Cornelia Phillips Spencer (1826-1908)
During Reconstruction, Cornelia Phillips Spencer, the daughter of one professor and the sister of two others, emerged as a key supporter of the university. Educated in her mother's school, Spencer loved to read and avidly followed politics and public affairs. In 1865, President Swain recruited her to write a book defending him and his political allies from charges that they had surrendered too quickly to Union forces. When the state and the university came under Republican control, Spencer published a stream of harshly worded newspaper stories to defend white supremacy and attack the "carpetbaggers."