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Collection Number: 01470

Collection Title: James McFadden Gaston Papers, 1852-1946

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Size About 400 items (6.0 linear feet)
Abstract James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903), Confederate surgeon and physician from South Carolina, left the United States immediately after the Civil War and settled his family in Brazil where he practiced medicine in the city of Campinas. After almost two decades, Gaston returned with some family members to Atlanta, Ga., and re-entered American medical life, teaching at Southern Medical College, publishing articles, and conducting research. Gaston's son, James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), was also a physician and surgeon. From 1908 until 1936, the younger Gaston and his wife, Annie Bunn Gay Gaston, worked as a medical missionaries in Laichowfu, China, under the auspices of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In 1936, they returned to the United States and retired in Deland, Fla., where Gaston was involved in local church activities, especially the No Liquor League. Materials relating to James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903) date from 1852 to the 1890s and include letters to his wife, Susan Greening Brumby, detailing his experiences in the Civil War and in Brazil; a journal kept during his initial visit to Brazil; several manuscripts of novels about the antebellum American South; and other papers, including Brazilian Masonic certificates, lecture notes, broadsides advertising the Southern Medical College, and newspaper clippings. Materials relating to James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946) include letters about his work in China, his business affairs, and Gaston family history; an unpublished biography of his father; a series of journals documenting his boyhood in Brazil through retirement in Florida; and other papers, including religious pamphlets. Also included are a few photographs of Gaston family members and their friends.
Creator Gaston, James McFadden, 1824-1903.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the James McFadden Gaston Papers #1470, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (filmed June 2003) available.
  • Reel 1: folders 1-14
  • Reel 2: folders 15-25
  • Reel 3: folders 26-48
  • Reel 4: folders 49-73
  • Reel 5: folders 74-95
  • Reel 6: folders 96-129
  • Reel 7: folders 130-159
  • Reel 8: folders 160-187; P-1470/1
Provenance
Received from J. Gaston Gay of Atlanta, Ga., in July 1948, and from Annie B. Gay Gaston of Deland, Fla., in October 1950.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903) was a Confederate surgeon and physician from South Carolina. He organized medical services while serving as Chief Surgeon of South Carolina Forces and later as Divisional Surgeon General of the South Carolina Volunteers during campaigns in Virginia and Pennsylvania, which included the battles of Manassas and Gettysburg. Immediately after the conclusion of the Civil War, Gaston left the United States and settled his family in Brazil where he practiced medicine in the city of Campinas. After almost two decades, Gaston returned with some of his family to Atlanta, Ga., where he successfully re-entered American medical life, teaching at the Southern Medical College, publishing articles, and carrying out research. He died in 1903.

Gaston's son and namesake, James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), was also a physician and surgeon. Little is known about his practice of medicine in the United States beyond the fact that he worked with his father in private practice as well as at the Southern Medical College. From 1908 until 1936, under the aegis of the Southern Baptist Convention's Foreign Mission Board in Richmond, Va., the younger Gaston and his wife, Annie Bunn Gay Gaston, worked as medical missionaries in Laichowfu, China, at the Mayfield-Tyzzer and Kathleen Mallory hospitals. In 1936, he and his wife returned to the United States and retired in Deland, Fla., where he was involved in local church activities, especially the No Liquor League. He died in 1946.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The materials chiefly relate to physician James McFadden Gaston (1868-1903) and his son, physician and missionary James McFadden (1868-1946). They include letters; manuscript writings; daily journals; and a wide variety of other documents, among which are Brazilian Masonic certificates, religious pamphlets, broadsheets advertising the Southern Medical College in Atlanta, Ga., and newspaper clippings.

Letters dated between 1852 and 1865 were primarily written by James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903) to Susan Greening Brumby, who was to become his wife. Pre-Civil War letters dwell on local affairs in South Carolina, religious themes, and the doctor's professional activities and travel. Letters written while Gaston served in the Confederate Army discuss his role in organizing medical services after a number of battles, including Manassas, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga. There are also discussions of the deaths of his brothers at the Battle of Seven Pines, military life among officers, and family matters.

Between 1865 and 1883, Gaston and his family lived in Brazil. There are a number of letters that Gaston wrote to family members in South Carolina while scouting out Brazil, but most letters from this period reflect family matters, including arrangements that were made for the education of the Gaston children.

In 1883, Gaston and his family returned to the United States and settled in Atlanta, Ga. Letters from the 1880s and 1890s reflect Gaston's re-entry into American medical life.

Beginning in 1908, there are reports and letters of James McFadden Gaston's (1868-1946) as a medical missionary in Laichowfu, China, at the Mayfield-Tyzzer Hospital and Kathleen Mallory Hospital. Among these are a number of letters from a Chinese friend and tax official discussing his impressions of Christianity and the Bible. Gaston and his wife, Annie Bunn Gay Gaston, retired to Florida in 1936, and the letters after this date are chiefly concerned with Gaston family history and genealogy.

