Addition, 1793-1856, to the Singleton| Manuscripts Gifts 2007 | Front Page 2007 | Previous Issues | Friends of the Library |
A gift to SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2007
One hundred three manuscripts, 1793-1856, added to the South Caroliniana Library’s holdings of Singleton family papers further document horse breeding and racing by Col. Richard Singleton (1776-1852) of Sumter District, South Carolina. | Manuscripts Gifts 2007 | Previous Issues | Endowments | Friends of the Library |
The bulk of the papers cover the decades of the 1820s and 1830s. The collection consists chiefly of correspondence concerning horses but also includes receipts for horse breeding, several newspaper advertisements for horses for sale and for stud, and a list of unsettled transactions from Mrs. Rebecca [John] Singleton to Richard Singleton, 1 January 1821-10 June 1830. Much correspondence focuses on Singleton’s famed stud horse Kosciusko. Also mentioned frequently are Singleton’s horses Lottery, Crusader, Godolpin, and the imported Nonplus.
Six of Col. James Ferguson’s letters to Richard Singleton appear in this addition to the Singleton family papers. While Ferguson most often wrote about horses, on 23 February 1828, in a letter written from his home, Dockon, he wrote to Singleton that “General Pinckney made me a present last fall of a ram & ewe of the Tunisian breed.” He went on to say: “I think I told you some time ago of a breed of hogs I have from the Mediterranean. The meat of them is more remarkable for its superiority over other hogs than the Tunesian over the common mutton.”
Gen. Francis Preston wrote Singleton at Manchester, South Carolina, on 28 November 1825 from Abingdon, Virginia, to let him know that he was sending a wagon along with four horses to Singleton and was also including a “light load of supplies for my son William.” He informed Singleton that if he wanted to purchase the horses, he could pay his son.
The U.S. Representative from Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional district, Robert Desha, wrote to Singleton from Gallatin, Tennessee, on 3 April 1832. Desha hoped to purchase Singleton’s recently injured racehorse Clara Fisher as a brood mare as he understood that she had “broke down.”
A letter, 23 May 1830, from Patrick Nisbett Edgar, Williamsborough, North Carolina, to Richard Singleton, Stateburg, South Carolina, detailed Edgar’s intent to publish an “American Race Turf Register and General Stud Book: containing the pedigrees of the best racers & breeders in the United States” and requests information on Singleton’s horses’ pedigrees. In 1833, Edgar would finally publish his American Race-Turf Register, Sportsman's Herald, and General Stud Book.
The collection also includes a letter, 10 April 1823, from Mason Locke Weems, Charleston, to Richard Singleton, High Hills, South Carolina. In it, Weems mentioned that in the box of books Singleton had ordered, he “took the liberty to place a little pamphlet of my own scribbling, just reprinted here a day or two ago. It is popular and Judge Waties who sat on the bench when the Heroine of this tragedy was call[e]d to the bar, says it is an ‘excellent Moral Romance, & may do good.’”
Other correspondents in the collection include Robert F.W. Allston, John E. Colhoun, Jr., Col. Francis Kinloch Huger, George F. Randolph, William Sinkler, and several members of the Porcher family.