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Inventory of the George Smith Adams Papers, 1826-2010

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Mainly George Smith Adams' genealogical research documenting his father George Alexander Adams (1887-1984), mother Theodora Elizabeth Smith Adams (1888-1983), grandfather Daniel Townsend Smith (1842-1929) with data on the Washington Artillery, and great grandfather Thomas Peter Smith (1814-1899). Also included are materials relating to his extended family and their surrounding areas, especially the Townsend family, Medway Plantation, Edisto Island, Charleston, South Carolina.
Title: George Smith Adams papers
Creator: Adams, George Smith, 1923-
Date(s): 1826-2010  (bulk 1925-1999)  
Extent: 4.8 linear feet
(12 document boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Repository: Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: (843) 953-8016
Fax: (843) 953-6319
Call Number: Mss 0174
Language of Material: Materials in English

Biographical Note

George Smith Adams, a descendant of Smith, Townsend and other South Carolina families, was born January 1, 1923, in Greenville, S.C. A veteran of World War II, and a professional engineer, he married Virginia Juanita Lester (1922-2003) May 10, 1951 in Atlanta, Ga. Mr. Adams later moved from Florida to Summerville, S.C. An avid researcher, he has collected information and primary materials on his ancestors and documented their lives before, during and after the Civil War, on Edisto Island, in Charleston and Greenville, S.C. and elsewhere.

Collection Overview

This collection consists mostly of George Smith Adams' family research, with the majority of materials documenting his father George Alexander Adams (1887-1984), mother Theodora Elizabeth Smith Adams (1888-1983), grandfather Daniel Townsend Smith (1842-1929), and great grandfather Thomas Peter Smith (1814-1899). Also included are materials relating to his extended family and their surrounding areas, especially the Landgrave Smiths, Medway Plantation, Bleak Hall, Edisto Island, Charleston, and a small number of items relating to Gone with the Wind.

Collection Arrangement

1.  George Smith Adams and immediate family, 1922-2010 (bulk 1935-1975)
2.  Thomas Peter Smith, 1814-1903
3.  Daniel Townsend Smith, 1842-1929
4.  Smith family research
5.  Edisto Island
6.  Gone with the Wind materials

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index this collection in the Library's online catalog. They are grouped by name of person, family, or organization, by topical subject, by place, and by types of material.


    • Adams, George Smith, 1923-
    • Adams, George Alexander, 1887-1984
    • Adams, Theodora Elizabeth Smith, 1888-1983
    • Smith, Daniel Townsend, 1842-1929
    • Smith, Thomas Peter, 1814-1903
    • Smith family
    • Townsend family
    • Confederate States of America. Army. Washington Artillery Battalion (New Orleans, La.)


    • Genealogy


    • Charleston (S.C.)
    • Edisto Island (S.C.)
    • Medway (S.C.)

    Types of Material

    • Black-and-white photographs
    • Books
    • Charts (graphic documents)
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Color photographs
    • Correspondence
    • Diaries
    • Pamphlets
    • Photocopies
    • Printouts
    • Research notes

    Related Resources

    Separated Material

    Bound pamphlets and books originally with the collection have been removed and catalogued separately.

    Detailed Description of the Collection

    Close All | Open All

    1. George Smith Adams and immediate family, 1922-2010 (bulk 1935-1975) 

    Materials include death certificates, photos, correspondence, wills, deeds, diplomas, census information, U.S. Army records, school notes, real estate materials, and newspaper clippings for George Smith Adams, his wife Virginia Juanita Lester Adams and his parents, especially his mother Theodora Elizabeth Smith Adams who married George Alexander Adams. Also includes notes relating to George Smith Adams' engineering career and his service in the United States Army.

    Biographical and genealogical material, 1963-2009 

    George Smith Adams and wife Virginia Juanita Lester legal and related materials, 1922-2003   box 1 | folder 1

    George Alexander Adams and wife Theodora Elizabeth Smith legal and related materials, 1962-2003   box 1 | folder 2

    Theodora Elizabeth Smith Adams notes and poetry, 1936-1975   box 1 | folder 3-4

    Includes handwritten United Daughters of the Confederacy Convention notes and photocopy of a story about a former Smith residence titled"The Saga of Augusta Road."

    George Smith Adams career and United States Army materials, 1974-2009   box 2 | folder 1

    Real estate titles, deeds, and related materials, 1925-1956   box 2 | folder 2

    Includes plat for "Ballentine lot" and materials from land in Greenville County, South Carolina, and DeKalb County, Georgia.

