James Solomon and Raiford James Wood papers
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James Solomon and Raiford James Wood papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Wood, James Solomon, 1851-1927.
Creator: Wood, Raiford James, 1896-1974.
Title: James Solomon and Raiford James Wood papers
Dates: 1794-1971
Extent: 5.0 cubic feet (10 boxes, 2 volumes)
Identification: MS 1299

Biographical/Historical Note

James Solomon Wood (1851-1927), the son of the Reverend James R. and Martha Chester Wood, moved to Savannah and began his career as a cotton factor and commission merchant with Davant and Wood Co. (1880-1882). He branched out to include fertilizer when he became a partner with his brother, Charles Spurgeon Wood (1858-1941), in J.S. Wood and Bro. (1883-1914). From 1915-1919 and 1923-1925 he owned and operated the firm alone, while the interim years were spent as J.S. Wood and Son with Raiford J. Wood as his partner. Mr. Wood was also president of Wrightsville and Tennille Railroad in the 1890s.

He and his wife Mary S. Irwin Wood had four children: Jared Irwin Wood, Augusta Wood Dubose, Raiford James Wood, and Rosalind Wood Chapman.

Raiford James Wood (1896-1974) was an artist, historian, and World War I hero. He was educated at the Georgia Military Academy and the University of Georgia. During World War I, he received both the Purple Heart and the Silver Star Awards. After working for his father (circa 1919-1922), he began his career as an artist and during the Depression, he worked with the Historical Records Survey (WPA) in Georgia. He was the director of the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences from 1944-1956 and spent the remaining years painting and writing articles and speeches.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains James S. Wood's business and legal papers relating to his work as a cotton factor and commission merchant in Savannah from 1880-1927. They include orders and receipts for cotton made to various companies throughout the Southeast and a few to England, plus negotiations with railroad companies for transportation, especially with the Wrightville and Tennille Railroad company of Tennille, Georgia. Because J.S. Wood was a longtime director and held one term as president of this railroad in the early 1890s, a great deal of the correspondence (circa 1890-circa 1925) concerns the management of the railroad. Two folders concern the Confederate monument in Forsyth Park and include photographs of both the "Confederate Soldier" by David Richards which was placed on top of the monument in 1879 and the original statue by Robert Reid known as "Peace" ("Silence") which stood there from 1875-1879 and was removed to the Laurel Grove Cemetery.

The collection also contains correspondence related to J.S. wood and Bro.'s (1883-1914) interests in fertilizer as well as correspondence with various law firms about contracts and legal cases which involved J.S. Wood and his cotton and fertilizer interests.

Following the business correspondence are the account books, a receipt book and the trial balance sheets (1890-1919). These sheets list the various firms with which J.S. wood dealt, and as such, might be useful as a partial directory of the cotton and railroad related firms of these years.

Family correspondence (1886-1966) is sparse and the bulk is from 1886-1919. Most of these letters are from Mrs. Mary S.I. Wood and the children to her husband, J.S. Wood. After his death in 1927, the emphasis changes to Jared, Augusta, and Raiford who wrote to their mother.

The next section of this collection contains Raiford Woods' personal papers, which deal with work at Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences (only briefly) and his interest in the history and art of Savannah. Of special note are his descriptions of the houses of Savannah and the Presidents of the Untied States who visited the city. There are articles on the monuments of Savannah and a few notes on his family's genealogy.

This collection is arranged into three series: James S. Wood papers; family correspondence; and Raiford J. Wood papers. There is an oversize box which contains large items. The J.S. Wood series is further divided into three parts: financial and legal correspondence and papers; account books and receipt books; and trial balance sheets.

Index Terms

Account books.
Commission merchants.
Confederate States of America--Monuments.
Cotton trade--Georgia--Savannah.
Fertilizer industry--Georgia--Savannah.
Financial records.
Letters (correspondence)
Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Wood family.
Wood, James Solomon, 1851-1927.
Wood, Raiford J.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was acquired from R.J. Wood's nephew and heir, Charles DuBose, and from the purchaser of the Wood residence in Savannah, Lance Spectorski.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], James Solomon and Raiford James Wood papers, MS 1299, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Charles DuBose, 1974; Lance Spectorski, 1977.


