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BURTON, J. FRED, 1871-1937.
J. Fred and Clara Burton family papers, circa 1860-1945

Emory University

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

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/vhrg3

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Burton, J. Fred, 1871-1937.
Title: J. Fred and Clara Burton family papers, circa 1860-1945
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1501
Extent: .5 linear feet (1 box) and 1 oversized papers box (OP)
Abstract:Papers of the J. Fred and Clara Burton family, an African American military family, including correspondence, records of organizational memberships, photographs, and printed material.
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.


Purchase from Bookmark/Robert Langmuir, 2019

Custodial History

Forms part of the Robert Langmuir African American photograph collection. The Rose Library acquired this collection from Robert Langmuir in his capacity as a rare book and manuscript dealer but did not integrate it with the Langmuir collection because of its volume, cohesion, and assumed common provenance.


[after identification of item(s)], J. Fred and Clara Burton family papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Appraisal Note

Pellom McDaniels, III, Curator of African American Collections, acquired this collection as part of the Rose Library’s holdings in African American culture and history. Archivists have retained all material received with the collection.


Arranged and described at the file level by Sarah Quigley, October 2020.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

J. Fred Burton (1871-1937) was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania to Alban Burton (1844-1912) and Caroline Valentine Burton (1845-1908). Alban Burton was a veteran of the Union Army in the Civil War. J. Fred Burton’s brother, William T. Burton (1868-1922), was also in the military, serving in the Spanish American War in the 48th Volunteer Infantry and playing clarinet in the regimental band. J. Fred Burton was married to Clara Burton (1876-1926).

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the family papers of the J. Fred and Clara Burton family from circa 1860-1945, including correspondence, records of organizational memberships, photographs, and printed material. Correspondence is primarily from J. Fred Burton to his wife Clara and his brother William T. Burton. Membership records document J. Fred and Clara Burton’s participation in various fraternal and community organizations, most notably in the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in which J. Fred Burton was an officer. Records relating to that organization include officer reports, rosters, meeting minutes, and financial receipts. Photographs are mostly unidentified but there are some photographs of a Grand Army of the Republic encampment meeting that include J. Fred Burton and of the National Soldier’s Home (Hampton, Virginia) that include William T. Burton. Most photographs in the collection are cabinet cards taken by numerous photographers in the West Chester and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania areas. Printed material contains programs, flyers, and proceedings of events and meetings of organizations of which the Burtons were members, especially the Grand Army of the Republic and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in alphabetical order by record type.

Finding Aid Note

Langmuir’s original inventory is available from the repository upon request.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Corporate Names

Topical Terms

Geographic Names

Form/Genre Terms

Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 Correspondence: J. Fred and Clara Burton, circa 1909-1932
1 2 Correspondence: William T. Burton, 1919-1921
1 3 Correspondence: Unidentified, circa 1913-1920
OP1 1 Membership records: Grand Army of the Republic, charter, 1879
1 4 Membership records: Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, Peace and Plenty Lodge, 1927-1934
1 5 Membership records: Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Pennsylvania Department, 1908-1932
1 6 Personal belongings tag: William T. Burton, 1922
1 7 Photographs: 48th Volunteer Infantry regimental band, circa 1898
1 8 Photographs: Clara Burton, circa 1890-1900
1 9 Photographs: Grand Army of the Republic encampment meeting, 1909 [Photographer: J.A. Wilson (Milton, Pennsylvania)]
1 10 Photographs: National Soldiers Home (Hampton, Virginia), undated
1 11 Photographs: Unidentified Civil War monument, undated
1 12 Photographs: Unidentified group of military veterans, undated
1 13 Photographs: Unidentified men, circa 1870-1900
1 14 Photographs: Unidentified military veteran and wife, circa 1870-1880 [tintype]
1 15 Photographs: Unidentified room with chairs and flag, undated
1 16 Photographs: Unidentified women, circa 1870-1900
1 17 Photographs: Unidentified soldier, circa 1860-1880 [tintype]
1 18 Photographs: William E. Burton (?), circa 1860-1885
1 19 Printed material: American Legion, Nathan Holmes Post, 1944
1 20 Printed material: Bethel A.M.E. Church, 1920
1 21 Printed material: Chestnut Grove Cemetery, charter and by-laws, 1890
1 22 Printed material: Clara Burton obituary, 1926
1 23 Printed material: Grand Army of the Republic, undated
1 24 Printed material: Grand Army of the Republic, Womans Relief Corps, undated
1 25 Printed material: Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World, Captain Levi M. Hood Lodge, 1923, 1945
1 26 Printed material: Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Pennsylvania Department, 1923-1932
1 27 Printed material: United Order of the J.R. Giddings and Jollifee Union, M.W.N.D.G. Tent, 1925