Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

History

Sub-Department

Public History

First Advisor

Thomas Brown

Second Advisor

Allison Marsh

Abstract

This thesis explores the Confederate Relic Room and its final years in the hands of the United Daughters of the Confederacy before the South Carolina state government fully took over the museum. This small, localized perspective on the organization shows that the UDC was still actively commemorating the Civil War well into the late twentieth century, which challenges the current historiography that consistently ends in the 1930s. By researching this museum, insight into how the UDC’s mission and public perception had changed can be gained. In order to fully examine the museum’s history in the late twentieth century, this thesis looks both internally at the museum’s leadership and daily operations, as well as externally at the museum’s relationships with the state government and other local cultural institutions. By looking at three distinct areas of the museum’s later history, this thesis will show how the more the local UDC women tried to revive their museum and make it a respected institution, the move the state became involved in its affairs. The fact that the museum had not already been taken over by the state or that it was still in existence shows the unique nature of the museum and how its history can be a valuable resource in expanding the historiography on the UDC and Civil War commemoration.

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