Cushing Memorial Library, Texas A & M University

Inventory of the Crawford Family Papers

1852-[bulk 1854-1867]-1900.

Descriptive Summary and Abstract

Creator Crawford Family.
Title Inventory of the Crawford Family Papers:
Dates 1852-[bulk 1854-1867]-1900.
Abstract The Crawford Family papers are comprised of correspondence, photographs, documents, and postal history relating to the family of Joel and George Walker Crawford of Columbia, Hancock, and Early Counties, Georgia and later discusses travel to Texas. Other correspondents include Charles, Martha, and Sara Crawford, and Eli Benton. The letters also include information of a gift of 16 slaves from Joel Crawford to his son Charles. The contents of the letters include advice and counsel on establishing a legal office, travel, and business prospects. The collection includes photos of Joel, Charles and Martha Crawford and cancelled stamps and envelopes from Georgia and Florida.
Identification Area Studies MSS 00164
Extent 1.25 linear ft.
Language English.
Repository Cushing Memorial Library College Station, TX 77843-5000

Biographical Note

George Walker Crawford was the only Whig governor of Georgia, 1843-1847. He began his term November 8, 1843. Crawford was a Representative from Georgia; born in Columbia Country, Ga., December 22, 1798; was graduated from Princeton College in 1820; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1822 and commenced practice in Augusta, Ga.; attorney general of the State 1827-1831; member of the State house of representatives 1837-1842; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-seventh Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Richard W. Habersham and served from January 7, 1843, to March 3, 1843; Governor of Georgia 1843-1847; appointed Secretary of War in the Cabinet of President Taylor and served from March 8, 1849, to July 23, 1850; presided over the State secession convention in 1861; died on his estate, "Bel Air," near Augusta, Ga., July 27, 1872; interment in Summerville Cemetery. Bio info from Len G. Cleveland’s Ph. D. dissertation, "George W. Crawford of Georgia, 1798-1872" listed on the Biographical Directory of the US Congress website:

Joel Crawford, a U.S. Congressman, 1817-1821 is the brother of George Walker Crawford. He served as Representative from Georgia; born in Columbia County, Ga., June 15, 1783; completed preparatory studies; studied law at the Litchfield Law School; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Sparta in 1808; moved to Milledgeville, Ga., in 1811; served in the war against the Creek Indians as second lieutenant and aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Floyd in 1813 and 1814; resumed the practice of law in Milledgeville; member of the State house of representatives 1814-1817; elected as a Republican to the Fifteenth Congress and reelected to the Sixteenth Congress ( March 4, 1817-March 3, 1821); returned to Sparta, Hancock County, in 1828; member of the State senate in 1827 and 1828; appointed a commissioner to run the boundary line between Alabama and Georgia in 1826; unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Georgia in 1828 and 1831; delegate to the International Improvement Convention in 1831; elected in 1837 a State commissioner to locate and construct the Western & Atlantic Railroad; died near Blakely, Early County, Ga., April 5, 1858; interment in the family burying ground on his plantation in Early County, Ga. Information available via the Biographical Directory of the US Congress website:

Joel Crawford was a slaveholder of over 100 slaves in Hancock County, Georgia.

Charles P. Crawford, lawyer, Confederate officer; son of Joel Crawford. Charles P. Crawford served in the Confederate Army and entered the service of the State of Georgia on the July 6, 1861 in Company A Battalion 11 as fourth sergeant. He was promoted to the rank of Captain of Company B Battalion 11 on April 16, 1862. Captain Crawford died at his home on Liberty Street in Milledgeville, Georgia, January 1900. According to the news article "Captain Crawford was one of the best posted lawyers of this section, and leaves a wife, one son and three daughters and hosts of friends all over the state to mourn his death".

Martha "Mattie" Williamson Crawford is the wife of Charles P. Crawford. Mrs. Martha Crawford was a daughter of Capt. W.T. Williamson of Milledgeville. She was born at McIntosh Reserve, Coweta County, Ga., January 8, 1836. January 8,1855, she was married to Mr. Charles P. Crawford. From 1855 to 1859 she lived in Americus; from 1859 to 1863 in Lee County; from 1863 to 871 in Florida, from 1871 to 1876 in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Anna Ripley Orme, wife of Charles P. Crawford from May 4, 1880 to his death January 1900. She was the daughter of Richard M. Orme publisher of the Southern Recorder & Milledgeville Mayor.

