Information compiled by Lisa Giencke,
updated by Carol Ann McCormick, October 2017
Special thanks to Dennis S. Taylor,
University Archivist, Clemson University
Scott Len of Southport, North
Carolina for information & images about Camp Sapona
and Mathews’ role there
The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Herbarium (NCU) has databased about 60 vascular plant specimens and one moss
specimen collected by Dr. Mathews.
Without doubt many more will be found as cataloging continues. All NCU’s vascular plant specimens can be
searched at sernecportal.org
. Bryophyte specimens can be searched
at bryophyteportal.org . Mathews
usually used “A.C. Mathews” as his collector name. Clemson University (CLEMS) also curates
vascular plants collected by Andrew Clark Mathews.
Andrew Clark Mathews, son of Bertha and James
Lester Mathews, was born in Magnolia, Duplin County, North Carolina, on 24
September, 1907.2 James
Mathews was a barber in Magnolia, and had five other children (James,
Rebecca, Lawson, Mabel and Bertha) in addition to Andrew.4 Andrew attended Graded School and High
School in Magnolia.5
Andrew Clark Mathews earned his A. B. from the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1928. Mathews taught at Alexander Graham Junior
High School in Charlotte, North Carolina from 1928-1929.5 He returned to UNC-Chapel Hill for
graduate work, and earned M.A. (1931) and Ph.D. (1939) under Dr. William
Chambers Coker. His collections
are comprised of a few distinct events: a summer spent on Ocracoke Island,
North Carolina in 1931; specimens from the UNC-Chapel Hill campus late spring
and early summer 1932; and specimens collected around the Civilian
Conservation Corps camp at Southport, North Carolina in 1935.
Map of Camp Sapona
created by Scott Len using aerial photo (8 April 1938) and Google earth (5
nation was reeling from the weight of the Great Depression when Franklin
Roosevelt was elected President. One
of his first acts as president was to introduce a bill for Emergency
Conservation Work on March 27, 1933.
The bill cleared both houses of Congress in four days and FDR signed
it into law on March 31. The first
enrollees signed upon April 7, and the first Civilian Conservation Corps
[CCC] camp opened on April 17… Within three months, the CCC had 275,000
enrollees in 1300 camps. Young single
men between the ages of 18 and 26, who had dependents – parents, siblings,
cousins, grandparents – were eligible to join the CCC. They could enroll for six month periods,
and could re-enroll for up to a total of eighteen months. The men were given a place to live, a job,
clothing, and $30 a month, $25 of which was sent home to family. And food.
Food was a big deal for enrollees.
Young men gained on average twelve ponds while they were part of the
CCC. It was the first time many of
them had had three meals a day in a very long time. Camp Sapona, or
Camp P-62, Company 427, operated from October 1934 to December 1937. The first enrollees lived in tents while
clearing the surrounding pine woods to build camp buildings. Work then concentrated on building access
to forest areas, and the enrollees built roads, bridges, fire breaks, as well
as fire towers in Shallotte, Maco, and Bolivia [Brunswick County, North Carolina]…
worked eight-hour days, five days a week.
In off hours there were plenty of opportunities for education,
training, and recreation. The camp
offered classes in literacy, math, carpentry, and other vocational
skills. Their large motor pool
encouraged mechanic skills training. Camp
Sapona had a wood shop and a blacksmith shop. The big rec hall would hold dances open to
Southport residents. The local Amuzu Theater provided entertainment for the
enrollees. The camp had organized
sports teams and its own newspaper, The Sapona
Sandspur. They had a series of
canine mascots, including Soapy… North
Carolina had a total of 163 CCC camps, with an average of forty-five
operating in any one year, giving employment to more than 75,000 men… Over
3,000,000 men served in the CCC throughout the country during its eleven
years of operation. President
Roosevelt declared “a government worthy of its name must make a fitting
response” to the unemployment of its citizens, and the Civilian Conservation
Corps was part of that response. It
was the most popular of the New Deal programs.
-- Nancy Gadzuk 1
A. C. Mathews enrolled at Camp Sapona in December of 1934 and departed in August of
1935. According to Scott Len, who has
studied the history of Camp Sapona, Mathews served
as an Assistant Education Advisor and “being a bit older, and better
educated, [it was] not unusual that he would have been made Editor-in-Chief
of the camp newspaper [The Sapona Sandspur].”
Mathews’ collections after the completion of
his Ph.D. in 1939 are mostly from the Soil Conservation Service Nursery on
the Mason Farm Biological Reserve in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The
Herbarium has many yet-to-be-cataloged specimens of experimental grasses
collected by Mathews that were in cultivation by the SCS at Mason Farm.
Mathews was a Junior Botanist then Assistant
Botanist with the Soil Conservation Service of the United States Department
of Agriculture in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and in Chatham, Virginia from
1938-1945. He served as an Associate
Forester doing range revegetation research with the United States Forest
Service in Tifton Georgia from 1945-1947.
In September, 1947 he joined the faculty of the Botany Department of
Clemson University in South Carolina.
He taught general botany, general plant pathology, mycology, and plant
taxonomy during the academic year, and did timber and vegetation survey work
with Clemson’s Forestry Department during the summer months.5 The exact year of Dr. Mathews’ retirement
from Clemson University is unclear; his name last appeared in the roster of
faculty in the Undergraduate Announcements for the academic year 1973-1974.6
Andrew Clark Mathews married Hazel Landreth Brown of Statesville, North Carolina, and
together they had two children, Elizabeth Anne Mathews (b. 9 March 1941) and
Charles Thomas Mathews (b. 17 October 1943).5
Dr. Mathews’ last residence was in Anderson,
Tennessee. He died on 23 June 1994.3
Mathews, A. C. 1931. The seed-development in Pinus palustris (long leaf pine). M.
A. Thesis, Botany Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mathews, A. C. 1932. The seed development of Pinus palustris. Journal of the
Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 48:
Mathews, A. C. 1932. Cytological observations on zoospore formation in Leptolegnia caudata, deBary. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific
Society 47: 281-292.
Mathews, A. C. 1939. The morphological and
cytological development of the sporophylls and seed
of Juniperus virginiana
L. Ph.D. Thesis, Botany Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel
Mathews, A. C.
1939. The morphological and cytological development of the sporophylls and seed of Juniperus virginiana. Journal of the
Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 55:
Mathews, Andrew C. 1947. Observations on
Methods of Increasing the Germination of Panicum
anceps Michx. and Paspalum notatum
Flugge. Journal of the American Society of Agronomy
Nancy. 2016. Scott Len:
Overview of CCC’s and Camp Sapona. Federal Point Historic Preservation
Society. http://federal-point-history.org/previous-month-meeting-report/scott-len-overview-of-cccs-and-camp-sapona/ accessed on 20 September 2017.
2. The National Archives in St. Louis,
Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Draft Registration Cards for Virginia
10/16/1940 -03/31/1947; Record Group:
Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 492.
US WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database
on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. 2011.
3. Andrew C. Mathews. Number:
249-60-2326; Issue State: South
Carolina; Issue Date: 1955. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014
[database on-line]. Provo, UT,
USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.,
4. Year: 1930; Census Place: Magnolia, Duplin, North Carolina;
Roll: 1686; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 2341420.
1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2002.
5. Staff Biographical Information,
Clemson News Bureau, 1960. “Mathews,
A. C.” Clemson University Archives.
6. Pers. comm. Email, Dennis S. Taylor, University
Archivist, Clemson University. 20