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Angelica Singleton Van Buren Collection
Sarah Angelica Singleton was born in Wedgefield, South Carolina in 1818, the daughter of a prominent South Carolina plantation owner, Richard Singleton, and his wife Rebecca Travis Coles. In 1838, Angelica would marry Abraham Van Buren, son of the 8th President of the United States, Martin Van Buren. During her father-in-law's term of office, Angelica would serve in the capacity as first lady due to the death of Mrs. Martin Van Buren seventeen years prior. Angelica's papers, consisting of two travel diaries, dated 1854-1855, documenting her family's trips to New York and Europe, and an autograph book, dated 1831, can be viewed here. This collection gives a first-hand account of early to mid-nineteenth century aristocratic life in the United States and abroad.
Armstrong Family Papers, 1900 - 1930
One of America's foremost early twentieth-century African-American magic acts. J. Hartford Armstrong, his wife, Lille Belle Armstrong, and eventually their daughter, Ellen Armstrong, performed feats that included mind reading, slight of hand, and card tricks. This collection of 127 items includes letters, photographs, and newspaper clippings.
Bonds Conway Papers, 1763 - 1907
Papers of Bonds Conway (1763-1843), a free African-American resident of Camden (Kershaw County, S.C.). This collection of family letters, land papers, and other items documents several generations of a free family of color from the 18th through the 20th centuries in South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, east Texas, and elsewhere. Topics discussed include social relations during antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras through the early 20th century.
Broadsides from the Colonial Era to the Present
Now, broadsides (posters, one page fliers, advertisements and other types of ephemera) from across many different South Caroliniana Library manuscript collections can be searched, viewed, read, and compared. The dates range from the 1700s to the present, and items will continue to be added to this collection.
Calvin Shedd Papers, 1862 - 1863
Forty-four letters, 1862-1863, of Union soldier Calvin Shedd, Co. A, Seventh New Hampshire Regiment, are written primarily from locations in coastal South Carolina and addressed to his wife, S. Augusta Shedd, at Enfield, N.H., and South Reading, Mass. Shedd, a first sergeant, later second lieutenant, writes intelligently and with great detail, describing events, people, and places. His letters are noteworthy for their accounts of hospital conditions, portrayed vividly in correspondence penned from U.S. Army general hospitals at Beaufort, Hilton Head, and a field hospital at Folly Island.
Charles Stuart Vedder Papers, 1848 - 1912
The papers of the Rev. Charles Stuart Vedder (1826–1917) consist primarily of letters as well as diaries spanning a period of over sixty years. Vedder moved from Schenectady, New York, to Columbia, South Carolina, to study at Columbia Theological Seminary. He was called upon to become pastor of the Summerville Presbyterian Church in June 1861. Of particular historical interest are Vedder’s three diaries from 1861 to 1866, in which the Civil War is woven into Vedder’s discussions of social life and religion. In 1865, as the war reached its conclusion, Vedder even buried his diary for three months “to avoid its being taken and destroyed by anticipated Raiders.”
Columbia, SC Historical Collections
This is a compilation of numerous digital collections from the South Caroliniana Library, Richland Library, and the city of Columbia that capture the city's history in photographs, maps, books, and city minutes.
Cox and Chesnut Families Papers, 1792-1858
This collection of papers of the Cox and Chesnut families discusses political, economic, and social aspects of life in the United States during the Early National and antebellum periods.
Many of the letters were written between 1792 and 1815 to Mary Cox Chesnut (1775-1864) of Camden, South Carolina, by her mother, Esther Bowes Cox (1740-1814) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This Mary Chesnut was the wife of James Chesnut (1773-1866), owner of Mulberry Plantation, near Camden, in present-day Kershaw County, South Carolina, and the mother-in-law of famed Civil War diarist Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut (1823-1886).
David Wyatt Aiken Papers, 1849 - 1976
This collection contains letters and other materials surrounding the life of five-term U.S. congressman David Wyatt Aiken, who biographers have styled "South Carolina's Militant Agrarian." Born in 1828 in Winnsboro (Fairfield County, S.C.), Aiken served as a colonel in the Confederate Army and later went on to serve in the S.C. House of Representatives. He was a member of the Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina and served on the executive committee of the National Grange. From 1877 until 1887, he represented South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives. He died in 1887 at his home in Cokesbury, South Carolina. The collection consists in large part of letters to his second wife Virginia Carolina Smith Aiken (1831-1900) , as well as a hand-written autobiography and other materials surrounding his life.
