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Collection Number: 04478

Collection Title: Nisbet and Marye Family Papers, 1874-1925, 2003

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Size 400 items (3.0 linear feet)
Abstract John Nisbet (1841-1917) worked for most of his life as a cotton factor in Savannah, Ga. In 1870, he married Virginia Lord King (1837-1901), daughter of planter and Whig politician T. Butler King (1800-1864). By the end of the 1870s, John and Virginia Nisbet had at least five children: Jack, Marie, Florence, Nanni, and Lordie. During the Spanish American War, Florence Nisbet met Philip Thornton Marye, an officer from Newport News, Va., stationed in Savannah. Married in January 1900, Philip and Florence Marye had at least one child, John Nisbet Marye. By 1917, the Maryes were living in Atlanta, where Philip was an architect. The collection includes correspondence of the John Nisbet family of Savannah and Marietta, Ga., and of the Philip Thornton Marye family of Newport News, Va., and Atlanta, Ga. It documents the business and domestic life of these families, but particularly business activities of Savannah cotton factor John Nisbet in the 1870s; the education of Florence Nisbet Marye while traveling in Europe, 1889-1890, and at St. Timothy's School in Catonsville, Md., early 1890s; that of Jack Marye at the University of Virginia in the early 1890s; the courtship of Florence by Philip Marye during the Spanish American War; Philip's movements as commander of the Third Army Motorpool of the American Expeditionary Force, 1918-1919; and the activities of their son, John Nisbet Marye, at summer camp in New Hampshire and at Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry, Va., 1918-1919. Also included are letters from Nanni Nisbet in Germany reporting on the dislocation of German society after World War I and a few school reports, receipts, and genealogical charts.
Creator Nisbet family.



Marye family.
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 Nisbet and Marye Family Papers #4478, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Provenance
Gift of Alexander Heard of Chapel Hill, N.C., in July 1955, and of Edwin R. MacKethan in September 2003 (Acc. 99656).
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

Born in Danzig (now Gdansk), West Prussia, the son of Christopher and Marianne von Boehm Nisbet, John Nisbet (1841-1917) worked for most of his life as a cotton factor in Savannah, Ga. In 1870, he married Virginia Lord King (1837-1901), whose father, Thomas Butler King (1800-1864), had been a prominent antebellum planter and Whig politician from St. Simon's Island, Ga. By the end of the 1870s, John and Virginia Nisbet had at least five children: Jack, Marie, Florence, Nanni, and Lordie.

During the Spanish American War, Florence Nisbet met Philip Thornton Marye, a young officer from Newport News, Va., who was then stationed in Savannah. Married in January 1900, Philip and Florence Marye had at least one child, John Nisbet Marye. By 1917, the Maryes were living in Atlanta, where Philip was an architect. In 1918 and 1919, Philip Marye served in the American Expeditionary Force in France and Germany.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence and other materials relating to the Nisbet family of Savannah, Ga., and Marietta, Ga., and the Marye family of Newport News, Va., and Atlanta, Ga. Family letters dealing with everyday matters form the bulk of the documents in the collection. Early letters are chiefly those of John Nisbet to his wife, Virginia Lord King Nisbet, who he called Bush, Buschibus, or Appie. They deal primarily with the pleasures and perturbations of family life, but also with Nisbet's political activities in Savannah and his business concerns as a cotton factor there. In addition, there are letters written by Nisbet from numerous European capitals concerning economic conditions in England and Europe and his business contacts in those places.

Correspondence from the 1880s and 1890s is much more diverse, both in terms of the number and ages of the writers involved and the topics they discuss. The Nisbets and their three oldest children Jack, Marie, and Florence (called Flip or Flippenchen) are the major correspondents, as is Virginia Nisbet's sister, Georgia King Wilder, wife of another cotton factor in Savannah, Joseph J. Wilder. Many of the letters were written by the Nisbets from Savannah and Marietta, Ga., to their daughters Marie and Florence, who lived in England and various European capitals with their aunt Georgia Wilder, 1889-1890. Most of the letters, however, were written by Marie, Florence, and Georgia to the Nisbets and relate to the schooling of the Nisbet children while in Europe and to their travel experiences.

Letters to the Nisbets from their son Jack and their daughter Florence dominate the correspondence from the early 1890s. Most of these letters are related to Jack's education at the University of Virginia and to Florence's at St. Timothy's Academy in Cantonsville, Md.

