RAOUL, WILLIAM GREENE, 1843-1913.
William Greene Raoul papers 1878-1897

Emory University

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

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zstw


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Raoul, William Greene, 1843-1913.
Title: William Greene Raoul papers 1878-1897
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 162
Extent: .5 linear ft. (1 box) and 10 bound volumes (BV)
Abstract:Scrapbooks, letterbooks, and miscellaneous papers of railroad executive, inventor and businessman William Greene Raoul.
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.

Related Materials in This Repository

Related collections in this repository are the Raoul Family Papers and the Sarah Lois Wadley Papers.

Source

Gift, 1920.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], William Greene Raoul papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Processed by SSS, 1971.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

William Greene Raoul (July 4, 1843 - January 17, 1913), railroad tycoon, was born in Livingston Parish, Louisiana; the son of Gaston Turner (born Gaston Cesar Raoul de Champmanoir) and Mary Emily (Davidson) Raoul. His education was acquired in the country schools of the area supplemented by private tutors. When eighteen years old, he entered the Confederate Army, joining the Washington Artillery of New Orleans. In March 1864, possibly on the recommendation of family friend William M. Wadley, former Assistant Adjt. Gen'l, in charge of the railroad bureau of the Confederacy, Raoul was promoted to Captain and placed in charge of the construction of railway cars.

At the end of the war, Gaston Raoul and William M. Wadley established a car works to build rail cars, the operation of which they immediately gave to their sons, William Greene Raoul, Giffen Raoul, and William Wadley. In 1866, William M. Wadley was elected president of the Central Railroad of Georgia and moved, with his family to Savannah, and on October 27, 1867 William Green Raoul married William's daughter, Mary Wadley (March 4, 1848 - August 1, 1936). In 1870 when the Southern Car Works failed, Greene and Mary moved to Savannah where Greene began working as an assistant road master and in 1879 he was general superintendent of the Montgomery & Eufaula Railroad. He held all of these positions until 1880 when he was elected vice-president of the Central Railroad and Banking Company of Georgia.

In 1882, William M. Wadley, the president of the company, died, and the Board of Directors elected General E. P. Alexander to fill the balance of the term. Raoul resigned as vice-president and in the next stockholders meeting defeated Alexander for the presidency. He remained in that position until 1887, when Alexander, having purchased large blocks of stocks, reclaimed the office.

Raoul was elected president of the troubled Mexican National Railroad Company in 1887 and maintained that position until 1904. He was president of the Atlantic and Birmingham Railway from its organization in 1905; and president of the Southwestern Railroad from 1901 until his death.

Inventions, bimetallism, real estate development, street car systems and the Associated Charities of Atlanta all attracted Raoul's interests. He invented the air brake, among other things, and sold the patent to Westinghouse. A mountain side in Ashville, N.C., he transformed into a hotel resort. He wrote articles advocating bimetallism and established the W.G. Raoul Foundation to develop anti-tuberculosis work in Georgia.

The children of William Greene and Mary Raoul are: Mary (b. 1870); William Greene (b. 1872); Gaston Cesar (b. 1878); Edward (1880-1882); Agnes, (b. 1882); Rosine (b. 1878); Loring (b. 1887); Eleonore (b. 1888); and Norman (b. 1890).

William Greene Raoul (July 4, 1843 - January 17, 1913), railroad tycoon, was born in Livingston Parish, Louisiana; the son of Gaston Turner (born Gaston Cesar Raoul de Champmanoir) and Mary Emily (Davidson) Raoul. His education was acquired in the country schools of the area supplemented by private tutors. When eighteen years old, he entered the Confederate Army, joining the Washington Artillery of New Orleans. In March 1864, possibly on the recommendation of family friend William M. Wadley, former Assistant Adjt. Gen'l, in charge of the railroad bureau of the Confederacy, Raoul was promoted to Captain and placed in charge of the construction of railway cars.

