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BELONGING TO THE
CHARLESTON LIBRARY SOCIETY
PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF THE SOCIETY.
PRINTED BY A. E. MILLER.
No. 4 Broad-street.
THE CHARLESTON LIBRARY SOCIETY owes its origin to seventeen
young gentlemen who in the year 1748, associated for the purpose of raising a small fund to "collect such new pamphlets" and magazines as should occasionally be published in Great Britain. They advanced and remitted to London ten pounds sterling as a fund to purchase such pamphlets as had appeared during the current year, acting at first under a mere verbal agreement and without a name. Before the close of the year their views became more extensive, and on the 28th December, rules for the organization of the Society were ratified and signed, when they assumed the name of a Library Society, and made arrangements for the acquisition of Books as well as of pamphlets.
Officers were first elected on the 1st April, 1749, and a few members were added during the spring and summer of that year. But as soon as the benefits of such an association were distinctly understood, the Society became popular, and before the close of the year 1750 numbered more than 160 members.
Efforts were made at an early period to obtain an act of incoporation. In the spring of 1651, through the influence of some of its members, a bill for incorporating the Society was passed through both Houses of Assembly, but was defeated by the Governor, who refused his assent and signature. In the spring of 1752, another bill was passed through the Legislature, which shared the same fate; and in 1753 the agent of the Colony in London was requested to make every exertion in his power to obtain from the Privy Council in Great Britain a charter for the Society, or instructions to the Governor to ratify the act which both Houses of the Colonial Assembly had passed. Upon an application to the Board of Trade by the agent and some gentlemen who interested themselves on behalf of the Society, they were informed that the measure was not considered as contrary to his Majesty's instructions, but that it was unprecedented to ratify in England a Bill to which the Governor of a Province had refused his assent.