January 2012 •
College of Charleston
This collection consists mostly of the correspondence, with other related materials, of the Barnwell family of Beaufort and lowcounty South Carolina, especially that of William H. W. Barnwell, his brother Senator Robert Woodward Barnwell, his wife, Catherine Osborn Barnwell and their children, Robert Woodward Barnwell, Edward Barnwell, Stephen Elliott Barnwell, Catherine Osborn Barnwell, Elizabeth Barnwell, Esther Hutson Barnwell, William Finley Barnwell, Ann Barnwell Mazyck, Joseph Walker Barnwell and Allard Belin Barnwell, from youth into adulthood. The bulk of the collection spans the years 1823-1882.
Letters document religious and academic concerns of Barnwell family members as ministers, as students at South Carolina College, the University of Virginia and universities in Germany, and as professors. Home and family life issues predominate, including descriptions of leisure time spent at the family’s plantation, Laurel Bay, with frequent references to slaves and servants, and travel along the eastern seaboard and Europe. Topics such as temperance, the Episcopal Church, especially St. Peter’s in Charleston, foreign missions, and views of other religions and ministers are discussed. A small amount of material covers the humanitarian work of Robert Woodward Barnwell during the Civil War, and the military service of his brothers Edward, William and Stephen.