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|Size||400 items (3.0 linear feet)|
|Abstract||John Nisbet (1841-1917) worked for most of his life as a cotton factor in Savannah, Ga. In 1870, he married Virginia Lord King (1837-1901), daughter of planter and Whig politician T. Butler King (1800-1864). By the end of the 1870s, John and Virginia Nisbet had at least five children: Jack, Marie, Florence, Nanni, and Lordie. During the Spanish American War, Florence Nisbet met Philip Thornton Marye, an officer from Newport News, Va., stationed in Savannah. Married in January 1900, Philip and Florence Marye had at least one child, John Nisbet Marye. By 1917, the Maryes were living in Atlanta, where Philip was an architect. The collection includes correspondence of the John Nisbet family of Savannah and Marietta, Ga., and of the Philip Thornton Marye family of Newport News, Va., and Atlanta, Ga. It documents the business and domestic life of these families, but particularly business activities of Savannah cotton factor John Nisbet in the 1870s; the education of Florence Nisbet Marye while traveling in Europe, 1889-1890, and at St. Timothy's School in Catonsville, Md., early 1890s; that of Jack Marye at the University of Virginia in the early 1890s; the courtship of Florence by Philip Marye during the Spanish American War; Philip's movements as commander of the Third Army Motorpool of the American Expeditionary Force, 1918-1919; and the activities of their son, John Nisbet Marye, at summer camp in New Hampshire and at Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry, Va., 1918-1919. Also included are letters from Nanni Nisbet in Germany reporting on the dislocation of German society after World War I and a few school reports, receipts, and genealogical charts.|
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Born in Danzig (now Gdansk), West Prussia, the son of Christopher and Marianne von Boehm Nisbet, John Nisbet (1841-1917) worked for most of his life as a cotton factor in Savannah, Ga. In 1870, he married Virginia Lord King (1837-1901), whose father, Thomas Butler King (1800-1864), had been a prominent antebellum planter and Whig politician from St. Simon's Island, Ga. By the end of the 1870s, John and Virginia Nisbet had at least five children: Jack, Marie, Florence, Nanni, and Lordie.
During the Spanish American War, Florence Nisbet met Philip Thornton Marye, a young officer from Newport News, Va., who was then stationed in Savannah. Married in January 1900, Philip and Florence Marye had at least one child, John Nisbet Marye. By 1917, the Maryes were living in Atlanta, where Philip was an architect. In 1918 and 1919, Philip Marye served in the American Expeditionary Force in France and Germany.Back to Top
The collection includes correspondence and other materials relating to the Nisbet family of Savannah, Ga., and Marietta, Ga., and the Marye family of Newport News, Va., and Atlanta, Ga. Family letters dealing with everyday matters form the bulk of the documents in the collection. Early letters are chiefly those of John Nisbet to his wife, Virginia Lord King Nisbet, who he called Bush, Buschibus, or Appie. They deal primarily with the pleasures and perturbations of family life, but also with Nisbet's political activities in Savannah and his business concerns as a cotton factor there. In addition, there are letters written by Nisbet from numerous European capitals concerning economic conditions in England and Europe and his business contacts in those places.
Correspondence from the 1880s and 1890s is much more diverse, both in terms of the number and ages of the writers involved and the topics they discuss. The Nisbets and their three oldest children Jack, Marie, and Florence (called Flip or Flippenchen) are the major correspondents, as is Virginia Nisbet's sister, Georgia King Wilder, wife of another cotton factor in Savannah, Joseph J. Wilder. Many of the letters were written by the Nisbets from Savannah and Marietta, Ga., to their daughters Marie and Florence, who lived in England and various European capitals with their aunt Georgia Wilder, 1889-1890. Most of the letters, however, were written by Marie, Florence, and Georgia to the Nisbets and relate to the schooling of the Nisbet children while in Europe and to their travel experiences.
Letters to the Nisbets from their son Jack and their daughter Florence dominate the correspondence from the early 1890s. Most of these letters are related to Jack's education at the University of Virginia and to Florence's at St. Timothy's Academy in Cantonsville, Md.
Florence, her husband Philip Thornton Marye (called Thornton), and their son John Nisbet Marye (called Baby or Nisbet) wrote most of the letters, 1894-1917. These include Philip's courtship letters to Florence from the various places where he was stationed during and after the Spanish American War, including New York and the Carribbean. The majority of the letters from this period, however, were written by their son John, 1915-1917, and concern his summer activities at Camp Marienfeld in Chesham, N.H.
The letters of Philip Marye and his son John form the bulk of the correspondence, 1918-1925. Those from the elder Marye were written to his wife from France and Germany during 1918 and 1919, while he was in command of the Third Army Motorpool of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. John's letters were written to his mother from Camp Marienfeld, Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry, Va., and from the Lanark Inn in Lanark, Fla.
Also included are letters from Nanni Nisbet in Germany reporting on the dislocation of German society after World War I and a few school reports, receipts, and genealogical charts.Back to Top
Correspondence of the Nisbet and Marye families, chiefly related to routine family matters, the business activities of cotton factor John Nisbet, the education of the Nisbet children in Europe and the United States, the summer camp activities of John Nisbet Marye, and the experiences of Philip Thornton Marye as part of the American Expeditionary Forces in France and Germany in 1918-1919. Also included are letters, 1887-1921, from John Nisbet's aunt, Nanni Nisbet, in Germany covering a wide variety of topics, the most notable of which is the disruption of German society in the aftermath of World War I.
