Thursday, October 21, 2021 Nic Butler, Ph.D.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, a remarkable Charleston organization sought to enhance the education and careers of local youths by creating a new kind of library. The Apprentices’ Library Society, founded in 1824, provided reading material to teenage boys engaged in the study of traditional handicrafts, but its educational mission expanded to include lectures and a night school. Although fire wrecked the society’s fortunes in 1861 and it dissolved in 1874, this forgotten institution pointed towards the future libraries of Charleston that we recognize today.

To understand the historical context of the Charleston Apprentices’ Library Society, it's necessary to appreciate the ancient but now largely-unfamiliar educational tradition that inspired its creation. We could talk for hours about the history of apprenticeships in early South Carolina, but for the moment we’ll constrain ourselves to a brief overview of the topic.


As in Europe and elsewhere in North America, the education of most young people in the early generations of the Palmetto State focused on the practical skills that would sustain them through adulthood. The nature and extent of these skills differed greatly based on one’s location, gender, and legal “condition.” In rural settings like farms and plantations, for example, the education of most children focused on agriculture and animal husbandry. Most girls living in both town and country also learned to sew and to cook. The education of young boys living in urban areas generally focused on commercial or handicraft skills, although many large plantations in early South Carolina included resident tradesmen such as carpenters, blacksmiths, and coopers. Prior to the dawn of the twentieth century, only a small minority of White, male teenagers attended secondary or “high” school, and only a very small subset of that group continued their education at a third-level college or university.

In the absence of a robust secondary or “high school” system in early America, the average urban boy left his familial home around the age of fourteen and moved into the household of an adult male who became his “master” for the next several years. In this context, the young apprentice labored and gradually acquired the skills of a specific trade or business, such as shoe making, furniture building, timber framing, blacksmithing, whitesmithing (tin, copper, and light metals), brick masonry, plumbing, or any number of skilled occupations. At the age of twenty-one, the apprentice reached his legal majority and became a journeyman who worked with different masters to polish his skills. In early America, this apprentice system also included many enslaved and free boys of African descent. Black apprentices in Charleston and in other urban centers learned a variety of valuable skills that they practiced into adulthood. Unlike their free neighbors, however, enslaved apprentices and enslaved tradesmen did not own their own labor and lived within a rather narrow world of legal constraints.

This apprenticeship system, which endured for centuries in many nations with little change, was a practical and experiential form of education. Apprentice boys received verbal instruction from their respective masters, performed manual tasks repeatedly, and constantly observed more experienced craftsmen practicing their trade. Most apprentices were required to read, write, and perform basic arithmetic, but more advanced book learning was largely peripheral to this ancient educational system. Traditional trade work did not require men to pursue subjects like advanced mathematics, science, literature, geography, or history, although adult craftsmen were welcome to pursue such topics in their leisure hours.

As the pace of technological change began to quicken in the early nineteenth century, the “Industrial Revolution” began to reshape traditional patterns of education. The proliferation of steam engines simplified a number of traditional labors and created a host of new commercial opportunities. The growth of mechanized manufacturing fueled an expanding economy, which in turn fostered an expansion of middle-class consumers. To maintain a competitive edge in this changing economic and cultural environment, tradesmen needed to keep abreast of the latest developments in manufacturing, materials, and aesthetic tastes. By the 1820s, many tradesmen and civic leaders realized that young apprentices could benefit from a broader and more “liberal” exposure to educational subjects beyond their traditionally narrow spheres of work.

In Charleston during the spring of 1824, a number of affluent men representing a variety of professions gathered informally to discuss the future of apprentice education in the Lowcountry. Their conversations identified a need in the community for a new institution that would fulfill two fundamental goals. Primarily, they sought to provide apprentices with opportunities to access books and other educational resources beyond the traditional framework of their apprenticeships. Secondarily, they believed that expanding apprentices’ education would not only improve the quality of their work, but would also broaden the minds of young men who would soon become tomorrow’s leading citizens. Improved by the “moral influence of books,” to quote a repeated phrase of that era, these well-educated apprentices would mature into valuable citizens who would help maintain Charleston’s pre-eminence within the nation’s expanding economy.[1]

