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Asher D. Cohen papers

Identifier: Mss 1034-054

Collection Overview

Most letters (1882-1909) are dated June and July 1889 and deal with Cohen's successful defense of Thomas Ballard McDow, who shot and killed Francis Warrington Dawson during an altercation in McDow's Charleston home. Most are congratulatory letters from writers such as R.N. Goldsmith, Charleston Mayor William A. Courtenay, E. Dreyfous of the New York City Police Department, M.R. Samuels (who comments on Francis Warrington Dawson) and Robert Chisolm (who notes the "divine right of self protection.") Relating to the trial as well is a note from T. Nichle Nichols, on the retired list of the British Museum, about some evidence Cohen may not know of and notes (apparently Cohen's) to be used in his speech regarding the trajectory of the bullet that killed Dawson. Other materials include one letter (ca. 1901, written on stationery of the Women's Department, South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition) re CSA service of Asher D. Cohen, McDuff Cohen, and David D. Cohen; some biographical letters and photocopied clippings.


  • Creation: 1882-1909


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

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1838, Asher D. Cohen became an attorney, served in the calvary and on Sullivan's Island during the Civil War and was later a prominent member of the Charleston Bar. He achieved distinction for his successful defense of Thomas Ballard McDow in the murder of Francis Warrington Dawson, editor of the News and Courier.


1 folder (16 items) ; 11-36 cm.

Acquisitions Information

Separated from Mss 1029, Thomas J. Tobias papers.

Inventory of the Asher D. Cohen Papers, 1882-1909
Processed by: Special Collections staff; finding aid created by: Special Collections staff
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
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Charleston South Carolina 29424
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