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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
|Size||36.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 10,000 items)|
|Abstract||The Craig, Flowers, and Ferris Papers document three white families in Vicksburg and Yazoo City, Miss. Members include William C. Craig; New York cotton and sugar broker William R. Craig (1870-1931); Seraphina Brooks Flowers (1824-1868); Vicksburg businessmen Uriah Grey Flowers (1883-1947) and Edward Gibbs Flowers (1880-1945); Mississippi Council of Garden Clubs president Hester Craig Flowers (1885-1987); Shelby Flowers Ferris; Mississippi state senator Grey Flowers Ferris; and author, filmmaker, folklorist, and professor William R. Ferris Jr. (1942- ) (Bill Ferris). Some family members lived at the Ceres Plantation in Warren County, Miss. The collection consists of business and personal correspondence, including a copybook containing the outgoing letters of Seraphina Brooks Flowers, who successfully petitioned federal officers to allow her to visit her son in the Rock Island, Ill., prison during the Civil War; financial and legal papers; newspaper clippings; scrapbooks; journals; travels diaries; creative writing; and genealogical materials. Topics include family news; the Flowers Bros. Insurance Agency; real estate; farm life; intergenerational relationships; divorce; international travel; garden clubs; the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi; family history; the Allen Cooperage Company in Nanachehaw, Miss.; and heritage tourism in Louisiana and Mississippi. Pictures are chiefly portraits and candid photographs of various members of the Craig, Flowers, and Ferris families and their dogs, livestock, houses, gardens, and travel.|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.
In the 1820s, the Flowers family moved from North Carolina to Warren County, Miss., where Uriah Flowers (1761-1845) and his wife, Elizabeth Watson Flowers (1779-1846), settled what came to be known as Ceres Plantation at Oakland. Their son, Ignatius Flowers (1806-1862), married Seraphina Brooks (1824-1868) in 1840, and they also made their home at Ceres. Their sons, Oliver Brooks Flowers (1841-1884) and Uriah Flowers (1846-1890), joined the Confederate Army as members of Harvey's Scouts, composed chiefly of men from Madison County, Miss. In the summer of 1864, Oliver was captured near Rome, Ga., and sent to the Union prison at Rock Island, Ill. In 1877, Uriah Flowers married his second wife, Shelby Gibbs, daughter of Edward and Jane Gibbs of Vicksburg, Miss. They had two daughters, Helen and Jane, both of whom died young, and two sons, Edward Gibbs Flowers (1880-1945) and Uriah Grey Flowers (1883-1947).
Uriah Grey Flowers ("U.G." or "Grey") was a prominent businessman in Vicksburg, Miss. After attending a year at Mississippi College and two years at the Virginia Military Institute, he became involved in the merchandise brokerage business, handling lines bought and sold in the grocery trade. In 1905, he and his brother Edward established the Flowers Bros. Insurance Co. The brothers also were involved with real estate as well as stocks, bonds, and securities trading. In 1915, Grey married Hester Isabel Craig (1885-1987), daughter of William C. and Harriet Rabb Craig ("Hattie"), and with her had three children: Shelby Flowers, Hester Flowers, and Uriah Grey Flowers Jr. In 1935, Grey retired from his business because of ill health and turned his attention to operating the Ceres plantation until his death in 1947. After her husband's death, Hester became one of the founders of the Vicksburg Garden Club and served two years as president of the Mississippi Council of Garden Clubs.
Grey and Hester's daughter Shelby married William R. Ferris and with him had five children: William R. Ferris Jr. ("Bill"), Shelby Ferris, Hester Ferris, Grey Ferris, and Martha Ferris. Bill Ferris (1942- ) is an author, folklorist, filmmaker, professor, photographer, administrator, and scholar. He co-founded the Center for Southern Folklore in Mississippi and was its director from 1972 to 1984. From 1979 to 1997, he was the founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. He has recorded blues albums, produced documentary films, authored a number of books, and co-edited The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.