Parties sympathetic to this cause gathered for a formal meeting on the evening of May 19th, 1824, within the large cupola above the Centre Market building in Market Street. The success of that event spurred the creation of a committee to draft a slate of rules, or constitution, for a new organization. At a second meeting held on May 26th, the gentlemen in attendance voted to approve the constitution and form the Charleston Apprentices’ Library Society. Their initial president, Dr. Joseph Johnson (1776–1862), was a prominent local physician whose father, William Johnson, had been a blacksmith and one of Charleston’s leading patriots during the American Revolution. The founding members of the new organization pledged to canvass the community in the coming weeks to solicit donations to form the nucleus of a lending library. Charleston’s City Council gave its permission for the society to use Market Hall as their temporary home, and on June 1st they hired a young printer, Ebenezer Thayer Jr., as the society’s first librarian.[2]

Although the Apprentices’ Library Society (or ALS) was a new organization in the summer of 1824, it wasn’t Charleston’s first library. The Charles Town (later Charleston) Library Society (or CLS) had been established in 1748 with a goal of promoting education within the colonial capital of South Carolina, but it represented a very different sort of cultural phenomenon. The CLS was a private subscription library, founded by affluent White men of the Lowcountry for the use of other men of their socio-economic class. Prospective readers had to be over the age of twenty-one to purchase a membership, and the collection was not open to young boys, or girls, or women. Their extensive collection included books relating to philosophy, theology, science, art, music, and classic rather than popular literature. In many respects, their book catalog amounted to what modern librarians would call a reference collection.[3]

In contrast to this older organization, the new library society of 1824 was devoted to stimulating the curiosity of young apprentices. Within the prejudiced sphere of Antebellum Charleston, the institution’s target audience was limited to White males between the ages of approximately fourteen and twenty-one. Like the older Charleston Library Society, the Apprentices’ Library Society was organized as a private entity funded by the subscription of individual members, but it functioned in a very different manner. The subscribing members, which included civic leaders, merchants, and master craftsmen, did not necessarily use the library they funded; rather, they pledged money and donated materials to an institution to be used freely by the city’s teenage apprentices and other minors. Any White boy wishing to visit the library, browse its collection, and take book home, was obliged to present a letter of reference from his master, parent, or guardian, but he paid no fees. The purpose of this private subscription society, therefore, was to provide a free library for a segment of the community’s youth.

In June of 1824, the founding members of the Apprentices’ Library Society canvassed the community for donations of money, books, maps, and other educational materials. The nascent library within the upstairs room at Market Hall formally opened on July 2nd, and within a month boasted a collection numbering more than a thousand volumes. After petitioning the state legislature that autumn, the society became a legal corporation in December 1824. When architect Robert Mills visited the new library in Charleston about one year later, he described it as one of “the springs of knowledge in this city,” and noted that its collection included “upwards of 3000 volumes, mostly presented by donation.”[4]

In the autumn of 1826, the officers of the Apprentices’ Library Society petitioned the state legislature to use two large rooms on the third floor of Charleston’s Main Guard House or police station, then standing at the southwest corner of Meeting and Broad Streets. This plain brick building, which was completed in late 1768, included cells and barrack rooms on the ground floor, administrative offices on the middle floor, and on the top floor a pair of commodious rooms for state offices.[5] The uppermost rooms in question were about to be vacated by the State Treasurer and Register of Mesne Conveyance, who were moving their offices to the newly-completed Fireproof Building at the southeast corner of Meeting and Chalmers Streets. The legislature granted the library’s petition in December 1826, and, after a brief closure, the Apprentices’ Library re-opened in the old Guard House on May 15th, 1827.[6]

In the autumn of 1828, four years after the society’s formation, the officers of the ALS published an extensive title list of its collection in several issues of a local newspaper. The library held at that time nearly seven thousand volumes covering a wide range of topics, and the officers were especially proud of those devoted to the building and mechanical arts. The text introducing the title list noted that “the collection of those on architecture particularly, is considered the best and largest in the state.” Summarizing the purpose of the institution, the catalog noted that the ALS had been established “with the highly laudable purpose of affording to apprentices and other white persons under age, access to such works as will improve the understanding and benefit the heart.”[7]

