Wilfrid Hardy Callcott and Rebecca Anderson| Manuscripts Gifts 2009 | Front Page 2009 | Previous Issues | Friends of the Library |
Callcott Papers, 1922–2003
A gift to SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2009
This addition of four hundred ninety-seven items to the papers of Wilfrid H. Callcott (1895–1969), professor and administrator at the University of South Carolina for forty-five years, focuses on the personal and family life of Dr. Callcott and his wife Rebecca Anderson Callcott (b.1908). | Manuscripts Gifts 2009 | Previous Issues | Endowments | Friends of the Library |
Most of Dr. Callcott’s personal and professional papers were donated by the family in 2006 and are described in the Society’s 2007 report of gifts. Included in this latest gift are the letters exchanged between Dr. Callcott and Rebecca Anderson from the late summer of 1930 until their marriage in July 1932, as well as other family correspondence spanning the period from the early 1920s to 2003. The courtship letters supplement correspondence in the initial gift and complete the narrative of the couple’s progression to marriage. They also reveal interesting details about academic life at the University of South Carolina from the differing perspectives of a history professor and a young M.A. student. Both correspondents frequently commented on university events and Wilfrid provided history department news to Rebecca who had left Columbia, S.C., to begin her teaching career at Greenwood High School in the fall of 1930. Rebecca had earned her A.B. in 1929 from Lander College (Greenwood County, S.C.) where she had excelled as a student and leader. She was editor of the yearbook in 1927–1928 and editor of the college literary magazine during her senior year. In each of her four college years, she attained the highest grade average in her class. Upon graduation, she was awarded a fellowship to the University of South Carolina where she began her graduate work in the history department in the fall of 1929. Dr. Callcott directed her thesis, "United States Relations with Nicaragua, 1913–1917," and developed a friendly relationship with her. Callcott’s wife Grace had died suddenly in June 1929, soon after the birth of their son, George Hardy Callcott, and by the summer of 1930 Professor Callcott had developed a romantic interest in Rebecca.
The letters between professor and student began in August 1930, just as Rebecca was working diligently to finish her thesis. In a letter to Callcott written from her family’s home in Ninety Six (Greenwood County, S.C.) on 28 August 1930, Rebecca speculated: "As I write this, you may be toiling over that mass of material that may eventually become a thesis." She also professed to "have entirely forgotten all things pertaining to an M.A. degree." Callcott quickly read the first draft and reported his reaction. "I am far from disappointed [in your thesis] as you said you feared, but am greatly pleased," he remarked. "There are improvements that can be made as in any rough draft," he continued. Callcott enclosed a sheet of suggestions when he returned the manuscript to Rebecca but recommended "you put this whole thing away till your teaching work is well started and... you then return to it with a clear mind."
In his next letter written on 23 September 1930, after Callcott recounted the events of registration and relayed the departmental gossip, he reminded Rebecca of how he had selected her as his assistant the previous fall. "Last year when it came to the assignment of fellows to act as assistants, I casually remarked after I had already met all of you, that since my name was first on the alphabetical list of the Department, that I would be glad to have the fellow whose name was first alphabetically," Callcott confessed. For the remainder of the fall, Callcott continued his regular letters, filled with university news, and increasingly professed his affection for Rebecca. In a letter dated 15 November, Callcott wrote, "Yes, I mean it, my Dear, I love you." Rebecca, however, did not respond to his declaration and continued to sign her letters "yours sincerely" and "as always." Callcott continued to press his suit and in every letter reminded Rebecca of his love for her. In early December, Callcott remarked, "Almost a year ago now and when my interests in you were still largely academic you showed me a letter you had written in applying for a job." The letter listed Rebecca’s birth date, but Callcott could not remember the day, only that it was in the early part of December. His birthday gift of red roses arrived ten days before Rebecca’s birthday, 18 December 1930, but lasted until that day arrived. Wilfrid visited Rebecca at her home in Ninety Six on New Years day, 1931. She wrote Wilfrid on 5 January and admitted, "I believe I can think of you more easily as ‘Wilfrid’ now than I could before, but also assured him, "Don’t worry, I’m not going to forget and call you ‘Wilfrid’ on Carolina campus as long as you are my professor."
