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South Carolina Societies (104 societies)

Beaufort

Beaufort College

School founded in 1795 that educated a number of local poor children free of charge. Funded by fees and donations from the Beaufort and St Helena Societies.
See: Minutes 1795-1860 in Beaufort County Library, (microfilm copy in SCL)

Beaufort Female Benevolent Society

Voluntary society founded in 1814.
See: Minutes, 1814-60 in Beaufort Public Library. Click here for extracts

Beaufort Mechanic Society

Mutual society founded in 1828 to aid members and their families.
See: 'Beaufort Mechanic Society' General Assembly Papers No. 0010 003 ND02084 00 South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Beaufort Society

Founded in 1786 to provide free education to all, also known as the Beaufort District Society and the Beaufort Society for Promoting and Encouraging the Education of Children, incorporated by the state in 1810. Ran a charity school and also part funded the Beaufort College.

St. Helena Society

Founded in 1786 to provide free education to all, part funded the Beaufort College.

Charleston

Amicable Society, Charleston

Founded during the 1730s.

Apprentice's Library Society

In existence in 1841.

Asbury Association

Free Black education society founded before 1833

Assoication of the Friends of Ireland

Disbanded in 1829 as no longer necessary. $567 in treasury distributed to the Ladies Benevolent Society, the Hibernian Society and the St. Patrick's Society

See: Columbia Telescope, (Columbia, SC) Friday, June 12, 1829

Bonneau Library Society

Free black education society founded in 1830. 

 

Brown Fellowship Society

Founded by Free Blacks in Charleston in 1790.
See: Miscellaneous Papers 1790-1911 in the SCL; Rules and Regulations of the Brown Fellowship Society (Charleston 1844)

Capers Missionary Society

Free black education society founded before 1833

Catholic Society

Founded in 1778 to provide free education to Catholic children

Catholic Sisters of Charity

Provides religious education

Charitable Society of Cadet Riflemen

In existence in 1859

See: The Charleston Courier, Tri-Weekly, (Charleston, SC) Thursday, June 30, 1859

Charleston Bethel Union

Founded in 1822 to reform seamen.
See: Annual Report of the Charleston Bethel Union Society (Charleston 1824-6, 1828); Sailor's Magazine 1 (1828-29) 285-6; 2 (1829-30) 341-3, 355.

Charleston Benevolent Society

Male society founded in November 1827 that wished to target help to those really in need, and end street begging. No reference to it after 1830.
See: 'Charleston Benevolent Society' Charleston Observer 2 (1828) 46 & 181; 4 (1830) 183; 'Petition of the Charleston Benevolent Society' General Assembly Papers no. 0010 003 ND 02100 South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Charleston Carpenters Society

Mutual aid society founded in 1783.
See:Rules of the Charleston Carpenters Society. (Charleston; Gabriel Bouetheau No3 Broad St., 1805)

Charleston Infant School Society

Founded in 1829 to provide free education to young children not old enough to attend a common school.
See: 1st Report of the Charleston Infant School Society (Charleston, 1829); Thomas House Taylor, An address delivered before the Charleston Infant School Society (Charleston: J.S.Burges, 1831).

Charleston Marine Society

Founded in 1806 to assist seamen.

Charleston Mechanic Society

Mutual aid organisation founded in 1794, still in existence in 1858.
See: Constitution of the Charleston Mechanic Society (Charleston: James & Williams, 1858).

Charleston Orphanage

City Orphanage founded in 1790.
See: Minutes, accounts, admission and binding out records in the City of Charleston Archives and on microfilm at Charleston Public Library; Susan L King, ed, The History and Records of the Charleston Orphan House, 1790-1860 (Easley, SC, Southern Historical Press, 1984); Charleston Orphan House Centennial Celebration (Charleston 1891); The Proceedings of the 66th Anniversary of the Orphan House of Charleston, South Carolina (Charleston, 1855); By laws for the commissioners of the Orphan House (Charleson, 1861); Eileen M. Miller, "The Charleston Orphan House: A Historical study of Personnal and Policies" (Master of Social Work Dissertation, College of Charleston 1982).