After another round of extensive fund-raising in the summer of 1829, the society called its members together that autumn to consider proposed changes to its constitution, “with a view of connecting a Mechanics’ Institute with the Society.” On September 23rd, the society adopted a new constitution that articulated an expanding educational mission. Article 2 stated that “the instruction to be furnished by this society shall be conveyed by means of a library, of lectures, and hereafter, if practicable, of a Preparatory School; and emulation shall be excited, and skill and industry encouraged by premiums, by public recommendation and by private patronage.” In short, the society pledged to open a school for apprentices and to reward the handiwork of talented local artisans.[8]

The school of the Apprentices’ Library Society opened on January 18th, 1830, using one of their two rooms on the third story of the Main Guard House. Meeting for two hours on four nights each week, the school was designed as an academic supplement to the practical education that apprentices gained during daylight hours. A single instructor offered a rotating curriculum that included arithmetic, algebra, geometry, mensuration, linear drawing (or drafting), and bookkeeping. The class was initially limited to twenty students, but the officers of the society expanded it to thirty pupils by the end of the school’s first month. At its annual meeting that February, President Joseph Johnson summarized the value of the expanding institution:


“The library of the society furnishes employment, amusement and instruction, to 300 youth, some of whom would, perhaps under other circumstances, spend their leisure time in idleness, if not in vice. The moral influence of such a direction of the mind at the most susceptible age . . . must afford valuable benefit to the young artisan and through him to the community at large.”[9]


In the summer of 1830, the ALS published notices across the state of South Carolina that it would hold a competitive examination at the end of the year, offering premiums or prizes to reward excellence in artisan handiwork. More specifically, the society encouraged apprentices across the state to submit for consideration their best examples of hand-made cabinetry, edged tools, cutlery, silver flatware, doors, window sashes, dressed leather, boots, coach harnesses, bookbinding, technical drawing, ornamental painting on wood, tinware, and wood turning. The society’s first public exhibition, held in Charleston on February 7th, 1831, did not garner as many entries as expected, but the society expressed hope that it was inaugurating a lasting tradition.[10]

The two rooms in the upper story of the city Guard House soon proved insufficient for the growing society and its expanding educational mission. In the autumn of 1834, the ALS petitioned the state legislature for permission to occupy a disused one-story brick building standing to the west of the Main Guard House. The building in question, which stood opposite the cemetery of St. Michael’s Church, had been built in the early 1740s as an armory for artillery storage, but had been used in the early nineteenth century as an arsenal to house general military equipment. After gaining permission from the legislature, The society moved into the old arsenal in the spring of 1835. A few months later, the ALS fulfilled one of its goals by commencing an ongoing series of public lectures designed to educate and inspire the young tradesmen of Charleston.[11]

Two years after the Apprentices’ Library Society moved into the old arsenal building on the west side of Meeting Street, the City of Charleston began planning the construction of a new Guard House or police station. The old, colonial-era Guard House was to be demolished and replaced by a larger structure, and the city sought to reorganize the entire swath of public property at the southwest corner of Meeting and Broad Streets. To facilitate the commencement of this plan in the autumn of 1837, Charleston’s municipal government asked the officers of the Apprentices’ Library Society to vacate their rent-free home. The society agreed to comply on condition that the city would provide them with a lot in the heart of the city on which they might build their own free-standing library.[12]

Although the City of Charleston formally agreed in December 1837 to provide a piece of real estate for the new home of the Apprentices’ Library Society, the project was delayed by a series of bureaucratic complications.[13] The city was then engaged in a project to widen and straighten Cumberland Street to its present dimensions, and had purchased numerous private lots to effect the plan. From this cache of vacant property in early 1839, the city gave to the ALS a narrow lot near the northeast corner of Cumberland and Meeting Streets. The society already had a plan in hand for a relatively broad building to house a library and lecture hall, however, and asked City Council to exchange the narrow lot for a more commodious substitute. City leaders ignored their requests for nearly a year, but the ALS eventually badgered them into a compromise. At the end of 1839, the city agreed to permit the ALS to sell the lot donated to them and to apply the funds towards the purchase of a more suitable lot of their choosing.[14]