The courtship continued through the spring of 1931 while Rebecca struggled with her classes - Latin, history and civics - and her Green-wood High School students. She planned to complete work on her thesis and take the comprehensive exam for her degree during the summer session at the university. She remarked to Wilfrid in a letter of 17 January 1931, "as for the exam I hope I won’t be very rattled whether you are there or not.... I suppose you and Mr. Meriwether and Dr. Ferrell will make out most of the questions, won’t you? I do want you to ask your share of the questions, not because you are you but because you taught me."
Even though the professor-student relationship complicated their budding romance, Wilfrid continued to express his feelings for Rebecca and describe his hopes for the future. Rebecca, however, was cautious in her response to Wilfrid’s declarations. "I have said several times that I could not - did not - realize that you were in love with me," she wrote in early April. "Sometimes I am glad that you are. Sometimes I wish you weren’t. I think you know as much about how I feel toward you as I do myself," she concluded. She also mentioned, in the same letter, that she was seeing another man, "George," who lived in Greenwood. "I go to a show or somewhere with him once or twice during the week and usually have a date on Sunday night," she explained. "I guess he is about thirty-two years old - fairly good looking - perfect bachelor, man-about-town sort of a fellow. Knows I’m not in love with him, and I don’t think he cares a lot," she continued. Wilfrid’s reaction to Rebecca’s news emphasized the advantage that George enjoyed because of his proximity to Ninety Six: "And George can make the trip out there two or three times a week! Lucky dog!!"
Also reflected in the correspondence between Wilfrid and Rebecca was the deepening financial crisis in South Carolina brought on by the Great Depression. Even as the school term 1930-1931 neared its end, Rebecca was unsure of her continued employment. "Speaking of being an experienced teacher," she remarked in a letter of 29 May 1931, "it doesn’t seem to increase the value of my services any. All teachers in Greenwood, S.C., from the Superintendent on down, are getting a 10% cut. And nobody, so far as I’ve heard, is resigning on account of it."
Wilfrid taught summer school at Duke University from late June until early August 1931 while Rebecca was in Columbia, S.C., preparing for her exam and finishing work on her thesis. As she neared completion of her academic work that would end the professor-student relationship with Wilfrid, she seemed more willing to accept the possibility of a more personal one. In fact, in a letter of 1 July 1931 in which she discussed the "blasted bibliography" to her thesis, she ended by writing "I wish I could see you. At present I believe - I love you - but I don’t know."
Four days later, she described for Wilfrid the flurry of activity that marked the final revision of her thesis. One of her readers had been particularly critical of the length of the thesis: "He said I had done too much work but it wasn’t much good - or words to that effect. He said the subject was too big - that the treaty would have made a thesis of very nice length. As it is it ought to be cut down by half, etc., etc." Even the head of the department, Mr. Meriwether, asked her, "‘If we let you by this time, will you promise never to do it again?’" "‘Yes, sir,’" she replied, "‘I’ll never do anything again.’" Wilfrid reacted to the criticism of Rebecca’s thesis in his next letter. "Your thesis was too long but the blame was fairly and squarely mine," he wrote on 8 July 1931. "As I see it you are to be highly complimented for handling a very much larger mass of material than the average in a most efficient fashion," he explained. "I honestly think that the trouble is that we have all recently been through, or are still having trouble with, the Ph.D. grind and so are asking master’s candidates to show the polish and technique of doctoral applicants," he speculated. Rebecca finished her revisions and informed Wilfrid in a letter of 8 July 1931 that "I have just returned from the office of the Dean of the Graduate School where I deposited three copies ‘submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements, etc.’ Praise Allah! And other exclamations suitable to the occasion!" Even so, Rebecca commented on continued criticism from members of the faculty: "Mr. Meriwether still didn’t like the abbreviations. He said yesterday that he thought if I’d throw away this whole thing and write another one I could probably do a pretty good job - and make it 50 or 60 pp. long. I’m glad I’m no longer sensitive."
