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Inventory of the Grimke Family Papers, 1678-1977, circa 1990s

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Materials include Revolutionary War papers of John Paul Grimke and his son John Faucheraud Grimke, with materials re the latter as intendant (mayor) of Charleston. Papers of his son Thomas Smith Grimke document temperance, politics and education and contain an autograph collection. With papers of Thomas's siblings Frederick Grimke, abolitionists Sarah Moore Grimke and Angelina Grimke Weld and others. With materials of two more following generations, and genealogical materials on Grimke, Drayton, and other related families.
Title: Grimke family papers
Creator: Grimke family
Date(s): 1678-1977,   circa 1990s  
Extent: 1.6 linear feet
(4 document boxes, 3 oversize folders)
Repository: Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: (843) 953-8016
Fax: (843) 953-6319
Call Number: Mss 0176
Language of Material: Materials predominantly in English; one letter in French; one letter in German.

Biographical and Historical Note

Grimke family members of the United States (in Charleston, South Carolina, Chillicothe, Ohio, and elsewhere) and in England represented in the collection include John Paul Grimke (1713-1791), his son, Revolutionary War soldier and intendant (mayor) of Charleston, John Faucheraud Grimke (1752-1819) and the latter's wife Mary Smith Grimke (1764-1839); and many of their children, including Benjamin Grimke (1798-1825); writer, scholar and intellectual Thomas Smith Grimke (1786-1834); Elizabeth Caroline Grimke (1797-1874); judge and writer Frederick Grimke (1791-1863); abolitionists and reformers Sarah Moore Grimke (1792-1873) and Angelina Grimke Weld (1805-1879); and the latter's daughter, Sarah Weld Hamilton (b. 1844). Descendants of Thomas Smith Grimke represented include Thomas Drayton Grimke (1811-1836), later known as Thomas Drayton Grimke-Drayton; Theodore Drayton Grimke (1817-1888); and the latter's son in England, Theodore Drayton Grimke-Drayton (b. 1853) and the latter's siblings, wife and children. Included also are materials (1769-1835) documenting enslaved people in the Grimke family.

Collection Overview

The papers consist of correspondence and other materials documenting over five generations of the Grimke family originally of Charleston, South Carolina. John Paul Grimke materials (1779-1782), in copies only, relate to the British occupation of Charleston; those of his son John Faucheraud Grimke contain military rosters (1775-1777), listing soldiers, data on the fortifications and military supplies, and the British siege of the city, with letters describing battles and military maneuvers south of Charleston at Purrysburg, the Three Sisters camp, and in Georgia, with descriptions of the defeat and misconduct of Major John Ashe. Included are letters from General Robert Howe (including materials re his duel with Christopher Gadsden), Colonel (Owen) Roberts, and others. Other Revolutionary War era and related materials include contemporary (circa 1780) copies of letters (one addressed to George Washington) re the capture, trial and execution of Major John Andre, and another undated letter also to George Washington with recommendations on how to set up and administer a standing army. Post war letters document Grimke's business and social life, with some information re his tenure as intendant or mayor of the city with references (1787) to a Negro jail (sugar house) and an execution. Other topics include the Union Kilwinning Lodge, conditions in Santo Domingo following the slave rebellion, a North Carolina canal to be constructed between Wilmington and Lumberton, the Society of the Cincinnati in South Carolina, the Military Philosophical Society, and the death (1802) of an escaped slave. With correspondence of his wife Mary Smith Grimke re death (1825) of their son Benjamin and his daughter in a ship wreck and mentions of Sarah and Angelina Grimke. With a reference to William Crafts.

Correspondence of the next generation includes more materials re the death of Benjamin Grimke in a vividly described shipwreck of the Harvest at Boddy's Island, North Carolina. Thomas Smith Grimke materials include a letter (1813) re military attacks in Virginia in the War of 1812, letters (1819-1820) from Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Thomas Pinckney re John F. Grimke; correspondence with Langdon Cheves I; a letter from Rev. Jasper Adams on numerous topics including the College of Charleston; an 1828 broadside re books for a library for the South Carolina Bar Association; Grimke's refusal to cast a vote for either John Quincy Adams or Andrew Jackson ("an unfit Man") for President; a letter (1831) from the American Lyceum; correspondence (1831) with various Temperance Societies, including one at Ft. Moultrie; the Belfast Natural History Society, the Erodelphian Society at Miami University, Ohio; preparations for violence associated with the nullification controversy in Charleston, South Carolina; a letter (1833) from Benjamin Elliott; Grimke's request to be excluded from bearing arms due to his religious beliefs; and materials re the Literary and Philosophical Society of South Carolina. Topics of the letters include classical versus biblical based education, classical authors, constitutional history, codification of laws, peace, etc. With a partial manuscript of Grimke's that was lost and never published. Legal materials include matters re estate of Glen Drayton (d. 1796), Thomas Drayton (d. 1820) and Wilson family legal materials including an 1820 document re Algernon Wilson being released from jail. An autograph collection, apparently assembled by Thomas S. Grimke, contains cuts signatures, "free" franking notations, letters and fragments of documents of many members of the Continental Congress, Constitutional Convention, the United States House of Representatives and Senate, and other eminent men; some of the noteworthy items include a printed circular (1831) re Kenyon College signed by its president Philander Chase; fragment of a letter signed by Eli Whitney; a page of a manuscript essay by William Cobbett; signature of French and Indian War British Commander Edward Braddock, on a biographical sheet; letter (1756) of William Shirley, commander following Braddock, re recruiting Indians; a letter (1771) from Major. General Augustine Prevost; a letter from John Milton, an American prisoner of War kept by the British in St. Augustine, Florida; and a signature of President John Quincy Adams.

Papers of Thomas S. Grimke's siblings include a letter (1834) from his sister Elizabeth Caroline Grimke re his death; letters of his brother Frederick Grimke re their father (1819) with mentions of Sarah Grimke, the relationship between their father and Richard Anderson, father of Capt. Robert Anderson, commander of Ft. Sumter, and a description of the town of Walterboro, South Carolina, circa 1815. With correspondence (1819-1820) of Sarah Moore Grimke re her father's death, letters (1873-1874) of Angelina Grimke Weld re her sister Sarah (one written on Sarah's printed funeral announcement) and a letter of Weld's daughter, Sarah Weld Hamilton, with a lock of Sarah Moore Grimke's hair.

