Joseph Rucker and Clarinda Pendleton Lamar papers

Joseph Rucker and Clarinda Pendleton Lamar papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Lamar, Clarinda Pendleton, b. 1856
Creator: Lamar, Joseph Rucker, 1857-1916
Title: Joseph Rucker and Clarinda Pendleton Lamar papers
Dates: Bulk, 1910-1915
Dates: 1792-1936, bulk 1910-1915
Quantity: 12.3 Linear feet (11 document boxes, 3 half boxes, 6 oversized boxes, 1 oversize folder A)
Coll. Number: ms22

Biographical/Historical Note

Joseph Rucker Lamar, son of the Rev. James Sanford Lamar (minister of the Disciples of Christ) and Mary Margaret (Rucker) Lamar, was born in Ruckersville, Elbert County, Georgia on October 14, 1857 and died in Washington, D.C. on January 2, 1916. He was raised in Augusta, Georgia next door to Woodrow Wilson (the 28th President of the Unites States); educated at Bethany College, West Virginia and Washington & Lee University, Virginia; practiced law in Augusta, Georgia; served in Georgia Supreme Court (1901-1905); and was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Taft in 1911 and served until his death in 1916. Justice Lamar was a writer and historian, served in State Legislature from 1886 to 1889, and was often in demand as a speaker. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi as were other members of the court. He published First Days of St. Paul's Parish, Augusta, GA (1910?), Trustees of Richmond Academy of Augusta, Georgia... and The Code of the State of Georgia in two volumes in 1896.

Clarinda Pendleton Lamar (1856-1943), daughter of William Kimbrough Pendleton (President of Bethany College) and Catherine Huntington (King) Lamar and the wife of Joseph Rucker Lamar, was born in Bethany, West Virginia on August 25, 1856 and died in Atlanta, Georgia on April 27, 1943. Mrs. Lamar held the office of President of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America between 1914 and 1927, and was instrumental in the preservation of Sulgrave Manor in England (the ancestral home of George Washington), Dumbarton House in Washington, D.C. (headquarters of The National Society), and Gunston Hall (the home of George Mason). She published A History of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in 1934. She served on many boards of directors and was on the executive committee for Georgia's bicentennial. Her The Life of Joseph Rucker Lamar 1857-1916, published in 1926 was very well received.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of papers of Joseph Rucker and Clarinda Pendleton Lamar from 1792-1936. Includes correspondence, scrapbooks, certificates, engagement books, invitations, speeches, and telegrams pertaining to Joseph Lamar's service on the Georgia and U.S. Supreme Courts, Clarinda Lamar's involvement with the Colonial Dames of America and the Lamars' personal and public life in Augusta, Georgia and Washington, D.C. Notable correspondents include William Jennings Bryan, James A. Garfield, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Evans Hughes, Mary Custis Lee, Juliette Gordon Low, Helen and William H. Taft, Octave Thanet, and Edith and Woodrow Wilson.

The collection also contains early materials (1792-1853) including two letters (1792) to the District Judge of Georgia, one from Alexander Hamilton and one from Nathan Pendleton, concerning a fraudulent manifest for the ship Minerva; religious tracts from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (1813); land deeds; and slave bills of sale.

Correspondents of Justice Lamar, many of whom also continued to correspond with Mrs. Lamar after his death, included Augusta friends W. H. Barrett, J. C. C. Black, E. H. Callaway, Ed. B. Hook and Andrew J. Cobb of Athens. Other notables included Woodrow Wilson, William H. Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James A. Garfield, William Jennings Bryan and Octave Thanet (pseudonym of author Alice French). The scrapbooks contain news articles, many of which are related to his career in law.

Mrs. Lamar also corresponded with Helen Taft, Mary Custis Lee, Edith Bolling Wilson, Martha Berry, Daisy Low (Juliette Gordon), Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Her engagement books, guest lists and other entertaining materials from the Washington years are in the collection.

Other than materials mentioned above, the collection contains telegrams, certificates invitations, speeches, dealing with the personal and public life of an Associate Justice of the Georgia and U. S. Supreme Court and his family and the personal and public life of Mrs. Lamar.


Arranged into eight series by content and/or record type:

Joseph Rucker Lamar papers; Clarinda Lamar papers; printed material by or about the Supreme Court and Justice Lamar; ledgers; historical material; graphic materials; cards; and scrapbooks.

Index Terms

Augusta (Ga.)--Social life and customs--20th century.
Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925
Garfield, James A., (James Abram), 1831-1881
Georgia. Supreme Court.
Hamilton, Alexander, 1757-1804
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894
Hughes, Charles Evans, 1862-1948
Judges--United States.
Lee, Mary Custis, 1835-1918
Low, Juliette Gordon, 1860-1927
Minerva (Ship : 1800-1807).
National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
Patriotic societies--United States.
Pendleton, Nathaniel
Slave bills of sale--Georgia.
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (Great Britain)
Taft, Helen Herron, 1861-1943
Taft, William H., (William Howard), 1857-1930
Thanet, Octave, 1850-1934
United States. Supreme Court.
Washington (D.C.)--Social life and customs--20th century.
Wilson, Edith Bolling Galt, 1872-1961
Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924
Women--Georgia--Societies and clubs.
Women--United States--Societies and clubs.

General Notes

Digitization funded by Historic Augusta, Inc. through a grant from The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia.

Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Joseph Rucker and Clarinda Pendleton Lamar papers. MS 22. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.


Given by Clarinda Pendleton Lamar in 1938.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


Series 1: Joseph Rucker Lamar Papers