University of South Carolina, South Caroliniana Library, Manuscripts Division

Angelica Singleton Van Buren Collection

Sarah Angelica Singleton was born in Wedgefield, South Carolina in 1818, the daughter of prominent South Carolina plantation owner, Richard Singleton, and his wife Rebecca Travis Coles. In 1838, Angelica would marry Abraham Van Buren, son of the 8th President of the United States, Martin Van Buren. During her father-in-law’s term of office, Angelica would […]


Armstrong Family Papers, 1900 – 1930

One of America’s foremost early twentieth-century African-American magic acts. J. Hartford Armstrong, his wife, Lille Belle Armstrong, and eventually their daughter, Ellen Armstrong, performed feats that included mind reading, slight of hand, and card tricks. This collection of 127 items includes letters, photographs, and newspaper clippings.


Bonds Conway Papers, 1763 – 1907

Papers of Bonds Conway (1763-1843), a free African-American resident of Camden (Kershaw County, S.C.). This collection of family letters, land papers, and other items documents several generations of a free family of color from the 18th through the 20th centuries in South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, east Texas, and elsewhere. Topics discussed include social relations during […]



Calvin Shedd Papers, 1862-1864

Forty-four letters, 1862-1863, of Union soldier Calvin Shedd, Co. A, Seventh New Hampshire Regiment, are written primarily from locations in coastal South Carolina and addressed to his wife, S. Augusta Shedd, at Enfield, N.H., and South Reading, Mass. Shedd, a first sergeant, later second lieutenant, writes intelligently and with great detail, describing events, people, and […]


Charles Stuart Vedder Papers, 1848-1912

The papers of the Rev. Charles Stuart Vedder (1826–1917) consist primarily of letters as well as diaries spanning a period of over sixty years. Vedder moved from Schenectady, New York, to Columbia, South Carolina, to study at Columbia Theological Seminary. He was called upon to become pastor of the Summerville Presbyterian Church in June 1861. […]


David Wyatt Aiken Papers, 1849 – 1976

This collection contains letters and other materials surrounding the life of five-term U.S. congressman David Wyatt Aiken, who biographers have styled “South Carolina’s Militant Agrarian.” Born in 1828 in Winnsboro (Fairfield County, S.C.), Aiken served as a colonel in the Confederate Army and later went on to serve in the S.C. House of Representatives. He […]


Eugene Avery Adams Papers, 1892-1968

Eugene Avery Adams (1886-1958) was a minister in the African American Episcopal Church and a leader in the fields of education, civil rights, and business. He was a founder of Bell Street High School in Columbia and a trustee of Allen University. He also helped start the South Carolina Citizens Committee, a state-wide organization that […]


Family Bible Records

This collection contains Bible records for a number of South Carolina families. They date from the late 1700s to the late 1900s. The Bible records contain information on births, marriages, deaths, and other notable events that occurred within the families. Read more…


Glenn Drayton journal, 1814-1864

Glenn Drayton’s journal is a bound volume consisting of Drayton’s rules of conduct expected of a U.S. sailor, 1814; and records, 1814-1864, of Rusticello plantation, Pendleton District, S.C., continued after Drayton’s death. Drayton’s entries consist of hand-written guide, 1814, showing the hold stocked with barrels, and dimensions of the ship; and an original water color, […]


Henry William Ravenel’s Papers

This collection of one hundred ten manuscripts, thirteen fully transcribed journals, and thirty-nine photographs, as well as his five Fungi Caroliniani Exsicatti Century books now available online, documents the family life, business pursuits, and natural history interests of South Carolina planter, botanist, and agricultural writer Henry William Ravenel (1814-1887). In addition, Ravenel’s plant specimens from […]


Inventory of (SC) Church Archives, 1937-1939

A historical records survey known as the Inventory of Church Archives was completed by W.P.A. workers between 1937 and 1939. The original survey sheets are held in the Manuscripts Division of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia. In 1980, the collection was microfilmed by the South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, through a […]


James Glen Papers, 1738-1777

The papers of colonial governor James Glen (1701-1777), who served as Governor of South Carolina from 1738 to 1756, include official government documents, papers concerning relations with Native American Indians, business papers relating to his ownership of a South Carolina rice plantation, and correspondence between Glen and South Carolina planter, John Drayton (1713-1779).


James Kershaw Papers, 1786 – 1825

This collection contains diaries of James Kershaw, 1791-1825, with meteorological observations, recipes, and home remedies, including advice for treatment of pimples, boils, baldness, and unwanted hair. The papers record observations, 17 September 1811, of a solar eclipse, accounts of debts paid, January-April 1812, including prices of cotton, molasses, and sugar, and typed abstracts of recipes, […]


John Shaw Billings Photograph Albums, 1875-1939

The series of photograph albums document the time that John Shaw Billings (1898-1975) and his extended family spent at the Redcliffe plantation in Aiken County, South Carolina. Known for his position as the first managing editor of Life Magazine, Billings purchased Redcliffe in 1935 from his uncle Henry Cumming Hammond (1868-1961) for $15,000. Even before […]


