|Creator:||Baber, Ambrose, 1792-1846|
|Creator:||Baber, Mary Eliza Sweet, 1810-1894|
|Creator:||Baber-Blackshear, Birdie, 1875-1951|
|Creator:||Baber-Blackshear, Minnie, 1870-1940|
|Creator:||Blackshear, J. William, (Joseph William), 1833-1906|
|Creator:||Blackshear, Lucy Marion Baber, 1837-1894|
|Title:||Baber-Blackshear family papers|
|Quantity:||4.9 Linear feet (12 document boxes, 1 oversize folder A)|
Edward Ambrose Baber (1793-1846), physician of Buckingham County, Virginia and later Bibb County, Georgia. Married Mary Eliza Sweet (1810-1894) in 1829. Children include George Francis Burleigh (1833-1854), Navel officer; Lucy Marion (1836-1894); and Ella Hunter (1839-1930). Lucy Marion married Joseph William Blackshear (1833-1906), teacher, accountant, and Civil War soldier of Macon, Georgia. Their children Ella, Paul, Birdie, Mary (Minnie) took as their surname Baber-Blackshear.
The collection consists of the papers of the Baber, Blackshear, and Baber-Blackshear families from 1796-1939. Includes correspondence, journals, ledgers, news clippings, invitations, programs, speeches, and newspapers. The early part of the collection relates to Dr. Ambrose Baber. Contains information on the 1802 William Hunter-David Mitchell duel (Savannah, Ga.); Baber's term as Charge'd Affaires to Sardinia, including correspondence from John MacPherson Berrien (1842-1844); and the establishment of the Montpelier Institute in Monroe County, Georgia. Includes correspondence between Mary and Marion Baber during Marion's attendance at the Montpelier Institute. The correspondence describes the school along with topics of interest or concern during the period.
The bulk of the collection falls after 1846. It contains correspondence and journals of George Francis Burleigh Baber during his naval service on the John Adams, Germantown, Dale, and Porpoise. The journals describe life at sea and various locales abroad (1852-1855). Includes Civil War correspondence consisting of a few letters from Joseph William Blackshear of Jackson's Artillery from Camp Brown, St. Simons Island, Georgia (1861) with the bulk from George Dunbar Sweet Smith (nephew of Mary Baber) who served in South Carolina and Virginia. The remainder of the collection consists of personal correspondence between Marion and William Blackshear; their children Ella, Paul, Birdie, and Minnie Baber-Blackshear; relatives; and friends including Fannie and George Atkinson, Charles Blackshear, Valine Berrien Burroughs, John McIntosh Keel, Callie and Sophie Sosnowski, and Lizzie B. Thompson. Some of the materials discuss Birdie and Minnie's activities as dance and drama teachers.
The collection consists of family papers, letters, journals, clippings, invitations, newspapers, ledgers, documents pertaining to this Macon, Georgia family. The early part of the collection relates to Dr. Ambrose Baber [1792 Buckingham Co, Virginia - 1846 Bibb County, Ga] physician and early resident of Macon, and his wife, Mary Eliza Sweet [1810 Bryan Co, Ga. - ], daughter of George Dunbar and Rachel Ross Porcher Sweet of Savannah. Dr. Baber was involved with the William Hunter - David Mitchell duel in 1802, Savannah; as a mason, he gave the welcome to Macon speech when General LaFayette visited in 1825 and he served briefly [1842-44] as Charge'd Affaires to Sardinia and state senator in Georgia. From the Sardinia period, there are letters from John MacPherson Berrien, a letter of introduction signed by Daniel Webster, a passport, social invitations. A number of his speeches are present in the collection. He was part of a group of men who established the Episcopal girl's school, Montpelier Institute in Monroe County, which existed under this name ca. 1840-55. Dr. Baber's daughter, Lucy Marion , attended the school and there are many letters between Marion and Mary Baber which show interests and concerns of the period.
A son, George Frances Burleigh Baber, called Burleigh, [1833-1854/5] attended the United States Navy School at Annapolis, 1850-2. He kept an official ship's log during his service on the John Adams, the Germantown and the Dale. His correspondence during this period was descriptive of life as the ships traveled to various locations. His last letter from China stated that he was being transferred to the brig Porpoise. Nothing was ever heard from the ship or crew after it left China. Family friend, John McIntosh Kell [later executive office on the Confederate ship Alabama] offered information and assistance.
Following Dr. Baber's untimely and controversial death, documented in the collection, his daughter, Marion Baber Blackshear [1836-1894], along with her husband, mother and children, take over the correspondence and the bulk lies in this period. She was the wife of Joseph William Blackshear [1833-1906], son of Joseph and Elizabeth C. Paul Blackshear, and their children were Ella, Paul, Birdie and Mary (Minnie), all of whom added Baber-Blackshear to their names. J. W., just prior to his marriage to Marion, served with the Jackson Artillery at Camp Ft. Brown on St. Simons Island, Ga.  and wrote of his experiences. During their married life, work often kept J. W. away from his home, but there is frequent correspondence between husband, wife, children and other Blackshear siblings - Henry W., J. Emmett and Lizzie B. Thompson. J. W. signs letters to his wife 'old blessed'. Marion's frequent correspondents, in addition to the family, are Callie and Sophie Sosnowski of Athens, cousin Fannie Atkinson, also of Athens, and Valina Berrien Burroughs.
Confederate correspondence was principally from George Dunbar Sweet Smith, nephew of Mary Baber. He wrote from several locations including Ft. Screven, Isle of Hope, S. C., Camp Morgan, Ft. Jackson on James Island, S. C. and Chaffin's Farm, Va. He died at Farmville, Va. in 1865.
Birdie and Minnie Blackshear, dance and drama teachers, continued the correspondence following their mother Marion's death. Correspondents include their father, cousin George Atkinson and Charles Blackshear from Java. There is a lot of dance related material - articles, programs, newsclippings and account books. The sisters lived in the ancestral house on Walnut Street in Macon.
The materials were originally organized chronologically and that same order was basically maintained although a better finding aid was prepared. There are separate sections for letters from John MacPherson Berrien and Burleigh Baber.
Arranged by record type; in chronological order where possible.
Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.
Baber/Blackshear family papers. MS 11. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.