Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Augustin Louis Taveau

(1828 -1886)
South Carolina & Maryland

Augustin Louis Taveau's early schooling was at Mt. Zion Academy at Winnsboro, South Carolina. He studied law in the office of James L. Petigru and contributed poetry (under the name Alton) to John Reuben Thompson's Southern Literary Messenger, and from 1848 to 1856 carried on an extensive correspondence with Thompson, a fellow lawyer-poet. He also corresponded with William Gilmore Simms, another lawyer-poet.

From 1852 to 1854, Taveau took a long trip abroad. Upon his return, he published a book of poetry, The Magic Word and other Poems (Boston, 1855), again using the pseudonym Alton. In 1861 Taveau moved to a farm near Abbeville, South Carolina but would soon join the Confederate Army. After the war, in 1866, Taveau moved his family to a farm in St. Mary's County, Maryland where he farmed and continued his literary pursuits. Taveau died in 1886.

[Source: Guide to the Augustin Louis Taveau Papers, William R. Perkins Library, Duke University] [Henry Timrod also studied under Petigru.]


Augustin Louis Taveau, The Vindication a Satire on 'Charleston: A Poem' (Charleston, South Carolina: Walker & Burke, 1848)

_________________, The Magic Word (Boston: J. Monroe and Company, 1855) [online text]

_________________, Poems (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1884) [vol.1: online text]

_________________, Montezuma: A Poem (New York, 1883)(New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1931)

Research Resources

Taveau Manuscripts
Maryland Historical Society
Baltimore, Maryland

Augustin Louis Taveau Papers
William L. Perkins Library
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina

Holograph manuscript of a poem ("Montezuma") & Notes
South Carolinia Historical Society