Writings include unpublished copies of the elder Gaston's novel about the antebellum American South entitled, "The Hoiden's Triumph: Virtus in Arduis" and fragments of a similarly themed work labeled "The New Regime." The younger Gaston's works are primarily about his father and include an unpublished biography entitled "A Pathfinder of Yesterday: James McFadden Gaston, Patriot...Explorer...Scientist" and an article entitled "The Beginning of a War that Succeeded," on the role his father played in the effort to eradicate yellow fever.

Journals of James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903) record his initial visit to Brazil, 1865-1866, to evaluate the suitability of Brazil as a new home. Also included is a notebook that contains information regarding the doctor's medical practice in the early 1880s.

Journals kept by James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946) are extensive, but sporadic. Items from the 1870s and early 1880s were created by Gaston as a boy living in Campinas, Province of Sao Paulo, Brazil. One journal contains entries from 1882-1883 and 1928-1935 when Gaston was a medical missionary in China. The journal from around 1916 contains details about his medical practice. Most of these journals, however, were written by Gaston during his later years in Deland, Fla. These volumes, 1938 until his death in 1946, record Gaston's routine activities, which largely consisted of reading, listening to the radio, and attending to church-related business. The volumes from 1943 contain details of his activities in support of the No Liquor League.

Also included are a few photographs of Gaston family members and their friends.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Letters and Other Papers, 1852-1945.

About 100 items.

Chiefly personal and business letters of James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903) and James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946). There are also a few other documents, including Brazilian Masonic certificates, religious pamphlets, broadsides advertising the Southern Medical College, and newspaper clippings.

Letters, 1852-1865, were primarily written by James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903) to Susan Greening Brumby, who was to become his wife. Pre-Civil War letters dwell on local affairs in South Carolina, religious themes, and the doctor's professional activities and travel. Letters he wrote while serving in the Army of the Confederate States of America discuss the role he played in organizing emergency medical services after a number of battles including Manassas, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga. He also wrote about the deaths of his brothers at the Battle of Seven Pines, military life among officers, and general family concerns.

Between 1866 and 1883, James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903) and his family lived in Brazil. There are a number of early letters home to South Carolina that Gaston wrote while scouting out Brazil, as well as some letters that he wrote to others within Brazil about possible employment and business concerns. Most letters from this period, however, reflect a variety of family matters, especially arrangements that were made for the education of the Gaston children.

Letters from the 1880s and 1890s document Gaston's re-entry into American medical life, incluidng mention of professional publications, teaching duties, and experiments.

Beginning in 1912, there are reports, as well as personal and business letters, reflecting the career of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946) as a medical missionary in Laichowfu, China, at the Mayfield-Tyzzer Hospital and the Kathleen Mallory Hospital. There are a number of letters from a Chinese friend and tax official discussing his impressions of Christianity and the Bible. Business letters relate to Gaston's real estate and financial affairs in Atlanta, Ga.

Letters from the 1930s and 1940s are chiefly concerned with Gaston family history, genealogy, and work on a biography of James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903).

Folder 1

Letters, 1852-1863 #01470, Series: "1. Letters and Other Papers, 1852-1945." Folder 1

Folder 2

Letters, 1865-1878 #01470, Series: "1. Letters and Other Papers, 1852-1945." Folder 2

Folder 3

Letters, 1880-1889 #01470, Series: "1. Letters and Other Papers, 1852-1945." Folder 3

Folder 4

Letters and other papers, 1892-1899 #01470, Series: "1. Letters and Other Papers, 1852-1945." Folder 4

Folder 5

Letters and other papers, 1902-1928 #01470, Series: "1. Letters and Other Papers, 1852-1945." Folder 5

Folder 6

Letters and other papers, 1932-1933 #01470, Series: "1. Letters and Other Papers, 1852-1945." Folder 6

Folder 7

Letters and other papers, 1934-1945 #01470, Series: "1. Letters and Other Papers, 1852-1945." Folder 7

Folder 8

Letters and other papers, undated #01470, Series: "1. Letters and Other Papers, 1852-1945." Folder 8

Folder 9

Brazilian Masonic certificates, 1873 #01470, Series: "1. Letters and Other Papers, 1852-1945." Folder 9

Folder 10

Pamphlets and newspaper clippings #01470, Series: "1. Letters and Other Papers, 1852-1945." Folder 10

Folder 11

United States passport, 1931 #01470, Series: "1. Letters and Other Papers, 1852-1945." Folder 11

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Original Manuscripts and Research Items, 1870s-1930s.

About 20 items.

Manuscript versions of original works by James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903) and his son, James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946). The elder Gaston's works consist of a novel about the ante-bellum American South entitled "The Hoiden's Triumph: Virtus in Arduis" and fragments of a similarly themed fictional work labeled "The New Regime."

The majority of the younger Gaston's works are about his father. These works include a manuscript of an unpublished biography about his father entitled "A Pathfinder of Yesterday: James McFadden Gaston, Patriot...Explorer...Scientist" and an article entitled "The Beginning of a War that Succeeded," about the role his father played in the worldwide effort to eradicate yellow fever. Also included is an article about his surgical experiences treating gunshot wounds in the United States and China.

