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Atkinson-Floyd Papers, 1815-1994

 Collection — other: Box 1
Identifier: SC-A-001

Content Description

The collection contains two typescripts and various documents relating the history of the Atkinson and Floyd families of Camden County and Marietta (Cobb County), Georgia. The first typescript (Notebook #1) is entitled "Atkinson: Being Mostly the Descendents of Burwell Atkinson and Nathan Atkinson Who Settled in Camden County, Georgia in the Late 1790s" and was compiled by Shirley Thomas Joiner. It contains several hundred typed pages of genealogical information, with short biographical sketches of the various family members and some documents, such as Alexander S. Atkinson's 1839 valedictory address from the University of Georgia and various letters to Joseph E. Brown and Alexander H. Stephens. The 1839 address contains some interesting comments on Cherokee character, immediately following Indian removal from Georgia. The address and letters also contain observations on slavery from a product of the aristocracy. The second typescript (Notebook #2: General Floyd's Diary) was typed by James B. Floyd. It includes the following: "Extracts from the Letters of Charles Rinaldo Floyd to Genl. John Floyd and Others"; "The Complete Journal of Charles Rinaldo Floyd during His Visit to Europe in 1821"; "Some Typical Weeks from the Diary of Charles Rinaldo Floyd, 1822­ 1845"; "Poems Written by Charles R. Floyd"; and" A Fable" by Charles R. Floyd; General John Floyd's Will; articles about the Floyds in the New York Sun. This notebook is also over two hundred pages in length. In addition to the page number at the top of each page, the typed manuscript gives the original page numbers for the hand-written document. There is also an index to the original manuscript. The manuscript is full of duels and matters of honor and gives interesting insights into the character of a prominent member of the Georgia ruling class.


  • 1815-1994
  • Other: Date acquired: 1995


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. Archival materials may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state “right to privacy” laws. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal cause for action if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person. Privately donated materials may carry restrictions imposed by deed as a condition of donation and require the permission of the donor or donor’s agent. The KSU archives does not itself waive such restrictions, nor will it act as an advocate for any researcher seeking such waivers. KSU archives staff have taken care to identify and, in some cases, remove sensitive information found within its archival collections when undertaking archival processing work. However, privacy protected information may be revealed during use of the archival collections, particularly in those collections that are unprocessed or have been minimally processed. Researchers agree to make no notes or other recordation of privacy protected information if found within the archival collections, and further agree not to publish, publicize, or disclose such information to any other party for any purpose if found within the archival collections. Researchers agree to indemnify and hold harmless Kennesaw State University and its officers, employees, and agents from and against all suits, claims, actions, and expenses arising out of use of archival collections held by the Kennesaw State University Archives.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Permission to publish, reproduce, publicly display, broadcast, or distribute this material must be secured from the repository and/or copyright holder.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Atkinsons and Floyds have been prominent families of Camden County on the Georgia coast since about 1800. The Atkinsons also have a Cobb County connection through Alexander Smith Atkinson (1815-1894) and his wife, Mary Ann McDonald Atkinson (1823-1884), daughter of Gov. Charles J. McDonald (1793-1860). After his tenure as governor McDonald moved to Marietta , where he remained until his death. Alexander S. and Mary Ann McDonald Atkinson maintained residences at "Incachee" plantation in Camden County and "Melora" in rural Cobb County, outside Marietta.
Other family connections to Marietta are through the following descendants of Alexander S. and Mary Ann Atkinson:
a) Their daughter Anne Eliza (1843-1919) married Robert de Treville Lawrence of Marietta. The KSU Archives possesses a large collection of Lawrence papers.
b) Their daughter Lilla Caroline (1850-1939) married Col. Thomas Beverley Irwin of Marietta, who was the son of Judge David Irwin, an early settler of Marietta and judge of the Blue Ridge Circuit. Included in Notebook # 1 is a brief autobiographical account by Lilla and Thomas's son, George Beverly Irwin, written in 1969.
c) Their son Samuel Carter Atkinson I (1864-1942) served as an associate justice of the Georgia Supreme Court from 1906-1942. The Georgia Official Register listed him as a resident of Brunswick. The court being in Atlanta, however, the judge actually lived much of the year in Cobb County, according to Sarah Blackwell Gober Temple , "The First Hundred Years: A Short History of Cobb County in Georgia" (Atlanta: Walter W. Brown Publishing Company, 1935), 129.
d) Their son Burwell (1848-1931) became a physician in Camden County. His eldest daughter, Julia Marion (1880­-1971), moved to Marietta after her mother died in 1894, living with her Aunt Anne Eliza Lawrence. Marion graduated from Marietta High School in 1898, then married Dr. Charles Thomas Nolan. Together they operated Nolan’s Sanitarium in Marietta.
e) Burwell's son, John Franklin Atkinson (1882-1949), also moved to Marietta after his mother died. He sang in the choir at St. James Episcopal Church. In 1905 he graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy, then went into the timber business in Camden Co. He married Katherine Russell Foster (1886-1974), a descendant of Gen. John Floyd and Gen. Charles R. Floyd of Camden Co. The children of John Franklin and Katherine Russell Atkinson include Dr. Samuel Carter Atkinson II, who donated these papers to Kennesaw State College.
There is another Marietta connection through William Gibbs McAdoo II (1863-1941), the son-in-law of Woodrow Wilson, Secretary of the Treasury in the Wilson Administration, and later a Senator from California. McAdoo was born in Cobb County on October 31, 1863, although the family was from Clinton, Tennessee, near Knoxville, from which they had fled after the Union occupation of the area. The future senator's father, Dr. William Gibbs McAdoo I (1820-1894) was affiliated for many years with the University of Tennessee. He married Mary Faith Floyd, who was the daughter of General Charles Rinaldo Floyd, the author of the diary contained in Notebook # 2. Mary Faith's first husband was Randolph Gillis McDonald (1826-1854), then in 1857 she married Dr. McAdoo. Sarah Temple cites W. G. McAdoo II's autobiography, "Crowded Years," as the source for her assertion that the McAdoos refuged in Marietta because they liked the climate and because it was the place where they had first met. She says that they purchased "a home, at that time called Melora, on the Powder Springs Road several miles from Marietta and in this house William G.McAdoo was born. [...] The house, though in disrepair, is still standing; it is usually known as the Atkinson place, Col. A.S. Atkinson having owned it for some years. The McAdoo family left Marietta in 1864 when William G. McAdoo was about six months old" (Temple, First Hundred Years, 543-44). Sixty years after Temple published her book, in 1995 the house is still standing but still in disrepair.
Biographical and historical note written by Dr. Thomas Scott.


.5 cubic feet (1 document case)

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Dr. Samuel C. Atkinson II, 4230 Ortega Blvd., Jacksonville, Florida 32210

Related Materials

Sarah Blackwell Gober Temple The first hundred years; a short history of Cobb county, in Georgia (Atlanta, Walter W. Brown Pub. Co., 1935).

Dr. Thomas Scott
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Revision Statements

  • 2020 June: updated by Maggie Thomas

Repository Details

Part of the Kennesaw State University Archives Repository

1000 Chastain Road
MD 1704
Kennesaw GA 30144 GKJ