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The Library of Robert J. Gage
and George Williams Gage

Robert J. Gage (1810-1882) entered South Carolina College from Mt. Zion Institute (Winnsboro, Fairfield County, S.C.) and graduated in 1831. A planter in Union District, Robert Gage was a devoted patron of the Unionville Library Society and advocate of education in Union District. He was elected to the legislature in 1835 and in 1863 served on the Board of Visitors of the South Carolina Military Academy. In the 1870s Gage wrote a series of articles in the Weekly Union Times entitled "Idle Moments In an Old Library" in which he recalled some of the leading citizens of Union District during his lifetime with incidents in their careers and their reading habits.

Robert Gage's son George Williams (1856-1921) was born in Union District. He entered Wofford College in 1871 and graduated in 1875. He worked at a bank in Charleston for several years before entering law school at Vanderbilt University. Over a distinguished legal career that spanned four decades, George practiced law, served in the legislature and the constitutional convention of 1895, was elected circuit judge, and in 1914 was elected to the South Carolina Supreme Court.

The reading interests of Robert and George Gage ranged widely and included literature, travel, religion, politics, history, and agriculture. After inheriting his father's library, Judge Gage expanded the collection to include Civil War regimental histories and biographies and pamphlets and books on law, banking, and natural history. Among the one hundred ninety-seven volumes that have been received are Carey's General Atlas, Improved and Enlarged... (Philadelphia, 1818); William Darby, A Geographical Description of the State of Louisiana... (New York, 1817 second edition); bound volumes of The Farmer and Planter, 1854-1857, 1859-1861 and Niles' Weekly Register; Francis Porcher, Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests... (Charleston, 1869); Howard Malcolm, Travels in South-Eastern Asia, Embracing Hindustan, Malaya, Siam, and China... (Boston, 1839); and Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (Philadelphia, 1794 second American edition).

The Gage library is a fine addition to the holdings of the South Caroliniana Library which now includes, among others, the libraries of August Kohn and Helen Kohn Hennig, William Gilmore Simms, Henry P. Kendall, Yates Snowden, and J. Rion McKissick.

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