Skip to main content


The Personal Series is made up of documents which chronicle Harrell’s distinguished career as a public servant and his duties as an active leader within the South Carolina Christian community. These papers include numerous examples of Harrell’s private and public correspondence with co-workers and friends. Notable interactions include exchanges with prominent state and national political figures such as President Jimmy Carter, Illinois Senator Paul Simon, former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Richard “Dick” Harpootlian, former South Carolina Governors John C. West, Richard W. Riley, and James H. Hodges, plus numerous members of the South Carolina House and Senate. This correspondence reveals aspects of both Harrell’s loyalty to the Democratic Party and of his deeply held Christian beliefs, exemplified by his participation in several memorial services for loved ones and neighbors, frequent exchanges with friends on the subject of religion, and comments on the political situation within the Baptist Joint Committee during a period of upheaval in the late 1990’s. Harrell’s heartfelt beliefs are highlighted in his appearance as a guest columnist in The State newspaper on December 21, 2005. Harrell used this platform to eulogize his friend and colleague Senator Hyman Rubin, Sr. by quoting multiple verses of Scripture in a column he entitled “A Great Man Has Fallen”. Other notable documents in this series include three handsigned Christmas cards from President Carter and the transcript of a speech prepared by Harrell for Governor Riley, which the Governor delivered at the 1983 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Harrell’s manuscript addressed the Cold War tensions of the early 1980’s, voicing regret for the passengers killed when Korean Airlines Flight 007 was shot down by the Soviet Union but skillfully warning against aggressive retaliation by stating, “May the Earth’s people never have to confront ‘The Day After’ (a nuclear war), and may we remember that in a nuclear war there will be no winners, but all will be losers.” Harrell’s service in several state wide offices, including the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, as chair of Governor Riley’s Task Force on Critical Human Needs, and as a member of the State Ethics Commission are featured. The series also highlights Harrell’s service in organizations such as the USC Alumni Association and the Wake Forest Divinity School Board of Visitors.


  • 1948-Present


Library Use Only


From the Collection: 17.5 Linear Feet (and published works shelved in Hollings Library Reading Room)


Repository Details

Part of the South Carolina Political Collections Repository

Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library
1322 Greene St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208 USA