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Means and McFadden families papers

Identifier: SCL-MS-11861

Thirty-one letters pertain to the family of John S. Means of Charlotte, N.C., prior to and during the Civil War. John and three of his sons, William N.M., Theophelus, and Joseph D.P. Means, served in various North Carolina regiments, while another son, James P. Means, served in the 19th Mississippi Regiment. William's passionate concern for the safety of his state is well defined in a letter of 4 September 1861 to his sister Rose. Reacting to news of the Union occupation of Wilmington, N.C., Means wrote,

"The question now is:--will N.C. allow the vandals to retain their foothold, on her fair & prosperous territory? I answer never. No let N.C. no longer debate, which of the 2 to choose slavery, or death; but let them rise at once gird on their swords, & at the head of thousands, of strong, & brave; Carolinians push to the rescue of her wronged citizens, or share their fate."

William often wrote of sickness in camp and the need for clothing and shoes, especially after his regiment moved close to Wilmington. There was one camp which none of the soldiers were sorry to leave--Camp Wyatt. Writing on 20 June 1862, William noted,

"It is the hardest camp that I ever seen, you can take a peck of sand, & sift it, & you will have a quart of `flees'. The way they do bite....I heard one of our men say, that he would rather go to hell, & stay twelve hours, as to go to that camp."

Two letters from a cousin in Georgia, N.M. Holton, express great admiration and faith in the Southern Confederacy and its cause:

"But I donot [sic] think that the north can ever whip us for we are on the right side and God will be with us if we will but do our duty, he has been with us so far and I believe he wil [sic] be with to the end, and if God be for us no need for what old Abe Lincoln and all of his advisors can do" (8 July 1861).

A second letter, 10 September 1862, sends condolences on the death of James P. Means in the field. Also included are Confederate States Army military passes, August 1861, for John Means while at Yorktown, Va. Other Means family letters relate more wartime news.

The McFadden family is represented by papers and professional certificates of attorney Joseph Means McFadden (1901-1990) and his family, as well as the personal papers and modern dance archive of his wife, Endymion Francis Graham McFadden (b. 1904). J. Means McFadden, a native of Chester, was the son of Samuel Edward (d. 1925) and Ethel Means McFadden (d. 1966). He practiced law in Chester and later in Columbia and taught at the University of South Carolina School of Law. The papers reflect Means's membership in Eastminster Presbyterian Church, Columbia; Forest Lake Country Club, Columbia; Columbia Rotary Club; Richland County Bar Association; and Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity. Also among the McFadden family papers is an undated history of the Catawba Guards by John C. McFadden.

Oklahoma native Francis Graham, involved in dance since her undergraduate days at University of Texas, went to New York where she studied under Byrd Larson and later at the Denishawn School. She attended New York University and took the Master of Arts degree in education in 1933. Francis then accepted a teaching position at the University of Georgia, where she met J. Means McFadden. They married in 1937, moved to Chester, and Francis opened a dance studio there. After the family moved to Columbia around 1955, Francis taught with the University of South Carolina's Department of Physical Education. Under her initiative, the Martha Graham Dance Company came to U.S.C. in 1972. Francis retired that year but continued to teach private dance lessons. Her daughter, Francis "Babe" McFadden, also studied dance and performed several seasons in Cherokee, N.C. Four scrapbooks, 1952-1959, document Babe's high school career, years at Agnes Scott College, and social debut.

The modern dance archive comprises one and one-quarter linear feet of the collection. Compiled by Francis Graham McFadden, the archive contains programs, brochures, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and other information on modern dance, individual dancers, dance companies, and dance schools.

Also included in the collection are approximately fifty-six photographs picturing J. Means McFadden engaged in sports activities at Davidson College, 1919-1922; Francis Graham McFadden's dance pupils, ca. 1954; the Martha Graham Dance Company, 1972; and Francis Graham McFadden's granddaughter, Deborah Cone, at Palmetto Girls State, 1979. Other photographs, undated, are from Francis's childhood.


  • 1851 - 1990

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All rights reside with creator. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact The South Caroliniana Library.


3.75 Linear Feet (3 cartons)

Repository Details

Part of the South Caroliniana Library Repository

910 Sumter St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208 USA
(803) 777-5747 (Fax)

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