Immediately after turning in her typed thesis, Rebecca plunged into final preparation for her comprehensive exam. She explained to Wilfrid in a letter written 10 July 1931, five days before the exam, "I ought to be working and I am going to be in a minute. I’ve got to get from 1815 to 1860 today and it’s 12:30 now. From 1860 to 1876 is a more or less complete blank so that will take some little time." In the midst of reading for her exam, Rebecca learned that she had been elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Wilfrid congratulated her in a letter of 15 July 1931, the day after he saw her name in an article about the society’s new members in The State newspaper. Even though Wilfrid knew that she had been nominated, he seemed surprised that she had been selected because, he wrote, "I was far from sure of the situation for a graduate student has to have a strong record to make the grade." He then assured her that "Your endorsement by the History Department was without one word from me for, to the best of my recollection, I have not said or written one word on the subject since the last spring elections." Rebecca had little time to enjoy her new status as a member of Phi Beta Kappa because she had to take the history exam on the 15th. When she wrote Wilfrid the day after, she had not fully recovered from the ordeal of the exam. "The exam seemed pretty bad - not unfair at all but long drawn out," she explained. "I think I could have finished in 8 or 9 hours by rushing, but it took about 12. I didn’t loaf any - either thought or wrote all the time but worked rather slowly?," she concluded. Of the twelve questions she answered, the one that presented the greatest challenge was one of Professor Meriwether’s that asked about the amendments to the United States Constitution. "I knew I was sunk on the constitutional amendments - I forgot all about them - Hadn’t studied them even a little bit," she lamented. Even so, "Mr. Meriwether said they were passable," she wrote. Obviously disappointed in her performance, she confessed to Wilfrid, "I wanted to do better, but I couldn’t. It was entirely my fault too." Her election to Phi Beta Kappa lifted her spirits a bit. She wrote Wilfrid that she "was very much surprised and of course delighted" by the selection. "It has always been a secret ambition, but I thought a hopeless one," she confided. Wilfrid’s response to Rebecca’s regret over her self-perceived poor performance was "Snap out of it, Becky!" In his letter of 18 July 1931, he implored her "Now forget all this imaginary atmosphere, my Dear, and glory in the fact that you have done a big job and done it with real honor." A day later, Rebecca wrote Wilfrid: "I’m in a good humor - completely ‘recovered.’"
After graduation and induction into Phi Beta Kappa in July 1931, Rebecca returned to her home in Ninety Six, S.C., where she devoted her time to her family and recreation, with tennis and swimming her chief pleasures. She also wrote letters to Wilfrid each week and with some regularity mentioned marriage, a subject she had avoided while an active graduate student. In a letter written on 1 August, she teased Wilfrid about his "‘set rules’ and ‘routine,’" remarking "not that I have any special antipathy for them. I think they are excellent things. They just won’t work here." Then she posed the question: "If I should marry you, do you s’pose I would horribly upset your routine - or would I be able to learn the rules myself? It might be a grave risk you seem willing to run!" In her next letter, written 7 August 1931, she joked that a friend had "said that he heard last week that I was married - to you. I said I had heard it too but didn’t think it was so." In an undated letter written after she returned to her teaching duties in the fall of 1931, she remarked, "sometimes I can easily see myself married to you. At other times the only possible thing that I can be doing next year and year after is staying at home and teaching civics and Latin." Rebecca mentioned her brother’s pursuit of a Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina in a letter written to Wilfrid on 2 December. "If I were a man," she speculated, "I’d feel in duty bound to try to get a Ph.D. and I’m afraid I couldn’t stand the pressure." She confessed, "I’m so glad I don’t feel called upon to get one. At times, I’ll admit, I have wanted to, even being a girl."
