James Carter Denham business records, 1865-1884

Emory University

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

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Denham, James Carter.
Title: James Carter Denham business records, 1865-1884
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 192
Extent: 10 oversized bound volumes (OBV)
Abstract:Business papers of James Carter Denham, of Putnam County, Georgia. Contains orderbooks, daybooks and ledgers from Denham family businesses. The collection includes some accounts of freemen.
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, 1948.


[after identification of item(s)], James Carter Denham business records, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


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Collection Description

Biographical Note

James Carter Denham, businessman, operated a tannery and other businesses with his brother, Josiah Carter Denham, in an area of Putnam County, Georgia, near Eatonton. The Denham Tannery, built near the Sanders family farm sometime during the 1840s, made brogan shoes and saddles for the Confederate Army and was destroyed by Sherman's forces on their March to the Sea. As the tannery grew, the Denhams and others opened a gin, grist mill, sawmill, general store, and fruit distillery, and homes grew around the businesses to form the town of Denhamville, Georgia. The Denham factories, also known as Denham & Denham, were rebuilt after the war and existed until the 1890s when they closed and the town ceased to exist.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of business records, including an order book, daybooks, and ledgers of James Carter Denham from 1865-1884. Order book is for shoes and wholesale leather transactions (1868-1880) and gives customer names and descriptions of shoes; daybooks are for the sawmill and general store (1874-1884); ledgers (1865-1880) are for sawmill, shoe manufactory, tanyard, general store, fruit distillery, and some of the Denham family's expenses; there are also some accounts with freedmen.

Arrangement Note

No arrangement; collection consists of ten bound volumes.

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Container List

Box Folder Content
OBV1 Order book for shoe manufactory and shipping record for wholesale leather transactions, 1868 - 1880: gives name and sometimes residence of person ordering, describes shoes to be made, leather to be used, and price.
OBV2 Daybook for sawmill, 1874 - 1880
OBV3 Ledger for sawmill, October 1867 - January 1881
OBV4 Daybook for general store and other enterprises, September 6, 1879 - November 1, 1880
OBV5 Daybook for general store and other enterprises, November 3, 1880 - May 10, 1884
OBV6 Ledger, 1865 - 1868. Seems to include entries for shoe manufactory, tanyard and general store.
OBV7 Ledger, August 1868 - April 1871. General store with some entries for shoes and shoe repairs
OBV8 Ledger, 1868 - 1871. Supplementary: entries from fruit distillery, family’s education and travel expenses, accounts with freedmen, etc. Could this be James Carter Denham’s personal accounts (apart from Denham and Denham) and perhaps those of his farm commissary?
OBV9 Ledger, general store and other enterprises, ca. 1874 - 1875
OBV10 Ledger, general store and other enterprises, ca. 1877 - 1880