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Inventory of the Octavia Harby Moses Autograph Album, 1836-1838

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Collection consists of an autograph album presented to Octavia Harby Moses by Aaron Moïse Jr. in 1836, containing poems composed or copied by her friends and relations, including two specifically written on the occasion of her 15th birthday. Several pages are signed by Penina Moïse, but the majority of authors are identified only by a first name or initial.
Title: Octavia Harby Moses autograph album
Creator: Moses, Octavia Harby, 1823-1904
Date(s): 1836-1838    
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
(1 flat box)
Repository: Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: (843) 953-8016
Fax: (843) 953-6319
Call Number: Mss 1115
Language of Material: Materials in English

Biographical Note

Octavia Harby Moses (1823-1904) was born to Isaac and Rachel Mordecai Harby. In 1827, her mother passed away, followed by her father in 1828. Octavia and her siblings were raised by Isaac's sister Caroline De Litchfield Harby. Octavia married Andrew Jackson Moses in 1839 and the couple settled in Sumter, South Carolina, in 1842. Over the next 27 years, she gave birth to 17 children, 14 of whom lived to maturity. Five of Octavia's children served in the Confederate army during the Civil War; her eldest, Joshua Lazarus Moses, was killed at the Battle of Blakely in 1865. She was actively involved in supporting the war effort and, in the late 1860s, as the first president of the Ladies Monumental Association, she successfully raised funds to build a monument honoring the Confederate dead. In 1915, 11 years after Octavia's death, her children published a book of her poetry titled A Mother's Poems: A Collection of Verses.

Collection Overview

This collection consists of an autograph album presented to Octavia Harby by Aaron Moïse Jr. in 1836, which contains handwritten poems and verses, most of which were written shortly after the book was given to Octavia. Several pages are signed by Penina Moïse, but the majority of authors are identified only by a first name or initial. Entries often offer advice or well wishes for Octavia in her future, or ask that she remember the author. Includes several entries dedicated to her 15th birthday in 1838.

Collection Arrangement

Collection described at the item level.

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.


    • Moses, Octavia Harby, 1823-1904
    • Moïse, Penina--Autographs


    • Jews--South Carolina--Charleston
    • Autographs--Collections--19th century
    • Autograph verse--19th century

    Types of Material

    • Autograph albums

    Related Resources

    Related Material

    Related materials in Special Collections include the Harby family papers (Mss 1116).


    Octavia Harby autograph album, 1836-1838
    (Restricted vault)

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    This collection is open for research.

    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

    Octavia Harby autograph album, College of Charleston Libraries, Charleston, SC, USA.

    Acquisitions Information

    Materials were donated in 2006 by Philip Moïse in memory of Cecile Rosenberg Moïse.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Amy Lazarus, March 2015.

    Encoded by Amy Lazarus, May 2015.

    Reviewed and uploaded by Joshua Minor, June 2015.

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