Collins family papers
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Collins family papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Collins family.
Creator: Collins, Joseph P., 1817-1887.
Title: Collins family papers
Dates: 1852-1918
Extent: 0.3 cubic feet (7 folders)
Identification: MS 0912

Biographical/Historical Note

Joseph P. Collins (1817-1887), a native of Ireland, moved to Savannah, Georgia, in the late 1830s. Around 1844, he began a mercantile business in partnership with Thomas A. Bulkley under the firm name of Collins and Bulkley, selling home furnishings, goods, glassware, and crockery. The firm was discontinued around 1852 and Collins operated the business under his own name until approximately 1872. Collins was a Grand Master of Live Oak Lodge No. 3, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of Collins family correspondence and papers, business papers, and papers regarding Live Oak Lodge No. 3, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

The correspondence includes letters to or from John A. Butler, Joseph P. Collins, Mrs. Joseph P. Collins, John H. Johnes (brother of Mrs. Joseph P. Collins), James S. Jones, E. Burns, Katie B. Collins, G.N. Collins, Elizabeth L. Dreyer, C.E. Miller, and Joseph P. Collins (grandson). They all concern news of family and friends. The letter of December 26, 1858, describes life in San Francisco, California. There is also a draft of a letter in the hand of Joseph P. Collins to the Reverend John Doughty in California, September 24, 1875, giving the history and present status of the Swedenborgian Church in Savannah. The 1918 papers are World War I letters and postcards to Katie B. Collins from her nephew Joseph B. Collins with the AEF in France.

The business papers, 1853-1858, relate to the settlement after the dissolution of the partnership of Joseph P. Collins and Thomas A. Bulkley. The remainder concerns his business firm, J.P. Collins. Most of the 1871 and 1874 letters are from Henry James Osborne, Oculist-Optician of Augusta, Georgia.

The papers of the Live Oak Lodge, No. 3, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 1885-1888, include correspondence, resolutions, circulars (broadsides), dispensations of appeals, reports, a clipping on the death of Joseph P. Collins, 1887, and an incomplete clipping, undated, on the death of Francis D. Jordan.

In the folder of miscellaneous items are a deed to a lot in Laurel Grove Cemetery to J.P. Collins, 1852; a leaflet giving the history of Wesley Monumental Church, Savannah, with an appeal for funds for building a new church (sketch of the proposed church on the front cover), 1875; 3 clippings; quotation from Emanuel Swedenborg, October 3, 1873; The Coast Line Railroad, n.d., and limestone and stone lime in Screven County, Ga., undated; also some envelopes that do not match any of the letters.

Index Terms

Business enterprises--Georgia--Savannah.
Business records.
Church buildings--Georgia--Savannah.
Collins family.
Collins, Joseph P., 1817-1887.
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Live Oak Lodge No.3 (Savannah, Ga.)
Letters (correspondence)
San Francisco (Calif.)--Description and travel.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Collins family papers, MS 912, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of C. Somers Miller, 1972.


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



1Family correspondence, 1854 October 10-1877 August 30 ( 13.0 items. )


2Family correspondence, 1892 January 1-September 1 ( 19.0 items. )


3Family correspondence, 1913 March 22-1918 December 19 ( 12.0 items. )


4Business papers, 1853 February 28-1867 October 15 ( 17.0 items. )


5Business papers, 1871 April 11-1887 June 2 ( 15.0 items. )


6Live Oak Lodge No. 3, IOOF papers, 1885 September 1-1888 January 3 ( 22.0 items. )


7Miscellaneous papers, 1852 November 12-1875 May 10 ( 5.0 items. )