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Edmund Asa Ware records

 Collection — Box: 10-13
Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0016

Scope and contents

The Edmund Asa Ware records are the third series of the Atlanta University Presidential Records.

This series is comprised of administrative correspondence and financial records produced during the administration of Edmund Asa Ware, superintendent of schools for the State of Georgia under the auspices of the Freedmen's Bureau, and later first president of Atlanta University. The records are divided into five subseries. The first subseries consists of correspondence between Ware and officials of the American Missionary Association regarding the purchase of land for the erection of buildings, the establishment of a normal school, and the establishment and support of teachers in Georgia by the A.M.A. and other philanthropic organizations. The second subseries relates to the plan and design of Atlanta University under the Ware administration. Included are building plans, plans for the expansion of the institution, and financial records concerning supplies and equipment for the first two dormitory buildings. The third subseries relates to Atlanta University's finances under the Ware administration. The bulk of papers in this group consists of letters of donations, establishment of scholarships for students, sale of property deeds, contributions of school supplies and clothing from friends and philanthropic agencies. The fourth subseries consists of various types of biographical data about Dr. Ware compiled by his son and friends and colleagues. The final group contains correspondence and financial records of Atlanta University during the administration of Acting Presidents Thomas Chase, Horace Bumstead, and C.W. Francis. All three of these individuals served in this capacity after Ware’s death in 1885.


  • Creation: 1860-1888


Rights statement

All materials in this collection are either protected by copyright and/or are the property of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. For more information, please contact

Biographical note

Edmund Asa Ware came to Atlanta in 1866 to replace Frederick Ayer as the American Missionary Association’s (A.M.A.) Superintendent of Schools. He immediately made plans to convert an old building, formerly a Confederate Commissary, into a schoolhouse for newly freed slaves. This new building was named Storrs School, after the Congregational Church of Cincinnati for their financial assistance in refurbishing the structure. Ware became principal in 1866. In 1867, Ware was appointed Superintendent of Schools for the Freedman’s Bureau in Georgia. This assignment forced him from his official role with the A.M.A., but he retained supervision of its educational work. Ware was one of the leading organizers in establishing an institution of higher learning for African Americans in the South. In October, Ware, along with ten others in a biracial group presented a petition to the Fulton County (Georgia) Superior Court asking to be incorporated under the name and title of the “Trustees of the Atlanta University.” As President of the Board, Ware directed efforts to find a suitable campus site, and secure funds for the erection of buildings. Fifty acres of land was purchased “consisting of several blocks between Hunter and Parsons and Walnut and Chestnut [Streets].” Another classroom was established at the remodeled Washburn Asylum Building to assist in overcrowding of the Storrs School. The first building (North Hall) was completed in September, 1869. Students were educated at levels according to their academic readiness. A grammar school was formed to train those not ready for the preparatory and collegiate departments. A Scientific Preparatory Department was established at the preparatory level. Theological and Agricultural Departments were opened at the collegiate level. Edmund Asa Ware remained President of AtlantaUniversity until his death in 1885.


1.67 Linear feet

Language of Materials



This series is organized into five subseries: Formation and design of Atlanta University; Plan and design of Atlanta University; Finances; Personal memorabilia; Acting presidencies of T.N. Chase, C.W. Francis and Horace Bumstead. Materials are arranged chronologically within each subseries.



Atlanta University Presidential records Edmund Asa Ware records
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the AUC Institutional Records Repository