T. Reed Ferguson research materials on John Couper
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T. Reed Ferguson research materials on John Couper

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Ferguson, T. Reed.
Title: T. Reed Ferguson research materials on John Couper
Dates: 1987-1994
Extent: 1.5 cubic feet (2 boxes)
Identification: MS 1908

Biographical/Historical Note

T. Reed Ferguson was born on 11 May 1815 in Kirkwood, Pennsylvania and was the son of Dr. Thomas Reed and Mable McComb Ferguson. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1936 and took graduate courses at Penn State, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1942, Ferguson began his professional tenure at Penn State as the instructor of fine arts at the university's Pottsville, Pennsylvania campus. Later in 1948, Ferguson became the administrative head of Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pennsylvania. He held this position until 1954, when he then relocated to University Park, Pennsylvania to assume the position of director of the university's Adult Conference Center. In 1958, he became the director of university relations and in 1969 he was named the vice president for public affairs. Ferguson retired from Penn State in 1975.

Following his retirement from Penn State, Ferguson and his wife, Cornelia Carpenter spent eight years traveling until settling in Saint Simons Island, Georgia. While in Georgia, Ferguson began researching cotton planters and their plantations on the Sea Islands in Georgia and later published a biography on John Couper, one of the plantation owners on Saint Simons Island during the early nineteenth century, in 1994. Reed Ferguson died on 16 January 2008 in State College, Pennsylvania at the age of ninety two.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the research materials T. Reed Ferguson used from 1987 to 1994 for his biography of John Couper. Ferguson consulted articles, maps, genealogies, and other miscellaneous materials for his biography on Couper, a Saint Simons Island, Georgia plantation owner who was known for his humane treatment of slaves, bold horticultural experiments, lifelong civic service, and his far reaching generosity. Also included in this collection are two manuscript copies of Ferguson's book, The John Couper family at Cannon's Point, published in 1994 by the Mercer University Press.


This collection is arranged into 2 boxes:

Box 1: Bibliographies, articles, maps, research notes, genealogies, computer disk with copy of manuscript, edited manuscript of Ferguson's book on John Couper, 1990-1994

Box 2: Journal articles on history of Saint Simons Island and Cumberland Island, newspaper articles from the Georgia Gazette, final manuscript of Ferguson's book on John Couper, 1987-1994

Index Terms

Cooper family.
Couper, John, 1759-1850.
Ferguson, T. Reed.
Genealogies (histories)
Horticulture--Georgia--Saint Simons Island.
Manuscripts for publication.
Maps (documents)
Plantation life--Georgia--Saint Simons Island.
Research notes.
Saint Simons Island (Ga. : Island)--History--19th century.
Slaveholders--Georgia--Saint Simons Island.
Slavery--Georgia--Saint Simons Island.

Administrative Information

Processing Information

This collection is processed at the Basic Level (or collection level). There is no detailed inventory for this collection as it is not fully processed. To request that this collection be added to our priority list of collections to be fully processed as staffing and funding allow, please contact the Library and Archives staff.


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Encoding funded by a 2008 Archives-Basic Projects grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.