In the meantime, during the winter of 1838–39, the construction of the new city Guard House forced the Apprentices’ Library Society to find a new temporary home. Following further negotiations with state officials in Columbia, the society moved its valuable collection of books across the street to the old State House, then called the State Court House, which still stands at the northwest corner of Meeting and Broad Streets. The ALS occupied most of the third floor, but the reduced size of its new home forced them to contract their activities. Pending the completion of its own building, the society suspended its evening school, annual exhibition, and lecture series.[15]

The officers of the Apprentices’ Library Society began shopping for a vacant site in the center of Charleston in early 1840 and soon purchased a suitable lot. The property measured forty feet wide along the west side of Meeting Street, just one door south of Horlbeck Alley, and extended 112 feet to the west. In March they signed a contract with builder John H. Long to erect a brick structure designed by one of the society’s members, Thomas Bennett, and drafted in detail by architect Charles Reichardt.[16] At that same moment, however, the ALS learned that the state required the top floor of the Court House for new jury rooms. The society quickly moved its collection to its final temporary home, an outbuilding behind the residence of librarian Ebenezer Thayer, just a few doors west of the old State House on Broad Street, near King Street.[17]

On the afternoon of April 20th, 1840, Charleston’s municipal leaders, the members of numerous societies and clubs, young apprentices, and children from the Charleston Orphan House processed with a brass band through the city streets to the vacant lot on the west side of Meeting Street. Here they listened to noble speeches and witnessed the laying of a ceremonial cornerstone for the new home of the Apprentices’ Library Society. In his lengthy remarks on the occasion, President Joseph Johnson acknowledged that the society’s “frequent removals” from site to site had “proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement, [and] the greatest interruption in its arrangements for instruction.” His hopes for the new building were summarized in a pair of rhetorical questions that defined its purpose: “On this spot, will these stores of knowledge be opened daily, for the benefit of the studious, for the moral and religious instruction of youth; in the hall of this building, will lectures be delivered on the most useful and interesting subjects?”[18]

The new home of the Apprentices Library opened to an overflowing public audience at a gala event held on January 13th, 1841. Newspaper reports described the “handsome” building as a “neat edifice of two stories, highly ornamental to the city,” although no images of its façade have survived.[19] President Joseph Johnson announced that a course of “Lyceum lectures” would soon commence in the new Lecture Hall, and that the library’s valuable collection would be open “for the free use of strangers visiting the city, as well as for that of members and apprentices.” In a long oration delivered that evening, local physician-poet-educator Samuel Henry Dickson expressed hope that the people of Charleston and South Carolina in general would encourage young men to pursue the mechanic arts, and “render their sons ‘artificers in brass and wood and iron,’ ‘builders of cities and ships,’ instead of overstocking the learned professions and mercantile and agricultural avocations, with more hands than they can usefully employ and more mouths than they can well feed.” A reporter from the Charleston Courier observed that “the audience retired, delighted with the intellectual feast of the evening; and gratified at the success of an institution, which bids fair to bless our city with a race of intelligent, scientific and home bred mechanics.”[20]

Contemporary with the opening of the new building, the Apprentices’ Library Society published a robust catalog of its large collection of books, pamphlets, periodicals, and maps.[21] Two weeks after throwing open its doors, the society commenced a series of lectures, or “lyceum” programs, for the edification of young boys and the public in general.[22] The effort to complete the building had incurred many unexpected expenses, however, so in April 1841 the society raised more than a thousand dollars by partnering with local amateur and professional musicians to present an oratorio concert at Circular Congregational Church.[23]

