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Benjamin Ulysses Ratchford Collection

Identifier: DC024

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of biographical materials, photographs, speeches, research notes and files, printed materials, and a student scrapbook. The biographical material includes an article written at the time of his retirement, citations and certificates. The research materials primarily relate to his speeches and contain his notes and copies of articles used. The printed material includes pamphlets as well as Ratchford's original masters and Doctoral theses. The file folder marked "Brochure/Invitations" contains several brochures from productions by the Davidson Dramatic Club in 1926 and Ben Ratchford's graduation announcment. The file folder marked "Correspondence/Essays" contains a very flirtatious letter from a girl supposedly from the North Carolina College for Women in Greensboro, N.C. to Ben Ratchford. The girl never admits her full name. The folder also contains a letter to Ben Ratchford and Claude McIntosh from six women -- yet another flirtatious letter. Two other handwritten letters are included in the folder along with another letter announcing Ratchford's selection as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. The folder also contains a speech given by Ratchford on (1) whether or not the government should control coal mines, (2) whether or not Congress should be empowered to override decision of the Supreme Court, (3) whether or not the 20th Amendment should be ratified by the states. The file folder marked "Photographs" contains a photograph of Ben Ratchford in his military uniform alongside several other military officers, and a group of men in the Salesmen's Club, and a photograph of Ratchford in his later years at a board meeting. During his student years, Ratchford kept an excellent scrapbook. Of primary interest is his relationship with Anne Reid, a young lady who attended the North Carolina College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina (now UNC-G), whom he eventually married. Her picture and several references to her are found throughout the scrapbook. Ratchford also mentions several other romances that he had at the same time. For individual topics, please see the notations on each page in the folder section.


  • Creation: 1932 - 1967

Biographical / Historical

Benjamin Ulysses Ratchford, a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, was a class valedictorian in high school. He was an economics major at Davidson College, graduating in 1926. He received his M.A. in economics from Duke University in 1927 and in 1932 earned the first Ph.D. awarded by Duke in economics. He remained on the faculty at Duke until 1960, and spent time in Europe after World War II, studying and reporting on the economy. He received the medal of Freedom, given by the War Department to civilians who performed meritorious service in the war, for his work in Berlin. Ratchford left Duke University in 1960 to head the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, until his retirementin 1967 He died in 1977.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 box + 1 scrapbook)