Manuscripts

Septima P. Clark Papers, ca. 1910-ca. 1990

Septima P. Clark's 1964 black and white passport photo.
This collection contains material relating to the life and work of Septima P. Clark. The biographical papers include tributes, clippings, certificates, awards, family correspondence and transcripts of various oral history interviews in which Clark discusses her parents; husband; growing up and race relations in Charleston, South Carolina; her work in Citizenship Schools; her work at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and in the civil rights movement with people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Stokely Carmichael, Dorothy Cotton, Ella Baker, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Hosea Williams, Ralph David Abernathy and others. There are a few references to the Charleston South Carolina Hospital Worker's strike in 1969. A series on her works includes a photocopy of her autobiography Echo in My Soul, with related papers; various versions of talks and essays on civil rights, race and racism, non-violence, God and religion, American youth, tributes to individuals and other topics.
 
Her correspondence includes numerous local and state black and white politicians; a partial letter to Ella Gerber regarding Porgy and Bess, a significant series of letters with writer Josephine Carson (Rider), and from Spelman College professor Vincent Harding, with some of his articles. Presidential materials include a photocopy of a Jimmy Carter letter; a letter from Gerald Ford; and an invitation to inauguration of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.
 
A series documenting her affiliations begins with a her association with Charleston schools, and contains correspondence regarding losing of her job in 1956 as a teacher for being a member of the NAACP; her service (1975-1978) on the Charleston County School Board; and other connections with various educational endeavors. The series also includes papers regarding her association with the Highlander Folk Center; papers regarding her work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, with material on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; papers regarding the Penn Community Center and Clark’s relationship with it; publications, program materials and correspondence regarding Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and local Charleston Chapter, Gamma Xi Omega; materials regarding various women’s groups with which she was affiliated; materials regarding various civil rights, African American and political groups and causes for which she worked; a list of grievances regarding the Charleston Hospital Worker’s strike, brochures from various African American political campaigns, groups to free jailed African Americans; the US Commission on Civil Rights, State Advisory Committee of SC; Neighborhood Legal Assistance and other similar groups.
 
Her church papers include materials regarding Old Bethel Methodist Church, Charleston, SC, and other various Methodist groups, and her papers documenting her relationship with arts groups contain a nearly complete script of Sea Island Song by Alice Childress. Other materials documenting Clark's association with social, health care and literary-related agencies include papers regarding the Septima Clark Day Care Center, and papers dealing with the handicapped. Her relationships with various schools cover institutions such as College Seven, University of California-Santa Cruz, Benedict College and Hampton University, including student papers submitted at Hampton regarding Saxon Elementary School, Columbia, SC, and materials documenting unrest at Allen University, Columbia, SC, and at Voorhees College, Denmark, SC. Photographs show Septima Clark, Poinsette and Clark family members, various functions, programs and events participated in by Clark and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, including teaching programs at various spots and the Charleston Hospital Workers’ strike.
 
This collection was digitized and made freely available online through the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
 

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Lynch Family Letters, 1858-1866

Handwritten letter from Bernard Lynch to Bp Patrick Lynch, April 5,  1858

From the Catholic Diocese of Charleston Archives comes this collection of correspondence to Bishop Patrick N. Lynch, Bishop of Charleston from 1858-1882. Spanning the years 1858-1866, these letters to the Bishop from his family touch on a variety of topics including Catholicism and convent life, the Civil War and slavery, and Southern life in the mid-19th century.

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Lowcountry Tourism

Color painting of the Cooper River Bridge from

This growing collection features historic pamphlets highlighting some of the attractions of Charleston, South Carolina and the lowcountry.

This collection currently includes an illustrated pamphlet that gives a brief history of the Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, South Carolina and provides rich physical details about the building, including photographs, floor plans and cross sections.

Also included is the Tourist's Guide of Charleston, 1940, a colorful booklet highlighting some of Charleston's well known attractions. Another pamphlet, printed by the Southern Railway System in 1926, features the latest lodging and sightseeing options in Charleston, Summerville, and Savannah. Two pamphlets (from 1893 and 1909) about the Summerville resort The Pine Forest Inn advertise the Inn's luxurious accomodations and the health benefits of a winter vacation in Summerville, South Carolina.

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Frank Fisher Notes, 1882-1902

Color print of page 1 of Frank Fisher's Notes, 1882-1902.

Frank R. Fisher's notes contain observations, drawings, and photographs relating to scientific studies, particularly astronomical observations made while Fisher was a resident in Charleston, S.C., during the 1880s. Fisher, a cashier at the South Carolina Railroad Company in Charleston, was an amateur scientist and inventor who occasionally worked in consultation with longtime College of Charleston professor Lewis R. Gibbes. Frank Fisher's notes also contain a lengthy analysis of the 1886 Charleston earthquake.

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Jewish Heritage Collection - Personal Papers

Black and white photo of two men standing beside the grave of Moshe Yidel Gelbar

This collection is comprised of born-digital and digitized material from individual and family collections from the Jewish Heritage Collection. Most of these digital objects are part of larger manuscript collections held in the College of Charleston’s Special Collections Department. Finding aids for these collections can be located by searching the College of Charleston online catalog.

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Irish Volunteers Company records, 1798-1929

Cover of a pamphlet commemorating the Irish Volunteers Memorial Meeting.

