Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell, Erlangen, Germany, to mother, Catherine Osborn Barnwell, informing her of the opening of the Librarianship at South Carolina College and his desire to apply for the position.
Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell to father, William H. W. Barnwell, describing his activities as he prepares for his job as professor at South Carolina College. Barnwell writes of purchasing the cook and maid of outgoing professor, Dr. Francis Lieber, "partly [out of] comfort" and partly to relieve Dr. Lieber from "parting with slave property in the usual way of public sale."
Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell to mother, Catherine Osborn Barnwell, discussing his professorial duties at South Carolina College and updating her on the status of his siblings who are living with him in Columbia. He also mentions South Carolina histories written by William James Rivers, David Ramsay and William Gilmore Simms and some investigative work he is doing for his father concerning their ancestor, John Barnwell. Attached is a letter from his brother, William Finley Barnwell, describing Robert's endless study habits.
Letter from former college classmate, George McWillie Williamson, to Robert Woodward Barnwell, comparing South Carolina and Louisiana ladies and how the "democratic" political climate in Louisiana differs from the "aristocratic" nature of South Carolina.
Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell to brother, Edward H. Barnwell, from Charlottesville, VA. Robert writes of visiting Edward's alma mater at the University of Virginia and alludes to an offer of employment at the College of William and Mary.
Robert Woodward Barnwell writes to mother, Catherine Osborn Barnwell, about a washing machine he has purchased for her and includes a recipe for soap. He also informs her of a calf he is sending via his servant "Aleck" and tells her to "let the negroes know that if it is missing, I will have every one on the plantation punished."
Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell to mother, Catherine Osborn Barnwell, offering his opinion on the particulars of his younger brother Stephen's education and describing the vegetable garden he has planted.
Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell to mother, Catherine Osborn Barnwell, updating her on the growth of his two young sons, Singleton and Robert. Barnwell also refers to "Carolina's backwardness" in its attack of Fort Sumter and believes the action ruins any hope "of redeeming our pledge of independence."
Robert Woodward Barnwell writes to mother, Catherine Osborn Barnwell, of his plans to spend his summer vacation in spiritual work with the Confederate Army, specifically at hospitals near Manassas, VA, where he hopes to bring along a "Corps of Lady nurses."
Letter from George M. Coffin, Charleston, SC, to Robert Woodward Barnwell, Charlottesville, VA, on a variety of war time topics. Coffin mentions Barnwell's letter concerning the "Legion" that appears in the Charleston Courier, acknowledges his relief efforts in Virginia and asks Barnwell to forward aid packages to his friend, Dr. Samuel Logan, who is suffering from typhoid fever in western Virginia.