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Christian Bernhard Thumel Papers, 1841-1843

Two letters, 9 June 1841 and 7 January 1843, of C[hristian] B[ernhard] Thummel, Lexington C[ourt] H[ouse], to G.K. Perkins, Utica, N.Y., discuss the former's teaching position at Lexington Literary Institute. A Lutheran pastor, Thummel had been received into the South Carolina Synod from the New York Synod in 1841. Prior to that he taught at Hartwick Seminary, 1830-1832.

The earlier letter requests news of Cooperstown and Hartwick Seminary, then asks Perkins to forward a copy of his arithmetic text in care of Jacob F. Schirmer, Charleston. Thummel had resigned his teaching post at Waccamaw to take charge of "the classical school here, & tho' my salary here is not near as large, as it was at Waccamaw; the expenses are likewise much less, the situation perfectly health, the school flourishing & consisting chiefly of young men, eager to learn, & the village rather pleasant & but 12 miles distant from Columbia, the capital of the State. Besides all this, I am in a Lutheran neighborhood, & residing in the same village with my old friend, Dr. Hazelius, who is at the head of the Theol. Seminary here. Thus you will perceive, that my change on the whole has been for the better & to my satisfaction, so that I have already bought a house & lot, 3 acres large, in the village here for my residence in future. I own likewise 2 female servants, & begin to consider myself in some degree as settled here permanently. I instruct in the same branches as formerly, but have had to take a serious hold of Mathematics, having had daily classes in Algebra Geometry & Surveying, & I am happy to say, that I got along much better than I dared at first to hope."

Catherine D. Thummel concluded the letter on 13 June 1841 with a message to Mrs. Perkins telling of the death of their daughter Helen while the family was at Wacammaw and giving news of the other children. "The Ladies here raise a good deal of silk," Catherine noted, "but I do not like to feed the worms so have not gone into the business."

The 7 January 1843 letter indicates that Thummel had received a copy of Perkins' algebra text, advises that he would try to promote its use, and suggests that Perkins send a copy to South Carolina College, in care of Professor of Mathematics Thomas S. Twiss, to whom Thummel had shown Perkins' arithmetic text. Thummel reported that his school was small but satisfactory and that he hoped to travel to Baltimore in May to attend the meeting of the General Synod of the Lutheran Church as a delegate from South Carolina Synod.

"Dr. Hazelius, who...has visited Germany during last Summer, returned in good health & spirits in November last," Thummel wrote. While Hazelius was absent, Thummel had assumed responsibility for the "Theological Department as well as of my own School; commencing at 7 in the morning, I kept on in my school till one oclock without interruption, & then from 3 to 6 laboured in his stead. This was rather tough work during the hot months of summer, but I got thro' with it very well, tho' in October I was laid up nearly a week with Disentery & fever." As with the earlier letter, Catherine Thummel appended a message to Mrs. Perkins giving news of family and friends and exhorting her to increased religious devotion. Thummel remained in South Carolina until 1844 when he resigned and moved to Ohio.


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