The Augusta and Francis R. Holland papers are comprised of 55 letters, which focus on Augusta Wolle Holland's and Reverend Francis Raymond Holland's missionary life in Jamaica in the 1840s.
Series I: These 12 letters, some quite lengthy, are between Francis (2) and family friend Mary Steiner Denke (10). Mary's letters provide a diverse and well-written discussion of politics, plants, scenery, and society from her life in a Moravian settlement in Salem, North Carolina, and from travels to Macon, Georgia, in 1840, and to France in 1845. In addition to thoughtful discussions on the treatment and conditions of slaves in North Carolina and Georgia, she wrote of a May 1 celebration at Mr. Napier’s school in Macon, Georgia; stage travel in Georgia (during which the passengers had a political debate between Whigs and Locos); a Cherokee Indian Mission and the building of schools there; trans-Atlantic travel; Protestant versus Catholic churches and doctrine in France; and travel around the French countryside near Montauban. She was also interested in academic and religious teachings.
Series II: The August and Francis Holland Correspondence with Parents series, which comprises the bulk of the collection, contains 33 lengthy letters written between 1842 to 1849 and passed between the Hollands in Jamaica and their parents in the United States. Though Augusta was the more prolific of the writers, both wrote extensively about life as missionaries, thoroughly detailing their surroundings, food, health, gardening, religious education, and interactions with fellow missionaries and Jamaica’s inhabitants. Augusta’s letters focused on home and garden; she expressed great interest in the local flowers and edible plants. She also taught Sunday school classes, cared for her children, and kept up-to-date on current events in the United States. Francis' letters often mention national American politics, including national appointments and the ongoing Mexican War. Letters from their parents concern the family's well being, local events in the town, and religious activities and viewpoints. The Hollands kept servants while in Jamaica, and discussed them in their letters.
Series III: The Miscellaneous Correspondence series contains 10 items, primarily letters addressed to Holland from his colleagues in the church. A few letters were also written to Augusta and one to her father Jacob Wolle. Another item, sent from Bergen, Norway, to Philadelphia, is dated 1818 and is written in German.
This collection includes three illustrations: the letter from September 3, 1842, contains a sketch of a garden plan in Fairfield, Jamaica; the letter from January 31, 1845, has a small paper seal with a black floral image; and the November 26, 1845, item features a rough illustration of a flower.