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Thomas Green Clemson

1807-1888

Thomas Green Clemson

Thomas Green Clemson, the University’s founder and namesake, was as complex as the times in which he lived. In his 80 years, he achieved fame as a diplomat, an agriculturalist and a mining engineer. Clemson was a renaissance man whose hobbies included music, art and the classics of the ancient world. Clemson was also a Confederate officer and a plantation and slave owner.

Clemson’s multifaceted life was influenced by the 19th century in which he lived. His diverse education encouraged him to establish Clemson University in his last will and testament.

Early Years: 1807-1813

On July 1, 1807, Thomas Green Clemson IV was born in Philadelphia, the son of Thomas Green Clemson III, a Quaker merchant, and Elizabeth Baker, the daughter of a prominent Episcopalian family.

In 1813, when Thomas Clemson was only six, his wealthy father died, leaving an estate of $100,000 to his widow, his son Thomas and his other five children:

  • John Baker, an Episcopal bishop who married four times to Margaret Bull, Phebe Lewis, Martha Smith and Hanna Gibbons;
  • William Frederick, who married Susan Dore;
  • Louisa, who married Dr. Samuel Walter Washington, a grand nephew of George Washington;
  • Catherine, who married George North of Philadelphia; and
  • Elizabeth, who married the Hon. Mr. George Washington Barton.

Early Schooling: 1813-1823

Little is known about Clemson’s early education. Traditionally, he is believed to have attended schools in Philadelphia, possibly run by Quakers. Philadelphia in the early 19th century had a relatively large free African-American population; however, it is unclear if young Thomas had any interactions with this community. He grew up in a household with two indentured servants: a male from Germany and an African-American female. 

Philadelphia at the time had a strong abolitionist movement and saw the birth of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in 1816. Emmanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina was founded the same year. There are no records of his being affected by the growing abolitionist movement and anti-slavery protests that occurred around Philadelphia at this time. 

During his formative years, Clemson excelled in sciences and mathematics, particularly algebra. At the age of 16, Clemson applied to West Point. Then Secretary of War John C. Calhoun received a letter of recommendation from the Pennsylvania delegation on Clemson’s behalf. Clemson, however, ended up enrolling at his second choice, the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy at Norwich, Vermont, known today as Norwich University. It was a newly formed college begun by Alden Partridge, a previous superintendent of West Point.

College Years: 1823-1826

His years at Norwich had a profound influence on Clemson’s vision of higher education. Norwich was a military preparatory school in which the cadets lived in barracks and marched on a parade ground. At Norwich, Clemson excelled at science, particularly chemistry. During the early 19th century, the most advanced science education was available in Europe; therefore, Clemson’s interests led him to continue his studies abroad.

Graduate Higher Education in France: 1826-1831

In 1826, supported by his father’s trust fund, 20-year-old Clemson went on a grand tour of Europe. Clemson spoke French fluently and, while living abroad, studied at the Paris School of the Mines. He attended lectures of noted chemists Louis Jacques Thenard, Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac and Pierre-Louis Dulong at the Sorbonne Royal College of France in Paris, one of the oldest institutions of higher education. He later studied at the chemical laboratory at Robiquet, completing his studies at the Royal School of Mines in Paris. Tall for the era, standing 6 feet 6 inches, the young American was nicknamed “giraffe” by his French classmates.

In June 1831, Clemson received his formal diploma as an assayer of mines from the French Royal Mint in Paris. With this degree in hand, he was internationally certified as a mining engineer. In addition to his studies, Clemson became interested in politics. As a student in Paris, he took part in the Revolution of 1830, which replaced Charles X with Louis-Philippe as king.

Mining and Engineering Career: 1832-1838

During the 1830s, Clemson established a successful career as a mining engineer and industry consultant, working in the United States and overseas. He was a consultant and partner at the Mine LaMotte in Missouri, and he spent time working at a coal mine in Cuba. In addition, he wrote numerous scientific articles for the American Journal of Sciences and Arts, the Annales des Mines, the Franklin Institute Journal, the Transactions of the Geological Society of Pennsylvania, and the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. Clemson was able to write scientific essays in French, English and German. Between his travelling and writing, Clemson seldom found time for socializing.