Papers of the next generation document descendants of Thomas Smith Grimke, including letters (1828-1830) from his son, Thomas Drayton Grimke (later Thomas Drayton Grimke-Drayton) re student life at Yale, with a printed broadside (1830) re the Yale Conic Sections Rebellion, with annotations by Benjamin Silliman (?); from another unnamed son, and from son Theodore Drayton Grimke re studying in Germany and pranks committed in the village of Falkenstein, duchy of Walsaw.

Fifth generation materials center on Theodore Drayton Grimke's son, Englishman Theodore Drayton Grimke-Drayton and his siblings' visit to America, mentioning visits to Oliver Wendell Holmes, the graves of Sarah Moore Grimke and Angelina Grimke Weld (with a mention of their nephew Archibald Grimke), Drayton Hall, Magnolia Plantation, Hastie and Sachtleben family members, family portraits to be copied by John (or Johan) Stolle, American manners versus British manners, Southern versus Northern manners and accents, a trip cross country (1891) to the West Coast and back, and a later trip (1906) to Niagara Falls.

Slave sales (1769-1835) document enslaved men, women and children purchased and sold by the Grimkes and related family members.

Family history and genealogical materials include correspondence, oversize charts, narratives, bible records, etc. of Grimke, Smith, Rhett, Drayton and related families; with numerous typed transcriptions of wills and probate papers of Grimke and allied families including Drayton, Faucheraud (or Fauchereaud), Fox, Glen (Glenn), Swann and Wilson. With some legal and land records bearing signatures of William Moultrie and William Henry Drayton, deeds re property on South Battery Street (now known as the William Gibbes House), bookplates, research on heraldry and colored renderings of family seals, and crests; original silhouettes (1811-1828) of Grimke, Frost, Walker, Webb, Elliott and Morris family members; pencil sketch of Thomas Smith Grimke (?), photographs of Magnolia Plantation and one of Archdale Hall, showing earthquake damage. With later (1977) correspondence with family descendants in England and the National Trust regarding Drayton Hall.

Collection Arrangement

The collection is arranged by generation and then by topic.

1.  John Paul Grimke letters (generation 1), 1779-1782
2.  John F. and Mary Grimke correspondence (generation 2), 1775-1826
3.  Thomas Smith Grimke and siblings correspondence (generation 3), 1756-1874
4.  Children of Thomas Smith Grimke and Sarah Drayton Grimke correspondence (generation 4), 1828-circa 1840s
5.  Theodore Drayton-Grimke (b. 1853), son of Theodore Drayton, M.D., correspondence (generation 5), 1888-1906
6.  Enslaved people in the Grimke and related families, 1769-1835
7.  Family history and family history research materials, 1678-1977
8.  Miscellaneous materials, 1860s-1880s, 1990s?
9.  Oversize materials, 1764-1913

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index this collection in the Library's online catalog. They are grouped by name of person, family, or organization, by topical subject, by place, and by types of material.


    • Grimké, John Paul, 1713-1791
    • Grimké, John Fauchereaud, 1752-1819
    • Grimké, Thomas Smith, 1786-1834
    • Grimké, Frederick, 1791-1863
    • Grimké, Sarah Moore, 1792-1873
    • Grimké, Angelina Emily, 1805-1879
    • Grimké family
    • Drayton family


    • Education--19th century
    • Temperance--19th century
    • Mayors--South Carolina--Charleston--19th century
    • Women abolitionists--United States--History--19th century


    • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Correspondence
    • South Carolina--History
    • Charleston, S.C.--Politics and government

    Types of Material

    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Notes
    • Rosters
    • Military records
    • Broadsides
    • Bills of sale
    • Signatures (names)
    • Legal documents
    • Probate records
    • Wills
    • Inventories
    • Silhouettes
    • Albums (books)
    • Photocopies
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Bookplates
    • Genealogical tables
    • Heraldry
    • Indentures
    • Deeds
    • Land grants

    Related Resources

    Related Material

    Special Collections holds other related materials including the Thomas Smith Grimke pamphlet collection which is cataloged separately. The South Carolina Historical Society also holds a collection of Grimke family papers (1040.00).

    Detailed Description of the Collection

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    1. John Paul Grimke letters (generation 1), 1779-1782  

    Transcripts of letters from John Paul Grimke (1713-1791).

    John Paul Grimke letters, 1779-1782   box 1 | folder 1

    Typed transcripts of letters (1779) of John Paul Grimke in Charleston to his son John F. Grimke re military matters and the sending of supplies to his son on the battlefield; with other typed transcripts of letters (1782) of John Paul Grimke to the British occupiers of the city of Charleston re the notification demanding his removal from town, his complaint re the unpaid billeting of soldiers in his house, soldiers breaking into his house and related matters.

    2. John F. and Mary Grimke correspondence (generation 2), 1775-1826  

    Military notes and Revolutionary War troop lists and related correspondence of John F. Grimke (1752-1819), his later civic and personal correspondence, and correspondence of his wife Mary Smith Grimke (1764-1839) with, and regarding, some of her children.

    John F. Grimke military notes, circa 1770s   box 1 | folder 2

    Notes taken by Grimke on military topics from a number of published sources. Topics relate to gunpowder, fuses, cannon, pay for various military ranks, etc. An incomplete bound volume also contains later late 19th century penciled references to volumes from the Grimke family library removed from Charleston to Great Britain. One loose leaf contains notations on the construction of fortifications.

    John F. Grimke military service rosters, 1775-1777   box 1 | folder 3 A and B
    Alert! Folder A (originals) is restricted. Researchers may use copies in Folder B.

