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Shorter and Fontaine family papers

Identifier: ahc.MSS465f

Scope and Content

This collection consists of documents, the bulk of which are associated with the Shorter family. It includes slave bills of sale for a woman, Sarah; a man, Jerry; a man, Davy (a blacksmith); a man, Dave; and a man, Lewis. The Shorter family, especially Mary E. Shorter, was heavily involved with purchasing land so the papers also include bills of sale and deeds for property primarily in Russell County, Alabama, but also in Muscogee and Bibb Counties, Georgia. There is also a land survey in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Other documents include a letter, dated April 24, 1864, to George Hargraves from "M. Miaron," Naval Rendezvous, Richmond, Virginia, informing him that his request for a midshipman post in the Confederate Navy for his nephew, Mr. Shorter, was declined due to defective eyesight. The letter includes a mention of U.S. Major General Ambrose Burnside landing with troops in Yorktown for "their last great effort." Papers pertaining to the Fontaine family include a letter to Mary Fontaine; a bill of sale for dry goods; and copies of Benjamin B. Fontaine's pardon by President Andrew Johnson and documents associated with it.


  • 1827-1869


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

James H. Shorter, Sr. (died after 1846) of Lawrence County, Kentucky, married Elizabeth Hargraves, sister of George Hargraves of Russell County, Alabama. Their children were Mariah T. (b. 1840); Charles S. (b. 1842); James H., Jr. (b. 1844); and Mary Elizabeth Shorter (b. 1846). The family moved to Muscogee County, Georgia, during the Civil War. John Fontaine, Sr. (1792-1866) married Mary Ann Stewart (1808-1852). Their children were Henrietta (1827-1857); Mary Elizabeth (b.1835); Benjamin Burton (1838-1870); Theophilus (1842-1896); Francis (1844-1901); and George H. (1850-1904). Benjamin Burton Fontaine married Mary Elizabeth Shorter in 1868, and they had two daughters Mary (1871-1935) and Bennie Burton (1870-1952). Additional biographical information about the Fontaine and Shorter families has not been determined.


1 folder(s)



Related Archival Materials

MSS 307f, James Shorter, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.


America's Turning Point: Documenting the Civil War Experience in Georgia received support from a Digitizing Historical Records grant awarded to the Atlanta History Center, Georgia Historical Society, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Digital Library of Georgia by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Description Control

This collection was re-processed in 2012.
Shorter and Fontaine Family papers
Paul Crater
August 2012
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305