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Poteat Family Papers, 1891-2006; bulk 1930-1960


This collection is divided into five series, with three further divided into subseries. Each contains folders organized chronologically, followed by folders containing undated items.

Series 1, Correspondence, 1891-1986

Series 2, Published and unpublished material

Subseries 1, Edwin McNeill Poteat

Subseries 2, Gordon Poteat

Series 3, Gordon Poteat

Subseries 1, Lectures & Essays

Subseries 2, Sermon Journals and Notebooks

Subseries 3, Record Books, Notebooks

Subseries 4, Church Bulletins, Reports 

Series 4, Reference Subject Material

Subseries 1, Published 

Subseries 2, Subject Essays (by others) 

Subseries 3, Subject Files 

Subseries 4, Reference Publications 

Series 5, Miscellanea

Scope and Contents

The Poteat Family Papers contain correspondence, articles, pamphlets, booklets, magazines, lectures and essays, notebooks, sermons, church bulletins and reports, programs, photographs, a DVD, and maps. The accretion from Louise Gordon (Upchurch) Johnson, great-granddaughter of Edwin McNeill Poteat, consisted of correspondence (1921-1923), newspaper clippings, a U.S. Passport, a program, and photographs.

The correspondence is to and from both Edwin and Gordon, but the majority belongs to Gordon. The first item is an 1891 telegram announcing Gordon Poteat’s birth. There are a few letters of Edwin’s from 1922 and 1929. Gordon’s correspondence starts in 1931, on University of Shanghai letterhead describing his experiences, also Japanese attack of Shanghai in 1932. There is a 1936 letter to Gordon from his father on Furman University letterhead. Edwin passed in June 1937, and the remaining correspondence is Gordon’s. Some correspondence is marked with a red “1” which means it was “found” in the library in 1959 and added to this collection later.

The published material for both men consists of articles and leaflets, as well as newspaper clippings of Gordon’s column “Everyday Religion,” 1964-1975 that was published in book form in 1973; the unpublished material consists of typescript articles.

The remaining collection is Gordon’s, with the majority consisting of sermon journals and notebooks. Gordon kept records from his time at City Park Baptist Church, Denver Colo. and First Baptist Church, Lewisburg, Pa. Contents of some of the notebooks was taken out and foldered.

The record books and notebooks contain a diary by “Doris G. Chandler, Ting Hsien [China], September 9 [1934]”. Chandler spent six months in China, taking part in a mass educational program that was underway and was associated with the noted Dr. C.C. Chen, who was in charge of the health program and with Dr. Y.C. James Yen, who pioneered in a mass education movement in China. The diary contains a thorough explanation of the program, and notes on her experiences.

The Subject Essays and files were used as lecture material.