Series 1
Edwin A. and Elise F. Harleston papers, 1902-1963
Boxes 1-6, 24, OP1-2, BV1

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of the papers of Edwin Harleston and his wife, Elise F. Harleston. Materials include correspondence, personal papers, artwork, writings, printed material, and photographs. Original materials and photocopies made by the couple's niece, Edwina Harleston Whitlock, are filed together. Whitlock's notes appear on some photocopies. Photocopies of Harleston's original material can also be found in many of Edwina Whitlock's research files (Subseries 2.1).

Correspondence includes the incoming and outgoing correspondence of Edwin and Elise Harleston from 1903 to 1963. Many of the letters to and from Edwin Harleston concern commissions of his artwork. Of particular interest is Harleston's correspondence from 1924-1926, which pertains to his portrait of Pierre S. du Pont and includes several letters to and from W.E.B. Du Bois. A large part of the correspondence consists of letters between Edwin and Elise Harleston during their courtship and marriage, which involved frequent separations due to Harleston's work. Other correspondence pertains to civil rights, especially Harleston's involvement with the NAACP, and family matters. A large section of Elise's correspondence is comprised of telegrams and letters following the death of her husband in 1931. Correspondence after 1933 reflects her new married name, Elise Harleston Wheeler.

Personal papers pertain to legal, financial, and familial matters of Edwin and Elise Harleston and various members of the Harleston family from 1902-1936. Harleston's calendars from 1902-1924 contain appointments, various notations, and some financial information. Financial records include payments pertaining to the Harleston and Mickey Funeral Home and the Harleston Studio, as well as donations to alumni institutions and check stubs. Legal records include wills and estates of the Harleston family; birth, death, and marriage certificates; and education and employment documents. Elise's material pertains to photography courses at the Brunel Training School of Photography and the Tuskegee Institute; there is also a copy of her diary in which she reflects on newly married life. Of particular interest are Elise's notes on the sale of Harleston's artwork following his death.

Artwork includes sketches, drawings, and other material relating to portraits that Harleston completed between 1907 and 1930. Many of his notebooks contain both handwritten notes and sketches. These materials show Harleston's early experiments with perspective and his development as a portrait artist. Duplicates, photocopies, and slides of Harleston's artwork produced posthumously are also included in this section.

Writings by Harleston include lectures and notes for a speech to the Charleston Branch of the NAACP. There is also a copy of his military play in two acts, The War Cross.

Printed material consists of brochures, pamphlets, periodicals, conference and music programs, and clippings collected by Edwin and Elise Harleston from 1905-1937. Many of the brochures pertain to art exhibitions featuring African American artists in both Charleston and northern cities. The bulk of the clippings pertain to Harleston's painting of the Pierre S. du Pont portrait in 1924 and his death in 1931.

Photographs consist of tintypes of unidentified individuals in late nineteenth-century Charleston.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.

