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James David Glunt Collection

Identifier: Ms 043

Scope and Content

The materials collected by James David Glunt consist of primary source documents relating to Florida history in the second Spanish period (1784-1821), and the [U.S.] territorial period (1821-1845), particularly plantation slavery. Many of the documents were included in his dissertation. They consist of items related to the history of Alachua County, including freedman's contracts and other legal documents; the ballot for incorporation of Micanopy; and the specifications for the courthouse at Newnansville. There is also material concerning the Arredondo grant. In addition, the collection includes legal documents from planters seeking to recover slaves that ran away and joined the Seminoles; and property loss due to the actions of the Seminoles and the military during the course of the Second Seminole War.

In 2016, a donation of material from one of Glunt's family members expanded the collection. The new acquisition included plantation records similar to the original donation, such as additional correspondence from James Riz and more freedman's contracts from Alachua County. The new material also contains records of the Bradford family. Dr. Edward Bradford and his brothers Richard, Thomas, and Henry moved to the Tallahassee area from North Carolina. They were descendants of the Bradfords from Plymouth colony. Edward Bradford was also married to Martha Branch, daughter of John Branch, the last territorial governor of Florida. The nearby community of Bradfordville was named after the family. Most of the Bradford documents in the Glunt collection concern Edward Bradford's business affairs at his cotton plantation called Pine Hill, but there are also items concerning his brothers and his nephew, Dr. William Bradford.

In addition, Glunt collected papers relating to George Noble Jones. The Jones family was prominent in Savannah, Georgia, but George Noble came to own two plantations near Tallahassee, El Destino and Chemonie, after his marriage to Mary Nuttall. She had inherited property from her first husband, William Nuttall of Tallahassee, and purchased a tract from the estate of her uncle William Savage. George Noble Jones was the subject of Plantation Records from the Papers of George Noble Jones that Glunt coedited with U.B. Phillips. While George Noble Jones produced some of the papers in the Glunt collection, most of them came from his son, Wallace Savage Jones, who took over the management of the Jones plantations in the 1870s.

The largest part of the new material acquired in 2016 was a group of correspondence from Glunt's family. Glunt was the son of Samuel Perry Glunt and Mary Caroline Rubey. The letters were written by the Rubeys, the Middletons (Christiana Middleton was Mary Caroline Rubey's mother), and the Harlans (Anna Harlan was Christiana Middleton's mother) in middle of the nineteenth century. The Rubeys, the Middletons, and the Harlans were all farming families from Indiana, but their correspondence also includes letters to and from relatives in Iowa. The letters include family news, such as health and the success of their crops, but also contain their opinions about the Civil War.

The collection also holds several files on the Arba, Spartanburg, and Bartonia Turnpike Company of Indiana. James Body Rubey, Glunt's maternal grandfather, was a stockholder and secretary of the company. He retained items related to the operation of the company, including receipts, minutes from meetings of the Board of Directors, and legal documents.

Finally, there is a group of materials that were not produced by the Ruby, Harlan, and Middleton families, but rather by people who lived near them in Indiana.

One reel of microfilm (Reel 160-J) is stored with the Florida History Microfilm Collection.


  • Creation: 1797-1930
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1820-1880



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

James David Glunt was born on January 9, 1895. During World War I, he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He then studied at the University of Michigan, where he earned an A.B. in 1922, an A.M. in 1926, and a Ph.D. in 1931. Glunt was a student of Ulrich Bonnell (U.B.) Phillips. While he was working on his doctorate, Phillips asked Glunt to serve as his coeditor, and the two published Florida Plantation Records from the Papers of George Noble Jones in 1927. In addition to his editorial work, Glunt started teaching at the University of Florida (UF) in 1923 and remained at the institution until his retirement in 1960. During his time at UF, he served as a professor of history, a chairman of the humanities program, and became the Chair of Americanism and Southern History in 1950. Glunt died in 1962 at the age of 66, leaving behind his wife Katherine Murphy, whom he married in 1924. The couple had no children.


1.84 Linear feet (4 Boxes; 1 Microfilm Reel)

Language of Materials



Documents collected by James David Glunt for his dissertation, primarily relating to Florida history in the second Spanish period (1784-1821) and territorial period (1821-1845), particularly plantation slavery. A donation of additional material in 2016 included material on the Bradford family of Tallahassee and papers of George Noble Jones, which appear in Plantation Records from the Papers of George Noble Jones, coedited with U. B. Phillips. The rest of the material consists of correspondence, financial documents, and legal documents related to Glunt's family in Indiana.


Boxes one and two contain items from the original donation of Glunt material and consist of plantation records used by Glunt for his dissertation. The remainder of the boxes contain the material donated by Glunt's relative in 2016. Box three includes more of the plantation records from his dissertation, the Bradford family files, and a folder of information on George Noble Jones. Box four holds the letters from the Rubey, Harlan, and Middleton families; the records of the Arba, Spartanburg, and Bartonia Turnpike Company; and the material from people living near the Rubey, Harlan, and Middleton families in Indiana.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

In 2016, Benton F. Murphy and his wife M. Pors-Murphy donated materials that doubled the size of the Glunt Collection. Murphy, who inherited the materials from his father, was Katherine Murphy Glunt's great nephew.

Alternate Form of Material

Items in this collection have been digitized and are available via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC) as part of the Pioneer Days in Florida project, which is generously supported by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Related Material

Additional material on George Noble Jones can be found at the Missouri Historical Society, the Florida Historical Society, and the Georgia Historical Society.

The Special Collections and Archives Division of the Florida State University Libraries has several collections related to the Bradford family, including the Pine Hill Plantation Papers, the Dr. Edward Bradford Papers, the H. Bradford Civil War Papers, and the Susan Bradford Eppes Papers.

Processing Notes

The materials acquired in 2016 were not integrated into the original accession, and can be found in boxes three and four. Because the two accessions were separated, there are folder titles in common between boxes one, two, and three. The items in boxes one and two were put into new boxes and new folders, and were relabeled during the processing of the new materials.

A Guide to the James David Glunt Collection
Finding aid prepared by Bridget Bihm-Manuel
March 2005
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.
Digitization funded with the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

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