Courtship and Early Marriage: 1838-1840

In the spring of 1838, Clemson, a bachelor, met Anna Maria Calhoun in Washington, D.C. The young lady was 21 years old, and the scientist was 10 years her senior. After a short courtship, the couple was married in the parlor at Fort Hill, the plantation of Anna’s politician father, John C. Calhoun, former vice president and then U.S. senator from South Carolina. The couple spent the first two years of their married life in Philadelphia.

Planter Life at Fort Hill, 1840-1843, and Cane Brake Plantation, 1843-1844

In 1840, the Clemsons moved in with Anna’s family at Fort Hill. Their first child, a daughter, was born on August 13, 1839, but she died unnamed within three weeks. The next two children, John Calhoun Clemson, born on July 17, 1841, and Floride Elizabeth Clemson, born on December 29, 1842, both lived into adulthood.

At that time, the enslaved African-American population at Fort Hill comprised approximately 70 individuals. Little is known about Clemson’s thoughts concerning the Calhoun family’s ownership of slaves. As a dutiful son-in-law, in letters to Calhoun, Clemson detailed the condition of the plantation, and he recorded the details of the lives of the enslaved at Fort Hill. For example, in a letter from December of 1840, Clemson observed that the slaves were given a four-day holiday from labor, the use of the kitchen and additional provisions for Christmas. In another letter to Calhoun, Clemson recounted that the slaves “danced in the kitchen and kept it up until after midnight.”[1]

John and Floride Calhoun gave an enslaved teenage girl named Susan to the growing Clemson family to aid Anna in taking care of the young children. In later years, Susan Clemson Richardson recounted sleeping in a room adjacent to the Clemsons with a string attached to her wrist so that Anna Clemson could awaken her to attend to the children or for anything else needed. Daphne (spelled “Daphney” in some documents), Susan’s mother, was a slave at Fort Hill along with her younger children, and she served as a wet nurse for Anna’s children. Both Susan and Daphne would move with the Clemsons to their Cane Brake Plantation.[2]

Clemson’s introduction to agriculture and slavery was an important outgrowth of his marriage into the Calhoun family. Calhoun offered his son-in-law more than a roof over his head; Calhoun inspired Clemson’s development of a lifelong interest in agriculture and how science could be applied to the soil.

At Fort Hill, Calhoun was an innovative agriculturalist, experimenting with various crops, breeds, and techniques such as terracing and deep plowing. While managing Calhoun’s Fort Hill, Clemson’s scientific studies turned toward questions of agriculture, such as soil analysis and seed selection.

Calhoun enlisted his only son-in-law to improve Calhoun’s gold mining venture at O’bar mine, later known as the Calhoun Mine, in Dahlonega, Georgia. Clemson took enslaved African-Americans to Calhoun’s gold mine in northeast Georgia to run the mine’s stamping mill.

Clemson’s interest in scientific agriculture grew, and, in 1843, he bought a plantation of his own (1,000 acres) in the Edgefield District of South Carolina called Cane Brake. He purchased 37 enslaved African-Americans from Keowee Heights for $6,000 from his wife’s cousin, John Ewing Colhoun Jr. At the time, Colhoun was in desperate need of money, fearing his slaves would be confiscated and sold at public auction to pay his debts. Clemson specifically purchased William, a slave trained as a carpenter, to lead in building the Clemsons’ new home.

Thomas Clemson would later write of slavery, “My experience tells me that the Institution of slavery is at all times good for the Negro (no laborers in the world are so well off.) At times good for the master, but very bad for the state”[3] Just as the Clemsons settled into their new home, Thomas Clemson sought an appointment for a new adventure abroad.

Diplomatic Career in Belgium: 1844-1851

John C. Calhoun, who was then secretary of state for President John Tyler, knew of his son-in-law’s desire to return to Europe, and Calhoun aided the appointment of Clemson as chargé d’affaires or diplomat to Belgium. Clemson was the highest-ranking ambassador from the United States to Belgium. Clemson and King Leopold I shared an interest in art, and Leopold later awarded Clemson the Order of Leopold medal. The Clemsons were in Belgium when Calhoun died in 1850. They returned to the United States in 1852. Clemson was dismissed by Secretary of State Daniel Webster, a sometime adversary of his father-in-law, John C. Calhoun.

