Skip to Content

University Libraries - Jane Crayton Davis Preservation Endowment

Jane Crayton Davis Preservation Endowment

To assure the conservation and preservation of its many irreplaceable historical documents and other collection treasures, the Jane Crayton Davis Preservation Endowment was established at the South Caroliniana Library. Proceeds from the endowment support the restoration of selected manuscripts and visual materials held by the Library.

Eliza Legare Bryan portrait

The initial funds from the Jane Crayton Davis Preservation Endowment were used to assist with the restoration of a badly damaged nineteenth-century oil portrait of Eliza Legare Bryan and to fully conserve a plantation journal of low country South Carolina rice planter Davison McDowell.

Danish artist Peter Copmann (1794-1850), who worked for a time in Charleston, South Carolina, painted this portrait of Eliza Catherine Legare Bryan (1794-1842) around 1835. A daughter of Mary Swinton and Solomon Legare and the sister of Hugh Swinton Legare, Eliza was married in 1810 to John Bryan, son of Lydia Ball and John Bryan. Eliza and John were the parents of twenty-one children, thirteen of whom survived infancy.

McDowell Journal, before
and after conservation

The plantation journal of Davison McDowell (1783-1842) dates from 1815 to 1833 and documents life at Asylum plantation near Georgetown, South Carolina, with planting and crop records for McDowell's rice and the subsistence crops.

The volume also contains a record of weather observations, seasonal household moves between the plantation, the seashore, and various other properties, and information on the planter's slave holdings, including yearly lists of slaves and records of slave "crimes and misdemeanors."

Jane Crayton Davis

Jane Crayton Davis

This Endowment honors its namesake, a devoted friend and supporter of the Library who is active in local historical pursuits in her home county of Aiken, South Carolina, and on a statewide level. Having served as President of the Confederation of South Carolina Local Historical Societies and as President of the University South Caroliniana Society, Mrs. Davis is keenly aware of the obligation of the Library to preserve the historical documents of the state. Mrs. Davis was honored by the Confederation of South Carolina Local Historical Societies when she received its 2006 Robert N. Pryor Volunteer Award for her lifetime commitment to preserving South Carolina's local and state history.

For more information about this fund, please contact us.

To donate to this fund:

Updated 3/15/17