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SOUTH CAROLINIANA LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY SOUTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY
MANUSCRIPTS DIVISION 2002
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William Crosland Frierson Papers, 1934-1968
Forty-eight manuscripts, 1934-1968 and undated, reveal something of the life and times of Presbyterian minister William Crosland Frierson (1893-1968). Born 2 June 1893 in Anderson, Frierson was the son of Robert Ethan and Rebecca Crosland Frierson. He was a descendent of William Frierson, who came from Scotland and settled in Kingstree in 1732. His grandfather, Dr. David Frierson, was a prominent Presbyterian clergyman active in the formation of the Southern branch of the Presbyterian Church at the beginning of the Civil War.

Frierson held an A.B. from Davidson College, a B.D. from Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va., a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. In addition to pastorates in South Carolina (Westminster, Denmark, Bamberg, and Blackville) he served churches in Blackey, Ky., and Johnson City, Tenn. Frierson married Mary Bowman and they reared a family of two daughters and two sons.

The collection is comprised in large part of correspondence to W.C. Frierson from his father, R.E. Frierson. The letters relate family and local news and express opinions on local and national issues ranging from church problems to Franklin D. Roosevelt's foreign policy. Four letters,1935-1968, from Dr. H.C. De Wet, a fellow Princeton Theological Seminary graduate, lend another minister's viewpoints on international issues. De Wet's 17 August 1958 letter, written from South Africa, speaks of the geopolitical situation, including the space race, the buildup of atomic and hydrogen weapons in Russia and the United States, a possible Chinese invasion of Formosa, and independent French states in North Africa. Similarly, a letter of 29 April 1968 voices De Wet's views on the Holy Land, the successful heart transplant by Dr. Christian Barnard in Capetown, President Lyndon B. Johnson's failure in Vietnam, and race relations worldwide: race riots in the United States and United Kingdom, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the struggle for native independence in South Africa, and the withdrawal of an invitation to South Africa by the Olympic Games Commission.

Among other items of interest is a 15 March 1940 postcard distributed by W.C. Frierson that describes a "new manipulation of the arithmogram '666' in Rev. 13:18," with reference to German chancellor Adolf Hitler. A single Vietnam war letter, 25 March 1968, from Westminster native and 1952 Clemson graduate LTC R.R. Simpson is also included. Addressed to John L. Frierson, it describes Simpson's position as commander of a battalion and notes that "the VC is taking a beating since the 29th of January." The collection also includes a copy of W.C. Frierson's 1934 Ph.D. thesis, "The Purpose of the Apocalypse"; Clemson Agricultural College tuition receipts, 1947-1950, documenting the payment of fees for student John L. Frierson; and three undated photographic images of W.C. Frierson.


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