George Hardy Callcott, Wilfrid’s father, passed away in late October 1931 after an extended illness, and Rebecca and Wilfrid exchanged letters more often than usual during that period. Wilfrid reported on his father’s ever-changing condition and Rebecca offered her sympathy when the news was discouraging. In her first letter to Wilfrid after she had learned of his father’s death, Rebecca offered her sympathy and explained her own inability to help the situation. "I never have wanted to do something for anybody as much as I wanted to do something for you yesterday," she wrote, "and it seemed there was nothing I could do." "Mother said that she wished we could have kept George [Wilfrid’s two- year-old son] for you - Looks as if there’s nothing I can do for you without being married to you," Rebecca concluded. In November and December, the courting couple spent more time together than usual, with Wilfrid making several trips to Ninety Six, S.C., to see Rebecca. In a letter written 9 January 1932, Rebecca confided to Wilfrid that she had told her friend George "I was going to decide in a couple of weeks whether I’d get married next summer or not - and I am. I think he knows pretty well what I’ll decide - otherwise he ought to know I wouldn’t have mentioned it." She ended her letter with "goodnight - I love you, Bec." Before the end of January, she had made her decision and had accepted an engagement ring from Wilfrid. She wrote to her new fiancé on 4 February, "I have stopped being solemn and serious over engagements and the idea of marriage. I think it’s fun."
The wedding date was set for 29 July, a few days after Wilfrid concluded his teaching responsibilities in the University’s summer school. The correspondence from the spring and summer focused on wedding plans, university events, and family news. The severe budget cuts that forced the University to reduce professors’ salaries substan-tially for the spring semester had no impact on the couple’s plans. Rebecca remarked, in a letter written 9 June, "I know of folks who are waiting for a raise to get married. Instead with every cut you seem just as willing as ever to take on the support of a girl - when no adequate return or satisfaction is guaranteed....You are quite brave and unselfish."
The courtship letters end in July 1931 but correspondence with various family members continues. For example, Rebecca’s mother, Nannie, wrote her daughter regularly while Rebecca and Wilfrid traveled to and from Texas on their honeymoon and continued to relate news from Ninety Six, S.C., after the newlyweds returned to Columbia, S.C., in September. Other members of Rebecca’s family including her father, Tom Anderson, her sisters Nancy, and twins Mary Motte and Frances, and her brothers Perrin and Tom, wrote letters conveying family news during the 1920s and early 1930s. Rebecca’s father wrote his daughter on 10 August [1924?] from Millen, Georgia, where he had traveled "to survey & cut up a tract of 3,800 acres of land including the laying out of a town at Rodgers a station on the central of Ga. Ry." "I have no idea when I can get this job done - it is the biggest job I have ever tackled," he concluded. From her brother Perrin, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina, came a letter written in June 1931, just after he had met Wilfrid for the first time. "I like him very much on this short notice," he admitted. "You’d not do such a bad job I guess...," he teased.
Another letter from Perrin, written a year later to "Dear Bec and Wilfrid," announced his employment as a teacher at Greenville High School (S.C.). "Dr. Mann called me a day or so ago and offered me the place and since I saw no other prospects and needed a little income - though this is a very small one - I thought it well to accept," he explained. A letter from Perrin to his mother, written just after he began teaching at Greenville High School, is also in the collection. Perrin had just met Dr. Rosser Taylor, professor of history at Furman, who was writing a social history of antebellum South Carolina. "He wants to read my dissertation manuscript and also two documents which I have. Will you have one of the girls to mail me these documents?," he asked. Another letter from Perrin, written on 4 July 1933 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, described his impressions of the University of Michigan where he had enrolled in four law courses. "The University is big and beautiful. Beautiful campus, beautiful buildings - but no beautiful girls," Perrin lamented. "After another summer’s study and this winter put in reading I hope to be ready to take the bar examination," he continued. Perrin asked about Rebecca and Wilfrid’s first child, Nancy, who was not yet three months old. "Write me about yourself and Little Nancy. I don’t know how much you love that baby but I know that it’s not as much as Miss Nannie [their mother] does. I don’t think any of us have Mother’s ardent temperament. I wish we did. We’re too much Anderson," he concluded.
