James Henry Rice papers. (Book, 1896) [WorldCat.org]
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James Henry Rice papers.

Author: James Henry Rice; Ambrose Elliott Gonzales; Kermit Roosevelt; Philip E Chazal
Publisher: 1896-1965.
Edition/Format:   Manuscript   Archival Material : English
Chiefly consisting of correspondence, literary and journalistic works, and newspaper columns re conservation, wild life, agricultural topics, South Carolina biography, and other writings.

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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Personal correspondence
Named Person: James Henry Rice; James Henry Rice; Kermit Roosevelt; Ambrose Elliott Gonzales; Robert MacMillan Kennedy; William Gregg; Samuel McGowan; Charles Upham Shepard; William Elliot; William Henry Wallace; W H Hudson; Claude Epaminondas Sawyer; E T H Shaffer; Rice family.; Ambrose Elliott Gonzales; William Gregg; W H Hudson; Robert MacMillan Kennedy; Samuel McGowan; Rice family.; James Henry Rice; Kermit Roosevelt; E T H Shaffer; Charles Upham Shepard
Material Type: Manuscript
Document Type: Book, Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: James Henry Rice; Ambrose Elliott Gonzales; Kermit Roosevelt; Philip E Chazal
OCLC Number: 38490151
Description: 249 items 2 volumes
More information:


Chiefly consisting of correspondence, literary and journalistic works, and newspaper columns re conservation, wild life, agricultural topics, South Carolina biography, and other writings.

Writings re natural history and wildlife include 21 newspaper columns, 1905-1926 and undated, re agriculture, natural resources; rice, potatoes, and timber; Ogeechee lime; wild life and hunting; and arguments against free-range management of cattle; also including "South Carolina Timber," by Rice, and "The Century in Phosphates," by Philip E. Chazal, with photographs of fertilizer processing plants of the Charleston Mining Company, and the Ashepoo Fertilizer Works.

Series of biographical sketches published as a newspaper column, "Paladins of South Carolina," 1911-1933 and undated (14 items), re Charles Petigru Allston, Capt. John Hampden Brooks, Eugene W. Dabbs, Henry William De Saussure, Thomas Jefferson Goodwyn, William Gregg, Charles W. Kollock, John McLaurn McBryde, Gen. Samuel McGowan, Benjamin Franklin Perry, William Mazyck Porcher, LeRoy Franklin Youmans, and description of a visit with Col. James T. Bacon of Edgefield County, S.C., [described as separate collection titled, Paladins of South Carolina collection].

Letters from Rice, 15 and 19 October 1912 (Summerville [S.C.]) to R[obert] M[acMillan] Kennedy (Columbia [S.C.]), recommending that the library of University of South Carolina expand holdings about central and South America, including a list of suggested titles.

Significant series of letters, 1913-1926, exchanged between Rice and newspaperman Ambrose Elliott Gonzales continuing through the year of Gonzales' death in 1926; letter, 20 September 1914, in which Gonzales urges Rice not to selling off his private library: "It would be a great pity to be forced to sell your Library at any time ... just now you could not realize half the amount it would bring under normal financial conditions." Both men owned plantation lands in Colleton County, and Gonzales called upon Rice frequently for assistance in the absentee management of his timber lands in particular: letter, 1 August 1917 speaks of his Cheehaw River property, which included Social Hall, The Bluff, and Middle Place, aggregating 3,300 to 3,500 acres, and indicates his desire to sell both pine and hardwood timber from the tracts: "I have always understood that there were some magnificent white oak and poplar trees ... in what is called White Oak Swamp, part of the Social Hall tract."; letter, 22 August 1917: "The stand where my grand father killed two bears at one shot is on the Social Hall tract, near what is called Wright's Bay ... This is near the White Oak Swamp of which I wrote you the other day." Letters, ca. July - August 1920, mention trip made by Ambrose Gonzales' younger brother, William Elliott Gonzales, to Cuzco in southeastern Peru to represent President Woodrow Wilson, on whom an honorary degree was being conferred.

Others letters document the friendship that Rice and Gonzales apparently enjoyed with author, businessman, explorer, and soldier Kermit Roosevelt, son of Theodore Roosevelt: letter, 28 September 1920, from A.E. Gonzales re Kermit's "very sweet tribute to his father" published in the October issue of Metropolitan magazine, with comment on President Roosevelt: "Bitterly as we fought him and his party politically, it was hard to fall out with him for long at a time. For his high courage, his impulsive frankness and heartiness, and the wholesome simplicity of his beautiful family life always held the heart, even though the mind often leaned the other way ... Born a gentleman, no public man was ever more democratic; wealthy, few public men in their personal lives have held money so lightly or have been less influenced by it's power." Letters exchanged with Kermit Roosevelt include: 1 October 1923, declining an offer to write an article for Nature magazine due to present work load; letter, 22 October 1923, from Rice recommending that Roosevelt read the memoirs of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754-1838): "He is the concentrated essence of the intellectuality of two millenniums and dwarfs even Napoleon, except in the one thing of military prowess ... Lack of time is no excuse. Any man would be warranted in throwing up a business that interfered with reading Talleyrand!"

