It’s been a rather long and challenging semester, both in terms of research within this class and my course load in general. I knew at the beginning of this course that I’d be spending an ungodly amount of hours in the library, but could never have estimated that combined with the material I was working with for other classes that this would be my most time-consuming semester yet. Still, my afternoons at the South Carolina Historical Society were not consumed in vain, and were seen as more of a break from the mundane in order to research a rather fascinating group of people. Originally hoping to research the LaRoche or Horry families, as I am descended from them, I did everything in my power to obtain document after document outlining the experiences of these families in colonial South Carolina, and in Charleston especially. The main problem that I ran into was that the LaRoche’s seemed to not feel the need to save any documents until much beyond the time period that the class revolved around, and while I throughly enjoyed researching them for familial purposes, I knew that it would be best to move on and delve into that realm on my own time. At the suggestion of South Carolina Historical Society staff, I began poring over the Manigault family papers. I would like to take a moment to especially thank the women that work there, because without their guidance I wouldn’t have known where to turn next. As I perused the Manigault’s correspondance, I quickly narrowed down which documents I would be able to use. Many were in French, which I know absolutely no words of, and others were just completely illegible. I finally decided on the documents I have featured in my anthology, and hope that they provide as much insight into colonial life for you as they have for me.
I would say that this is the most work that has ever been required of me for an English project, simply because the majority of my time researching was spent mostly hoping for a hit. The ambiguity of the project definitely made it more difficult – you could pick your subject months in advance, but until you actually visited the SCHS in person, the validity of this research had yet to be proven effective. Overall, I have enjoyed this class and the experience it has given me in terms of the anthology process.