Bryant, H.H.- Correspondence (Includes August 7th Rochester Academy Order of Exercises), 1857
Scope and Content
The Stephens-Bryant Family Papers (formerly known as the Stephens Collection or the Bryant-Stephens Collection) include valuable material on topics in the social and economic history of Florida, the South, and the United States of America. The collection includes correspondence between the Stephens and Bryant families (as well as other family members and friends), photographs, diaries, relics, and other miscellaneous papers and materials. Although the collection spans from 1664-1989, the bulk of the material is from 1836-1931. This collection consists largely of correspondence between Winston J.T. Stephens and his wife Octavia Bryant Stephens, along with letters between members of the Stephens and Bryant families. The most significant correspondence covers the American Civil War years as letters between Winston J.T. Stephens and his wife Octavia, and any gaps in time during these years are covered by the other Bryant brothers' correspondence.
Octavia Bryant Stephens' diaries begin when she attended school in Boston in 1856 and end around 1899. They are significant due to the detailed and descriptive manner with which she wrote. Other family diaries, journals, and account books are included in the collection as well. Both the diaries and the letters provide insight into the Floridian home front, Civil War military encounters (including the Battle of Olustee), female responsibilities in maintaining the family unit, the strength and interdependence of an extended family, as well as attitudes on slavery and race relations of small farm and plantation owners during and after the Civil War period. The collection also helps us to understand the settlement of peninsular Florida (with the town of Welaka), and how the St. Johns River basin helped to shape and bind a community together.
Also of particular interest are the photographs, scrapbooks and relics. The photographs portray several family members and some family residences. Many photos are still in their original frames. The relics range from a New Testament carried by H.H. Bryant throughout the Civil War to a 1926 Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial Coin.
It should be noted that several letters are missing pages or parts of pages. Some letters also include the "cross-writing" device popular during the Civil War and hence may be difficult to read. Many of the diaries also include miscellaneous newspaper clippings and correspondence in addition to daily entries.
The collection is open for research. In order to utilize original, restricted materials, permission from the curator may be needed. Many materials are fragile and need to be handled carefully. If microfilm or photocopies are available, it is asked that those are used in place of the originals.
From the Collection: 10.75 Linear feet (15 boxes)
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English
Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository
George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America