    Enrollment of Capt. Grimke's Company of the SC Artillery Regiment (circa 1776) begins with a list of 79 soldiers that were once in Capt. Beckman's company, but apparently transferred to Grimke upon Beckman's promotion to Major. Each solider is numbered, with columns of information on length of enlistment; by whom enlisted; where enlisted (with no entries); date of attestation; trade; age in years; height in feet and inches; city, state or country of origin; description including complexion, color of eyes, hair, etc.; the date when joined the regiment; and casualties, with data on what happened when, recording desertions, death, exchange, etc.; with other notations on the document. With a roll (Sept. 16, 1776) of 28 noncommissioned soldiers in Grimke's artillery regiment, noting promotions, reductions, desertions, confinements, crimes, who presided at hearings on what date, the sentence given, or pardoned or part remitted, and furlough status. Financial records (February-September 1777, fragile and fragmentary) recapitulate expenses in two week periods, noting payment for individual soldiers, various ranks and occupations, the total number of troops, minus desertions, etc.

    John F. Grimke orderly book notes, 1779-1780   box 1 | folder 4

    Grimke's rough notations (August-December 1779) re requisitioning, constructing and using military and related supplies such as ammunition, cloth, blacksmith materials, spirits, and tobacco, etc., naming the men and women providing supplies, working, etc. With two leaves (April 1780) noting conditions of fortifications, need for ammunition at, and repair of, various batteries, etc. in and around Charleston, during the British siege of the city. The information on these loose sheets is similar to that present in the bound orderly books of John F. Grimke at the South Carolina Historical Society and published serially in the South Carolina Historical Magazine.

    John F. Grimke correspondence, 1776-1778, undated   box 1 | folder 5

    Letters to and from John F. Grimke on mostly military matters include many with General Robert Howe re a contrite soldier who went absent without leave at Ft. Johnson (1776); supplies needed for military operations near Sunbury, Georgia and St. Augustine, Florida (1778); a vessel seized by Howe for military use in Georgia; and Howe's later (1779) military service near West Point, mentioning his love of Carolina. Other Howe materials include a letter (1778) of his to Capt. Warley re combat near Ebenezer, Georgia, and materials addressed to Grimke regarding the "matter of honor" (duel) between Howe and Christopher Gadsden. Undated fragments refer to shipments of supplies, including rice, and a needed quota of "negroes" recommended to be taken from plantations of Mrs. Colleton, John and James Smyth, Sir John Nesbitt, or Elias Ball. Many of the letters have typed transcripts available.

    John F. Grimke correspondence, 1779-1783   box 1 | folder 6

    Letters (1779) from John. F. Grimke in Purrsyburg, South Carolina and a camp called Three Sisters to his father John Paul Grimke re military operations, the low morale of the soldiers, his thoughts on enlisting men of lower social standing who are more willing to take orders, the defeat of Major John Ashe, deserters, the defense of Charleston by General Benjamin Lincoln, and anxiety over his family in Charleston, with a mention of General William Moultrie. One letter (March 27, 1779) exists only in transcript. With letters of Colonel (Owen) Roberts re payment of troops, descriptions of the dishonorable actions of Major John Ashe (1720-1781) in his defeat in 1779 and other related mostly military topics. A letter (1779) from R. B. Robert complains of the behavior of Capt. Wickly; 1780 materials (with no established relation to Grimke) document the complaint of George Rivers re British seizure of provisions and livestock from his farm on James Island, and a 1782 letter from Grimke to Col. Horry laments the lack of rice to be confiscated due to an earlier unrescinded order not to "beat" rice. And a 1783 letter from Robert Howe in Pennsylvania refers to the coming peace treaty and to many past friends in Carolina. Many of the letters have typed transcripts available.

    Copies of letter to General George Washington, circa 1780s   box 1 | folder 7

    A fair copy of an undated, unsigned document addressed to "His Excellency Genl Washington" containing a "Plan for modeling the Army anew" which makes suggestions on divisions of troops, manner of nomination for rank and advancement, pay, court martial procedures, with similar suggestions for clothing and food, cooking, cleanliness, hospital service, etc. It bears penciled indexing and the name "Col Roberts." With contemporary (1780) transcripts of letters from Major John Andre to General George Washington and General Henry Clinton, regarding his arrest for treason, with a note regarding his capture and execution, noting who presided at the trial. The copy, with a typed transcript, is addressed to William Henderson, Esq. Commanding Corps of the Terribles, Flying Camp. Possibly related to John F. Grimke.

    John F. Grimke correspondence, 1783-1787   box 1 | folder 8

    Letters (1783-1784) to and from General Robert Howe re the latter's debts; with letters from Jacob Read and Francis [?] Pinckney re money owed them. With letters (1784-1785) of Thomas Ousby re Grimke's assisting him to document his military service and obtaining a pension. A letter (1786) from B. Waring, Camden, South Carolina, mentions debts and a bad indigo crop. Letters and notes to Grimke as intendant (or mayor) of Charleston include those (1786) from John Postell and Alex Chisolm re city business; Thomas Roper (1787) noting inability to provide information re the 1784 election; and notes (1787) from Sheriff James Kennedy informing Grimke of an execution and the opening of the "sugar house" to incarcerate Negroes.

    John F. Grimke correspondence, 1790-1808, undated   box 1 | folder 9

    A letter (1790) from Ralph Izard invites Grimke to Scheveling Plantation, advises him to avoid Combahee ferry and mentions the pox and children in quarantine, while a 1791 letter to Grimke as past master of Union Killwinning Lodge includes some extracts from minutes and requests his help in a legal matter. A letter (1792) from Thomas Fitzsimmons in Philadelphia regards money owed him. Two lengthy letters (1793) from James Delaire describe conditions on Santo Domingo, which he left in 1793; he comments on different classes, his views of particular leaders of the slave revolt there, and related matters. A 1796 letter from General John Willis encourages Grimke's idea to incorporate to create a canal company to link Lumberton and Wilmington, North Carolina. A 1797 receipt from Heriot and Tucker in Georgetown, South Carolina lists those who purchased Grimke's compilation of the laws of South Carolina and his book on the Trail Justice, with amounts paid; on the reverse are jottings by John F. Grimke's son, Thomas S. Grimke, referring to various pages in a book of legal topics. 1798 materials include a printed circular regarding the Society of the Cincinnati in South Carolina, and a letter re a legal case. An 1802 letter from coroner J. H. Stevens informs Grimke of the death by "want" of his escaped slave Binah, and an 1808 letter from Thomas Waties in Stateburg refers to the printing of a legal opinion and mentions William H. DeSaussure and William Loughton Smith. Also included is a printed circular (1808) re the Military Philosophical Society, printed vouchers (1809) from the Office of Discount and Deposit, Charleston, for payment to John Canter and Mr. Stevens, clerk of the Market, and an undated letter from Judge Lewis Trezevant re a legal case with Grimke's notes on the topic and a receipt (1790) regarding the same case focusing on a James Oliphant. A typescript transcript of Grimke's epitaph completes the file.

