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Raphael J. Moses Collection (MC 57)


Biographical Note

The Moses family was prominent in Columbus, Georgia, before, during and after the Civil War. Raphael J. Moses was born in 1812 and reared in Charleston, South Carolina. He prepared an autobiography in the 1890s at the request of family members. After becoming a lawyer, he migrated to St. Joseph and Apalachicola, Florida, and then to Columbus, Georgia in 1848, where he became involved in a wide variety of businesses. From his estate, Esquilene (now Benning Hills), he shipped some of the first Georgia peaches to the North. During the Civil War he served as commissary officer for James Longstreet's Corps. His observations about Confederate leaders, recorded in this autobiography, are widely quoted. He remained active in politics and economic matters after the war. His well-written autobiography gives a penetrating analysis of Columbus's power structure before and after the war. After becoming involved in a dispute over fees with William H. Young of the Eagle & Phenix, Moses became a leader of the "outs" political faction and actively fought the influence of Young and his institutions. He died in Brussels, Belgium on October 13, 1893, but is buried in Esquiline cemetery in Columbus.


Scope and Content

The collection includes a volume of photocopied magazines and newspaper clippings, as well as correspondence pertaining to Raphael J. Moses and his family; the restoration of Moses-Levy Cemetery Grounds (Esquiline) by the Jewish War Veterans Pose #455 in 1960; and the Civil War Memorial service at Esquiline hosted by Post 455 in 1973. It also includes photocopies of family history by a cousin, Stanford Moses.

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the Raphael J. Moses Collection must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives at Columbus State University. Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required:

Raphael J. Moses Collection (MC 57)
Columbus State University Archives
Columbus, Georgia


This material was donated by Lester Robbins in October of 1984. For more information about Moses, see his autobiography in the Alva C. Smith Collection.


Note to Researchers

For the autobiography of Raphael J. Moses see:

The Alva C. Smith Collection (MC 34)

Box and Folder List


Box 1

Folder 1 – The Lester Robbins Scrapbook on Esquilne and its Restoration

Folder 2 – Raphael J. Moses, His Life and Letters, with Notes and Comment, by Stanford Moses, with a letter to Dr. Craig Lloyd. 184 pages.

Folder 3 – The Moses family tree and a letter to Dr. John Lupold, 1983

Folder 4 – Raphael J. Moses, His Life and Letters, with Notes and Comments by Stanford Moses