Clemson’s farm, The Home, in Maryland: 1853-61

Following his return to the United States, Clemson sold Cane Brake to Alfred Dearing. Enslaved African-Americans at Cane Brake were sold within an extended family, which Clemson saw as preferable. The sale price for land and building was $10,000, and the slaves and other property brought the total to $38,000. Clemson made several requests in the sale. If auctioned, the slaves were to be sold as families. Clemson, in deference to Anna, made a special case of Daphney. Clemson wrote, “I should insist that she, her husband Bill Lawrence and their son Benjamin should be permitted to choose their master.”[4] Daphney had asked not to be separated from the other Cane Brake slaves. The other slaves sold included her daughter Susan Clemson who, in the intervening years, had married Billy Richardson, who was also enslaved. In June 1853, the Clemsons relocated to a small farm, called The Home, in Bladensburg, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.

In 1856, Clemson aided neighbor Charles Calvert in the founding of the Maryland Agricultural College, now the University of Maryland. He sought to raise his public profile, particularly through fundraising efforts in the Washington D.C. area and lecturing at the Smithsonian.

Documentation recorded that at The Home, Thomas Clemson owned no slaves.[5] The Clemson household initially included, in addition to Anna and Thomas, their children John Calhoun and Floride. The Clemson’s fourth child, Cornelia “Nina” Clemson, was born on October 3, 1855; however, she died of scarlet fever on December 20, 1858. Depressed over the death of his youngest child, Clemson threw himself into his scientific writing and philanthropy.[6]

Later, an African-American boy named Andy Calhoun, the son of Floride Calhoun’s cook Nelly and whose father is unknown, came to live with the Clemsons at The Home through 1864. Andy had been born into slavery at Fort Hill. In 1854, Nelly left Fort Hill with Mrs. Calhoun for MiCasa, her home in Pendleton, while Andy left for Maryland when Fort Hill became the home of Andrew Pickens Calhoun and his wife Margaret. As the Clemson women left Maryland in December 1864 for Pendleton, Floride Clemson wrote in her diary, “Andy, who is of course free with all Md. Negroes, will go to Dr. Septimus Cook’s near here.”[7] Dr. Cook, a family friend, could ensure Andy’s safekeeping because the Clemsons’ home site had come under federal control.

Superintendent of Agricultural Affairs, Department of Interior: 1860-1861

Clemson’s talents in agriculture became well known in Washington circles. On February 3, 1860, Jacob Thompson, secretary of the interior in the administration of President James Buchanan, appointed Clemson as the superintendent of an agricultural bureau.

With this new appointment, Clemson was responsible for agricultural planning under the Patent Office. His duties included traveling to Europe to seek new varieties of plants, and, in this federal post, Clemson was the predecessor of the modern secretary of agriculture.

During this time, Clemson was also involved in the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act. Clemson was a strong proponent of this act that would provide grants of land to create an agricultural and mechanical college in each state. Due to Southern opposition, the Morrill Land-Grant Act was not enacted until 1862.

Civil War/Scientist Soldier: 1861-1865

With the threat of war, Clemson chose to resign from his agricultural post and join the Confederacy, along with his son, John Calhoun Clemson, who had briefly attended Virginia Military Academy (VMI) before withdrawing due to illness. On July 20, 1861, going by his middle name Calhoun, John Calhoun Clemson enlisted in the Confederate Army, serving in Orr’s Rifles 1st South Carolina Regiment.

Following the firing on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, Clemson left Maryland for South Carolina. On November 2, 1861, Clemson spoke to the Farmers Society in Pendleton, and he publicly

Urged [for] the establishment of a department of agriculture in the government of the Confederate States which, in addition to fostering the general interest of agriculture, would also serve as a sort of university of the diffusion of scientific knowledge and the improvement of agriculture. [8]

Fifty-four-year-old Clemson enlisted on May 7, 1863 in the Confederacy, and he was assigned to the Army of the Trans-Mississippi Department some three months prior to the Battle of Gettysburg. Clemson’s position in the ordnance bureau placed the scientist-soldier in charge of Arkansas and Texas nitrate mines which were used for the production of explosives.

