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Inventory of the Cohen, Emanuel, Moses, and Seixas family Papers, 1806-2005

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Photographs, correspondence, diaries and memoirs, genealogical materials, land records and certificates, and printed materials relating to the Cohen, Emanuel, Moses, and Seixas families. The families are related through the marriages of Eleanor H. Cohen to Benjamin Seixas in 1865, Mary Eleanor Seixas to Maurice Emanuel in 1888, and Charlotte Virginia Emanuel to Henry P. Moses in 1912. Of particular note is a diary belonging to Eleanor H. Cohen that documents the arrival of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and his troops in Columbia, South Carolina, in February 1865, through the months following the end of the Civil War.
Title: Cohen, Emanuel, Moses, and Seixas family papers
Creator: Moses family; Emanuel family; Cohen family; Seixas family
Date(s): 1806-2005  (bulk 1865-1934)  
Extent: 0.75 linear feet
(1 document box, 1 small box, 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 1124
Language of Material: Materials in English

Biographical Note

Eleanor H. Cohen (1839-1874) was born to Philip Melvin Cohen and Cordelia Moïse Cohen in Charleston, South Carolina. During the American Civil War, the Cohen family fled to Columbia, South Carolina, where they witnessed the arrival of Union troops on February 16, 1865, and were forced to flee their home, losing all of their possessions. On August 2, 1865, soon after the war ended, Eleanor married Benjamin Seixas and moved to New York City, New York. The couple had one son and three daughters, Melvin Seixas (b.1866), Mary Eleanor Seixas (1868-1931), Cordelia Alice Seixas (b.1871), and Pauline May Seixas (b.1874).

The Seixases' second child, Mary, married Maurice Emanuel in 1888, and the couple had three children, Charlotte Virginia Emanuel (1889-1982), Florence May Emanuel (1891-1891), and Morris (Maurice) Emanuel (b.1892). Their eldest daughter, Charlotte, married Henry P. Moses (1886-1945), of Sumter, South Carolina.

Collection Overview

The collection consists of materials documenting members of the Cohen, Emanuel, Moses, and Seixas families, who are related through the marriages of Eleanor H. Cohen to Benjamin Seixas in 1865, Mary Eleanor Seixas to Maurice Emanuel in 1888, and Charlotte Virginia Emanuel to Henry P. Moses in 1912. It includes a significant number of photographs of the Moses, Emanuel, and Cohen families, mainly dating from the latter half of the 19th century, as well as several portraits, notably a lithograph of Eleanor H. Cohen. Also included are several memoirs from members of the Moses family and a diary written by Eleanor H. Cohen containing significant entries during and immediately after the Civil War. Cohen describes General Sherman's arrival in Columbia, South Carolina, the burning of the city, her allegiance to the South and feelings on the outcome of the Civil War, her reactions to Lincoln's assassination, and her reflections on living in the New York City following the war. The collection also contains correspondence, including a description of a "sham battle" during the Civil War, a request for permission to marry, and a number of letters between members of the Moses family in the early 20th century. Also included are assorted genealogical materials relating to the Moses, Emanuel, and Seixas families, a Sumter land tract agreement issued to David Dubose, various certificates, and a small number of printed materials including an issue of The Saint Charles, which contains an article on the ancestors of Charlotte Emanuel and Henry Moses, and Proceedings of the Meeting of the Georgetown Rifle Guard, featuring a testimonial to Sol Emanuel.

Collection Arrangement

1.  Photographs and portraits, 1865-1895, undated
2.  Diaries and memoirs, 1865, 1903-2008, undated
3.  Correspondence, 1863-1934, undated
4.  Genealogical materials, 1921-1963, 2011, undated
5.  Land records and certificates, 1806-1827, 1897-1899
6.  Printed materials, 1896-1954, undated
7.  Miscellaneous, 1865, 1950-2006

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.


