This collection contains the personal
and professional correspondence of the Noble family of South Carolina, mostly of attorney
Edward Noble (1823-1889) and his son Patrick Noble (1849-1920). The Nobles were closely
related through various marriages to the Calhoun, Green, Clemson, Bratton, Pickens, McCaws,
Cuningham, and Gadsden families.
The Nobles of Abbeville, South Carolina, closely related through various marriages to the
Calhoun, Green, Clemson, Bratton, Pickens, McCaws, Cuningham, and Gadsden families, was one
of the most prominent planter families of the "featherbed aristocracy" of South Carolina.
The Noble family was of Scots-Irish ancestry; the first Nobles came to America in the early
1700s and settled in Augusta County, Va. Major Alexander Noble (1733-1801), married to his
first cousin Catherine Calhoun, moved to South Carolina and made his home in Abbeville
District, near Willington. During the Revolutionary War, he was Captain of the state militia
and later became an aide-de-camp to General Andrew Pickens. Major Noble's eldest son John
(1774-1819) went to Princeton, studied medicine in France, and the set up medical practice
in Charleston. His brothers Ezekiel Noble (d. 1732), William (1777-1823), and Alexander
(1794-1821) ran family plantations, including Vienna Plantation on the Savannah River and
were engaged in cotton trade. Joseph Noble (1792-1822), a Yale educated lawyer left for
Alabama. Patrick Noble (1787-1840), the 57th Governor of South Carolina was the most
prominent among Alexander Noble's sons. He was born in Abbeville and graduated from the
College of New Jersey in 1806. In 1809, he was admitted to the bar and set up a law practice
in partnership with John C. Calhoun. In 1814, Noble was elected to the state legislature. In
1830, the General Assembly elected him as 34th Lieutenant Governor; in 1836, he became state
senator, and in 1838, the General Assembly elected him Governor of South Carolina.
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