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Thomas T. Carr III papers

Identifier: AMN 1155

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of memoranda, correspondence, guides, manuals, meeting minutes, and handwritten notes which all provide insight into the life and work of Thomas T. Carr, III. These records are arranged in four series. The first series, biographical, documents Carr’s life and accomplishments, with awards and memorabilia from various stages of his life. The second series, military, includes documents from his service during the Korean War. Items of interest include mentions of Major General Abraham J. Turner, who was Black man born and raised in Mount Pleasant, SC. The third series, professional, follows Carr’s career as a civilian employee at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, where he was an optometrist and a chemist. This series contains documents that discuss two major themes 1) the removal of asbestos from the shipyard and 2) a large volume of racial and gender discrimination cases filed by Carr in his decades of employment at the Naval Shipyard. The fourth series, affiliations, shows the many ways that Carr was involved in the Charleston community beyond his professional career. These documents demonstrate Carr’s involvement in the Calvary Episcopal Church and in the James Island Study Committee, which helped to advise how land should be used in James Island’s economic development.


  • Creation: 1947-2009
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1960-1990


Biographical Note

Thomas Tobias Carr, III, son of Mary and Thomas T Carr, Sr., was born on November 9, 1930, and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1947, he graduated from Immaculate Conception High School in Charleston, SC, and continued his studies at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, SC where he joined the ROTC and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He graduated in 1951 and then enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served during the Korean War until 1953, and then went back to school to attend the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, IL (1956). Carr then worked as a civilian employee at the Charleston Naval Shipyard as an optometrist, and then as the Head Chemist until the late 1980s. He was the first Black optometrist practicing in the history of South Carolina. Carr was involved in Charleston community organizations. He helped to erect a historic marker to commemorate Maryville as an African American settlement community in modern-day West Ashley. Additionally, Carr was a member of the Calvary Episcopal Church vestry and participated in the James Island Study Committee. He was married to Rosemary Johnston, and had four children together named Tomette, Elizabeth, Thomas T. IV, and Elaine. Carr died on September 28, 2017.


2.085 linear feet (5 archival boxes)

Language of Materials




Thomas T. Carr, III is named after Thomas T. Carr, Sr., who was the last mayor of Maryville, SC prior to its dissolution in 1936. Carr III attended Immaculate Conception High School, South Carolina State College, served in the Korean War, and spent much of his professional career as a civilian employee at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. This collection showcases the various documents through much of Carr’s professional and community-oriented life. Those documents include general orders, memoranda, correspondence, and handwritten notes. Most of the documents in this collection are concentrated between 1960 and 1990.

Collection Arrangement

1. Biographical 2. Military 3. Professional 4. Affiliations

Related Material

Carr family papers (AMN 1073)


The Post and Courier. “Thomas Carr Obituary.” September, 29, 2017. Accessed online November, 12, 2021.
Inventory of the Thomas T. Carr III papers, 1947-2009
C. Mateo Mérida-Sparling
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States