June 2022 Newsletter

June 3, 2022

Research Updates

Dr. Mandi Barnard has conducted ongoing research for Andrew Pickens “A.P.” Calhoun and Business Manager James C. Littlejohn. She has sought manuscript records for A.P. and his family, and is currently working with a genealogist in Alabama to obtain deeds of sale for A.P.’s properties there, and to see if any inventories of enslaved persons exist associated with those sales. This research will help the team determine which enslaved individuals were moved between A.P.’s Marengo properties and Fort Hill, when, and what impact enslavement had on health and mental wellbeing by reconstructing epidemiological data documented by A.P.’s overseer, A. Walker, in Alabama. His manuscripts shed light on antebellum cotton markets, finance, banking, and lines of credit, as well as highlighting political shifts in the South in the decade prior to secession and civil war. Dr. Barnard’s continuing research on James C. Littlejohn is aimed at producing a biography of Littlejohn’s contributions to Clemson and his role in decision making at Woodland Cemetery during his lifetime. Further, his collection contains a broad base of primary documents that lay out the history of Clemson and the people who operated it, and major events in its first 60 years of operation. This information can help reconstruct a timeline of events at Woodland Cemetery and changes to the landscape as the campus expanded.

Map of the Seneca River and Cemetery Hill on Clemson's campus in 1903.

“Map of Clemson College Bottom Lands Showing Dike, Seneca River, and Other Surroundings,” ca. 1903, Survey by P.T. Brodie and S.W. Reaves. Map provided by Clemson University Facilities.

Dr. Sara Collini is finishing up the visual history of the cemetery for the project website. Historical maps of the cemetery and Clemson campus will be available to view, including the earliest known map depicting Cemetery Hill from ca. 1903. Aerial photographs taken of campus will also be available to explore, from the earliest one taken in 1938 before Memorial Stadium was built to the present day. Viewers will be able to compare and contrast the maps and photos of the cemetery over time, including the impact of stadium construction and the impact of the Hartwell Dam project in the 1960s.

Dr. Rhondda Thomas traveled to the South Carolina Department of Archives and History in Columbia to research and document the deaths of convicted laborers at the Clemson College worksite between 1890 and 1915. She learned that thirteen convicted laborers died on campus and are believed to have been buried on the west side of Cemetery Hill. Dr. Thomas is also investigating ideas for memorial designs and preparing for the launch of the cemetery project’s oral history initiative this summer.

Community Engagement Updates

Local businesses and community members mingle at the Black Business Expo.

Local businesses and community members mingle at the Black Business Expo at the Littlejohn Community Center. Photograph credit Brian Stack.

On Saturday May 21, 2022 we held a Black Business Expo at the Littlejohn Community Center in Clemson, SC. More than 20 local Black-owned businesses were on site selling goods and promoting their businesses. Special thanks to the Clemson division of the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers for organizing an entrepreneurship panel and to for the love of community for their help planning the event and helping at the Expo. We plan to hold another expo in Spring 2023!

Weekly cemetery tours ended in May. Since the beginning of 2022, over 500 people have taken a tour. In May, we gave tours to a variety of groups, including faculty from the Department of Bioengineering and students and faculty from Furman University who are in a class on the legacies of slavery at universities. Dr. Rhondda Thomas and Sally Mauldin have also continued to provide cemetery tours for families associated with modern burials of Clemson employees and their families.

We will have limited cemetery tours available over the summer. The only scheduled tours for the summer are on Sunday, July 10, 2022 between 12:00pm and 4:00pm on the hour. Register here. These tours will be open to both individuals and groups. If you would like to request a cemetery tour at another date and time please email

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