Charleston Poorhouse

Founded in 1736 to care for the sick poor. Focus on healthcare, education and employment. Admits free blacks from 1809. Funded initially from private money, but from 1830s receives city government funds as well. In 1852 the old poorhouse was turned over to blacks when new building was constructed for whites
See: Records in City of Charleston Archives and on microfilm at Charleston Public Library.

 

Charleston Port Society

Voluntary society founded in 1823 to aid seamen and their families. Seaman's Bethel Clothing Store sells clothes made by destitute wives of seamen. Operates a Marine School to teach boys about sea craft.

See: Minutes 1822-55, constitution and by-laws in SCHS; Annual Report of the Charleston Port Society (Charleston 1824-29); William B. Yates, An historical sketch of the rise and progress of religious and moral improvement among seamen in England and the United States, with a history of the Port Society of Charleston (Charleston, 1851); The Charleston Courier, Tri-Weekly (Charleston, SC) Saturday, June 18, 1859; Annual Report - The Charleston Courier, Tri-Weekly, (Charleston, SC) Thursday, March 22, 1860

Christian Benevolent Society

Free black benevolent society founded in 1839

Cumberland Society

Free black education society founded before 1833

 

Deutsches Freundschaftsbund ("German friendship alliance")

Mutual aid society founded by German immigrants in 1832. In 1852, the society reorganized and adopted a new constitution with a stated new purpose "to promote elevating social intercourse and to foster music, dramatic, and literary entertainments". The Society changed its name in 1918 to the Arion Society and is still in existence. (Thanks to Robert Byrd, a current member, for this information)

Dorcas Society

A female benevolent society that supplies clothing and shoes to destitute children of seamen, and books to the Sabbath School of the Mariner's Church. Works in conjunction with the Port Society, the Bethel Union and the Ladies Seamen's Friend Society.

See: Charleston Observer Sep. 22, 1832.

Episcopal Church Home

Residential home for women and girls founded in 1850. Provides education/training as part of its encouragement to work programme
See: The plan and objects of the proposed institution to be called the Church Home with fundamental rues for its management and government (Charleston: Miller and Brown, 1850); Thomas John Young, Church Home: Services and Addresses (Charleston: A. E. Miller, 1851) The Sermon and Reports at the fifth anniversary celebration of the Church Home (Charleston: A. E. Miller 1855); The Sermon and Reports at the sixth anniversary celebration of the Church Home (Charleston: A. E. Miller 1856) Sermons and Reports 1851-58 are in the SCHS.

Fellowship Society

Founded April 4, 1762 as a mutual aid society that also provided some free education to poor children, and funded a hospital. Incorporated in 1769.
See: Minutes, rules, and accounts 1762-1858 (17 reels of microfilm) in the SCL; Rules of the Fellowship Society, established at Charles-Town, South-Carolina April 4, 1762 (Charles-Town: Charles Crouch, 1769); Rules of the Fellowship Society, established at Charles-Town, South-Carolina April 4, 1762 (Charles-Town: Robert Wells, 1774);  History of the Society compiled up to 200th anniversary (n.p. 1962)

Female Charitable Society of Charleston Neck

Voluntary society founded in July 1824 to provide free blacks with outdoor relief and healthcare. Works in association with the Ladies Benevolent Society and receives part of the Hopkins legacy from the Ladies Benevolent Association from 1836 to fund their work.
See: Minute Book, 1824-1860 in the South Carolina Historical Society; 'Female Charitable Association' Gospel Messenger 5 (1828), 257 fn

Female Seaman's Friendly Society

Temperance society founded in spring 1826 to provide a boarding house for seamen.
See: '1st Annual Report' Charleston Observer 1 (1827) no. 15; 2nd Annual Report of the Charleston Female Seaman's Friend Society (Charleston, 1828); Sailor's Magazine 1 (1828-9), 19-20, 278-79; 2 (1829-30), 307-8. Charleston Observer, Apr. 16, 1831; Mar. 31, 1832; Apr. 13, 1833.

Firemen's Charitable Association 

Mutual society in existence in 1857

See: The Charleston Courier, Tri-Weekly, (Charleston, SC) Saturday, May 02, 1857

Fragment Society

Founded before 1820 to offer clothing to the poor
See: 'Fragment Society' Southern Evangelical Intelligencer 2 (1820-1821), 206.

