Edith M. Dabbs collection of papers relating to Saint Helena Island, S.C., 1791; 1860-1963.

Creator: Dabbs, Edith M.
Collection number: 4285
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Abstract: Edith Mitchell Dabbs was born in 1906 in Dalzell, Sumter County, S.C. She married James McBride Dabbs in 1935, and, in 1937, settled at Rip Raps Plantation, the Dabbs family home just outside Sumter. She was active in documenting the history of Saint Helena Island, S.C., an interest stemming from her knowledge of Penn School, a school for African Americans that functioned on the Island between 1862 and 1948, with which both she and her husband were involved. A handwritten transcription of a letter, 1791, from Abigail Capers. Saint Helena Island, S.C., describing her life at Laurell Hill, an indigo plantation; a photocopy of a transcription of parts of a diary, 1862-1864, of Penn School founder Laura M. Towne (1825-1901), with discussions of African Americans on Saint Helena Island, the work of members of the Port Royal Experiment there, Union troops in the area, and other matters; photographs of drawings, probably 1860s, of buildings on Saint Helena Island; and other items relating to Penn School and to life on Saint Helena Island.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: The collection includes an article or speech entitled “African Music,” a short history of the Penn School; copy of a transcript of the diary of Laura M. Towne (1862-1864), one of the founders of the Penn School; a letter written by a plantation owner’s wife (1791); and photographs of sketches of buildings on the island (sketches produced in the 1860s).