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The 1999 University South Caroliniana Society Annual Meeting
by Allen Stokes
Members and guests assembled at the South Caroliniana Library on Saturday, May 15, for the 63rd annual meeting of the University South Caroliniana Society. Staff mounted exhibits of manuscript, visual, and printed materials acquired by the Library in 1998. Also on display was the Library's portrait of Mrs. Emily Legare Bryan by Peter Copmann. The canvas and frame were
The Honorable C. Bruce Littlejohn, the day's featured speaker, pictured with Herb Hartsook, curator of Modern Political Collections.
Littlejohn's papers (1938-1996) document his 58-year career in the Palmetto State.
restored with private funds from the Jane Crayton Davis Endowment and the Arthur Elliott Holman, Jr., Acquisition and Preservation Endowment. Among the larger manuscript collections described in the printed program of acquisitions are those of the Christensen family of Beaufort, the Watson family of Ridge Spring, artist Sigmund Abeles, journalist Reid Montgomery, and Fourth District Congressmen Joseph Bryson and James Mann. Those who attended the reception enjoyed the music of the Dick Goodwin jazz trio, light refreshments, and Caroliniana punch.
Everyone adjourned to the Russell House for the luncheon and business meeting presided over by President Harvey Teal. Following lunch, President Teal gave the report of the nominating committee appointed by the Executive Council. The committee was comprised of officers and councilors whose terms ended with the 63rd annual meeting. President Harvey Teal, Vice-President Katherine Richardson, and Councilors Scott Derrick, Cantey Haile, William Hine, and Harry Lightsey offered the following names in nomination: President, Dr. Harry Lightsey; Vice-President, Mrs. Ruth Edens; Council, Mr. John Boineau, Mrs. Mary Derrick, Mrs. Virginia Meynard, and Mr. Don Roper. All nominees were elected by acclamation.
Society members examine new acquisitions on display in the Manuscripts Division Reading Room.
On the right is the recently restored portrait of Mrs. Emily Legare Bryan (1794-1842) painted by Peter Copmann in 1825.
In looking back over his three-year term of office, President Teal cited numerous accomplishments including the inauguration of Caroliniana Columns, the publication of a membership roster, the creation of two standing committees on membership and endowment, the acquisition through gifts and purchases of quality Caroliniana, and a more focused emphasis on the conservation of collections.
In the coming months, the University Libraries will move many items into the new Library Annex which includes a fully equipped conservation laboratory. On behalf of the Executive Council and membership of the Society, President Teal presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to assist in furnishing the laboratory. Carol Benfield, University Libraries development officer, accepted the contribution. In turn, she presented to the Society a print entitled "Caroliniana Library at the Horseshoe" by Guy Lipscomb in recognition of the Society's membership in USC's Horseshoe Society which acknowledges individuals and organizations who have contributed in excess of $100,000 during the University's Bicentennial Campaign.
Society members enjoy the morning reception at the South Caroliniana Library.
Secretary-Treasurer Allen Stokes reported that the Society's current membership is 2,281 and that during the year several hundred names were dropped from the rolls. The Society received $27,849 in dues and endowment contributions and $45,234 in interest and dividend income during 1998. The fund's market value at year's end stood at $1,761,814, an increase of $284,682 since 1997. The secretary-treasurer spent $152,064 of accumulated dues and investment income to purchase printed, visual, and manuscript materials for the Library.
The most important acquisition made possible by the use of Society funds was the purchase of papers of the Williams, Chesnut, and Manning families. [For details, see Spring 1999 edition of Caroliniana Columns] The acquisition includes many of the unpublished writings of Mary Boykin Chesnut.
Retired South Carolina Chief Justice C. Bruce Littlejohn delivered the luncheon address entitled "The Re-arising of the Republican Party in South Carolina." His remarks focused upon changes in South Carolina's political landscape since he first campaigned for the legislature in 1936. Beginning with the States' Rights party movement in 1948 and continuing through the present-day makeup of the South Carolina House and Senate, he narrated in detail the emergence of the Republican Party and the creation of a strong two-party system in the Palmetto State.
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