At the end of the war, Gaston Raoul and William M. Wadley established a car works to build rail cars, the operation of which they immediately gave to their sons, William Greene Raoul, Giffen Raoul, and William Wadley. In 1866, William M. Wadley was elected president of the Central Railroad of Georgia and moved, with his family to Savannah, and on October 27, 1867 William Green Raoul married William's daughter, Mary Wadley (March 4, 1848 - August 1, 1936). In 1870 when the Southern Car Works failed, Greene and Mary moved to Savannah where Greene began working as an assistant road master and in 1879 he was general superintendent of the Montgomery & Eufaula Railroad. He held all of these positions until 1880 when he was elected vice-president of the Central Railroad and Banking Company of Georgia.

In 1882, William M. Wadley, the president of the company, died, and the Board of Directors elected General E. P. Alexander to fill the balance of the term. Raoul resigned as vice-president and in the next stockholders meeting defeated Alexander for the presidency. He remained in that position until 1887, when Alexander, having purchased large blocks of stocks, reclaimed the office.

Raoul was elected president of the troubled Mexican National Railroad Company in 1887 and maintained that position until 1904. He was president of the Atlantic and Birmingham Railway from its organization in 1905; and president of the Southwestern Railroad from 1901 until his death.

Inventions, bimetallism, real estate development, street car systems and the Associated Charities of Atlanta all attracted Raoul's interests. He invented the air brake, among other things, and sold the patent to Westinghouse. A mountain side in Ashville, N.C., he transformed into a hotel resort. He wrote articles advocating bimetallism and established the W.G. Raoul Foundation to develop anti-tuberculosis work in Georgia.

The children of William Greene and Mary Raoul are: Mary (b. 1870); William Greene (b. 1872); Gaston Cesar (b. 1878); Edward (1880-1882); Agnes, (b. 1882); Rosine (b. 1878); Loring (b. 1887); Eleonore (b. 1888); and Norman (b. 1890).

Scope and Content Note

The collection falls into three parts of scrapbooks, letterbooks, and loose papers. There are three scrapbooks kept by W. G. Raoul containing newsclippings on a wide variety of topics, but mainly concerned with railroad affairs.

The seven letterbooks contain copies of 963 letters written by W. G. Raoul between March 26, 1878 and August 19, 1897. These letters were to such men as J.S. Baxter, president of the Southwestern Railroad, Charles A. Collier, president of the Cotton States and International Exposition; Bradford L. Gilbert, architect; M.S. Smith, president of the L & N Railroad; H. W. Smith, chairman of the Mexican National Railroad security holders; Jacob Henry Schiff (1847-1920) of Kuhn, Loeb, and Co.; and Patrick Calhoun, railroad lawyer.

The eight folders of loose papers consist of 115 letters; printed documents such as leases, re-organization plans, and reports to stockholders; and news clippings. These are arranged chronologically from 1869 through January 1896. One folder containing lists of stockholders and proxies corresponds with letterbook, December 1883 - February 1884.


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Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 1898, 1880-1892, Correspondence and printed material
1 2 1893 January-June 1893, Correspondence, clippings and miscellaneous
1 3 1893 July-December 1893, Correspondence, clippings and miscellaneous
1 4 1894, Correspondence, clippings and miscellaneous
1 5 1895, Correspondence
1 6 1896 January, Correspondence and miscellaneous
1 7 1896 and undated, Correspondence, clippings and miscellaneous
1 8 Papers inserted into letterbooks
BV1 1883 November 22- February 6, 1884, Letterbook
BV2 1828 March 26 to October 30, 1886, Letterbook
BV3 1891 August 20-September 25, 1893, Letterbook
BV4 1887 July 28-August 21, 1891, Letterbook
BV5 1893 September 28-August 21, 1891, Letterbook
BV6 1895 July 11-September 25, 1890, Letterbook
BV7 1897 March 12-August 19, 1899, Letterbook
BV8 Scrapbook
BV9 Scrapbook
BV10 Scrapbook
v1.11.0-dev