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SOUTH CAROLINIANA LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY SOUTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY
MANUSCRIPTS DIVISION 2002
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Thomas M. Vise Papers, 1845-1917
Manuscript volume, 1845-1855, 1874, 1878-1879, 1885, 1917, account book and journal of Spartanburg resident Thomas M. Vise, provides a pre-war record of Vise's work as a surveyor and plat maker as well as sales of tobacco, leather goods, agricultural products, and books, among them B.F. White's Sacred Harp, a shape note song book widely used in rural nineteenth-century singing schools. Included also is the "Sale Bill of the estate of Thomas M. Vise Decd 19 Oct. 1854."

Three pages of journal entries titled "Miscellaneous" provide details of Vise's life and times. First employed as a clerk by Smith & Ferguson, Vise then studied surveying and purchased surveyor's instruments, but later clerked for Abiel Foster and then J.C. Woods. Entries summarize events year by year, 1845-1852, and also speak to the cost of agricultural commodities. Of 1848 he wrote, "War with Mexico Closed soldiers returned home, Barbeques in diferant parts of the State one Given to Cary Styles, on the Road Leading from Mt. Shoals To Woodrufs, and one given to Joseph Lancaster at Rogerse's Old Field but Lancaster Died in Gerogey before he got home, but there was several Soldiers there among the rest Maj. Eaves of Fairfield District figured Largely. Candidates for Congress Genl. Wallace of Union Col. Thompson of Spartanburg & Col. Davie of Chester Genl Wallace Elected to fill the place of Jas Black Decd by a Majoraty of 5 votes."

The spring of 1849, the record indicates, was remarkable for its coldness-"on Sunday the 15th of April it snowed to the depth of an inch....Corn & Cotton had comm[e]nced comeing up and was distroyed by the frosts that succeeded for it frosted 3 successive mornings the leaves on the Trees were almost full grown - - the young growth on the Trees was six or Eight inches long....Wheat was Injured very much by the frost - - some being in full shape while other fields were in full bloom." 1851 was equally memorable for its weather. On 27 August it "commenced raining early in the morning, rained moderately tell one oclock P.M. it then fell in torrents tell 9 ocl[oc]k P.M. causing the greatest freshet in the Creeks & Rivers that ever was known in the recol[l]ection of the oldest citizens. Tiger River was seven feet higher than it was in the May freshet of 1840, an immense quantity of corn & Cotton was distroyed. All the bridges in hearing were washed away except fords, the one accross Cedarshoal Creek near Musgroves & the Columbia Bridge. Grist, & Saw mills, Gin houses, Factorys, Thrashers and every thing else on the water Courses was almost litterally distroyed."

The volume also contains post-war accounts in a different hand, presumably that of a later generation, and a 20 January 1874 notation bearing the signature of T.M. Vise and indicating that he had "set in with Pa...to make a crop consisting of corn and cotton" in exchange for board and one-third of the corn crop and two-fifths of the cotton crop.


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