Addition, 1836-1848, to Bauskett Family Papers
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A gift to SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2008
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Four manuscripts, 1836-1848 and undated, augment the South Caroliniana Library’s holdings relating to the family of Col. John Bauskett of Edgefield, S.C. Writing to his wife, Sophia E. Crozon Bauskett, from Columbia, S.C., on 25 July 36 while court was in session, attorney John Bauskett complained that the court was progressing slowly and that the arguments were both “long & tedious.” Nevertheless, he noted, “the impatience of lawyers & judges in remaining here at this season of the year has conspired with the almost universal disposition of the bar to procrastinate, to postpone nearly half the cases on the docket,” and Bauskett hoped to return home the following week.
The chief substance of his letter is an extended theological discourse. “I have read your letter over twice to ascertain precisely what it is that seems to disturb your quiet in your religious faith,” Bauskett wrote. “In truth I know not where to look for positive knowledge of what is to become of us after death. The nature of...my profession, I am persuaded, has a strong tendency to render me sceptical of many things that, to minds not accustomed to sift & examine closely, are regarded fully & satisfactorily proved & established. But of some things which have given rise to the bitterest controversy among the followers of Christ for ages & centuries past, I entertain no doubts; I mean the causes of Sectarian dissentions - the difference in the doctrines & faith of the innumerable churches & sects of religion, each professing to have the only true faith. These causes of dissention give me little or no uneasiness - nor do I object that each church should hold it a cardinal point of faith that it, and it alone had the true faith - & that all others are in error. This doctrine is essential to the existence of a church, for if the founders & leaders do not say that they alone are in the true road, they would soon have no followers.”
Sophia Bauskett wrote to her niece Caroline J. Wadlington on 11 February 1848, noting that the letter would be hand carried by Colonel Bauskett, who was to deliver to Caroline the items she had requested from home. Admonishing the Charleston schoolgirl that “harsh epithets are unladylike” and to be avoided in conversation and correspondence, Mrs. Bauskett expressed hope that Caroline was better satisfied with boarding school. Yet, she was quick to point out, “Our object in placing you at what is considered one of the best of schools was not to flatter or study the caprices of a little girl (or should I say Young lady) but to do that which would result in your real benefit.”
“...dignified modesty on your part will always silence and abash aught that is opposed to female propriety in the conduct or conversation of your companions,” Mrs. Bauskett added, noting further that “in all schools and in all societies there are those who delight to converse on topics that no pure minded woman can take pleasure in - but there seems to be a Halo thrown around the modest and virtuous minded that repels and awes those given to improprieties. So by a right conduct on your part you may draw to yourself the good and pure and repel and silence the saucy.”
An undated printed circular letter advertises a “Boarding School for Young Ladies” to be opened by Mr. & Mrs. Hassell in Columbia, S.C., with rates for tuition and board per quarter. The school was to offer instruction in French and German, chemistry and moral philosophy, and piano, guitar, and harp.