The Charleston Museum

Charleston Museum Quilt Collection

Charleston Museum Quilt Collection

One of the largest in the southeast, The Charleston Museum’s Quilt Collection consists of a wonderful variety of chintz appliqué, pieced, mosaic, whitework and traditional appliqué quilts, quilt fragments and items intended to be finished as quilts as well as crazy quilts and embroidered coverlets. This digital collection showcases a fraction of the textiles available in the Charleston Museum's physical collections.

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Charleston Museum Collection of Revolutionary War Letters

Charleston Museum Collection of Revolutionary War Letters

This collection contains Revolutionary War military correspondence between the years of 1774-1783. The bulk of the letters are written to Major General Nathanael Greene and are chiefly concerned with strategic matters including reports on engagements and the movement of both American and British forces, procurement of arms and supplies, and issues of manpower with the drafting of men and desertion. Among the correspondents are John Laurens, Henry Laurens, John B. Ashe, Baron Steuben, Joseph Martin, Benjamin Lincoln, William Davies, William Heath, Stephen Drayton, Gouverneur Morris, William Pierce, Francis Marion, William Moultrie, Horatio Gates, Daniel Morgan, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, Governor Abner Nash, John Hancock, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Mann Page, John Page, Royal Flint, Charles Pettit and Henry Lee.

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The James Poyas Daybook

The James Poyas Daybook

This collection contains images from the daybook of James Poyas, a Charleston merchant. Entries begin in February 1760 and end in April of 1765. James Poyas was born in 1736 to Jean Louis (anglicized to John Lewis) Poyas and Marie Jourdan. He married Elizabeth Portall in 1755, and they had one child, a daughter, Elizabeth. In 1767, James moved his family to London. They never returned to America to live. His daughter married an Englishman, Joseph Higginson; and James died in Bath in 1799. Beyond these few facts, very little is known about James and his family. Research is, of course, on-going. The daybook itself is one of a set. The South Carolina Historical Society holds the companion book, which covers from 1764-1766, so there is some overlap. The description of the entries list the names and, in the parentheses behind them, their account numbers. This will serve as a differentiation between people (fathers and sons, cousins, etc.) with the same or similar names. Due to slight variations in spelling (for which we have attempted a reconciliation), it will also serve as a confirmation that one is in fact looking at the same person throughout the ledger. Some of the miscellaneous account numbers, not associated with people, are: account 3 -- the store itself; account 31 -- cash; account 87 -- Indico [Indigo?] and account 81 -- Bonds and Notes. Occassionally there are entries with no account numbers next to them. These seem to be have been entered into another ledger (petty cash?) but no account number has been listed in our corresponding description, even if that person had (or would have) an account.

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Charleston Musuem Earthquake Photographs

Black and white photo of a Charleston earthquake scene.

This collection contains earthquake photographs held by the Charleston Museum, America's first museum. Currently the collection features 204 photographs documenting the damage inflicted on Charleston by the earthquake of August 31, 1886. Primarily professional photographs, these images were sold as souvenirs of the devastating quake.

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Charleston Firefighters Rosters, 1862-1864

Descriptive list of Free Negroes belonging to City Engine No.6 from 1864.

The collection consists of sixteen oversize sheets listing the free men of color who comprised various fire companies in the city of Charleston in the years 1863 and 1864. Nine different companies are included – Engine companies numbers 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 as well as a Hook and Ladder Company. There are two sheets, nearly exact duplicates, for all companies except 2 and 8; there are many minor variations from sheet to sheet. The headings on the printed forms include date of enrollment, name, age, height, eyes, hair, complexion, occupation, residence and remarks, the last column always being empty. Information for all other categories is given, with the date of enrollment in most forms being the same for all enrollees, except for those men who were members of the Hook and Ladder Company, suggesting that the date might actually be the day that the rolls were taken. These sheets supply a type of visual identification for Charleston free men of color not available in any other known sources.

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