A collection of hundreds of antebellum letters recently acquired by the South Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina centers on the lives of the women of the Hext Family, natives of Barnwell County, South Carolina.
Five sisters, Julia (b. 1816), Addy (b. 1818), Lizzy (b. 1824), Mag (b. 1827), and Selena or “Leany” (b. 1830) and their four nieces, Eliza (b. 1830), Mary (b. 1834), Cally (b. 1837), and Ada (b. 1841) wrote constantly as they moved throughout South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama while operating boarding houses, teaching school, serving as governesses, and in one instance publishing a volume of poetry.
This extensive correspondence provides us a rare, detailed insight into the lives of nineteenth-century Southern women and through a regular feature of excerpts from these letters the staff of Auntie Bellum gives you the chance to share in their experiences – from the extraordinary to the mundane.