Early letters are those of John Nisbet to his wife, Virginia (called Buschibus, Bush, Appie), from Savannah, New York, England, and various European capitals concerning family matters, his travels, and business conditions in these places. Also included are letters to the Nisbets from several members of Virginia's family. Her sister, Georgia King Wilder, wife of Joseph J. Wilder, the cotton factor for whom John Nisbet worked, wrote about poor relief in Savannah and the effects of yellow fever on the poor in that city; her brother, Mallery P. King, wrote about regaining the confidence of his black laborers and planting at Retreat, the family plantation on St. Simon's Island, Ga.; and, in a June 1879 letter, another brother, J. Floyd King, United States congressman from Louisiana, mentioned the defeat of President Rutherford B. Hayes's plan to use the army during the upcoming elections.
Family letters continue. Particularly noteworthy are several letters written from Mexico City by Virginia Nisbet's sister, Florence King Jackson, whose husband, Henry Rootes Jackson, was United States minister to Mexico, 1885-1887. In a letter to Virginia Nisbet, her brother-in-law, Fritz Nisbet of Cawker City, Kan., referred to conditions in that city. Virginia Nisbet's brother, J. Floyd King, wrote about working in New York City and receiving requests, from his former Louisiana constituents to return there and run again for office.
Chiefly correspondence between the Nisbets and their young daughters, Florence (called Flip) and Marie, who spent the year traveling throughout the British Isles and Europe with their aunt, Georgia King Wilder, and her teenage daughter, Page Wilder. Most of the letters were written by Florence, Marie, and Georgia and concern sightseeing, lodging, food, sickness, travel and the education of the Nisbet girls, especially their efforts to learn French. Writing from Paris during the spring of 1890, Georgia Wilder comments on contemporary French art and the difference between "nudes" and "the naked." Also included are several letters to the Nisbets from their son Jack at the University of Virginia, and others from him to his sisters in Europe.
Chiefly letters concerning routine family affairs, especially the education of Jack Nisbet at the University of Virginia and his sister, Florence Nisbet, at St. Timothy's School for Girls in Cantonsville, Md. Particularly noteworthy are Florence's letters to her parents during the fall of 1892. These detail a variety of topics, from the tightly controlled regimen at St. Timothy's and the celebration of the election of President Grover Cleveland among the school's southerners to Florence's personal disdain for a bishop's request that the school girls donate their Bible funds to an African American theological seminary. Comments on race relations can also be found in the letters to Virginia Nisbet from her sister, Florence Jackson. There is mention of a chance meeting between Florence Jackson and Neptune, one of the former slaves on the King plantation Retreat and of the rising fears of white women in rural Georgia toward black men. Also included are several brief letters to Virginia Nisbet from her brother, J. Floyd King, concerning his efforts to raise money in New York for a system of sewers in Brunswick, Ga. In addition, there are numerous letters from Philip Thornton Marye to Florence Nisbet that reflect his romantic intentions toward her and contain comments on his activities during the Spanish American War in New York and the Caribbean, mentioning, in one instance, the Cubans' war on the occupation police and their rebellion against American authority.
Early letters are those to Florence Nisbet from Philip Thornton Marye and from numerous family members congratulating her on her marriage to Marye in January 1900. The Maryes eventually moved to Atlanta from Newport News, Va. There are also letters discussing Marye's awards for architecture. Most items from this period, however, are postcards and letters to the Maryes from their son John Nisbet Marye (called Baby or Nisbet) concerning his summer activities at Camp Marienfeld in Chesham, N.H.
Philip Thorton Marye, his son John, and Nanni Nisbet, are the principal correspondents. John's postcards and letters to his mother from Camp Marienfeld, Woodberry Forest School in Orange County, Va., and later, from the Lanark Inn in Florida, form the bulk of correspondence. Most of Philip Thornton Marye's letters to his wife were written while he served with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, 1918-1919. These contain his comments on European architecture, the beauty of the French countryside, and his activities as commander of the Third Army Motorpool in France and Germany. The letters to Florence Marye from Nanni Nisbet in Berlin talk about postwar Germany. There are comments on a number of topics, including socialist revolution, the lynching of Jews, pogroms, counter-revolution, communist activities, and the expectation that finding female servants would be easier once the demand for women typists diminished.
Documents related to the lives of Florence and Marie Nisbet and their mother, Virginia Nisbet, and to the lives of Philip Thornton Marye and son, John Nisbet Marye. These include school reports, prose and poetry, greeting and Christmas cards, wedding invitations, and receipts. In addition, there are genealogical charts, maps, and a few printed and mimeographed pamphlets.
John Nisbet Marye: Attendance report, North Avenue Presbyterian Church School, Atlanta, May 1912; account of expenditures for John Nisbet Marye, 1916; report card, Atlanta Public School System, 1917?; reports from Woodberry Forest School, March June 1919; Christmas greeting card, undated; watercolor done by a child #04478, Series: "2. Other Items." Folder 127
Philip Thornton Marye: French currency, 1918?; newspaper clipping: "Meuse Argonne Saw A.E.F. Make Maximum Effort," Stars and Stripes, 27 December 1918; mimeographed pamphlet, 16 pages: "Thirty Second Division Motor Show: Sayn, Germany, March 28 29, 1919"; printed poem: "Under Home Stars," by Frank L. Stanton, undated #04478, Series: "2. Other Items." Folder 128
Miscellaneous: "Speech of Hon. J. Floyd King of Louisiana in the House of Representatives, April 24, 1879"; grocery lists, 1886; "Glacier Garden," advertisement for resort in Lucerne, Switzerland, 1889; invitation to wedding of Agnes McRae and Julian Walker Morton, undated, Linville, N.C.; photograph, Filatusbahn (Eselwand Tunnel), Germany, undated #04478, Series: "2. Other Items." Folder 132