Family Bible Records
Historically, family Bible records have been an important source for vital statistics, supplementing the centralized recording of vital statistics which did not begin in South Carolina until the early twentieth century. These records contain birth, marriage, and death dates and sometimes other personal and family information. Over the years, the South Caroliniana Library has acquired originals, photocopies, and occasion transcriptions of many South Carolina related Bible records. Please note that poor quality originals may result in illegible images and that photocopies were not always produced under optimal conditions.
Glenn Drayton's Journal, 1814 - 1864
Glenn Drayton's journal is a bound volume consisting of Drayton's rules of conduct expected of a U.S. sailor, 1814; and records, 1814-1864, of Rusticello plantation, Pendleton District, S.C., continued after Drayton's death. Drayton's entries consist of hand-written guide, 1814, showing the hold stocked with barrels, and dimensions of the ship; and an original water color, presumably executed by Drayton, entitled, "America Must Have a Navy,". After Drayton's death, volume served as a plantation account book in upstate, S.C.; entries include medicinal recipes and treatments; list of slave illnesses and vaccinations, 1845-1861; and a record documenting births, baptisms, and deaths, 1814-1864, among the African American slaves of Rusticello plantation in Pendleton District [a region later divided into Pickens County and Oconee County].
Henry William Ravenel Private Journal, 1859 - 1860
This is the first journal made available online from the collection of one hundred ten manuscripts, thirteen manuscript volumes, and thirty-nine photographs documents the family life, business pursuits, and natural history interests of South Carolina planter, botanist, and agricultural writer Henry William Ravenel (1814-1887).
Inventory of S.C. Church Archives
A historical records survey known as the Inventory of Church Archives was completed by W.P.A. workers between 1937 and 1939. The original survey sheets are held in the Manuscripts Division of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia. Inventory of Church Archives survey sheets are available for forty-two of South Carolina’s forty-six counties. Surveys for Chester, Edgefield, Fairfield, and Georgetown are not extant. The questionnaires provided the means by which information was systematically gathered on African-American and white churches in both rural and urban areas, including address, date organized, building description, construction date, and, of primary importance, listings of any known church records.
James Glen Papers, 1738 - 1777
The papers of colonial governor James Glen (1701-1777), who served as Governor of South Carolina from 1738 to 1756, include official government documents, papers concerning relations with Native American Indians, business papers relating to his ownership of a South Carolina rice plantation, and correspondence between Glen and South Carolina planter, John Drayton (1713-1779).
James Kershaw Papers, 1786 - 1825
This collection contains diaries of James Kershaw, 1791-1825, with meteorological observations, recipes, and home remedies, including advice for treatment of pimples, boils, baldness, and unwanted hair. The papers record observations, 17 September 1811, of a solar eclipse, accounts of debts paid, January-April 1812, including prices of cotton, molasses, and sugar, and typed abstracts of recipes, 1936, copied from the diaries.
James R. Hagood. Civil War Memoir
This Civil War memoir and regimental history written prior to 1870 by James R. Hagood reviews his service as one of the youngest colonels in the Army of the Confederate States of America in Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia, and South Carolina. Hagood's relatives, chiefly his nephew, Johnson Hagood 1873-1948, edited and reworked this memoir, ca. 1928 and 1944. He was born in Barnwell, S. C. , the son of Dr. James O'Hear Hagood and Indiana M. Allen Hagood. In 1862 he and a group of Citadel cadets formed themselves into a company of cavalry called the Cadet Rangers, which afterwards became Troop F, 6th South Carolina Cavalry. Hagood later transferred into the 1st South Carolina Regiment of Volunteer Infantry.
John Shaw Billings Photograph Albums, 1875-1939
The series of photograph albums document the time that John Shaw Billings (1898-1975) and his extended family spent at the Redcliffe plantation in Aiken County, South Carolina. Known for his position as the first managing editor of Life Magazine, Billings purchased Redcliffe in 1935 from his uncle Henry Cumming Hammond (1868-1961) for $15,000. Even before the purchase, however, Billings' family had owned the estate since its founding: former South Carolina Governor James Henry Hammond, who was also Billings' great-granfather, built Redcliffe. There are a total of 62 photograph albums in the John Shaw Billings Papers collection, housed at the South Caroliniana Library.
Joseph A. De Laine Papers, ca. 1918 - 2000
This core unit of three hundred fifty items -two hundred sixty-two manuscripts, miscellaneous printed artifacts, and eighty-eight photographs- added to the papers of the late Joseph Armstrong DeLaine (1898-1974) covers chiefly the period from 1942, when he submitted his annual report as secretary of the Clarendon County Citizen[s] Committee, to 1974, when he delivered an address entitled "History leading up to the U.S. Supreme Court's Decision outlawing Segregation in Public Schools."
