Alida Harper Fowlkes papers
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Alida Harper Fowlkes papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Fowlkes, Alida Harper, 1908-1985.
Title: Alida Harper Fowlkes papers
Dates: 1788-1984
Extent: 16.3 cubic feet (28 boxes, 4 oversize folders, 24 volumes)
Identification: MS 2178

Biographical/Historical Note

Alida Harper Fowlkes (1908-1985) was the daughter of William E. Harper (1873-1954) and Georgia Law Edmondston (1878-1967). Her brother was Col. William E. Harper, Jr. (1905-2002) and her sisters included Alida Law Harper Glover and Eleanor B. Harper Peckham. Alida Harper Fowlkes married Hunter McGuire Fowlkes (1894-1949) in 1948. Fowlkes was one of the first restorationists in Savannah, Georgia. Fowlkes attended finishing school from 1924 to 1927 at New Sullins College in Virginia Park, Bristol, Virginia. She bought the Georgian Tea Room in 1930 and ran it until 1943. In 1939, she saved it from destruction and formed the Society for the Preservation of Savannah Landmarks. That same year, Fowlkes bought the McAlpin house on 230 Barnard St. and began her career restoring homes in Savannah's historic district. From the late 1950s to the early 1970s she was most involved in buying, restoring, and either renting or selling historic properties. She ran antique shops at this time as well, often located in structures she had saved. Fowlkes was a member of the Colonial Dames, Historic Savannah Foundation, Savannah Historical Research Association, and Independent Presbyterian Church.

Fowlkes' great-grandfather, Judge William Law (1793-1874), was the first of the Law family line to come to Savannah. He served as Superior Court Judge from 1828 to 1834, as a representative on the Chatham county state legislature, member of the Board of Education, and a founding member of the Georgia Historical Society. Law married his last wife, Alethea Jones Stark, in 1834 and had ten children, the youngest of which became Fowlkes' grandmother, Alida Stark Law (1853-1935). Alida Stark Law married Charles Edmondston (1848-1909) in 1877 and had four children, including Georgia Law Edmondston (1878-1967), Fowlkes' mother. Charles Edmondston owned his own business as a commission merchant. He was also a cashier at Commercial Bank of Savannah. Georgia married William E. Harper (1873-1954) in 1902. Harper served in managerial and clerical positions with cotton factors. He was also the manager of the Southern Sales division of G. Ober & Sons, a commercial fertilizer manufacturer, which later merged with Read Phosphate and Davison Chemical.


Scope and Content Note

This collection concerns Alida Harper Fowlkes and her life in Savannah, Georgia. Some of the collection focuses on the agriculture industry in Georgia. The collection contains nine series: financial; legal documents; personal; newspaper clippings; publications; miscellaneous; photographs; scrapbooks; and miscellaneous photographs. The personal series is divided into two subseries: correspondence and records. The financial records concern the business dealings of William E. Harper, J.W. McAlpin, and Charles Edmondston, including ledgers of farm accounts at Hermitage plantation.

The boxes containing photographs and scrapbooks are noted as "VM" (visual materials) in the collection inventory.

Volumes 4, 5, and 9-19, and box 1, folder 3 are fragile and may not be photocopied.


Index Terms

Agricultural industries--Georgia.
Antiquarians--Georgia--Savannah.
Business letters.
Business records.
Champion, Aaron, 1792-1880.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Edmondston, Charles, 1848-1909.
Fertilizer industry--Georgia.
Fowlkes, Alida Harper, 1908-1985.
Harper, Georgia Edmondston, 1878-1967.
Harper, William E., 1873-1954.
Historic buildings--Conservation and restoration--Georgia--Savannah.
Law, William, 1793-1874.
Letters (correspondence)
McAlpin, Henry, 1860-1931.
McAlpin, James Wallace, 1831-1905.
Nonprofit organizations.
Photographs.
Scrapbooks.

