• Ruins of the Catholic Cathedral in Charleston, S.C., stereograph, circa 1862

    Ruins of the Catholic Cathedral in Charleston, S.C., stereograph, circa 1862

  • “View of Charleston, S.C.,” by W.R. Miller, 1853

    “View of Charleston, S.C.,” by W.R. Miller, 1853

  • Immaculate Conception School, circa 1930

    Immaculate Conception School, circa 1930

  • Bishop England High School, 1919

    Bishop England High School, 1919

Diocese of Charleston Archives

Collection of Bishop Patrick Lynch Confederate Commissioner Papers, 1864-1865

Bishop Patrick Lynch Confederate Commissioner Papers

This collection contains materials relating to the commissioning of Bishop Patrick Lynch during the Civil War. Collection includes two commissions given to Bishop Patrick Lynch by Jefferson Davis, naming him special commissioner of the Confederate States of America to the State of the Church.  One commission is signed by Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, and by Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of State.  The second is only signed by Benjamin.

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Camp St. Mary Records, 1931-1997

Camp St. Mary Scrapbook

Camp St. Mary, a catechetical summer camp for Catholic children, was founded near the Okatee River in Beaufort, South Carolina, by the Diocese of Charleston in 1928. Father James Linehan organized the religious vocation camp for children of Beaufort missions who were in need of catechetical instruction. The priests of the diocese and the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy provided religious teaching to the area children.

The original camp was located at the plantation house of William Pinckney. William Eustace Pinckney was born in Walterboro, South Carolina, to Eustace Bellinger Pinckney and Mary Martha Porcher in 1863. In the late 1860s, Eustace Pinckney moved his family to Okatie near Bluffton. As the only Catholics living in the area, the Pinckneys relied on visiting priests to perform religious rites. Sometime before 1916, the family built a simple wooden structure known as St. Mary's in the Woods as a place of worship. In 1922, the Pinckney family deeded the church to the Diocese of Charleston, and Bishop William Russell dedicated it as the Church of St. Mary.

In 1931, Bishop Emmett Walsh chose to prioritize the camp as a diocesan project. After obtaining funds, he purchased property across the river from the original campsite in Okatie, for an enlarged camp with permanent buildings. Two barracks for sleeping, a dining hall and a kitchen, a sisters’ convent, and a chapel were erected, as well as a boat dock with a diving platform, which was built on the river. Once the permanent buildings were erected, Bishop Walsh officially designated the camp as Camp St. Mary.

This digital collection contains three scrapbooks made by camp staff and campers from the 1930s to the 1960s.

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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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