Current Affairs Documents Faculty

Financial Hard Times from 1893

It's going to start looking like I get new papers, photographs, documents, and other goodies in the mail every week.  Would that it were true!  This makes two weeks in a row that something arrived on my desk that I immediately thought was worth sharing with a wider audience.  

Considering what's going on in our country these days; hard times, unemployment, financial woes, this letter reminds us that these things have happened before.  In the 19th and early 20th centuries, "panics" occurred every so often, usually a result of some economic bubble finally bursting, as bubbles always do.  One of these panics occurred in 1893.  This letter from President James H. Carlisle makes some reference both to the panic and to federal efforts to bail the country out of it.  

(Click on the image for a pop-up version)
Roughly, the letter from Dr. Carlisle to H. Z. Nabers, of the class of 1893, says 

"Spartanburg, SC, February 9, 1893
"You must not let the hard times and slow-paying patrons depres you unduly.  When our Secretary at Washington borrows his fifty millions, some of it will come to you in due time.  Be economical, prudent, & hopeful.  As to what is due me, let it stand until you can meet it.  
"We are moving on as usual with some of the currents and casualties of college life.  I write hurriedly.  Very truly yours, James H. Carlisle"

Mr. Nabors was an 1893 graduate, though it's not clear if he has already finished college or if he's taking a term away from campus.  He must owe Dr. Carlisle or the college some money, perhaps as a tuition payment.  We can only guess.  He may already be in business for himself, as the letter suggests he's having trouble collecting his accounts.  

In any event, Smith Patterson of our development office brought this and several other items to me today from Mr. Zach Nabers, a 1967 Wofford graduate who lives in Greenville  We're always glad to have items like this that tell us more about life in long ago times.