A Guide to the

George E. May Papers, 1930s

SC# 2055

Compiled by: Orville Bame, October 1988
Updated by Chelsea Gutshall, February 2010

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: George E. May Papers, 1930s

Collection No.: SC# 2055

Creator: George Elliot May

Extent: 1/2 Hollinger box; .209 linear feet

Language: English



The George E. May Papers, 1930s, contain 44 chapters (some missing) of a carbon-copy typescript manuscript plus handwritten drafts and other notes on the history of Port Republic, Virginia.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions:


Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions:


The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation: 


[Identification of Item], May, George E. Papers, 1930s, SC# 2055, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Acquisition Information:

On deposit from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, May 27, 1987.


Biographical/Historical Note

Port Republic, Virginia, founded in 1802, is one of the oldest towns in Rockingham County. It particularly flourished during the 1820s and 1830s after the South Shenandoah River was made navigable for flatboats. It is best known today as the site of the Civil War battle of Port Republic in 1862.

Scope and Content

The George E. May Papers, written in the 1930s, consists of approximately 44 numbered chapters of a typed manuscript, with some chapters missing, plus handwritten materials on the history of Port Republic, Virginia. The manuscript begins with a portrait of the land and the American Indians who inhabited it and goes on to detail the establishment of the town and its subsequent growth. Information concerning farming (references to the invention of the notched sickle used on the McCormick reaper), boating, industry, and schooling is included. Several chapters are devoted to the Civil War and Stonewall Jackson's victory at the Battle of Port Republic in 1862. Citizens of the town who were involved in wars through World War I are discussed, with additional genealogical chapters on the Carthrae, Burgess, Harper, Kemper, Harnsberger, Trout, Scott, Downs and Madden families. Other individuals mentioned include Zachariah Raines and local slave trader, George W. Eustler.


The collection is arranged in five folders divided by manuscript chapters.



Folder 1: Chapters 1-7

Folder 2: Chapters 8-12

Folder 3: Chapters 13-24

Folder 4: Chapters 25-44

Folder 5: Miscellaneous Papers