    Miscellaneous receipts and other materials, 1935-1970   box 2 | folder 3

    Research notes

    George Smith Adams "first book"   box 2 | folder 4

    Typed copy of George Smith Adam's "first Smith family genealogy book."

    South Carolina clippings   box 2 | folder 5

    20th century materials relating to Greenville, Greenwood, Myrtle Beach, Camden, slavery reparations, and the song "Dixie."

    World War research, 1997-2010   box 3 | folder 1

    Includes battle history of the United States 30th Infantry Division during World War I and the 44th Infantry Division during World War II.

    Lester genealogical materials, 1995-2004   box 3 | folder 2

    Also includes small composition book, presumably of Virginia Juanita Lester Adams.

    2. Thomas Peter Smith, 1826-2004 (bulk 1860-1903) 

    Materials include photocopies, handwritten notes and correspondence, and internet printouts. Biographical materials include documentation of his service in the Civil War, stock certificates, materials relating to Wando Mining and Manufacturing Company, and photographs of former homes and family tombstones. Correspondence is primarily between Thomas Peter Smith and various business partners, also includes some personal and genealogical letters. Also included is a presidential pardon for William Nayler and a slave deed of gift for Charles Lawton, both business partners of Thomas Peter Smith.

    Biographical material, 1847-2002 (bulk 1860-1903)   box 3 | folder 3

    Materials are mostly photocopies; also includes photographs, emails, and George Smith Adams' handwritten notes.

    Correspondence, 1826-1902   box 3 | folder 4

    Business correspondence from John French to Joseph Lawton about Thomas Peter Smith's account balances, and also between business partners including William Nayler, Joseph Lawton, and Thomas Peter Smith. Personal letters chiefly between Smith, Cuttino, Manly, and other related families. Also includes 1869 letter from Elizabeth Ann Poyas to Thomas Peter Smith regarding Smith family history.

    Book research, 2001-2004   box 4 | folder 1

    Research for George Smith Adam's book, Thomas Peter Smith: Factor & Commission Merchant, Devout Baptist Deacon.

    Thomas Peter Smith: Factor & Commission Merchant, Devout Baptist Deacon by George Smith Adams   box 4 | folder 2

    Bound typescript, close to final draft.

    Thomas Peter Smith scrapbook, circa 1869-1884   box 12

    Includes clippings relating to horticultural and practical daily life such as gardening, pest control, and food preparation.

    Andrew Jackson presidential pardon of William Nayler, 1865   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Formal pardon granting amnesty to William Nayler, business partner of Thomas Peter Smith.

    Confederate dignitaries lithograph   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Includes figures such as Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee.

    Deed of gift for slaves from Margaret Slade to Charles Lawton, Charleston, South Carolina, 1826 August 14   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    3. Daniel Townsend Smith, 1842-1929  

    Biographical materials on Professor Daniel Townsend Smith document his service in the Civil War, with data on the Washington Artillery, and his later ancient languages professorship at Furman. Also includes diaries, correspondence, Civil War research, and some Confederate-era newspapers.

    Biographical clippings, handwritten notes, and photocopies   box 4 | folder 3

    Also includes handwritten daily expenditure account lists for Professor Smith, 1870-1894.

    Correspondence, 1862, 1863, 1865-1899   box 4 | folder 4

    Chiefly from Daniel Townsend Smith to his immediate family regarding his daily life, sent from various military camps.

    Washington Artillery Varieties theatrical program, 1863 March 9   box 4 | folder 6

    Staged by Confederate troops in Adams Run, South Carolina.

    Research notes

    Daniel Townsend Smith diaries, 1861-1865, 1865-1903   box 4 | folder 5

    Includes photocopy, typed copy, and transcript excerpts by George Smith Adams. Details the Washington Artillery, daily life, and post-war Greenville.

    Confederate Civil War in South Carolina, Florida, Georgia   box 5 | folder 1-3

    Research includes causes of the Civil War and various battle and event summaries.

    Newspapers, 1864-1981 (bulk 1864-1870)

    The South Carolinian, (Columbia, S.C.), 1864 May 10   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    General advertisements and news relating to the Confederate States of America.

    The Southern Enterprise, (Greenville, S.C.), 1866 March 29   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Includes article, "General Sherman on the Burning of Columbia, S.C."

    Kind Words for Sunday School Children, (Macon, Ga.), Southern Baptist Convention, 1867-1870   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Charleston Daily News, (Charleston, S.C.), 1868 June 23   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Mentions Wade Hampton's address at the commencement of Washington College, Lexington, Virginia.