His son, Calhoun Clemson, was reassigned to the Trans-Mississippi Department and promoted to captain prior to his capture in Bolivar, Mississippi, on September 9, 1863. He spent 18 months in a prison camp on Johnson’s Island in Lake Erie, Ohio. His mother, Anna Clemson, persistently requested permission to visit her imprisoned son and eventually made the risky trek to see him in detention in Ohio. Her passage behind enemy lines was accomplished only through pre-war political connections.

At the conclusion of the Civil War, on June 9, 1865, Thomas Green Clemson was paroled at Shreveport, Louisiana. On May 18, 1866, almost a year later, he requested and received a pardon from President Andrew Johnson.

The Aftermath of War in Pendleton: 1865-1866

After the Civil War, Thomas Clemson returned to MiCasa, the Pendleton home of his mother-in-law, Floride Calhoun. Prior to his arrival, Anna and their daughter Floride had come from Maryland in December 1864. The diary Floride Clemson kept during the Civil War was published as “A Rebel Came Home.” The widowed Margaret Calhoun and the children of Calhoun’s eldest son, Andrew, occupied Fort Hill at that time.

In 1866, Clemson’s mother-in-law died, leaving Thomas and Anna Clemson responsible for the management of Fort Hill, as well as the debts of Andrew Pickens Calhoun and widow Margaret.

While continuing to live at MiCasa, Thomas Clemson, like his father-in-law before him, was elected president of the Pendleton Farmers Society. One of his goals was the establishment of an institution of higher learning in South Carolina to provide practical education in agriculture and the sciences. At that time, Clemson formulated the idea of utilizing Fort Hill as the site of such a college.

The idea for Clemson University germinated at Farmers Hall. Clemson enlisted the support of organization members such as Richard W. Simpson and Daniel K. Norris, later successor trustees of Clemson College. Thus, the farmers’ movement and the Clemson vision combined.

Reconstruction Years: 1866-1872

The period of Reconstruction proved difficult for Thomas Clemson, as it did for many former Confederates. He had voluntarily given up a promising federal post and a government career to serve in the Confederate Army.

By 1870, in frustration at what Clemson saw as lost opportunities, he dropped out of the Pendleton Farmers Society, and he offered his criticism of the South,

"Look at the late war, conceived in arrogance, matured in ignorance and delivered in imbecility.” Furthermore, he asserted to James Edward Calhoun that “the people are too ignorant or too apathetic to understand and too shortsighted to venture a dollar to make thousands." [9]

During the period between 1868-1871, Clemson acted on behalf of the estate of his mother-in-law Floride Calhoun, and he began signing contracts with freedmen and women who were hired and employed at Fort Hill. These contracts, which spelled out some 10 to 15 articles of agreement, were similar to other labor contracts of the era.[10]

In the summer of 1871, tragedy struck the Clemson family. His daughter Floride (Mrs. Gideon Lee) died on July 23, 1871, at age 28 of consumption (tuberculosis) at her home Leeside in Carmel, New York. Her infant daughter, Floride Isabella, would be raised by her father, Gideon Lee, and her stepmother, Ella Lorton, a childhood friend of Floride’s from Pendleton. Prior to Gideon’s remarrying, Floride Isabella was raised by her surrogate mother, Marie Calhoun. In 1871, Isabella was photographed with Marie, a childhood companion of Floride Elizabeth. Marie was born a slave at Fort Hill, and, following emancipation, she was employed as a lady’s maid for Floride Clemson Lee in New York. Isabella lost a mother for the second time when Marie was sent to New Orleans by Gideon and Ella Lee.

The second tragedy of that summer happened on August 10, 1871, when the Clemsons’ son Calhoun was killed in a wreck between a passenger train and a lumber freight train on the Blue Ridge Railroad near Seneca, S.C. At his death, Calhoun was 30 years old and unmarried.

Retirement to Fort Hill: 1872-1875

In January 1872, the Clemsons retired to Fort Hill following the tragic deaths of their two adult children. Three years later, on September 22, 1875, Anna died from a heart attack at the age of 58. Although she never specifically mentioned the founding of a college at the Fort Hill place in her will, the indications were that the couple was collectively in agreement that a college would be built upon the land she would and did inherit from the estates of her mother, her brother Patrick, and her sister Cornelia.

