Scudder family papers
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Scudder family papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Scudder family.
Title: Scudder family papers
Dates: 1853-1890
Extent: 0.5 cubic feet (1 box)
Identification: MS 0719

Biographical/Historical Note

John (d. 1869) and Ephraim Scudder (ca. 1819-1872) were brothers who worked in the real estate business in Savannah, Georgia. The brothers repaired and constructed houses on the Scudder property in Savannah. Slaves performed much of the labor and, when necessary, the Scudders would hire slaves on a monthly basis, paying their owners for their use. Ephraim's son, Henry W. Scudder, was involved in newspaper work and was co-publisher of the Daily Republican. He was also a private in the Johnston Light Infantry of Savannah.

In addition to John and Ephraim, the family consisted of Amos Scudder, their father, Amos Picton (a third brother), and sisters: Mary Scudder Maggie, Emily Scudder Marsh, Cate, Sarah, and Cornelia Matilda (Tillie) Scudder. John, Ephraim, Matilda, and Henry lived in Savannah while Emily, Amos Picton, Mary and Cate lived in New Jersey. During the Civil War, family property in the South was placed in Amos Picton's name to avoid possible confiscation. After the war, John Scudder operated the old Scudder farm but found it impossible to maintain the land as before the war. Consequently, his heirs resorted to the sharecropping-tenancy system prevalent in the South. Amos Picton was killed by a head wound received when he was thrown from a carriage.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of the business and personal papers of members of the Scudder family. The business paper portion covers a wide range of activities from 1850 until 1890. During the 1850s John and Ephraim Scudder were involved in real estate in Savannah. Receipts indicate their purchases from local firms of brown and grey bricks, tin roofing, plastering, river sand, cement, lime, copper, slate, gutters, etc. These building materials were used to repair and construct houses on the Scudder property in Savannah (tax receipts show the exact location of the properties). An 1865 receipt shows the purchase of white pine, yellow pine, and hemlock lumber. In 1866 Ephraim Scudder invested $4,500 in a saw mill to be constructed at Montgomery, but nothing further is mentioned of this venture. The collection also includes a copy of the estate of Ephraim Scudder. A sister, Mrs. Caroline Matilda Scudder Buckner, was the only person mentioned in Ephraim's will, which also includes a list of the property he left to her. An in-law, Isaac M. Marsh, was executor of the estate. The activities of Henry W. Scudder are also recorded, including a notice for a meeting of the Johnston Light Infantry of Savannah and cancelled checks for dues and uniforms (in the 1872-1873 family correspondence and bills). Some papers concern Marion Scudder Buckner's efforts to obtain a patent for an improved window sash that facilitated the "washing, opening, and closing of windows."

The personal papers in the collection contain primarily correspondence covering the years 1856 through 1886. Most of the correspondence was written by the Scudder sisters: Mary Scudder Maggie, Emily Scudder marsh, Cate (also Kate), Savannah and Cornelia Matilda (Tillie) Scudder Buckner. Men involved in the correspondence include John, Ephraim and Amos Picton Scudder and Ephraim's son, Henry W. ("Scud") Scudder. Some of the correspondence concerns John Scudders 1867 petition which he presented to the U.S. Court of Claims for $24,622.75 for 41 bales of sea island cotton that had belonged to him but was seized by military authorities and sent North when Savannah surrendered to Union forces in 1864. Much of the correspondence contains quarrels over wills, and news of marriages and deaths.

A few papers relate to Amos Scudder, John and Ephraim's father.

Index Terms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Letters (correspondence)
Military uniforms.
Real estate agents--Georgia--Savannah.
Real estate business--Georgia--Savannah.
Savannah (Ga.)
Scudder family.
Sea Island cotton.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Confiscations and contributions.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was acquired from a family descendant.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Scudder family papers, MS 719, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Caroline A. Baxley, 1959.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Business papers of John and Ephraim Scudder, 1853-1855 ( 73.0 items. )


2Business papers of John and Ephraim Scudder, 1856-1857 ( 60.0 items. )


3Business papers of John and Ephraim Scudder, 1860-1869 ( 32.0 items. )


4Papers of estates of John and Ephraim Scudder, 1869-1874 ( 45.0 items. )


5Papers of estates of John and Ephraim Scudder, 1875-1876 ( 52.0 items. )


6Correspondence, 1856-1871 ( 23.0 items. )


7Correspondence, 1872 ( 26.0 items. )


8Correspondence, 1873-1874 ( 21.0 items. )


9Correspondence, 1875-1886, and undated ( 35.0 items. )


10Hardee & Scudder (Henry W.) and the Savannah Daily Republican, 1871-1875 ( 17.0 items. )


11Marion Scudder Buckner: papers regarding his patent, 1883-1885 October ( 22.0 items. )


12Marion Scudder Buckner: papers regarding his patent, and circulars from patent companies, 1885 November-1888 November 19 ( 20.0 items. )


13Papers re estate of Carline M. Buckner, 1885 ( 9.0 items. )


14Bills, etc.: furnishings, clothing, groceries, tuition for schooling, society dues, pew rent, promissory notes, etc., 1855-1872 ( 52.0 items. )


15Bills, etc., 1873 ( 96.0 items. )


16Bills, etc., 1874-1894 and undated ( 62.0 items. )


17Legal papers and insurance policies, 1855-1891 ( 9.0 items. )


18Miscellaneous ( 12.0 items. )
clippings regarding deaths of Ephraim and Amos P. Scudder; Savannah Christian Association announcement of organization, 1875; list of books, Second Grade Grammar School, undated; Weed & Cornwell, Savannah, ad for plowshares, etc., undated; circular of Delray Needlework Co of Delray, Mich., undated; ticket to Independent Sociable, Westfield, N.J., 1871; printed poem re a birthday party.


19Curry Benevolent Society, Savannah, 1882-1885 ( 28.0 items. )
Receipted bills for a lecture and entertainment sponsored by the Society.