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Edmund Jones Henry Letters, 14 March, 4 May, and December 1847, Columbia, S.C. to Augustus H. ("Gus") Kirby, Spartanburg, S.C.Three letters, 14 March, 4 May, and December 1847, of Spartanburg newspaperman Edmund Jones Henry (1829-1855) to his friend Augustus H. ("Gus") Kirby in Spartanburg date from the time when Henry was a student at the South Carolina College in Columbia.
"Although Spartanburgh is generally dull," Jones wrote on 14 March, "yet it can not be compared with this place, at particular times. In our village, we can enjoy ourselves in the company of the young ladies, but here, they are so very formal that I always feel constrained, when I am in their company. The ladies of S. in my estimation are decidedly prettier than those of this place."
The letter also reports on how Washington's birthday was observed in Columbia. "We celebrated...with a great deal of pomp, and show. The College Cadets marched up town, and halted in front of the market house, where they were joined by the Governor's Guards. A procession was then formed, the students and citizens preceeding, and the companies coming after. We marched down to the chappel, where we found a brilliant assemblage of the beauties of Columbia. We heard quite a fine speech from Mr. [William] Logue, a member of our [Clariosophic] society."
"On Friday before the first of May," he wrote on 4 May, "they had several parties (May parties) in town....Miss Ellen Laborde, the daughter of one of our professors, was crowned queen of May....I must not forget to tell you that there was a very large circus in town last night. The riding and tumbling were very good."
"The Legislature, I think, from what I have seen," he reported in December, "have been doing very little this session....I beleive the most important debate they have had in the house was on Judge [John Smith] Richardson's case. A bill was brought up proposing to turn him out of his office from mental, and physical inability. But he defended himself, and I understand (for I did not hear it) made a very able speech....But with all the speaking, disputing, &c., the old fellow got off, and no doubt, will continue to hold his office, to shew them that he is not to be bluffed off."
One of the proprietors and editors of The Spartanburg Express, Edmond Jones Henry died of a heart attack at the age of twenty-six. His father, New England-born lawyer, legislator, and textile manufacturer James Edward Henry (1796-1850), figured prominently in Spartanburg's public affairs for over a quarter of a century.
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