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Columbus State University

CSU Archives

CSU Archives

Lamar-Chappell Collection (MC 1)

Biographical Sketch

Without the cooperation of Miss Loretto Chappell, the Columbus College Archives would not have started when it did. When asked about creating an archives in the new library, Columbus College President T. W. Whitley simply said, "Go talk to Miss Chappell. If she approves, she has enough material to fill an archives." She understood the function of an archives. Not only was she a professional librarian, but she had known J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton during the 1920's. He was the pioneering archivist in the South, having collected the initial materials for the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Miss Chappell was thrilled by the prospect of an archives at Columbus College; here finally was a suitable place to preserve her grandfather's library. The irony is that most archives would not want books, but the Columbus College Archives could not have had a better initial donor. She gave the facility instant credibility. Her donation was front page news complete with a color picture in the Sunday Ledger-Enquirer. Her trust in the College Archives convinced others to give materials. She played an important role in acquiring other early collections, especially that of Louise Gunby Jones Dubose.

Miss Loretto's grandfather, Absalom H. Chappell (1804-1878), a lawyer, historian, and politician was born in 1804 in Hancock County, Georgia. Admitted to the bar in 1821, he lived in Sandersville (1821-26), Macon (1836-58), and Columbus (1858-78). He served as a trustee for the state university (then Franklin College of the University of Georgia), a state legislator and a senator, and in the U.S. Congress as a Whig (1843-44). In Columbus, he retired from active public life and planned to open a law school. He purchased Glen Lora, alarge house near town. As remembered by Miss Loretto Chappel, Glen Lora "was almost filled, upstairs & downstairs, with books. They never threw away a book. Even magazines, if they were good magazines, were saved by my grandfather. They were all there. I had them bound so they would look neater." Among them were A.H. Chappel's classic law books which he had planned to use in his law school, but which never materialized. He would write Miscellanies of Georgia at Glen Lora in the 1870s. A.H. Chappel's wife was Loretto Rebecca Lamar, the sister of Mirabeau Lamar who started the Columbus Enquirer in 1828 before moving to Texas and becoming the Republic's second president. One of A. H. Chappell's sons, J. Harris Chappel, became the first president of Georgia Normal & Industrial College for Women, now Georgia College in Milledgeville. Another son, L.H. Chappell, served as mayor of Columbus for 12 years, as one of the city's most progressive chief executives. His daughter, Loretto Lamar Chappell (1895-1987), perhaps because of her grandfather's books, was a bibliophile and became the city's best know librarian.

Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of the library (621 volumes) of Absalom Harris Chappell. This library reflects the varied legal and literary (classical and contemporary) interests of a scholarly antebellum attorney. Almost all of them were published before 1860, including a biography of Louis IX from 1668 and an edition of Diogenes from 1562. The collection also contains pamphlets (38, 7 written by A.H. Chappell) dealing with state and national politics, and family correspondence (14 letters). The latter includes the first item, a calling card, printed on the press of the Columbus Enquirer by Mirabeau B. Lamar, an interesting letter written by Joseph Harris Chappell as a child from Columbus on the eve of the Civil War, and the Chappell's post Civil War pardon.

1562-1861 74.5 l.f.

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the Lamar-Chappell Collection must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives. Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required:

Lamar-Chappell Collection
Columbus State University Archives
Columbus, Georgia


Donated by Loretto Chappell in 1975.

Box and Folder List


  • Folder 1 Annual Report of Comptroller General of the State of Georgia, 1844
  • Folder 2 Comptroller General's Office of Georgia
  • Folder 3 Georgia and the General Government, 1826
  • Folder 4 Georgia Constitution, 1868
  • Folder 5 Georgia Constitution, 1877
  • Folder 6 Journal of the Proceedings of the Convention of the People of Georgia
  • Folder 7 Proceedings of the Conservative Convention
  • Folder 8 Report of the Senate of the State of Georgia, 1839
  • Folder 9 Standard of Union - Gov. George Gilmer, 1838
  • Folder 10 To the People of Georgia, 1844


  • Folder 1 Theatre de Voltaire, Sophonisbe
  • Folder 2 Theatre de Voltaire, Brutus
  • Folder 3 Theatre de Voltaire, Zulime
  • Folder 4 Theatre de Voltaire, Catilina, ou Rome Sauvee
  • Folder 5 Theatre de Voltaire, Irene
  • Folder 6 Theatre de Voltaire, L'Ecossaise
  • Folder 7 Theatre de Voltaire, Olimpie
  • Folder 8 Theatre de Voltaire, Oedipe
  • Folder 9 Theatre de Voltaire, La Princesse De Navarre
  • Folder 10 Theatre de Voltaire, Adelaide Du Guesclin
  • Folder 11 Theatre de Voltaire, Le Depositaire
  • Folder 12 Diogenis


  • Folder 1 A.H. Chappell Address
  • Folder 2 A.H. Chappell Letters
  • Folder 3 Bibliography of Absalom Harris Chappell, 1801-1878
  • Folder 4 Courage, An Oration, 1848
  • Folder 5 Daily Times, July 7, 1875
  • Folder 6 Eulogy Upon the Life and Character of James K. Polk, 1849
  • Folder 7 Georgia Citizen, July 6, 1850
  • Folder 8 Minutes of the Proceedings of a Convention of Merchants and Others (1838)
  • Folder 9 Miscellanies of Georgia…
  • Folder 10 Monroe Railroad and Banking Company, 1839
  • Folder 11 Presidential Pardon - A.H. Chappell
  • Folder 12 Sons of Temperance
  • Folder 13 Speech - Absalom Harris Chappell, 1844
  • Folder 14 Speech - A.H. Chappell, 1845
  • Folder 15 Speech - A.H. Chappell, 1849
  • Folder 16 Thalian Literary Society, Oglethorpe University
  • Folder 17 Union Celebration, 1851


  • Folder 1 A Brief Examination of Scripture Testimony on the Institution of Slavery
  • Folder 2 Catalogue - Franklin College, 1850-1851
  • Folder 3 Catalogue - Franklin College, 1851-1852
  • Folder 4 Catalogues
  • Folder 5 Clapp Factory
  • Folder 6 Congressional Directory, 1845
  • Folder 7 Harper's New Monthly Magazine, July 1857
  • Folder 8 Letter - Mirabeau B. Lamar, 1844
  • Folder 9 Loretto Lamar Calling Card
  • Folder 10 LQC Lamar Letter
  • Folder 11 Republic of Texas, Message of the President, 1838
  • Folder 12 Republic of Texas, Secretary of the Navy
  • Folder 13 Special Collections
  • Folder 14 The Aristidean, 1845
  • Folder 15 The Republic, October 19, 1844


  • Folder 1 Acts and Constitution of Confederate States, 1861
  • Folder 2 A Sketch of the Finances of the United States, 1796
  • Folder 3 Constitution of the Confederate States
  • Folder 4 Miscellanies of Georgia
  • Folder 5 The Crime Against Kansas, 1856
  • Folder 6 The South Alone Should Govern the South and African Slavery Should Be Controlled By Those Only Who Are Friendly To It
  • Folder 7 Third Session of Provisional Congress, CSA


Artifact - Lacquer Box

Note to Researchers

Researchers should also see the Loretto Chappell Collection, MC 29.