|Melissa, Grace, and Amanda: BDC Staff|
Melissa arrived for duty on June 5th and Amanda arrived for duty on June 26th and since then, I have updated the following Wordpress blog entries: Pirates; John Barnwell; Obituary Files in the BDC; Bluffton; Cemeteries in Beaufort District; Robert Smalls; Rachel C. Mather, Robert Woodward Barnwell; and created a new one about the Yamasee War, 1715-1717 for Dr. Jon Marcoux's talk on 15 August about the Sadkeche Fight.
For years I have mixed up Robert Woodward Barnwell of Beaufort born 1801, died 1882 in Columbia with a poet by the same name. I have done some displays for National Poetry Month over the past decade that unintentionally ascribed the poems to the wrong Robert Woodward Barnwell. How did this happen? one asks. The answer is: "It is very easy to get persons with the exact same name mixed up when families perpetually use a name over and over through succeeding generations." In the course of unraveling this particular mystery, I discovered that The Story of an American Family by Stephen B. Barnwell, 1969 - considered the go to guide of all things Barnwell - lists a dozen different men named Robert Woodward Barnwell, the first one in 1801, and the last one listed born in 1959, though there probably are a few more RWB's now. In the index he calls the RWB I am most interested in today, "Senator."
I discovered my mistake on 27 July 2017 as I was updating a Wordpress blog post I created nine years earlier. I was wondering why I could not find any references to poetry writing in all the online sources I found for him nor in any of our own BDC resources at hand - except for three items.
Seeing the dates on the poetry book, Realities and Imaginations ... a Poem,  and Dawn at Daufuskie and Other Poems (1936) got me to thinking about why the collections were published 50 years or more after RWB's death. I have these two titles on the shelves so I could look at the items in their entirety for clues. Luckily Dawn at Daufuskie had a copyright date of 1936 and a "Preface" written by the author in 1936. Obviously, the author was not my RWB as I had previously thought. The "Preface" also written by the author for Realities and Imaginations ... A Poem two years later indicates that he did not begin writing poetry until 1920 and that he was living in Florence, SC. More proof that I had mixed up the Robert Woodward Barnwells.
Learn more about Robert Woodward Barnwell in our Wordpress blog.
The image is from House Divided: A Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/25761
Please note: All units of the Beaufort County Library will be closed Wed., October 4th for Library Staff Workday. Regular hours resume Thurs., October 5th.