    Mary Smith Grimke correspondence, 1825-1826, undated   box 1 | folder 10

    Letters of Mary Smith Grimke, wife of John Faucheraud Grimke, to her daughter, Anna Rutledge Grimke Frost (1795-1882), in Philadelphia, re the drowning death of her son, Benjamin (1798-1825) and his child, her grieving daughter-in-law Mary Augusta Barron Grimke (1806-1843), and the return of the bodies to Charleston, to be buried in St. Paul's cemetery. With references to settling of her husband's (?) estate, a note to her granddaughter as well and references to "Sally" (Sarah) and Angelina Grimke, especially the latter's turning to religion, attending Presbyterian services, giving up fashionable company and dress and becoming more like her sister Sarah. Related materials include a pencil sketch, possibly of Anna Rutledge Grimke (Mrs. Thomas) Frost, and an annotation by Frost's granddaughter to Frost's anecdote concerning a witty exchange between South Carolina lawmakers, W. D. Martin and William Crafts. With a later (1881) envelope.

    3. Thomas Smith Grimke and siblings correspondence (generation 3), 1756-1874  

    Correspondence and materials regarding the children of John F. and Mary Grimke include letters etc. re Benjamin Grimke (1798-1825); correspondence, legal papers and an autograph collection of Thomas S. Grimke (1786-1834), letter of Elizabeth Caroline Grimke (1797-1874), Frederick Grimke (1791-1863), Sara Moore Grimke (1792-1873), Angelina Grimke Weld (1805-1879) and her daughter Sarah Weld Hamilton (b. 1844).

    Benjamin Grimke materials, 1826-1828   box 1 | folder 11

    A letter from Benjamin King (Ft. Moultrie, 1826) describes the wreck of the ship Harvest off the coast of North Carolina in which Lieutenant Benjamin Grimke and his infant daughter were drowned, but which his wife and King survived; with details on their shipwreck on Boddy's Island, wreckers salvaging the ship, burial of the dead and travel to Roanoke. With a copy of his lengthy tombstone inscription; a scrap of a French lesson, apparently written by Grimke; and typescript copies of a letter (1828) from Jane Barron, describing the relationship between her and the Grimke's, with data on her daughter Mary's marriage to Benjamin Grimke, his and his daughter's death, and then the posthumous birth of his daughter named for the daughter who perished.

    Thomas S. Grimke correspondence, 1813-1821   box 1 | folder 12

    An anonymous (name blotted out) letter (1813) postmarked Richmond, Virginia to Grimke notes the author's legislative and public duties and describes British attacks on Virginia and the effect it will have on the state's raising troops and weakening confidence in the federal government. Letters (1819-1820) to Grimke re his father's death are from Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Thomas Pinckney, and Revolutionary War soldier, John Wickly and an unknown correspondent giving biographical details and tributes. With an 1821 fragment of a letter by Grimke.

    Thomas S. Grimke correspondence, 1827-1828   box 1 | folder 13

    Letter of Grimke to the South Carolina Comptroller General references purchasing books for a [law?] library and mentioning a fund for the court house administered by his father. A letter from Langdon Cheves, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, replies to Grimke's thoughts on the codification of laws, and Grimke's thoughts on the Reformation. With Grimke's reply to Cheves. A letter from Rev. Jasper Adams, Geneva, New York, expresses his views on classical education, especially for the upper class; constitutional history; the new Southern Review; and the improvements at the College of Charleston in which, and for the city, Adams expresses his continuing interest. With an 1828 broadside re a committee appointed by the South Carolina Bar Association to collect books for a library; and an 1828 letter from Grimke, with annotations by Alfred Huger, as chairman of the Congressional Delegation, about Grimke's refusal to be part of the committee to cast a ballot for President, not agreeing with either Andrew Jackson ("an unfit Man for the Presidency") or John Quincy Adams.

    Thomas S. Grimke correspondence, 1831-1832   box 1 | folder 14

    A letter (1831) of Grimke to Rev. Louis Dwight, Boston, replies to a printed questionnaire, giving his approval to the idea of abolishing imprisonment for debt, and a letter of Nathaniel Sargent (1831) informs Grimke of his election as Vice President of the American Lyceum, noting other officers and essay topics assigned to them. With correspondence (1831) among Grimke, President of the South Carolina Temperance Society, J. F. Heilman, President of the Charleston Temperance Society and the corresponding committee of the newly formed Temperance Society of 'F' Company, 2nd Regiment of Artillery, stationed at Ft. Moultrie. 1832 correspondence includes a letter from Grimke to the Belfast Natural History Society offering copies of his publications and his thoughts on the influence of Christianity on the United States and the need for biblically influenced education over classical and mathematical education; a letter from Lewis Cass, Secretary of War, noting receipt of Grimke's address before the Connecticut Peace Society; a letter from the Erodelphian Society of Miami University, Ohio, notifying him of his election to honorary membership, and a letter from Grimke to Philadelphia bookseller Thomas Kite, asking his opinion of Mr. Price, an attorney, but also giving details on military preparations and a fear of violence over the nullification issue in Charleston. With a brief note from another correspondent.

    Letters to and about Thomas S. Grimke, 1833-1834   box 1 | folder 15

    A letter (1833) of Benjamin Elliott to Grimke discusses Virgil, education, Grimke's literary output and Elliott's desire for a list of certain materials in the library of College of Charleston. Two letters (1834) from William Drayton in Philadelphia discuss family and some tracts of land; with a plat attached. A letter (1834) from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio encourages Grimke to address the Erodelphian Society's annual meeting. Grimke made the visit to Ohio, and died from cholera contracted there. A lengthy letter from Dan Drake, Cincinnati, Ohio, to Grimke's widow details his visit and his last days.

