The majority of the collection, which is arranged chronologically, consists of the correspondence of the Eldred J. Simkins
family and their close relatives. Subjects covered include the gold rush and life in Mariposa County, Calif., in the 1850's
and 70's, the Civil War in Charleston, S.C., from a Confederate soldier's point of view, civilian life in South Carolina and
Florida during the war, and small-town Texas life during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Eldred J. Simkins,
around whom the papers focus, was born Oct. 13, 1838, in the Edgefield District of South Carolina. In 1843, his parents, Eldred
Simkins and Pattie (Bythewood) Simkins, moved their family (which included children William Stewart and Pattie) to Monticello,
Florida. Soon after the move, both parents died and the children returned to the Beaufort District of South Carolina where
they were raised by their maternal grandparents, Sarah (Fickling) Bythewood and Benjamin Russell Bythewood. Among the other
residents of the Bythewood's Beaufort plantation household were Anne Maria (Bythewood) Trescot, a married daughter, and her
two children, Eliza Josephine Trescot and E. Bocquet Trescot. Anne Maria Trescot's physician husband, Edward Henry Trescot
(probably the brother of William Henry Trescot, diplomat and historian) went to California in 1849 to search for gold and
never returned to South Carolina.1 Eldred J. Simkins' middle name appears variously James and Joseph in the genealogical papers and in printed sources.
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property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances,
the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate
curator for further information.
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