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Bauskett Family Papers

Fourteen manuscripts, 1841-1851 and undated, chiefly family correspondence between members of the Bauskett family, in particular Col. John Bauskett, his wife Sophia E. Crozon Bauskett, and their children, Susan Ann and Thomas Bauskett. Anti-Catholic sentiment in antebellum South Carolina is evident in S[ophia] E. Bauskett's letter of 10 April 1844. Writing from Edgefield, she discusses the employment of Miss White, a tutor--"I believe her to be fully competent to teach--and were she a Methodist or Episcopalian would immediately obtain a situation. She is a female endeavouring to gain a livelihood in the only reputable way open to her sex....She was educated at Emmitsburg an institution which notwithstanding its Catholicity has forced from those prejudiced against us patronage and support." Daughter Susan Ann Bauskett studied in Charleston at the Academy of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy as documented by the collection.

Letters, 7 January 1850 - 22 May 1851, written by son Thomas Bauskett, a student at South Carolina College, echo concerns typical of young men away from home. A letter of 7 January 1850 conveys the following request--"When you send my things...send with them a `box' say, a ham or two, two or three turkeys, three or four strings of sausages, some cooked beef tongues, a quantity of homemade biscuit, some cake left from the christmas frolic, a jar of pickles, and a bottle or two of wine."

Young Bauskett turned his scrutiny upon renowned naturalist Louis Agassiz in a letter postmarked 26 March 1850. "Professor Agassiz has been lecturing for some time past on Geology," Bauskett reports. "I dont believe a word of it. I believe that many men wishing to be singular and different from every body else give publicity to strange opinions: and fools, who have exhausted every other vein to obtain notoriety concur with them untill they themselves begin to believe their doctrines....Other men then arise who concurring with these already admitted opinions bring forward in addition their own which they endeavour to substantiate with what they say are well founded arguments, but which are in truth absurdities, if they are backed with influential friends and a fortune...every word that flows from their mouth is caught at called wisdom, such a man is the celebrated Professor Agassiz...not that I doubt about his being a very wise man in other respects: but there are some things which men go mad about, and I doubt not but that this science of Geology may not some day turn out to be the Philosophers stone."

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