Bruce E. Baker

From the Cornelius Chapman Scott Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Greenville, S.C.

April 8th 1880

My dear father

After having waited so long, and not hearing from home, I have concluded to write again. Since yesterday it has been changing cold. Night before last there was a heavy fall of sleet all around Greenville, but very little in the city. It was snowing heavily a while ago, but it has now turned into a cold drizzle. I have just made up some fire in the parlor, and am somewhat cold, that is why my writing is so poor.

I suppose sister Mattie has arrived safe. She might have written a postal card to me to say that she had got home, as she knew that there would be scores of people asking me if I had heard from her. Did she succeed in taking Fido home? Please see if my toilet set is smashed, and if not, please let Ma take charge of it for me. I don't see why Sister Mattie didn't send a postal card to the Wards even if she didn't feel disposed to write to me. I simply grew tired of telling people who asked me if I had heard from her, that I had not heard.

Since Irving left and up to the time that she left, I used to go around to see here three and four times a week, except, I believe, one week when I was sick. I did all I could for her, and acted just the same as if nothing had happened between us. Of course I did it simply that she should not feel lonesome and so that no one should have any cause to think that there was any unpleasantness between us. Now that they are both gone I have nothing more to do with them, and, as far as I am concerned, never intend to.

I suppose Sister Mattie told you I sent $40.25 by her, and also told you why. I kept $10. I see Susie Schmidt is married. They sent an invitation to Mr. & Mrs. Cook and family, but didn't have the politeness to send one to me.

If you know who all are engaged in the management of New Era, please write and let me know. Please also enclose 80 cents in the envelope and give it to Wm. Holloway the Business Manager, for me. I want to subscribe for it for six months: the cost of it is eighty cents. You may read the letter to Holloway. Tell him to send me the back numbers. When you write, tell me about the Anniversary celebration, also when they are going to have their pic-nic, and when they will have the camp meeting. My school free will probably close the end of this month: if I could afford it I would stop teaching and come home. Mr. Birnie and family are coming here to board the last of May. They expect to remain till September.

On last Thursday night I met with a very unpleasant and aggravating occurrence. A panorama was given at the Opera House on Wednesday night before last. The Presbyterians made arrangements with the exhibitor and it was repeated on last Thursday night for the benefit of that Church (white). The panorama was called The Apocalyptic Vision of St. John. Hearing it spoken of so highly on Thursday morning, I concluded to go. That night I went to the ticket office and handed the man 50 cents, the full price of admission: He handed me a 'half ticket' and 25 cents in change. I told him I wanted a full ticket. He took back the other and the change and gave me the 50 cent ticket. I handed it to the man at the door and walked into the parquet and took a seat. I hadn't been there long before a white fellow came to me and said that "the gallery is for colored people." I told him all right and did not notice him. He went off, but soon he or another fellow returned and said, "Say, you will have to go in the gallery." I told him I would do nothing of the kind: my ticket entitled me to sit where I was, and I intended to do so. He said it was the request of the proprietor, and I would have to move. I told him I would not. He then went off. I saw a stir in all parts of the room; the fellows at the door were whispering among themselves, and seemed to be somewhat excited. I sat there about fifteen minutes and the music had commenced playing. I concluded that they did not intend to interfere with me further when one of the men came to me again, this time with a policeman, a contemptible "poor white trash" who looks more like a colored than a white man. They told me I would have to go either in the gallery or out of the hall. I said to the man I have already told you I shall do neither, and I have no more to say, after further conversation the man went off. I told the policeman I had already said I didn't intend to go out or in the gallery, and I meant it. I inquired of him if he came to arrest me for being in there: that if he did I should not resist him. He said, "If they authorize me to arrest you, I shall do so." He then went off but again returned bringing me my money. I refused it. he then said I must go out. I told him I would not unless I was arrested. Then said, "I arrest you." I told him to lay his hands upon me and make the arrest. He tried to get me to come out without his putting his hands upon me, but I would not. Finally he took me by the shoulder and said, "I arrest you, come on," and I accompanied him. When we got to the door he tried again to make me take the money, but I would not. I told him I thought he had arrested me, and I had got out of my seat to accompany him to the guard house. I then turned around to go back to my seat, when he said, "Come on then," and stepped out. As soon as I was out of the door he stepped in again, and tried to make me take the money back. I was now sick of the thing. I was boiling over with indignation, but kept perfectly cool. I wouldn't say much for fear of saying what I should regret. I tried to make him take me to the guard house but he went inside and I saw him no more. After waiting outside awhile the proprietor of the theatre or rather, one of the proprietors, is the county treasurer. There are two partners in the Opera House, Burgess and Gilreath.

Gilreath is anxious to know what I am going to do about it. He has been speaking to several persons about it, but has said nothing to me. When I went to the Opera House I hadn't the slightest idea of being interfered with as I had heard that colored people had sat down stairs before. I went in about 8 minutes before eight oclock and did not come out till half past eight. You may let any of my friends whom you wish read this, as I do not wish to mention it in my letters to any of them.

Your affectionate son,

C. C. Scott


Neptune Fire Company of Greenville, S.C.


Page revision date: 23-August-2013