprises
African American farmers
African Americans
African Americans
African Americans
African American teachers
African American teachers
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)


Birth 1851

Death 1931



Ark ID: w64f4tx3

SNAC ID: 71511116