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.

Separated Material

Artifacts were separated and cataloged with the Georgia Historical Society Artifacts Collection. View digital images of artifacts at the end of this collection inventory or search the Digital Image Catalog for further information.

Eight folders of Raiford James Woods papers relating to the Savannah Historical Research Association were separated and cataloged with the Savannah Historical Research Association records,Ms 994, Addenda No. 1.

Published books given to the Georgia Historical Society by Charles DuBose were separated and cataloged with the Georgia Historical Society's library collection.


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

Container List


Series 1:: J.S. Wood's financial and legal correspondence and papers with other cotton merchants, railroad companies and law firms


1Correspondence and papers, 1886-1897, 194.0 items.
Correspondents include: Lewis L. Brown; S.C. Edgeworth; T.O. Skellie; R.H. and W.G. Brewer; Halcyondale, Ga.; Chisholm and Erwin, Savannah; James O. Morton; R.S. Warthen; Pennsylvania Steel Co., New York, N.Y.; Wrightsville and Tennille Railroad Co.; Garner and Wade, Dublin, Ga.; T.N. and J.W. Smith, Tennille, Ga.; Middle Georgia Progress (newspaper), Sandersville, Ga.; Florida Midland Railway, Kissimmee, Florida; McLaughlin Bros. (railroad contractors), Graham, S.C.; Central railroad and Banking Company (hereinafter referred to as C.O.G.); Richmond and Danville Railroad Company, New York, N.Y.; Evans and Evans, Sandersville, Ga.; John T. Irwin; Alexander R. Lawton, Jr.; C.B. Kesler; Moore-Munnerlyn Co.; Virginia and Georgia Railway Co.; John Sullivan and Co., Savannah; Millen and Southern Railway Co., Millen, Ga.; Jaques and Tinsley Co., Macon, Ga.; Rome Railway Co. of Georgia, Rome, Ga.; Louisville and Wadley Rail Road, Louisville, Ga.; Chattanooga Union Railway Co., Chattanooga, Tenn.; Marietta and North Georgia Railway Co., Marietta, Ga.; St. Louis Southwestern Railway Co., St. Louis, Mo.; Atlanta Florida Railway Co., Atlanta, Ga.; L. Wade; Dell and Wade, Sylvania, Ga.; Erwin, Dubignon and Chisholm, Savannah; J.C. Dickerson.


2Correspondence and papers, 1898-1902, 312.0 items.
Correspondents include: Evans and Evans, Sandersville, Ga.; J.C. Dickerson; John W. Green; H.S. White; Peyton L. Wade; Walter M. Clemments; Arline and Mason, Wrightsville, Ga.; L.B. Lightfoot; Coleman Bros., Bartow, Ga.; South Carolina and Georgia Railroad Co.; R.L. Warthen, Warthen and Irwin, Sandersville, Ga.; J. Alexander Smith; John F. Walker; E.M. Veale; A. Moore; Willachoochie, Ga.; R.H. Brewer; Macon Warthen, Sr.; Phillips and Phillips, Louisville, Ga.; S.S. Dunlap; N.T. Harman; C.C. Richardson; M.B. Smith; Dunlap Hardware Co., Macon, Ga.; Williams and Williams, Swainsboro, Ga.; Charles T. Wooton; Southern Railway Company; D.E. Glisson; Jessie Holland; J.F. Akin; William B. Thomas; Denmark; Adams and Freeman, Savannah; W.R. Keen; Beverly D. Evans; W.W. St. John, Roswell, Ga.; White and Boykin, Sylvania, Ga.; Charles G. Edwards; Groover and Johnson, Statesboro, Ga.; J.A. Brannen; Sophie J. Wiggins; A.F. Daley; W.T. Burkhalter; Travis and Edwards, Savannah; E.W. Jordan; and John S. Kendall.


