The William Henley Nelson Family Papers contain correspondence, military certificates and commissions, political speeches and appointments, photo copies of Nelson's military service records, newsclippings and newspapers, essays, notes on the Nelson Family genealogy, photographs, and memorabilia documenting the military and political careers of W. H. Nelson between 1861 and 1935. The records dating after 1936 describe Nelson and St. John Family activities, their relationship to W. H. Nelson, and the literary activities of James Heaton and Pearl Nelson.
The Nelson Family Papers addition consists of correspondence, newsclippings, photographs, and Elinor Farina papers pertaining to the Nelson and St. John families.
The collection is divided into four series: Series 1, Military and Political Records, 1866-1934; Series 2, Personal and Family Correspondence, 1861-1973; Series 3, Newsclippings and Memorabilia, 1875-1910; and Series 4, Family Photographs, c. 1862-1973.
The materials in the addition were added to Series 2, Series 3, and Series 4, while Series 5 was created for the Elinor Farina Papers.
Method of Acquisition
The William Henley Nelson Family Papers were donated to the Archives of Appalachia by Elinor Farina August 27, 1987. A handwritten account of William H. Nelson's military experiences in the West following the Civil War was donated to the Archives of Appalachia by his grandson, Nelson St. John, August 20, 1989.
Accruals and Additions
The addition to the Nelson Family Papers was donated to the Archives of Appalachia in 1990, 1995, and 1996 by Elinor Farina of Johnson City.
Removed from collection and filed in map cabinet by Accession No.:
1. Muster Roll for Company L of the 5th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry, United States Army, February 28, 1865 (2:3).
Ed Speer and Scott Schwartz completed processing, and the collection was opened to researchers July 18, 1990. The addition was processed by Georgia Greer, and opened to researchers in December 1996.