Florence, her husband Philip Thornton Marye (called Thornton), and their son John Nisbet Marye (called Baby or Nisbet) wrote most of the letters, 1894-1917. These include Philip's courtship letters to Florence from the various places where he was stationed during and after the Spanish American War, including New York and the Carribbean. The majority of the letters from this period, however, were written by their son John, 1915-1917, and concern his summer activities at Camp Marienfeld in Chesham, N.H.

The letters of Philip Marye and his son John form the bulk of the correspondence, 1918-1925. Those from the elder Marye were written to his wife from France and Germany during 1918 and 1919, while he was in command of the Third Army Motorpool of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. John's letters were written to his mother from Camp Marienfeld, Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry, Va., and from the Lanark Inn in Lanark, Fla.

Also included are letters from Nanni Nisbet in Germany reporting on the dislocation of German society after World War I and a few school reports, receipts, and genealogical charts.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1874-1925.

About 400 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Correspondence of the Nisbet and Marye families, chiefly related to routine family matters, the business activities of cotton factor John Nisbet, the education of the Nisbet children in Europe and the United States, the summer camp activities of John Nisbet Marye, and the experiences of Philip Thornton Marye as part of the American Expeditionary Forces in France and Germany in 1918-1919. Also included are letters, 1887-1921, from John Nisbet's aunt, Nanni Nisbet, in Germany covering a wide variety of topics, the most notable of which is the disruption of German society in the aftermath of World War I.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. 1874-1881.

Early letters are those of John Nisbet to his wife, Virginia (called Buschibus, Bush, Appie), from Savannah, New York, England, and various European capitals concerning family matters, his travels, and business conditions in these places. Also included are letters to the Nisbets from several members of Virginia's family. Her sister, Georgia King Wilder, wife of Joseph J. Wilder, the cotton factor for whom John Nisbet worked, wrote about poor relief in Savannah and the effects of yellow fever on the poor in that city; her brother, Mallery P. King, wrote about regaining the confidence of his black laborers and planting at Retreat, the family plantation on St. Simon's Island, Ga.; and, in a June 1879 letter, another brother, J. Floyd King, United States congressman from Louisiana, mentioned the defeat of President Rutherford B. Hayes's plan to use the army during the upcoming elections.

Folder 1

1874 #04478, Subseries: "1.1. 1874-1881." Folder 1

Folder 2

1875-1876 #04478, Subseries: "1.1. 1874-1881." Folder 2

Folder 3-4

Folder 3

Folder 4

1878 #04478, Subseries: "1.1. 1874-1881." Folder 3-4

Folder 5-14

Folder 5

Folder 6

Folder 7

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

Folder 11

Folder 12

Folder 13

Folder 14

1879 #04478, Subseries: "1.1. 1874-1881." Folder 5-14

Folder 15-16

Folder 15

Folder 16

1880 #04478, Subseries: "1.1. 1874-1881." Folder 15-16

Folder 17

1881 #04478, Subseries: "1.1. 1874-1881." Folder 17

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. 1885-1888.

Family letters continue. Particularly noteworthy are several letters written from Mexico City by Virginia Nisbet's sister, Florence King Jackson, whose husband, Henry Rootes Jackson, was United States minister to Mexico, 1885-1887. In a letter to Virginia Nisbet, her brother-in-law, Fritz Nisbet of Cawker City, Kan., referred to conditions in that city. Virginia Nisbet's brother, J. Floyd King, wrote about working in New York City and receiving requests, from his former Louisiana constituents to return there and run again for office.

Folder 18

1885 #04478, Subseries: "1.2. 1885-1888." Folder 18

Folder 19-21

Folder 19

Folder 20

Folder 21

1887 #04478, Subseries: "1.2. 1885-1888." Folder 19-21

Folder 22-23

Folder 22

Folder 23

1888 #04478, Subseries: "1.2. 1885-1888." Folder 22-23

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.3. 1889-1890.

Chiefly correspondence between the Nisbets and their young daughters, Florence (called Flip) and Marie, who spent the year traveling throughout the British Isles and Europe with their aunt, Georgia King Wilder, and her teenage daughter, Page Wilder. Most of the letters were written by Florence, Marie, and Georgia and concern sightseeing, lodging, food, sickness, travel and the education of the Nisbet girls, especially their efforts to learn French. Writing from Paris during the spring of 1890, Georgia Wilder comments on contemporary French art and the difference between "nudes" and "the naked." Also included are several letters to the Nisbets from their son Jack at the University of Virginia, and others from him to his sisters in Europe.

