RELICS OF EMILY GEIGER
"How do you do" in the serene gentle voice of a direct descendant of Emily Geiger, as we were we1comed into her sitting room. It was late afternoon and the f1attering 1ight of an April sun filtered through the curtained windows. We had called in person to have the privilege, which we wish all true southerners could have, of seeing and hearing about the relics of Emily Geiger, the famous southern gir1 who played such an important part in South Carolina's history.
Everything in this quiet little sitting room was in complete harmony with the feeling of anticipation and pleasure which we were to experience. Mrs. Patrick, our hostess, whose husband is a direct descendent of Emily Geiger, brought out a large box, evidently made of iron or some metal, and fastened with a strong heavy lock. We could hardly wait for a glimpse of the treasured memoirs. (The musty odor which escaped as the box was opened, made us feel indeed that we had found a treasure chest.)
The first thing we saw was a map of South Carolina, showing the route followed by Emily Geiger in taking her precious message from General Green to General Sumpter. This map was sketched by one of Emily's descendants.
Then we were shown the original wedding invitation. How quaint and interesting it was with the musty perfume of romance still c1inging to its yellowed page. The invitation was written on plain paper about the size of ordinary tablet paper and the handwriting was very quaint and old fashioned. An exact copy of the invitation is given below:
"Major Geiger and family request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their kinsman, Emily Geiger, John Threewitts, October eighteenth Y.L. seventeen hundred eighty nine at six O'clock p.m."
Our hostess explained that once a small bunch of flowers had adorned the invitation, but that the ravages of time had left nothing but the imprint of flowers and pin.
We next saw her wedding veil. The exquisiteness and filmy gossamer texture was sufficient proof of her noble ancestry and breeding. The veil is about one and a quarter yards in length and about one-half yard wide. This bit of historic lace is enchantingly beautiful made up of misty silk net, one end with beguiling little dots, the other a veritable maze of all-over lace.
Among the relics is a beautiful shawl, which was worn by Emily Geiger to the ball in Charleston given in Lafayette's honor seventy five years after the war. Emily Geiger Threewitts was an honored guest as the most distinguished heroine of the revolutionary war. The shawl is in almost perfect condition, being worn only where folded. It is made of beautiful taffeta with a Dresden motif which furnishes the keynote of decoration. A silk fringe about eight inches borders the shawl and brings out more distinctly the leaves which are tinted in pastel shades.
A dashing little miniature of Emily's mother was shown us, the most adorable southern girl you could picture. A small delicate gold frame, which reminded you of lace? Surrounded the miniature and completed its quaint old fashioned look.
One of the most interesting and unique relics is the set of jewels presented by General Greene to Emily on her wedding morning. This set consists of two brooches and one earring. The other earring was probably lost or misplaced. Real plaited hair forms the rectangular contour of one brooch, which is surrounded by a delicate lace of gold edge and filled in with bits of real jet. The earring matches the brooch. The other brooch is a portrait of Lafayette as a young boy, which is set in an oval frame.
We were shown the very pencil which General Greene used in writing the note to General Sumter and which was presented to Emily. This mission of course made Emily famous.
Last, but of great importance, was her combination writing desk and work basket. This was a handsome ebony box and we were once more impressed by the good taste of our heroine. The top is particularly beautiful, having a flower-basket design, inlaid with beautiful pearl in colors quiet and harmonious. A glimpse on the inside gave us an intimate expression of her personal qualities, because her thread, needles, gold thimble, paper container and gold pencil were so carefully arranged, just as if Emily had closed the lid yesterday. These relics are valuable heirlooms and our hostess told us that she had been offered large sums for their possession, but she still retains them and takes excellent care of the collection.
A great treat lies in store for anyone wishing to view these heirlooms and have a little visit with this dear gentlewoman of the south. This privilege has given us a greater appreciation of this South Carolina heroine, Emily Geiger.
paper prepared by Miss Lilla Babb? And Mrs. O.W. Watson and read before the Raphael Art Club.
Published in "The Bamberg Herald" November 26, 1931
Copied from papers of Mrs. Florence Ott Geiger by Sara Texas (Geiger) Geiger March 16, 1965.
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