Hester Craig Flowers's brother, William R. Craig (1870-1931), was a cotton and sugar broker in New York. Born in Yazoo City, Miss., he graduated from Southwestern Presbyterian University and then entered his father's firm, W. C. Craig & Co., a cotton and general merchandise business. In 1905, he moved to New York and created his own business, W. R. Craig & Co., that brokered commodities in the cotton and sugar trade. He married Margaret Cunningham of Yazoo City, Miss., in 1913. Hester's other brother, Robert E. Craig (1872-1942), also attended Southwestern Presbyterian University and was a cotton broker. He married Margaret Henry, the daughter of Judge and Mrs. W. A. Henry, and lived in Vicksburg, New York, and New Orleans.Back to Top
Papers documenting the white Craig, Flowers, and Ferris families of Vicksburg, Miss., and Yazoo City, Miss., and New Orleans, La., especially William C. Craig, Harriet Rabb Craig, William R. Craig, Robert E. Craig, Philip S. Craig, Hester Craig Flowers, Uriah Grey Flowers, Seraphina Flowers, Shelby Flowers Ferris, and William R. Ferris Jr. (Bill Ferris). Materials include business and personal correspondence, including a copybook containing the outgoing letters of Seraphina Flowers, who successfully petitioned federal officers to allow her to visit her son imprisoned at Rock Island, Ill., during the Civil War; financial and legal papers; newspaper clippings; scrapbooks; journals; travel diaries; creative writing; and genealogical materials. Topics include family news; the Flowers Bros. Insurance Agency; real estate; farm life; intergenerational relationships; divorce; international travel; garden clubs; the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi; family history; the Allen Cooperage Company in Nanachehaw, Miss.; and heritage tourism in Louisiana and Mississippi. Pictures are chiefly portraits and candid photographs of various members of the Craig, Flowers, and Ferris families and their dogs, livestock, houses, gardens, and travel.Back to Top
Correspondence, legal papers, clippings, obituaries, notebooks, and a ledger related to the Craig family of Yazoo City and Vicksburg, Miss. The materials were chiefly created by William C. Craig; his wife, Harriet Rabb Craig; and their children, William R. Craig, Robert E. Craig, Philip S. Craig, and Hester Craig Flowers. See also Series 4. Genealogical papers.
Letters written and received by various members of the Craig family. Includes a number of telegrams sent to Philip S. Craig from C. P. Ellis and Company regarding the weather, crops, and stocks.
Mostly receipts and bills from 1906 for furniture, appliance, and home repair purchases made by Mr. and Mrs. William C. Craig for the family home on Cherry Street in Vicksburg. Papers also include an 1897 partnership agreement between William C. Craig and William R. Craig.
Newspaper obituaries and other mourning and memorial documents for members of the Craig and Flowers families.
Relating to the Craig family and their employee, Willette Fairfax, chiefly documenting weddings, anniversaries, education, and deaths.
Two small notebooks of Philip Craig with entries describing his travels.
Record of sales made by William C. Craig and Robert E. Craig.
Record of cotton sales to J. Meyerkort, 1905
Arrangement: by type of material.
Business and personal correspondence of Uriah Grey Flowers, the Flowers Bros. Insurance Agency, and other Flowers family members. Topics include family news; real estate, employment with Flowers Bros. Insurance Agency, and other financial concerns; discussions of cattle, other livestock, and general farm life; and illness. Financial and legal papers relate chiefly to the Flowers family and the Flowers Bros. Insurance Agency. There are a few items relating to Bernard and Elizabeth Conaghan and the Kelley family. Other papers document gardening and creative writing. A copybook contains the outgoing letters of Seraphina Flowers, including her successful petition to federal officers to visit her son in a Rock Island, Ill., prison during the Civil War. Journals and scrapbooks chronicle cruises and other travel taken by Flowers family members, some as older adults.
Business and personal correspondence of Uriah Grey Flowers. Topics include real estate, especially the buying and selling of lots, as well as various tax and pricing issues; employment and other concerns at Flowers Bros. Insurance Agency; and stocks and bonds. Personal correspondents include family members Hester Craig Flowers, Edward G. Flowers, Robert E. Craig, William R. Craig, Philip S. Craig, and Olive Edmiston, a cousin of Uriah Grey Flowers. There also is correspondence from William Drake ("Magruder"), a good friend who was involved in the Enochs Lumber and Manufacturing Company with Edward G. Flowers and W. C. Craig & Co. with W. R. Craig. Drake ran Mount Ararat Plantation in Church Hill, Miss., and much of his and Grey's correspondence contains discussions of cattle, other livestock, and general farm life. Correspondence from 1918 with various members of the military concerns Grey's desire to join the Field Artillery Central Officers Training School, though there is no evidence that Grey joined the military at this time, and in an October 1918 letter he mentions being sick from influenza. Correspondence, 1928-1930, focuses on Grey's illness from bronchitis; his travel to Asheville, N.C., to seek treatment and recovery; and the related medical bills. See also folder 44 below.
