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John R. Abney Papers, 1887, 1902-1924, 1950
    A gift to the SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2003

| Gifts to Manuscripts 2003 | Front Page 2003 | Friends of the Library | Endowments |

Twenty-four manuscripts, 1887, 1902-1924, 1950 and undated, of John R. Abney include a December 1887 booklet, Reports of Committee on the Question of the Establishment of Permanent Quarters for the New York Southern Society, inscribed to Dr. James H. Parker, who submitted the minority report printed in the text.

More immediate to South Carolina are letters, 1904-1905, from W.D. Ramey, Edgefield, S.C., concerning a request for back files of the Edgefield Advertiser newspaper and a 17 January [19]06 letter from Admiral F[rench] E[nsor] Chadwick (1844-1919), Newport, R.I., expressing interest in acquiring newspaper files for the Library of Congress, "They are eagerly looking up files of the country papers of the South, as in a way these represent the general sentiment of the period rather better than the large dailies."

Of particular interest is a copy of a 25 September 1922 letter written by Abney from New York City to University of South Carolina president William D. Melton (1868-1926). The letter thanks Melton for a copy of the Bulletin of the University, advises that it had not yet been determined what was to be done with the library of Abney's brother Benjamin, and then offers the following criticism of the University's curriculum, "Lest you may think...that I approve of the Curriculum set forth in the Bulletin without exception, it is due to myself and the South for me to say here in the kindliest spirit that I think it contains too much 'Lincoln'. After a study of history, the Constitution and law for half a century I cannot join my voice to the apotheosizing of Abraham Lincoln. He was, in my opinion, not a lawyer learned enough to see that Virginia, was within her rights in the position she took and that he had no legal right to treat Maryland as he did. In my opinion if Lincoln and his friends had been less imperialistic, the Peace Convention held in Virginia would have avoided the war, and the flower of the youth of the South would not have found bloody graves. Whatever may be thought of the final result, I do not believe that we ought to let the present youth feel that the South fought in the wrong, or hold up Lincoln as a model statesman."

This page updated 16 Jan. 2004
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