3Correspondents and papers, 1903-1917, 38.0 items.
Correspondents include: J. Alexander Smith; F.M. Oliver; Peyton L. Wade; J.A. Brannen; W.T. Burkhalter; R.H. Roundtree and Co., New York, N.Y.; Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Co., Philadelphia, Penn.; C.O.G.,; Groesbeck and Co., New York, N.Y.; Joseph Ware; E.J. Twombly, Boston, Mass.; Manhattan Trust Co., New York, N.Y.; Clement and Smith, New York, N.Y.; Horace A. Boykin; new York Life Insurance Co., Savannah; E.W. Jordan; Wrightsville and Tennille Railroad Co, Tennille, Ga.; Benjamin P. Broadway; Moses Bell; Savannah Hotel Co., Savannah; J.A. Laing, Ludowici, Ga.; Sandersville Railroad Co., Sadersville, Ga.; and Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Co.


4Correspondence and papers, 1918-1919, 674.0 items.
Correspondents include: J.A. Laing; Sandersville Railroad Co., Sandersville, Ga.; Atlantic Coastline Railroad Co.; William Johnson; C.O.G.; Savannah and Southern Railway, Savannah; C.L .Brewer, Sandersville, Ga.; C.A. Adams, Sandersville, Ga.; George D. Warthen; Moses Bell; C.S. Hollingsworth; William Johnson; Seabrook and Kennedy, Savannah; D.E. and J.F. Turbeville, Turbeville, S.C.; Alcolu Railroad Company, Selco, S.C.; Jeff A. Irwin; J.L. Hattaway, Davisboro, Ga.; and Marvin L. Gross.


5Correspondence and papers, plus account book, 1920-1926, 1891-1894, 516.0 items.
Correspondents include: D.E. and J.F. Turbeville, Turbeville, S.C.; William Johnson; Mallard Lumber Co., Greeleyville, S.C.; George W. Johnson; Sandersville Railroad Co., Sandersville, Ga.; D.L. Green and Co., Turbeville, S.C.; C.O.G.; J.A. Laing; J.M. Windham; Durant and Ellerbe, Manning, S.C.; J.F. Warnock; John Riddle; Turner L. Brown; A.W. Evans; Travis and Travis, Savannah; S.P. New; Harvey Fisk and Son, New York, N.Y.; New York Life Insurance Co., Savannah.
57Account book for "bills receivable", 1891-1894, 1.0 volume
This book probably belonged to J.S. Wood and Bro., cotton factors and commission merchants.


6Business papers
2 account books, 1890-1891 and 1920-1921, 2.0 volumes
These contain J.S. Wood's personal accounts.
Receipt book. Savannah, GA., 1912-1921, 1.0 volume
This belonged to J.S. Wood and Bro. and lists receipts or money paid the company.
Account sheets and trial balance sheets of the J.S. Wood and Bro. company, 1890-1905, 49.0 items.
This is not a complete account of the company's business as many of the sheets are missing. The correspondence for these years contain more complete information.

Series 1-3:: J.S. Wood's miscellaneous business papers, Wood family and personal correspondence, and R.J. Wood's personal papers


