8.1 Linear feet
(17 document boxes, 7 oversized folders A, 5 oversized folders B, 1 oversized folder C)
Correspondence, research notes, printed material, and other papers, relating to Black's work to save and restore Woodmanston, the LeConte family plantation site and garden in Liberty County, Ga. Includes material concerning Louis LeConte and his sons, John and Joseph LeConte, Garden Club of Georgia's activities relating to the site, and Black's efforts at conservation. Contains numerous maps, sketches, site drawings, etc.
Claude A. Black was a U.S. Army officer and horticulturist, of Savannah, Ga.
The Botanical and Floral Garden at Woodmanston were designed by Louis Leconte, father of the famous Leconte brothers, pioneers in the sciences in the United States. In July 1971, Clermont Lee, a coastal naturalist, introduced Black to the gardens and their plight. The family's home at Woodmanston had been destroyed many years earlier, but Black hoped that much of the vegetation could be rescued from the growth that had covered it. Black found some remains of the garden's species in November, including a rare camellia japonica. He immediately moved to stop clear-cutting of the Woodmanston lands by its lessor the Brunswick Pulp and Paper Co. A provisional committee formed in January 1972 under the sponsorship of the Liberty County Historical Society. The gardens were placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and in 1977 the paper company signed their lease over to the Nature Conservancy.
The ecological and historical value of Leconte-Woodmanston caused Black to devote over a decade of work to its benefit. The correspondence ends in 1985, with plans for Woodmanston very sketchy and Black's health failing.
The Claude A. Black Collection contains the papers, research notes, correspondence, printed material, etc. of Col. Black (U.S. Army, Ret.). An avid horticulturalist, Black began the effort to save the Leconte family gardens at Woodmanston plantation. The first part of this collection, the Leconte-Woodmanston Project Section, consists of 13 1/2 boxes of materials relating to the gardens, the Lecontes, garden club activities and Black's efforts at conservation. There are also 13 oversized folders.
Black's love of natural history is also apparent in the General History Section of the collection. These last three boxes consist of materials on a wide range of topics, many centering on east Tennessee where the Black's lived for a few years.