Seventy-eight manuscripts, 21 May 1810 - 28 July 1907, of the Ford family of Charleston include among the early items the “reflections” of Jacob Ford on his seventieth birthday, in which he observed that he “was seeking the fountain of oblivion and found the pool of Siloam.”
Philip Porcher wrote to his sister from on board the Steamer Juno on 29 December 1863 regretting that he had been unable to have Christmas dinner with her, as he was detained as a member of a court-martial. Porcher’s letter comments on the siege, noting that “the city is truly a gloomy residence....On Christmas Eve and Christmas [day], the Yanks kept up the heartiest fire we have yet had and managed to set fire to one building, which communicated to two or three others.” A later document, 2 September 1885, certifies that “Lieut. Philip Porcher...was drowned at sea off the coast of South Carolina, on the 10th of March, 1864.”
Chief among the collection is post-Civil War correspondence from Marion Johnstone Ford to her husband, Arthur Peronneau Ford, who was away from South Carolina on business. Letters dating from July 1874 through July 1877 discuss family news and everyday activities and thoughts of Mrs. Ford, including news of the American Revolution Centennial Celebration in Charleston in the summer of 1876 and, in a letter dated 16 August 1876, an incident in which one of their workers had confronted her with “a trumped up story of some money I owed him....I now sleep with a loaded pistol.”
Also included among the papers is the incomplete manuscript for “Rose Blankets,” a memoir published by Arthur and Marion Ford in their 1905 book Life in the Confederate Army; Being Personal Experiences of a Private Soldier in the Confederate Army.