Physical and Technical Access Restrictions

Volumes 4, 5, and 9-19, and box 1, folder 3 are fragile and may not be photocopied.


Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was acquired from the creator.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Alida Harper Fowlkes papers, MS 2178, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Alida Harper Fowlkes, 1985.


Restrictions

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.


Sponsorship

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

Container List

 

SERIES 1:: Financial, 1935-1984

This series consists of three subseries: 1.1, Financial ledgers; 1.2, Financial records; and 1.3, Financial correspondence.



SUBSERIES 1.1:: Financial ledgers, 1835-1937

This subseries contains two boxes and twenty-four volumes of account ledgers and letter copybooks of business correspondence. The items in boxes 1 and 2 detail William E. Harper's business transactions. The volumes focus on the finances of J.W. McAlpin and Charles Edmondston. Volumes 4, 5, and 9-19 cannot be photocopied.

Volume

1J.W. McAlpin, ledger of farm sundries and miscellaneous accounts at Hermitage plantation, January 6, 1879-November 30, 1884, 288.0 p.

Volume

2J.W. McAlpin, ledger of farm sundries and miscellaneous accounts at Hermitage plantation, January 14, 1879-November 30, 1884, 213.0 p.

Volume

3Aaron Champion, account ledger of personal estate, includes rent for Savannah properties, sundries, and family expenses, January 8, 1881-October 6, 1890, 67.0 p.

Volume

4Charles Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, August 8, 1882-March 1, 1883, 490.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

5Charles Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, December 30, 1882-May 2, 1883, 290.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

6J.W. McAlpin, account ledger of personal estate, includes family expenses and sundries, December 1884-June 1890, 202.0 p.

Volume

7J.W. McAlpin, ledger of personal estate, includes family expenses and sundries, December 1884-October 1890, 143.0 p.

Volume

8J.W. McAlpin, account ledger of personal expenses and collections, September 1891-October 1891, 18.0 p.

Volume

9Fleming Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, March 12, 1892-August 26, 1892, 709.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

10Charles Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, July 21, 1893-March 20, 1894, 696.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

11Charles Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, March 20, 1894-September 14, 1894, 698.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

12Charles Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, September 14, 1894-March 27, 1895, 698.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

13Charles Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, March 28, 1895-November 15, 1895, 698.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

14Charles Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, August 3, 1897-February 17, 1898, 691.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

15Charles Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, February 17, 1898-August 6, 1898, 693.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

16Charles Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, August 13, 1898-March 4, 1899, 699.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

17Charles Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, November 21, 1899-August 13, 1900, 300.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

18Charles Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, December 1, 1899-December 31, 1900, 300.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

19Charles Edmondston, letter copy book of financial correspondence, January 7, 1901-August 22, 1901, 304.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.

Volume

20Unidentified account ledger includes rent for Savannah properties, circa 1910-1911, 20.0 p.

Volume

21J.W. Harper account ledger includes Savannah real estate investments, circa 1910, 23.0 p.

Volume

22J.W. Harper account ledger includes construction and repair expenses, July 1910-January 1912, 39.0 p.

Volume

23Unidentified account ledger includes construction and repair expenses, August 8, 1910-July 7, 1910, 242.0 p.

Volume

24Unidentified account ledger includes rent for Savannah properties, August 8, 1910-December 16, 1911, 72.0 p.

Box

Fldr

11Unidentified account ledger, January 1875-February 1876, 10.0 p.
2Unidentified account ledger, 1882-1888
3Henry McAlpin, letter copy book of financial correspondence, 1898, 35.0 p.
RESTRICTED. Do not photocopy.
4Charles Edmondston account ledger, 1899, 2.0 p.
5William E. Harper's account books, 1899-1924
6Unidentified account ledger, 1905
7William E. Harper's stock shares at Heyward-Williams Co., June 1909-November 1919

