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Francis Orray Ticknor Collection (MC 19)

Biographical Note


Francis Orray Ticknor was born on November 13, 1822, probably in Fortville (or The Old Fort) in Jones County, Georgia, to Dr. Orray Ticknor and his wife, Harriet Coolidge Ticknor.  Dr. Ticknor had moved to Savannah, Georgia in 1815 from Columbia, Connecticut where he met and married his wife . Francis, or Frank as he was usually known, was the last of three children.  He was five months old when his father died in March of 1823.  Sometime after her husband's death, Mrs. Ticknor and her children moved to Columbus, Georgia.  In 1835 Francis left Columbus to attend school in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, after which he studied medicine in Philadelphia and New York.  Around the new year of 1844 he settled in Shell Creek, Lumpkin County, Georgia, and began a medical practice.  On January 18, 1847 Dr. Ticknor married Rosalie Nelson, daughter of Major Thomas Maudit Nelson of Virginia, who had moved to the Wynnton area of Columbus, Georgia in 1840.  Around 1850 Dr. and Mrs. Ticknor moved from Shell Creek to Torch Hill, about seven miles from Columbus.  The Ticknors had 8 children, of whom 5 reached adulthood.  Besides medicine, Ticknor was involved in horticulture (especially the cultivation of roses) and poetry. The Southern Cultivator published both prose articles and poems by Ticknor.  During the Civil War Dr. Ticknor worked in several hospitals around Columbus.  His best-known poem, Little Giffen of Tennessee, was written during the War about one of the wounded he tended.  The Civil War and its aftermath left the Ticknors and the town in reduced circumstances, but he continued to work as a doctor and to write until shortly before his death on December 18, 1874 in Columbus and is buried in Linwood Cemetery.  Two incomplete collections of his poems were published after his death.  The first was edited by Kate Mason Rowland and published by J.B. Lippincott and Co in 1879.  The second was edited by his granddaughter, Michelle Cutliff Ticknor, and published in 1911.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence, biographical works about Ticknor, manuscripts and typescripts of some of his poems, a bound typescript of Ticknor letters from December 18, 1839 to January 17, 1870 collected by M. T. Furlow, 18 letters of the Cutliff family (1898-1953), a copy of The Poems of Francis Orray Ticknor edited by Michelle Cutliff Ticknor, and a typescript copy of Sarah Anne Cheney's 1934 Duke University MA thesis on Francis Orray Ticknor.

1839-1953 1 box (.5 .l.f.)

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish materials from the Francis Orray Ticknor Collections must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives.  Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required:

Francis Orray Ticknor Collection, MC 19
Columbus State University Archives
Columbus, Georgia


The collection was received by Virginia C. Lee in 1977.

Note to Researchers

See also:

Allan Brockman Research Papers Collection (MC 293)

Dillingham Family Collection (SMC 31)

Box and Contents List

Box 1

Item 1 – The Poems of Francis Orray Ticknor, ed. and collected by his granddaughter Michelle Cutliff Ticknor,New York, Neale, 1911.

This was removed from the box, cataloged and placed with the Rare Books.

Item 2 – Francis Orray Ticknor: A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Graduate School of Arts and sciences of Duke University by Sarah Anne Cheney. 1934.

This was removed from the box, cataloged and shelved in the Archives Reference Collection.

Item 3 – M. T. Furlow collection of Ticknor Letters (1832-1870). Typescript. n.d.

Item 4 – Diary kept by Thomas Michelle Ticknor (b. 1862), son of Dr. Francis Orray Ticknor.  During the time covered by the diary, he left his home in Columbus,Georgia and went to work at N & A Tift & Co. as a cashier, while living with his cousin Shelley Carter in Albany,Georgia.  December 18, 1879-May. 1880

Item 5 – Nineteenth century bleeding tool with case. n.d.

Item 6 – Small box labeled “Revolutionary War Relics of the Family”.  It contains two pocket knives and a bleeding tool. n.d.

Folder 1 – Calloway Family Genealogy. n.d.

Folder 2 – Cutliff Family Genealogy. n.d.

Folder 3 – Lumplin Family Genealogy. n.d.

Folder 4 – Furlow Family Genealogy. n.d.

Folder 5 – Irish Family Genealogies. n.d.

Folder 6 – Miscellaneous Genealogical Items. n.d.

Folder 7 – Leverett Family Genealogy. n.d.

Folder 8 – Ragan Family Genealogy. n.d.

Folder 9 –SalisburyFamily. n.d.

Folder 10 – Ray-Griffin-Ragan Genealogy. n.d.

Folder 11 – Cutliff Letters. 1919-1953

Folder 12 – Poetry of Francis Orray Ticknor (including some typescript copes. n.d.

Folder 13 – Biographical information of Francis Orray Ticknor. n.d.

Folder 14 – Letters of Francis Orray Ticknor (including some typescript copies). 1832-1847.