'Petticoat Affair' topic at Sumter Genealogical Society meeting

BY IVY MOORE
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 9/13/18

Historian and University of South Carolina Professor Emerita Patricia McNeely returns Monday to address the Sumter County Genealogical Society and guests on the topic "Andrew Jackson, John C. Calhoun and the Petticoat Affair," also the title of her …

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'Petticoat Affair' topic at Sumter Genealogical Society meeting

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Historian and University of South Carolina Professor Emerita Patricia McNeely returns Monday to address the Sumter County Genealogical Society and guests on the topic "Andrew Jackson, John C. Calhoun and the Petticoat Affair," also the title of her latest book. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Swan Lake Presbyterian Church on the corner of Haynsworth Street and Bland Avenue.

Jackson appointed John Eaton Secretary of War. Eaton's wife Peggy Eaton was a woman of allegedly poor character, and President Jackson ordered the wives of his administration to include her in society. When they did not, Jackson dissolved his cabinet, costing Vice President Calhoun of South Carolina his chance to become President.

The newspapers called the ongoing incidents the Petticoat Affair. McNeely's book shows how the 1831 Petticoat Affair affected U.S. history into the 20th century.

McNeely taught writing and reporting for 33 years in the USC College of Journalism in Columbia. Prior to that, she served as reporter and editor for three S.C. newspapers, The Greenville News, The State and The Columbia Record.

She is a prolific author, having previously published such books as "Sherman's Flame and Blame Campaign through Georgia and the Carolinas," "Lincoln, Sherman, Davis and the Lost Confederate Gold," "Eyewitnesses to General Sherman's Campaign in the Civil War;" "Knights of the Quill: Confederate Correspondents and their Civil War Reporting," "Palmetto Press: a History of South Carolina's Newspapers and Press Association" and several others.

The public is invited to attend the 7:30 p.m. Monday presentation by Patricia McNeely on her recently published book, "Andrew Jackson, John C. Calhoun and the Petticoat Affair," at the September meeting of the Sumter County Genealogical Society. The society will meet at Swan Lake Presbyterian Church, 912 Haynsworth St.

The Society meets monthly from September through May. Admission is free to the public, and refreshments are served following the presentations. Interested persons can join the society at the meeting. Membership includes nine monthly newsletters during the year and free use of the Sumter County Genealogical Society Research Center. Annual dues are $30 for an individual membership and $35 for family. For more information call the society's research center at (803) 774-3901.