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Horace Bumstead records

 Collection — Box: 14-23
Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0017

Scope and contents

The Horace Bumstead records is the fourth series in the Atlanta University Presidential records.

This series contains the correspondence and administrative records of Horace Bumstead, Congregationalist minister, educator, and second president of Atlanta University. The correspondence includes letters to and from Northern philanthropic groups who contributed to student scholarships and for improvements to the University's physical plant. Of comparatively small proportion is the professional correspondence, mostly from members of the Atlanta University faculty and influential friends. The majority of the letters are concerned with administrative affairs of the Bumstead administration. Among those correspondents are Charles W. Chesnutt, W.E.B. DuBois, Clark Howell, Augustus J. Orr, E.O. Thayer, and Booker T. Washington. These records also consist of correspondence of some of the students who attended Atlanta University from 1887 to 1904. Included are letters from students giving accounts of their school life and personal background. Newspaper clippings on noteworthy events such as the Atlanta Race Riot, and the Brownsville, Texas Race Riot are contained in subseries four. Copies of several issues of the Atlanta University Publications are contained among the printed materials in series six. News clippings comprise series seven.


  • Creation: 1876-1919


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

Horace Bumstead was born in Boston, Massachusetts on 29 September 1841. He attended Yale University along with Edmund Ware, and after a brief stint in the United States Army during the Civil War, he joined the faculty of Atlanta University in 1875 as an instructor in Natural Science. Bumstead went on to become Professor of Latin; Acting President, 1886-1887; and President from 1888 to 1907. Named the "Apostle of Higher Education of the Negro" by W.E.B. DuBois, Bumstead advocated restructuring Atlanta University to include kindergarten, grade school, college prep, and college in order to better prepare it's students. Due to losses in appropriations from the State of Georgia, much of Bumstead's efforts centered around raising funds for the school. Several additions to the campus were built during his administration, including Furber College, and Graves Library. Horace Bumstead retired from Atlanta University in 1907 and died on 6 October 1919.

Historical note

Seventy-two days following the end of the Civil War, the American Missionary Association (A.M.A.) began formal educational work for African Americans in Atlanta. Edmund Asa Ware, the Educational Director of the A.M.A. in Georgia, promoted the idea of establishing a university to provide educational opportunity for the recently freed slaves and refugees of the war. Altanta University opened on 13 October 1869.

The University offered training for students of all ages including kindergarten, grade school, normal industrial, academy and college. In 1894, all pre-high school level work ceased, and during the first two decades of the twentieth century, the University phased out its high school courses. In 1929, Atlanta University affiliated with Morehouse and Spelman in a cooperative plan known as the Atlanta University System. Among the features of this system was a division of labor between the schools to eliminate unnecessary duplication of educational efforts. Under this plan, the University discontinued all undergraduate work and devoted its resources to graduate and professional education, while Morehouse and Spelman operated on a college level.

The Atlanta University Schools of Social Work, Library and Information Studies, Arts and Sciences, Education, Business Administration, and Library Services were all established between 1920 and 1946. On 1 July 1988, Atlanta University and Clark College consolidated to form Clark Atlanta University.


4.2 Linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into seven series: Financial correspondence, Bulletin & catalog subscriptions, Administrative correspondence, Noteworthy features, Routine correspondence, Printed materials and Memorabilia. Each series is arranged alphabetically.




Atlanta University Presidential records. Horace Bumstead records, 1876-1919
Finding aid prepared by Clarence Brown, Joy Broyles, Paul Crater, Wilson Flemister, Jean Smith, and Dawn Williams, 1998.
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Repository Details

Part of the AUC Institutional Records Repository