Sara Crawford is the daughter of Joel Crawford and sister of Charles P. Crawford.

Scope and Content Note

The collection comprises 27 autograph letters from various family members, 3 autograph documents written by Joel Crawford, additional unsigned correspondence, 4 vintage photographs and 5 black and white photographs, and 13 mailing envelopes and a number of other address panels on the letters, some with quite scarce postal stamps from small towns in Georgia and Florida. Short excerpts of some letters are included in the description listing. The collection also includes biographical information on the Crawford family, a photocopy of a marriage certificate for Charles P. Crawford’s marriage to Anna Ripley Orme and a page from the estate of Joel P. Crawford, signed by his executors James Buchanan and Charles P. Crawford admitting it into record.

Postal history envelopes contained throughout the correspondence: cancellation stamps from Fort Gaines (1855), Bainbridge (1855), Blakely (1855), and Macon (1858), Georgia, Orange Mills (1858), Florida, and Richmond (1862), Virginia. There are also five additional envelopes undated from members of the Crawford family.

The collection is divided into three series: Series I. Correspondence, 1854-1867; Series II: Biographical Information, 1858, 1880, 1900; Series III. Photographs, 1852, undated; Series IV. Postal History Documents, 1899, undated; and Series V. Miscellaneous Documents, undated.


Organization of the Papers

This collection is organized into 5 series:
Series 1. Correspondence, 1854-1867.
Series 2. Biographical Information, 1858, 1880, 1900.
Series 3. Photographs - No Dates.
Series 4. Postal History Documents, 1899, n.d.
Series 5. Miscellaneous Documents, n.d.



No restrictions.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Online Catalog Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog of Cushing Memorial Library. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog under these index terms.
Crawford, Joel Evans, 1783-1858
Crawford, George Walker, 1798-1872
Crawford, Martha Williamson
Crawford, Sara Crawford
Crawford, Charles Peter, 1831-1900
Crawford, Anna Ripley Orme
Benton, Eli
Postage stamps
Envelopes (Stationery)

Administrative Information


Purchased from L&T Respess Books in January 2004.

Processing Information

Processed by Rebecca Hankins in August 2004.

Detailed Description of the Collection:


Series 1. Correspondence, 1854-1867.

1/1 George Walker Crawford offering advice to his brother on the business prospects of his nephew Charles P. Crawford, in an autograph letter, signed from Bel-Air (his plantation near Augusta) to Joel Crawford. 4 pages, approximately 600 words. "But in respect to these professional partnerships I know that parents greatly desire that their sons should be appointed with men of professional experience and reputation and it always seemed to me like the method of breaking a young ox to the yoke," May 8, 1854.
1/2-13 Joel Crawford offering advice on entering the legal profession and conducting his business, in a series of 12 autograph letters, signed from Blakely or Sparta, Georgia, to his son Charles P. Crawford. 33 pages, approximately 5500 words. "I advise you to buy no books nor anything else but clothing & food, until you get known, and then buy only what you want. Everything needed can be had in Georgia & about on as good terms as it can be imported. Book stores are now to be found in a dozen towns of this State, some of them large." The letters concern possible locations for establishing an office, people to associate with, the importance of frugality, the status of the economy, and other issues of importance to a man in his 20s, just beginning his career. The twelve letters are accompanied by four envelopes addressed by Joel Crawford to his son. May 16, 1954-February 25, 1858.
1/14 Joel Crawford making a gift of 16 slaves to his son Charles P. Crawford, in an autograph document, signed 22 February 1855, mentioning the slaves by name. 1 page, docketed on verso. Crawford's autograph appraisal for the slaves which included two families, a husband, wife, and their four children, and another husband and wife and their two children.
1/15 Another autograph document by Crawford authorizing his son to purchase seven or eight thousand dollars worth of land in Texas. October 2, 1857.
1/16 Benton, Eli A. Expansively describing methods and routes of traveling from Georgia to Texas, in an autograph letter, signed from Mount Zion, Georgia, to Joel Crawford. 6 pages, approximately 1500 words. Benton offers advice on traveling as Crawford's son Charles plans to move west, being especially concerned about traveling with slaves; the final two pages of the letter offer advice on evaluating land and suggest Eastern Texas in the vicinity of the Red River as the place to choose. September 25, 1857.
1/17-24 Charles P. Crawford informing his wife of daily activities, in a series of eight autograph letters, signed from Blakely, Americus, and Bainbridge, Georgia, Orange Mills, Florida, and Richmond, Virginia, to his wife Mattie in Milledgeville or Flat Pond, Lee County, Georgia. 8vo, 4to and folio. 29 pages, approximately 7500 words; accompanied by 5 mailing envelopes. In the first four, antebellum letters, Crawford describes his activities traveling on the court circuit, mostly in southern Georgia, and describes at length in one, the wonderful possibilities for a move to Florida; the three Civil War letters recount an illness in Richmond, news of fellow soldiers, plans for planting at home, and, in the latest one, a wish to return to duty; the last letter, written in 1867, expresses a longing for former times, and bitterness toward the North. April 21, 1855-November 21, 1867.
1/25 Letter from Charles P. Crawford to his daughter. This unfinished letter is not signed or dated by Crawford nor is it addressed to any daughter in particular. The letter expresses regrets about regarding his delay in writing and talks of his weak health. He talks of missing her and wishes she could come. He also talks about her noble qualities and great capabilities.
1/26-28 Crawford, Mattie informing her husband, Charles P. Crawford about the state of her health and the activities of their baby boy, in three autograph letters, signed from Milledgeville. 8vo. 14 pages, approximately 1600 words. In the final letter Mrs. Crawford mentions a July 4 visit to the state house, "I don't think I ever saw so many persons at one time before... 17 respectable size military companies on parade at one time, & uniforms perfectly beautiful … we went to see & hear Governor Johnson deliver an address, better than two hours long." August 19, 1856-July 4, 1857.
1/29 Crawford, Sara sending news from the home front, in an autograph letter, signed from Americus, Georgia, to her brother Charles P. Crawford. 4to. 4 pages, approximately 700 words. "The war news today is good compared with what we have had for several weeks... it is generally believed that Sherman will invade Carolina & let Ga. rest for awhile." January 1, 1865.


