From Special Collections & Institutional Archives:

This month I’ll be highlighting one of our recently processed collections, MSS 401, the Walker family papers. The Walker family was a prominent Augusta family during the 18th and 19th centuries, and the Walker family papers document the descendants of Freeman Walker (1780-1827), who was a U.S. senator and lawyer who moved to Augusta, Georgia in 1797. He was a member of the Georgia House of Representatives from 1807 to 1811 and was mayor of August in 1818, 1819, and again in 1823. Freeman Walker’s son, William H.T. Walker, served in the Civil War as a confederate major general.

The majority of the Walker family papers consists of records of Hugh McLean Walker (1882-1962), a Lieutenant Commander of the U.S. Navy, and the grandson of William H.T. Walker.

Given that it’s Valentine’s Day, I’ll point out that one of the highlights of the collection are the love letters that Hugh Walker wrote to his mistress (who later became his second wife), Margie Belle Shackleford during the 1920s. The collection includes correspondence following their marriage, well into the 1940s. These letters are particularly scandalous when you consider that both Hugh and Margie were married to different respective spouses at the time. During their affair, Hugh’s first wife, Elsie, was suffering from a long-term illness, and eventually found out about the affair between the two. Hugh would go on to marry Margie following his first wife’s death in 1925, while Margie divorced her first husband in order to marry Hugh.


To give you a feel for the flavor of the letters, I’ll include just the first few lines of one of the letters, dated 1924:

“My Darling– As you said this morning, I now say to you—I am numb, and paralyzed as to what has happened. I saw you go away and knew my heart was & is still breaking. Really the whole affair is more like a dream than any happening in my life.”

If you’d like to check out these letters, or any of the other materials in the collection, you can consult the finding aid on campus here, or off campus here, and make a visit to Special Collections.

-Kara Flynn, Special Collections Librarian

From Historical Collections & Archives:

The Student Lecture Notebooks (MSS020) is an assortment of handwritten notes recorded by students. Eighteen notebooks are contained in this manuscript collection and the majority of the notebooks belonged to Medical College of Georgia students. A few the notebooks are lecture notes recorded by students at other medical schools, such as Dr. Ignatius P. Garvin’s notebook from when he was a student at the University of Pennsylvania, 1822-1823. Dr. Garvin later joined the faculty at MCG and served as the dean from 1857-1861.

J.W.Bowdoin.lecturenotes.1852 5

Dr. Garvin’s notebook is the oldest one in the collection while the 1937-1938 pathology notebook of Dr. Katherine Rawls, MCG Class of 1940, is the most recent one. The collection includes Dr. Edgar Pund’s class pathology notebook. Dr. Pund graduated from MCG in 1918 and later became chair of the Pathology Department before serving as the institution’s president from 1953-1958.

More information about this collection can be found in its finding aid. Five of the 19th century notebooks have been digitized and are available to view and download in Scholarly Commons:

-Renée Sharrock, Curator