Box

Fldr

21Randolph Spalding's order book, 1912
2Heyward Williams Co. standing of account with Ober and Sons, Co., 1921
3J.W. Howard's account book, December 1922
4Financial notebook for Read Phosphate Co., December 1936-August 1937
5Comparative expenses with budget for G. Ober and Sons, Co., Savannah factory, January 1936-June 1936
6Budget for Read Phosphate Co. Savannah plant, July 1936-December 1936
7Budget for Davison Chemical Co., Savannah plant, January 1937-June 1937
8Unidentified account book, undated
9Unidentified account ledger, undated



SUBSERIES 1.2:: Financial records, 1849-1984

This subseries contains four boxes of receipts, bills, and order forms. Most of the documents in this series concern William E. Harper's personal expenses and companies he managed in addition to personal expenses of Alida Law Edmondston. Included here are many receipts and bills of Randolph Spaulding, which refer to construction and repair expenses for his company. This subseries is arranged chronologically.

Box

Fldr

31William E. Harper, 1849-1899
2William E. Harper, 1900-1903
3William E. Harper, 1904-1905
4William E. Harper, 1906
5William E. Harper, 1907
6William E. Harper, 1908
7William E. Harper, January-May 1909
8William E. Harper, June-December 1909

Box

Fldr

41Randolph Spaulding, 1910-1912
2Randolph Spaulding, 1910
3Randolph Spaulding, 1911
4Randolph Spaulding, January-July 1912
5Randolph Spauldin, August-September 1912
6Randolph Spaulding, October 1912
7Randolph Spaulding, November-December 1912
8Randolph Spaulding, 1913
9Randolph Spaulding, 1914
10Randolph Spaulding, 1915, 1918

Box

Fldr

51William E. Harper, 1920-1925
2-3William E. Harper, 1925-1935
4William E. Harper, 1920
5William E. Harper, 1921
6William E. Harper, 1922
7William E. Harper, 1923
8William E. Harper, 1924
9William E. Harper, 1925
10William E. Harper, 1926
11William E. Harper, 1927
12-13William E. Harper, 1928
14William E. Harper, 1929

Box

Fldr

61William E. Harper, 1930-1937
2William E. Harper, 1930
3William E. Harper, 1931
4William E. Harper, 1932
5William E. Harper, 1933
6William E. Harper, 1934
7William E. Harper, 1935-1936
8William E. Harper, 1937-1938
9William E. Harper, August 1947
10William E. Harper, June 1984
11-12Undated



SUBSERIES 1.3:: Financial correspondence, 1882-1938

This subseries contains five boxes of letter concerning business and personal finances, relating to bills and order forms from Schley concerning Savannah's cotton trade, and financial correspondence pertaining to William E. Harper's and Alida Edmondston's personal estate and Harper's companies.

Box

Fldr

71Charles Edmondston, 1882-1900
2Charles Edmondston, March 1902-October 1903
3Charles Edmondston, November 1903
4Charles Edmondston, December 1903
5Charles Edmondston, January 1904
6Charles Edmondston, February 1904
7Charles Edmondston, March-December 1904
8Charles Edmondston, January-February 1905
9Charles Edmondston, March 1905
10Charles Edmondston, April-December 1905
11Charles Edmondston, 1906-1908

Box

Fldr

81William Henry Schley, February-May 1909
2William Henry Schley, June 1909
3William Henry Schley, July-August 1909
4-5William Henry Schley, September 1909
6-7William Henry Schley, October 1909
8-10William Henry Schley, November 1909
11William Henry Schley, December 1909

Box

Fldr

91William Henry Schley, January 1910
2William Henry Schley, February 1910
3William Henry Schley, March 1910
4William Henry Schley, April 1910
5William Henry Schley, May 1910
6William Henry Schley, June 1910
7William Henry Schley, July 1910
8William Henry Schley, August 1910
9William Henry Schley, September-December 1910

