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John C. Meleney research files

Identifier: SCL-MS-12526

John C. Meleney graduated from Dartmouth College in 1941 and from Yale Law School in 1948. From 1948 through 1981, he practiced law with a major firm in New York City, first as an associate attorney, then as a partner of the firm. He retired to South Carolina in 1981 and enrolled in the University of South Carolina in 1982, where he received a Ph.D. in history in May 1988. Dr. Meleney continued his study of early South Carolina political and legal history as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University’s Institute of Southern Studies.

The collection is divided into two series: Debate materials and Research files. The debate materials are arranged into two sub collections: Political essays and commentary in South Carolina pamphlets and newspapers, 1783-1786 and Collected materials relating to debate on apportionment of representation in South Carolina, 1794-1796. Files include typescripts and photocopied originals of letters and pamphlets (mostly published under pseudonyms), editorial comments, and grand jury charges. Some of these essays have been identified as works by Aedanus Burke, Christopher Gadsden, Alexander Gillon, William Hornby, John Fauchereaud Grimke, Henry Pendleton, Robert Goodloe Harper, John Drayton, Timothy Ford, Henry William Desaussure, Thomas Tudor Tucker, and Joseph Alston. The series also includes research on constitutional and legislative background issues; as well as notes, drafts, papers, and newspaper stories relating to representation and related issues like debtor relief, paper money, judicial reform, eminent domain, and the open range policy.

Meleney's research interests extend to contemporaries of Aedanus Burke like William Read, Nathanael Greene, Anthony Wayne, James Madison, John Nicholson, Pierce Butler, Edward Rutledge, Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Rutledge, Jr., Rawlins Lowndes, and John Pringle. Topical material includes contemporary political issues like the society of the Cincinnati, the Jay treaty, the Jonathan Robbins extradition case, and debates in the first federal Congress.


  • 1775 - 1986
  • Majority of material found within 1775 - 1808


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.


5 Linear Feet (4 cartons)


Research notes re political life in Charleston, S.C., during early republican era of late 18th century; chiefly sources used in Meleney's published biography of Aedanus Burke, a native of Ireland who served in S.C. General Assembly, U.S. House of Representatives, and S.C. Convention to ratify U.S. Constitution; as well as material collected for an unpublished book on the legislative apportionment representation debate in South Carolina, 1778-1808, during the Revolutionary War and early national period.

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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