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Furman Family Collection, 1782-1960; bulk 1820-1896


This collection has been arranged in two series. The initial collection comprises Series I. Subsequent accretions by various Furman descendants are in Series II. The materials within each series have been arranged chronologically if possible.

Series I, Acc. 1959-001

  • Personal Correspondence, 1789-1960 [Boxes 1-7]

Series II, Accretions

  • Acc. 1959-012 Family Writings, Biographical Manuscripts, Genealogical Information [Boxes 8-11]
  • Acc. 1960-020 Photographs [Boxes 12-15]
  • Acc. 0000-057 Carte-de-visite album [Box 16]
  • Acc. 1964-047 Artifacts [Boxes 17-18]
  • Acc. 1970-092 Manuscripts [Boxes 19-20]
  • Acc. 1986-168, 1807-1890, Photocopies [Box 21]

Scope and Contents

Series I: Personal Correspondence, 1789-1960

The Furman Family Collection consists mainly of personal correspondence of Richard Furman’s family and descendants from 1782 to 1960. There are letters about the passing of family members, including Richard and James C. Furman, as well as accounts of the Civil War and events immediately following the war. Correspondence between James C. Furman and family members (including Davis family members) can be found in the James C. Furman, D.D. Papers.

Early correspondence is between Rachel (Brodhead) Furman (1722-1794) to and from her children (Richard Furman and his first wife Elizabeth), and her grandchildren.

John Gano Furman (1806-1830) wrote frequently between 1823-1830 with his siblings and his fiancée Elizabeth Brisbane (1827-1836) while at West Point and later from his posting at Fort Dearborn at Chicago. His sketchbook includes detailed drawings of Fort Dearborn. A letter fragment from David Hunter, Lieut. 5th Infantry on 1830 Sept 10 conveys the news of John Gano Furman’s death. The entire text is included in a letter from Josiah Furman and wife Harriet in the James C. Furman Papers.

Dorothea Maria "Dolly" Burn (1774–1819) corresponds with her mother Mary (Glas) Burn McDonald and step-sister Ann (McDonald) Martin Brantly, (1781-1818) as well as friend, Elizabeth (Witherspoon) Williams 1782-1840 [wife of S.C. Gov. David R. Williams].

Series II: Accretions

Acc. 1959-012 [Boxes 8-11]

Contains addresses, diaries, notes, poetry, prose, and lecture notes written by various members of the Furman family. The journal of John Gano Furman is also included. Box 9 contains the Lecture notes of Thomas Waties Dinkins, S.C. College Sophomore Class 1855 with newspaper clippings pasted over the notes. Box 10 and 11 contains Bible records, charts, manuscripts, newspaper articles, papers, documents, photographs, and miscellaneous photocopied genealogy materials from the Furman family. The series also contains genealogical materials, manuscripts, and death notices. There is genealogical information from Bible records, charts, manuscripts, newspaper articles, documents, photographs, and papers on residences.

Acc. 1960-020 [Boxes 12-15]

Contains genealogical information, accounts and receipts, church records, photographs, and architectural drawings, cloth articles, paper materials, sketches, and artwork.

Acc. 0000-057 [Box 16]

An album of carte-de-visite owned by Mamie Glenn Furman, dated December 25, 1888. A minority of the images are identified. The included handwritten list does not match the album contents.

Acc. 1964-047 Artifacts [Boxes 17-18]

Miscellaneous items including bookmarks, Christmas cards, a block puzzle, a china cup and saucer, jewelry, and perfume bottles; most of these items belonged to Annie McMorris Furman Haynsworth (1862-1887). The series also contains items from Furman family members’ travels to Turkey, India, and China.

Acc. 1970-092 Biographical Manuscripts [Boxes 19-20]

Contains biographical manuscripts on the following members of the Furman family: Gabriel Furman, Josiah Furman, Richard Furman II, Richard Furman III, Samuel Furman, and Wood Furman. The series is arranged alphabetically. The author is not known for all of these manuscripts. Box 20 contains a typescript, “Copy of Family Annals and Letters in Possession of Mrs. A.A. Woodson, Edgefield, S.C.; Furman, Haynsworth, Miller, Woodson, April 6, 1938,” (54 pages).

Acc. 1986-168, Correspondence, Photocopies [Box 21]

Photocopies of 41 letters dated 1807 to 1888, originals in the possession of donor.