Free Dark Men of Color

Free black mutual aid society founded in 1791.

 

Friendly Moralist Society

Free black mutual society founded in 1838.
See: Minutes from 1841 to 1856 in the College of Charleston. Rules and Regulations of the Friendly Moralist Society (Charleston, 1848)

Friendly Union Brotherly Association

Free black mutual aid society founded in 1813.

French Benevolent Society

Founded in Charleston c. 1760
See: Miscellaneous Papers 1816-1893 in the South Caroliniana Library; Constitution and By-laws of the Societe Francaise of Charleston (Charleston: John J Furlong & Son, 1934)

German Friendly Society Charleston

Mutual aid society founded in 1766. By the early 19th century it is providing subsidized education for children.
See: Minutes 1766-1833; 1851-1858 (16 vols of typescript) in the SCL; Minutes Aug 6, 1828 - Sept 25, 1833 in the College of Charleston; Rules of the German Friendly Society; established at Charleston in South Carolina January 15, 1766 (Charleston, Wm P Young, 1789); G V Gongaware, The History of the German Friendly Society of Charleston, South Carolina (Richmond: Rhett & Massie, 1935).

German Fusilier Society

Founded in 1791 and still in existence in 1859

See:  The Charleston Mercury, (Charleston, SC) Tuesday, July 13, 1858; The Charleston Mercury, (Charleston, SC) Tuesday, July 12, 1859

Hebrew Benevolent Society, Charleston

Founded June 25, 1784 as a mutual aid organisation mainly providing assistance with burial costs. Incorporated December 18th, 1830. Provided $2,000 in assistance to 47 families in 1858.
See: Thomas J. Tobias, The Hebrew Benevolent Society of Charleston (Charleston, 1965); The Charleston Mercury, (Charleston, SC) Thursday, December 23, 1858

Hebrew Orphan Society, Charleston

Orphanage for Jewish children founded in 1801
See: Typescript copy of minutes 1850-1938 in the SCL (originals, some dating back to 1802, in Jacob Rader Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati); Thomas J. Tobias, The Hebrew Orphan Society of Charleston, S.C., founded in 1801, an historical sketch. (Charleston, 1957)

Hibernian Society Charleston

Mutual aid society for Irish immigrants founded in 1799 but more formally organised in 1801 and incorporated in 1805. Spends money on relief of residents and travel expenses of those who wish to move on. Organises financial aid for Ireland during famine of 1847.
See: Hibernian Society Secretary's Book, No 3, 1827-1847, (typescript, SCL); Constitution of the Hibernian Society (Charleston, 1812); Constitution and Rules adopted in 1827, revised 1838. (Charleston: The Society, 1838). A. G. Magrath, An oration delivered at the Cathedral of St. Finbar before the Hibernian Society, the St. Patrick Benevolent Society and the Irish Volunteers, on the 17th March 1837. (Charleston: Eccles, 1837)

Howard Association

Founded in 1854 to relieve the sufferers of Yellow Fever epidemics.

See: Constitution and By-laws of the Howard Association of Charleston. Charleston: Walker & Evans, 1855. Report of the President of the Howard Association of Charleston. Charleston: Walker, Evans & Co 1858.

Humane and Friendly Society

Free black mutual aid society founded in 1802

Humane Brotherhood

Free black mutual aid society founded in 1843

See: Constitution and Rules of the Humane Brotherhood, organized June 19, 1843. (Charleston, 1843) [copy in Spec. Cols. Lincoln University, PA] 

Juvenile Industry Society

Voluntary society providing clothing to children

Ladies Auxiliary Christian Association

Founded in Charleston in 1857
See: First Annual Report of the Ladies Auxiliary Christian Association (Charleston: James & Williams, 1858)

Ladies Association

Formed in Charleston in 1827 to assist visiting sailors, became the Bethel Flag Society in 1840

Ladies Benevolent Society

Voluntary society founded in 1813 assisting sick, poor white and free black women with food, healthcare, and training. Supported eight full-tijme pensioners at any one time, while also making one-off payments to assist the sick poor.
See: Board Of Managers Minutes and Journal 1824-70, South Carolina Historical Society (typescript copies in the SCL); '2nd Annual Report' Southern Evangelical Intelligencer 1 (1819-1820), 213-215. 'Annual Report' Southern Evangelical Intelligencer 2 (1820-1821), 244-247. Constitution of the Ladies Benevolent Society of Charleston and Regulations for the Visiting Committee (Charleston: A E Miller, 1852); Annual Report - The Charleston Mercury, (Charleston, SC) Thursday, November 20, 1856; Ladies Benevolent Society Centennial Pamphlet (Columbia, 1913).

