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Fanny Murdaugh Downing letter

 Collection — Box: SFC4 [F09.090.03.02], Folder: 610
Identifier: MS0610

Content Description

Consists of a letter from Fanny Murdaugh Downing that was probably sent to Confederate General Daniel Harvey Hill, dated May 15, 1868. In the letter, Downing mentions that she read the "Leader" and discussed how she greatly enjoyed it. She also requested Hill to publish her work entitled "Legend" and wrote that Paul Hayne said it was the best thing she had ever written.


  • Creation: May 15, 1868

Conditions Governing Access

The letter is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Fanny Murdaugh Downing letter is the physical property of J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Fanny Murdaugh was born on October 19, 1831 in Portsmouth, Virginia to John Washington Murdaugh and Margaret Waller Murdaugh. She married Charles Downing, Secretary of State for Florida at the age of 19. After Portsmouth fell to the Union Army in 1862, Fanny fled to Charlotte, NC and began her most productive period as a literary writer. Between 1862 and 1869, Fanny wrote hundreds of poems, many of which were published in Hill's publication "The Land We Love." One of her longer and more well-known works, "Pluto: The Origin of Mint Julep" was printed in pamphlet form in Raleigh in 1867. In addition to her poems, Downing became the first novelist in Mecklenburg county with the publication of her novel "Nameless," which was printed in Raleigh in 1863. The book is set in England and reflects Southerners' interest in life at court. She moved to Washington, D.C. in 1869, where she became Don Piatt's assistant on The Patriot, a local newspaper. Downing died on May 6, 1894 in Washington, D.C.

Source: The Charlotte Observer, February 28, 1950.


.1 Linear Feet (1 page letter)

Language of Materials



Consists of a letter from Fanny Murdaugh Downing that was likely written to Confederate General Daniel Harvey Hill that is dated May 15, 1868 from Charlotte, NC.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The letter was donated by Robin Brabham in 2020.

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Andrew Pack in 2021.

Fanny Murdaugh Downing letter
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

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Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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