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Van Deventer Collection

Identifier: MSC 0809

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the Van Deventer, Rhea, Campbell, Cowan, Lynn, and Russell families. The major donors were Martha Rhea Van Deventer and her children: Robert, Laetitia, and Isabella. The collection includes many small artifacts, textiles, manuscripts, photographs, and artwork. Robert Van Deventer’s art is an important part of the collection. 1877 photographs of Island Home in boxes 52-53. A finding aid is available.


  • 1820s-1970s

Conditions Governing Access

Material is available for research. Prior arrangement MUST be made by contacting the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection at

Biographical / Historical

James Thayer Van Deventer (1830-1910) was the son of Christopher Van Deventer (West Point, 1808) and Sarah Birckhead Van Deventer. He attended Yale Law School and was admitted to the bar in New York. He moved to Clinton, Iowa where he was treasurer and manager of the Iowa Land Company in 1856. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War leaving with the rank of Col. James Thayer Van Deventer married Laetitia Flournoy in 1862 in Clinton, Iowa. After the war ended, he was president of the Iowa Railroad Company until 1888 when he and his family moved from Clinton, Iowa to Knoxville. He and Laetitia had six sons: James Flournoy, Thomas Lennox, Horace, Hugh Flournoy, Fayette Flournoy, and Christopher.  Fayette Flournoy Van Deventer (1872-1942) married Martha Lynn Rhea (1877-1949) in Knoxville in 1897. This union united Van Deventer family with a pioneer East Tennessee family, including the Rheas, Campbells, Cowans, Lynns, and Russells.


91 boxes

Language of Materials


Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection Repository

601 S Gay Street
3rd floor
Knoxville Tennessee 37902 United States