Ladies Fuel Society Charleston

Voluntary society founded in 1832 to help women without a working husband with free firewood in cold weather, and at cost in summer. Works with Ladies Benevolent Society
See: Minutes 1832-43, in SCHS

Ladies Garment Society Charleston

Voluntary society associated with the Baptist church providing clothing to children. Founded in 1835, spent more than $600 on clothing for the poor in 1856.

See: 21st Annual Report - The Charleston Mercury, (Charleston, SC) Tuesday, December 23, 1856; 22nd Annual Report - The Charleston Mercury, (Charleston, SC) Friday, October 30, 1857; 23rd Annual Report -  The Charleston Mercury (Charleston, SC) Monday, November 08, 1858; 24th Annual Report - The Charleston Mercury (Charleston, SC) Monday, November 14, 1859

Ladies' Industrial Society


Ladies Society Charity School

Founded in Charleston in 1805.
See: 'The Ladies' Society Charity School' Southern Evangelical Intelligencer 1 (1819-20), 175

Marine Bible Society

Founded in Charleston in 1818
See: Annual Reports in Southern Evangelical Intelligencer 1 (1819-20), 37-8; 2 (1820-21) 41-42.

Master Taylors' Society

Mutual aid society founded in Charleston in 1786

Medical Society of South Carolina Dispensary

Founded in 1801 to provide free medicine to the poor

Methodist Benevolent Society of Charleston

Founded in 1830
See: Henry Laurens Pinckney, Address delivered before the Methodist Benevolent Society, July 1835. (Charleston: E.J.Van Brunt, 1835).

Methodist Female Friendly Association

Founded by women in Charleston in 1810, initally to aid Methodists, but later assisted all demoninations.
See: 'Methodist Female Friendly Association' Wesleyan Journal (Charleston) 2 (1826-27), 72.

Minor's Moralist Society

Free black society founded in 1803 to fund the education of indigent and orphan free black children. 

 

Mount Zion Society

Founded a free school in Charleston in 1777.
See: Minutes 1783-1933 in the SCL; 'The Mount Sion Society, 1777' Charleston Yearbook, 1887 (Charleston, 1887), 325-346

New England Society, Charleston

Founded in 1819 by immigrant Northerners.
See: Miscellaneous papers from 1819 onwards in the South Carolina Historical Society and William Way, comp., History of the New England Society of Charleston, South Carolina, for one hundred years, 1819-1919 (Charleston, 1920); Constitution and by-laws of the New England Society, of Charleston, S.C. Founded January 6, 1819. (Charleston, S.C., E. Perry & Co., 1885)

Roper Hospital

Hospital for the sick poor founded in 1850 and  funded by taxation

See: Minutes of the Trustees, 1856-68 in the Waring Historical Library, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

Seaman's Friend Society


Shirras Dispensary

Founded in 1813 to provide medicine to the sick poor.
See Records of the Trustees, 1813-1931 in the Waring Historical Library, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.


Sisters of Charity

Formed  in 1819 to aid non-sick poor who were unable to receive other assistance. Associated with St Michael's Episcopal Church, by the 1850s it had become an employment society, mainly providing seamstressing work to poor women.
See: 'The Society of the Sisters of Charity' Southern Evangelical Intelligencer 1 (1819-1820), 175; Southern Episcopalian 7 (Feb 1860), 585-588.

Society for the encouragement of industry

Founded in Charleston in 1820 by elite women to provide more than a hundred poor women with employment (mainly needle work).