Folder 24-46

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

Folder 27

Folder 28

Folder 29

Folder 30

Folder 31

Folder 32

Folder 33

Folder 34

Folder 35

Folder 36

Folder 37

Folder 38

Folder 39

Folder 40

Folder 41

Folder 42

Folder 43

Folder 44

Folder 45

Folder 46

1889 #04478, Subseries: "1.3. 1889-1890." Folder 24-46

Folder 47-69

Folder 47

Folder 48

Folder 49

Folder 50

Folder 51

Folder 52

Folder 53

Folder 54

Folder 55

Folder 56

Folder 57

Folder 58

Folder 59

Folder 60

Folder 61

Folder 62

Folder 63

Folder 64

Folder 65

Folder 66

Folder 67

Folder 68

Folder 69

1890 #04478, Subseries: "1.3. 1889-1890." Folder 47-69

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.4. 1891-1899.

Chiefly letters concerning routine family affairs, especially the education of Jack Nisbet at the University of Virginia and his sister, Florence Nisbet, at St. Timothy's School for Girls in Cantonsville, Md. Particularly noteworthy are Florence's letters to her parents during the fall of 1892. These detail a variety of topics, from the tightly controlled regimen at St. Timothy's and the celebration of the election of President Grover Cleveland among the school's southerners to Florence's personal disdain for a bishop's request that the school girls donate their Bible funds to an African American theological seminary. Comments on race relations can also be found in the letters to Virginia Nisbet from her sister, Florence Jackson. There is mention of a chance meeting between Florence Jackson and Neptune, one of the former slaves on the King plantation Retreat and of the rising fears of white women in rural Georgia toward black men. Also included are several brief letters to Virginia Nisbet from her brother, J. Floyd King, concerning his efforts to raise money in New York for a system of sewers in Brunswick, Ga. In addition, there are numerous letters from Philip Thornton Marye to Florence Nisbet that reflect his romantic intentions toward her and contain comments on his activities during the Spanish American War in New York and the Caribbean, mentioning, in one instance, the Cubans' war on the occupation police and their rebellion against American authority.

Folder 70-79

Folder 70

Folder 71

Folder 72

Folder 73

Folder 74

Folder 75

Folder 76

Folder 77

Folder 78

Folder 79

1891 #04478, Subseries: "1.4. 1891-1899." Folder 70-79

Folder 80-85

Folder 80

Folder 81

Folder 82

Folder 83

Folder 84

Folder 85

1892 #04478, Subseries: "1.4. 1891-1899." Folder 80-85

Folder 86

1893-1898 #04478, Subseries: "1.4. 1891-1899." Folder 86

Folder 87-95

Folder 87

Folder 88

Folder 89

Folder 90

Folder 91

Folder 92

Folder 93

Folder 94

Folder 95

1899 #04478, Subseries: "1.4. 1891-1899." Folder 87-95

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.5. 1900-1917.

Early letters are those to Florence Nisbet from Philip Thornton Marye and from numerous family members congratulating her on her marriage to Marye in January 1900. The Maryes eventually moved to Atlanta from Newport News, Va. There are also letters discussing Marye's awards for architecture. Most items from this period, however, are postcards and letters to the Maryes from their son John Nisbet Marye (called Baby or Nisbet) concerning his summer activities at Camp Marienfeld in Chesham, N.H.

Folder 96

1900 #04478, Subseries: "1.5. 1900-1917." Folder 96

Folder 97

1901-1912 #04478, Subseries: "1.5. 1900-1917." Folder 97

Folder 98

1913-1915 #04478, Subseries: "1.5. 1900-1917." Folder 98

Folder 99-100

Folder 99

Folder 100

1916 #04478, Subseries: "1.5. 1900-1917." Folder 99-100

Folder 101-102

Folder 101

Folder 102

1917 #04478, Subseries: "1.5. 1900-1917." Folder 101-102

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.6. 1918-1925.

Philip Thorton Marye, his son John, and Nanni Nisbet, are the principal correspondents. John's postcards and letters to his mother from Camp Marienfeld, Woodberry Forest School in Orange County, Va., and later, from the Lanark Inn in Florida, form the bulk of correspondence. Most of Philip Thornton Marye's letters to his wife were written while he served with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, 1918-1919. These contain his comments on European architecture, the beauty of the French countryside, and his activities as commander of the Third Army Motorpool in France and Germany. The letters to Florence Marye from Nanni Nisbet in Berlin talk about postwar Germany. There are comments on a number of topics, including socialist revolution, the lynching of Jews, pogroms, counter-revolution, communist activities, and the expectation that finding female servants would be easier once the demand for women typists diminished.

