Michael Johnston Kenan manuscripts and correspondence
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Michael Johnston Kenan manuscripts and correspondence

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Kenan, Michael Johnston, 1807-1875.
Title: Michael Johnston Kenan manuscripts and correspondence
Dates: 1836-1871
Extent: 0.15 cubic feet (3 folder)
Identification: MS 0948

Biographical/Historical Note

Michael Johnston Kenan (1807-1875) was born at Milledgeville, Georgia. He married Catherine Anna Spalding, and they settled near Catherine's home in McIntosh County, Georgia. Kenan was an attorney by profession, but he abandoned his practice because of his deafness and became a planter. As a young man, Kenan was appointed by Governor Troup as secretary of the commission to investigate the murder of General (Chief) McIntosh by Indians near Carrolton, Georgia. Although this experience convinced Kenan that whites were treating Indians unfairly, he was later given credit for the removal of the Cherokee Indians from Georgia when he was a colonel on General Winfield Scott's staff.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of two manuscript volumes and two letters. The first volume contains Kenan's essay "Georgia's Curiosities," Kenan family history, notes on weather, climate and gardening, and a copy of John B. Harney's "Farewell to Savannah." Recipes for wine are scattered throughout this volume.

The second volume includes descriptions of Judge "Big John" W.H. Underwood of Georgia and Governor Joseph E. Brown. Some of Kenan's original verse and essays are also in this volume.

The first letter, from Hattie Harriette Walker Heyward to Ellen B. Mallard, dated Aiken, South Carolina, July 22, 1860, concerns the purchase of a bridesmaid's dress.

The second letter, from William Robert Gignillat to his mother, is dated Combahee Cross Roads, South Carolina, December 26, 1864. He relates the orderly occupation of Savannah by federal troops.

Index Terms

Brown, Joseph E., (Joseph Emerson), 1821-1894.
Genealogies (histories)
Gignillat, William R., (William Robert), active 1864.
Heyward, Harriet Walker.
Kenan family.
Kenan, Michael Johnston, 1807-1875.
Letters (correspondence)
Mallard, Ellen B.
Manuscripts (document genre)
Savannah (Ga.)
Underwood, John W.H., (John William Henderson), 1816-1888.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Wine and wine making.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Michael Johnston Kenan manuscripts and correspondence, MS 948, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Gignilliat Kenan, 1975.


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



1Volume 1, 1836-1871


2Volume 2, 1836-1871


3Letters, 1860, 1864