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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Friendly Moralist Society Records, 1841-1856

A handwritten page from the proceedings of the Friendly Moralist Society, 1841

The Friendly Moralist Society was a benevolent society for free brown (mulatto or mixed race) men established in Charleston, S.C. in 1838. This collection contains proceedings of their monthly meetings from 1841 to 1856, and the Absentee Book, showing member absent and for what reason, from 1842 to 1849.

The Proceedings section consists of minutes taken at organizational meetings from 1841 to 1856. These minutes offer insight into the conflict between free black and brown individuals at this time. Monthly minutes of May 1844 and Oct. 1848, for instance, detail the exclusion of prospective members for being black rather than brown and the Annual Day speech of 1848 addresses the issues of being colored versus black or white. This conflict and frequent issues with finances resulted in several schisms and mass resignations in the society and is mentioned in a brief history of the society in the Annual Day address of 1853.

The "Absentees Book" of the Friendly Moralist Society details member attendance from 1842 to 1849. Many of the entries are annotated frequently in pencil, providing explanation for member absences such as "sick", "out of town", or "not summoned", etc. It also notes fines levied for unexcused absences per society rules.

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Eighteenth & Nineteenth Century Correspondence Collection

Handwritten letter from John Vaughan to Philip Tidyman, dated Dec.11, 1801.

This growing collection features correspondence from the eighteenth and nineteenth century chosen from the College of Charleston's Special Collections holdings. It includes two letters written by Dr. John Vaughan of Philadelphia to Philip Tidyman, discussing smallpox vaccines. Also featured is a letter from Frederick Garrissen of Germany to Charleston merchant William Stephen requesting that Stephen ship goods to Europe, as supplies were limited due to war.

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Drayton Papers, 1701-2004

A handwritten page from Charles Drayton's diary, displaying January 1791.
The diaries include information on the day-to-day management of Drayton plantations, (particularly Drayton Hall, Jehossee and Long Savannah), focusing on crops, livestock, labor, and the movement of these between estates. Charles describes (in brief) meeting and dining with President George Washington, receiving plant specimens from Thomas Jefferson, a visit from Andre Michaux, the winding up of Bob Savannah plantation, lease of plantation on the Wateree River, abuse of slaves, sending slaves from Drayton Hall to reside at Jehossee, family deaths, division of the deceased's estates and family acrimony. 
The travelogue includes descriptions of towns including: Baltimore M.D., Wilmington D.E., Albany N.Y., Washington D.C., Raleigh and Fayetteville, N.C. Information is also given on countryside, roads, buildings, bridges, agriculture, and flora. Attention is given to architectural features throughout. Included are occasional sketches and descriptions of estates, including William Hamilton's The Woodlands and the "Palace of the President" [White House] (especially the interior), and the Capitol buildings. Drayton travels part-way with Eli Whitney (1765-1825), creator of the cotton gin.


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Drayton Family Papers, 1837-1869

A handwritten letter from F.H. Trenholm to John Drayton, dated November 11, 1868

These Papers consist of correspondence, writings, military documents, slave lists, accounts, plats, and other items relating to the Drayton family of Drayton Hall near Charleston, South Carolina. They include the papers of James Shoolbred Drayton (1820-1867) and Dr. John Drayton (1831-1912) and date 1837-1869. Included is a letter about a "slight altercation between Col. Tarleton and my grandfather Dr. Charles Drayton" at Drayton Hall during the American Revolution (undated); inventories of slaves and their blankets at Drayton Hall (1860); tax receipts for Thomas Henry Middleton Drayton's property in Brazoria County, Texas (1861-1862); details of John Drayton's service to the Confederate Army as physician to slaves and his post-War lease of Drayton Hall, first to northerners Moulton Emery and John Prentice, and then to phosphate miner, F.H. Trenholm (1868-1869). Writings include poems by James Shoolbred Drayton ("Hall") calling southerners to raise arms against the Union (1861). An account book displays Mary Middleton Shoolbred Drayton's transactions with Legare & Colcock, and her payments of household expenses, taxes, and other expenditures (1852-1856). Plats are by James Shoolbred Drayton but the estates are not named (undated).

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College of Charleston Scrapbooks and Photo Albums

Autographed photo of Geraldine Farrar from 1918.

This collection highlights various albums and scrapbooks housed in the Special Collections department of the College of Charleston library.

Currently the collection includes the Byrnes Downs Garden Club Scrapbook, a European Photo Album, and the Frank Connor Photographic Collection.

The Byrnes Downs Garden Club Scrapbook collection consists of a scrapbook documenting the history, projects, and activities of the Byrnes Downs Garden Club from 1948 to 1953. The scrapbook contains photographs, newspaper clippings, typed histories and explanatory notes, year books including the organizations constitution and membership lists (1948-1953), programs and awards from special events, and one map of metropolitan Charleston from 1945 that details neighborhoods.

The European Photo Album contains 101 black and white photographs of historic sites, artwork and landscapes from Antwerp, Paris, Trianon, Versailles and London. The bulk of the photographs are of Paris and its various sites. The compiler of the album is unknown. Slipped inside the back of the album is a map of Venice, a plan of the second floor of the Louvre and a map showing the layout of Versailles. The photographs were taken in the 1890s.

The Frank Connor Photographic Collection includes 69 black and white photographs and postcards of actors and singers and one theatre program collected by Frank Connor, an actor who appeared with many of the people shown. The majority of the photographs are signed studio portraits, with the subjects often appearing in theatrical costume.

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Civic Services Committee Papers

Cover page of the first Historic Charleston Foundation promotional publication

The Civic Services Committee (CSC) (1942-1946) was the predecessor body to Historic Charleston Foundation. It was formed by the Carolina Art Association to address the need for architectural preservation and to implement city planning in response to growth. The Committee received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Corporation, which were used to retain Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., to prepare a study that resulted in his report "Objectives for the Civic Services Committee." The funding was also used to compile an inventory of the city's architecture that resulted in the publication of the book This is Charleston. The Committee also addressed and conducted studies related to growth issues such as off-street parking and traffic. The collection spans the time period ca. 1939-1949, and consists of meeting minutes, correspondence, memoranda, reports, articles, speeches, news clippings, manuscripts, and other documents. For ease of access, this collection can be browsed by folder.

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