Inventory of the Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club Papers, 1916 - 2011

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: The Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club was formed in 1916 under the direction of Jeannette Cox, wife of Avery Normal Institute principal Benjamin Cox. The club consisted of nineteen women members meeting to discuss literary works by such authors as W.E.B DuBois, Carter G. Woodson and others. The club women also helped fulfill their mission to "lift as we climb" by taking an active role in Charleston's African American community by donating funds to such organizations as the YWCA, NAACP, Avery Normal Institute, and the Jenkins Orphanage. The club is still active.
The records of the Phillis Wheatley Club are arranged in two series. The first series contains a history of the club produced by the club's founder Jeannette Cox, as well as four bound volumes of the club's minute books. The minutes detail authors read and discussed by the club, dues from members, and donations given to various organizations throughout Charleston. The second series is a chronological arrangement of letters sent and received by the club from members, other individuals (including copies of letters from W.E. B. DuBois and Mary McLeod Bethune), and organizations, and includes programs, member manuals, brief member profiles, and clippings regarding the club.
Title: Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club Papers, 1916 - 2011
Creator: Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club.
Repository: Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Call Number: AMN 1031
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 0.75 linear feet
(2 boxes)

Historical Note

The Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club was formed in 1916 under the direction of Jeannette Cox, wife of Avery Normal Institute principal Benjamin Cox. The club consisted of nineteen women members meeting to discuss literary works by such authors as W.E.B DuBois, Carter G. Woodson and others. The club women also helped fulfill their mission to "lift as we climb" by taking an active role in Charleston's African American community by donating funds to such organizations as the YWCA, NAACP, Avery Normal Institute, and the Jenkins Orphanage, and the Fairwold Home for Neglected Colored Girls, Cayce, SC. The organization also sponsored lectures, art shows, musical offerings and staged plays. The club is still active.


Collection Overview

Minutes, literary productions, correspondence, printed materials, and financial records (1916-2011) document the history of the Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club. The records are arranged in two series. The first series, Minutes and History, contains a history of the club produced by the club's founder Jeannette Cox (1934), as well as four bound volumes of the club's minute books (1916-1984). The minutes detail authors read and discussed by the club, dues from members, and donations given to various organizations throughout Charleston. The second series, General Materials, is a chronological arrangement of letters sent and received by the club from members, other individuals (including copies of letters from W.E. B. DuBois and Mary McLeod Bethune), and organizations, and includes programs, member manuals, brief member profiles, and clippings regarding the club.

Collection Arrangement

1. Minutes and History

2. General Materials



Subject Headings

  • Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club (Charleston, S.C.) -- Records and correspondence.
  • Wheatley, Phillis, 1753-1784.
  • African American women -- Societies and clubs -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American women -- Intellectual life -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American women -- Social life and customs -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Avery Normal Institute.
  • Jenkins Orphanage Institute (Charleston, S.C.)
  • African Americans -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- History.
  • Social service -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Women -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Societies and clubs.
  • South Carolina -- History -- 1865-


Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Minutes and History, 1916-2004.

(0.5 linear feet)
Box 1   Folder 1
History (photocopy), 1934
The history explains the origins of the Club. Guests mentioned include Edwin A. Harleston, W.E.B. DuBois, Edmundt T. Jenkins, Ludmilla Bechtold, with reference to Marian Anderson concerts and a reading by Langston Hughes.
   Folder 2
History (typescript and manuscript, 1934
   Folder 3
Minutes, 1916-1925
Minutes include infromation regarding books read and discussed, and guest lecturers.
   Folder 4
Minutes, 1925-1934
   Folder 5
Minutes, 1935-1945
Documents clubs political activities.
   Folder 6
Minutes, 1960-2004

2. General Materials, 1921-2011.

(0.25 linear feet)
Box 2   Folder 1
Correspondence (photocopies), 1925-2001
   Folder 2
Programs, etc. (photocopies), 1929-2001
   Folder 3
Calendars (photocopies), 1977-1984
   Folder 4
Member Dates (photocopies), 1921-1991
   Folder 5
Clippings (photocopies), 1983-2000, undated
   Folder 6
Member Manuals, 2004-2011
   Folder 7
General (photocopies), 1919-1990, undated


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center 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], Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club Papers, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Materials were donated in two separate accessions in 1983 and 1992 by the Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club.

Processing Information

Edited by Aaron Spelbring, 10, 2012

Encoded by Aaron Spelbring, 10, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

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