    Thomas S. Grimke correspondence, undated   box 1 | folder 16

    Rough notes (circa 1834) for a reply by Thomas S. Grimke to an article in the May/June 1834 issue of the Calumet about the merits (or not) of defensive war, the fair copy of which was lost and never published. The notes are on the reverse of a letter (1796) in French to Grimke's father, John F. Grimke, from his daughter's tutor. With a note from B. D. Heriot passing on an extract from a letter re the Sumter, South Carolina (?) Temperance Society, with a mention of Rev. Samuel Gilman. With a copy of Grimke's petition to the South Carolina Senate asking to be excused from the responsibility of bearing arms due to his religious beliefs, and a letter from the subscribers of the Literary and Philosophical Society of South Carolina setting out their plan for members periodically furnishing essays on various topics, listing members, and with a newspaper clipping re its annual meeting. With a typed list, with some bibliographic information, on publications of Thomas S. Grimke in the library of Theodore Drayton Grimke-Drayton, with a list of the latter's desiderata.

    Thomas S. Grimke legal materials, circa 1790s-1824   box 1 | folder 17

    Legal papers (1824) re Grimke, as an attorney, appealing a decision regarding a debt of the estate of Glen Drayton (d. 1796) with a letter from Glen Drayton to his brother (Thomas Drayton?) asking him to protect and care for his children whom he has put under the care of a Mrs. Foster, with a mention of advice from General Pinckney; and a letter (1804) from Glen Drayton, Jr., Newport, Rhode Island, to his uncle Thomas Drayton regarding his education.

    Thomas S. Grimke legal materials, 1811-1831   box 1 | folder 18

    Legal papers include two wills and small fragments re bequests and bond (1811) of Thomas Drayton, father-in-law of Thomas S. Grimke, with notations re questions and answers of a case (1825) in the Court of the Ordinary and a copy of a decree (1826) in the same court deciding which version of the will would be accepted as the legal one.

    Thomas S. Grimke legal materials, 1765-1820   box 1 | folder 19

    Materials dealing with estate and debt matters of John Wilson, Thomas Wilson and Algernon Wilson include a 1765 purchase of a pew in St. Philip's church; a 1787 letter from Simon Theus re poor condition of John Wilson's shipments of rice; a disputed 1807 receipt of bond and mortgage of enslaved Negroes of Thomas Wilson, with a related list of mortgaged slaves, with a note from Thomas Smith Grimke seeking more information; an 1809 letter re commission of William Wilson as a second lieutenant of Marine Corps; an 1816 plea from the heirs of John Wilson to prevent payment of a claim against the estate by James Stanyarne; and an 1820 document listing the belongings, clothing, etc. of Algernon Wilson being released from prison.

    Thomas S. Grimke (?) autograph collection, 1779-1831, undated   box 1 | folder 20

    Letters, cut out signatures and fragments of letters apparently collected by Thomas S. Grimke. They include a partial "Free" franked cover from Louis McLane (1786-1857), United States Secretary of the Treasury, 1833-1834; a printed circular (1831) regarding Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, signed by Philander Chase (1775-1852), founder and President of the College; signature of Governor of Connecticut Charles Thompson (1729-1824), earlier secretary of the Continental Congress and designer of the seal of the United States; signature of HG (Hutchins Gordon) Burton (1782-1836), governor of New York and a member of the United States House of Representatives; a "Free" franked letter (1800) from Joseph Habersham (1751-1815), United States Postmaster General, to Joseph Clay, Savannah, Georgia mentioning high prices of American goods, including rice, abroad; a 1783 letter from Capt. Raymond Demere (circa 1750-1791), a Revolutionary War soldier, to Joseph Tatnall, mentioning a ship to purchase and Bonaventure Plantation; a business letter (1779) of Thomas Fitzsimmons (1741-1811), Philadelphia merchant, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and member of the Continental and United States Congress.

    Thomas S. Grimke (?) autograph collection, undated   box 1 | folder 21

    "Free" frank fragment of Thomas Frelinghuysen (1787-1862), a United States senator; a cut signature of Richard Peters (1744-1828), delegate to the Continental Congress and United States Federal Judge: signature of Bishop Henry Ustick Onderdonk (1789-1854), Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania; signature of Patrick Tonyn (1725-1804), Colonial era governor of E. Florida; fragment of document signed by Benjamin Wood Richards (1797-1851), mayor of Philadelphia; cut signature and title page presentation signature of John Sargent (1779-1852), member of the House of Representatives and Vice Presidential running mate of Henry Clay; autograph of Thomas Girdlestone (1779-1852) English physician and author on the reverse of a printed title page (?); "Free" frank fragment of Littleton Waller Tazewell (1774-1860), United States Senator and governor of Virginia; fragment of letter signed by Eli Whitney (1765-1825), inventor of the cotton gin; a cut signature of Thacker B. Howard, Comptroller General of Georgia; signature of Edward Hitchcock (1793-1864), President of Amherst College; corner of document signed by Benjamin Smith (1756?-1826?) Governor of North Carolina and delegate to the Continental Congress; fragment of document signed by Henry Parker (d. 1752), "President" of Georgia; "Free" frank fragment of Lewis Cass (1782-1866), Secretary of War (1831-1836); and title page of an address by Harvard President Josiah Quincy (1772-1864) inscribed by the author.

    Thomas S. Grimke (?) autograph collection, 1756-1825, undated   box 1 | folder 22

    A page from a manuscript essay mentioning John Rutledge and the American Revolution, attributed to William Cobbett (1763-1836), an English and American pamphleteer and reformer; a cut signature (1825) of Timothy Pickering (1745-1829), United States Secretary of State and Postmaster General; signature of Edward Braddock (1695-1755), British commander of troops in North American, who lost his life in the French and Indian war, pasted on a sheet of biographical information; letter (1756) re recruiting Indians as troops, written by William Shirley (1694-1771), Governor of Massachusetts and commander, after Braddock, of British troops in French and Indian War; letter (1771) from Major General Augustine Prevost (1723-1786) re seizing a man for an unspecified delinquency; business letter (1766) from John Watts, New York politician and businessman; letter from John Milton (circa 1740-1817), prisoner of war in St. Augustine, Florida, writing to Brigadier General (Lachlan?) McIntosh, under a flag of truce, explaining his condition and desire for release; letter (1776) of Archibald Bulloch (1730-1777) to Lachlan McIntosh re seizing a ship; letter (1788) of Loyalist Hugh Polson, re forced sale of his lands; and a cover to a letter signed by President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848).

