Blackman Manuscript Collection, Mss 17-001
Extent: .5 linear foot; 1 box
Access: No restriction on access.
William Fremont Blackman was born on September 26, 1855, in North Pitcher, New York. He graduated from Oberlin College, A. B., in 1877; Yale University, B. D., in 1880; and Cornell University, Ph. D., in 1893. He studied in Germany and France. In 1910, he received an honorary degree from the University of Florida. He held pastorates in Ohio, Connecticut and New York. He was Professor of Christian Ethics and Lecturer on Sociology at Yale University and was an editor of the Yale Review. He was President of Rollins College from 1902-1915 and died in 1932 in Winter Park (for more biographical information, see the finding aid for the Blackman Administrative Correspondence).
Lucy Worthington Blackman was born on July 1, 1860, in Steubenville, Ohio. She was educated in private schools and spent three years traveling and studying in London, Berlin and Paris. She married William Fremont Blackman on July 1, 1884, in Washington, DC. They met while he was the pastor of the Congregational Church in Steubenville. After their marriage, they moved to Connecticut where he was the pastor of another Congregational Church. Their three children were born between the years of 1886 and 1889. In 1902, they moved to Winter Park where William Blackman became the President of Rollins College. The Blackmans resided at the President’s House (the Lyman Home) located on the corner of Interlachen and Morse Boulevard; their home became a center for College and community gatherings. For two years, Lucy Blackman taught in the School of Domestic and Industrial Arts at Rollins; a department she developed. She became a member of the Florida Audubon Society in 1902; joined the Executive Board in 1903 and become Vice President in 1930, a position she held until 1937. She was the Chair of the Winter Park Woman’s Club and became very active in the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs, an organization that she served as president from 1923-1926. Her interest drove her to serve on a national level as well; she chaired the Department of Education of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. Her interests are reflected in her publications; she wrote a history of the Florida Audubon Society, The Florida Audubon Society, 1900-1935 in 1935 and The Women of Florida in 1937 (reissued in 1940). She was awarded the Rollins Decoration of Honor in 1935. Lucy Blackman died in 1942 at West Palm Beach, Florida and is buried in Winter Park.
Scope and Content:
The collection records the activities of the Blackman family at Rollins College as well as in the community. The writings demonstrate their wide interests and endeavors. Education was something that they “consecrated’ their lives to and sacrificed much for (see Prange, Blackman Administrative Correspondence). The Florida Audubon Society was an interest for both; Lucy Blackman wrote the early history of the Society (the Department has copies of the history).
The Wekiva Ranch diary for the year of 1918 contains information about the day to day workings of the Blackman’s Wekiva Ranch (4,000 acres) on Lake Monroe and the St. Johns River on which they lived with their son Berkeley. On the ranch they bred cattle, sheep, mules and hogs and raised fruit and vegetables; the diary gives the daily temperature, weather and farming notes as well as a few state livestock programs. The ranch was 26 miles from Winter Park and took about one and a half hours to reach from Winter Park; when the brick road was completed it took only one hour (see Upton, Blackman Administrative Correspondence). In part, the ranch was purchased in an effort to improve the President’s failing health: “I hope to get health out of the venture whether it shall prove financially profitable or not” (see Franck Taylor, Blackman Administrative Correspondence). President Blackman kept the diary from January to April 29; Mrs. Blackman continued the diary until August 10. The ranch was purchased in 1915 and sold in 1923 because of President Blackman’s declining health. The Blackmans then moved to Orlando and later returned to Winter Park.
The scrapbook covers the years 1904-1915 and 1926-1927 and contains newspaper clippings on Rollins athletics and fund raising campaigns as well as clippings on Winter Park events.
From what can be ascertained, Lucy Blackman donated the material to the College. Much of this material was used by A. J. Hanna for the 25th and 50th Anniversaries of the Founding of the College; because of this, administrative, personal and research material became mixed. Time was taken to recreate the original order of the administrative records and to establish manuscript collections. All material has been transferred to acid-free folders; newspapers clippings have been transferred to acid-free bond. The deterioration of the scrapbook was so advanced that it had to be transferred to acid-free bond. The diary has been cleaned and the pages randomly deacidified.
For additional information concerning the Blackmans
see (all records listed are available in the Department):
Blackman, William Fremont. History of Orange County Florida: Narrative and Biographical. Deland, Fl: E. O. Printing Co., 1927. [index prepared by the staff of the Local History Department of the Orlando Public Library, 1970]
“President William Fremont Blackman and His Administration, 1902-1915”. Rollins College Bulletin, vol. 54, no. 4 (December 1959).
Lane, Jack, comp. And ed. Rollins College: A Pictorial History. Tallahassee, Fla: Rose Printing Co., 1980. Also available is Dr. Lane’s unpublished manuscript on the history of Rollins College [permission of author is needed prior to use].
For related records concerning the Blackmans see (all records listed are available in the Department):
Blackman family files: Berkeley [faculty file]; Lucy [alumni file]; Worthington and Marjorie Blackman Wallace Sloatermen for “Whom God Has Joined” and “I remember It Well” [alumni file].
Hanna, A. J. Manuscript material on the founding of Rollins College and the Presidents of the College.
Knowles Memorial Chapel files for Memorial Services and Rollins Decoration of Honor files.
The College Photographic Collection has photographs of President Blackman, his wife and family as well as photographs of their ranch.
Series description: Most of the material in the Collection dates from 1904-1915; however, there is some material covering the 1926-1927 and 1930s time period. The writings are arranged alphabetically; the scrapbook is in rough chronological order.
Box 1 contents:
Folders 1-13 Writings
Folder 14 Wekiva Ranch Diary
Folders 15-18 Scrapbook