Preliminary Guide to the John Emory Bryant Papers, 1851-1955 and undated

Collection Overview

Correspondence, published writings and other papers, and scrapbooks (accession #68-34) (1,858 items; dated 1851-1907), relating to Bryant's Civil War service in South Carolina with the 8th Maine Volunteers, his activities as agent with the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia, as a leader of the Negro Republicans in Georgia (1865-1887), his business ventures, and his interests in temperance and the Methodist Church. Correspondents include William Anderson Pledger and Henry McNeal Turner.

Addition (accession #2002-0175) (500 items, 2 lin. ft.; dated 1853-1955 and undated) contains correspondence; 5 black-and-white photographs and 10 albumen prints; and documents relating to Bryant, his family, and his involvement with the Freedmen's Bureau, the Republican Party, and African-American affairs in Georgia. Most of the letters are originals; many of the other items are copies or typescripts.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Collection Details

Collection Number
John Emory Bryant papers
1851-1955 and undated
Bryant, John Emory, 1836-1900
3.14 Linear Feet, 2,358 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], John Emory Bryant Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Letters, 1851-1863
Box 1
Letters, 1864-1869
Box 2
Letters, 1870-1875
Box 3
Letters, 1876-1879
Box 4
Letters, 1880-1907
Box 5
Legal Papers
Box 6
Financial Papers
Box 6
Official Papers and Writings: Misc.
Box 6
Official Papers and Writings: Methodist, 1878-1887
Box 6
Official Papers and Writings: Political, 1866-1892
Box 7
Journal of J.E. Bryant, 1853-1859
Box 7
Journal of Emma Bryant, 1866, 1876
Box 7
Autobiography of Alice Zeller
Box 7
Letter Books of J.E. Bryant
Box 8
Box 8
Box 8
William Anderson Pledger
Box 9
Letterpress Book, 1875-1879
Box 9
Scrapbook, 1874-1889
Box 9
Volumes: C.S.A. Army Records
Box 10
Volumes: Scrapbooks, 1861-1875

Including Scrapbook, 1861-1866, with Civil War orders and Freemen's Bureau materials

Box 11
Volumes: Scrapbooks, New York City and Athens, Tennessee, 1887-1890s
Box 12
Volumes: Account Books
Box 13
Volumes: Account Books
Box 14
Printed Materials: Clippings
Box 15
Printed Materials: Pamphlets, Broadsides and Leaflets (Xerox and Originals)
Box 16
Correspondence, 1854-1916
Box 1
Sons of Temperance, State of Maine documents, 1860-1861
Box 1
Legal Documents, 1866-1874
Box 1
Miscellaneous papers, letters and excerpts from books, by and about J.E. Bryant, 1853-1882 and undated
Box 1
American Institute of Civics, 1886 and undated
Box 1
Documents concerning Bryant's death, 1900-1909 and undated

Includes a copy of Bryant's death certificate.

Box 1
Church related documents, 1886-1889
Box 1
Deposit Book of the National Freedman's Savings and Trust Co., 1868
Box 2
Documents related to the Civil War, 1864-1905
Box 2
Day to Day Life and Thoughts of John Emory Bryant, written by Raymond Bryant Zeller, [1950s]

This biography was written by Raymond B. Zeller about 1955 from Bryant's journals and other papers. It was never published.

Box 2
Genealogical information and Biography, undated

The genealogy was complied by Margaret Zeller Garrett. The biography was written by Fred O. Smith for a school paper and was in turn sent to Raymond Bryant Zeller by Smith, Zeller's nephew.

Box 2
Printed Material, 1914-1915 and undated

Included here is a letter to, and telegram from, President Ulysses S. Grant pertaining to the appointment of a custom collector.

Box 2
“J.E. Bryant Journal #5 (RBZ's typed copy),” [1950s]
Box 2
“J.E. Bryant Journal #3 (RBZ's typed copy),” [1950s]
Box 2
Bryant's 1900 Diary (copy)
Box 2
Diary For the Year 1900

Written by both Bryant and his wife Emma.

Box 2
Notes by Emma Spaulding Bryant 25 Dec. 1900 - 31 Dec. 1900
Box 2
Emma's Sketch Book, undated
Box 2
5 black and white photographs, undated

Photographs include John Emory Bryant, his wife Emma and their only child Emma Alice Bryant Zeller, and Alice's first child Miriam.

Box 2
Photograph book of senior Union Officers, undated

A list of names of these officers is written in the back numbered 1-40.

Box 2
Misc., 1883-1897 and undated
Box 2
Letters, 1866-1895
Box 3
Letters, 1895-1898
Box 4
Letters, 1898-1900 and undated
Box 5
“Recipes for Medicine,” 1872 and undated
Box 5
“Calling Cards,” undated
Box 5

Historical Note

Abolitionist, Union officer with the 8th Maine Volunteers, agent of the Freedmen's Bureau, and Republican politician; from Union, Me.

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The John Emory Bryant Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1968 and 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library staff; Joshua A. Kaiser

Completed November 7, 2002

Encoded by Joshua A. Kaiser

This collection is unprocessed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.