The Library of Robert J. Gage and George James Gage [Addition]
| Gifts to Books Division 2003 | Front Page 2003 | Endowments | Friends of the Library |
A gift to the SCL Books Division announced in 2003
The Robert J. and George W. Gage library has been augmented by the gift of an additional two hundred thirty-four titles. The Gage library was assembled chiefly by Robert J. Gage (1810-1882) and his son George Williams Gage (1856-1921).
Robert J. Gage entered South Carolina College from Mt. Zion Institute 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 he 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 the 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 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, he 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 copy of James Lide Coker's History of Company G, Ninth S.C. Regiment, Infantry, S.C. Army, and of Company E, Sixth S.C. Regiment, Infantry, S.C. Army is insribed to Judge Gage by Coker and has a manuscript correction by Coker on page 195: "...burned [t]h[e] gin house [at the Hart place endangering the residence then occupied by helpless women refugees]." There are a number of important agricultural publications, including The Southern Agriculturist (1853); The South Carolina Agriculturist, Volume 1 (1856); Transactions of the State Agricultural Society of South Carolina for 1858; and volume 8 of The Farmers' Register (1840) edited by Edmund Ruffin.
Robert Gage lived through the nullification and secession crises and avidly collected pamphlets dealing with the political issues of that time. Five of the eleven volumes of bound pamphlets contain titles that reflect this interest. The collection includes pamphlets authored by Thomas Cooper, Robert J. Turnbull, Robert Y. Hayne, George McDuffie, Stephen D. Miller, and James Hamilton. Other titles include The Report, Ordinances, and Addresses of the Convention of the People of South Carolina, Adopted November 24th, 1832; Address to the People of South Carolina, by Their Delegates in Convention; and Report of the Committee of Twenty One to the Convention of the People of South Carolina, on the Subject of the Several Acts of Congress, Imposing Duties for the Protection of Domestic Manufactures, with the Ordinance to Nullify the Same.
Several of the bound volumes are indicative of the diverse interests of Judge Gage. There are a number of titles on education in South Carolina as well as an 1874 Catalogue...of Wofford College. Gage was an active Methodist layman. He collected pamphlets on church history and the proceedings of church conferences. His interest in natural history is evidenced by a number of pamphlets on birds in Chester County and upper South Carolina that were authored by Leverett Loomis in the 1890s. One of the bound volume of pamphlets contains thirty speeches delivered in Congress by Senators and Congressmen.
Other important works in the collection include William Bartram, Travels Through North and South Carolina..., London 1792; Robert Heron, Elegant Extracts of Natural History, 2 volumes, Edinburgh, 1792; Bryan Edwards, The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies, 4 volumes, Philadelphia, 1806; Louis Agassiz and A.A. Gould, Principles of Zoology, Boston, 1848; and John Bachman, The Doctrine of the Unity of the Human Race..., Charleston, 1850.