7J.S. Wood's miscellaneous business papers, Wood family and personal correspondence, and R.J. Wood's personal papers
Account sheets and trial balance sheets for J.S. Wood and Bro. Co., 1906-1919, 6.0 items.
Railroad passes for J.S. Wood, 1886-1901, 32.0 items.
These passes were issued by the Georgia Southern System; Sylvania Railroad; South Bound Railroad Co.; C.O.G.; Savannah, Americus, and Montgomery Railway; Rome Railway Company; United States Railroad Administration; St. Louis Southwestern Railway; Oconee and Western Railroad Co.; Wrightsville and Tennille Railroad Co.; Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway; Marietta and North Georgia Railway Co.; Macon, Dublin and Savannah Railroad Co.; Loisville and Wadley Railroad; Augusta, Gibson and Sandersville Railroad, Co.; Georgia Midland and Gulf Railroad; Dover and Statesboro Railroad; Chattanooga Southern Railway; Charleston and Savannah railway; Western Railway of Florida; Texarkana and Fort Smith Ry. Co.; Talbotton Railroad Co.; Wadley and Mt. Vernon Railroad Company; Tavares and Gulf Railroad Co.; Atlanta and West Point Railroad and the Western Railway of Alabama; Atlanta and Florida Railway Co.; Chattanooga Union Railway Co.; and Texas Central Railroad.
Raiford J. Wood and the Wood family correspondence, 1886-1966, 140.0 items.
Correspondents include James S. Wood, his wife Mary S Irwin Wood, and their children: Jared Irwin Wood, Augusta Woof DuBose, Rosalind Wood Chapman, and Raiford James Wood. The early letters (1886-1919) are from the members of the family to James S. Wood, re family matters. Folder 85 (1941-1966) contains Raiford J. Wood's personal correspondence and the undated family correspondence
Raiford Wood papers, Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1946 and undated, 20.0 items.
These papers are the report of the director (R.J. Wood), March 21, 1946 and photographs of some of the paintings at Telfair.
Raiford Wood, miscellaneous notes, articles, and speeches, 18.0 items.
"The Homes of Oglethorpe," "Skidaway Island," 2 speeches entitles "Sidney Lanier," "Birthday of Sidney Lanier," "Christmas in Savannah," "James Jackson," "Stones and Brasses," "The Diplomatic History of the Confederacy," "The Strand, Along the Savannah River's Bluff," "The Squares of Barnard Street," "Barnard Street," "The Chatham Artillery," "Fort McAllister," and "Savannah the Beautiful." Following these are his notes for the articles and speeches, untitled.
Raiford Wood, U.S. Presidents who Visited Savannah, undated, 33.0 items.
The presidents included here are George Washington, James Monroe, Ulysses S. grant, Chester Arthur, Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, James K. Polk, Millard Fillmore, Herbert Hoover, and Harry Truman. These notes are for Wood's speech, "Savannah's Presidential Visits," which is also included.


