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Letter, 15 Sept. 1855, from Thomas Della Torre
        to Johannes C. Della Torre
  
    A gift to SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2008

| Manuscripts Gifts 2008 | Front Page 2008 | Previous Issues | Friends of the Library |

Letter, 15 September 1855, penned by a correspondent identifying himself only by the initials “T.D.T.” but apparently written by Thomas Della Torre to his younger brother, Johannes C. Della Torre, in Charleston, S.C., relates family news and provides graphic details of election-day violence in Aiken, S.C.

“Aiken was waked from its quiet last Tuesday,” the correspondent wrote, “by a memorable fight that signalized its soil, and steept it pretty freely in blood. The chivalry of the country was not represented...but the conflict was confined to the pluck of the good Town itself. A few skirmishes of no great importance occurred during the early morning (the election was being held for aldermen)...but late in the day an altercation occurred between Weeks a son of the Tax Collector, and Hansford Morris....”

After words were exchanged, the letter relates, Weeks drew his sword and Morris his dirk knife, “and both being backed by friends, approached each other & set to work. Like wild fire others on either side leapt into the conflict and a d-d bloody fight ensued. Morris they say fought beautifully; he was outnumbered, was twice run through the left arm with a knife, had his skull terribly beaten by blows from a loaded whip, yet fought on unflinchingly, until a ghastly wound about 2 inches deep...was inflicted upon him somewhere in the side under the ribs, from which he fell - but still fighting. His antagonist was borne from the field with his forehead and nose terribly mutilated with cuts, besides other injuries. Another Morris who was in the fight is severely wounded....Several others were much beaten & cut, but not a d-d fellow backed out and fought...until the majority had to be picked up bleeding from the ground and borne home.”

| Manuscripts Gifts 2008 | Previous Issues | Endowments | Friends of the Library |

 

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