The ALS seems to have been preoccupied with sustaining a series of lectures, art exhibits, and concerts during most of the 1840s. In late 1844, the society announced its intention to re-commence a night school for apprentices in the near future, but the board of trustees took no further action until the autumn of 1849. In December of that year, the society hired educator Charles D. Belcher to commence a day school for poor boys in the upstairs hall of the library building. In return for a nominal tuition fee, Mr. Belcher provided what was described as “an English and scientific education.” Besides the “usual branches” of reading, writing, and arithmetic, the curriculum included rhetoric, grammar, composition, declamation, orthography (handwriting), algebra, geometry, history, and natural philosophy. The school appears to have been successful, but the trustees of the Apprentices’ Library Society closed it abruptly, without explanation, during the holiday recess in December 1854. In the succeeding months and years, the society’s upstairs hall again hosted a varied series of lectures, exhibitions, and concerts.[24]

Had the Apprentices’ Library Society continued on its upward trajectory of achievement, historians and citizens might describe it as one of the most important cultural and educational institutions in the long history of Charleston. But such was not its fate. The society’s handsome home and its extensive library perished on the evening of December 11th, 1861. That night, a massive fire cut a diagonal swath of destruction across the city from the east end of Hasell Street to the west end of Tradd Street. Like all of its neighbors, the 1841 building went up in flames fueled by the contents of its extensive library. According to a statement made a few years later by one of the society’s surviving officers, “not a book was saved, not a record.”[25]

Although the conflagration of 1861 consumed all of its resources, the educational spirit of the Apprentices’ Library Society survived both the fire and the economic devastation caused of the American Civil War. Founding president Joseph Johnson died in 1862, but the surviving officers eventually revived the organization. In the spring of 1870, the homeless society brokered a temporary agreement with its older neighbor, the Charleston Library Society, to permit members of the ALS and local apprentices to use the library housed in the old bank building at the northwest corner of Broad and Church Streets.[26] Looking forward to brighter days ahead, the ALS gained permission from the state legislature in early 1873 to renew its corporate charter and change its name. By adding two words to its handle, the Apprentices’ and Minors’ Library Society sought to welcome young boys regardless of their diverse educational paths. Owing to the prejudicial values of that era, however, the society continued to exclude boys of African descent and girls in general.[27]

Later in 1873, the officers of Charleston’s two library societies decided that a merger would benefit both organizations. The Apprentices’ Library had no home, but was slowly rebuilding its collection by focusing on popular literature and instructive materials for young readers. The older Charleston Library Society, in contrast, sought to diversify its holdings and attract a broader segment of the community. The South Carolina General Assembly facilitated their merger by an act of March 14th, 1874, that authorized the Apprentices and Minors’ Library Society “to unite with and form part of the Charleston Library Society.”[28] Officers of both organizations met on several occasions during the subsequent summer to negotiate the details of their corporate merger. According to the text of an agreement signed on October 20th, 1874, the Apprentices’ and Minors’ Library Society on that day ceased to exist as a separate entity.[29]

The Charleston ALS (or AMLS) quietly faded out of existence shortly after passing the fiftieth anniversary of its founding. At that time, its surviving members did not host a grand celebration of its achievements, nor did they compose a chronological summary of its rise and progress. Although the organization was soon forgotten, its legacy continues in three distinct streams within our present community.

First, and most obviously, the present vigor of the Charleston Library Society in the twenty-first century reflects the influence of the younger organization it absorbed in 1874. Although the CLS is still a private subscription organization, its membership, collections, and activities are much more diverse and inclusive than they were before the Civil War.

Second, the formal creation of the American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) in 2004 revived the educational spirit of the Apprentices’ Library Society. Motivated by the decline of the ancient apprenticeship system in the United States during the twentieth century, ACBA seeks to nurture the survival of valuable trade skills that are rapidly disappearing. Besides offering practical instruction in traditional crafts such as architectural carpentry, timber framing, blacksmithing, stone carving, and plasterwork, the college’s four-year curriculum exposes students to a broad range of liberal arts and sciences that prepare them for careers in the twenty-first century marketplace. Like to old ALS, ACBA’s library contains an impressive collection of books related to the building arts and a growing inventory of rare historical publications.

Finally, one could argue that the creation of the Charleston Free Library in 1931 (now the Charleston County Public Library) fulfilled the final wish of the long-forgotten Apprentices’ Library Society. That extinct organization was founded in 1824 to serve White, teenage, apprentice boys, but its mission expand to include men in general. The next step, as articulated by ALS trustees before its merger with the CLS, was to include females in the community. If the society had survived into the twentieth century, we might have seen it embrace the African-American community, as the Charleston Free Library did in 1931 (albeit in a segregated fashion that persisted into the early 1960s).

