Photograph of Lieber College

Slavery at South Carolina College, 1801–1865:

The Foundations of the University of South Carolina

Third Professors House, 1837 [Lieber College]

Detail of Third Professors House from 1884 Sanborn Map
Third Professors House, 1884 Sanborn Map, SCL

Built in 1837, the Third Professors House, now known as Lieber College, was a duplex home that accommodated two faculty families. The contractor, Thomas Wade, built outbuildings adjacent to the residence. A wooden stable housed slaves but burned down around 1855. During the 1856 renovations, builders constructed a new wooden building, sixteen by thirty-two feet in length and ten feet tall, boasting two fireplaces, specifically for slave housing.

From period maps, it is evident that the wooden building was destroyed between 1898 and 1919. Surviving longest was the brick kitchen, placed in the center of the backyard, which had two upstairs rooms that served as slave quarters. This building was razed around 1960 to make way for a greenhouse.

Francis Lieber, for whom the building was later renamed in 1946, lived in the Third Professors House from 1837 to 1856. In 1840, Lieber owned two female slaves and one boy under ten, who likely resided in these outbuildings. Stephen Elliott, the professor residing in the other half of the house, owned six female and two male slaves, who probably shared the quarters with Lieber’s slaves. James Thornwell and Joseph LeConte were later residents of the Third Professors House.

Detail of Third Professors House from bird's-eye drawing of Columbia, 1872
Bird’s-eye view of Third Professors House, 1872, LOC
Photograph of remains of Lieber College outbuilding, October 2010
Maintenance inadvertently exposed the buried brick remains of a Lieber outbuilding in October 2010. (SCL)
Photograph of Third Professors House, circa 1870s
Third Professors House, ca. 1870s, SCL. Note outbuilding to the left of house in background.