Now Thomas Clemson’s only living immediate family was his grandchild who was growing up in New York. A small group of people helped take care of Fort Hill, including Clemson’s white housekeeper, Jane Prince, her daughter Essie Prince, and a small contingent of African-Americans, including one young boy named Bill Greenlee who would later recount stories of Clemson during an interview with James Corcoran Littlejohn. African-Americans Jim and Francis Fruster and Nancy Lagree, then living at Fort Hill, were photographed for professional stereopticon slides of Fort Hill that Clemson commissioned.

Final Years: 1875-1888

Living mostly as a recluse, Clemson began formalizing his dream of founding a school on the Fort Hill estate. During the last 13 years of his life he set out to establish, in drafts of his will, the type of scientific institution that he had described in the meetings at the Farmers Hall some 20 years earlier. In June 1886, Clemson was given an honorary degree from the South Carolina College. Though the College in Columbia had received Morrill funds from the legislation that Clemson had supported, it made only a half-hearted attempt at agricultural education.

Clemson’s Last Will and Bequest

In the history of higher education, Clemson’s will is an important document. His bequest clearly reflects his altruistic attitude. If the state was not going to accept his will after three years, Clemson’s alternative was to have his executor establish a private university along the same lines. In 1878, Clemson had discussed with William Wilson Corcoran that a private institution might have more control over governance of the institution, when he wrote,

the project for the time would be untrammeled as a private enterprise, whereas the contrary might occur if in the hands of the Legislature representing two different races. [11]

The Place of Fort Hill in Clemson’s Bequest:

Clemson’s intention to create an institution of higher education is at the core of his will. Early versions of his will named the new institution Fort Hill Institute or Calhoun–Clemson College, similar to Washington-Lee University. In a letter to his friend and attorney a few years before his death, Clemson wrote that, in case the Legislature did not accept his will, that

some legally constituted association such as now holds possession of Mt. Vernon may act as trustees for the preservation of the home of the illustrious man who spent his life in the public service of his country and who dignified a state which so long trusted and honored him. [12]

To many of the supporters, a crucial selling point of Clemson’s project was the Calhoun connection. Beginning in a “Scientific Circular” from 1874, the planning committee stated,

No nobler monument could be raised to the great Carolinian than such an institution on the spot where the tradition of his great and beautiful life would be most strongly felt, and where the youthful mind of the State could be trained to take up his work [13].

A corresponding feature of Clemson’s will was the preservation of Fort Hill, his residence and the plantation home of his father-in-law, John C. Calhoun. In the final version of his will, he spelled out the mission of Fort Hill in his bequest by specifying two items in both his will and codicil:

Item 4. It is my desire that the dwelling house on Fort Hill shall never be torn down or altered, but shall be kept in repair, with all the articles of furniture and vesture which I hereinafter give for that purpose, and shall always be open for the inspection of visitors.

Item 9. I give and bequeath to my executor, or to be held by him subject to the trusts and condition of Items 1, 2, and 3 of this my will, and for the purpose of adorning the Fort Hill residence as provided in Item 4 of this my will, all of my permanent furniture, relics and articles of vesture, pictures and painting, including the large painting or picture of John C. Calhoun, now hanging in my setting room, and not otherwise disposed of herein, and all of my books. [14]

And in the codicil:

Item 9. I hereby authorize and direct my executor to employ such persons he may deem necessary to take charge of the Fort Hill dwelling house and articles therein donated.

Item 14. I authorize and empower my executor to expend such sums of money as he may deem necessary to keep the Fort Hill dwelling house and premises in repair. [15]

Clemson’s will included a provision for the composition of the board of trustees with seven trustees named personally by Clemson, who would then appoint their own successors; the other six trustees would be appointed by the state legislature. Finally, the name of the institution was to be Clemson Agricultural College.

The Dream: 1888-1896

On April 6, 1888, Clemson died of pneumonia at the age of 80. He was buried next to his beloved Anna in St. Paul’s Episcopal churchyard in Pendleton. Through his will, Clemson left 814 acres of land and more than $80,000 in other assets to the state of South Carolina. To his only granddaughter, he left family portraits, her choice of one memento from Fort Hill, $15,000, and 288 acres, which the college trustees later bought.

On May 22, 1888, the seven original successor trustees met under an oak tree on the lawn of Fort Hill. Their task was both to shepherd the acceptance of Thomas Clemson’s will by the state and to confront the legal case brought forth by Clemson’s son-in-law, Gideon Lee, which went to the U.S. Supreme Court as Lee vs. Simpson.

