SOUTH CAROLINIANA LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY SOUTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY
Dotsy Diane Lloyd Boineau Papers, 1917-1998Six and one-quarter linear feet, -1998 and undated, of correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs and miscellaneous printed items reveal the historical, political and social interests and commitments of Columbia native and 1950 University of South Carolina graduate Dotsy Diane Lloyd Boineau (b. 1929).
The largest single unit of material in the collection documents her connection with the United Daughters of the Confederacy and her leadership in this organization at both the local and national levels, especially her two-year term as president general (1981-1982). Her UDC letter files contain extensive correspondence with the organization's other regional and national leaders, as well as typed copies of her "Message of the President General" that appeared monthly in The United Daughters of the Confederacy Magazine, which she also served as editor-in-chief. In her message for the March 1981 issue, she focused upon the possibility of establishing a far-flung chapter of the UDC-"From the Reader's Digest comes new[s] of Americana, a city of over 100,00 in the Brazilian state of San Paulo in which reside more than 300 men and women who are descendants of Southerners who fled the Confederacy at the end of the war. Many of these 300 belong to the American Descendency Fraternity which holds services every three months at a local cemetery which flies a Confederate Flag flanked by the flags of Brazil and the United States." She added-"What a prospect for a new UDC Chapter in Brazil!"
Many of the letters from political, military, and educational leaders contained in the collection are found in this unit, as Mrs. Boineau corresponded with them on behalf of UDC interests, projects and ceremonies. Among these are Harry F. Byrd, Jr., Rembert C. Dennis, John P. East, Robert C. Edwards, L. Marion Gressette, James B. Hunt, George L. Mabry, George M. Seignious, and Nancy Thurmond. Responding to a letter she received from Senator Strom Thurmond congratulating her on her election as President General, she wrote, 26 January 1981-"Let me congratulate YOU on behalf [of] the Daughters for your elevation to one of the highest positions in our nation. We are so proud of you and most certainly you will go down in history as one of our greatest Statesmen-we are so glad you are a Son of the South!" And in a letter to Lee Atwater, addressed to the White House and written on 4 March 1982 seeking his help in laying plans for a UDC visit to the White House during their annual convention, she remarked-"We in South Carolina are very proud of you and the part you are playing in the Reagan Administration."
During the decade from 1974 to 1984 she chaired the UDC's Award for Men in Space Committee, which was charged with deciding whether or not to design and strike a special medal to be given to Confederate descendants involved in the Man in Space Program. Her leadership culminated in the awarding of the Pioneers in Space Medal to Gen. Charles M. Duke, Jr., of South Carolina, on 29 October 1984 in Richmond.
Minutes from meetings of the Memorial Building board of trustees detail the work of Mrs. Boineau and its other members in their efforts to maintain this central UDC property in Richmond. Furthermore, correspondence tracks the status of the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Museum housed in the War Memorial Building at the corner of Sumter and Pendleton Streets in Columbia, where since 1985 Mrs. Boineau has served as curator of history. "You certainly have become a natural successor to Mrs. LeVerne Watson's dedication in preserving this heritage," state senator Glenn F. McConnell wrote her on 30 May 1988, after complimenting her on her remarks and for being "an absolute professional" in the way she handled her duties as master of ceremonies at that year's Confederate Memorial Day gathering. "Many of us are looking to you for the leadership and inspiration to keep these ideas alive here in South Carolina." An allied manuscript of particular interest is a copy of her play, "They Dared to Secede," which dramatizes the role of the First Baptist Church of Columbia in South Carolina's secession from the United States.
In addition to the UDC and such collateral groups as Children of the Confederacy, Military Order of the Stars and Bars, and Sons of Confederate Veterans, many other organizations have claimed Mrs. Boineau's time and attention through the years, as her letters and papers demonstrate. Prominent among these is the South Carolina Division of the American Cancer Society, and its Richland County Unit on whose board she served. Covering the period 1959-1972, the Cancer Society material focuses chiefly upon her work with the annual First Lady Heritage luncheon and fashion show and the compilation of the First Lady Heritage cookbook. Among the correspondents in these files are J. Lewis Cromer, Eunice H. Leonard, Isadore E. Lourie, and Nancy Thurmond.
Another sizable segment of papers-containing by-laws, financial reports, minutes, notices and agendas largely spanning the years 1966-1972-pertains to the South Carolina Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, whose board awarded her emeritus status in 1982. Other files document her work on behalf of the Boys' Clubs of Greater Columbia, in particular the Ben Arnold Memorial Unit; the South Carolina Heart Association; the South Carolina Council for the Common Good; the Young Women's Christian Association of Columbia; the Woman's Club of Columbia; and the Columbia Junior Chamber of Commerce, which in 1961 designated her as "Young Woman of the Year."
