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Columbia in Richland County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Site of Gibbes House

 
 
Site of Gibbes House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2010
1. Site of Gibbes House Marker
Inscription. On this corner stood the home of Dr. Robert W. Gibbes (1809-66) distinguished physician, scientist, historian, editor, antiquarian; Surgeon General of South Carolina 1861-65. The house with his notable library, art treasures and scientific collections was burned by Union troops February 17, 1865.
 
Erected 1938 by The Columbia Sesquicentennial Commission of 1936. (Marker Number 40-18.)
 
Location. 34° 0.361′ N, 81° 1.986′ W. Marker is in Columbia, South Carolina, in Richland County. Marker is on Hampton Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Located between Marion and Sumter Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Columbia SC 29201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Baptist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Ordinance of Secession (within shouting distance of this marker); Bethel A.M.E. Church (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line but has been reported missing); Washington Street Methodist Church (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Washington Street Methodist Church (about
Site of Gibbes House Marker, looking west along Hampton Street image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, August 29, 2010
2. Site of Gibbes House Marker, looking west along Hampton Street
500 feet away); Site of Columbia Female Academy (about 500 feet away); Site of Columbia High School (about 600 feet away); Taylor Street (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia.
 
Also see . . .
1. Robert W. Gibbes Collection of Revolutionary War Manuscripts, 1773-1820 (South Carolina Archives). The core of the collection consists of the surviving papers of William Henry Drayton documenting his political career at the beginning of the American Revolution and including those papers of the Council of Safety and other Revolutionary political bodies that had remained in Drayton's possession. The Drayton items include the original correspondence between the committees of correspondence transmitting the news of the battles of Lexington and Concord down the east coast to Charleston; extensive documentation of military affairs at the beginning of the war; and a substantial body of material for the ship Prosper, of which Drayton was commissioned captain. (Submitted on September 12, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

2. Robert Wilson Gibson (1809-1866). Gibbes was born in Charleston on July 8, 1809, the son of attorney William Hasell Gibbes and his wife,
Site of Gibbes House Marker, looking east along Hampton Street image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, August 29, 2010
3. Site of Gibbes House Marker, looking east along Hampton Street
Mary Wilson. (Submitted on August 2, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Wade Hampton Gibbes Obituary. His father, Dr. Robert Wilson Gibbes, was a gentleman of comfortable estate and of high local reputation in science, literature, and his chosen profession of medicine, being Surgeon General of South Carolina under the Confederate Government. (Submitted on August 2, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Dr. Robert W. Gibbs - A Successful and Skillful Physician
Dr. Robert W. Gibbes, Sr., was a scientist in every sense of the word, a very skillful physician and surgeon, an able writer on varied subjects, and a genial, charitable gentleman; besides being a valued member of many foreign as well as American literary associations.

When Dr. H.H. Toland decided to take up his abode in California, Dr. G. succeeded to his professional business and removed to Dr. T.'s home, northeast corner Sumter and Plain streets. His old homestead was on the northwest corner of Marion and Lady streets. Our venerated friend took up Dr. Toland's practice among the Hampton negroes; and Gen. H., commenting on his practice, under the new regime, declared that Gibbes saved him fully $5,000 a year in slaves. "Toland lanceted them to death, while Gibbes lifened them with quinine." Among
Site of Gibbes House Marker, seen in front of Baptist Medical Center image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, August 29, 2010
4. Site of Gibbes House Marker, seen in front of Baptist Medical Center
the other legacies obtained by Dr. G. in the Toland transfer was The Palmetto State Banner, which was being extravagantly run by Mr. I.C. Morgan. Instead of receiving interest on the mortgage, he was constantly being called upon to put out money for expenses, and was finally compelled to foreclose. By proper management and his extraordinary business tact, Dr. Gibbes made a success of the paper, both daily and weekly, and swallowed The South Carolinian, in 1852, when my business relations began with him. I can back up Gen. Hampton's statement as to the lancing—I have several reminders on my left arm. Dr. Gibbes, with his other duties, edited the paper, assisted by his eldest son, James G, Esq., succeeded by poor Frank Gaillard, a pleasing, forcible writer, who lost his life on the battle-fields of Virginia. It was during this time that trouble occurred between Capt. James D. Tradewell and Editor Frank Gaillard, and a challenge passed. Mr. G would write up his editorials several days ahead (for he wielded his pen with the greatest facility) occasionally, and go off on a courting trip to Winnsboro—maybe it was to see his children by a deceased wife. I looked after the news matter and the general management of the office. During one of these trips, an imperative note was received at the office from Capt. T. I telegraphed Mr. G. and he promptly returned to
Site of Gibbes House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, July 25, 2011
5. Site of Gibbes House Marker
Columbia. The officials got hold of the matter and attempted to arrest the parties. Capt. T. "hid out," and Mr. G, with his bosom friends, Dr. Junius Nott and Beverly Means, secured quarters in an out-of-the-way part of the Congaree House (site of the Jerome). Although not responsible in any way about the matter, I was terribly worried during the two or three intervening days. A Board of Honor took the affair in hand and it was amicably adjusted.