Series 2. Biographical Information, 1858, 1880, 1900.

1/30 Biographical information includes a news article clipping on the death of Charles Crawford, mistakenly listed as Charles T. Crawford in the article, 1900; a short handwritten biography on the Charles P. Crawford, undated; a photocopy of a marriage certificate for Charles P. Crawford’s marriage to Anna Ripley Orme - 1880; and a photocopy of a page from the estate of Joel P. Crawford, signed by his executor James Buchanan admitting it into record, 1858.


Series 3. Photographs-No Dates

1/31 Joel Crawford, a tintype (8 1/4 x 6 1/2 inches)-undated
1/32 Charles P. Crawford-tintype (7 x 5 inches)-undated
1/33 Charles P. Crawford-cabinet card (61/2 x 4 1/4 inches), which is mounted on the printed card: of photographer Edwards & Son, Cabinet Studio Portraits, Atlanta, Ga., and rubber-stamped on the verso, "C.P. Crawford, Milledgeville, Ga."-undated
1/34 Charles P. Crawford-carte-de-visite (4 x 2 1/2 inches) backmarked J.C. Elrod's Portrait Photograph and Artograph Gallery, Louisville, Ky.-undated
1/35 Five black and white (3 x 5 inches) prints of members of the Crawford family- Charles P. Crawford as a young man, 1852; two photos of Charles P. Crawfordas an older man; one photo of Martha Williamson Crawford; and one photo of Joel Evans Crawford. Each photograph is identified on the back.


Series 4. Postal history documents, 1899, n.d.

1/36 Two envelopes from Atlanta, Georgia and one from unknown origin addressed to Charles P. Crawford. Additional writing on the front of one envelope addressed to Capt. C. P. Crawford states "My precious Pet Abbis, for study & usefulness - CPL." The verso of this envelope is stamped Milledgeville, GA. Sep 20, 1899. One envelope is stamped on the verso Milledgeville, GA. April 10, 1899 and written above this is St. John Potomac "Sam." No return addresses are included.
1/37 Two envelopes from Florida and Georgia addressed to Charles P. Crawford. No year or return address included.


Series 5. Miscellaneous Documents, n.d.

1/38 One page document titled "Agreement." Written in ink is a narrative about a "patriot princess" but the story doesn't make much sense. This story is not signed or dated. In the right hand corner at the top of the document is a grocery listing with prices written in pencil.