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Records, 1939-1948, of Bettis Academy (Edgefield County, S.C.)

Two hundred sixty-three items, 1939-1948, document the work of Bettis Academy in the education of African Americans in South Carolina. Located near Trenton in Edgefield County, the school was founded in 1881 by Alexander Bettis and incorporated eight years later. Its mission was to educate black youths at the grammar school, high school, and junior college level through "spiritual, mental, and industrial training."

The collection consists chiefly of letters between faculty and staff at Bettis Academy and members of the Southern Schools Committee of the New York Society of Friends. Correspondence concerns school needs and gifts, activities and progress reports, and building projects and repairs. It includes a report, 31 May 1940, by Alice Angell, Chairman of the Southern Schools Committee of the Religious Society of Friends, giving statistics on students enrolled, the condition of buildings, and finances. Other correspondence regards the hiring of Richard Boulware as business manager and the search for an assistant to or replacement for Alfred Williams Nicholson in his final years as president. Nicholson served as president from 1900 to 1945 and was succeeded by Acie High-tower. Other letters reflect the effects of World War II, including the postponement of building plans and student and staff attrition due to the draft.

Also of interest are letters of thanks from faculty and students expressing appreciation for donations of money, clothes, and supplies; correspondence between the school's two most prominent supporters, Alice Angell and Clement Biddle, both of New York, and J.B. Felton, State Agent for Negro Schools; and programs from "Biddle-Angell Week" acknowledging support and involvement of the New York Society of Friends.

Primary correspondents are Alice Angell, Clement Biddle, Richard Boulware, N.L. Bush, J.B. Felton, Acie Hightower, Harwood Hoadley, and Alfred Williams Nicholson. The collection includes one photograph, a 1941 view of the campus.

| 1999 Manuscripts Collections | 1999 USCS Table of Contents | South Caroliniana Library |

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