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Henry William Ravenel at a Young Age

Henry William Ravenel

Henry William Ravenel (1814-1887), a botanist, planter, and author documented over 6,200 botanical specimens and wrote over 3,000 pages of field journals and correspondence. For the first time, Ravenel's botanical collection, thirteen journals (1859-1887), and over 400 letters between him and other renowned naturalists and family members across the country and world have been digitized and can be read and searched together in one place.

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Journals and Manuscripts

From a snowy Christmas in Aiken, SC through the beginning and ending of the American Civil War and a trip to Texas, Ravenel's journals, housed at USC's South Caroliniana Library, illuminate his experiences during all types of historical events. The rich collection of letters, discussing the sharing and discovering of new plants as well as family issues and estate dealings, have been brought together from the South Caroliniana Library, Clemson University, Converse College, and the University of North Carolina Wilson Library, which contributed a portion of the Moses A. Curtis Papers, a close friend of Ravenel's.

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Henry William Ravenel, 1814-1887: Private Journal 1860-1861: Page 16

Letters

452

Plant Specimens

5420

Journals

13
Helianthus angustifolius

Plant Specimens

Referring to his herbarium as "the labors of my life time," Ravenel had amassed "some 10 to 12 thousand species of plants altogether." (HWR Journal 1884-1887 Page 32) After portions of the collection were sold to the British Museum and Biltmore Estate, the surviving portion (approximately 6,200 specimens) was held at Converse College for teaching purposes. In 2004, the collection was transferred to the A. C. Moore Herbarium at the University of South Carolina where it has been restored and digitized.

View Map of Collected Plant Specimens