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Solomons family papers

Identifier: Mss 1103

Collection Overview

Photographs, genealogical materials, financial and legal papers, ketubah, and correspondence of the Solomons family of Sumter, South Carolina. Materials predominantly relate to the family of Augustus Aurelius Solomons, youngest son of Mark Solomons, a merchant, and Rachel Rodrigues Solomons. Photographs consist of daguerreotypes, tintypes, and cabinet card images of the Solomons family, Michael Cohen, older brother of Kate Cohen Solomons, Jacob Theodore Solomons, older brother of Augustus Aurelius Solomons, Susie Grantham, the family cook, and two unidentified women. Genealogical materials consist of handwritten notes listing names, birthdates, and dates of death for Solomons family members. Financial and legal papers consist of handwritten income tax lists of Maude Cohen Solomons and contracts, including real estate agreements for properties owned by the Solomons family and a lease agreement between Maude Cohen Solomons and the Sumter Dry Goods Company. Correspondence consists of letters and telegraphs concerning a theft of money by a cashier employed by Augustus Aurelius Solomons and letters to Maude Cohen Solomons from The Charleston Museum regarding several gifts of personal effects including assorted books, clothing, jewelry, and glassware.


  • Creation: 1800s-1941

Language of Material

Materials in English and Hebrew

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Born in Sumter, South Carolina, in 1829, general merchandiser Augustus Aurelius Solomons (1829-1891) was the youngest child of Mark Solomons (1774-1837), a merchant, and Rachel Rodrigues Solomons (1799-1855), a native of Bordeaux, France. Mark Solomons arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1805, and in 1816, married Rachel Rodrigues. The couple moved to Sumter circa 1920 and are reputed to be the town's first permanent Jewish settlers. In 1852, in Savannah, Georgia, Augustus Solomons married Kate Cohen (1833-1876), daughter of Barnet Cohen (1769 or 70-1839), a native of Bristol, England, and Bella A. Cohen (1792-1836), a native of Hamburg, Germany. Augustus and Kate Solomons had five children, two of whom died in infancy: Kate Cecile Solomons (1853-1930); Augusta Isabel Solomons (1856-1936); Aurelius Aaron Solomons (1857-1858); Jacob Theodore Solomons Jr. (1859-1940); Rosalie Eliza Solomons (September 24, 1862-October 8, 1862); and Maude Cohen Solomons (1863-1951).

In 1847, Solomons, with his older brother Jacob Theodore Solomons (1825-1875), took over the mercantile business started by their father. Forming a partnership with Henry J. Haynsworth in 1848, and with Anthony White in 1849, the brothers continued the business under the name of J. T. Solomons and Co. Two years later brother Edward Solomons (1822-1895) and J. B. Roach were taken into the partnership and the name was changed to Solomons and Co.

In 1867, under the management of Solomons, a branch of the mercantile business was opened on the corner of Main and Liberty streets. In the following year, 1868, the firm was dissolved with each brother managing his own establishment. In 1890, his health failing, Solomons retired from the mercantile business. In 1895, four years after his death, a corporation was formed and the building on Main and Liberty streets leased to the Sumter Dry Goods Company. The income accumulated from the property, part of the estate Solomons left to his daughters, made possible the establishment and maintenance of the Solomons Home for the Aged located on North Guignard Drive.

The family resided in a large two-and-half-story house on North Main Street. In 1907 the county acquired the property to build the Sumter County Court House. The house itself was sold to Dr. S. H. Edmunds, superintendent of city schools, and moved to the southeast corner of Calhoun and Harvin Streets. After the property was sold, the Solomons' three daughters, Kate Cecile Solomons, Augusta Isabel Solomons, and Maude Cohen Solomons, moved to New York City. The sisters would occasionally return to Sumter to visit, reserving rooms at the Claremont Hotel.


0.5 linear feet (1 document box, 1 oversize folder)


Photographs, genealogical materials, financial and legal papers, ketubah, and correspondence of the Solomons family of Sumter, South Carolina. Materials primarily relate to the family of Augustus Aurelius Solomons, Sumter merchant, and youngest son of Mark Solomons and Rachel Rodrigues Solomons. Solomons' parents are reputed to be Sumter's first permanent Jewish settlers, moving to the area circa 1820.

Collection Arrangement

Materials are described at the folder level.

Acquisitions Information

Materials donated in 2009 by the Ramon Schwartz Jr. family.

Related Material

Related materials in Special Collections include "Kinship and Community: An Enduring Commitment to an Interracial Family in Antebellum South Carolina," a 2004 master's thesis about the forebears of Kate Cohen Solomons by Anita Cooper Mehlman.

Processing Information

Processed by Joshua Minor, June 2012.

Inventory of the Solomons Family Papers, 1800s-1941
Processed by: Joshua Minor; machine-readable finding aid created by: Joshua Minor
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the processing of this collection and encoding of the finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)