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Rev. Jonathan Davis Family Collection, 1832-1908

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The Rev. Jonathan Davis Family Collection has been arranged in two series, one of which has been further arranged in subseries. Series I is correspondence, which is the majority of the collection. Subseries 1 is correspondence written between Davis family and extended family. This series is arranged alphabetically by the writer’s last name and then chronologically. Subseries 2 is correspondence between non-Davis family to Harriet E. (Davis) Furman and her sister Mary G. (Davis) Furman, arranged chronologically, with the undated correspondence last. Series II Miscellanea consists of writings, diaries, calling cards and various military papers, arranged by individual Davis Family members.

Series I: Personal Correspondence 

Subseries 1, Davis family and extended family

Subseries 2, non-Davis family to Harriet and Mary

Series II: Miscellanea 

Scope and Contents

The Rev. Jonathan Davis Family Collection spans the years 1832 to 1908 and consists of mostly correspondence, the majority written to Mary G. “Sis” (Davis) Furman or her sister, Harriett E. (Davis) Furman. Many of the letters are written to share family news and inquire about the health and well-being of the recipient. There are several letters that discuss the political and social climate before and after the Civil War, as well as issues concerning the Furman Theological Institute. Correspondence with members of the Rev. Jonathan Davis family and between James C. Furman and his wives, before and after marriage can be found in the James C. Furman D.D. Papers.

Of note is the April 4, 1853 letter from Mary to her brother Nathan concerning the disagreement between their father and James C. Furman (JCF). Davis was in charge of Furman’s planting and of working his enslaved persons and a problem arose regarding Davis’ use of discipline. After their initial discussion, both JCF and Rev. Davis only spoke to Mary about the issue rather than to each other. See three letters from JCF to Mary G. Davis in February 1853 in the James C. Furman D.D. Papers.

Also of note is the January 2, 1836 letter from Benjamin F. Davis from Fairfield, S.C. to sister, Mrs. Harriet E. Furman, Society Hill, SC, regarding a visit by William Harrison Scarborough (1812 – 1871), a portraitist from Tennessee.