William H. Brotherton papers, 1862-1908

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link:

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Brotherton, William H., 1839-1908.
Title: William H. Brotherton papers, 1862-1908
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 278
Extent: .5 linear ft. (1 box) and 1 oversized bound volume (OBV) ; 1 microfilm reel (MF)
Abstract:Papers of Georgia Confederate soldier and politician, William H. Brotherton from 1862-1908.
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.

Additional Physical Form

Also available on microfilm.

Related Materials in This Repository

Levi Brotherton papers.


Gift, 1956.


[after identification of item(s)], William H. Brotherton papers, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by MRD, December 10, 1965.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

William H. Brotherton (February 8, 1839-February 27, 1908) was born near Benton, Polk County, East Tennessee. At nine years of age he moved with his family to Dalton, Ga., where he attended school and later worked in a store. At 19 years of age he entered business for himself at Tilton, Ga. Within a few years, having prospered in business, he married Miss Paralee Williams of Dalton. Both he and his brother, James Madison Brotherton, enlisted in the Confederate Army and served in the 39th Georgia Infantry Regiment. William entered the army as a second lieutenant under Captain Ford. Apparently James Madison entered under the same rank. The brothers were in various camps in east Tennessee in 1862, went from there to Vicksburg, Mississippi, the latter part of that year and were in the siege of that city. James M. Brotherton was mortally wounded May 16, 1863 at Champion Hills, Miss. William H. Brotherton was assigned to post duty in various points in Georgia after the fall of Vicksburg until the close of the war. He left the army as a captain. William H. Brotherton's political career began in 1869 with a place in the city council in which he served again in 1873, 1882, and 1883. He was a powerful figure in Atlanta politics for many years, serving on the board of police commissioners for seventeen years, many times as chairman. As head of the Brotherton-Day faction he opposed Captain James W. English in the Brotherton-English political feud that raged in Atlanta for many years. William H. Brotherton died in Atlanta and was survived by his wife and nine of his twelve children.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of papers of William H. Brotherton from 1862-1908. The papers include letters, miscellaneous items , and a large scrapbook. The letters are dated between March 17, 1862 and August 3, 1866. Only 7 letters were written by William H. Brotherton, the first to his wife on March 17, 1862, the other 6 to his father, Rev. Levi Brotherton. James Madison Brotherton wrote 27 of the letters, all of which were addressed to his father. One letter, dated August 3, 1866, written by Dr. W. G. Deal, Chicago, Illinois, to Levi Brotherton, tells of his having found James Brotherton mortally wounded on the battlefield. The scrapbook contains clippings from Atlanta newspapers from June 22, 1890 to March 4, 1908 in chronological order. The clippings are concerned with the political career of William H. Brotherton, particularly with the affairs of the police commission of the city of Atlanta. One letter, May 25, 1863, was written by Rev. Levi Brotherton to his son James. Miscellaneous items include a "claim for amount due James M. Brotherton" made to the Georgia Relief and Hospital Association, a brief note signed J. M. Brotherton, passes permitting travel in the Confederacy, a clipping from a Vicksburg, Miss., newspaper during the siege of that city, a deed to a lot in Atlanta sold by H. P. to E. L. Brotherton, and several small items.

Finding Aid Note

Chronological analysis of the letters is available.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Corporate Names

Topical Terms

Geographic Names

Form/Genre Terms


Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 1862 March 17 - 1862 December 20
1 2 1863 January 1 - 1866 August 3