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A Guide to the Andrew Sledd Papers

Finding aid created by Dept. Staff

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
September 2011

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Sledd, Andrew, 1870-1939
Title: Andrew Sledd Papers
Dates: 1869-1939
Bulk dates: 1897-1939
Abstract: Personal correspondence, notes, publication manuscripts, and memorabilia of Andrew Sledd, first president of the University of Florida.
Extent: 1.5 Linear feet. 5 boxes and 1 bundle.
Identification: Series P9
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Andrew Sledd, first president of the University of Florida, was born November 7, 1870 in Lynchburg, Virginia. He earned his B.A. and M. A. from Randolph-Macon College in 1894 and did graduate work at Harvard in 1896. From 1897 to 1902, Sledd taught Latin at Emory College. While at Emory, Sledd wrote a critique of race relations in the South that appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. Although the article supported the continuation of the "separate but equal" doctrine, Sledd's condemnation of lynching was immediately assailed by many white southerners. Amid a hailstorm of controversy, Sledd resigned his position. He then enrolled in Yale's graduate school and received a Ph. D. in Latin in 1903.

After graduating from Yale, Sledd served briefly as Professor of Greek at Southern College in Alabama before being selected as president of the University of Florida at Lake City in 1904. Soon after his arrival in Florida, Sledd urged the state government to consolidate its institutions of higher learning. He quickly won the support of Governor Napoleon B. Broward, and legislation was passed in 1905 that endowed two universities, one for white males and one for white females. Shortly afterwards, Gainesville was chosen as the site for the men's university and Sledd was selected as the first president of the new University of Florida.

Sledd oversaw the transfer to Gainesville in 1906 and selected the initial faculty, most of whom had been instructors at Lake City. His tenure, though, was brief. Under pressure from the state legislature and the State Superintendent of Public Education, Sledd resigned in 1909 and was replaced by Albert A. Murphree.

Sledd went on to serve as President of Southern College and later had a distinguished career as Professor of Greek and New Testament Literature at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Sledd was also a recognized Bible scholar and a force in ecclesiastical circles in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He died March 6, 1939.

Scope and Content

Series P9 is a collection of the personal correspondence, notes, publication manuscripts, and memorabilia of Andrew Sledd, first president of the University of Florida. The series contains manuscripts to many of his works--some unpublished--including his unfinished memoir, "Autobiography of a Southern Schoolmaster." The autobiography begins with recollections of his childhood and ends, unfortunately, in the middle of the controversy surrounding the decision to relocate the University of Florida to Gainesville in 1905. Also included in the series are his letters to his father-in-law, Bishop Warren A. Chandler, for the years 1897-1913 and a small, but significant, group of materials related to his appointment as President of the Florida Agricultural College in 1903, his selection as the first university president, the relocation of the campus to Gainesville, and his ouster in 1909. Newspaper clippings document the controversy surrounding his 1902 article on southern race relations. With the exception of printed material and publication manuscripts, records related to his interpretation of Bible scripture and his views on church doctrine are scarce.

The series also contains limited records of others in the Sledd Family. Most significant are records of his father, Rev. Robert Newton Sledd, which consist of an estate book, some of his sermon notebooks, deeds, and miscellaneous papers.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

Series P3 contains the administrative policy records of University of Florida President Sledd.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Andrew Sledd Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Contents List

1 The Atlantic Row -- clippings
1 The Atlantic Row -- correspondence
1 Autobiography
1 Board of Missions
1 Book Reviews
1 Candler, Bishop W. A. -- correspondence
1 Correspondence, Miscellaneous
1 Decatur (Georgia) Board of Education
1 Durham, Plato T. -- Petition for his resignation as the Dean of the Chandler School of Theology
1 Florida
1 General
1 Documents regarding Sledd's selection as president of UF in 1905
1 Documents regarding Sledd's ouster in 1909
1 Letters to C. A. Carson and others supporting Sledd's candidacy for president of the Florida Agricultural College
1 Published documents regarding higher education in Florida and founding of Gainesville campus
1 Letters of reference
1 Letters of sympathy to Mrs. Andrew Sledd, 1939
2 Manuscripts of articles and speeches (See also Roosevelt and New Deal.)
2 Adult Class, With the 1-3-1915
2 An Appeal from the Decision of the Board of Education in the case of the Proposed Oklahoma City University
2 The Attitude of the People Towards Religion: The Problem -- Its Causes and Solutions
2 The Challenge to the Church, Phi Beta Kappa Address, 3-4-1933
2 The Church College and the Lay Student
2 Compulsory Education, Address Delivered Before the Kentucky State Teachers' Association
2 Compulsory Education in the South
2 Correlation of Methodist Colleges in Alabama
2 The Creed
2 The Confessions of a College President, By One of Them
2 The Dissolution of the Old South
2 Educational Ideals
2 Fragmentary Teaching
2 Going or Coming?
2 The Heart in Education 12-19-1913
2 Hermaneutics
2 [Higher Education -- Untitled manuscript on the purpose and creed of higher education]
2 His First Case
2 How May We Practice Christian Love?
2 The Idols of the Cave
2 The Interpretation of Luke 17:21
2 Inspiration [of the New Testament]
2 King Arthur's Defeat
2 The Liberating Power of the Truth
2 Liberty and Letters
2 Liberty and Letters, Phi Kappa Phi address, 6-12-1919
2 A Little Child Shall Lead Them
2 Notes on Study of the New Testament
2 Obligations of Public Education
2 Our County's Future
2 Paul's Conception of Jesus and the Christ
2 Paul's Doctrine of the Law
2 A Personal Experience in Teaching the English Bible
2 In Praise of Spanking
2 In Praise of Spanking, Orbilius Plagosus
2 The Relation of the Heart to the Intellect and the Will
2 Religious Training in Church Colleges
2 So Much Good in the Worst of Us
2 Solid South, Essay on the
2 The Sunday School Teacher and the New Knowledge
2 Temperance Sermon
2 The Training and Work of the Organized Class
2 The Twelve and the Composition of the New Testament
2 What is the Matter with the Colleges?
2 Manuscripts, Fragments
2 Manuscripts, Untitled
2 New Testament Translations
3 Notes -- Sermons and miscellaneous
3 Obituaries, 1939
3 "Orthodoxy" controversy, 1920-1925
3 Poetry, Rhymes
3 Prophets, Lectures on
3 Publications (See also Box 5)
3 Roosevelt and the New Deal
3 R. N. Sledd
3 Obituaries
3 Sermon notebooks
3 Estate ledger
4 Publications
4 Deeds
4 Sledd Family -- Genealogical material
4 Sledd Family -- Material related to family members other than Andrew or R. N. Sledd
5 Miscellany -- School notebooks, sermon notebooks, additional publications, memorabilia
5 Bundle of diplomas and certificates

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Emory University -- History -- Sources
Methodist Church -- Southern States -- History -- Sources
Sledd, Andrew -- 1870-1939 -- Archives
Sledd, R. N. -- (Robert Newton) -- 1833-1899 -- Archives
Universities and colleges -- Florida -- History -- Sources
University of Florida -- History -- Sources
University of Florida (Lake City, Fla.) -- History -- Sources
University of the State of Florida -- History -- Sources

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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