Correspondence
Box Folder Content
1 1 No date
1 2 1903-1905
1 3 1907-1911
1 4 1912-1916
1 5 1917-1918
1 6 1919, no date
1 7 January-September 1919
1 8 October-December 1919
1 9 1920, no date
1 10 January-April 1920
1 11 May-December 1920
1 12 1921, no date
1 13 January-August 1921
1 14 September-December 1921
1 15 1922
1 16 1923
2 1 1924, no date
2 2 January-May 1924
2 3 June-August 1924
2 4 September-December 1924
2 5 1925, no date
2 6 January-April 1925
2 7 May-September 1925
2 8 October-December 1925
2 9 1926
2 10 1927
2 11 1928
2 12 1929
2 13 1930, no date
2 14 January-August 1930
2 15 September-December 1930
3 1 1931, no date
3 2 January-April 1931
3 3 May 3-11, 1931
3 4 May 12-15, 1931
3 5 May 16-31, 1931
3 6 June-August 1931
3 7 September-December 1931
3 8 January-July 1932
3 9 August-December 1932
3 10 1933
3 11 1934
3 12 1935
3 13 1936-1963
24 1 Empty envelopes, 1917-1919
24 2 Empty envelopes, 1920-1923
24 3 Empty envelopes, 1924
24 4 Empty envelopes, 1925-1929
24 5 Empty envelopes, 1931-1938
24 6 Empty envelopes, no date
Personal papers
4 1 Atlanta University Graduates and Friends
4 2 Brunel Training School of Photography, contract, September 15, 1919
4 3 Business cards and letterhead
4 4 Calendar, 1902
4 5 Calendar, 1912
4 6 Calendar, 1914
4 7 Calendar, 1920
4 8 Calendar, 1924
4 9 Certificates and badges, 1907-1931
4 10 Conference and convention information
4 11 Financial records, 1906-1936
4 12 Financial records, bank books, 1924-1925
4 13 Financial records, Hametic Corporation, 1924-1927
4 14 Forrest, Doris, Avery Institute certificate, 1931
4 15 Funeral Directors' and Embalmers' Association of South Carolina, membership material, no date
4 16 Harleston, Edwin, death, 1931
4 17 Harleston, Edwin, identification card
4 18 Harleston, Edwina (Gussie), vaccination certificate, 1922
4 19 Harleston, Elise, The Diocese of Maryland confirmation, 1933
4 20 Harleston, Elise, "Five Days of Married Life," journal entry, September 20, 1920
4 21 Harleston, Elise, memoranda, no date
4 22 Harleston, Robert O., death certificate and marriage licenses
4 23 Harleston Studio marketing
4 24 Insurance, 1924
4 25 Lawrence, Carrie Noisette, wills, 1921
4 26 Masonic ribbon, Reliance Lodge, No. 146, Charleston, South Carolina
4 27 Notes
4 28 Roxbury Hospital stay, December 1923
4 29 Sale of Harleston's artwork
4 30 School records, 1906-1924
4 31 Tuskegee Institute, "C.M. Battey: An Appreciation," March 16, 1927
4 32 War Department, Notice of Classification, October 9, 1918
4 33 "Who's Who in Colored America," questionnaire, 1926
Artwork
5 1 Drawings, no date
5 2 Drawings and sketches, no date [photocopies]
5 3 Harleston, Elise [?], photograph of woman, no date
5 4 Nude model, no date
5 5 Pencil sketches, no date
5 6 Portrait, Elise Forrest Harleston, no date [photocopy]
5 7 Portrait, "Oil Portrait--the Honorable Charles I. Miller," no date [reproduction]
5 8 Portrait, unidentified individual, no date [photographic reproduction]
5 9 Sketchbook, "Perspective," January 1907
5 10 Sketchbook, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, circa 1910 [1 of 2]
BV1 Sketchbook, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, circa 1910 [2 of 2]
5 11 Open Door Exhibit, sketches and correspondence, Atlanta University, November 28, 1919 [photocopies]
5 12 Drawings, 1922
OP1 - Drawings, oversized, 1922
5 13 Sketchbook, circa 1924
5 14 Sketchbook, Chicago Art Institute, 1924
5 15 Notebook with sketches, circa 1925-1930
5 16 Portrait, unidentified individual, 1928 [photocopy]
5 17 Sketch, "Kings Mountain D.C.," June 1930 [photocopy]
5 18 Portrait, Aaron Douglas, 1931 [photographic reproduction]
5 19 Slides, "The Old Servant" and "Mammy and Child in Chair," circa 1995
Writings by Harleston
5 20 Speech to the Charleston Branch of the NAACP, 1918
5 21 "The War Cross," a play in two acts, 1918
5 22 Unidentified lectures and notes, circa 1919-1931
Printed material
5 23 Booklet, Handbook of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, 1916
5 24 Brochure, The Harleston Studio, "Harleston! Who is E.A. Harleston?", no date