Keziah Brevard Journal, 1860-1861
Records daily activities, 22 July 1860 - 13 Apr. 1861, of a widowed plantation mistress, including the management of slaves; preparation and preservation of food; menus offered to guests; winery procedures; and the distribution of supplies to the slaves at her Sand Hills and Cabin Branch plantations. Volume also contains Brevard's personal reflections on slavery and secession; will and appraisal of her estate; notes on the summer resort of Adams Hill; and genealogical information on the Adams, Goodwyn, Boykin, Hopkins and related families.
Lutheran Church Records of Lexington County, South Carolina (1866-1982)
This collection consists of parish registers, with records of baptisms, marriages, burials, and communions, in addition to lists of members, pastors, and church officers. The originals, most of which reside at the individual churches, were microfilmed and now digitized to extend easier access to these valuable records. Currently, only records from Lexington County are available. We will continue to add counties. Please check back for additions.
Many Years After , by D. Graham Copeland
This book describes the history of Bamberg, South Carolina, with maps, photographs, and text regarding the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras; more specific chapters discuss the buildings, businesses, schools, churches, occupations and people of the 1890s. Genealogical charts and other information document the Copeland and various other families of Bamberg County, South Carolina, through the 1930s, and also record Copeland family connections with the Castanedo and related famililies of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Maxcy Gregg Papers, 1835-1888
Maxcy Gregg's Sporting Journal (1839-1860) describes hunting and fishing expeditions, a record of game animals taken, weather conditions and Fisher's Pond. Other entries discuss a trip to the mountains (17 July - 12 August 1843), attending "the Washingtonian lecture" in Winnsboro, South Carolina, a mention of David Johnson (1782-1855), who served as governor of South Carolina, 1846-1848, and unsuccessful efforts to convince William Waters Boyce to assume editorial duties at the South Carolinian (a newspaper of Columbia, South Carolina).
Micajah A. Clark Journals
In 1847 and 1857, Micajah Adolphus Clark (1822-1905) traveled from Mississippi to South Carolina and kept detailed accounts of his journeys. He recounts the hardships of travel, miscellaneous expenses, weather patterns, making acquaintances, and overnight stays in various locations. His journals from these expeditions are now housed at the South Caroliniana Library and are presented here in digital form.
North of the Broad River
This collection contains two volumes of local history and genealogical information regarding Fairfield County, South Carolina, including families who settled in the region, as well as related lines in Charleston, Orangeburg County, Richland County, and elsewhere in South Carolina. The volumes include transcriptions of letters and account books and excerpts from other unpublished documents regarding immigrants from the United Kingdom, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe, as well as other regions in North America, who settled in South Carolina. Some entries document sales or purchases of African American slaves, inheritance of real estate, military service in the American Revolution or Civil War, and related topics.
Official Program of the Mid-Winter Session of the Bishop's Council of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, February 14, 1923
This item documents the 1923 meeting in Columbia, S.C., of the Bishops' Council of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The session convened at Bethel A.M.E. Church, the impressive, masonry structure built in 1921 at the corner of Sumter and Taylor Streets. This publication is significant for its portraits and biographical sketches of African American ministers and their wives from around the United States.
Oliver Hart Papers, 1741-1962
The papers of the Reverend Oliver Hart (1723-1795) span the years 1741 to 1795 and include correspondence, diaries, and sermon notes from colonial and Revolutionary periods in Charleston, S.C. The bulk of the correspondence is from Oliver Hart to his brother, Colonel Joseph Hart of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, relaying news from South Carolina during the Revolutionary War. Ten volumes of diaries and journals detail diverse activities in Hart's life. Topics discussed include a storm in Charleston harbor in 1761, travels in Virginia and North Carolina, and his tour of the South Carolina upcountry during the initial months of the American Revolution with William Henry Drayton (1742-1779) and Congregational minister William Tennent III (1740--1777), and later officiated at the latter's funeral. Throughout his journals, Hart always notes the weather and from what verse he preached a particular sermon.
Paul Hamilton Papers, 1802 - 1812
This small collection of letters written by U.S. Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton (1762-1816) documents concerns and developments during the months preceding the War of 1812.
Plants & Planter, Henry William Ravenel
Henry William Ravenel (1814-1887), a botanist, planter, and author documented over 6,200 botanical specimens and wrote over 3,000 pages of field journals and correspondence. For the first time, Ravenel's botanical collection, thirteen journals (1859-1887), and over 400 letters between him and other renowned naturalists and family members across the country and world have been digitized and can be read and searched together in one place.
