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McMillan, John

 File — Box: 1
From the Series:

Gasque's personal papers make clear that he shared in the troubles that many of his constituents faced as a large financial crisis towered over South Carolina and the United States. Correspondence between Gasque and various banks and creditors highlight his own personal financial hardships. Gasque tried as best he could to provide for his family and his letters reflect his efforts and love. On February 15, 1935, Gasque wrote to his son, Tommy, who was attending the Augusta Military Academy at Ft. Defiance, Virginia, “I was glad to get your letter and would have answered same earlier but have been so busy could not get to it. I am sending you $2.00 and also the $1.00 for collars. This about breaks me but of course you know your 'old pal' will give you anything he has if he can. With all my love, I am, Your Daddy.”

Gasque also struggled with a series of heart troubles and various bouts with the flu. Get well letters poured in after Gasque suffered a heart attack in the spring of 1935. On May 11, 1935, attorney R.H. Singletary of Bishopville wrote to Gasque, “It is with profound regret that I learned through the papers of your illness and I wish to say to you that I hope for you a speedy and complete recovery that have been expressed by various of your friends in this community to me and they too join with me in hoping for you an early complete restoration of your health.” The personal papers also highlight Gasque's club activities and correspondence between him and his many friends.

As a member of Congress from 1923 to 1938, Gasque participated in eight races for his seat in Congress. The campaign subseries is comprised of correspondence from six of those races. Letters of strategy, support, and hearty congratulations are typical of each election year. In the 1928 election, Gasque faced an opponent named Allen. With assistance from his brother, C.J., Gasque sought to clarify to a constituent the truth about Allen‟s war background. On August 25, 1928, C.J. wrote, “...and what I can gather he was supporting Allen on his War record. I presume you have found out what his War record a matter of fact he only served about two months in the Students Training Camp at Wake Forest at about the time the Armistice was signed, yet he is leading a great many people to believe he actually fought in France.” Throughout his races, Gasque always counted on support from his friends across the sixth district. That same August day, Gasque wrote to John Wheeler of Trio, “I feel sure if you will use a little extra effort in my behalf Tuesday that you will never regret it and if there is anything at any time that I can do for you, all you have to do is to command me.” The campaign papers also provide a glimpse into Gasque's political accomplishments and key issues he focused on during his congressional tenure.


  • 1920 - 1938


Library Use Only


From the Collection: 7 Linear Feet


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