Arrangement: by correspondent.
Correspondence of Hester Craig Flowers and other members of the Flowers family, including that of the Flowers Bros. Insurance Company (note that the Uriah Grey Flowers correspondence in Series 2.1. also contains many letters regarding this company). Also included are letters to Uriah Grey Flowers's aunt, Mollie Kelley.
Flowers, Hester Craig, 1908-1986 #05323, Subseries: "2.2. Other Flowers Family Correspondence, 1869-1993." Folder 43
Correspondence with her daughters, Shelby Flowers Ferris and Hester Flowers Faser, her niece Harriet, her brothers, and others, including an admirer, Walbridge Taft. Topics chiefly center around home life and daily activities. Note that correspondence between Hester Craig Flowers and her husband is in Series 2.1. Uriah Grey Flowers.
Flowers Bros. Insurance Company, 1913-1935 #05323, Subseries: "2.2. Other Flowers Family Correspondence, 1869-1993." Folder 44
Business correspondence includes employment inquiries, specifics on land purchases, and solicitations from stockholding and credit companies. There are additional insurance letters regarding Uriah Grey Flower's illness in 1929 and several letters concerning the purchase of hunting dogs.
Other correspondence, 1884-1993 #05323, Subseries: "2.2. Other Flowers Family Correspondence, 1869-1993." Folder 46
Correspondence of other members of the Flowers family, including Olive Kelley, Edwina Enochs Flowers (married to Edward G. Flowers), David Evans, Irene Whitehead, and Grey Flowers Jr. Also contains letters whose author or recipient are unknown or unclear.
Arrangement: chronological by year.
Financial and legal papers relating to the Flowers family and Flowers Bros. Insurance Agency. The papers chiefly consist of bills, receipts, purchase orders, bank statements, cancelled checks, and prescriptions as well as newsletters for various bond and security businesses. Balance sheets for the insurance agency are included. There are four account books and several deeds under the names of Bernard and Elizabeth Conaghan, whose connection to the Flowers family is unclear.
Arrangement: by type of material.
Materials include the financial and legal papers of the Kelley family; a copybook containing the outgoing letters of Seraphina Flowers, including her successful petition to federal officers to visit her son imprisoned at Rock Island, Ill., during the Civil War; papers documenting Hester Craig Flowers's involvement in local garden clubs; newspaper clippings; and creative writing by members of the Flowers family. Diaries and scrapbooks chronicle cruises and other travel taken by Hester Craig Flowers and her daughters, Shelby Flowers Ferris and Hester Flowers Faser, some documenting travel as older adults.
Kelley family legal and financial papers, 1878-1930 #05323, Subseries: "2.4. Other Papers, 1841-2007." Folder 54
Legal and financial papers of the Kelley family, related to the Flowers through two marriages. Contains a land survey from 1878 as well as several deeds and records of loans.
Newspaper clippings concerning Hester Craig Flowers, gardening, dogs, and trapshooting.
Composition book with copies of outgoing letters to family and friends of Seraphina Flowers. Topics include the death of her young son Neville, illnesses, school openings, family news, and local activities. Of particular note are letters that Seraphina wrote to federal officers, asking for leniency for her son Oliver and petitioning to see him in prison, and the letters she wrote to home while visiting Oliver at the Rock Island, Ill., prison. A letter written to her cousin in Boston toward the end of the Civil War describes her thoughts on how federal officers view southern women. The back of the composition book contains poems, thoughts, and short essays written in the same hand as the letters. Newspaper obituaries for various members of the Flowers family, including Seraphina, are pasted in the front of the book.
Includes notes from Shelby Flowers's talk on the Vicksburg Gardening Club, articles on gardening written by Hester Craig Flowers, pamphlets and programs for gardening club events, and a copy of the constitution of the garden clubs of Mississippi.
Flowers family creative writing, late 20th century #05323, Subseries: "2.4. Other Papers, 1841-2007." Folder 58
Creative writing projects of members of the Flowers family, mostly non-fiction recollections and mostly by Shelby Flowers Ferris.
Travel receipts, notes on books, school materials, wedding announcements and calling cards.