Dr. Gibbes was fond of puns and double entendres, but insisted that italics should never be used. "If a point is so weak that the reader cannot see, it must be poor," he would say. On one occasion, the famous singer, Parodi, gave a concert here, which very much pleased the editor-doctor, and in commenting on it, he said the boys on their way home Parodied the singing. Forgetting directions, I put it Parodied—making him repeat his wishes more explicitly. It never again occurred. His printing office, on Washington street, near Richardson, was totally destroyed by fire, soon after midnight. The next morning, his son, James, was off to Charleston, to have necessary legislative printing done, while the Doctor was looking after other important matters and arrangements for rebuilding. (Source: Memorabilia and anecdotal reminiscences of Columbia, S.C. by Julian A. Selby and William Gilmore Simms (1905), pg 19.)
Residence of Dr. Robert W. Gibbes, Jr. image. Click for full size.
South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, 1865
6. Residence of Dr. Robert W. Gibbes, Jr.
Photo taken after the devastation of Sherman's raid on Columbia. The balding man standing on the step is thought to be Gibbs.
    — Submitted August 2, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. Stories About Dr. Robert W. Gibbs
As for Dr. Cooper...I don't think anyone can give even a list of writings since Dr. [Robert W.] Gibbes is dead. My father told me that Dr. Cooper, having a sick horse, went to Dr. Gibbs and asked him if he could refer him to any good work on the veterinary art, to which the doctor replied by taking down a volume from his shelves and saying, "Here is one I have found trustworthy." "Who is it by?" asked Dr. Cooper. "It is," says Dr. Gibbes, "by one Thomas Cooper." He had forgotten he had written the treatise. -- Carolina Voices: Two Hundred Years of Student Experiences by Carolyn B. Matalene and Katherine Chaddock Reynolds (2001), pg. 15)

Gibbes was well known for giving medicine that smelled like rotten eggs for whooping cough. Children with a sore throat would have it examined by having the handle of a spoon put down their throats for the examination. The lancing of boils was a memorable experience, as was any serious illness or surgery. -- Columbia: A History of a Southern Capital by Lunn Salsi and Margaret Sims (2003) pg 41).

When men, remarkable for their virtues are stricken by death, it is right and proper that something more be done, then simply announce the melancholy event. Such an occasion is furnished by the decease of Dr. Gibbes. The example of such a man should not be lost to the community in which he lived. It is fruitful of the most useful lessons, and it is with the view if impressing these upon the youth of the country particularly, that it is proposed to give a somewhat extended notice of him. -- In Memoriam: Robt. W. Gibbs, Sr., M.D. (1866) pg. 3.)
    — Submitted August 2, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

3. Ruins of Columbia, February 28, 1865 by Dr. Robert W. Gibbs
Rations are nearly out -- a pint of corn apiece is all they get now...The river is very high and here is no crossing...The pillage is terrible -- the Yanks say Columbia was the richest place in plunder they visited...I saved nothing but the suit of clothes I had on. My daughter and her sic children lost everything. My house & Robert's were destroyed -- James' house escaped miraculously after he had disturbed his clothes and abandoned it.
    — Submitted August 3, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 12, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 772 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 12, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   5. submitted on August 2, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   6. submitted on August 3, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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