Diary of Ann Manigault Taylor pt 2
Joseph Manigault was the son of Peter and Elizabeth Wragg Manigault. Altogether Peter and Elizabeth had four children: Gabriel, Ann, Joseph and Harriet. Peter and Elizabeth’s house was located on the northwest corner of Amen and East Bay Streets. Due to Elizabeth’s ill health, the children were raised by Peter’s parents, Gabriel and Ann Ashby Manigault, who lived a few blocks away between Chalmers and Queen on Church Street. Both of Joseph’s parents had died by the time Joseph was ten. Below is one of the only anecdotes Joseph tells his own children about his childhood with his parens.
“After being some time at his Grandfather’s house, he went to his Parents_ there were fowls at dinner, and a drumstick was put upon his plate, which he refused to eat_ his Father then turned him into his library and locked the door_ There he was forgotten until a late hour, but in the mean time he had climbed to the most expensive book of Prints & had spread them all upon the floor_ His Father coming in then upon some other intent was astonished, and could not resist smiling and saying, “Well done my little Philosopher”_”
I want to leave this blog with more of how Joseph treated his own children. Very often we assume that because the children were kept on the third floor and had nannies to care for them, there was not a lot of parental involvement. This sheds a different light on that subject.
“My Father loved us all and was solicitous to do his duty toward us_ he lived & enjoyed himself in our happiness_ The sick child was anxiously watched tenderly soothed, & healthy were often gathered round him_ I remember particularly one such scene, when it was desirable on my Mother’s account to keep the house quiet, we were carefully amused by my Father in the Library, his large portfolio being brought out and the pictures spread on the table, on one of which my name was written by my Father, & it is now in possession of my son. It was his earnest desire that we should have all the resources of education_ & the best schools and masters were sought out for us_ our juvinile troubles & tasks were also his_ For four years while I attended the school of Madame Lalvande, my hours of study monopolised my Father, and my lessons were learnt as much by rehearsal as by previous application. Evening or early morning, he was always ready to hear or explain, and I certainly at school felt the great benefit of a teacher at home. I cannot remember that my Father ever gave me one harsh word_ and I was often astonished at his goodness, his tenderness, and watchful interest towards me_”
Ann spends several pages writing about her great-grandfather, Gabriel, in the diary. Look for more in the next blog post about him.
by Melanie Wilson,
Chief Interpreter of The Joseph Manigault House
and Heyward-Washington House
Diary of Ann Manigault Taylor
The Joseph Manigault House
One of Charleston’s most graceful historic structures, the Joseph
Manigault House reflects the lifestyle of both a wealthy, rice-planting
family and the slaves who also lived there. Many of the rooms have been
restored to their original (and often unexpected) color schemes, while a
sweeping staircase provides access to the second floor.
See Photos, Learn more and Vist the Joseph Manigault House on our Website