Topics discussed by Gonzales and Rice varied widely: ornithology, alligator garfish, varieties of corn, tomatoes, oaks, and acorns; the William Peterfield Trent biography of William Gilmore Simms; sexual constancy for wolves, Horry County (S.C.) development at the Grand Strand / Myrtle Beach; variations in the shape of elm trees growing along railway lines between South Carolina and Boston; the real or perceived distinction between shrimp and prawns; as well as folklore and other aspects of natural history with humor: letter, 6 September 1920, in which Gonzales discusses how to differentiate between crows, fish crows, and jackdaws; the aquatic plant known locally as Wampee or Swamp Weed; and the writings of both men, which figure prominently in their letters, specifically the background for Gonzales' work on African American culture of coastal S.C., titled The Black Border: Gullah Stories of the Carolina Coast (published 1922), following three decades of efforts to complete the book. Letters discuss delays do to other projects and striking printers, and positive and negative reviews.

Letter, 23 August 1923, from Gonzales, praising Rice's articles on S.C. history and biography, and reporting his own work to promote literacy among adults by "trying to help the Illiteracy Commission in its work for the Adult Schools," both materially with donations of books and financially, with fund-raising; many letters from Gonzales discuss S.C. journalism, Gonzales' operation of The State newspaper, and controversies and editorials published elsewhere. Both Rice and Gonzales express opposition to editorials of fellow writer Edward Terry Hendrie Shaffer: letter, 21 January 1922, in which Rice first informs Gonzales of Daniel R. Taylor's purchase of some 10,000 acres of plantation land, noting that his was the first time the property had been held by a non-South Carolinian, and he had "bought land and gotten ready to settle it with farmers. Others have bought land, but with the object of developing it for themselves, with the exception of the DuPonts who bought land for the purpose of inflating Clinch Heyward, but he was so full of holes he would not inflate and remain in the same collapsed state as before ... Here is some news for you. An article appeared in The Atlantic Monthly (no less) in the current issue, written by E.T.H. Shaffer, of Walterboro, showing how he saved Colleton County from the Boll weevil. To refresh your memory: E.T.H. Shaffer is the son of the Shaffer who sent a negro to pin a tax execution on the door at Oak Lawn when you were a child, and who stole land by thousands of acres in the county. The place that E.T.H. Shaffer owns now, formerly the Minott tract, was stolen by the elder Shaffer ..." Later letters discuss E.T.H. Shaffer's controversial essay, "The New South - The Negro Migration," on the Great Migration of African Americans from the southeast - a work published in The Atlantic, September 1923 (reprinted by The State on 9 September 1923). Gonzales wrote four days afterward saying that Rice's rebuttal of the Shaffer article would be published in the following Sunday's edition of The State. The editorial, "Mr. Shaffer on Negro Migration," blames the exodus in large measure upon "the persecution from the bushman, who had the idea that running out the negro would confer a monopoly on him."

Letter, 20 April 1923, Wiggins [S.C.], to R.M. Kennedy (Columbia, S.C.), commenting on the decline of the "Free Range crowd," and the emigration of African-Americans from the state; 2 letters, 5 May and 11 June 1923 (Brick House Plantation, Wiggins (S.C.) to Frances Wanamaker of Columbia (S.C.), congratulating her election as May Queen and her graduation from the University of South Carolina; letter, 5 October 1927 (Wiggins, S.C.), to A[lbert] M[eredith] Withers of Columbia (S.C.), offering condolences on the death of Mrs. Eliza Barnwell Heyward Withers. Letter, 13 August 1929, from Brick House plantation (Wiggins, S.C.), a five-page reply to Miss Sophia Brunson (Sumter, S.C.), discussing her recent trip to coastal Horry and Georgetown Counties in Lowcountry South Carolina; Rice reports various anecdotes, records biographical information, and asks if the party saw orchids or carnivorous Venus flytraps; other topics discussed include the history of Brookgreen Gardens; the devastation of the hurricane of 1893; the mystery of Theodosia Burr Allston; Bill Singleton ( -1927); "Home Demonstration and Consolidated schools have effaced what was distinctive in the life of the people on Waccamaw Neck ..."

Other correspondents include future poet laureate Archibald Rutledge (4 October 1928), and Rice's son, Edward Carew Rice: letter, 7 November 1928, re the election of Herbert Hoover, whom he defended even though he had "supported Smith on general principles," Rice comments on what he thought to be a strategic change in Southern politics: "The election proved that the South is no longer solid. The real reason is that the Democratic Party in the South has become hopelessly inefficient, affording no protection to life and property, just as it is down here and people get tired of that sort of thing in the long run." The bulk of the later correspondence, concerns routine family matters, children, grandchildren, family pets, and Rice's own struggles with his declining physical health.

Biographical sketch of Rice's father James Henry Rice (1838-1911), and bound volume, 1926, discussing Capt. Claude Epaminondas Sawyer (1851- ), a legislator, 1876 to 1878, who represented Aiken County in the South Carolina House, and in 1926 was one of two surviving members of the "Wallace House Red Shirts" who assumed control of the South Carolina General Assembly at the end of Reconstruction, during tenure of William Henry Wallace (1827 - 1901).

Autograph copy of Rice's poem, "Hampton: Salutem," May 1933.

Essays include two items that discuss the old Ninety-Six District in backcountry South Carolina; and address, 1 April 1896, delivered to the Daughters of the American Revolution (Andrew Pickens Chapter); and undated historical fiction, "The Widow's Wooing"; book reviews of Carolina Sports by William Elliott and Book of a Naturalist by W.H. Hudson, discussing Hudson's life in South America and England, and description of cattle industry in Argentina; unbound typescript volume [approximately 1933], 98 pages, discussing an anecdotal history of Chee-Ha Neck plantation (Colleton County, S.C.) written for owner Charles Pratt, with sections on "Indian Times," Settlement," "Colonial Period," "The Golden Prime," "The Confederate War," "Destruction and Chaos," "On the Eve of Change," "The Saw Mill Era," "World War I," and "The Return of Prosperity."


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