Box

Fldr

101William Henry Schley, September 1911
2William Henry Schley, October 1911
3William Henry Schley, November-December 1911
4William Henry Schley, January-February 1912
5William Henry Schley, March-April 1912
6William Henry Schley, May-June 1912
7William Henry Schley, July-August 1912
8William Henry Schley, September-December 1912
9William Henry Schley, 1913-1919

Box

Fldr

111William E. Harper, 1920-1922
2William E. Harper, 1923
3William E. Harper, 1924
4William E. Harper, 1925-1926
5William E. Harper, January-July 1927
6William E. Harper, August-December 1927
7William E. Harper, 1928-1929
8William E. Harper, 1930-1933
9William E. Harper, 1935
10William E. Harper, 1936-1938
11William E. Harper, undated
 

SERIES 2:: Legal documents, 1788-1933

This series contains items discussing land ownership and legal cases involving William Law, Alida Edmondston, or William E. Harper. The papers are arranged chronologically.

Box

Fldr

121Judge William Law, 1788-1807
2Judge William Law, 1821-1845
3Judge William Law, 1849-1879
4William E. Harper, Declaration of Trust, 1871
5William E. Harper, circa 1904-1925
6Alida Law Edmondston, 1912
7Alida Law Edmondston, 1920-1933
8Miscellaneous
 

SERIES 3:: Personal, 1801-1984

This series consists of two subseries: 3.1, Personal correspondence, and 3.2, Personal records.



SUBSERIES 3.1:: Personal correspondence, 1801-1984

This subseries contains letters written to or from Alida Harper Fowlkes or various members of her family. Much of her mother's (Georgia Edmondston Harper) correspondence is also included. Correspondents include: Tom Howard, Alethea Stark Law, Ebenezer Stark, Judge William Law, Samuel Law, Eliza Caroline Clay, Solomon Cranford Bryan, Charles Edmondston, Alida Law Edmondston, Georgia Edmondston Harper, William E. Harper, Colonel William E. Harper, Jr., Nora Lawton Edmondston, C.P. Barker, Charles Edmondston, Jr., Tom Harper, Sarah Cunningham, and Kent Ratcliffe.

Box

Fldr

131Ebenezer Stark, 1801-1810
2Judge William Law, 1813-1873
3Samuel Law, 1835-1839
4Eliza Caroline Clay, 1844-1866
5Solomon Cranford Bryan, 1847
6Miscellaneous, 1862-1901
7Charles Edmondston, 1877-1898
8Alida Law Edmondston, 1877-1902
9Georgia Edmondston Harper, 1892-1904
10William E. Harper, 1894-1953
11Mr. and Mrs. Frank Wilson, 1902-1908
12Georgia Edmondston Harper, 1905-1916
13Colonel William E. Harper, Jr., 1906-1917
14C.P. Baker, 1909
15Nora Lawton Edmondston, 1909

Box

Fldr

141Alida Law Edmondston, 1911-1935
2Alida Harper Fowlkes, circa 1913-1935
3Charles Edmondston, Jr., 1914
4Tom Harper, 1918-1919
5Georgia Edmondston Harper, 1920-1965
6Correspondence from Alida Harper Fowlkes scrapbook, circa 1922
7Sarah Cunningham, circa 1925
8Kent Ratcliffe, 1932
9Alida Harper Fowlkes, 1942-1966
10Alida Harper Fowlkes, 1973-1984
11Tom Howard, undated
12Alethea Stark Law, undated

Oversize_Folder

1Alethea Stark Law's personal correspondence, 1810



SUBSERIES 3.2:: Personal records, 1864-1965

This subseries contains a variety of items documenting the personal life of Alida Harper Fowlkes and her relatives. The series includes writings by Fowlkes, her journal, scrapbooks, college yearbook, cookbook, awards, birth certificate, etc. Also included are items such as journals, autograph books, yearbook, passport, and writings by various Fowlkes' relatives. Also included are genealogy notes and family trees of Fowlkes' family.

