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Frederick Ayer records

 Collection — Box: 8-9
Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0015

Scope and contents

This series contains records which represent the work of Frederick Ayer as local superintendent and financial agent appointed by the American Missionary Association to establish schools for the freedmen in Atlanta. The correspondence includes Ayer's description of the condition of the newly freed slaves upon his arrival in Atlanta, letters to E.M. Cravath, secretary of the Middle West Department of the American Missionary Association and later president of Fisk University. The financial records are comprised of daybooks, ledgers, letter books, and bills and vouchers of the various firms Ayer dealt with when school buildings were built for Atlanta University. Other material among the Ayer records consist of insurance policies for the Storrs School and the Washburn Orphan Asylum. Also included are faculty monthly reports, vouchers and financial accounts relating to salaries of Atlanta University's faculty and staff.


  • Creation: 1865-1867, 1900


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

The Reverend Frederick Ayer was a veteran missionary from the American Missionary Association (A.M.A.) who came to Atlanta in 1865 to begin formal educational work for newly freed slaves. His first pupils were from a class formerly taught by two ex-slaves, James Tate and Grandison B. Daniels. Ayer taught his first classes at two locations, in an old church building, and in a boxcar purchased by the American Missionary Association. The boxcar was located on a plot of land obtained by African Americans who were former members of the (white) First Baptist Church, but withdrew their association to form Friendship Baptist Church. When these facilities proved inadequate, Reverend Ayer, acting on behalf of the A.M.A., purchased property and a building that was formerly used as a Confederate Commissary on the corner of Peachtree and Houston Streets. In 1866, the A.M.A. replaced Ayer as it's superintendent of schools for this section of the state so that he could focus on building and maintaining new facilities. His was one of eleven names signed to the Atlanta University Charter. He died in September 1867.


0.8 Linear feet

Language of Materials



This series is arranged chronologically.



Atlanta University presidential records, Frederick Ayer records, 1865-1867, 1900
Finding aid prepared by Clarence Brown, Joy Broyles, Paul Crater, Wilson Flemister, Jean Smith, Dawn Williams
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the AUC Institutional Records Repository