Papers include the correspondence of Shelby Flowers Ferris, especially letters from her son William R. Ferris Jr. (Bill Ferris), documenting life events, including births, deaths, weddings, and divorces; programs, flyers, and newsletters relating to the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi; correspondence regarding family history; and copies of published writings by and about Bill Ferris.
Letters received by Shelby Flowers Ferris from family members, especially her son William R. Ferris Jr. while he was attending Brooks School, Davidson College, and Northwestern University; while traveling abroad in Ireland and France; and while teaching at Yale University. Family letters chronicle life events, including births, deaths, weddings, and divorces.
Correspondence of Ferris family members, including letters to Mrs. E. B. Ferris, many from her daughter-in-law Shelby Flowers Ferris and her grandchildren.
Papers include programs, flyers, and newsletters relating to the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi; correspondence regarding family history; and copies of published writings by and about William R. Ferris Jr. (Bill Ferris), including essays, chapters in books, reviews, and book covers.
Papers collected by various members of the Flowers, Craig, and Ferris family while researching history of Brooks, Kelley, Nicholson, Michie, Watson, Gibbs, Jefferies, Edmiston, Biggs, Rabb, Luce (Luse), Swayze (Swazey), and Horton families. Papers chiefly consist of correspondence between interested family members and copies of the correspondence of their ancestors. Included are transcriptions of letters of Seraphina Flowers and letters from Hester and William Rabb to their daughter Matilda in the 1850s.
About 150 pages of a photocopied journal contain genealogical information for the Luse and Rabb families as well as records of daily activities. The dates in the journal range from 1837 to 1860. There are a few photocopied pages of recipes, some from printed books and some from handwritten notes.
Photocopies of correspondence written between 1919 and 1938 detail the relationship between the Craig family and Reverend Charles Diehl, D.D., president of Southwestern Presbyterian University in Clarksville, Tenn., from 1920 to 1935. Included with the correspondence are copies of obituaries for Robert E. Craig and William R. Craig and for Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Craig's infant son.
Other materials include family trees for the Flowers and Michie families; birth, death, and marriage records; information pulled from tombstones, land grants, and deeds; and obituaries. There is also information on Melville Weston Fuller, an orphan who was found and adopted by Uriah Goldsborough Flowers, and about Joseph Henry Bush, who painted portraits of Uriah and Elizabeth Watson Flowers.
Arrangement: by family name.
Pictures of the members of the Flowers family, including Uriah Flowers (1846-1890); Hester Craig Flowers; Hester Flowers Faser; Uriah Grey Flowers; Edward G. Flowers; Margaret Craig; Mollie Kelley; and Milton Jones, an employee of the Flowers family. There are photographs of portraits of Elizabeth Watson and Uriah Flowers, painted by Joseph Henry Bush. Other photographs document cruises and other travel; horses, cows, and other livestock; and Hester Craig Flower's garden and homes, including the Cherry Street house.
Image Folder P-5323/1-4
Photographs of various members of the Craig family, including Philip Craig, Hugh Craig, Hester Craig Flowers, Margaret Cunningham Craig, Margaret Henry Craig, Shelby Ferris, William R. Ferris, and the Maynards.
|Image Folder P-5323/5||
Photographs of the Craig family hunting dogs.
|Image Folder P-5323/6||
Photographs of various homes of the Craig family, including Robert E. Craig's home in New Orleans and the house on Cherry Street in Vicksburg, Miss.
|Image Folder P-5323/7|
|Image Folder P-5323/8||
Photographs of unidentified homes, vacations, Craig cotton business.
|Image Folder P-5323/9|
Image Folder P-5323/10-14
|Image Folder P-5323/15|
|Image Folder P-5323/16|
Image Folder P-5323/17-18
|Image Folder P-5323/19||
Photographs of scouts, buildings, monuments and historic sites
|Image Folder P-5323/20|
|Image Folder P-5323/21|
|Image Folder P-5323/22||
Photographs of damage to a cabin after a storm
|Special Format Image SF-5323/1||
Florence and Hester in front of Craig home in Yazoo City, Miss.
|Special Format Image SF-5323/2||
"Nelson's ship 'Victory'"
Papers include receipts from the Allen Cooperage Company in Nanachehaw, Miss., and booklets and pamphlets, chiefly relating to historic sites in Louisiana and Mississippi and gardening clubs.
