Henry Woodfin Grady papers, 1828-1971

Emory University

Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Grady, Henry Woodfin, 1850-1889.
Title: Henry Woodfin Grady papers, 1828-1971
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 28
Extent:2 linear ft. (4 boxes), 3 oversized papers (OP) and 11 bound volumes (BV)
Abstract:Papers of Georgia journalist Henry Woodfin Grady including correspondence, diaries, legal and financial records, photographs, and scrapbooks from 1828 to 1971.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Gift, unknown.


[after identification of item(s)], Henry Woodfin Grady papers, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Henry Woodfin Grady (May 24, 1850 - December 23, 1889) was born in Athens, Georgia, the son of William Sammons Grady and Ann Eliza Gartrell Grady. William S. Grady, a successful businessman of Athens, entered the Confederate Army in 1861. He served as Captain and later as Major in the 25th North Carolina Infantry Regiment. Major Grady died in October of 1864 from wounds he received at Petersburg.

Henry W. Grady spent his boyhood in Athens, and attended private schools there. He entered the University of Georgia in 1866, and graduated in 1868. While attending college, Grady excelled in oratorical activities. After spending two years studying law at the University of Virginia, Grady accepted his first journalistic assignment as a reporter for The Atlanta Constitution. He next served as Associate Editor of The Rome (Ga.) Courier. In 1870, Grady became editor and publisher of a rival paper, The Rome Commercial. He left the Commercial to become a co-founder of the short-lived Atlanta Herald in 1872. After this paper and another venture failed in 1876, Grady became Georgia correspondent for The New York Herald and an editorial writer for The Atlanta Constitution. In 1880, Grady bought a quarter interest in the Constitution, of which he became managing editor. He served the paper in this capacity until his death.

Grady's southern reputation as a distinguished orator was established nationally with his "New South" speech, delivered at the annual dinner of The New England Society in New York, December 22, 1886. Grady's death on December 23, 1889, was the result of pneumonia, which he contracted while in Boston for a speaking engagement.

Henry Grady married Julia King of Athens in that city on October 5, 1871. The couple had two children, Henry King Grady (whose name was later changed to Henry Woodfin Grady, Jr.) and Augusta King Grady (who became Mrs. Eugene R. Black).

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Henry Woodfin Grady from 1828-1971. The main section of the collection consists of correspondence (approximately 136 items), including general correspondence (primarily letters of Henry Grady written to members of his immediate family), the Civil War and other correspondence of William Sammons Grady, and miscellaneous correspondence of various members of Henry Grady's non-immediate family. Prominent correspondents represented in the file of general correspondence are Andrew Carnegie and Cyrus West Field.

Other material in the main collection includes: legal papers of the Grady family; manuscripts of speeches, etc., of Henry Grady; newsclippings; reprints of Grady's "New South" speech; original manuscript and copies of the diary of a trip to Texas with Henry Grady, 1888, written by Telamon Cuyler, the son of friends of Grady; photographs; two incomplete diaries kept by Henry Grady in 1878 and 1879; Grady's account book for 1882; several memorial tributes to Henry Grady; miscellaneous material; and the manuscript of Raymond B. Nixon's biography, Henry W. Grady; Spokesman of the New South.

Bound volumes in the collection include twelve scrapbooks (containing newsclippings relative to Henry Grady's activities and writings, 1869-1887, and to his death); a "mental photograph album" which belonged to the young Julia King; and a volume listing contributors to the Grady Monument Fund. An index, on cards, to the scrapbooks is in Box 2 of the main collection.

Arrangement Note

Materials arranged by record type.

Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 General correspondence, 1864-1872
1 2 General correspondence, 1880-1887
1 3 General correspondence, 1888-1971
1 4 Letters of Henry Grady to Ann G. Grady, Martha N. Grady, Julia K. Grady, [n.d.]
1 5 Correspondence of William Sammons Grady, July 24, 1848-August 12, 1864; [n.d.]
1 6 Correspondence of miscellaneous members of Henry Grady's non-immediate family (mostly Gartrells), February 8, 1828-June 28, 1867
1 7 Grady family legal papers
1 8 Henry Grady manuscripts: miscellaneous (includes menu with “New South” notes on back from New England Society of New York annual dinner, 1886)
1 9 Henry Grady manuscripts: "Cranks, Croakers, and Creditors"
1 10 Henry Grady manuscripts: "Just Human"
1 11 Reprints of "New South" speech
1 12 Telamon Cuyler's diary of a trip to Texas with Henry Grady, 1888
1 13 Manuscript by W. T. Turnbull re Henry Grady
1 14 Newsclippings
1 15 Newsclippings, 1986
1 16 Miscellaneous, 1871-1940
1 17 Miscellaneous, 1943-1975
1 18 Harold E. Davis, "Henry W. Grady, Master of the Atlanta Ring, 1880-1886,” The Georgia Historical Quarterly, v. 69, no. 1 (Spring 1985): 1-38, signed by author
1 19 Terrell, Russell Franklin. A Study of the Early Journalistic Writings of Henry H. Grady. Nashville: George Peabody College for Teachers, 1927.
3 1-5 Typescript of Raymond B. Nixon's biography, Henry Grady; Spokesman of the New South
3 6 Check from H.W. Grady to M. Rich and Co. for $82.45, July 2, 1882
Photographs and Diaries
2 1 Photographs: Unveiling of Henry Grady Monument, Forsyth and Marietta Streets, Atlanta, Ga., October 21, 1891
2 2 Photographs: Homes of Henry W. Grady
2 3 Photographs: Grady Family
2 4 Photographs: Henry Grady [1 of 2]
OP3 - Photographs: Henry Grady [2 of 2]
2 5 Photographs: miscellaneous drawings, etc. (includes Harris & Grady by Gregg)
2 6 Negatives of Nixon's photographs; cards identifying photographs
2 7 Memorial book: tribute by the Capital City Club at Grady's death, 1889
2 8 Diary of Henry Grady, 1878
2 9 Diary and cash book of Henry Grady, 3-879
2 10 Account book of Henry Grady, 1882
2 11 Index (on cards) to the scrapbooks of Henry W. Grady
3 1 Typescript of Raymond B. Nixon's biography, Henry Grady; Spokesman of the New South
Scrapbooks/Bound volumes
BV1 Scrapbooks No. 1: 1869-ca. 1873
BV2 Scrapbooks No. 2: ca. 1874-1876
BV3 Scrapbooks No. 3: ca. 1877-1879
BV4 Scrapbooks No. 4: ca. 1877-1879 [includes 8 letters laid in]
4 1 Scrapbook No. 5: 1878-1881 [New York Herald correspondent]
4 2 Scrapbook No. 6: 1878-1881
BV5 Scrapbook No. 7: 1881-1882 [re Congressional bid]
4 3 Scrapbook No. 8: ca. 1881-1882, 1888-1889
BV6 Scrapbook No. 9: 1882-1884
BV7 Scrapbook No. 10: ca. 1886-1887
BV8 Scrapbook No. 11: ca. 1889-1890
BV9 Scrapbook No. 12: ca. 1880 [mainly articles for the Athens Weekly Chronicle]
BV10 “Mental Photograph" album [Julia King]
Oversized papers
OP1 Lithograph, "His Great Work Unfinished, Henry W. Grady, December 23, 1889," Sackett & Wilhelms Litho Co., New York
OP2 Newspaper, The Daily Commercial, Rome, Georgia, May 16, 1871