5 25 Brochure, Guild of Boston Artists, Boston, Massachusetts, no date
5 26 Brochure, Roland W. Hayes: Celebrated Negro Tenor, Booking Engagements for Continental Tour, 1919
5 27 Brochure, Binga State Bank, Chicago, Illinois, 1923
5 28 Brochure, Annual Exhibition by Negro Artists, December 8, 1923-January 8, 1924
5 29 Brochure, Peabody Museum of Salem, Salem, Massachusetts, 1924
5 30 Brochure, Exhibition of Paintings, Sculpture, and Etchings by Negro Artists, Albany, New York, February 4-9, 1924
5 31 Brochure, Exhibit of Oil Paintings by Laura Wheeler Waring, Washington, D.C., December 14-16, 1928
5 32 Brochure, Exhibition of the Work of Negro Artists, February 16-28, 1931
5 33 Brochure, Exhibition of Sculpture of Our Times, Howard University, Washington, D.C., February 15-March 4, 1932
5 34 Brochure, Exhibition of Paintings by Negro Artists, Howard University, Washington, D.C., May 18-25, 1932
5 35 Brochure, Exhibition of Works by Negro Artists at National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., October 31-November 6, 1933
5 36 Clippings, 1918-1932
6 1 Clippings by Harleston, 1919
6 2 Clippings about Harleston, 1919-1931
6 3 Clippings on Pierre du Pont's portrait, 1924-1925
6 4 Clippings on Harleston's death, May 1931
6 5 Pamphlet, Harleston Funeral Establishment, no date
6 6 Pamphlet, Atlanta University, Statement and Appeal for the Semi-Centennial Fund, 1916
6 7 Pamphlet, Avery's Deeds and Needs, circa 1927
6 8 Periodical, Crimson and Gray, Atlanta University Alumni Association, 1910-1929 Atlanta University Alumni Association, 1910-1929
6 9 Periodical, Atlanta University Bulletin, Series 2, No. 27, April 1917
6 10 Periodical, The Rainbow, Vol. 1, No. 15, November 27, 1919
6 11 Periodical, Fisk Herald, Vol. 27, No. 2, December 1930
6 12 Periodical, The Church Herald, Vol. 18, No. 7, May 1931
6 13 Periodical, Journal of Negro History, Vol. 22, No. 4, October 1937
6 14 Postcards, no date
6 15 Program, Atlanta University Dramatic Club, The Shadow: An Indian Play in Two Acts, starring Edwin Harleston, circa 1905 [reproduction]
OP2 Poster, "Hear the Continental Favorite: Anita Patti Brown in Song, no date
6 16 Program, Atlanta University, Browning Recital, featuring Edwin Harleston, April 14, 1905 [reproduction]
6 17 Program, Atlanta University, Centenary of John Milton, December 9, 1908
6 18 Program, Second Annual Ball of the Owls, Harleston's Hall, February 24, 1916
6 19 Program, Stage Struck, a one act play by Edwin Harleston, May 21 [1918?]
6 20 Program, Atlanta University Club, The War Cross: A Military Play in Two Acts, by Edwin A. Harleston, August 27, 1918
6 21 Program, "The Wayfarer," by Dr. James E. Crowther, Madison Square Garden, December 15, 1919 to January 15, 1920
6 22 Program, The Open Door: A Pageant Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Atlanta University, Boston, Massachusetts, November 16, 1920
6 23 Program, Pianoforte Recital and Concert at Centenary M.E. Church, July 6, 1921
6 24 Program, Pianoforte Recital by William S. Lawrence, Plymouth Congregational Church, November 25, 1921
6 25 Program, Phyllis Wheatley Literary Society, Lady Windermere's Fan, starring Edwin Harleston, May 5, 1922 Phyllis Wheatley Literary Society,
6 26 Program, Closing Exercises of the West-Side Kindergarten, June 2, 1922
6 27 Program, DuPont Testimonial Association, Testimonial meeting, Dover, Delaware, December 5, 1924
6 28 Program, Emancipation Day, Morris Street Baptist Church, with Harleston as orator, January 1, 1926 [includes lecture notes]
6 29 Program, The Colored Funeral Directors' and Embalmers' Association of South Carolina, Annual Convention, May 16, 1928
6 30 Program, A Musical and Literary Program at Plymouth Congregational Church, March 22, 1931
6 31 Program, Roanoke Institute Thirty-Second Annual Commencement Exercises, May 24-29, 1931
Photographs
6 32 Unidentified individuals, circa 1860s-1890s [tintypes]
6 33 Harleston, Edwin, circa 1910 [reproductions]
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