During her association with the South Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs, whose files here cover the period 1959-1978, Mrs. Boineau chaired the Fine Arts section which promoted the establishment of a state arts commission. Writing on 16 May 1967, Edgar A. Brown thanked her for her letter to him of the day before and went on to say-"I join in your interest in this Commission and hope, before the end of this Session, not only will the bill be passed creating the Commission, but that we can keep the appropriation for it put in by the Senate to get it off to a good start." Governor Robert E. McNair, on 17 May, also expressed his opinion to her on this matter-"we are lending support to the creation of an Arts Commission and are hoping this measure can be passed during this session."
Other art-related organizations and groups represented here are the Columbia Museum of Art; the Columbia Festival Orchestra, on whose board of directors she once served; and the Columbia Philharmonic Orchestra, one of whose fund-raising efforts during the early 1970s is shown here to have been polo games sponsored by its Women's Symphony Association. Particularly valuable among the items in this unit are rare surviving programs from the Foster Studio of Dance and University Players playbills from USC theatre productions of the 1940s.
Mrs. Boineau's political commitments and sentiments are charted most significantly through material pertaining to Donald S. Russell (1906-1998), whose campaigns for public office she strongly supported-from his gubernatorial run in 1958 through his failed senatorial drive of 1966, for which she served as chair of South Carolina Women for Russell. In a handwritten letter sent from Washington, D.C., 20 June 1966, Russell relayed his appreciation to Mrs. Boineau-"I can never express in terms satisfactory to myself my gratitude to you, not simply for all you did for me in the political campaigns-all the hours of unremitting labor-but more especially for your steadfast and unwavering friendship and confidence."
"My reasons for wanting [Russell] elected?" she asked in a letter to Senator Barry Goldwater of 9 July 1966. "I think he is a man of unquestioned integrity and exceptional ability-he is not a politician but a statesman." She goes on to express the belief that "you and Senator Russell are very close in your ideals and beliefs as well as your qualifications for public office." She reveals that on the day after the primary election in which Russell was defeated by Fritz Hollings, when she mentioned to members of the Russell family that he made her think of Senator Goldwater, Russell's daughter "confessed that her father was a great admirer of yours and had said...that perhaps you and he were more alike than any of his contemporaries." The principal purpose of this letter, however, was to seek Goldwater's help in supporting Republican Marshall Parker in the campaign against Hollings to fill the two-year unexpired portion of Senator Olin Johnston's term. "Senator Russell is committed by his oath as a candidate to support Mr. Hollings," she explains. "However, those of us on the staff and members of the family itself have decided to help Mr. Marshall Parker...in everyway we can." Earlier she had said that it was "quite a shock to many good democrats to find some one who had sat on the platform with Barry Goldwater in Columbia in charge of women for Mr. Russell! Most of them don't know that I will always work for the man I feel most capable of doing the job at hand."
Additional files contain material on various Columbia churches, hospitals and schools. A letter of 13 June 1964, from administrator Sister M. Justine, concerns the racial integration of Providence Hospital. In addition to random pieces having to do with such schools as Brennen, Crayton, McMaster and University High are several folders on James H. Hammond Academy, 1968-1985, one of which holds volume I, number 1 (1971) of the student publication "Hawk Talk." Of special interest is a copy of the form letter, dated 31 March 1966, which went out over the signature of Guy L. Varn, superintendent of Richland County School District One, informing parents of the proposed imminent desegregation of Columbia's public schools. "Our community has adopted a school desegregation plan," it began. "We will no longer have separate schools for children of different races. The desegregation plan has been accepted by the U.S. Office of Education under the Civil Rights Act of 1964." Varn went on to indicate that a choice of school would be required for each student and that a student could not be enrolled at any school the following school year unless a choice of schools was made. He concluded by saying-"Your School Board and the school staff will do everything we can to see to it that the rights of all students are protected and that our desegregation plan is carried out successfully." Accompanying this letter is a formal explanatory notice giving full details about the plan.
Other units among the letters and papers reflect the Boineau family's interests relating to property, social life and travel. Letters, especially from Camden architect Henry D. Boykin II and other items, 1964-1971, detail the ultimately successful efforts to have Midfields Plantation (Ellerbe House) at Boykin added to the National Register of Historic Places. Other correspondence, 1968-1972, concerns the erosion of Edisto Beach, where the Boineaus owned a house. Various printed materials associate them with the Tarantella Club, the Saraband Club, the Carillon Ball, and Springdale Hall Club (Camden). Two 1970 letters from New York artist William F. Draper discuss plans to paint their portraits; and correspondence, 1966-1971, details plans for safaris to Africa.
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