Collection comprises correspondence, diaries, record books, and photographs documenting Bradley's family life and teaching in Maine during the 1840s, her travels throughout the South and Costa Rica in the 1850s, her duties as a nurse at several U.S. Sanitary Commission convalescent camps during the Civil War, and her post-war work in Wilmington, N.C., where she founded free schools for white children in 1866 and 1872 under the auspices of the Soldiers' Memorial Society and worked as an administrator in the public school system until 1891. The collection includes two salted paper prints and several albumen photographs of Civil War relief camps, some by noted photographer Alexander Gardner.
The principal part of this collection is made up of the journals kept by Frederick C. Edwards between 1884 and 1945 reflecting Edwards's career as an Episcopal minister and his study of psychical phenomena, especially life after death. They contain letters, sermons, nature essays, book orders, and some clippings and financial records with numerous entries for 1933-1935 commenting on Franklin Roosevelt, the New Deal, and the effects of the Depression on the people Edwards saw and knew; and a considerable amount of material concerning Edwards's interest in spiritualism and psychical research, including mention of sittings with various mediums and a few transcriptions of these sittings. The unbound letters are those of Edwards's son, Frederick Trevenen Edwards, describing his experiences in World War I. There is a typed copy of these letters emended by Edwards, and they were published in 1954 by Elizabeth Satterthwait The collection also contains assorted volumes and notebooks including Trevenen Edwards's poetry and prose and Frederick Edwards's nature poems.
The collection consists largely of family correspondence based in and around Harpers Ferry, which is arranged chronologically from 1838 through 1936. Since three of the four Chambers sisters never married, there are many letters from their friends and suitors. In particular are courtship letters from Jennie's suitor Charles Davies, a lawyer who wooed her for fifteen years. Although she appears to have loved him, her parents disapproved and the couple never wed; Davies eventually married someone else. There is also significant correspondence from the Castle sons to their mother in Harpers Ferry.
Along with correspondence, the collection includes some legal and financial papers, loosely arranged by date. Of note in the legal papers is a handwritten copy of John Brown's will, although no context is provided as to why it is present in the family's papers. Also present in the collection are drafts, poems, and essays, both by Jennie Chambers and unidentified authors. Of note are the drafts from Chambers' article, What a School-Girl Saw of John Brown's Raid, eventually published in Harpers Magazine in 1902.
There is a file with evidence of Chambers' interest in painting, including her notes about mixing paint colors and some sketches. The collection also contains several daybooks and a few photographs, largely unidentified.
Chiefly letters written by Pridgen to his mother, father, sister, and an occassional family friend while serving with Company M, 120th U.S. Infantry, 30th Division, commonly referred to as the "Old Hickory"Division, of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.
Letters of August 1917 through May 1918 primarily describe his life at Camp Sevier: meals, discipline, pay, his duties as supply sergeant, and the arrival of new conscripts. He also describes several episodes of desertion, a measles outbreak and resulting medical quarantine, and soldiers suffering from pneumonia and spinal meningitis. Other topics include occassional trips into Greenville and Spartanburg where he and other soldiers were hosted by local families, attended picture shows, including "Birth of a Nation,", and fraternized with other soldiers.
Letters of May 1918 through July 1918 describe preparations for his division's embarkation to France. He notes the transfer of his division to Camp Merritt, New Jersey and stops along the way in Washington, D.C and Philadelphia, PA where Red Cross women handed out post cards, fresh apples and cigarettes to the troops. He also describes nights out in New York City, NY and a visit to the Kinney-Duke branch of the American Tobacco Co. with other soldiers from Durham. Letters of July 1918 warn recipients of future cencorship of letters. There is also a postcard of July 1918 with an image of his division's transport ship and date of embarkation.
Letters of August 1918 through November 1918 describe active duty in France. Due to censorhip of letter content, most letters are relatively consice and his exact whereabouts are never disclosed. However, he does describe his duties behind the lines assisting a mess sergeant, transportation of food to soldiers at the front, some references to conditions, and, due to the potential presence of German aircraft, a strict lights-out policy after dark. He also briefly describes duties at the front including a nineteen day stint in the trenches and the deaths of several soldiers including a friend from Durham. He also describes coursework at an engineers training school where he completed classes on camouflage, gas, mining and pioneering, and bridging. His notebooks from these courses are present in the collection.
After the armistice his letters touch on a variety of topics including descriptions of holiday dinners in camp, his transfer out of the 30th Division, rumors surrounding which divisions will sail home first, and the influenza outbreak in the United States. After his division's transfer to Le Mans, France prior to embarkation he describes his anxiousness to return to the States, his observations of French people, attending a baseball game and his disillusionament with the Y.M.C.A., noting the arrest of two staff members for stealing money.
The collection also contains some military papers and ephemera including several General Orders, cartoon clippings from a Camp Sevier newspaper--one of which depicts Pridgen, assorted print material including a pamphlet on recent military operations, divisional shoulder patches, and a tag with Pridgen's name and division number. Also present is a small amount of legal and financial papers relating to Pridgen's automobile dealership opened after the war and assorted clippings from World War I and several documenting post-war commemorations.
The bulk of the collection consists of letters written between family members during the American Civil War. These letters discuss the family's concerns about being split by the war, illnesses, deaths, politics, race, religion, and employment. There are also letters after the Civil War up until 1912. Some of these letters relate to Davis' daughter, Eunice, who married an Afro-Caribbean sea merchant and moved with him to Grand Cayman Island. There are also papers relating to Charles Henry, the only son to survive the war. Several of these letters are letters of recommendation in support of specific veterans receiving their pensions, including a letter that describes a possibly gender-fluid, gender nonconforming, and/or transgender soldier nicknamed "Lucy."
The collection consists of genealogical information, correspondence, photographs, diaries, notebooks, and a manuscript autobiography relating to the Townsend family of Felchville, Vermont. The bulk of the correspondence between a large group of family members falls between 1830 and 1939; topics include family matters and spiritualism. One group of letters and a diary were written by a Union soldier, Francis Torrey Townsend, and relate to his experiences in Mississippi and Tennessee as a soldier with Company K, 13th Iowa Infantry. Other materials concern Bessie Meachum's teaching experiences with African-American children at the Beach Institute, Savannah, Ga., at the Lincoln Normal School, Marion, Ala., and at the Rio Grande Industrial School in Albuquerque, N.M.; some of this work was done through the American Missionary Association of the Congregational Church. Some photographs also depict Tougaloo College in Miss., and Le Moyne College in Tenn. Other volumes include the early 20th century diaries of Torrey Townsend and his autobiography; an 1870 diary of Elisa Townsend; a 1892 diary of Mary Meachum; and several diaries and notebooks of Bessie Meachum.