Creator: Harrison and Smith family.
Collection number: 5144
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Abstract: The Harrison and Smith family of Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina included Aristides Spyker Smith (1809-1892), an Presbyterian and Episcopal minister and principal of women’s schools in Virginia and Mississippi. Smith’s sons were Jonathan Reynolds (Johnnie) Smith (1836-1862) and Leonidas Wilkinson Smith (1835-1864). Also included was Smith’s daughter Ellen Alice Smith Harrison (b. 1840), her husband George Harrison (fl. 1852-1875), their daughter Sarah Walton Harrison (1868?-1891) and her husband Paul Garrett (1863-1940), and their son Aristides Smith Harrison (b. 1864) and his wife Katie Wilson Curtis, a daughter of George B. Curtis (1834-1920) of Biddeford, Maine, who traveled to Colorado in search of gold and adventure (ca. 1856), returning east and settling in Enfield, N.C. He opened a general store, and later a bank and a cotton business. The collection consists chiefly of letters. One letter from Johnnie Smith, who died at Malvern Hill, and several from Leonidas Wilkinson Smith, who died in Houston, Tex., are to their father during the Civil War discussing spiritual concerns; Leonidas’s work securing ordnance materials; fighting in April 1864 near DeSoto Parish, La.; and extensive observations on the inhabitants and customs of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas. There are also letters, 1884-1896, from Sarah Walton Harrison and Paul Garrett to Ellen Harrison about Paul’s early business travels as a wine salesman, Sarah’s illness, and domestic concerns. Other items include a southern business directory used by Aristides Smith as a scrapbook; tax-in-kind receipts from the Confederate government; receipts for the rental and sale of slaves; notebooks of Aristides Smith on mathematics and astronomy; diaries, 1874-1875, of George Harrison containing brief entries concerning financial transactions and farming; a Garrett and Company catalog; and cabinet cards. Sixteen metal plates, ca. 1857, are engraved with scenes of both actual and planned Washington, D.C., landmarks. The addition of June 2006 includes Smith, Harrison, and Curtis family materials and a number of museum items. Smith family materials include correspondence of Aristides Spyker Smith; a diary and a journal belonging to Jonathan Reynolds Smith; about 300 sermons prepared by Aristides Spyker Smith; land surveys; unidentifed daguerreotypes; and an undated, extensively illustrated cipher book with mathematical content created by Benjamin Spyker, grandfather of Aristides Spyker Smith. Harrison family materials include two diaries, 1868 and 1869, belonging to George Harrison that document activities on the family’s farm; a minutes book of Enfield Graded School District, Enfield, N.C., documenting financial activities of the district, 1901-1909; land surveys; and annotated cabinet cards. Curtis family materials are primarily letters from George B. Curtis and Ann Curtis Dunn, sister of George and Wil
Repository: Southern Historical Collection