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Smith family papers

Smith Family Papers

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Finding aid for the Smith Family Papers


Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700

Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Smith family
Title: Smith Family Papers
Dates: 1832-1967
Quantity: 8.5 Linear feet
Abstract:The papers consist of letters, an autobiography, various publications, photographs, and other materials pertaining to the Smith family.
Identification: MSS.02.20
Language: English


The collection is arranged into three series: Series I, Early Correspondence and Materials; Series II, Nannie Strong Chamberlain Materials; Series III, Various Family Materials. The items in Series I are grouped by individual and arranged chronologically. In the case of correspondence, the files are sorted by recipient. Series II is composed of materials relating to Nannie Strong Chamberlain, daughter of Felix and Annie Maurice Smith Strong, is arranged chronologically. Series III contains various additional items relating to the family such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, genealogy, and photographs.

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of letters, an autobiography, various publications, photographs, and other materials pertaining to the Smith family. The bulk of the collection is 19th century correspondence among various family members. Colonel Smith was a devout Methodist, and a great deal of information can be gleaned from the materials about the denomination. The collection also covers such topics as education, early reminiscences, travel and description, slavery, economic conditions, the Civil War, and agriculture. Additional items within the papers include genealogical information, financial notes and receipts, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia.

Biographical Note

In 1843, Colonel Maurice Smith journeyed from Fayette County, Tennessee, to Dallas County, Arkansas, with the hope of starting a new life for his family. Col. Smith, a native of Caswell County, North Carolina, ventured into the recently created state with Dr. W. B. Langley and Cornelia (Smith) Langley, his son-in-law and daughter, and their overseers and slaves. In October, the group arrived at the hamlet of Tulip. A new home was soon built, and Smith subsequently returned to Tennessee, where he spent the following year disposing of his lands and preparing his family for the movement to Arkansas. In October 1844, the entire family made the arduous trip westward and soon settled into life at "The Athens of Arkansas." Thus began the enduring legacy of one Arkansas family. According to family genealogical information found within these papers, Colonel Smith was descended from a prominent North Carolina family, which had previously lived in Virginia. Colonel Smith's first wife, Martha Williams Hayes, had two children, Cornelia (1823-97), and Samuel Gallatin (Gally) Smith (1826-63), before her early demise. By his second wife, Clarissa (Clara) Harlowe Reid (1806-74), whom he wed in 1830, Colonel Smith had several children: Elizabeth Keziah (Betty) Smith (1831-1913), who was married to Chesley Page Patterson Barbee (1821-51), a University of North Carolina graduate and a lawyer; Annie Maurice Smith (1839-94), who was married to Felix Strong of Clark County; she was educated at Tulip, the Science Hill Female Academy in Shelbyville, Kentucky, and later taught music at Malvern, Arkansas; Lockie Lenora Smith (1841-1925), who was married to her kinsman, William Hargrove Smith, and lived at Malvern; Olin Durbin Smith (1844-79), unmarried, farmer and later merchant at Malvern; Asbury Warren Smith (1847-1927), who was married to a young widow and lived in Little Rock.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Country life -- Arkansas and History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Dallas County (Ark.)
Tulip (Ark.)
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating; in-house use only.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Smith Family Records, MSS 02-20, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Donated by Anne Maurice Presley, October 4, 2002

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