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James Thomas Broyhill Papers

Identifier: AC-100

Scope and Contents

The Broyhill Papers contain the political papers generated during Broyhill's twenty-six year term as a U. S. Representative between 1963 and 1986, six months as a U. S. Senator in 1986, and his term as North Carolina Secretary of the Department of Commerce. The collection contains legislative and general subject files, correspondence, press releases, speeches, political files, academy applications, and photographs. There are also campaign files. Files containing restricted information are noted in the finding aid with a duration of restriction.

The collection is presented in the order established by Broyhill's office staff. It is primarily divided chronologically by congressional term, with some anomalous subdivisions, and alphabetically within each division. Materials are divided predominantly into General and Legislative files, with additional divisions being Political and Post Office files. Legislative files include unofficial committee papers. General and legislative files contain subjects under political consideration during the specific period they were created, including social events, environmental issues like toxic waste disposal, Superfund, air and water pollution, agriculture, trade and commerce, communications, veteran's affairs, foreign affairs including the Middle East, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam, fossil fuels and alternate energy sources, govenrment agencies, organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and Peace Corps, federal assistance and correspondence with the 10th North Carolina District, and correspondence and information about the presidential administrations of Ford, Carter, Nixon, Reagan, and Kennedy.

Photographs are primarily publicity photographs taken of Broyhill in Washington during public events and appearances. They include photographs of Broyhill with constituents and other politicians and a collection of color photographs on Broyhill's trip to Africa.

Other materials included in the collection include political files, post office files, Washington Reports, Dialcom Telephone Directory entries, press releases, senatorial subject files, and electronic records. Political Files relate to Broyhill's representative campaigns and election results. Post office files concern constituents and districts and are restricted. There are some uncataloged electronic records, audio and video recordings, and artifacts.


  • 1963-1991



The materials are in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is available by appointment only. The Broyhill papers may be used only for scholarly research. Names or identifying personal information from them may not be cited. Certain records may be used only with the permission of the Appalachian Collection Librarian. Military academy applications, case work, and confidential correspondence have limited access and are marked "restricted" in the Folder Index. Use of audiovisual materials may require the creation of a user copy, if none exists. Photographs are housed separately within a cold storage unit. Please allow additional time to allow the photograph to adjust to room temperature.

Copyright Notice

Literary rights have been transferred to Appalachian State University for all items originating from the Senator or his office. Copyright for other items is retained by the authors or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical Note

James Thomas Broyhill was born August 19th, 1927 in Lenoir, N.C. to James Edgar (Ed) and Satie Hunt Broyhill. Broyhill attended the Lenoir public schools and continued his education at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration in 1950. From 1945-1962 he was employed by the Broyhill Furniture Industries in a number of capacities including sales, production and personnel. Broyhill was active in the Lenoir Chamber of Commerce, serving as President for two terms, board member for two terms, and member of several committees. In 1957 he was the recipient of the Lenoir Jaycee Young Man of the Year Award.

In 1951 James Broyhill married Louise Robbins of Durham, N.C. They have three children: Marilyn, Ed, and Philip.

On January 3, 1963 James T. Broyhill was elected to the United States House of Representative from the 9th Congressional district of North Carolina. After the 1968 redistricting, Broyhill was elected from the 10th district which included Alexander, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, and Watauga counties. During his career in the House he served as the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

Broyhill resigned as a Representative July 14, 1986 upon appointment to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John East. Broyhill served as Senator from July 14, 1986 to January 1987. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the Senate seat in 1986. Broyhill served as the Chairman of the North Carolina Economic Development Board, 1987-1989 and as the North Carolina Secretary of Commerce, 1989-1991.

In retirement, Senator Broyhill is still active in serving his community and state. He has served as a member of the Board of Visitors to the Bowman Gray/Baptist Hospital Medical Center (Winston-Salem, N.C.), the Board of Visitors of the Babcock MBA School of Management at Wake Forest University, and the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Food Bank (Winston-Salem, N.C.). He has also served as the Chairman of the North Carolina steering committee named "North Carolinians for Jobs and Progress" and served on the board of directors of three privately held companies. In November, 1993, the N.C. Republican party inducted James Broyhill into the North Carolina Republican Hall of Fame.

In 2000, Senator Broyhill was named Honorary Appalachian Alumnus in recognition of his lifetime achievements and of his service to Appalachian State University. Broyhill served on Appalachian's Board of Trustees for eight years (one year as Chairman) and sits on the Appalachian State University Foundation Board of Directors. He has also been involved with An Appalachian Summer and the Alliance for Teaching Science project in the College of Arts and Sciences.


568 Linear Feet (1,136 boxes)


The James Thomas Broyhill Papers cover the twenty-three and a half years Broyhill served in the United States House of Representatives and the six months he served in the United States Senate. Also included are papers generated from his office as North Carolina Secretary of Commerce. The bulk of the collection consists of constituent correspondence and legislative files.


The James Thomas Broyhill Papers are organized into three series: Series 100A. Senatorial Papers; Series 100B. Representative Papers; and Series 100C. NC Secretarial Papers. The Representative Papers are divided into series based on the original arrangement of Broyhill's office staff. They are approximate chronological organization based on his Congressional terms. They are further subdivided by "G/" and "L/," which stand for General Files and Legislative Files, respectively.

Missing Title

  1. Broyhill, James Thomas
  2. Legislators -- United States -- Correspondence
  3. North Carolina -- Politics and government -- 1951- -- Sources
  4. United States. Congress. House
  5. United States. Congress. Senate
  6. United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century -- Sources

Acquisitions Information

The bulk of the papers were received from the Federal Records Center and the Senatorial Office, December 1986-March 1987. Additional materials were received from Senator Broyhill, May 1987-July 1989, July 2001, 2002. All items are the gift of Senator James Thomas Broyhill. This collection was opened to the public in 1999. 2002 addendum items, newspaper articles and two 1975 magazines are stored in oversize and in autograph boxes.

Processing Information

Processed by Elizabeth Cramer and Kathryn Staley, 1999

Student assistants: Amanda Deal, Carolyn Muller, Tyler Patrick, Richard Evey, Jr., and Chris Watford.

Encoded by Kathryn Staley and Rachel Critzer, July, 2004

AC.100: James Thomas Broyhill Papers, 1963-1991
Processed by: Kathryn Staley; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kathryn Staley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository