Manigault, Charlotte Morris

Item

Name
Manigault, Charlotte Morris
One-line bio
Charlotte Morris Manigault (1821-1902), of Brighton, England, and a South Carolinian who expatriated to Europe in 1865 rather than accept Confederate defeat, gave the University $25,000 in 1876 to build and endow its theological school.
Biography
In 1876 Charlotte Morris Manigault (1821-1902), an expatriate South Carolinian living in Brighton, England, made the most significant donation to date in support of the University of the South. During a fund-raising campaign in England that year, the University’s former Vice-Chancellor Charles Todd Quintard received from her a bequest of $25,000 to endow a theological school and construct its own impressive facility.

Manigault’s fortune had deep roots in the slave-owning economy of South Carolina. Census records show that she and her husband, Henry Heyward Manigault (1819-1869), enslaved 83 persons in 1860 on their property near Charleston, S.C. Their plantation was valued at $20,000 and their personal property (including the enslaved) at $44,000.

Charlotte Manigault was connected by birth to the prominent and powerful Morris family of Morrisania, N.Y., in present-day the Bronx. Her father, Lewis Morris (1785-1863), was born in South Carolina and had large landholdings in Adams Run, S.C., and in 1830 enslaved more than 300 persons there. By marriage she belonged to a network of leading Lowcountry South Carolina families of the time — Barnwells, Elliotts, Grimballs, not to mention the Manigaults — who collectively held many hundreds in bondage and whose sons and fathers fought for the Confederate military or served in secession governments.

At the end of the Civil War she and her husband expatriated to France instead of accepting the defeat of the Confederacy. In exile, she and her husband preserved some of their plantation wealth from South Carolina and hers from the Morris holdings in New York. After her husband died in Paris in 1869, she took up residence in Brighton, where she lived the rest of her life.

Manigault’s gift of $25,000 built St. Luke’s Hall, an impressive home for the University’s “Theology Department” and dedicated as a memorial to her father. Manigault also funded two scholarships for Theology students as a memorial to her husband. She died in 1902.
Date of Birth
1821
Date of Death
1902

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