Interior of the Sandor Teszler Library

Papers of William May Wightman

Wightman, William May, 1808-1882
Papers, 1827-1882
[some ephemera extending to 1990s]
RG 201
.7 cubic feet in 2 boxes

Biographical note:  William May Wightman, 1808-1882, was the first chairman of Wofford College Board of Trustees and the first president of Wofford College, 1853-1859.  From 1866 to 1882, he was a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.  Born in Charleston, SC to William and Matilda Williams Wightman, he graduated in 1827 from the College of Charleston and was admitted to membership in the South Carolina Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1828.  He served six years in South Carolina churches, was the financial agent of and a professor in Randolph-Macon College for five years, was the presiding elder of the Cokesbury District, editor of the Southern Christian Advocate, and a regular delegate to Methodist General Conferences.  Named in Benjamin Wofford’s will as a trustee of the college that bore his name, Wightman served on the building committee, chaired the board of trustees, and on November 24, 1853, was elected the first president of the college.  He served as president for five years, resigning in 1859 to become president of Southern University in Greensboro, AL, which later became Birmingham-Southern College.  He was elected a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1866, and made his headquarters in Charleston.  He died on February 15, 1882 in Charleston and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery there.  Click here for a biography of William M. Wightman

Organization:  Organized into 3 subgroups: 1. biographical material; 2. speeches, lectures, and letters; 3. Sermons. 

Access: Unrestricted

Summary Note:  The records consist largely of lectures, addresses, and sermons.  Lectures and addresses are arranged by topic, while sermons are arranged both chronologically and by text or topic.  Most of the sermons are in box two, and their arrangement reflects an earlier arrangement by College Archivist Herbert Hucks, Jr.  The speeches are arranged by subject, and the correspondence is arranged chronologically.  There are folders of genealogical information and of pictures, and one folder contains information about the Thomas Wightman portrait of his brother, William Wightman. 

Citation: Cite as Papers of William May Wightman, archives, Sandor Teszler Library, Wofford College. 

Location: Archives, Sandor Teszler Library, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC 29303-366

Accession note:  Most of the records were bequeathed by Miss May Wightman, daughter of Bishop Wightman, to John Wesley United Methodist Church in Charleston.  The church then presented the books, papers, correspondence, and sermons to the Wofford College Library.  A few other items, bequeathed to Bishop Wightman’s great nephew, Wightman Hardin, of Macon, Mississippi, were given by Mr. Hardin to the College. 

Arranged previously by Herbert Hucks, arrangement revised on December 11, 2002 by Phillip Stone

Finding Aid: Folder Listing

Box 1

Wightman, William May, biographical

Wightman, William May, obituaries

“Eternal Life, a discourse…” by Rev. E. J. Meynardie

Wightman, John Pinckney, A Sketch of the Wightmans of Charleston, SC

Wightman, Genealogical Data

Wightman, William M., Biographical Sketch, n.d.

Wightman, William M., Pictures

Wightman Portraits

Wightman, William M., Valedictory Address, College of Charleston, 1827

Wightman, William M., Address at the Cornerstone Laying, July 4, 1851, newspaper copy

Wightman, William M., Address at the first Commencement, typescript and manuscript

Wightman, William M., Address on Temperance

Wightman, William M., “The Times Passing Over Us” (Civil War)

Wightman, William M., Addresses, Sunday School and Mutual Improvement Society, 4 addresses

“Our Dead Bishops” Portraits and Sermons by Doggett and Wightman

Wightman, William M., Addresses, YMCA and Vanderbilt

Wightman, William M., Lectures on Poetry

Wightman, William M., Lecture on Church Life

Wightman, William M., Letters, 12

Wightman, William M., Letters received, 5

Wightman, William M., Conference Missionary Society Report, 1847

Wightman, William M., Conference Board of Education Reports, 1855-56

Accession Letters for Wightman papers

Note about teacup and saucer

 

Box 2

Sermons

Chronologically, 5 folders

     1830s

     1840s

     1850s

     1860s

     1870s

Then topically

     By book of the Bible, 30 folders

     By other topics, 15 folders

Elysium, an Entertaining and Moral Life, by William M. Wightman, manuscript.

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