There is also a collection of typescript copies of published encyclopedia-like biographical entries about James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903).

Folder 12-14

Folder 12

Folder 13

Folder 14

"The Hoiden's Triumph: Virtus in Arduis" by James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903), handwritten manuscript #01470, Series: "2. Original Manuscripts and Research Items, 1870s-1930s." Folder 12-14

Folder 15-16

Folder 15

Folder 16

"The Hoiden's Triumph: Virtus in Arduis" by James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903), typescript copy #01470, Series: "2. Original Manuscripts and Research Items, 1870s-1930s." Folder 15-16

Folder 17

"The New Regime" by James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903), handwritten manuscript #01470, Series: "2. Original Manuscripts and Research Items, 1870s-1930s." Folder 17

Folder 18-20

Folder 18

Folder 19

Folder 20

"A Pathfinder of Yesterday: James McFadden Gaston, Patriot...Explorer...Scientist" by James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), typescript copy #01470, Series: "2. Original Manuscripts and Research Items, 1870s-1930s." Folder 18-20

Folder 21

Typescript copies of articles by James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946) #01470, Series: "2. Original Manuscripts and Research Items, 1870s-1930s." Folder 21

Folder 22

Typescript copies of published biographical articles about James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903) #01470, Series: "2. Original Manuscripts and Research Items, 1870s-1930s." Folder 22

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Journals and Notebooks, 1865-1946.

About 160 items.

Journals and notebooks kept by James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903) and his son, James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946).

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.1. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903), 1865-1883.

3 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Journals kept by James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903). Included is a journal recording his initial visit to Brazil, 1865-1866. This was a preliminary journey to evaluate the suitability of Brazil as a new home for his family and other southerners. In 1867, Gaston published selections from this journal as Hunting a Home in Brazil: The Agricultural Resources and other Characteristics of the Country. Also, the Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants . Also included is a notebook embossed with the title Physician's Visiting List, 1878. It contains numerous enclosures and relates chiefly to the doctor's medical practice in the early 1880s.

Folder 23-24

Folder 23

Folder 24

Journal of trip to Brazil, 1865-1866 #01470, Subseries: "3.1. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903), 1865-1883." Folder 23-24

Folder 25

Physician's Visiting List with enclosures, ca. 1883 #01470, Subseries: "3.1. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903), 1865-1883." Folder 25

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946.

157 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Journals kept by James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946). The journals and scrapbook from the 1870s and early 1880s were created by Gaston as a boy living in Campinas, Province of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The journal in folder 26 contains entries from 1882-1883 and from 1928-1935 when Gaston was a medical missionary in China. The journal from around 1916 contains details about his medical practice. Most of these journals, however, were kept during his later years in Deland, Fla. These volumes, 1938 until his death in 1946, record Gaston's routine activities, which largely consisted of reading, listening to the radio, and attending to church-related business. The volumes from 1943 contain details of his activities in support of the No Liquor League.

Folder 26

Journal, 1882-1883 and 1928-1935 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 26

Folder 27

Journal and scrapbook with insertions, 1870s-1880s #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 27

Folder 28

Hopeville Seminary attendance and grade book, 1890-1891 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 28

Folder 29

French lessons and journal, 1877 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 29

Folder 30

Exercise book and journal, 1877 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 30

Folder 31

Notebook of medical affairs, ca. 1916 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 31

Folder 32

Journal, 1938 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 32

Folder 33-44

Folder 33

Folder 34

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Folder 44

Journals, 1939 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 33-44

Folder 45-55

Folder 45

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Folder 55

Journals, 1940 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 45-55

Folder 56-63

Folder 56

Folder 57

Folder 58

Folder 59

Folder 60

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Folder 62

Folder 63

Journals, 1941 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 56-63

Folder 64-80

Folder 64

Folder 65

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Folder 80

Journals, 1942 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 64-80

Folder 81-117

Folder 81

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Folder 117

Journals,1943 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 81-117

Folder 118-146

Folder 118

Folder 119

Folder 120

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Folder 146

Journals, 1944 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 118-146

Folder 147-171

Folder 147

Folder 148

Folder 149

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Folder 171

Journals, 1945 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 147-171

Folder 172-187

Folder 172

Folder 173

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Folder 187

Journals, 1946 #01470, Subseries: "3.2. Journals and Notebooks of James McFadden Gaston (1868-1946), 1882-1946." Folder 172-187

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Photographs, 1860s-1930s.

6 items.

Photographs of Jane Brown Gaston, the mother of James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903); Susan Greening Brumby Gaston (1830-1904), the wife of James McFadden Gaston (1824-1903); an unknown man, erroneously identified as James McFadden Gaston; the Gaston family, undated 20th century; and James McFadden Gaston's gravestone, undated 20th century. There is also an 1897 photograph of an unidentified family in Bahia, Brazil.

Folder 1/P-1470

Photographs #01470, Series: "4. Photographs, 1860s-1930s." Folder 1/P-1470

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Items separated include photographs (P-1470).

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Processing Information

This collection includes materials that were formerly identified as the James McFadden Gaston Biography (#1469).

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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