Mummies in South Carolina (1)
The Charleston Museum
360 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29403
1 Egyptian Mummy in the "Early Days" exhibit
Female, 20-40 years of age, toes individually wrapped, arms cross, body partially filled with resin. x-rays show a double roll of material in her chest area. Also evidence of arthritis in her spine.
The Charleston Museum is America's oldest museum. Founded in 1773 by the Charleston Library Society which wished to emulate the British Museum, itself only having been founded 20 years previously. The early collection was destroyed by fire in 1778, but by 1790 the collections again began to grow thanks to advertisements in local newspapers asking for contributions of specimens. In 1815 the Literary and Philosophical Society of South Carolina took control of the museum and made the museum available for public viewing parties accompanied by music. In 1828 it came under the jurisdiction of the Medical College of the State of South Carolina and was housed in a building at the corner of Queen and Logan. When that building was razed in 1850 for the Roper Hospital, the collection was moved to the College of Charleston where it remained for the next 60 years on the 3rd floor of Randolph Hall. During the Civil War the collections were dispersed for safe-keeping. In 1865 a small portion of the collection was destroyed by fire in an Edgefield barn. After the war the collections returned to Randolph Hall. In 1907 the collections moved to the "old" Charleston Museum on Rutledge Avenue, the former Thompson Auditorium, until finally moving to their present location on Meeting Street in 1979.
In 1887 American Vice-Consul in Egypt, Horatio G. Wood of Rhode Island acquired her from a Bedouin sheik. She was supposedly found in a tomb near Cairo. In 1893 Dr. Gabriel E. Manigault purchased her for the Museum from Wood for $200.