    • Cohen, Eleanor H., 1839-1874
    • Moses family
    • Emanuel family
    • Cohen family
    • Seixas family


    • Jews--South Carolina--Biography
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
    • Sherman's March through the Carolinas--Personal narratives
    • Jews--South Carolina--Charleston
    • Jews--South Carolina--Columbia
    • Jews--South Carolina--Sumter
    • Jews--Genealogy
    • Jewish families--South Carolina--Genealogy


    • Charleston (S.C.)--History
    • Columbia (S.C.)--History
    • Sumter (S.C.)--History

    Types of Material

    • Black-and-white photographs
    • Daguerreotype (photographs)
    • Correspondence
    • Diaries
    • Memoirs
    • Genealogical tables
    • Certificates
    • Textile components
    • Publications (document genre)

    Related Resources

    Related Material

    Related materials in Special Collections include oral history interviews with Mary Octavia Moses Mahon (Mss 1035-377) and Robert Moses (Mss 1035-376).

    Detailed Description of the Collection

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    1. Photographs and portraits, 1865-1895, undated  

    Includes portraits of members of the Cohen, Emanuel, and Moses families, as well as a small number of unidentified individuals.

    Portrait of Eleanor H. Cohen, circa 1865   box 1 | folder 1

    A lithograph of Eleanor H. Cohen, created from a pencil sketch originally drawn by her brother Lawrence Cohen, at approximately age 24.

    Moses family photographs, 1865, undated   box 1 | folder 2

    Includes photographs of Myer B. Moses, Octavia Cohen Moses, Alice Moses, Altamont Moses, Octavia Harby Moses, Zalegman Phillips Moses, Katherine Moses, Henry P. Moses, Herbert A. Moses, Vivian Moses, and Emile Moses.

    Emanuel family photographs, 1892, undated   box 1 | folder 3

    Includes photographs of Mary J. Emanuel, Armida C. Emanuel, Charlotte Virginia Emanuel, Maurice Emanuel, Sol Emanuel, Essie Emanuel, Mary Eleanor Seixas Emanuel, Florence Emanuel, and Nathan Emanuel.

    Cohen family photographs, 1895, undated   box 1 | folder 4

    Includes photographs of Mary Eleanor Cohen, Armida H. Cohen, and Marx E. Cohen.

    Oversize family photograph, 1895   Oversize Paper Folder 1

    A group photograph of Armida Harby Cohen, Lee C. Harby, Lily Lee Harby, Arthur Sydney Isaacs, and Cyril A. Isaacs, representing four generations. Armida was added to the photograph after it was taken.

    Daguerreotypes, undated   box 2

    An unidentified man and woman seated for formal portraits.

    Portrait of Mrs. Aaron Lopez and son, undated   box 1 | folder 5

    A reproduction of a painting by Gilbert Stuart, circa 1772-1773.

    Unidentified, undated   box 1 | folder 6

    Miscellaneous, undated   box 1 | folder 7

    Includes photographs of Jack Harby, Confederate commanders, and Rose Lincoln.

    2. Diaries and memoirs, 1865, 1903-2005, undated  

    Includes recollections from several members of the Moses family, as well as a diary written by Eleanor H. Cohen describing the arrival of Union troops in Columbia, her loyalty to the southern cause, the end of the Civil War, her reaction to Abraham Lincoln's assassination, and her impressions of the North.

    Diary of Eleanor H. Cohen, 1865, undated   box 1 | folder 8

    Eleanor's original handwritten diary as well as photostats and transcriptions.

    "Recollection, Narrative of Mrs. Octavia Harby Moses (aged 80 years) of Sumter, South Carolina, A.D. - 1903," undated   box 1 | folder 9

    Photocopy of a typescript containing Octavia's recollections of the Civil War, including the roles of several of her sons who fought in the war.

    "Our home 14 South Washington Street, Sumter, S.C.," by Herbert A. Moses, undated   box 1 | folder 10

    Photocopy of a typescript containing a detailed history of the family home written in 1968, beginning with its purchase during the period after the Civil War.

    Robert A. Moses memoirs, 1992-2002   box 1 | folder 11

    Typescripts including Growing up in Sumter: Childhood Recollections of Sumter 55 or 60 Years Ago; Tales I Didn't Tell-a sequel to Growing up in Sumter; A Place Called Pawleys; and an untitled recollection presented at the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina meeting, June 14-16, 1996.

