Walter Edgar

Host

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his A.B. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens. In 1972 he joined the faculty of the History Department and in 1980 was named director of the Institute for Southern Studies. Dr. Edgar is the Claude Henry Neuffer Professor of Southern Studies and the George Washington Distinguished Professor of History. He retired from USC in 2012. He has written or edited numerous books about South Carolina and the American South, including South Carolina: A History, the first new history of the state in more than 60 years. With more than 37,000 copies in print and an audio edition, it has been a publishing phenomenon. Partisans & Redcoats: The Southern Conflict that Turned the Tide of the American Revolution is in its fourth printing. He is also the editor of the South Carolina Encyclopedia.

Ways to Connect

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"H" is for Huger, Daniel Elliott (1779-1854). Jurist, U.S. senator. From 1803 to 1819 Huger, a Charleston lawyer, represented St. Andrew’s Parish in the South Carolina House of Representatives where he gained a reputation as one its ablest and most respected members. In 1819 he was elected judge of the Court of General Sessions and Common Pleas and served until he resigned in 1830 to return to politics. A Unionist delegate to the Nullification Convention, he strongly opposed the Ordinance of Secession. Following John C. Calhoun’s resignation from the U.S.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"H" is for Huck, Christian (d. 1780). Soldier. Christian Huck was a loyalist captain of dragoons under Banastre Tarlton. A Philadelphia lawyer, Huck was known for viciousness and his intense hatred of all patriots, especially Scots-Irish Presbyterians. He commanded British outposts around Camden and participated in actions involving Tarleton’s Legions. In June 1780 he and his command burned the houses and plantations of known patriots in the Catawba Valley of Upper South Carolina. In response, a loosely organized group of five hundred up countrymen set out to destroy Huck’s force.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"H" is for Hub City Writers Project. A literary arts co-op founded in Spartanburg County in 1995—and modeled after the Depression-era Federal Writers Project—the Hub City Writers Project marshaled the talents of writers across South Carolina and beyond to create a series of books characterized by a strong sense of place. The non-profit profit organization was shepherded in its early years by Wofford College poet John Lane, journalists Betsy Teter and Gary Anderson, and graphics designer/photographer Mark Olencki.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"H" is for Howard, Frank James (1909-1996). Football coach. After graduating from the University of Alabama in 1931, Howard accepted a position as assistant coach at Clemson under head coach Jess Neely. When Neely departed in 1940, Howard was chosen as his replacement. As head coach, Howard directed the Clemson football program for the next thirty years (1940-1969). His teams compiled a 165-118-12 record, earned eight conference championships (two Southern, six Atlantic Coast) and appeared is six postseason bowl games.

American Flag from the Revolutionary War
iStock

Martyr of the American Revolution: The Execution of Isaac Hayne, South Carolinian (2017, USC Press) examines the events that set an American militia colonel on a disastrous collision course with two British officers, his execution in Charleston, and the repercussions that extended from the battle lines of South Carolina to the Continental Congress and across the Atlantic to the halls of the British parliament. Author C.L. "Chip" Bragg joins Walter Edgar to talk about circumstances that led to an act that sparked perhaps the most notable controversy of the war.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"H" is for Horseshoe (Columbia). Deriving its name from the U-shaped orientation of its nineteenth and early twentieth-century buildings massed around a central green space, the Horseshoe constitutes the historic heart of the University of South Carolina’s Columbia campus. It features the capital city’s greatest concentration of historic buildings. The plan for the “college grounds”—as it was then known—came from a competition in which Robert Mills submitted a design inspired by styles associated with colleges in the Northeast.  Construction began in 1803.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"G" is for Grimké, John Faucheraud (1752-1819). Legislator, jurist. In1774, after  graduating  from, Cambridge, Grimké returned to Charleston. He organized an artillery unit for service in the Revolution and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was captured at the fall of Charleston and imprisoned by the British—but escaped and joined General Nathaniel Greene’s army.  He represented St. Philip’s and St. Michael’s (1782-1790) in the South Carolina House and served one term as Speaker. The legislature named him an associate justice of the Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"G" is for Grimké, Archibald Henry (1849-1930). Activist, scholar. Grimké was the son of Henry Grimké, a planter, and Nancy Weston, a slave. After the Civil War, Grimké enrolled in a school for former slaves whose principal arranged for him to attend Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. His academic performance came to the attention of his aunt, the abolitionist Angelina Grimké Weld who acknowledged the relationship and helped him further his education. After college he became active in politics and was appointed American consul to the Dominican Republic.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"G" is for Gridley, Mary Putnam (1850-1939), Civic leader, businesswoman. Gridley moved to Greenville in the 1870s where her father was active in the development of cotton mills. Working as her father’s bookkeeper, she mastered the daily operations of management and administration. At his death she became the first woman in the state to become president of a textile mill. In 1889 Gridley was one of the co-founders of the Thursday Club, a study club for elite Greenville women.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"G" is for Grice Marine Biological Laboratory. Established by the College of Charleston as the Fort Johnson Marine Biological Laboratory, its name was changed to honor the then president of the College. The laboratory, is located on James Island, on a portion of the site of old Fort Johnson—close to the end of a peninsula that juts into Charleston Harbor. State and federal laboratories involved in studies of estuarine and marine environments are also located at Fort Johnson.