See: 'Report of the Society for the encouragement of industry' Wesleyan Journal 1, (1825-6) 52 & 2 (1826-7), 60; Louisiana Advertiser, (New Orleans, LA) [Saturday], [October 14, 1826]

Society for the Instruction of the Jewish Doctrine

Founded in Charleston in 1841

Society for the Relief of Aged Females

Catholic Society

Society for the Relief of Elderly and Disabled Ministers and of the widows and orphans of the clergy of the Independent or Congregational Church, in the state of South Carolina

Founded in 1789
See: Rules of the Society for the Relief of Elderly and Disabled Ministers, and of Widows and Orphans of the Clergy of the Independent or Congregational Church, in the City of Charleston.: To which are prefixed the acts of incorporation ; adopted 1835. (Charleston : W. Riley, 1849); Rules of the Society for the Relief of Elderly and Disabled Ministers and of the widows and orphans of the clergy of the Independent or Congregational Church, in the state of South Carolina, as revised and adopted on the 31st of May, 1860. (Charleston, S.C.: Steam power presses of Evans & Cogswell, 1860)

Society for the Relief of Orphans and Children of Indigent Parents


Society for the relief of the widows and orphans of the clergy of the Church of England in the Province of South Carolina

Founded in 1762 as a mutual aid society, but after 1770 accepted lay memebers who were themselves ineligible for relief. Incorporated in 1786 as the Society for the Relief of the Widows and Orphans of the clergy of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of South Carolina, it raised funds via charity sermons. Only widows and orphans of SC ministers were eligible for help, and the help ceased at remarriage of a widow, or the age of majority for children.
See: Manuscript Journal, 1762-1813, and financial records 1822 onwards in the South Carolina Historical Society; Rules of the Society for the Relief of the Widows and Orphans of the clergy of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of South Carolina, established October 17, 1787 (Charleston: A. Timothy, 1788); Rules of the Society for the Relief of the Widows and Orphans of the clergy of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of South Carolina (Charleston: A. E. Miller, 1841)

South Carolina Society

Developed out of the Two Bit Club, a mutual society for Huguenot immigrants founded by 1736. Re-founded Sept 1st, 1737, as the South Carolina Society, incorporated in 1751 and chartered in 1787. Mutual aid society initially helping only members and their families with funeral costs, but later offering assistance to orphans in Charleston with no connection to the society. Funded a free school from 1769.
See: The constitutional and additional rules of the South-Carolina Society (Charles-Town: Peter Timothy 1770); Rules of the incorporated South-Carolina Society (Charleston: Markland & M'Iver, 1795);  J. H. Easterby, The rules of the South Carolina Society established at Charleston in the said province Sept 1, 1737 (Charleston, 1937); General Plan of education appointed for the South Carolina Society's Male Academy, July 1827 (Charleston, 1827); Joshua W. Toomer, Oration at the first centennial celebration of the South Carolina Society, 1837. (Charleston: A.E.Miller, 1837); Rules of the South Carolina Society (Charleston: A. E. Miller, 1842)

St Andrew's Society

Mutual aid society for Scottish immigrants founded in 1729. Operates a school between 1804 and 1812.
See: J H Easterby, History of the St Andrew's Society of Charleston, South Carolina (Charleston, 1929)

St George's Society

Mutual aid society for Englishmen, founded in 1733, incorporated in 1805.
See: Financial Records from 1813 in the South Carolina Historical Society. The Saint George's Society of Charleston, South Carolina (Charleston: Walker, Evans & Cogswell, 1898)

St Michael's Orphanage

Episcopal Orphanage founded in 1851

St Patrick's Club

Mutual society for Irish immigrants, founded in 1773, closed in 1776

St Patrick's Society

Irish mutual aid society in existence by 1817. (Thanks to Melissa Stewart for the dating information)
See: Henry L. Pinckney, An oration delivered at the Cathedral of St. Finbar before the St. Patrick Benevolent Society and the Irish Volunteers, on the 17th March 1832. (Charleston: A. E. Miller, 1832)

Typographical Society

Mutual aid society for printers founded in 1820 and incorporated in 1822.
See: Minutes 1859-1862 in the SCL; some loose records in the SCHS.

Unity and Friendship

Free black mutual aid society

 

Windward Anchor Society of the port of Charleston

Founded in 1830 for the 'Moral and Religious improvement of seamen' through the provision of funding assistance to other organisations in Charleston.
See: Printed Constitution in the SCL; Sailor's Magazine, 2, (1829-30) 195.

