SOUTH CAROLINIANA LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY SOUTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY
Records, 1814, of Clariosophic Literary Society
of South Carolina College
Six manuscripts, 1814, orations of the Clariosophic Literary Society, provide a glimpse of early nineteenth-century student life at South Carolina College.
Established in 1806, the Clariosophic and Euphradian Literary Societies were the first student organizations at South Carolina College. The Societies prepared their members for future leadership roles by sharpening their oratorical skills. They elected recorders to summarize the orations given by the presidents and other members at meetings and on special occasions, such as commencements or annual meetings. Unfortunately, the recorders were not always conscientious in performing their duties. The recorder's books frequently contain incomplete transcripts or notes that a particular speech was not recorded because the text was lost or never given to the recorder.
These six orations are the earliest recorder's documents in the University Archives' Clariosophic Literary Society collection. The dates and notations on some of the documents have helped identify the authors. The Clariosophic minutes list James Haig as relinquishing his presidency on 12 February 1814, which identifies him as the author of "Oration on American Genius," noted as being the farewell address of the president on that date. "On the Progress of Civilization," identified as having been delivered at the December 1814 commencement, was written by valedictorian Hugh S. Legare.
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