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Durst Family papers

Identifier: MSS-0461

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of letters, newspapers, miscellaneous documents, one panoramic photograph and a United States Service flag, also known as the Blue Star Mother’s flag. The photograph and the flag are both from the World War I era.

The letters and documents cover a wide range of topics and date from 1708 to 1977. Most of the letters were written in the 1860s by various authors to generally unnamed correspondents. There are a few genealogical statements compiled by members of the Durst family and others, as well as several legal documents. These are from North and South Carolina and include a formal contract dated 1868 January 27 between James E.S. Morrison and Mariah Gray, Sarah Morrison and Mariah Morrison, hiring three of his former slaves. Other legal documents include land purchases and receipt of inheritance. There are also instructions for knitting an unknown garment, the text of the song Dixie Land, Confederate paper money, and pages of The Daily Citizen, Vicksburg, Mississippi dated 1863 July 3. The earliest pieces in the collection are various pages from A Report of Divers Cases in Pleas of the Crown, Adjudged and Determined; in the Reign of the late King Charles II printed in London in 1708.

There are two booklets in the collection: Souvenir of St. Augustine Under Three Flags, Pictorial History of Fort Marion published by W. J. Harris Company, copyrighted 1925, and Miss Rutherford’s Scrap Book – Valuable Information about the South: History of Slavery ~~ The South Did Not Fight to Hold Slaves by Mildred Lewis Rutherford, Athens, Georgia, 1925.

There are several newspaper issues also in the collection, including The Saturday Evening Post, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1855 April 14, 21, May 19, September 1 and 8), the Charleston Daily Courier, Charleston, South Carolina (1863 September 17 and 1863 November 10), Daily National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C. (1865 January 12), Charleston Daily News, Charleston, South Carolina (1866 June 21), Edgefield Advertiser, Edgefield, South Carolina (1867 January 23), The Graphic Christmas Number (1876 December 25), Tuscaloosa News and Times Gazette, Tuscaloosa, Alabama (1916 May 29, 30, June 1 and October 25), Birmingham News, Birmingham, Alabama (1938 September 11), and The Index-Journal, Greenwood, South Carolina (1959 June 24 and 1978 May 11).

The flag (now in Artifacts box 5430) was originally known as the War Mother’s Flag, but is now known as the United States Service Flag. It is an official flag/banner authorized by the United States Department of Defense for display by families who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities the United States may be engaged in. The blue star in the center of the red-bordered white rectangle signifies a member (which in 1917 was generally a son – which is why is it sometimes called the Sons in Service Flag) of the household was in active service during times of hostilities. The blue star was covered or replaced by a gold star if the family member died in action. Additional stars were sewn onto the flag when there were several members of the family in active service at the same time.

The panoramic photograph, with the title R.O.T.C. Artillery at the Target Range Chickamauga Park, GA, is undated. There is no marking on the photograph to indicate if there is a member of the Durst family in the group.


  • 1708-1977
  • Majority of material found within 1861 - 1868

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Biographical / Historical

The Durst family settled in South Carolina in 1765. Thomas Nicholson Durst served in the 7th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War and was killed on November 10, 1864.


0.4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Letters, newspapers, and miscellaneous documents from the Durst family. There is also a World War One era panoramic photograph and United Stated Service, or Blue Star Mother's flag.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Claudia Johnson, 1988


To provide faster access to our materials, this finding aid was published without formal and final review. Email us at if you find mistakes or have suggestions to make this finding aid more useful for your research.

Processing Information

Martha Bace, 2008; updated by Martha Bace, 2013
Guide to the Durst Family papers
2008; 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266