Columbia

Columbia Hebrew Benevolent Society

Founded in 1822
See: Melvin S. Harris, The Columbia Hebrew Benevolent Society: One hundred and Twenty-Five years of Benevolence  (Columbia: The Society, 1947)

Columbia Typographical Society

Mutual aid society for printers founded in 1851.

Effingham Philanthropic Society

Male society in existence in 1844, specifcally to aid the young.

See: South Carolina Temperance Advocate and Register of Agriculture and General Literature, (Columbia, SC) Thursday, April 04, 1844

Female Benevolent Society, Columbia

Voluntary society founded in 1816 to provide help to young girls.
See: Rules and Regulations of the Female Benevolent Society of Columbia for January 20, 1824 (Columbia: Christian Herald, 1834)

Juvenile Female Benevolent Society of Columbia

Founded in 1818
See: 'Juvenile Female Benevolent Society of Columbia' Southern Evangelical Intelligencer 1 (1819-20) 98-99

Ladies society of Columbia for the relief of the female poor, and especially for the relief of poor widows with small children

Founded in 1823
See: Constitution of the Ladies Society of Columbia (Columbia, 1823)

Mechanics' Associtation

Mutual Association founded in 1847 

See: South Carolina Temperance Advocate and Register of Agriculture and General Literature (Columbia, SC) Thursday, August 19, 1847

St Patrick's Benevolent Society of Columbia

In existence in 1828

See: South-Carolina State Gazette and Columbia Advertiser, (Columbia, SC) Saturday, March 22, 1828

Society for the Orphan & Destitute Female Children

Female asylum founded by elite women in 1839. Incorporated in 1840, funded by subscriptions and an annual 'soiree'.
See: Minutes 1839-1865 in the SCL. Click here for extracts.

Working Society of Young Ladies

Founded by young Episcopal women in 1843 to provide additional funding to the Society for the Orphan & Destitute Female Children.

Georgetown

Female Benevolent Society of Georgetown

Founded in 1813

Georgetown Ladies' Benevolent Society

Founded in 1817

Winyah Indigo Society, Georgetown

Founded in 1755 mainly as a trade organisation, it also provided free education to local poor children.
See: Minutes 1853-1912 (typescript) in volume 10 of Gertrude Foster, A Documentary History of Education in South Carolina (PhD Dissertation, University of South Carolina, 1932, in the SCL); An act for incorporating the Winyaw Indico Society' in David J. McCord, ed., The Statutes at large of South Carolina, (Columbia, 1840) vol 8 - Acts relating to corporations and the militia pp106-370; Rules of the Winyaw Indigo Society with a short history of the society (Charleston: Walker, Evans & Cogswell, 1874); R.F.W. Allston, Address before the members and pupils of the Winyah Indigo Society delivered in Georgetown on the 5th of May, 1854 (their 99th anniversary) by the President. (Charleston: Walker, Evans & Co, 1859)

Miscelleaneous

Asbury Mite Society for the relief of widows and orphans of Methodist Ministers

Founded before 1819
See: 'Asbury Mite Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church' Southern Evangelical Intelligencer 1 (1819-1820), 301-2.

Camden Orphan Society

Founded in Camden in 1787 to provide free education to orphans

Claremont Society

Founded in the High Hills of Santee in 1789 to provide free education.

Indian Town society for the promotion of honesty and industry

Closed in 1812.

John's Island Society

Founded in 1779 to provide free education

Salem Society

Founded in Ninety-Six District in 1778 to provide free education.

St David's Society

Operated a free school in Cheraw District in 1777.
See: Minutes 1777-1835 on microfilm in the SCL; 'Saint David Society Minutes, 1777-1833' typescript in the South Carolina Historical Society.

Union School Society of the South Carolina conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Founded in 1822
See: 'Constitution of the Union School Society' Wesleyan Journal 1 (1825-26) 38; 2 (1826-7), 72.

Upper Long Cane Society

Founded in Abbeville District in 1793 to provide free education.

Wadsworthville Poor School

Founded in 1804 in Laurens County, with money left by Thomas Wadsworth (1755-1799) for establishing schools in Ninety-Six District.
See: Accounts and Treasurer's Records from 1804 in the South Carolina Historical Society.