Joseph A. De Laine Papers, 1918-2000

This core unit of three hundred fifty items-two hundred sixty-two manuscripts (letters, speeches, reports, narratives, and affidavits) and miscellaneous printed artifacts (news clippings, programs, booklets), and eighty-eight photographs-added to the papers of the late Joseph Armstrong De Laine (1898-1974) covers chiefly the period from 1942, when he submitted his annual report as secretary of the […]



Keziah Brevard Journal, 1860-1861

Records daily activities, 22 July 1860 – 13 Apr. 1861, of a widowed plantation mistress, including the management of slaves; preparation and preservation of food; menus offered to guests; winery procedures; and the distribution of supplies to the slaves at her Sand Hills and Cabin Branch plantations. Volume also contains Brevard’s personal reflections on slavery […]


Lutheran Church Records of Lexington County, South Carolina (1866-1982)

This collection consists of parish registers, with records of baptisms, marriages, burials, and communions, in addition to lists of members, pastors, and church officers. The originals, most of which reside at the individual churches, were microfilmed and now digitized to extend easier access to these valuable records. Currently, only records from Lexington County are available. We […]


Malloy Family Papers, 1861 – 1907

The papers of the Malloy family of Cheraw, South Carolina, chiefly comprise wartime letters from George Archibald Malloy (1843–1923), who served with the Confederate Army in the Ashley Dragoons, Company H, 3rd S.C. Cavalry. George’s letters record the tedium of camp life amid reports of troop movements, rumors about Union and Confederate officers, and travel notes. […]


Many Years After, a few Bamberg County Families and their Recollections

This book describes the history of Bamberg, South Carolina, with maps, photographs, and text regarding the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras; more specific chapters discuss the buildings, businesses, schools, churches, occupations and people of the 1890s. Genealogical charts and other information document the Copeland and various other families of Bamberg County, South Carolina, through […]


Micajah Adolphus Clark Journals, 1847-1857

In 1847 and 1857, Micajah Adolphus Clark (1822-1905) traveled from Mississippi to South Carolina and kept detailed accounts of his journeys. He recounts the hardships of travel, miscellaneous expenses, weather patterns, making acquaintances, and overnight stays in various locations. His journals from these expeditions are now housed at the South Caroliniana Library and are presented […]


North of the Broad River

This collection contains two volumes of local history and genealogical information regarding Fairfield County, South Carolina, including families who settled in the region, as well as related lines in Charleston, Orangeburg County, Richland County, and elsewhere in South Carolina. The volumes include transcriptions of letters and account books and excerpts from other unpublished documents regarding […]


Official program of the mid-winter session of the Bishops’ Council of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Columbia, SC, February 14, 1923

This item documents the 1923 meeting in Columbia, S.C., of the Bishops’ Council of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The session convened at Bethel A.M.E. Church, the impressive, masonry structure built in 1921 at the corner of Sumter and Taylor Streets. This publication is significant for its portraits and biographical sketches of African American ministers […]



Papers of the Smith and Wells Families, 1856-1914

This collection from the South Caroliniana Library consists primarily of the Civil War letters of Edward Laight Wells, discussing the mood in Charleston during the secession crisis in 1860, fighting with the Hampton’s Legion 1864-1865, and the immediate aftermath of the war. Other letters are from Eliza Carolina Middleton Huger Smith discussing the health and […]



Robert Gilmor Travel Account, 1806-07

This travel journal was originally conceived of as a way to assist the friends of Baltimore merchant Robert Gilmor in their future travels, with information about mileage and taverns along various routes. The narrative follows Gilmor’s journey from Maryland to South Carolina, with locations mentioned along the way including Richmond, Va., Raleigh, N.C., and Camden […]



Sporting Journal of Maxcy Gregg

Maxcy Gregg’s Sporting Journal (1839-1860) describes hunting and fishing expeditions, a record of game animals taken, weather conditions and Fisher’s Pond. Other entries discuss a trip to the mountains (17 July – 12 August 1843), attending “the Washingtonian lecture” in Winnsboro, South Carolina, a mention of David Johnson (1782-1855), who served as governor of South […]


Thomas Jones Davies Bible Records, 1830-1865

The Bible and its inserts, owned by Thomas Jones Davies, contain vital statistics of enslaved African Americans living on Davies’ plantations located throughout Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. The plantations mentioned in the records include: Malvern and Gardner’s Swamp, of Beech Island, SC; Swamp Place, near Hamburg, SC; Cherry Hill and Waldburg of Burke County, […]


William Ancrum Papers, 1757-1789

Formerly owned by wealthy Charleston merchant William Ancrum (ca. 1722-1808), this single volume (171 pages, bound in vellum) contains both a letter book and financial accounts that reflect the financial impact of the American Revolution on this South Carolina businessman and planter. The letter book, 1776-1780 (169 letters), preserves communications with merchants in Camden, S.C., […]




WPA Federal Writers Project Materials on African American Life in South Carolina

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) launched the Federal Writers’ Project to employ white-collar workers left jobless by the Great Depression and to create a comprehensive guide to the states, cities, and regions of the United States. The Federal Writers’ Project gathered information on American life and interviews with “ordinary” Americans from a wide variety of […]