Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Bryant Family Papers, 1892-1895

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, December 2011

Summary Information
Title: Bryant family papers
Creator: Bryant family
Inclusive dates: 1892-1895
Extent: 9 items
The Bryant family papers contain personal correspondence addressed to Emma Alice Bryant ("Alice") of Mt. Vernon, New York, and to her parents, Emma Frances Spaulding Bryant and Colonel John Emory Bryant. Alice's friend Bernice wrote about her life at Ulysses S. Grant University in Athens, Tennessee, and Emma's sister Margaretta described her life near Earlsville, Illinois. Julius Christian Zeller and his wife Alice were newlyweds who sent news of their lives in Kickapoo, Illinois.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2000. M-4081.7.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Bryant Family Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


John Emory Bryant (1836-1900) served in the 8th Maine Infantry Regiment of the Union Army during the Civil War, and later became a lawyer and prominent politician in Georgia. He and his wife, Emma Frances Spaulding (1844-1901), married in 1864; their daughter, Emma Alice ("Alice"), was born on November 16, 1871, and lived with her parents in Mount Vernon, New York. On January 1, 1895, she married Julius Christian Zeller, a teacher with a degree from Ulysses S. Grant University in Athens, Tennessee. They lived in Kickapoo, Illinois; Chicago, Illinois; and Tacoma, Washington.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Bryant family papers contain 9 letters addressed to Emma Alice Bryant ("Alice") of Mt. Vernon, New York, and to her parents, Emma Frances Spaulding Bryant and Colonel John Emory Bryant.

Bernice, a friend of Alice's, wrote 3 letters in 1892 about her experiences at Ulysses S. Grant University in Athens, Tennessee, where she was a senior. She discussed her education, social activities, news from Athens, and mutual acquaintances who attended the college, such as Julius Zeller, Alice's future husband. Her letter of June 20, 1892, encloses newspaper clippings about weddings and other events, and she described the opening of an African American Baptist church (July 30, 1892). Margaretta Spaulding, Emma Spaulding Bryant's sister and Alice Bryant's aunt, wrote letters to Emma (June 21, [1892]; August 28, 1892) and Alice (October 1894) about her daily life in Earlsville, Illinois.

Julius Zeller's 2 letters are a love letter to Alice Bryant about his previous relationship with their mutual friend Bernice and about his studies at Ulysses S. Grant University (January 15, 1893) and a letter to his mother-in-law, Emma Bryant, written shortly after his marriage to Alice ([January 23, 1895]). The second letter concerns newlywed life. Alice Bryant wrote one letter to her parents about life in Kickapoo, Illinois, shortly after moving there (January 11, 1895).

Subject Terms

    • Athens (Tenn.)
    • Courtship--United States.
    • Earlville (Ill.)
    • Peoria County (Ill.)
    • Women--Education--United States--History--19th century.
    • Bryant, Emma Frances Spaulding, 1844-1901.
    • Zeller, Emma Alice Bryant, b. 1871.
    • Zeller, Julius Christian.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   5, Small Collections  
    Bryant family papers [series]
    Folder   17  
     February 26, 1892-January 23, [1895]
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    Duke University's collection of John Emory Bryant papers contains an autobiography of Alice Bryant Zeller.


    Currie-McDaniel, Ruth. "Bryant, John Emory." American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press, 2000.

    Harper, Franklin. "Zeller, Julius Christian." Who's Who on the Pacific Coast. Los Angeles: Harper Publishing Company, 1913.