Camak, James, 1795-1847
Camak, James, 1822-1893
Camak, Louis, b. 1873
Camak, Mary Wellborn, d. 1919
|Title: ||Camak family papers|
|Dates: ||Bulk, 1889-1920|
|Dates: ||circa 1817-1947, bulk 1889-1920|
10.2 Linear feet
(25 document boxes, 1 half box)
|Abstract:||The collection consists of papers of the Camak family of Athens, Clarke County, Georgia from ca. 1817-1947. The papers consist primarily of correspondence and financial papers of James Camak, his wife Mary W. Camak, and their son Louis Camak. Most of the letters deal with family business matters and news of family or friends. Of particular interest are letters from sharecroppers on land owned by the Camak's and letters (1885-1901) between Mary Camak and Thomas W. Watson regarding personal business matters. The collection also contains a few items relating to James A. Camak, genealogical information on the Camak, Marshall, Wellborn, and allied families, and notebooks containing drafts of Mary Camak's correspondence (1896-1910).|
|Coll. Number: ||ms53|
James A. Camak was born in 1795 in South Carolina and died in 1847. He came to Athens, Georgia to accept a position at the University of Georgia as a professor in mathematics and astronomy in 1809. He later moved to Milledgeville, georgia, when it was the state capital. He was the war editor of "Southern Cultivator." He moved back to Athens and built a residence. James A. Camak organized and helped build the Georgia Railroad, the first railroad in Georgia. He was its first president. This was the third railroad built in the United States. James A. Camak was also the head of the Comission to establish boundary lines between Georgia and the areas of Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
James A. Camak married Helen Smith Finley in 1820. She was the daughter of Robert Finley, the President of Franklin College, now the University of Georgia. They had five children, though one died at 8 years and another died at 2 years of age. The three who lived into adulthood were James Camak (1822-1893), Thomas (1829-1863), and Margaret Anne (1836-1916).
James A. Camak's son, James Camak, was born in 1822 in Milledgeville, Georgia and died in 1893 in Athens, Georgia. He went to Princeton University and received a medical degree from the University of Georgia in Augusta. He was a surgeon in the Confederate army during the war. He married Mary Rebecca Wellborn (later known as M.W.Camak) of Warrenton, Georgia, in November 1869. Mary was a member of the United Daughters of Confederacy and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Her father, James Madison Wellborn, lived from 1809 to 1889, and was a planter and a slave owner (100 slaves). Mary Rebecca Wellborn died in 1919. She and James Camak had two children, James Wellborn Camak in 1872 and Louis Camak in 1873.
James Wellborn Camak was born in 1872 and died in 1911. James Wellborn Camak went to the University of Georgia and became a lawyer. He married Josephine Smyth of Augusta Georgia, and they had two children, one who died in infancy and a son named James de Xavier Camak born in 1913. Josephine wife died in 1915.
James A. Camak's other son, Thomas Camak, was born in 1829 and died in 1863. He died at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2nd, 1863, and was interred later in Linwood Cemetery by his wife and two infant children. One son James Camak died at three months of age, and another son died at two years of age. Their one surviving child was Annie Thomas Camak, who was born March 31, 1863, and died April 30, 1890. She never married. Thomas Camak, her father, was a colonel at his death, and was at the time temporarily in charge of Cobb's Legion. He started in the war as a captain of the Mill Rifles, a company recruited in Athens, Georgia.
James A. Camak's daughter, Margaret Anne Camak, was born in 1836 and died in 1916 in the same house she was born. She never married. She was a member of the U.D.C. and D.A.R.
Very notably is the "Camak House," which is located at 279 Meigs Street, Athens, Georgia, and was built by James Camak in 1834. It was one of the first residences built on Prince Avenue. Five generations of the Camak family lived in this house, until 1947. Several were born and a few died there.
Scope and Content Note
The bulk of this collection consists of business correspondence (especially with share-croppers) and personal correspondence of Mrs. Mary W. Camak and her son Louis. Also included are assorted pictures, photographs, postcards, greeting cards, recipes, social invitations, genealogical material, and many excellent lace Valentines designed by John Windsor from the 19th century.
As stated, this collection consists mainly of materials concerning the descendants of James A. Camak, a founder and first president of the Georgia Railroad. There are a few letter drafts and math notes when Camak was professor of mathematics at the University of Georgia from about 1817.
Box 1 contains genealogical information on the Camak, Wellborn, and several other families from Georgia and the South. Boxes 2 through 11 contain correspondences dating from 1817 to 1947. These contain both personal and business correspondence. Box 11 also contains some of Mrs. Camak's personal compositions.
Box 12 includes materials about the Daughters of the American Revolution, and a large number of greeting cards and valentines.
Box 13 contains social invitations to events in Athens, primarily weddings. Box 14 contains letter drafts, small paintings/prints, and various photographs. Numerous recipes, postcards and other printed material as well as information relative to the University of Georgia are contained in Box 15. Box 16 contains Mrs. Camak's photo album and a scrapbook. Box 17 holds several journals, ledgers, and miscellaneous books and booklets.
Box 18, separately titled the
Thomas E. Watson Division contains correspondence dating from 1885 to 1901 between Mrs. Camak and Mr. Watson.
Boxes 19 through 25 are financial papers dating from 1873 to 1947. Box 19 to 22 contain receipts from a number of local businesses, including groceries, cotton, publishing, diamonds, dry cleaning, carriages, water, boots, horseshoes, men's clothing, gas, electric, railroad, telephone, etc. There are also tax collection receipts and many bank receipts from across the state. From Box 23 on, the collection contains mainly bank statements, fire insurance policies, various bills, papers regarding the Athens Co-operative Creamery, and rent collection sheets. There are some meat market receipts and pharmacy receipts in smaller amounts. Box 19 concentrates on those of James Camak; Box 20, 21, and 22, Mary Wellborne and Louis Camak; and Box 23, 24, and 25, James Camak and Louis Camak. Occasionally there are papers from a family friend named Luther Sims.
Arranged by record type.
Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.
Camak family papers. MS 53. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.
Related materials to this collection can be found in: Downing Bethune photographs, MS1623; E. Merton Coulter manuscript collection II, MS 2345; UGA lecture notes, MS 2108; James Camak portrait, MS2554; and Georgia Railroad and Banking Company papers, MS347.