Acquisitions Information: Acc. 100888
The addition includes a photograph album, 1940s-1950s, of Bill Ferris and Shelby Flowers Ferris, their honeymoon, farm, and children; a funeral book for Hester Flowers Faser (1916-1993); and a sketchbook, 1960s, of Vicksburg scenes.
Acquisitions Information: Acc. 101345
The addition includes Shelby Flowers Ferris's date books, 1970-2005, with scrapbook elements, such as invitations, menus, appointments, books read, newspaper clippings.
Acquisitions Information: Acc. 101800
The addition includes articles and print material related to William R. Ferris's career, some loose ephemera related to Mississippi, and a few family items such as family photographs, genealogical information, and printed emails and other correspondence.
Acquisitions Information: Acc. 102571
The addition includes correspondence, family history research, family photography, and professional work and records from th 20th century. Of note are letters received by Shelby Flowers Ferris from family and friends, especially from William R. Ferris, Sr., before and after their marriage. During their courtship Shelby Flowers Ferris attended Newcomb College in New Orleans, La. The letters cover her time in college, her wedding, and the birth of at least one of her children. There are also letters from Shelby Flowers Ferris and her sister Hester to their father, and Shelby Flowers Ferris's school notes. Other materials include letters to Hester Craig from Walldridge Taft, 1914-1916; Shelby Flowers Ferris's personal files, with family history research materials (one box arranged by Virginia Ferris) and correspondence, 2000-2014, as well as her unsorted papers; Grey Ferris scrapbooks and files, 1991-1998, documenting his political career in the Mississippi Senate and his campaigns for state senator and lieutenant governor; condolence letters regarding Grey Ferris's death, 2008; a scrapbook of Mary Shelby Gibbs Flowers, 1868-1892, in Vicksburg; family photographs, including an album of a trip to Mexico, 1935 (has been digitized but not uploaded; on locos in 05323 folder).
Letters from Shelby Flowers Ferris and Hester Flowers, 1928 #05323, Series: "7A. Family Papers, 1914-2014 (Addition of April 2016)." Folder 150
Letters written to their father while he was ill.
Shelby Flowers Ferris personal files #05323, Series: "7A. Family Papers, 1914-2014 (Addition of April 2016)." Box 32-34
Chiefly family history research materials. Shelby Flowers Ferris writings include poems and essays on Rose Hill History, art club, and throwing a Christmas party for teenagers. W. R. Ferris writings include soil conservation proposals
Shelby Flowers Ferris papers, 1990s-2014 #05323, Series: "7A. Family Papers, 1914-2014 (Addition of April 2016)." Box 35-36
Unsorted and unarranged.
Shelby Flowers Ferris correspondence, 2000-2014 #05323, Series: "7A. Family Papers, 1914-2014 (Addition of April 2016)." Box 37-38
Chiefly letters and greeting cards sent to Shelby Flowers Ferris.
Grey Ferris scrapbooks, 1991-1998 #05323, Series: "7A. Family Papers, 1914-2014 (Addition of April 2016)." Box 39
Political career in Mississippi Senate; material relating to campaigns for state senator and lieutenant governor.
|Oversize Volume SV-05323/3|
Acquisitions Information: Acc. 103531
Travel diaries and a few guidebooks from members of the Craig and Flowers families, early and mid-twentieth century. There are diaries from 1903 (to England, Scotland, and Ireland) and 1908, and the rest span the 1940s through 1960s. The diarists traveled widely. Places noted include locations in Europe, South America, and the Middle East, and a few locations in the United States and South Pacific. Also included are slide suitcases of travel photos, loose photographs from travel, notes and itineraries, print ephemera (menus, tickets, maps, brochures) from cruises, and postcards sent by Shelby Flowers Ferris to home
Processed by: Sarah Peterson and Nancy Kaiser, December 2007
Encoded by: Sarah Peterson and Nancy Kaiser, December 2007
Revisions by: Nancy Kaiser and Patrick Cullom, April 2019
Since August 2017, we have added ethnic identities for individuals and families represented in collections. To determine ethnic identity, we rely on self-identification; other information supplied to the repository by collection creators or sources; public records, press accounts, and secondary sources; and contextual information in the collection materials. Omissions of ethnic identities in finding aids created or updated after August 2017 are an indication of insufficient information to make an educated guess or an individual's preference for ethnicity to be excluded from description. When we have misidentified, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to Top