8Raiford J. Wood's personal papers
"Story of Savannah's Monuments", 1971 April 14, 1.0 items.
Regarding the history of the monuments, I.e. whom they honor, when and in a few cases who laid the cornerstone, who designed the monument and when it was officially given to the city.
Confederate Monument in Forsyth Park, 47.0 items.
These papers are notes, articles for the newspaper, and speeches, re the Confederate Monument. In folder 91 there are photographs of both the "Confederate Soldier" by David Richards which was placed on top of the monument in 1879 and the original statue by Robert Reid known as "Peace" ("Silence") which stood there from 1875-1879 and was removed to the Laurel Grove Cemetery.
Colonial Dames House, 4.0 items.
These papers are the handwritten article, "Low House on LaFayette Square (Colonial Dames House)," a typewritten copy, and notes. This article was the "eighth of a series of articles on the historic buildings and sites which are Savannah's heritage." It was sponsored by the Historic Savannah foundation, Inc. and appeared in the Savannah Morning News, 1956.
Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, 2.0 items.
Contained here are the program for the designation of the birthplace as a Registered National Historic Landmark, and a brochure for use by girl scouts in planning their visits to Savannah containing information on accommodations, restaurants, etc.
Francis Stebbins Bartow Memorial Services held on the 100th Anniversary of his death, 1961 July 21, 19.0 items.
these papers are notes; the program for the Services; a speech, "Bartow, Savannah's Hero;" song, "For the Fallen," by Lawrence Binyon; poem, "Recessional," by Rudyard Kipling; poem, "Tribute to Col. Francis S. Bartow," by Mrs. Stephen Jackson Maxwell Baker; news clippings. Also included are two items re the Francis S. Bartow Camp #93 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, i.e. "The Rebel Yell," the monthly publication of the camp; list of members for September 1, 1961.
Archibald Bulloch, 9.0 items.
These papers are notes for and a copy of the speech, Archibald Bulloch, 1st President and Commander-in-Chief of Georgia." The notes include genealogy of the Bulloch family and rough drafts of the speech.
Gordon family, 7.0 items.
These papers are genealogies, a list of the members of the wedding party of Juliette Magill Gordon and William Mackay Low, and a speech or article, "A Wedding of 1886."
Lawson family, 10.0 items.
These papers are genealogies and a biography of Hugh Lawson (ca. 1700-1762).
DuBose, Irwin and Telfair families, 3.0 items.
These papers are genealogical notes on the DuBose and Telfair families, and a brief description of Jared Irwin and his immediate family.
Wood family, 14.0 items.
These papers are correspondence, 1894-1913, re Wood family genealogy. The correspondents are Mary Irwin Wood, Thomas W. Loyless; John S. Woof; Thomas G. Dupree; Vicey D. Dupree; John W. Connell; A.W.J. Wood; Campbell Wood; John Kennedy and William Lawson Peel.
Historic Savannah Foundation, Inc., 14.0 items.
These papers are a "Preliminary Outline and Text Responsibilities, Historic Savannah, July 15, 1965," and miscellaneous papers re the Georgia Day celebration of February 12, 1966.
Miscellaneous papers, 28.0 items.
These are an invitation from the British Consul-General and Mrs. T.C. Sharman for Raiford Wood to join in the celebration of the official birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, n.d.; sketches of flowers; a list of items for Raiford Wood to discuss with Chuck DuBose; pass for J.S. wood to enter and leave Savannah from the Health Officer, 1893; honorable discharge for Raiford James Wood from the Army as a Second Lieutenant in the 325th Infantry, may 14, 1919; "Historical Sketch of Margaret Katherine Barry, Known as Kate Barry, Heroine of the Cowpens," by Mary Irwin Wood; Memo to the State Chairmen, Committee on Conservation of Cultural Resources from President of the National Resources Planning Board, Committee on Conservation of Cultural Resources, re the Collection and Preservation of materials Relating to the Present War, December 10, 1942; "The Conservation of Cultural Resources 1," by Collas G. Harris, July, 1942;" Archives and the War," by Collas G. Harris, July, 1942; "Story of the Flag of Texas;" "Violent Scenes about the Land Court, At Augusta, Georgia;" "Commodore Oliver Bowen. A Naval Hero of 1776...;" "A Sketch of the surrender of Fort Cornwallis by the British to the Americans I 1780 at Augusta, Georgia...;" "Address of Col. Beverly D. Evans, 1874;" "Scraps of History of Dougherty County;" "Historical Sketch and Brief Description of Walton County and the City of Monroe, Georgia;" article re Terrell County, Georgia; "Sketches of Randolph County's Early History;" proclamation by the Governor of Georgia, Carl E. sanders, re the 232nd Anniversary of Georgia's birth; In Memoriam to Savannahians who died in 1949; Catalogue of the Exhibition of Paintings by Raiford J. Wood Presented by Savannah Art Club at Adler's; Silhouettes of John Randolph and one of John Marshall; and a sketch for a monogram with the initials of G.W.
Miscellaneous legal papers and land documents, 1794-1851, 8.0 items.
These deeds are not related to the Wood family. Mrs. Virginia E. Ayers sent them to Raiford Wood in 1947, stating that neither she nor her family knew of the origin of these deeds. The people involved are Levi Myers, Levy Abrahams, David A. Reese, Jerry Cowles, William Cook, Mordecai Myers, Jumble C. Corley, William Rawlings, and Octavius Cohen.