During their first five years of marriage, Wilfrid and Rebecca had four children: Nancy in 1933, Frank in 1935, Tom in 1937, and Mary in 1938. As the children grew, they joined the circle of correspondents repre-sented in this collection. At first as recipients of letters from their parents and later as full participants in a regular exchange of news, all of the Callcott children became dedicated letter writers. Nancy Callcott was only five years old when she received a letter, dated 24 June 1938, from her father while he was teaching in the summer session at Chapel Hill. To entertain his daughter, he devoted half of the two-page letter to detailed descriptions of the squirrels and birds he saw on his walk to the university each morning. "Then, too, there is a queer little ground squirrel here," he wrote. "He is not more than five or six inches long, with a tail about the same length. He is a light brown color with very pretty gray and dark brown stripes along his body. In fact...[he] look[s] like a soft downy little chicken," Wilfrid concluded. Also included in the collection are letters to Nancy from her mother beginning in early January 1956, shortly after Nancy married Jim Meriwether and moved away from Columbia, and continuing until 1971.
Even though the earliest letter in the collection was written to Nancy, letters to the eldest son, George Hardy, are the most numerous, with one hundred thirty-five items extant. Beginning in October 1950, Wilfrid wrote his son about every two weeks with letters from Rebecca interspersed from time-to-time. After Wilfrid’s death in 1969, Rebecca continued to send news of family and friends to George and his wife Peggy with the most recent letter dated 2003. George entered graduate school at Columbia University in the fall of 1950 to pursue an M.A. degree in history after graduating from the University of South Carolina with an A.B. degree in 1950. Filled with typical parental advice - "Sleep regularly and fully, eat good food and take regular relaxation" - Wilfrid’s letters also provided reassurance about graduate training in history from someone who had been through the same program at the same institution. "I well remember how theoretical and intangible the whole thing seemed to me when I first started," Wilfrid wrote in a letter of 30 October 1950. "Then after a bit of time they somehow seem to get back down to earth," he affirmed. The Korean War and his draft status were of great concern to George as he planned his graduate training. Wilfrid, in a letter of 28 January 1951, suggested a possible course of action for his son: "I definitely feel that two years more of graduate work with a moderate load each year will be far better training for you than a single year of rushed work. If you have two years behind you, then take a ‘hitch’ in the army, the last year of graduate work will review your background and sharpen you for the final examinations." George finished his degree at the end of the spring semester 1951 and entered the University of North Carolina in the fall to continue his graduate work in history. He worked as Professor Fletcher Green’s assistant for two years and continued his course work until called in February 1954 to take a physical examination for possible army service. He was not inducted into service immediately and spent much of the spring and summer working on his dissertation before beginning a one-year appointment at Longwood College in Virginia. After that he spent a year in Europe, 1957–1958, before joining the history faculty at the University of Maryland. Wilfrid was able to be especially helpful to his son after George had been asked, early in 1959, to consider writing a history of the University of Maryland. The father could offer informed comments, he wrote, having witnessed first hand "our own history of the University develop over a period of a few years." "We found here that a six-hour load with three days a week entirely in the clear for research allowed Dan Hollis to progress about at full speed so far as his research was concerned," Wilfrid noted. He then offered words of caution to his son about including the recent past in a university history. "Here, we were quite careful not to allow it to come down to the contemporary and recently controversial," he wrote. "Recent developments were included usually to show culminations of earlier movements or trends, but issues were not included after World War II," he explained. In a letter of 16 May 1962, Wilfrid commented on George’s work on the final revisions of his history. "Incidentally, those final revisions dealing with the final chapters are the ones that we found to be the most difficult in handling the USC history," he remembered. "The advantage of perspective is lost - to say nothing of personalities that come to the front." After George’s book, A History of the University of Maryland, was published, Wilfrid wrote, on 1 January 1966, "I waited to write your Christmas letter until The Book arrived. It came yesterday afternoon." After starting with, "I especially liked the dust cover. (Now, how is that for a comment?)," Wilfrid continued with his praise: "It is written well and you have done a job of which we all can be proud," but, he reminded George, perhaps based on his own experience, "you will receive some criticisms...." Finally, he recommended that George "keep one copy in which you record all comments, suggestions and corrections that are suggested. This will be really valuable when the time comes for a second edition." In one of his last letters to George, written 9 March 1969, Wilfrid congratulated his son on the completion of the manuscript for History in the United States, 1800–1860: Its Practice and Purpose (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1970). "Real congratulations on the reports on the manuscript. Does the press indicate a probable publication date?"