To underscore this point about historical continuity, I’ll close today’s program with a quotation from a committee report presented in June 1873 relating to the future of the Apprentices’ Library Society. Although written a century and a half ago, their prescient words remind us to treasure the public institutions we often take for granted today:

“The establishment of a large public library, upon a popular basis, is a thing greatly to be desired in this city. It should be put at or near the centre of the city, and should be arranged for the accommodation of ladies as well as gentlemen. The Charleston Library [Society] would be an admirable basis for such an institution, but there should be gathered around it large accessions of new books and light literature. It should be made to keep pace with the literature of the day. Such an institution ought not to be abandoned because it cannot be accomplished at once. Such an object is worth waiting for and working for.”



[1] References to the “moral influence” of books appear in many of the newspaper notices connected with the Apprentices’ Library Society; see, for example, Charleston Courier, 3 February 1830, page 2; Courier, 5 May 1840, page 2.

[2] Charleston City Gazette, 19 May 1824, page 3; City Gazette, 28 May 1824, page 2; Charleston Courier, 31 May 1824, page 2; Courier, 2 June 1824, page 2. In the fifty years of its existence, the Apprentices’ Library Society employed nine librarians: Ebenezer Thayer Jr. (June 1824–October 1840), Robert Telfer (October 1840–February 1843), David S. Palmer (February 1843–May 1844), Theodore L. Smith (May 1844–September 1846), William Estill (September 1846–June 1851), James Achille de Caradeux (aka Caradeuc; June 1851–March 1852), Robert Lebby Jr. (March 1852–October 1854), Thomas F. O’Sullivan (October 1854–December 1861), and Arthur Mazyck (1870–1874).

[3] James Raven, London Booksellers and American Customers: Transatlantic Literary Community and the Charleston Library Society, 1748–1811 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2002).

[4] Courier, 9 June 1824, page 1; City Gazette, 10 June 1824, page 3; Charleston Mercury, 1 July 1824, page 2; City Gazette, 2 July 1824, page 3; Courier, 3 August 1824, page 2; See Section I of “An Act to Incorporate Certain Societies,” ratified on 18 December 1824, in David J. McCord, ed., The Statutes at Large of South Carolina, volume 8 (Charleston, S.C.: A. S. Johnston, 18), 335–41; Robert Mills, Statistics of South Carolina (Charleston, S.C.: Hurlbut and Lloyd, 1826), 439.

[5] Gene Waddell, Charleston Architecture 1670–1860, volume 1 (Charleston, S.C.: Wyrick, 2003), 116–28.

[6] See the reports of the S.C. House of Representatives in Courier, 6 December 1826, page 2; Courier, 8 December 1826, page 2; Courier, 11 December 1826, page 2; and the library’s announcement in Courier, 15 May 1827, page 2.

[7] Courier, 27 September 1828, page 1; Courier, 27 October 1828, page 4.

[8] Courier, 15 July 1829, page 3; Courier, 22 September 1829, page 3; Courier, 28 September 1829, page 3; Courier, 2 October 1829, page 2.

[9] Courier, 20 January 1830, page 2; Courier, 30 January 1830, page 2; Courier, 3 February 1830, page 2; Courier, 4 November 1830, page 3. Note that the society consistently celebrated its anniversary in February, although the members repeatedly acknowledged its founding on 26 May 1824.

[10] Courier, 16 June 1830, page 3; Courier, 8 February 1831, page 2.

[11] Courier, 5 December 1834, page 2; Courier, 8 December 1834, page 2; Courier, 12 February 1835, page 2; Southern Patriot, 18 July 1835, page 2; Courier, 26 September 1835, page 3.