After a bumpy road in the courts, Clemson’s will finally passed the S.C. State Legislature on Dec. 24, 1888, and the Act of Acceptance was formally signed into law on Nov. 27, 1889.

Clemson’s hand-picked successor trustees took up the banner to bring his dream to fruition. His knowledge of these men varied greatly. Only Richard W. Simpson and Daniel K. Norris were personally known to Clemson from his years in the Pendleton Farmers Society. Benjamin Ryan Tillman, who was called “Pitchfork Ben,” actually met Thomas Clemson only once in the fall of 1886 for a conference with Simpson and Norris prior to the final revision to Clemson’s last will and testament.

In Tillman’s own words in 1912 on the “Origin of Clemson College,” he recounted the events leading to the establishment of the college, along with the discussions that transpired:

The four of us spent nearly the whole day in talking over the new project which Mr. Clemson had in mind in which he unfolded to us. At that time Mr. Clemson had made a will which he showed me in which the scheme was outlined to make of Fort Hill a sort of Mount Vernon a place of pilgrimage for those who admired and loved John C. Calhoun and his political ideas. [16]

The Aftermath

In 1891, the Clemson Agricultural College’s board of trustees erected a tall shaft at Thomas Clemson’s grave bearing this inscription:

“Thomas Green Clemson, Founder of Clemson Agricultural College, Born July 1, 1807, Died April 6, 1888.”

Thomas Clemson’s life work to promote higher education was much like that of other founders of colleges or universities. He knew the advantages of education, and he had the vision of providing for future generations in his adopted state. And at the same time, perhaps he saw himself as a successor to Thomas Jefferson when he noted as early as 1878 that:

“If the project here presented should go into operation it would insure the prosperity of the State, and be an additional light to the world, and be surely counted to its founders in that life which we hope to realize hereafter.”

When Thomas Jefferson was requested to know what inscription he desired to be inscribed upon his tomb, he answered, “Founder of the University of Virginia; Author of the Declaration of Independence, and mover of the statue for religious freedom.”[17]

Thomas Green Clemson lived when higher education in scientific and agricultural studies in the United States was in its infancy. He knew and studied pioneers in higher education ranging from scientist Gay-Lussac to statesman Calhoun. Clemson, in his 80 years of life, learned to appreciate the value of higher education and sought to create a “high seminary” of learning on the site of his family’s plantation.

Former Clemson College President E. W. Sikes noted that Clemson “gave more to the college which bears his name than John Harvard did to Harvard, or Elihu Yale to Yale.”[18] Clemson not only provided financial support to the institution but also a model as an agricultural scientist and man of learning for his fellow South Carolinians.

Clemson also sought to protect and preserve the family home of Fort Hill plantation as a second Mount Vernon, a museum furnished with belongings of the Clemsons and the Calhouns.

Thomas G. Clemson is today remembered for many things; however his lasting legacy can be summed up from an article he wrote in 1867, The Land We Love. Clemson wrote,

We want light. Civilization only advances through the sciences . . . Science will open up new avenues for profitable occupation to individuals which will redound to the power of the state; resources now lying dormant, will give occupation and wealth to unborn millions.[19]


Thomas Green Clemson Bibliography

The papers of Thomas Green Clemson are located at Clemson University and the South Carolina Library. Various publications have been written about Clemson’s life, including Alma Bennett’s Thomas Green Clemson, and Alester Holmes and George Sherrill’s Thomas Green Clemson; His Life and Work. Clemson had a close relationship with many members of the Calhoun family which are discussed in the following books: Ernest Lander’s The Calhoun Family and Thomas Green Clemson: The Decline of a Southern Patriarchy and The Life and times of Ella Lorton, a Pendleton SC Confederate, Julia Wright Sublette’s dissertation “The Letters of Anna Calhoun Clemson, 1833-1873”, and Ernest Lander and Charles McGee’s A Rebel Came Home: The Diary and Letters of Floride Clemson, 1863-1866. Ultimately, Clemson’s legacy is remembered through the creation of Clemson University. Studies which include Clemson’s ideas and purpose for the university include: Wright Bryan’s Clemson: An informal history of the University, 1889-1979, Jerome Reel and Donald McKale’s Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University, and Jerome Reel’s The High Seminary.

