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George LaGrange Cook Photograph Collection, c. 1880 - 1895
This collection of glass plate negatives of Charleston and Summerville was made by George LaGrange Cook in the 1880s and early 1890s. The son of the famous Civil War photographer, George Smith Cook, LaGrange learned the art of photography from his father. He lived in Charleston and then Summerville before leaving around 1892 to join his father in Richmond, Virginia.
University of South Carolina Reconstruction Records
In 1873, the University of South Carolina became the only state-supported Southern university to fully integrate during the Reconstruction Era that followed the Civil War. By 1876, the student body was predominately African-American. After Wade Hampton was elected governor and whites regained control of state government, the University was closed for reorganization in 1877, and reopened in 1880 as an all-white institution. It would remain all-white until desegregation in 1963.
University of South Carolina Student Exams, 1854 - 1917
These student examinations date largely from the second half of the 19th century, a period in which the University of South Carolina underwent significant changes not only in its curriculum but also in its student body, its faculty and its educational goals. The exams in this collection that date prior to 1873 reflect the South Carolina College's original incarnation as a classical institution. This purpose continued even during the American Civil War (1861 - 1865), although the small number of documents from that time demonstrate the impact that the conflict had on students, faculty and the institution itself. Exams from the Reconstruction period following the war (1873 - 1877) demonstrate a shift away from the classical and towards the practical as the university was integrated for the first time. Of particular interest are those exams which appear to be the work of African Americans, since these documents represent some of the few surviving records of these students and their important place in the university's history.
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.