    Elizabeth Caroline Grimke letter, 1834   box 1 | folder 23

    Letter to her sisters Angelina Grimke and Mrs. Anna Rutledge Grimke Frost re the death of their brother Thomas Smith Grimke, and the impact it had on his widow (?) and a family member named John. With other family information.

    Frederick Grimke correspondence, 1819-1863   box 1 | folder 24

    Letter (1819) of Frederick Grimke to his brother Thomas Smith Grimke re their father's death, with an assessment of his character, and mentions of Sarah Grimke nursing him. With a legal note (1828) to Frederick Grimke in Chillicothe, Ohio. Later correspondence (1860-1863) from Grimke in Philadelphia and Chillicothe to family members focuses on war news and politics, the usurping of power by the Federal government, postal relations between the Confederacy and the USA, his writings, etc. Of note is a letter (July 19, 1861), giving a description of Walterboro, South Carolina circa 1815, and mentioning his meeting decades earlier with Richard Anderson, father of the commander of Robert Anderson of Ft. Sumter, who had served in the Revolutionary War in Charleston and had been imprisoned with Grimke's father, John F. Grimke.

    Sarah Moore Grimke correspondence, 1819-1820   box 1 | folder 25

    Letter of Sarah Moore Grimke to her brother Thomas Smith Grimke re the death of their father, John F. Grimke; with a letter to her re the erection, inspection and payment for a tombstone memorial to John F. Grimke; and letter to her in Wilmington, North Carolina, from Charles Wharton responding to her request for information about her father with references to their friends in common. With typed transcripts.

    Angelina Grimke Weld and daughter Sarah Weld Hamilton letters, 1873-1874   box 1 | folder 26

    Letter (1873) from Weld to her sisters, on the reverse of a printed funeral notice of Sarah M. Grimke, in tribute to her life and a description of her final illness and death; and another letter (1874) to her niece Mary about her death; with a small clipping re eulogies delivered by William Lloyd Garrison and Lucy Stone. With a letter (1874) from Sarah Weld Hamilton to "Cousin Marianna" [Haskell] re her aunt Sarah Moore Grimke's death, mentioning the latter's religious beliefs, with references to family and her mother, Angelina Grimke Weld. With a lock of Sarah Grimke's hair.

    4. Children of Thomas Smith Grimke and Sarah Drayton Grimke correspondence (Generation 4), 1828-circa 1840s  

    Letters of Thomas Drayton Grimke (1811-1836), later Thomas Drayton Grimke-Drayton, Theodore Drayton Grimke (1817-1888), and another brother.

    Thomas Drayton Grimke letters, 1828-1830, undated   box 2 | folder 1

    Letters of Thomas Drayton Grimke (later Thomas Drayton Grimke-Drayton) son of Thomas S. Grimke and Sarah Drayton Grimke, to his father re his studies at Yale College, his requests for money, obtaining wine for others, his atonement for past misbehavior, mentioning thoughts of suicide, vows of reform, his dislike of Homer, studying trigonometry, and references to Dr. [Benjamin] Silliman. With a printed broadside re the Yale Conic Sections Rebellion of 1830, with annotations re his role in by B[enjamin?] S[illiman?]; and a later letter to him, in Germany, from a friend, Alex Campbell, in England.

    Theodore Drayton, M.D., and an unidentified brother letters, 1838-circa 1840s?   box 2 | folder 2

    Long humorous letter written by Theodore Drayton Grimke from Offenbach, Germany (1840s?) to his mother describing taking a break from his studies, visiting small towns, castle ruins, going fishing and the dangerous prank he undertook scaling a tower in the duchy of Walsaw, the village of Falkenstein, and the trouble it prompted with a local magistrate, the townspeople having misinterpreted the flag he planted at the tower's top. With a juvenile letter (1838) from an unidentified brother to his mother, Sarah Drayton Grimke.

    5. Theodore Drayton-Grimke (b. 1853), son of Theodore Drayton, M.D., correspondence (Generation 5), 1888-1906  

    Theodore Drayton Grimke-Drayton letters, 1888-1890   box 2 | folder 3

    Loosely "bound" volume titled "American Letters" consists of letters (1888-1890) of Theodore Grimke Drayton-Grimke from his siblings visiting in the United States and from some of his American cousins, with a few copies of his replies. Letter writers include his sister, Emma (Aimee) re her visit to the graves of Sarah Grimke and Angelina Weld Grimke, mentioning their nephew Archibald Grimke; visit to Boston, where she met Oliver Wendell Holmes; visits to New York, Richmond and Charleston, including Magnolia Plantation, Drayton Hall, and then Summerville, where she attended a family wedding of Ellie Grimke to Edward Memminger, with a comparison of Charleston to Bombay and many references to family; letters from his brother John re Charleston family, his purchasing of land and building a house in Flat Rock, North Carolina (with drawing of a floor plan) for use of family, sailing on the Ashley River and getting family wills and possibly family miniatures copied; letters from his uncle (?) John Grimke Drayton-Grimke but signed as ("half" and affectionate) father, his uncle's daughter Ellie about her upcoming marriage, cousin Will Hastie, Sachtleben family members, noting copying of family portraits by [John or Johan] Stolle, and from relatives in Philadelphia and elsewhere including Henrietta Day in Evansville, Illinois, desiring to sell family heirlooms. There are loose letters from some of these writers, as well as from a cousin W. Alston Pringle describing the return of a childhood memory.

