Guide to the Paul M. Fink Papers, 1663 - 1974, undated

Summary Information

Title: Paul M. Fink Papers, 1663 - 1974, undated
Collection: AC.174
Extent: 2.76 linear feet (1 half-sized manuscript box, 1 cold storage envelope, 1 oversize folder)

The Paul M. Fink Papers contains a collection of materials related to East Tennessee, primarily Jonesborough and Washington County. Some papers were generated by residents of the State of Franklin. Other documents include court documents, slave emancipation and other slave records, school documents, autographs, and histories of Washington County, Tennessee.

Creator: Fink, Paul M.

Biographical/Historical Note

Paul M. Fink (1892-1980) was a lifelong resident of Jonesborough [Tennessee].  The official historian of Washington County, he was a prime mover in the Historic Jonesborough restoration program.  His research into the history of the Town and County has been included in numerous articles in publications of the Tennessee Historical Society, the East Tennessee Historical Society and elsewhere.  He served as vice president of the Tennessee Historical Society, the Tennessee Archaeological Society and the Tennessee Folklore Society.

Also keenly interested in mountaineering and conservation, he was a leader in the movement that led to the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  In 1977 he was honored by the Appalachian Trail Conference as "the guiding influence" in establishing the Trail in Tennessee and North Carolina in the 1920's.  The Tennessee Conservation League gave him its highest award, the Z. Cartter Patten Award, in 1973.  He was author of many articles on campcraft in such magazines as Field and Stream and Outdoor Life.  His book, Backpacking Was the Only Way, is based on his journals of early explorations in the Smokies.

Written by Elizabeth Fink (daughter of Paul M. Fink)

Scope and Contents

Paul M. Fink was a noted historic researcher on the subjects of his hometown, Jonesborough, Tennessee, and the Washington County, Tennessee area. The copies of legal and historic documents he collected along with his extra subject sketches handwritten about almost all documents are proof of his diligent research. He has also included copies of photographs of buildings in Jonesborough and of himself, along with document signatures/autographs of some famous historic people.


The folders are arranged alphabetically by subject, while most of the papers within are arranged chronologically.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room without restrictions.

Acquisitions Information

Paul Fink donated this collection to the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection on 1974. Collection was opened to the public on October 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by Deborah Bell, ~1994; Kathryn Staley, October 2002; Encoded by Kathryn Staley, 27 June 2005; Revised processing by Anita Elliott, July 2013. This collection was reprocessed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.174: Paul M. Fink Papers, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Autographs of Famous People with Biographical Sketches, 1789-1833 Box 1.1
Court Documents, Various Offenses and Cases, mostly in Tennessee, 1778-1930 Box 1.2
Documents, relating to Status of Slaves, 1788-1852 Box 1.3
Documents and Brochures, of HIstoric Jonesborough and Washington County, Tennessee, 1789-1974, undated Box 1.4
Papers, Commerce and Trade Documents, Tennessee, 1780-1853 Box 1.5
Papers, relating to Washington County, Tennessee Education System, 1802-1860 Box 1.6
Papers, State of Franklin, Tennessee, 1785-1788 Box 1.7
Petitions for Damages, to Southern Claims Commission, Washington County, Tennessee, 1864-1868 Box 1.8
Photographs, Paul M. Fink, Historic Documents and Photographs of Historic Importance in the History of Jonesborough and Washington County, Tennessee, undated Box 1.9
Various Maps and Documents, with Article written by Paul M. Fink, 1663-1930, undated Box 1.10
COLD STORAGE: Color Photographs, (4), Buildings in/around Jonesborough, Tennessee, undated CS_Box 1