Box

Fldr

151Samuel Law's certificate of medical leave, 1864
2Dennis Whitehead's writing journal, 1867
3Alethea Stark Law's journal, July-October 1883
4Georgia Edmondston Harper's autograph books, 1893-1897
5Charles S. Schley, Jr.'s yearbook (Lawrenceville School), 1894
6Georgia Edmondston Harper's writings, 1898, undated
7Georgia Edmondston Harper's notebook for receipt of gifts
8Charles Edmondston's Georgia Cavalry awards, 1902-1903
9William E. Harper's war ephemera, 1906-1942
10Alida Harper Fowlkes' baby book, circa 1908
11Alida Harper Fowlkes' birth certificate and grade school report card, 1908, 1918
12William E. Harper's public notary certification, 1911
13Play by Alida Harper Fowlkes, circa 1918
14Alida Harper Fowlkes' war ephemera, circa 1918
15Alida Harper Fowlkes' diary (age 11), 1919
16Alida Harper Fowlkes' cookbook, circa 1920s

Box

Fldr

161Alida Harper Fowlkes scrapbook, 1922-1924
2Alida Law Edmondston's Young Women's Christian Association membership cards, 1923-1933
3Alida Harper Fowlkes yearbook (Sullins College), 1925
4Georgia Edmondston Harper's passport, 1937
5University of Georgia alumni record, December 1938
6Alida Harper Fowlkes' award from American Institute of Planners, 1965

Box

Fldr

171Family trees
2Genealogy notes and articles
3Georgia Edmondston Harper's birthday book
4Georgia Edmondston Harper's war ephemera
5Georgia Tea Room/Alida Harper Fowlkes Antiques memorabilia
6Penmanship book, memo book with addresses
7Poem by Alida Law Edmondston
8Poetry by Alethea S. Burroughs
9Miscellaneous prose, poetry, and stories

Oversize_Folder

2Commissioner of South Carolina certificate for William E. Harper, 1907
 

SERIES 4:: Newspaper clippings, 1849-1967

This series contains articles about Alida Harper Fowlkes, her friends, relatives, and Savannah history. The series holds scrapbooks of news clippings put together by Georgia Edmondston Harper and Nora Lawton Edmondston. Miscellaneous obituaries and wedding announcements concerning unidentified individuals are also part of this series.

Box

Fldr

181Judge William Law, 1849, undated
2Scrapbook of news clippings, 1876-1892
3William E. Harper, 1902-1954, undated
4Nora Lawton Edmondston, 1908-1920, undated
5Alida Harper Fowlkes, 1913-1984, undated
6Scrapbook of news clippings labeled "Exposition Savannah-Phila," (Philadelphia?), 1922-1930
7Savannah, 1923-1975, undated
8Alida Law Edmondston, 1935, undated
9Col. William E. Harper, Jr., 1943-1945
10Hunter McGuire Fowlkes, 1949
11Georgia Edmondston Harper, 1967, undated
12Charles Edmondston, undated
13Nora Lawton Edmondston's scrapbook of news clippings, undated
14Georgia Edmondston Harper's scrapbook of news clippings, undated
15Alethea Stark Law, undated
16Samuel Law, undated
17-18Miscellaneous obituaries
19Miscellaneous weddings
20Miscellaneous
21Scrapbook of news clippings
 

SERIES 5:: Publications, undated

This series contains pamphlets and brochures published by William E. Harper's businesses: Read Phosphate Company, Ober and Sons, and Davison Chemical Corporation. It also holds Savannah's Independent Presbyterian Church programs and Savannah travel publications.

Box

Fldr

191Davison Chemical Corporation
2Independent Presbyterian Church
3Memorabilia
4Ober and Sons
5Read Phosphate Company
6Savannah organizations
7-8Savannah tourism
 

SERIES 6:: Miscellaneous, undated

This series contains cards recording Ober and Sons customers, Orleans Square Weekly newsletter, Two Bells (Georgia Railway and Power Co. newsletter), and miscellaneous business reports.