    Letters from Theodore Drayton Grimke-Drayton, 1891, 1906   box 2 | folder 4

    Letters to his wife and undated letters to his son, Theodore, Jr. describe the trip by ocean liner to the United States and back again, with quick pen sketches illustrating many details. He notes ladies' hats (April 14); his impressions of New York and Philadelphia; shopkeepers acting as equals and accents of his family members versus other Americans (April 17); differences in manners of various Americans, northerners and southerners, and differences between American and British dinner parties (April 19); visit to Charleston and meeting various family members; researching genealogical facts; getting family portraits copied by Stolle (May 3); going on to Flat Rock, Atlanta, Vicksburg, Shreveport, El Paso, Yuma, noting Indians; visiting Yosemite, investigating raisin farming in California, visiting Los Angeles, San Francisco, seeing cowboys lasso cattle, etc., returning cross county to Charleston; and then noting life aboard the ocean liner going to England, describing the manner of an English or southern gentleman versus most Americans (June 14), and noting the difference between Harvard and British universities. There are numerous references to American manners, landscape, missing his wife and children and buying rare books. Lists of times and places stopped are included. With 1906 letters describing a trip to New York, contrasting the American (spoiled) and Canadian (unspoiled) sides of Niagara Falls.

    6. Enslaved people in the Grimke and related families, 1769-1835  

    Bills of sale of men, women and children bought and sold by various Grimke family members and relations.

    Slave sales, 1769-1835   box 2 | folder 5

    Ten bills of sale documenting the sale of enslaved men, women and children to and from various Drayton, Grimke, Fraser and Elliott family members.

    7. Family history and family history research materials, 1678-1977  

    Research notes and correspondence, transcripts of wills and other probate records, lists, charts, heraldry, compilations and clippings, etc. re Drayton, Grimke, Faucheraud (Fauchereaud), Fox, Glen (Glenn), Grimke, Rhett, Smith, Swann, and other related families; with silhouettes of family members and some legal and land records, and information on Drayton Hall, as well.

    Theodore Drayton Grimke-Drayton genealogical letters, 1887-1911, undated   box 2 | folder 6

    Letters (1887-1892, 1902-1911, undated) to Theodore Drayton Grimke from various family members and researchers in the United States and the West Indies re aspects of the Drayton genealogy and family tree and arms, etc. with many references to the Drayton family of Barbados. Correspondents include Langdon Cheves, III (1891); Hutson Lee, Jr. (1892); Drayton Hastie (1893) with data on the family crest, mentioning the dearth of opportunities for lawyers in Charleston; Coleman Drayton and J. Alex Mayers of New York, enclosing his version of his Drayton family history.

    Drayton family probate court transcripts, circa 1890s   box 2 | folder 7

    Typed copies of wills and inventories of Drayton family members including wills of Charles Drayton (dated 1820); John Drayton (1822); John Drayton, the younger (1773); Rebecca Drayton (1837); Sara Maria Drayton (1840); Stephen Fox Drayton (1732); Thomas Drayton (1714/1716); Thomas Drayton (1760); Thomas Drayton (1820); William Drayton (1790); and William Henry Drayton (1826). With inventories of Stephen F. Drayton (1734) and Thomas Drayton (1724).

    Fauchereaud family will transcripts, circa 1890s   box 2 | folder 8

    Typed copies of wills of Fauchereaud family members include those of Charles (1765), Gideon (1753), and Mary (1766).

    Fox family probate transcripts   box 2 | folder 9

    Typed copies (originals and carbons) of wills of Fox family members including those of Joseph (1754), Margaret (1735), and Patt (1823); with inventories of Joseph (1735); and Margaret (1735).

    Glen/Glenn family will transcripts, circa 1890s   box 2 | folder 10

    Typed copies (originals and carbons) of wills of Glen/Glenn family include those of Daniel (1758), Daniel (1792), and John (1808).

    Grimke family wills and indenture transcripts, circa 1890s   box 2 | folder 11

    Typed copies of Grimke family wills include those of Benjamin S. (1824), James M. (1846), John Fauchereaud (1818); Rev. John Drayton (1895); John Paul (1785); Mary (1786); Mary (1838); Theodore Drayton (1888); and Thomas S. (1832); with an indenture (or deed of sale) of property on Broad Street from John Paul and Mary Grimke to John Scott (1778).

    Swann family will and inventory transcripts, circa 1890s   box 2 | folder 12

    Typed copies of Swann family wills include those of Edward (1754) and Samuel (1734), with inventory of Robert (1810); some duplicates.

    Wilson family will and inventory transcripts, circa 1890s   box 2 | folder 13

    Typed and carbon copies of Wilson family wills include those of Algernon (1774); Daniel (1794); Elizabeth (1800); Hugh (1772); Jehu (1795); John (1735); John (1774); John (1798); Joseph Nicholes (1791); Mary (1735); Sarah (1791), and Susanna (1770); with the inventory of John Wilson (1736).

    Miscellaneous legal records, 1678-1890   box 3 | folder 1

    Certified holograph (1890) and typed transcriptions of grants of land to John Fauchereaud Grimke (1784); to Stephen Fox (1682); to Charles Fauchereaud (1760); to Ann Drayton (two grants, 1732); to Frederick Grimke (1766); to Thomas Drayton (1678 and 1703); with a 1755 copy of a 1736 memorial and a 1791 copy of a 1718 grant, both re two baronies near the Yemassee lands; and a typed transcript of a bond of Thomas Drayton and Stephen Fox to James Moore (1700). With receipt (1772) to Thomas Ladson for quit rent paid on 350 acres of land; and subpoena (1805) for William Hasell Gibbes and George Wagner to appear in court of equity in a case brought against them by William Thompson and others.

    Grimke family history materials, circa 1890s?   box 3 | folder 2

    Materials include "Record of the Grimke family copied from an old French bible, brought by Gideon Faucheraud" partially in French, with other narratives, typed abstracts from an unnamed source, family tree, transcript of an epitaph, some correspondence, etc.

    Smith family history materials, circa 1820s-circa 1890s   box 3 | folder 3

    Documenting Smith, Rhett, Moore, Grimke, Barnwell, Haskell and related families, the materials include letters (James Smith to Thomas Smith Grimke, 1822), prose narratives (copied over numerous times), printed matter, family trees, bound handwritten volumes, extracts from family bibles, typescripts and similar items by various members of the related families.

    Drayton family history materials, circa 1890s?   box 3 | folder 4

    Three carbons of a typescript family history of the Draytons, containing abstracts from published sources, compiled lines of descent, etc. tracing the family from the 1200s in England to South Carolina, up to the circa 1880s. Compiled by a William Drayton.

