Saussy Family Papers, 1616, 1693, and 1830-2003
| Manuscripts Gifts 2006 | Front Page 2006 | Previous Issues | Friends of the Library |
Five linear feet, 1616, 1693, 1830-2003, consist of personal papers and genealogical materials pertaining to the Perry, Saussy, and related families, whose ancestry is traced to the Shetland Islands, England, Canada, and the United States. | Manuscripts Gifts 2006 | Previous Issues | Endowments | Friends of the Library |
The Wade Hampton Perry family lived in Charleston, South Carolina, but often visited relatives in England. They owned a home in Highlands, North Carolina, named Highfield after the ancestral home in England of Florence Charlotte Cropp Davies Perry.
The Saussy family was from Savannah, Georgia. After their marriage, Florence Hampton Perry and George Stone Saussy made their home in North Augusta, Charleston, Columbia, and, ultimately, in Highlands.
In addition to genealogical research data and charts, the collection contains travel journals and diaries, school composition books, original poems, watercolor handmade cards, wills, and personal and business correspondence. Chief correspondents among the family are Wade Hampton Perry, his wife, Florence Charlotte Cropp Davies, and their children, Florence and John; and George Saussy, Sr., his wife, Florence Hampton Perry, and their children, George, Hampton, Florence, Kathleen, and David.
Florence Charlotte Cropp Davies Perry kept a travel diary as she toured Greece, Egypt, Jerusalem, Damascus, and other sites around the turn of the twentieth century. The diary is of particular curiosity in that, while it records visits to sites of historic and architectural interest, many of its pages are devoted to comparisons of the bazaars visited along the route of her travels.
Writing on Tuesday, 3 February [ca.1900?], about the bazaars in Cairo, Mrs. Perry noted, “we promptly jumped into a cab & went off to the bazaars. These are in narrow streets in wh[ich] there is only just room for two carriages to pass abreast....In little square open shops sit men workers in gold & silver embroidery - a little further on we came to stalls covered with vases ornaments & salvers in brass work - many exhibiting the same sort of wares are close together.” Again, in Damascus, on Wednesday, 26 March, she recorded that she had set out “to see the bazaars wh[ich] are so famous & about which we have lately heard many opinions some saying they are disappointed in them & that they are not so fine as those in Cairo others that they are very much better.” Florence Perry, the diary reveals, was of the latter opinion.
At Constantinople, Wednesday, 15 April, she found the bazaars to be “greater in extent than any we have seen - they are nearly all roofed in - The curiosity & embroidery shops are usually not open in front but entered by a door leading to the back of the others. On the whole we found the embroideries much dearer than at Cairo & Smyrna.” But, five days afterward, having reached “Buda Pesth,” [i.e. Budapest, Hungary] she was “struck with the extreme European look of it, clean wide streets and dark clothing everywhere were quite unaccustomed sights and I don’t know that I like the change! ...looking in shop windows at civilized garments was a curious change.”
Several members of the Perry and Saussy families fought in the Sepoy Rebellion [1857, in India], the American Civil War, World War I, and World War II. John H. Lamb, a relative of the Perrys, served with the British army in India. In a letter of 19 May 1857 he wrote, “we hear the 3 Sepoy Regts at Delhi rose, murdered their officers & other whites & now have possession of the place - that a similar attempt was made at Meeruth but quelled with the loss of many lives and that the corps in other stations are on the eve of mutiny, God knows how much of all this is true. We know that Delhi is in the hands of the mutineers & that arrangements are being made for recapturing it, does not that sound strange in 1857!” Typewritten transcriptions of the Civil War letters of Union soldier George Henry Stone, a member, first, of the 129th New York Infantry Regiment and, later, of the 8th New York Heavy Artillery, are also found among the papers.
John Hampton Cropp Perry served in the 113th Ambulance Corps, 104 Sanitary Train, Medical Department, 29th Division during the First World War. In a letter of 28 September 1918 to his parents, he wrote, “By this time next year I think we will be on our way home again - the Germans are losing on all sides” and further noted that “One of our ambulances carried some German wounded the other day.”
George Stone Saussy, Jr., and Hampton Saussy saw duty in the United States Marine Corps and Navy, respectively, during World War II. Their letters home are datelined from the states and from undisclosed locations abroad.
Other items of interest in the collection include antiquarian copies of two seventeenth-century British documents - a 1616 inventory of Robert Sinclair and a 1693 Proprietary-period document appointing Landgrave Thomas Smith governor of Carolina; a cachet souvenir of the sesquicentennial of the founding of the capital of South Carolina at Columbia, 22-25 March 1936, in an envelope postmarked 22 March 1936; and a first-day issue stamp postmarked 30 June 1950 commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Boy Scouts.