In Rebecca’s first letter, dated 11 October 1969, to George and Peggy after Wilfrid’s death, which had occurred the previous month, she wrote: "During the past few weeks I have appreciated all my children in a way that I never have before. You are all so strong and capable and generous and kind and I know, even when I feel forlorn, that I am a fortunate woman." To George she acknowledged, "Eventually I will have to face the problem of what to do about class notes, research notes, letter files, etc. etc. If you have any ideas about it let me know."
Rebecca’s letters from the 1980s and 1990s continued to update family news, especially the activities of her grandchildren, and also contain comments about her own activities and reading interests. She mentioned in a letter written 18 October 1998 that "Nick [Meriwether] sent me a collection of his essays - mostly reviews of Rock-n-Roll concerts which I know so little about. However he writes well and I’ll read most of them." She also considered plans for the disposition of Wilfrid’s books and papers. "I have not done anything about your father’s books and may not but I’ll think about it," she wrote George on 14 February 1996 and in another letter, dated 6 March 2002, she remarked, "I do have the letters of Wilfrid, written to me 1930 to 1932, which you asked about. I also have a few other things for you to sort out."
Letters to Tom Callcott begin in 1961, the year of his marriage to Ann Falwell, and continue through 1964. In a letter written on 24 September 1961 from Austin where Wilfrid had just started his year as visiting professor in the department of history, he discussed the prospects for the semester. "At first glance the students are about as might be expected," he wrote, "The seminar group seems to have half or a little more of the students as doctoral candidates; one or two of the others may be a bit weak but they only meet once a week and it is too early to tell." The next group of letters begins with the Callcotts’ arrival in England in the fall of 1963 at the beginning of their Fulbright year in Oxford. Wilfrid described his teaching responsibilities to his son and daughter-in-law in a letter written 3 December 1963: "This term I have had first-year men and a few women; hereafter I shall have advanced students only...the idea here is to guide students in securing information for themselves, not to provide them with information...." He also described the local reaction to the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas. "The tragedy at Dallas simply stunned the English people," he observed. "After the Cuban affair they had placed him on a pedestal as a statesman that I fear no man could live up to. A man who would take such risks so calmly and wear his laurels without boasting made him a true hero in their eyes."
Also in the collection is a group of letters from the Callcotts while in England in 1963 and 1964 to their son Frank and daughter-in-law Mary Ann Snowden Callcott who were living in the Callcott home at 1718 College Street in Columbia for the year. Rebecca, in a letter written 8 September on board the Queen Mary, described a tour of the engine room she and Wilfrid had taken the previous day: "Frank you’d have enjoyed seeing it - four huge shafts turning 3 times a second and driven by 24 big boilers. The electric equipment was something to see." Wilfrid wrote to Frank and Mary Ann in January 1964 just after he and Rebecca had returned from a visit to Germany and France. "Paris is a beautiful place with an almost unbelievable emphasis on all forms of life that cater to enjoyment: art, architecture, food and entertainment," he noted. "No wonder the Germans have never understood the French; the German wishes to be prosperous so as to be powerful, while the Frenchmen work for prosperity to enjoy themselves."
