John A. Zeigler, Jr., Interview by Kieran W. Taylor, 6 April, 2013


John A. Zeigler, Jr., Interview by Kieran W. Taylor, 6 April, 2013


John Asbury Zeigler, Jr. Citadel Class of 1932 was born in 1912 in Manning, South Carolina. He was a poet, a philanthropist, and co-owner of the Book Basement, a bookstore which once operated on the present campus of the College of Charleston. His family had deep roots in Charleston, his parents were Virginia Elfe and John Zeigler. His family lived many years in Florence, where his father founded a newspaper -the Florence Morning News. He recalls his earliest childhood memory with a poem he wrote when he was eight years old. He states the best thing about attending The Citadel was meeting his roommate, the man that later would marry his sister and whose family gave him great joy. Zeigler Jr. explains that he survived by avoiding bringing attention to himself. He was active in the campus culture scene: founded The Citadel literary magazine and was introduced to the Poetry Society of South Carolina by General Days. After graduation, Zeigler Jr. worked as a teacher in Charleston and then moved to Washington, D.C., where he resided for several years until his return to Charleston to focus on his writing. Zeigler Jr. states he was always loved and accepted by his family for who he was, and that his family equally embraced his long-life partner, Edwin Peacock. He tells about their love story with two poems he asks the interviewer to read and remembers how they kept their relationship during WW II. Finally, Zeigler Jr. talks about the Book Basement bookstore they co-owned for twenty-five years at 9 College Street, the prominent visitors they hosted, and the reasons why it became an iconic cultural space in Charleston. The transcript includes several annotations by Mary Jo Potter, Zeigler’s niece.


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The Citadel Museum & Archives



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Charleston (S.C.)


Taylor, Kieran W.


Zeigler, John A.,Jr.


Charleston, South Carolina

Original Format

Mp3 derivative audio created with Audacity software. Archival masters are WAV files.


1 hour, 32 minutes



The Charleston Oral History Program at the Citadel, “John A. Zeigler, Jr., Interview by Kieran W. Taylor, 6 April, 2013,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed January 31, 2023,