    Charleston Daily News, (Charleston, S.C.), 1868 August 24   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Includes an address "To the People of Charleston" by Daniel Ravenel about recent "disturbance of public peace" in Charleston.

    New York Evening Express, (New York, N.Y.), 1868 August 27   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Includes article "Bad Signs in the South," which advises " Radicals and carpet-baggers" to "Talk kindly to the negroes-advise and consult with them for the common good."

    Greenville: A Family Album, (Greenville, S.C.), 1981 December 17   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Supplement to The Greenville News and Greenville Piedmont. Includes printed photographs relating to Greenville and surrounding areas.

    4. Smith family research

    This series includes research conducted by George Smith Adams. Materials include internet printouts, photographs, charts, maps, receipts, ancestral family crests, real estate materials, indentures, and instructions for genealogical research. Also includes information about the Landgrave Smiths, Medway Plantation, Yeaman's Hall Plantation, Daniel Townsend Smith, Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend, Thomas Peter Smith, Bleak Hall, and Edisto Island.

    Smith family genealogical research, 1997-2005   box 6 | folder 1-4

    Tyler and Mason family crests sketches   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Both ancestors of the Smith family.

    Mortgage of personal property between Susan E. Smith and Margaret Slade   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Smith genealogy handwritten notes, undated   box 10 | folder 1

    "First Families of South Carolina" membership data, correspondence, and applications   box 7 | folder 1-2

    Also includes photocopies of book chapters about First Families.

    Landgrave Smiths lineage research   box 7 | folder 3

    Elizabeth Ann Poyas materials   box 7 | folder 7

    Includes George Smith Adam's notes about Poyas and photocopies from The Olden Time of Carolina and Shadows of the Past.

    Medway research notes, maps, photos, clippings   box 8 | folder 1

    Warrant from The Lords Proprietors of South Carolina for land abutting Medway River, reproduction   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Miscellaneous newspaper clippings, printouts, correspondence   box 8 | folder 2-3

    Includes family record book which details births, deaths, marriages and related events for a number of the Smiths.

    Townsend family

    Includes internet printouts, photocopies, book excerpts, photographs, poetry, and correspondence. Genealogical research materials primarily relate to Bleak Hall Plantation, Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend, and Edisto Island.

    Genealogical research, notes and charts   box 9 | folder 1-3

    Also includes photocopy of the 1904 Washington Artillery record, photocopies of land grants, indentures, and a small number of other topics.

    Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend research, 1951-1978   box 9 | folder 4

    Chiefly research by Theodora Elizabeth Adams, including correspondence, photographs, handwritten notes, and small number of other materials.

    Tabby from Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend oven, Edisto Island   box 9 | folder 5

    Townsend family tree, photocopy   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    5. Edisto Island

    This series includes notes, photographs, printouts, and correspondence relating to Edisto Island and the Smith family. Photographs include Smith family antiques, Hephzibah Jenkins Smith's grave, and an Edisto Island church. Also included is genealogical correspondence between George Smith Adams and members of an Edisto Island listserv discussing Jenkins, Smiths and other Edisto Island families.

    Image case   box 10 | folder 2

    "Documents on Edisto Island History," by Charles Spencer   box 10 | folder 3

    Maps, photographs, and related material   box 10 | folder 4

    Includes draft of "Edisto Island Antiques: Thomas Peter Smith & Theodora Elizabeth Townsend, Bleak Hall Edisto" by George Smith Adams.

    Miscellaneous Edisto Island notes and printouts, 1994-2005   box 10 | folder 5

    Also includes correspondence between George Smith Adams and the Edisto Island Preservation Society regarding donations.

    Genealogical correspondence, 2001-2004   box 10 | folder 6

    Edisto Island map, undated   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    6. Gone with the Wind materials

    Includes newspaper clippings from 1939 theatrical release of Gone with the Wind, a copy of Gone with the Wind, and a commemorative chocolates box.

    Newspaper clippings, 1939-1960   box 11 | folder 1

    Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, 1939   box 11 | folder 2

    Also includes Margaret Mitchell and Her Novel booklet.

    Gone with the Wind chocolates box   box 11 | folder 3

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    This collection is open for research.

    Copyright Notice

    The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

    The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George Smith Adams papers, College of Charleston Libraries, Charleston, SC, USA.

    Acquisitions Information

    Materials were donated in February 2011 by Joe McAdam, power of attorney for George Smith Adams.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Cara McHugh, March 2013.

    Encoded by Cara McHugh, March 2013.

    Updated with additions by Cara McHugh, July 2013.

    Reviewed and uploaded by Martha McTear, April 2013, July 2013.

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