Creator: Arnold and Screven family.
Collection number: 3419
View finding aid.
Abstract: Arnold family of Providence, R.I., and Bryan County, Ga., and Screven family of Savannah, Ga., whose members included Richard James Arnold (1796-1873), husband of Louisa Carolina Gindrat and native of Providence, R.I., who owned several plantations in Georgia; James Proctor Screven (1799-1859), rice planter, Savannah physician, mayor, and railroad builder, and his wife, Hannah Georgia; her father, Joseph Bryan (1773-1806); and James and Hannah Georgia Screven’s son, John Screven (1827-1900), husband of Mary White Footman, rice planter, Confederate officer, mayor of Savannah, and president of the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad Company. The Arnold and Screven families were united in 1870 by the marriage of John and Mary Screven’s daughter, Elizabeth Woodbridge (b. 1852) to Richard and Louisa Arnold’s son, Thomas Clay Arnold (1836-1875). The collection includes papers of members of the Arnold and Screven families, chiefly 1818-1900. Included are business correspondence, financial and legal materials, and a farm journal of Richard James Arnold; and family and business correspondence, financial and legal materials, writings, farm journals, genealogical information, and other materials of members of the Screven and related families, including papers of Joseph Bryan, his daughter Hannah Georgia and her husband James Proctor Screven, and their son John Screven.
Repository: Southern Historical Collection
Collection Highlights: Papers include instructions on the management of slaves in Georgia from 1832-1861 (See Folders 1-11 in Series 1)
In Subseries 1.2 (Financial and Legal Papers) there are several labor arrangements, chiefly for White Hall and Cherry Hill plantations from 1811 -1869, which are documented by overseers’ contracts and slave lists. These items usually show food allowances and sometimes ages of individual slaves, or numbers of field hands and household servants (See Folders 12-21).
Subseries 2.2.1 (1762-1826) contains scattered documentation of slaves, including deeds and medical bills for treatment of enslaved men and women, sometimes including name of the person and the procedure performed (See Folders 139-146)
Also documented are family disputes over the ownership of 60 slaves, starting in 1833 (See Folder 42)
There are a few 1849 letters to John Screven from John Randolph Bryan discussing Northern attitudes toward slavery, among other topics (See Folder 58)
1862 correspondence from John Screven discusses his movement of his slaves from Ferry’s and Proctor’s plantations to Brewton Hill in an attempt to stop the flow of runaway slaves behind Union lines (See Folder 73)
In 1864, Henry Woodbridge wrote about, among other topics, relations with free black Union soldiers (See Folder 78).