Folder 103-107

Folder 103

Folder 104

Folder 105

Folder 106

Folder 107

1918 #04478, Subseries: "1.6. 1918-1925." Folder 103-107

Folder 108-116

Folder 108

Folder 109

Folder 110

Folder 111

Folder 112

Folder 113

Folder 114

Folder 115

Folder 116

1919 #04478, Subseries: "1.6. 1918-1925." Folder 108-116

Folder 117-121

Folder 117

Folder 118

Folder 119

Folder 120

Folder 121

1920 #04478, Subseries: "1.6. 1918-1925." Folder 117-121

Folder 122-124

Folder 122

Folder 123

Folder 124

1921 #04478, Subseries: "1.6. 1918-1925." Folder 122-124

Folder 125

1922-1925 #04478, Subseries: "1.6. 1918-1925." Folder 125

Folder 126

Undated #04478, Subseries: "1.6. 1918-1925." Folder 126

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Items.

About 40 items.

Documents related to the lives of Florence and Marie Nisbet and their mother, Virginia Nisbet, and to the lives of Philip Thornton Marye and son, John Nisbet Marye. These include school reports, prose and poetry, greeting and Christmas cards, wedding invitations, and receipts. In addition, there are genealogical charts, maps, and a few printed and mimeographed pamphlets.

Folder 127

John Nisbet Marye: Attendance report, North Avenue Presbyterian Church School, Atlanta, May 1912; account of expenditures for John Nisbet Marye, 1916; report card, Atlanta Public School System, 1917?; reports from Woodberry Forest School, March June 1919; Christmas greeting card, undated; watercolor done by a child #04478, Series: "2. Other Items." Folder 127

Folder 128

Philip Thornton Marye: French currency, 1918?; newspaper clipping: "Meuse Argonne Saw A.E.F. Make Maximum Effort," Stars and Stripes, 27 December 1918; mimeographed pamphlet, 16 pages: "Thirty Second Division Motor Show: Sayn, Germany, March 28 29, 1919"; printed poem: "Under Home Stars," by Frank L. Stanton, undated #04478, Series: "2. Other Items." Folder 128

Folder 129

Virginia King Nisbet: Receipts and annual dues for the Georgia Society of Colonial Dames of America, April 1895 and January 1896 #04478, Series: "2. Other Items." Folder 129

Florence Nisbet: Record of body temperature, Westminster Hospital, London, England, March April 1890; report, St. Timothy's School, Cantonsville, Md., October 1893; assessment notices for dues, St. Timothy's Alumnae, May, June, and October 1899 #04478, Series: "2. Other Items." Folder 129

Marie Nisbet: "Oak Leaves," poetry and prose, 4 pages; "Heidelberg Castle," pencil drawing, 1889 #04478, Series: "2. Other Items." Folder 129

Folder 130a

Genealogy: "Ancestry and Connections of Robt. Somerville Voss"; Thornton family; "Ancestry of Caroline Homassel--Wife of Dr. Philip Thornton, of Montpelier"; "Hyde Genealogy"; King family; King and Ramsdell families #04478, Series: "2. Other Items." Folder 130a

Folder 130b

Genealogy: "Some Bible and Cemetery Records of the Nisbet Family," compiled by Edwin R. MacKethan III, July 2003 (Addition of September 2003, Acc. 99656) #04478, Series: "2. Other Items." Folder 130b

Folder 131

Maps: "Map of Cook's Tours in Central Europe," undated; "Panorama de Dinard A Dinan: Par le Bateau a Vapeur," undated; "American Y.M.C.A.--Rome," undated #04478, Series: "2. Other Items." Folder 131

Folder 132

Miscellaneous: "Speech of Hon. J. Floyd King of Louisiana in the House of Representatives, April 24, 1879"; grocery lists, 1886; "Glacier Garden," advertisement for resort in Lucerne, Switzerland, 1889; invitation to wedding of Agnes McRae and Julian Walker Morton, undated, Linville, N.C.; photograph, Filatusbahn (Eselwand Tunnel), Germany, undated #04478, Series: "2. Other Items." Folder 132

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