Robert Gilmor Travel Account, 1806 - 1807
This travel journal was originally conceived of as a way to assist the friends of Baltimore merchant Robert Gilmor in their future travels, with information about mileage and taverns along various routes. The narrative follows Gilmor's journey from Maryland to South Carolina, with locations mentioned along the way including Richmond, Va., Raleigh, N.C., and Camden and Stateburg, S.C. In addition to travel notes on mileage to such destinations as Savannah, Ga., Philadelphia, Pa., and New York City and Albany, N.Y., there are pencil sketches depicting pastoral landscapes of such places such as the Susquehanna River and Richmond.
Smith and Wells Papers, 1856 - 1914
This collection from the South Caroliniana Library consists primarily of the Civil War letters of Edward Laight Wells, discussing the mood in Charleston during the secession crisis in 1860, fighting with the Hampton's Legion 1864-1865, and the immediate aftermath of the war.
Other letters are from Eliza Carolina Middleton Huger Smith discussing the health and welfare of her family during the war. Also included are quotations, autographs, Confederate notes, poetry, recipes, genealogical information and newspaper clippings.
South Carolina and the Civil War
Poised for the sesquicentennial remembrance of the Civil War, South Carolina and the Civil War brings together eyewitness views and accounts of this period of American history, selected from the rich holdings of University of South Carolina Libraries. Books, diaries, sheet music, maps, letters, photographs and illustrations all provide glimpses of everyday life during exceptional times. This collection provides students and other researchers with primary sources on the Confederate and Union soldiers, women, African Americans, and others who lived in camps and on battlefields, in urban and rural areas, at the homefront and on both sides of the blockade during our bloodiest conflict.
Thomas Jones Davies Bible Records
The Bible and its inserts, owned by Thomas Jones Davies, contain vital statistics of enslaved African Americans living on Davies' plantations located throughout Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. The plantations mentioned in the records include: Malvern and Gardner's Swamp, of Beech Island, SC; Swamp Place, near Hamburg, SC; Cherry Hill and Waldburg of Burke County, GA; and Edgefield and Barnwell of Bolivar County, MS. The vital statistics of the enslaved African Americans span from 1830 to 1865, and consist of 82 births, 36 deaths and 11 marriages.
William Ancrum Papers, 1757-1789
Formerly owned by wealthy Charleston merchant William Ancrum, this volume contains both a letter book and financial accounts that reflect the financial impact of the American Revolution on this South Carolina businessman and planter.
William Drayton Rutherford Papers, 1859 - 1894
The William Drayton Rutherford Papers originally consisted of 153 manuscripts that dated as early as 1858, when Rutherford began courting Sallie Henderson Fair (1842–1921), the daughter of Colonel Simeon Fair (1801–1873) and Mary Butler Pearson Fair (1821–1867) of Newberry. This portion of the collection includes letters written to Sallie Fair during her 1858–1859 enrollment at the South Carolina Female Collegiate Institute (Barhamville, South Carolina), and from former classmates after her return to Newberry. The courtship of William (“Drate,” “Drayt,” or “Drayte”) Rutherford and Sallie Fair was interrupted in 1861 by secession and war, but they eventually married in 1862. Rutherford later died in battle in 1864.
In 2008, an addition to the collection brought the number of documents to approximately double its previous amount. Along with more letters between William and Sallie from their courtship and subsequent marriage, the addition continues the story after William’s death from the perspective of Sallie, who remarried Young John Pope (1841–1911), later distinguished as Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court. Correspondence with friends and family follows the social and political lives of the writers from the antebellum period through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the end of the nineteenth century.
William Tennent III (1740 - 1777), Travel Journal and Album of Collected Papers
These online collections contain not only Tennent's Journal and Album, but also a 1974 essay entitled The Back Country Commission of Drayton, Tennent, and Hart by L.L. Owens and two maps of their back country route. The journal covers Tennent's trek though the S.C. back-country, at times in the company of William Henry Drayton and Rev. Oliver Hart in an effort to persuade Loyalist Tories to join the Patriot cause. The album contains papers documenting Tennent's life as a Presbyterian minister in the Colonies of New Jersey and Connecticut, the courtship of his wife despite her mother's objections, and his 1772 arrival in Charleston, S.C., to serve the Independent or Congregational Church among other topics.
WPA Federal Writers' Project Materials on African American Life in South Carolina
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) launched the Federal Writers’ Project to employ white-collar workers left jobless by the Great Depression and to create a comprehensive guide to the states, cities, and regions of the United States. The Federal Writers’ Project gathered information on American life and interviews with “ordinary” Americans from a wide variety of backgrounds. The bulk of interviews, articles, and notes contained in this collection paint a portrait of African-American life in South Carolina. These interviews with former slaves, notes on folklore, and articles on prominent African Americans and African-American organizations were compiled at the height of the Project in 1936 and 1937. Though they are products of their times, these materials provide us with one of the richest sources of information on African-American life in South Carolina at the time.