Organized in Charleston, South Carolina about 1798, the Irish Volunteers Company was first on active service in the War of 1812 where they served on patrol and constructed defenses. This collection contains typescript copies of "The History of the Irish Volunteers Company" (1798-1836) and minutes from organizational meetings from 1884-1901 and 1915-1929. Also included is a pamphlet commemorating memorial meetings in 1877.

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Holloway Family Collection

Black and white photograph of James Holloway.

This collection containes a scrapbook, compiled by James H. Holloway (1849-1913), which contains legal documents, personal and business correspondence, receipts, ephemera, clippings and photographs pertaining to the Holloway family, a prominent free family of color in Charleston, SC. Legal documents include deeds (1806, 1821, 1871), a conveyance (1811), slave bills of sale including one for the slave "Betty" (1829), an agreement (1829) to apprentice the slave boy Carlos in the carpenters and house joiner's trade, exhorter licenses to preach and a photograph of a 1797 document declaring patriarch Richard Holliday (Holloway) a free mulatto. Personal and business correspondence include letters concerning the hiring out of slaves, an offer (1837) to buy the "Holloway Negroes", a letter (1831) from Samuel Benedict about emigrating to Liberia, agreements for carpentry work, and information about the Brown Fellowship Society, the Century Fellowship Society, the Minors Moralist Society and the Bonneau Literary Society. Also included are invitations, Confederate and corporate tax receipts, receipts for general merchandise, and Confederate scrip. Other letters and newspaper clippings, including letters to the editor written by James H. Holloway, concern Negro taxes, Negro slaveholders, the Liberia movement, the Methodist Episcopal Church, civil rights and related topics. James H. Holloway's niece, Mae Holloway Purcell, preserved the scrapbook after his death and added to its contents. The bound scrapbook was microfilmed by the South Caroliniana Library in 1977 but was later disbound and reorganized. Using the microfilm as a guide, archivists at the Avery Research Center attempted to recreate the original order and this digital presentation of the scrapbook reflects those efforts.

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Historic Charleston Foundation Tours of Homes

Color poster for the 6th annual tour of Charleston's historic houses in 1953.

One of the first fundraising programs developed by Historic Charleston Foundation after its incorporation in 1947 was its annual spring tours of historic houses, during which trained “hostesses” would guide visitors through several private homes in Charleston’s historic district. In addition to raising revenue to support Historic Charleston Foundation’s preservation efforts, the tours performed an educational function by presenting Charleston architecture and decorative arts to both visitors and residents alike. Tour publicity included posters, brochures, and guidebooks, and this collection features some of the promotional materials from the first ten years of the annual tours of houses. Of note are the guidebooks which contain not only house histories written by Samuel Gaillard Stoney, Jr., accompanied by photographs by numerous Charleston photographers, but also information about Historic Charleston Foundation and its activities, essays, maps, and advertisements for a variety of local businesses.

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Historic Charleston Foundation Monographs and Photographs

Black and white photo of the U.S. Custom House in Charleston, SC, circa 1890.

Various monographs and photographs from the Margaretta Childs Archives at Historic Charleston Foundation. The focus of the collection items is primarily Charleston historic buildings, streets, landmarks, and sites. The collection also includes publications related to tourism in Charleston (1879-1948), the Charleston Earthquake of 1886, and the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition of 1901-1902.

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Heyward and Ferguson family papers, 1806-1923

Handwritten letter from William Henry Heyward to James B. Heyward, 1844.

The collection consists of business correspondence, plantation records, slave lists, military documents, accounting records, legal documents and Civil War letters of the Heyward and Ferguson families of the Combahee, Savannah, and Cooper Rivers in the Low Country near Charleston, South Carolina. The letters date between 1806 and 1923, but the bulk of the correspondence is from the antebellum period. Much of the collection is family correspondence between Nathaniel Heyward (1766-1851), his wife Henrietta Manigault Heyward (1769-1827), their sons Nathaniel Heyward (1790-1819) and William Manigault Heyward (1789-1820), and their grandsons James Barnwell Heyward (1817-1886), Nathaniel Barnwell Heyward (1816-1891) and William Henry Heyward (1817-1889).

 

The letters regard a variety of subjects, including rice cultivation along the Combahee and Savannah Rivers, land purchases, and travels in Europe. The collection also includes property records, including information on the sale and purchase of slaves, the plantation records for Myrtle Grove Plantation for 1848-1852, a list of slave names and numbers for Rotterdam, Hamburgh, Amsterdam, and Fife Plantations for 1852, and a list of items, such as blankets and tools, that were given to slaves. In addition to these records, the correspondence includes contracts and correspondence belonging to Thomas B. Ferguson (1841-1922). This portion of the collection contains contracts with overseers, tenants, and freedmen. It also includes correspondence concerning Dean Hall and Dockon Plantations near the Cooper River. A portion of the collection consists of Civil War letters concerning the death of Nathaniel Augustus Heyward in 1862 at the Second Battle of Manassas, and the Confederate service of Francis William Heyward (1844-1907), Thomas B. Ferguson (1841-1922), and Samuel Wragg Ferguson (1834-1917), Confederate general and aide-de-camp to General Beauregard.

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