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McCutchen family papers

The family of George and Lilla Kennerly Johnstone McCutchen of Columbia are represented by letters, receipts, wills, certificates, and writings. The early material, 1811-1898, relates to Job Johnstone, South Carolina Supreme Court justice from Newberry and grandfather of Lilla McCutchen. Of particular note is a letter dated 27 August 1831 from J[ames] Hamilton of Charleston congratulating Johnstone on his appointment as "so able & zealous a delegate" of the States Rights & Free Trade Party at the Free Trade Convention in Philadelphia. Hamilton continues on to complain of problems with Richardson O'Neall and suggests that the Party would have placed Johnstone there instead had they known his views at the time. Most of the receipts in the collection are for purchases made by Job Johnstone. Also of interest is correspondence to John M. Johnstone while he was Consul to Brazil in 1897.

The collection shifts to the McCutchen family of Church, Williamsburg County, in 1898. George McCutchen (1876-1951), born in the Indiantown community, was the son of Col. James and Mary Jane Gilland McCutchen. George finished South Carolina College in 1898 and began teaching in Mullins. He joined the faculty at South Carolina College in 1900 and remained there (subsequently the University of South Carolina) for forty-eight years as professor of economics. A substantial unit of correspondence, beginning 3 June 1903, documents the courtship of George and Lilla Kennerly Johnstone (1877-1954) of Newberry. Lilla was the daughter of Sen. Alan and Lilla Kennerly Johnstone. The one hundred twenty-eight letters written by George describe a trip to Asheville and a landslide on the train tracks; summers in Fowler, Williamsburg County, with hunting (deer, fox, bird, and alligator) and fishing; life on Pawley's Island and beach activities during the summer; purchase of a lot in Columbia and building and furnishing of a house at 1906 Pendleton Street; a trip into the sandhills and the residents there; and his attempts at amateur photography. These letters conclude with George and Lilla's marriage on 22 December 1904. Lilla's wedding book is also included with the collection.

The remainder of the collection consists of letters to and from siblings of George and Lilla. Of note is the correspondence with Lilla's brother Alan Johnstone in Newberry regarding settlement of various Johnstone family estates during the 1930s and 1940s. There is also correspondence with George and Lilla's children: Alan Johnstone (1905-1993), George Thomas (1909-1967), James Malcolm (1914-1983), and Wilmot Ruet McCutchen (b. 1916). The McCutchens lost one son, Hugh, to scarlet fever in 1911. All but George Thomas became engineers; he became a surgeon in Columbia. During World War II, each of the sons served in the military, with Alan and Wilmot becoming career officers. Information on the boys includes school report cards, Sunday School certificates, and Boy Scout badges and membership cards.

Two scrapbooks, 1844-1950 and 1935-1952, contain clippings regarding World War I and World War II as well as invitations, programs, and other printed matter reflecting Lilla McCutchen's involvement with the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Assembly, the University of South Carolina, and Winthrop College. Also included in the collection are writings by George McCutchen on economic issues which appeared as articles and a copy of "Report of Five Members Favorable to Southern Deliveries, Part of a Committee of Ten Appointed at a Meeting Held in Washington, D.C., on January 19, 1934, Under Senator [E.D.] Smith's Auspices for the Purpose of Considering Possible Changes in the Cotton Futures Contract" (14 February 1934). Writings of Lilla include papers presented to the D.A.R. and the Current Literature Club and plays and papers for master's degree coursework. Approximately fifty photographs accompanying the collection depict the George McCutchen family over the years.

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