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Hargrave Family papers

Identifier: LH-0014

Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of original letters, transcript copies and photocopies of original letters from the Hargrave family of Carroll County, Georgia. The bulk of the letters were written by or to Fannie Hargrave Brannan and her daughter, Julia Brannan Ivey. The majority of Fannie's letters were written in the 1860s, and they give insight into everyday life during the Civil War and Reconstruction. The majority of Julia Ivey's letters were written in the 1940s as she attempted to learn more about her family's history. The genealogy compiled by Julia and Graves Ivey, the donor of the collection, is included in the collection. The collection also contains a history of the Ku Klux Klan, original photographs, copies of photographs, and two daguerreotypes of family members.

This collection consists of original letters and photographs, as well as copies of both, from the Hargrave family of Carroll County, Georgia. Bright Williamson Hargrave was one of the wealthiest men in the county before the Civil War, but he was killed soon after Georgia seceded. His children were scattered across Georgia, with his eldest daughter Fannie Franklin Hargrave living with guardians before marrying a Confederate officer. The majority of letters in the collection was written to her and details the major events in her life. She was widowed in July 1864, less than a year after marriage to James N. Carson. Their child was born after his death, but he died when only nine months old. She remarried in November 1865 to Hiram K. Brannan, and they had three children together. One of these, Julia Brannan Ivey, also has letters in the collection. It was she who began copying her mother's letters and attempting to piece together her family history.


  • bulk 1858-1949


Conditions Governing Access note

Open to all users; no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use note

As stipulated by U.S. copyright laws

Biographical/Historical note

Fannie Franklin Hargrave was born May 17, 1843 in Villa Rica, Georgia to Bright Williamson Hargrave and Mary Ann Emily Hargrave. Her father was born January 20, 1809 in Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina and orphaned in his childhood. He grew up with his sister and her husband but ran away to Georgia at the age of twelve. His cousin George Prickett deeded him some land, and Hargrave soon began adding to it. By 1832 he was in Carroll County, Georgia, as evidenced by a deed he witnessed there. He married the widowed Mary Ann Emily (Schofield) Ford in 1839, whose one-year-old daughter Olivia Eliza Ford was from her previous marriage. Together they had twelve children: Frederick Hargrave, Fannie Franklin Hargrave, Nellie Overtaker Hargrave, Frederick Clopton Hargrave, Hance Stephens Hargrave, Ramath Rice Hargrave, Thornton Burke Hargrave, Hannah H. Hargrave, William Monroe Hargrave, Savannah Hargrave (1), Savannah Hargrave (2), and Flora Hargrave.

Hargrave was a planter, slave owner, and a stockholder in the gold mines near Villa Rica, Georgia; by the time of the Civil War, he was one of the wealthiest men in the county. On January 2, 1861, he was elected along with Allen Rowe and Jim Martin to represent Carroll County in Georgia's Secession Convention. All three were opposed to secession; however, Hargrave signed the ordinance for secession, and each man supported the Confederacy once the fighting began. Hargrave was killed by his step-daughter's husband, Beard Williams, in May 1861, shortly after his return from the convention. It is not clear whether his murder was politically inspired or due to a family quarrel.

Hargrave's plantation was left in the care of Ed Holland, but the property was sold for Confederate money, and it is unknown what happened to his shares in the gold mine. His widow took the seven remaining children to Atlanta after his death; however, she contracted pneumonia while nursing six children (who were all sick with the measles) and died the next year. The family was broken apart, with the older boys joining the Confederate army and their grandmother, Mrs. Schofield, keeping the younger children. Fannie lived with two guardians: Judge Long in Carrollton, Georgia and David Clopton in Van Wert, Georgia. She lost touch with several of her siblings during this time and did not find William (photographs of whom are included in the collection) until they were both elderly.

Fannie married James N. Carson in late 1863 or early 1864. He was a commissariat in the Confederate army and was purchasing supplies in Cedartown, Georgia when the town was raided by Union soldiers on July 3, 1864. These soldiers are identified as black in one letter and "bushwackers" in another. Carson attempted to leave through the backyard of the house in which he was boarding, but the soldiers found him and shot him. He died a half hour later from his injuries, and his belongings were eventually returned to Fannie. She was pregnant with their first child at the time of his death, and when the child was born, she named her son after his father. However, James Carson Jr. (referred to as "Jimmy" in letters) died nine months later.

During the war, Fannie continually moved south in order to avoid Sherman's soldiers. She had $6,000 worth of gold from her husband that she kept in a stocking attached to a belt around her waist or hidden in the bottom of her trunk. In October 1865, Fannie moved to Pulaski, Tennessee to look after her late husband's business interests and stay with his family. A month later, on November 26, 1865, she married Carson's business partner and second cousin, Hiram King Brannan.

In the following years, Fannie attempted to locate various members of her family and, with the help of her brother Hance, retrieve her father's lost estate. Since she lived in Pulaski, she remembered the beginnings of the Ku Klux Klan (as a social club, according to Fannie) and helped make their robes and hoods. After her second husband's death, Fannie went to live with her daughter Julia Brannan Ivey in Bessemer, Alabama. Information in the family histories collected by Julia Brannan Ivey and Graves Ivey give no exact date of death, but declare that Fannie died in Bessemer, Alabama and was buried in Pulaski, Tennessee; however, a death certificate found online ( says a Fannie F. Brannan died June 29, 1918 in Logan, Kentucky and was buried in Pulaski, Tennessee.


0.83 Linear feet (2 boxes)




This collection consists of original letters and photographs, as well as copies of both, from the Hargrave family of Carroll County, Georgia.

Arrangement note

Arranged by record type.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Collection received from Graves Ivey, great-grandson of Fannie Franklin Hargrave, November 15, 1999.

Related Archival Materials note

Benjamin Mandeville Long Papers, LH-0010.
Guide to the Hargrave Family Papers LH-0014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States