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Cohen, Emanuel, Moses, and Seixas family papers

Identifier: Mss 1124

Collection Overview

The collection consists of materials documenting members of the Cohen, Emanuel, Moses, and Seixas families, who are related through the marriages of Eleanor H. Cohen to Benjamin Seixas in 1865, Mary Eleanor Seixas to Maurice Emanuel in 1888, and Charlotte Virginia Emanuel to Henry P. Moses in 1912. It includes a significant number of photographs of the Moses, Emanuel, and Cohen families, mainly dating from the latter half of the 19th century, as well as several portraits, notably a lithograph of Eleanor H. Cohen. Also included are several memoirs from members of the Moses family and a diary written by Eleanor H. Cohen containing significant entries during and immediately after the Civil War. Cohen describes General Sherman's arrival in Columbia, South Carolina, the burning of the city, her allegiance to the South and feelings on the outcome of the Civil War, her reactions to Lincoln's assassination, and her reflections on living in the New York City following the war. The collection also contains correspondence, including a description of a "sham battle" during the Civil War, a request for permission to marry, and a number of letters between members of the Moses family in the early 20th century. Also included are assorted genealogical materials relating to the Moses, Emanuel, and Seixas families, a Sumter land tract agreement issued to David Dubose, various certificates, and a small number of printed materials including an issue of The Saint Charles, which contains an article on the ancestors of Charlotte Emanuel and Henry Moses, and Proceedings of the Meeting of the Georgetown Rifle Guard, featuring a testimonial to Sol Emanuel.


  • Creation: 1806-2005
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1865-1934


Language of Material

Materials in English

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

Eleanor H. Cohen (1839-1874) was born to Philip Melvin Cohen and Cordelia Moïse Cohen in Charleston, South Carolina. During the American Civil War, the Cohen family fled to Columbia, South Carolina, where they witnessed the arrival of Union troops on February 16, 1865, and were forced to flee their home, losing all of their possessions. On August 2, 1865, soon after the war ended, Eleanor married Benjamin Seixas and moved to New York City, New York. The couple had one son and three daughters, Melvin Seixas (b.1866), Mary Eleanor Seixas (1868-1931), Cordelia Alice Seixas (b.1871), and Pauline May Seixas (b.1874).

The Seixases' second child, Mary, married Maurice Emanuel in 1888, and the couple had three children, Charlotte Virginia Emanuel (1889-1982), Florence May Emanuel (1891-1891), and Morris (Maurice) Emanuel (b.1892). Their eldest daughter, Charlotte, married Henry P. Moses (1886-1945), of Sumter, South Carolina.


0.75 linear feet (1 document box, 1 small box, 3 oversize folders)


Photographs, correspondence, diaries and memoirs, genealogical materials, land records and certificates, and printed materials relating to the Cohen, Emanuel, Moses, and Seixas families. The families are related through the marriages of Eleanor H. Cohen to Benjamin Seixas in 1865, Mary Eleanor Seixas to Maurice Emanuel in 1888, and Charlotte Virginia Emanuel to Henry P. Moses in 1912. Of particular note is a diary belonging to Eleanor H. Cohen that documents the arrival of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and his troops in Columbia, South Carolina, in February 1865, through the months following the end of the Civil War.

Collection Arrangement

  1. Photographs and portraits, 1865-1895, undated
  2. Diaries and memoirs, 1865, 1903-2008, undated
  3. Correspondence, 1863-1934, undated
  4. Genealogical materials, 1921-1963, 2011, undated
  5. Land records and certificates, 1806-1827, 1897-1899
  6. Printed materials, 1896-1954, undated
  7. Miscellaneous, 1865, 1950-2006

Acquisitions Information

Materials donated in 2011 by Octavia Mahon.

Related Material

Related materials in Special Collections include oral history interviews with Mary Octavia Moses Mahon (Mss 1035-377) and Robert Moses (Mss 1035-376).

Processing Information

Processed by Amy Lazarus, June 2015.



Inventory of the Cohen, Emanuel, Moses, and Seixas family Papers, 1806-2005
Processed by: Amy Lazarus; machine-readable finding aid created by: Amy Lazarus
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

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)