    Drayton family history materials, circa 1830s-1890s   box 3 | folder 5

    A circa 1833 handwritten copy of an earlier "History and Genealogy of the Drayton Family by Judge John Drayton" with information on, and a watercolor of, the Drayton House, Northamptonshire, England, bringing the lineage up to the Draytons of Drayton Hall, South Carolina. With data on arms and crests, later manuscript additions and one partial typescript of the document done in 1889, and duplicate copies of fuller transcript.

    Drayton family history materials, circa 1890s?   box 3 | folder 6

    Three bound volumes, one of handwritten notes and abstracts from a number of British sources on early Drayton family history, with lists of wills of people in Jamaica previous to 1700; and various armorial and heraldic drawings; another with lists of 18th century Drayton family marriages, births and deaths in Carolina, with Izard births; and the third with extracts of St. Philip's Church records, extracts from Rhett family, Drayton family and other sources.

    Drayton family history materials, circa 1890s?   box 3 | folder 7

    A typed Drayton pedigree; miscellaneous lineage and family tree notes, some in a nearly empty bound volume; notes on the Bohun Baker family connection and a cabinet sized photograph of the Drayton family tomb at Magnolia Plantation.

    Grimke-Drayton family history materials, 1891-1913   box 3 | folder 8

    London Gazette, March 3, 1891, noting permission of Queen to Theodore Drayton Grimke to use the name Drayton. With photocopies of obituaries (1913) of his son Hugh Drayton Grimke-Drayton.

    Drayton House (Northamptonshire, England) materials, circa 1900-1965   box 3 | folder 9

    Included are a long handwritten description of Lowick Church with information on the Draytons and the builders of Drayton House, a photograph of the house, notes, a newspaper clipping and two copies of Country Life magazine (1965)with articles on the house.

    Drayton Hall (Charleston, South Carolina) materials, 1875-1961   box 3 | folder 10

    Included are photocopied articles re Drayton Hall, Harpers New Monthly Magazine (December 1875), with an article "Up the Ashley and Cooper" by Constance Fenimore Woolson; and the October 1907 issue of Metropolitan Magazine re Drayton Hall and race relations. Materials on Magnolia plantation include January 19, 1961 issue of Country Life magazine, a 1956 letter and a tourist brochure.

    Drayton Hall (Charleston, South Carolina) correspondence, 1977   box 4 | folder 1

    Letters (1977) between various employees of the National Trust and L. W. G. Drayton regarding a visit to the Draytons to consult their family papers to determine if there is information about Drayton Hall and its builder. With related article and attachments.

    Bookplates, undated   box 4 | folder 2

    Bookplates featuring arms and heraldic devices of T. Drayton Grimke, Barnard Elliott (differing versions), George Cavendish, John Hamilton, Esq. and the Boissier and Pengwern families. With some related heraldic notes.

    Grimke family album, circa 1880s   box 4 | folder 3

    Leather bound album and leather portfolio of Theodore Drayton Grimke, with many missing images, but with two pencil sketches (one loose) of Thomas Smith Grimke (?), photographs and clippings re Magnolia Plantation, a watercolor of a cottage, and full color renderings of the arms of various members of the Grimke, Drayton, Drayton-Grimke, and Smith families with information on the lineage of the Grimke family.

    Silhouette album, 1811-1828   box 4 | folder 4

    Silhouettes (1811-1828, undated) of Mary Ann Frost, E. C. Grimke, Mary Smith Grimke (with painted embellishments), Dr. John Grimke, Henry Grimke, Julius Walker, Elisabeth Webb, Dr. Caspar Morris, Hannah Elliott, Isaac W. Morris and Catherine W. Morris, as well as a pencil sketch of an unidentified gentleman. Some silhouettes are mounted on white paper, while other cuts are laid in against black paper. With a loose unidentified photograph of an English mansion and a photograph (circa 1886), showing damage at Archdale Hall.

    8. Miscellaneous materials, 1860s-1880s, 1990s?  

    Letters and printed materials and photocopies re the collection, 1860s-1880s, undated

    Miscellaneous materials, 1860s-1880s, undated   box 4 | folder 5

    Scraps of papers, one (circa 1860) re rice bearing signature of Keating Simons; an undated letter in German from a Grimke Drayton family member mentioning his garden and asking for a favor; a "Solid Sketch book" of blank paper; and English and South Carolina newspaper clippings, including a circa 1880 map of Charleston and the harbor showing areas of farm and truck produce; and an 1881 English clipping re the Charleston statue of William Pitt.

    Miscellaneous materials, 1990s?   box 4 | folder 6

    Included are photocopies of some of the manuscript materials, calendars of items, and labels re the loan of collection materials to the American Museum in Britain in Bath.

    9. Oversize materials, 1764-1913  

    Genealogical materials, circa 1850s?-1913   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Large family tree lineage charts, on linen and photocopies, of the Smith pedigree, Drayton pedigree, rough draft of Theodore Drayton Grimke-Drayton pedigree, rough copies of Smith and Grimke family trees. With British newspapers containing obituaries (1913) of Henry Drayton Grimke-Drayton.

    Real estate indentures, 1794-1799   Oversize Paper Folder 2
    (Flat storage)

    Leases and releases, deeds, etc. (1794-1799) re property on South Bay or South Battery in Charleston, now known as the William Gibbes House and surrounding parcels. Parties included Sarah Smith, William Hasell Gibbes, Charles Warham and others.

    Miscellaneous land records, 1764-1786   Oversize Paper Folder 3
    (Flat storage)

    John Wilson materials include a plat (1786) of lands owned by him along the Stono, bearing a signature of William Moultrie and an agreement (1777) re lands signed by William Henry Drayton. James Stanyarne materials are a lease and release (1764) re property in St. Paul's Parish.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    This collection is open for research but has access restrictions. Some items are too fragile to handle and copies must be used. Please consult inventory or contact Special Collections at the College of Charleston Libraries for more information.

    Copyright Notice

    The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

    The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Grimke family papers, College of Charleston Libraries, Charleston, SC, USA.

    Acquisitions Information

    College of Charleston purchase, 2011.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Harlan Greene, December 2011.

    Encoded by Gillian Cote, November 2012.

    Reviewed, edited, and uploaded by Martha McTear, April 2013.

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