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Smith Family papers

 Collection — Box: 157
Identifier: MSS 0-232

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of ten Smith family letters, thirty-three receipted invoices, one bill for tuition, and one diary, all dating between 1782-1864. The letters were chiefly among members of the Smith family and confined to family subjects, but several have educational value in that they represent the thinking of that period, the closeness of family, their religious nature, and in one case a letter by a young lady who moved from Rhode Island to Savannah, Georgia, writes back to her family in Rhode Island and tells of her impressions of the South. One very religious letter by James W. Smith of Thomasville, Georgia, dated 1864, to his uncle, Mr. Remington Smith of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, acknowledges a letter to his father which arrived a week before "his demise."

There is a warm and rather religious family letter to Sally A. Smith, dated 1832, to "Gentle Cousin" on one side and to "Dear Grand Parents" on the other. Another letter, with curious handwriting, is dated South Kingston, May 29, 1829, by John O. Darry to "Dear Grand Parents," Siemon Smith, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and discusses school subjects. Another letter signed "Angeline" from Pawtucket, April 2, 1833, to her uncle, Captain Siemon Smith of Thomasville, Georgia, informs him of the death of her "Grand Parent, and your beloved father," and has a very kind and religious tone. There is a letter signed "Henrietta" from Savannah, December 8, 1835, to Miss Sally Smith, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, sent by Captain Sheldon "who sails soon for Providence." It is interesting in that she wrote of her fondness for Savannah, which she describes in detail as having sand streets, unlike the noisy paved streets of the North.

"For two or three days after I arrived, I looked about to see the poor half starved, half clothed Negro's of which I heard so much and read so much in the anti-slavery books, but nothing could I see but fat, healthy, well clean Negro's, to appearance as happy 'as the day is long'." She goes on to compare the poor state of both whites and slaves in the North compared to the apparent prospertity of both in the south, stating that abolitionists would find it stunning. Another letter is addressed to Captain Peek regarding the compounding of a ship against which they apparently had a claim in the amount of 1000 Pound Sterling. There is also a letter by A. E. Pillsbury, Counsellor at Law, of Boston, Massachusetts, concerning "sharp shooting with rifle..."


  • created: 1782-1864
  • Other: Date acquired: 04/24/1956

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries 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.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Smith family first lived in the East but later moved to Jasper, in Hamilton County, Florida, and to Madison in Madison County, Florida.


45.00 items (1 Folder)

0 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Gift of Olin Norwood

Processing Information

Processed February 25, 1964

Smith Family papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US