Record of Deaths in Columbia, South Carolina, and Elsewhere as Recorded by John Glass, 1859–1877
Brent Howard Holcomb
Among the more than two million manuscript items housed in the historic South Caroliniana Library on the campus of the University of South Carolina are eight volumes of death notices, in both longhand and printed form, compiled by John Glass as a “Record of Deaths in Columbia ... and elsewhere” between 1859 and 1877. A ninth volume is a separate index to the collection, 1859–1872. While many entries record only the name of the deceased, occupation, and the date and cause of death, others record detailed information about the persons, circumstances of their deaths, and personal observations and recollections concerning individuals known to Glass. Although he normally recorded only the deaths of white persons, Glass did include accounts of the deaths of several family slaves and such local “personalities” as Sancho Cooper, servant of Thomas Cooper. Interesting bits of local history can be gleaned from Glass’ accounts of certain individuals, such as Mitchell Smith who died on October 8, 1860, “from excessive eating and drinking” in the “Bull Pen,” a structure identified by Glass as a house “used for the time being ... to place (un-certain voters), preparatory to an election.” Death notices of non-Columbians include such nationally or internationally prominent persons as Thomas J. (“Stonewall”) Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Winfield Scott, Lewis Cass, Charles Sumner, Salmon P. Chase, Charles Dickens, and Louis Napoleon; friends of Glass’ youth in Savannah, Georgia; and many prominent South Carolinians. A full-name index adds to the value of this work.
(1986), 2022, 5½x8½, paper, index, 234 pp