Bennett, Alma. Thomas Green Clemson. Clemson, S.C.: Clemson University Digital Press, 2009.

Bryan, Wright. Clemson: An informal history of the University, 1889-1979. Columbia, S.C: R. L. Bryan Co., 1979.

Clemson, Anna Marie Calhoun, and Julia Wright Sublette. "The Letters of Anna Calhoun Clemson, 1833-1873." Ph.D. Dissertation, 1993.

Clemson, Floride, and Harriet R. Holman. The Verse of Floride Clemson. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1965.

Clemson, Floride. A Rebel Came Home: The Diary and Letters of Floride Clemson, 1863-1866. Edited by Charles M. McGee and Ernest Lander. Rev. ed. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1989.

Holmes, Alester G., and George R. Sherrill. Thomas Green Clemson; His Life and Work. Richmond: Garrett and Massie, 1937.

Lander, Ernest McPherson. The Calhoun Family and Thomas Green Clemson: The Decline of a Southern Patriarchy. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1983.

Lander, Ernest McPherson, and Ella Frances Lorton. The Life and times of Ella Lorton, a Pendleton SC Confederate. Clemson, S.C.: Clemson Printers, 1996.

McKale, Donald M., and Jerome Reel. Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University. Macon, Ga.: Mercer, 1988.

Reel, Jerome V. The High Seminary. Clemson, SC: Clemson University Digital Press, 2011.

Russell, Nancy Ann. Legacy of a Southern Lady, Anna Calhoun Clemson, 1817-1875. Clemson, S.C: Clemson University Digital Press, 2007.



[1] Margaret L. Coit, John C. Calhoun: American Portrait. (Columbia, SC.: University of South Carolina Press, 1950), 287.

[2] Ernest McPherson Lander, The Calhoun Family and Thomas Green Clemson: The Decline of a Southern Patriarchy. (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1983), 135-136.

[3] Ernest McPherson Lander, The Calhoun Family and Thomas Green Clemson: The Decline of a Southern Patriarchy. (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1983), 92.

[4] Ernest McPherson Lander, The Calhoun Family and Thomas Green Clemson: The Decline of a Southern Patriarchy. (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1983), 135.

[5] Ernest McPherson Lander, The Calhoun Family and Thomas Green Clemson: The Decline of a Southern Patriarchy. (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1983), 151.

[6] Ernest McPherson Lander, The Calhoun Family and Thomas Green Clemson: The Decline of a Southern Patriarchy. (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1983), 92.

[7] Ernest McPherson Lander, The Calhoun Family and Thomas Green Clemson: The Decline of a Southern Patriarchy. (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1983), 221.

[8] Alester G Holmes and George R. Sherrill. Thomas Green Clemson; His Life and Work. (Richmond: Garrett and Massie, 1937), 140.

[9] Ernest McPherson Lander, The Calhoun Family and Thomas Green Clemson: The Decline of a Southern Patriarchy. (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1983), 234.

[10] “Freedmen & Freedwomen Contracts,” Clemson Papers, Clemson University

[11] Alester G. Holmes and George R. Sherrill. Thomas Green Clemson: His Life and Work. (Richmond: Garrett and Massie, 1937), 153.

[12] Benjamin Ryan Tillman, The Origin of Clemson College; with introduction and reminiscences of the first class and the opening of the college by his son, B. R. Tillman, who was a member of the first class (Class of 1896), (Winston Salem, 1941), 7.

[13] Alester G. Holmes and George R. Sherrill. Thomas Green Clemson: His Life and Work. (Richmond: Garrett and Massie, 1937), 152

[14] Homes & Sherrill, 196.

[15] Holmes & Sherrill, 197-201.

[16] Benjamin Ryan Tillman, The Origin of Clemson College; with introduction and reminiscences of the first class and the opening of the college by his son, B. R. Tillman, who was a member of the first class (Class of 1896), (Winston Salem, 1941), 7.

[17] Holmes & Sherrill, 153.

[18] Robert F. Poole, Thomas G. Clemson (1807-1888) His Influence in Developing Land-Grant Colleges, Newcomen Society, 1957.

[19] Holmes & Sherrill, 148.