Mailing Address:
Special Collections
College of Charleston Library
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424

(843) 953-8016

Title: Lee Cohen Harby papers

Collection #: Mss 1019

Dates: 1859-1911

Size: .25 linear ft.

Biographical Note: Poet and author, Lee Cohen Harby (1849-1918) was born and died in Charleston, SC. She was the daughter of South Carolina rice and cotton planter, Marx Edwin Cohen (1810-1882), and granddaughter of Isaac Harby (1788-1828), leader of the American Jewish Reform movement. She married (1869) Jacob DeLaMotta Harby (1848-1916) and had two children, Marx E. Harby (1871-1958) and Lily Lee Harby (1870-1921

During her married life Harby resided in several cities including Galveston and Houston (TX), New York (NY) and Charleston (SC). She published many essays, short stories and poems in newspapers and magazines such as Godey's Magazine, Ladies' Home Journal and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly Newspaper.

Scope and Content Note:

Includes correspondence, photographs, photocopies, clippings, scrapbook, typescript.

Genealogical information on descendants of Isaac Harby (birth, death and marriage dates); cabinet card (1891) of Lee C. Harby; handwritten letter re. Harby family of Delhi, NY; clippings of Harby poems published in newspapers (Texas, NY and SC); typescript of poem, "The Lesson of Easter"; clippings of essays about Texas; clippings of misc. published essays, topics include: southern plantation life, Jewish holidays and traditions, Jewish women and the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition.

Clippings about Harby mention trips taken, publications, papers presented at conferences, efforts to involve Canadian women in the South Carolina Inter State and West Indian Exposition and lobbying to bring United Confederate Veterans reunion (1899) to Charleston. Papers also include scrapbook of clippings about Harby, bulk reference her article "The City of a Prince," published in the Magazine of American History. A story by daughter, Lily Lee Harby, published in the Sabbath Visitor is also included.


  1. Genealogical information: Isaac Harby and Rachel Mordecai family. 1/1

  2. Photograph (1891): Cabinet card of Lee Cohen Harby. 1/2

  3. Correspondence: letter (1891) from S. Harby (a cousin) to Lee C. Harby re. the Delhi, NY Harbys. 1/3

  4. Publications

  5. Poetry (1880s-1890s): most are clippings; one typescript; many handwritten annotations; all have been photocopied. 1/4

      "King Solomon's Choice," 1880 (original removed and cataloged)

      "Daphne," 1889 (clipping)

      "Fraternity" ca. 1890s (clipping)

      "A Kingdom Rich With Love," 1898 (clipping)

      "November," 1891 (clipping)

      Untitled poem on program cover, Women?s Fund of the Exposition, Charleston, SC, 1901

      "At Yule Tide," ca. 1890s (clipping)

      "A Christmas Chorus," ca. 1890s (clipping)

      "Vagaries. (After Taking Opium), ca. 1890s (clipping)

      "Flag Song of Texas," ca. 1890s (clipping)

      "To Mrs. Daniel Goldschmidt," 1894 (clipping)

      "The Stranded Ship," ca. 1890s (clipping)

      "The Lesson of Easter, ca. 1890s (typescript)

    Publications-Texas (1886-1896): newspaper essays about life in Houston; article re. visit to Texas Senate (Austin); historical sketch of Corpus Christi; historical anecdotes about Nacogdoches, TX. 1/5

    Publications-Misc. (1859-1901): clippings, essay topics include: reminiscences of Christmas on a southern plantation; four part series "In the Days When We Were Young," covers plantation life (includes slave life)-printed in the Jewish Messenger (1886); article challenging traditional observance of Yom Kippur; Jewish working girls and religious observances; Texas press day, SC Inter State and West Indian Exposition. 1/6

  6. Clippings about Harby (1887-1911): Mentions of trips taken, articles and short stories published, papers given; move back to Charleston; efforts to involve Canadian women in SC Inter State and West Indian Exposition; efforts to have United Confederate Veterans Reunion (1899) in Charleston; tributes published in Texas newspapers. 1/7

  7. Scrapbook (1888-1890): compiled by Harby; contains clippings about her life and many publications; from newspapers in Texas, New York and South Carolina; mentions of "The City of a Prince," published in the Magazine of American History (October 1889)/ 1/8

  8. Lily Lee Harby; clipping of her story, "Jephtha's Daughter," published in The Sabbath Visitor (December 1982). 1/9