Inspire your students with South Carolina Primary Sources

Constitution of 1776
Articles of Association
Robert Mill's Lunatic Asylum
Tompkin's Cotton and Cotton Oil
South Carolina Gazette
Slave sale ads
Benjamin Hawkins and the Creek Indians
Gamester's Song
McIntosh Tax Stamp back
Terry Luther's An Allegory of the North and the South
Confederate Relic Room

1. Constitution of 1776. Constitutional and Organic Papers. S131009. South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina

  • In March of 1776, prior to the Declaration of Independence, South Carolina created individual Constitutions to provide a governing body during the time of rebellion. The Constitution of 1776 established the former colony's first independent government. The document the South Carolina Congress discusses its grievances with Great Britain and outlines its new government. This Constitution was a temporary document amended in 1778 to accommodate South Carolina's union with the other states.

2. Signed Copy of the Articles of Association for the District East of the Wateree, 1775. Provincial Congress. Articles of Association. 1775. Constitutional and Organic Papers. S131008. South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina.

  • South Carolina declares war on Great Britain in this "Revolutionary" document. The signers of the Articles of Association outline their grievances and pledge to fight for America. Here you see South Carolina taking an active stand in the fight for American Independence. For more information visit Chuck Lesser's booklet for sources on the American Revolution at:

3. Mills, Robert.  Architectural Drawings for the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum. ca. 1822.  MB 17, Folder 10.  South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina.

  • Robert Mills, designer of the South Carolina State House and the Washington Monument, was chosen as the architect for the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum. Work began on the building in 1822.  The hospital, finished in 1828, was an innovative building: it was fireproof and included central heating and rooftop gardens.  Its most impressive fact, though, was that it was only the third asylum in the nation built only for the mentally ill.  All patients were required to pay for their care, with paupers being cared for at the expense of their home district.  Despite the building's impressive features, it quickly became inadequate because of the increase of poor patients.  This became doubly difficult as patients had to be separated by gender and race. Mills architectural plans illustrate the size and scope of the planning of this institution.

4. Tompkins, D.A. Cotton and Cotton Oil. Charlotte, North Carolina: 1901, p. 75.

  • Tompkins’s self-published text follows the history of cotton growth, production, and manufacture.  He explains the working of a saw gin, with a diagram, highlighting the advancements that have been made since Whitney’s original machines (p. 74-77, 83).  Tompkins also includes a discussion of the use of slavery in cotton production, indicating that the availability of slave labor halted any mechanical advances until after the abolition of slavery (44).

5. South Carolina Gazette, Monday, February 27, 1775. Miscellaneous Newspapers. South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, SC

6. "TO BE SOLD," South Carolina Gazette. Saturday, June 2 to Saturday, June 9, 1739. p 3, c 1. Records of the States of the United States microfilm series. Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

7. Unidentified artist. Benjamin Hawkins and the Creek Indians, circa 1805, oil on canvas, 35 7/8 x 49 7/8 inches.  Collection of the Greenville County Museum of Art, gift of The Museum Association, Inc.

  • This painting from the Greenville County Museum of Art shows Benjamin Hawkins, an Indian agent for the US government, interacting with the Creek Indians. Hawkins, whose main task was to provide agricultural training and implements to the Creek Indians, also worked with the Cherokee, Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes. This painting illustrates Hawkins' close association with the Creeks and the relationship between Native Americans, whites, and the federal government during the early years of the republic.

8. Gamester's Song by Mr. Oswald

9. McIntosh Tax Stamp back

10. Luther, Terry. An Allegory of the North and the South, 1858. oil on canvas, 50x70 inches. Greenville County Museum of Art.

11. Wragg's Borough Town Plan

12. Photo of Young H.E. Hitch from the Confederate Relic Room. c.1862