[12] City Council proceedings of 3 October 1837; 16 October 1837; 24 October 1837, in Southern Patriot, 7 October 1837; Courier, 21 October 1837; Courier, 28 October 1837; See Section II of “An Act to authorize the Commissioners of Public Buildings for Charleston District, to apply part of their funds to the repairs and extension of the Main Guard House in the City of Charleston; and for other purposes,” ratified on 20 December 1837, in David J. McCord, ed., The Statutes at Large of South Carolina, volume 7 (Columbia, S.C.: A. S. Johnston, 1840), 152–53.

[13] City Council proceedings of 23 January 1838; 6 March 1838; 23 March 1838, in Courier, 26 January 1838; Courier, 10 March 1838; Courier, 2 April 1838; and the mayor’s report in Courier, 31 August 1838, page 2.

[14] Courier, 8 February 1839, page 2, “Sale of City Lots”; Courier, 12 March 1839, page 2; see proceedings of City Council, 6 April, 10 June, 6 August, and 23 September 1839, in Courier, 10 April, 13 June, 10 August, and 26 September 1839, page 2.

[15] Courier, 12 March 1839, page 2. For more information about this building, see Carl R. Lounsbury, From Statehouse to Courthouse: An Architectural History of South Carolina’s Colonial Capitol and Charleston County Courthouse (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2001).

[16] Courier, 21 January 1840, page 3; Courier, 4 February 1840, page 2; Courier, 27 February 1840, page 3; Courier, 12 March 1840, page 2; Courier, 25 March 1840, page 2.

[17] Southern Patriot, 4 February 1840, page 2; Courier, 16 March 1840, page 3; Courier, 25 March 1840, page 2.

[18] Courier, 13 April 1840, page 3; Courier, 5 May 1840, page 2.

[19] Courier, 13 January 1841, page 3; Courier, 26 February 1851, page 2.

[20] Courier, 15 January 1841, page 2 (emphasis original)

[21] Copies of the Catalogue of the Books Belonging to the Charleston Apprentices’ Library Society, Charleston, S.C. (Charleston, S.C.: B. B. Hussey, 1841) are found at the Charleston Library Society, the College of Charleston, and the Library of Congress; Courier, 16 January 1841, page 2.

[22] Courier, 25 January 1841, page 2.

[23] Courier, 30 March 1841, page 2; Courier, 5 April 1841, page 3; Courier, 15 April 1841, page 2; Courier, 16 April 1841, page 2.

[24] Southern Patriot, 6 November 1844, page 3; Courier, 20 December 1849, pages 2 and 3; Courier, 25 December 1849, page 3; Courier, 29 December 1849, page 2; Courier, 22 April 1850, page 2; Courier, 26 February 1851, page 2; Courier, 29 December 1851, page 3; Courier, 27 December 1854, page 2; Courier, 28 December 1854, page 2; Courier, 15 January 1855, page 2. The society’s educational goals were probably eclipsed by the growth of the Charleston High School, a city-funded institution for White teenage boys that opened in the autumn of 1839; see The Centennial Year Book of the High School of Charleston, 1839–1939 (Charleston, S.C., 1939).

[25] A general description of the fire’s path can be found in Courier and Mercury, 13 December 1861, page 1; Courier, 13 June 1870, page 1.

[26] Courier and Charleston Daily News, 2 May 1870, page 1; Courier, 13 June 1870, page 1; Daily News, 13 October 1870, page 3.

[27] Daily News, 3 February 1873 (Monday), page 1; “An Act to Revive and Amend the Charter of the Apprentices’ Library Society, of Charleston,” ratified on 22 February 1873, in South Carolina General Assembly, Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, Passed at the Regular Session of 1872–73 (Columbia, S.C.: Republican Printing Company, 1873), 374.

[28] Daily News, 31 March 1873, page 4; “An Act to authorize and empower the Apprentices’ and Minors’ Library Society, of Charleston, to unite with and form a part of the Charleston Library Society,” ratified on 14 March 1874, in South Carolina General Assembly, Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, Passed at the Special Session of 1873 and Regular Session of 1873–74 (Columbia, S.C.: Republican Printing Company, 1874), 650.

[29] Charleston News and Courier, 19 May 1874, page 4; News and Courier, 9 June 1874, page 4; News and Courier, 9 September 1874, page 4; News and Courier, 21 October 1874, page 1.