Letters to daughter Mary begin with one from Rebecca written 31 December 1961 from Austin, Texas, in which she discussed Mary’s recent wedding. Mary married Frank Bozeman, Jr., of Pensacola, Florida, in Columbia, S.C., at the end of December 1961 and during the following months and years Rebecca wrote frequent letters, often filled with advice for her newlywed daughter. In a letter dated 23 July 1962, Rebecca suggested that during the summer months while Mary’s schedule was not full "it might be a good idea to check over any social obligations you have and have a couple of supper parties...." "It would be good ‘practice’ for you," she urged. "You are enough like me to be inclined to pick up a book instead of planning a party...." Rebecca, in a letter written 29 January 1963, urged Mary to move her church membership from Washington Street Methodist in Columbia, S.C., to Pensacola, Fla. After pointing out several practical reasons for making the transfer, Rebecca then presented her final argument: "But to be on the side of righteousness and justice and mercy and loving kindness, that is a good reason. To be active in a group of people who stand for goodness and peace and helpfulness - a better world for all." The Bozemans received twenty-two letters from Wilfrid and Rebecca while they were in England in 1963–1964. Many were written to Mary and Frank, but often the parents would send a letter addressed to "Dear Children" or "Dear Folks" and ask Frank Bozeman to make Xerox copies and send the copies to the other children.
The only grandchild represented in the collection is Rebecca C. Meriwether, daughter of Nancy Callcott and Jim Meriwether. Beginning in 1976 when Becky went away to school, Rebecca wrote frequent letters, filled with family news. In a letter written in September 1976, Rebecca admonished Becky: "Do take reasonably good care of yourself. Mainly that means get enough sleep and proper food. Don’t let yourself stay awake reading to the small hours! Don’t I sound just like a Grandmother!" Rebecca often commented on books she had read in her letters to Becky. Margaret Thatcher’s The Downing Street Years was "interesting and enlightening." She admitted, "It probably does me good to read a rather sensible and thoughtful exposition of conservative principles and policies because I tend to be more liberal and in this country, at least, inclined to distrust Republicans." She also confessed, "I could not understand [George Garrett’s] Death of the Fox very well even though long ago I had a graduate history course on Elizabethan England." She concluded, "I am afraid he writes for only a few people."
The collection also includes eighty-five condolence letters and notes written to Rebecca after the death of Wilfrid in September 1969. Typical of these letters is one dated 25 September 1969 from Frank Durham, Wilfrid’s long-time friend and colleague. "With his passing," Durham wrote, "I feel that the University and the community have suffered a great loss, for by his example he inspired others to an enlightened involvement in contemporary affairs, to a dedication to learning and teaching, and to a sincere interest in people....With him, since I had been his student long ago, I felt a kind of continuity in the highest ideals of our profession."
Two manuscript items are included in the addition to the Callcott papers. The first is a seventeen-page transcript of a taped interview with Rebecca Anderson Callcott and Nancy Anderson Self, recorded 21 April 1995 and transcribed by Nicholas G. Meriwether. Most of the conversation focuses on early childhood and school experiences of the Anderson sisters. The second manuscript is a sixteen-page transcript of the tributes offered to Rebecca Anderson Callcott on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday by family members. The celebration took place at the Faculty House on the campus of the University of South Carolina on 19 December 1998. Among the speakers were children George and Tom Callcott and Mary Callcott Bozeman; grandchildren Rebecca Callcott Meriwether, Robert Ogilvie Meriwether, Nicholas G. Meriwether, and Hardy L. Callcott; sister Nancy Anderson Self; niece Sue Self Fry; and Rebecca Anderson Callcott.
Finally, two printed works were also contributed. The first is David Blayney Brown’s Augustus Wall Callcott (London: Tate Gallery, 1981), a ninety-four-page catalogue of Callcott’s art on exhibition at The Tate Gallery in London from 11 February to 29 March 1981.The second is Memories of My Childhood by Rebecca Anderson Callcott, edited by Mary Callcott Bozeman, and published by Inklings Press, 1998. Rebecca provides brief sketches of her parents, Nannie Polk Thomason and Thomas Carson Anderson, as well as information about other family members in addition to her own recollections of her early life.