    "Memoirs of Octavia Moses Mahon," 2008 May 7   box 1 | folder 12

    Typescript recollections of her childhood in Sumter and on Pawley's Island, South Carolina, from the 1920s through the early 1940s.

    3. Correspondence, 1863-1934, undated  

    1863-1889   box 1 | folder 13

    Includes a Civil War letter from Solomon Emanuel to his mother recounting a "sham battle" reenactment and furlough restrictions, a letter from Benjamin M. Seixas to his daughter-in-law Eleanor congratulating her on her firstborn child, letters from Maurice Emanuel to Mr. and Mrs. Lopez, asking for their niece, Mary Eleanor Seixas's, hand in marriage, and a letter from Mary E. Wheeler to her cousin Sol on the passing of his father.

    1904-1934, undated   box 1 | folder 14

    Includes a poem from Henry Moses to Miss Lenora Williford and correspondence among members of the Moses family, including a letter regarding the deaths of Virginia and Henry Moses.

    4. Genealogical materials, 1921-1963, 2011, undated  

    Includes genealogical materials relating to the Moses, Emanuel, and Seixas families, such as family trees, research notes and correspondence, information on coats of arms, and applications to the Daughters of the American Revolution.

    Research correspondence, 1921-1931, 1954   box 1 | folder 15

    Daughters of the American Revolution application materials, 1928, undated   box 1 | folder 16

    Emanuel and Seixas family trees, undated   box 1 | folder 17

    Moses family trees, undated   Oversize Paper Folder 2

    Assorted genealogical notes, undated   box 1 | folder 18

    Miscellaneous, 1963, 2011, undated   box 1 | folder 19

    Moses coat of arms with historiography, information on the Gomez coat of arms, and The Story of a Good Life, on Perry and Rose Moses, by Dorothy Phelps Bultman.

    5. Land records and certificates, 1806-1827, 1897-1899  

    Sumter land tract agreement, 1806   Oversize Paper Folder 3

    Certificates, 1827, 1897-1899   Oversize Paper Folder 3

    Appointment of Joshua Lazarus to Brigade Major in the Carolina Militia, and Armida Cohen Emanuel's membership certificates for the Daughters of the American Revolution and the American Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial Association.

    6. Printed material, 1896-1954, undated  

    Proceedings of the Meeting of the Georgetown Rifle Guard, 1896   box 1 | folder 20

    Contains a testimonial to Sol Emanuel.

    Never Grow Old, 1931   box 1 | folder 21

    A book of poetry by Rosalie Harby, a cousin of Altamont Moses.

    The Saint Charles, 1935   box 1 | folder 22

    Contains an article on the ancestors of Charlotte Emanuel and Henry Moses.

    Notes on the Alexander Family of South Carolina and Georgia and their Connections by Henry Aaron Alexander, 1954   box 1 | folder 23

    Includes a note on Washington Emanuel.

    Clippings, 1934, undated   box 1 | folder 24

    Includes clippings containing an obituary of Altamont Moses, an article on Captain Solomon Seixas, a remembrance of the burning of Columbia during the Civil War, the announcement of The Saint Charles, and a photocopy of a 1905 newspaper article on Lieutenant P. Moses.

    7. Miscellaneous, 1865, 1950-2006  

    Eleanor H. Cohen wedding dress lace, 1865   box 1 | folder 25

    Lace collar and cuffs from the dress worn by Eleanor H. Cohen during her wedding to Benjamin Seixas.

    Loan documents, 1950, 2001-2006   box 1 | folder 26

    Loan agreements for exhibits at the Gibbes Art Gallery, Sumter County Museum, and the McKissick Museum.

    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

    [Identification of item], Cohen, Emanuel, Moses, and Seixas family papers, College of Charleston Libraries, Charleston, SC, USA.

    Acquisitions Information

    Materials were donated in 2011 by Octavia Mahon.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Amy Lazarus, June 2015.

    Encoded by Amy Lazarus, August 2015.

    Reviewed and uploaded by Joshua Minor, August 2015.

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