9Raiford Wood's personal papers
Photographs, 13.0 items.
4 of Raiford Wood; 3 of Oglethorpe's homes in England, i.e. The Manor of Westbrook in Godalming, Surrey, Graham Hall in Essex, and the Meath Home in Godalming; Cerveau's painting of Savannah; Major John Berrien; 2 of the Abraham and Isaac Minis Houses in Savannah; 6 of paintings in Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences.
News clippings, 15.0 items.
re Raiford Wood and his paintings; Oglethorpe's will; Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences; Westbrook Place, Oglethorpe's boyhood home.
Miscellaneous printed materials, 1908-1961, 12.0 items.
These papers are the program for the Chatham Artillery's 175th Anniversary Celebration held in Savannah, May 5, 1961; "Why Georgia should commemorate the Civil War" by Bell Irwin Wiley; Program for the Sixty-Sixth General Convention of the Sons of Confederate Veterans held in New Orleans, October 1-3, 1961; pamphlet for the Historical Essay contest, 1961-1962, re Jefferson Davis and His Cabinet; pamphlet, re the Jefferson Davis Shrine; pamphlet re the "Mississippi Calendar of Events, Civil War Centennial, 1961;" Roster of the officers and members of the 11th Company, 7th Provisional Training Regiment, May 12-June 15, 1917, also included are photographs; "The Stone Mt. Confederate Memorial, n.d.;" "In the Days of 1893" published by the Atlanta Historical Society, 1938; "Savannah Center for Fine Arts," a pamphlet re the history and purpose of this organization; "Georgia Arts Newsletter," edited by T. Wylie Davis, November 12, 1965; the American Historical Association's "Report on the Local Records of Georgia," by Julia A. Flisch, 1908.
Oversize box



9105Genealogical chart for the Bellinger-Bulloch-Roosevelt families, 1.0 items.
This chart emphasizes the lineage of Theodore Roosevelt and his niece Eleanor Roosevelt Roosevelt (Mrs. Franklin Delano).
106Raiford Wood's certificate awarding him the Purple Heart for wounds received in action near St. Juvin, France, 1918 October 11, 1.0 items.
This award was given to Mr. Wood September 1, 1954.
107Raiford Wood's certificate awarding him the Silver Star for gallantry in action near St. Juvin, France, 1918 October 11, 1.0 items.
This award was given to Mr. Wood September 1, 1954.
108map of "Oglethorpe's England", undated, 1.0 items.
Two quotes are on the map: "This precious stone set in the silver sea!" and "this blessed plat, this earth, this realm, this England!"
109Plaque inscribed "The Chatham Artillery Awards a Certificate of Appreciation to Raiford J. Wood for over 46 years of service to the Chatham Artillery," signed W.S. Jones, Savannah, Georgia, 1968 May 4, 1.0 items.


1-2Two account books, 1889-1893 and 1893-1898, 2.0 items.
which belonged to J.S. Wood and Bro. Company of Savannah. The accounts are primarily for cotton and fertilizer.
A-1299-001 Raiford J. Wood’s Sons of the Revolution badge View online.
A-1299-002 Raiford J. Wood’s Silver Star medal for gallantry in action during World War I View online.
A-1299-003 Raiford J. Wood’s Purple Heart medal View online.
A-1299-004 Raiford J. Wood’s American Legion marksman medal View online.
A-1299-005 Raiford J. Wood’s American Legion lapel button View online.
A-1299-006 World War I service flag with 26 blue stars and a single gold star View online.
A-1299-007 Ribbon from Raiford J. Wood’s World War I Victory Medal View online.
A-1299-008 Georgia Week button from 1977 View online.
A-1299-009 Georgia Day button from 1965 View online.
A-1299-010 Georgia Day button from 1965 View online.
A-1299-011 Georgia Day button from 1966 View online.
A-1299-012 Georgia Day button from 1966 View online.
A-1299-013 Georgia Day button from 1966 View online.
A-1299-014 Georgia Day button from 1967 View online.
A-1299-015 Georgia Day button from 1967 View online.
A-1299-016 Georgia Day button from 1967 View online.
A-1299-017 Georgia Day button from 1968 View online.
A-1299-018 Georgia Day button from 1968 View online.
A-1299-019 Georgia Day button from 1970 View online.
A-1299-020 Georgia Day button from 1970 View online.
A-1299-021 Georgia Day button from 1970 View online.
A-1299-022 Georgia Day button from 1973 View online.
A-1299-023 Georgia Day button from 1975 View online.
A-1299-024 Georgia Day button from 1976 View online.