Stone Mountain collection > Stone Mountain confederate monumental association records

Series 1
Stone Mountain confederate monumental association records, 1915-1930
Boxes 1-13, 18-19, OP 1-18, XOP1-7, BV 1-5, OBV 1-3

Historical Note

The Stone Mountain Confederate Monumental Association (SMCMA) was incorporated on April 12, 1916 for the purpose of constructing and maintaining a monumental structure in honor of the Confederacy. The SMCMA was administratively separate from the Stone Mountain Memorial Association (SMMA) which was organized in 1923 for the sole purpose of fundraising. (A third body, also known as the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, was set up by the Georgia Legislature in 1958.) The original SMMA was absorbed into the SMCMA in 1923, though prior to this consolidation, the two bodies were virtually identical in membership.

The bylaws of the SMCMA provided for a governing board of directors (fifty members), an executive committee (nine members) elected by the directors, and an unspecified number of administrative officers. After 1923 the executive committee assumed almost total ability to act for the board of directors, though the latter body continued to meet regularly. With the election of a new executive committee in 1923, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), which had sponsored the memorial in its early stages, began to lose control of the project. In addition to the expansion of the powers of the executive committee, the administration of executive committee chairman and president Hollins Nicholas Randolph (1872-1938; served SMCMA, 1923-1928) saw a change in the composition of the board of directors. When Borglum's contract was cancelled in 1925, many UDC members left the board and others became openly hostile to the Association. From that time, the SMCMA, dominated by a group of Atlanta businessmen and civic leaders, was under constant attack from Borglum, the UDC, and the Venable family.

Financial problems plagued the SMCMA. A number of fundraising schemes were tried -- sale of granite chips from the carving, the Children's Founders Roll, the minting of the Stone Mountain Half-Dollar -- but financial woes persisted. In the summer of 1927, the Association petitioned the Georgia General Assembly for the right to condemn properties surrounding the mountain which would then be turned into a public park. The State Senate Judiciary Committee submitted a substitute bill to turn Stone Mountain into a state park, but the bill was never considered on the floor of the Senate. Work on the carving stopped in 1928 and the Venables reclaimed their property. Randolph retired and was replaced by George Francis Willis (1879-1932). The Association, fast running out of money, sought reconciliation with Borglum and Venable, but its various proposals for compromise were unsuccessful. By 1930 the SMCMA had spent all of its funds.

The functions of the SMCMA, carried out by the executive committee, included fundraising and expenditures, publicity, organization of special ceremonies, and personnel. On occasion the Association acted as a political lobbyist, such as when it pushed for passage of the Stone Mountain Coin act.

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of the records of the SMCMA, includes correspondence, minutes and reports, financial and legal records, printed material, photographs, blueprints, maps, and clippings. The bulk of the papers was created between 1923 and 1928. This series is subdivided into ten subseries according to type of material. Brief introductory notes for each subseries precede the container list for each subseries. These introductory notes also give information concerning the source of the materials in each subseries.

Arrangement Note

Organized into ten subseries: (1.1) Correspondence, (1.2) Minutes and reports, (1.3) Financial records, (1.4) Legal and insurance papers, (1.5) Printed material, (1.6) Clippings and press releases, (1.7) Miscellaneous and memorabilia, (1.8) Rogers Winter diary, (1.9) Photographs and sketches, and (1.10) Blueprints and maps.

Description of Subseries