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C. P. Cranch papers

Identifier: SCU-RBSC-2018-7

This collection is comprised of manuscripts written by Christopher Pearse Cranch (C.P. Cranch), including a hand-written autobiography, correspondence between C.P. Cranch and his family and friends, a scrapbook (mostly of published copies of C.P. Cranch’s work), and written notes and illustrations created by C. P. Cranch.

The collection has been organized based on how his daughter, Leonora Cranch Scott, organized the documents while she was researching the materials for use in her biography of her father, The Life and Letters of Christopher Pearse Cranch. Many of the folders contain a typed inventory of the included documents. If an inventory was present, the documents were sorted following the order stated in the inventory. If no inventory was present, the items were then sorted alphabetically. Titles for folders or untitled poems were taken from the inventories wherever possible.

C.P.Cranch’s autobiography and the scrapbook have been housed in custom-made boxes to help protect them. They are included in the Biographical series.

The correspondence is organized by last name of the author of the correspondence, with the contents of the folder arranged chronologically. The correspondents included in the family letters folders are either unidentified or have few letters to or from them, and were thus grouped together. Cranch’s correspondents include his father, Judge William Cranch, his siblings (most particularly his brother, Edward Pope Cranch), and his friends (Johns S. Dwight, Theodore Parker, George William Curtis, and Margaret Fuller, among others).

C.P. Cranch’s letters to his family most often describe his daily activities, while his letters to his friends often delve into theological, literary, and personal matters. He maintained a strong friendship with his brother Edward primarily through letters, as they were not able to see each other often, and C.P. Cranch’s letters often lament this fact.

The Oversize Materials series contains those letters that were deemed too fragile to be handled directly. They were unfolded and placed in mylar sleeves to provide access to the content. The letters were then sorted in this series in the same order they would have had if they had been included in the Correspondence series.


  • 1786-1932


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All rights reside with the creator. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections


3 boxes (2 boxes; 1 oversized box)

Biographical / Historical

Christopher Pearse Cranch was born March 8, 1813 in Washington, D.C. and died January 20, 1892. He married Elizabeth de Windt in 1843. He was a Unitarian minister and a Transcendentalist author and artist, most well-known for his poetry, caricatures, and landscape paintings. He was also known for his illustrations of other authors’ work, such as in Emerson’s “Transparent Eyeball”. He traveled extensively in Europe and wrote letters to many friends, family, and contemporaries about his travels, his art and his writings. His correspondence often included small illustrations alongside his words.

Repository Details

Part of the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections Repository

Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library
1322 Greene Street
Columbia SC 29208 USA
(803) 777-3847

C. P. Cranch papers, 1786-1932
Processed by Laura M. Dobson, Adam L. Crosby
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