Box

Fldr

201Business reports
2-4Ober and Sons customer cards
5 Orleans Square Weekly, December 1965-February 1966
6 Two Bells, Georgia Railway and Power Co. newsletter, September-November 1924
7Miscellaneous
 

SERIES 7:: Photographs, undated

This series contains four boxes of images of Alida Harper Fowlkes' family members. Box 1 primarily contains photographs of the Edmondston family, and Box 2 holds many images of Alida Harper Fowlkes herself. Box 3 has images of the Law and Harper family. Box 4 is a miscellaneous assortment of exterior and interior scenes.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items

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11George Allen
3 images.

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12Alida Law Edmondston
11 images.

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13Charles Edmondston, Jr.
7 images.

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14Charles Edmondston, Jr.
6 images.

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15David Edmondston
2 images.

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16George Edmondston
1 image.

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17Gertrude Edmondston
2 images.

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18James Edmondston
2 images.

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19Nora Lawton Edmondston
14 images.

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110Nora Lawton Edmondston
5 images.

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111Edmondston family
9 images.

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112Edmondston family
19 images.

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113Edmondston family
22 images

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21Alida Harper Fowlkes
15 images.

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22Alida Harper Fowlkes
7 images

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23Alida Harper Fowlkes
5 images.

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24Alida Harper Fowlkes
20 images.

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25Alida Harper Fowlkes, group
10 images.

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26Alida Harper Fowlkes' wedding
5 images.

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27Hunter Maguire Fowlkes
3 images.

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28Georgia Edmondston Harper
16 images.

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29Georgia Edmondston Harper
18 images.

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31William E. Harper
14 images.

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32William E. Harper, Jr.
17 images.

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33William E. Harper, Jr.
8 images.

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34Harper family
10 images.

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35Harper family
19 images.

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36Harper family
8 images.

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37Isabelle Law View online.
5 images.

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38John Gordon Law
2 images.

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39Samuel Spry Law
2 images.

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310Wilhelmina Law
2 images.

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311"Willie" Law
2 images.

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312Georgia Law Wilson
1 image.

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313H. Frank Wilson
6 images.

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314Miscellaneous individuals
19 images.

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315Unidentified individuals View online.
15 images.

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41Buildings
25 images.

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42Savannah
17 images.

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43Savannah
37 images.

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44Schools/organizations
3 images.

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45Spanish American War
8 images.

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46Stereographs
4 images.

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47Tombstones
9 images.

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48Miscellaneous exterior
25 images.

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49Miscellaneous interior
16 images.

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410Tintypes
4 images.

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411Cased image

Oversize_Folder

3Sullins College, 1926
 

SERIES 8:: Scrapbooks, 1890 and undated

This series contains two boxes, each containing three scrapbooks. Box 5 holds two Edmondston family albums and Mary E. Wilbur's book of photographs. Box 6 contains two of Alida Harper Fowlkes' postcard collections and an unknown memory book.

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51Nora Law Edmondston photo album

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52Edmondston family album

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53Mary E. Wilbur's scrapbook of photographs, 1890

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61Memory book of paintings/sketches

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62-3Alida Harper Fowlkes' book of postcards (2)
 

SERIES 9:: Miscellaneous photographs, undated

This series contains various items including artwork, postcards, architectural drawings, and greeting cards.

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71-4Art

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75Architectural drawings and maps

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76Greeting cards (blank)

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77-8Savannah postcards

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79Miscellaneous postcards

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710Silent film stars (prints)

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711Miscellaneous

Oversize_Folder

4Map of Chatham County (Ga.)

Oversize_Folder

4Architectural drawings of Savannah
 
Artifacts
A-2178-001 "Vapo-Cresolene" a small vaporizer for Cresolene, a coal tar derivative used to treat lung ailments View online.