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Harry Stillwell Edwards Collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Collection number: MS-51

Scope and Contents

Author and journalist Harry Stillwell Edwards was born in Macon, Georgia.

His formal education was cut short by the Civil War, but he read extensively in the Library of Congress while working as a clerk in the U. S. Treasury.

He returned home to Macon in 1874, studied law at Mercer University, and was admitted to the bar, but never actively practiced due to his passion for writing. He published several short stories and novels. He eventually became editor and owner of the the "Macon Telegraph."

The Harry Stillwell Edwards collection deals primarily with his projects and literary works.  The literary works consist of 19 books on-shelf in Special Collections and one in-box. The books and stories all display similar themes: a simple southerner, the rustic south, and typically a humorous misunderstanding.  However the collection also contains several newspaper articles, biographical content, and documentation of his involvement with the creation and minting of the Stone Mountain half dollar, which is kept in the director's office.

Harmful Content Policy: Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collection’s collection houses materials collected to elucidate the past. We recognize that users may encounter some items within these collections that contain offensive language, viewpoints, imagery or other forms of objectionable content. Such materials document the past and should be viewed within the context of their original time period. Providing online access to these historical materials does not endorse any attitudes, prejudices, or behaviors depicted therein. Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections is committed to upholding the principle of equal and free access to unaltered historical information. (based upon the statement for the Georgia Public Library Service on harmful content)


  • 1897-1967
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1928, 1966, 1967
  • Acquired: 1999-12-26


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.


1.00 Boxes



Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged as follows:

Literary Works:

The story that is contained in the box is entitled The Tenth Generation.  It is the story of a man looking for a way to satisfy the financial needs of his descendant 10 generations removed.  Like most of his works, it was published by the J. W. Burke Company of Macon, Georgia in 1928.  The on-shelf collection begins with The Adventures of a Parrot (Burke, c1920) which features one of Edwards’ interesting and reoccurring characters, Isam.  The Answer (Burke, 19--) is a tale of a poor Irishman who finds a Hebrew savior.  The Blue Hen’s Chicken (Burke 1927) is the story of a convict who tells his story of conviction and escape to the governor.  Eneas Africanus (Burke1920, 1954 - two copies) documents the journey of Eneas Tommey.  Eneas, a former slave of George E. Tommey, displays his faithfulness after being sent throughout the south in search of “Tommeysville,” only to return home many years later with a family, a champion race horse, and George Tommey’s family treasures. Eneas Africanus, Defendant (Burke, 1920) again features Eneas.  In this story, Eneas is on trail at his church for making his wife work on Sunday.  His Defense: and Other Stories (The Century Company, 1899) contains several short stories: “His Defense”, “William Marsdale’s Awakening,” “Isam and the Major,” “The Hard Trigger,” “Mas’ Craffud’s Freedom,” “The Woodhaven Goat,” “Captain Isam,” “The Gum Swamp Debate,” and “Charley and the Possum.”  How Sal Came Though (Burke, 1920) is the story of the unfaithfulness of Sal’s fiancé Alec.  Isam’s Spectacles (Burke, 1920) is another of Isam’s tales.  Sons and Fathers (1937, Brown Publishing Company - 2 copies) is a mystery novel.   One copy is signed by the author.  Two Runaways and Other Stories (Century,1900,1922 - two copies) contains several short stories: “Two Runaways,” “Elder Brown’s Backslide,” “An Idyl of Sinkin’ Mount’in,” “Ole Miss and Sweetheart,” “Sister Todhunter’s Heart,” “De Valley an’ de Shadder,” “Minc,” “A Plot,” “A Boy Inventor,” and “Tom’s Strategy”.  “The Woodhaven Goat” (1943) is another funny story of Isam, who confronts a swarm of bees.  Other short stories on collection are: Just Sweethearts (1920), Little Legends of the Land (1930), Madelon Passes, and Mam’selle Delphine; A story of Christmas (1921, 1922).  Edwards’ novel, Marbeau Cousins (1897), and poem, On the Mount (1918), are also included.  Also included is a bound program from a memorial dinner celebrating the life of Harry Stillwell Edwards dated April 22, 1935.

Newspaper Articles and letters:

One of the Articles contain information on the value of a 1925 Stone Mountain Half Dollar (circulated and uncirculated) from 5/9/1982.  The other article tells of a celebration of Edwards’ 111th birthday at King Fisher Cabin, which has been relocated to Wesleyan College (April 1966).  Also included is a note stating that an article on Kingfisher Cabin has been relocated to mapcase W6-MC-05-5 and a letter from Raymond A. Cook of VSC, dated 11/29/1967, thanking Mrs. A. J. Strickland for donating her collection.

Biographical Content:

There are two brief biographies in the box.  One is typed and the other is a computer printout.  The typewriter print details how VSC obtained the collection and the computer printout includes a list of poems, stories, and writings.

Stone Mountain Half Dollar:

There is a computer printout of the history of the 1925 Stone Mountain Half Dollar.  The coin is contained in a plastic sheath for protection and observation. There is a copy of a letter written by Edwards to Mr. Randolph explaining his involvement with the coin.

Source of Acquisition

Trail of letters within the library about a past donation, tracking down collection

Method of Acquisition

Collection was donated years before this by a relative Jean Melton.  The 1999 documents establish the donor and the collection within Odum Library

Appraisal Information

A folder containing correspondence about the collection, cataloged lists of books and an article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution about Edwards is in the file cabinet of the Archives Director.

Accruals and Additions

Maurice and Bonnie Ewing sent a signed copy of Eneas Africannus to us Jan 12, 2018 as a donation. Letter with background accompanies the book.

Archon Finding Aid Title
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04-15: Revised for DACS compliance by Douglas Carlson.

Repository Details

Part of the Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Valdosta State University Archives, Odum Library
1500 N. Patterson St.
Valdosta GA 30601 United States
229-259-5055 (Fax)