Richard T. Greener, circa 1900; by J. H. Cunningham. In The Colored American, February 24, 1900.
The Colored American, February 24, 1900 / Library of Congress/Chronicling America

Richard Theodore Greener (1844–1922) was a renowned black activist and scholar. The first black graduate of Harvard College, he became the first black faculty member at the University of South Carolina, during Reconstruction. He was even the first black US diplomat to a predominately-white country, serving in Vladivostok, Russia. A notable speaker and writer for racial equality, he also served as a dean of the Howard University School of Law and as the administrative head of the Ulysses S. Grant Monument Association. Yet he died in obscurity, his name barely remembered.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"G" is for Gressette Committee (1951-1966). In 1951, the South Carolina General Assembly created the South Carolina School Committee at the request of state senator Marion Gressette of Calhoun County. Following the filing of the Briggs v. Elliott case, which challenged the “separate but equal” policy in South Carolina’s public schools, the General Assembly created the committee to prepare for, and hopefully thwart, the possibility of federally mandated desegregation. Gressette was chairman of the fifteen-person committee.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"H" is for Horse racing. “The Sport of Kings” emerged in South Carolina within a few decades of settlement. Before 1754, most horses were descended from stock brought to Florida by the Spanish and known as the Chicasaw breed. Horsemen later imported fine stallions and mares from England and Virginia. In Charleston races at the Washington Course coincided with a gala social season. Inland, the elegant setting and refined audience attending the racing scene at Pinewood claimed to rival that of British courses. The Civil War ended horse racing in South Carolina.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"G" is for Gressette, Lawrence Marion (1902-1984). Legislator. Gressette represented Calhoun County in the House of Representatives from 1925-1932. He served twenty-three terms in the Senate from 1937 to 1984—representing Calhoun County until 1966. Then, after reapportionment, Senate Districts Nineteen, Eleven and Thirteen. Gressette was a long-time member of a number of influential committees, including Judiciary (1937-1984; chairman, 1953-1984) and Education (1939-1984; chairmen 1951-1956). He served as president pro tempore of the Senate from 1972 to 1984.

"C" is for Clover

May 23, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Clover (York County; 2010 population 5,137). Clover’s history goes back to the 1870s when the Chester and Lenoir Railroad placed a five thousand gallon water tank at the site of the future town. According to local legend, water spilling from the tank yielded a patch of clover on the ground—giving the town its earliest name—Clover Patch. The town was chartered in 1887, with a population of about one hundred—most of the migrants from western York County.

"C" is for Clinton

May 22, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Clinton (Laurens County, 2010 population, 8,335). Clinton grew up around the intersection of two roads, one connecting Greenville with Columbia and the other Spartanburg with Augusta. In the 1850s, the Newberry-to-Laurens railroad ran through the intersection, resulting in the development of a town. The little community was named for Henry Clinton Young, an attorney from nearby Laurens. The town was incorporated in 1864. In 1874 Thornwell Orphanage was built to help children who lost parents during the Civil War.

Image of Gen. Andrew Pickens, 1739 - 1817. A photo of an oil painting hung in Fort Hill in Clemson, South Carolina.
blahedo [CC BY-SA 2.5] via Wikimedia Commons

(Originally broadcast 10/03/17) - In his book, The Life and Times of General Andrew Pickens: Revolutionary War Hero, American Founder (2017, UNC Press), Dr. Rod Andrew, Jr., of Clemson University, explores the life of the hard-fighting South Carolina militia commander of the American Revolution, was the hero of many victories against British and Loyalist forces. In this book, Andrew offers an authoritative and comprehensive biography of Pickens the man, the general, the planter, and the diplomat.

"C" is for Climate

May 21, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Climate. South Carolina’s climate is classified as humid subtropical, which is typical of middle-latitude locations situated on eastern margins of large continents. Rainfall is abundant and distributed fairly evenly throughout the year. There is seasonal variation in the temperatures ranging from hot and humid summers to mild winters with some below-freezing temperatures. Summers tend to be hot across the state. The single most important factor influencing the state’s summer weather is the Bermuda high.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"B" is for Briggs v. Elliott (1954). Briggs v. Elliott was one of five cases, collectively entitled Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, Shawnee, KS, et al., argued before the U.S. Supreme Court by attorneys for the NAACP. Originally a lawsuit filed by twenty African American parents in Clarendon County for educational opportunities for their children, Briggs v. Elliott was the first case in the twentieth century to challenge the constitutionality of racially segregated schools. Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP represented the parents.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"B" is for Brooks, Preston Smith (1819-1857). Congressman. Brooks attended Moses Waddel’s academy and the South Carolina College. In 1844 Edgefield District elected him to the General Assembly. During the Mexican War he served as a captain in the Palmetto Regiment. In 1852 Brooks, as a States’ Rights Democrat, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1856, during a debate, U.S. Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts denigrated South Carolina’s role in American history and insulted Senator Andrew P. Butler of South Carolina.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"B" is for Brookgreen Gardens. The Archer M. and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Gardens at Brookgreen rests on thirty acres of display gardens in the middle of some 9,100 acres of the South Carolina lowcountry. The site is best known for its beautiful display gardens and its unrivaled American figurative sculpture collection, as well as its commitment to conservation and preservation. Ten garden “rooms” are highlighted by ponds, fountains, and sculpture set off by native plants and seasonal flowers—displayed against a tapestry of magnificent live-oaks and towering pines.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Brodie, Laura (1908-2004). Herpetologist. Born on a farm in Lexington County, Brodie began collecting snakes and frogs as a young child. By her teens she had converted an outbuilding into her “Rockwood Museum” where she kept cages of reptiles and amphibians. After graduating from Winthrop, she obtained a position at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

Fud Livingston
Discogs

Charleston’s Fud Livingston, 'Jazz Age' arranger, composer, and musician, made memorable music.

Joseph Anthony “Fud” Livingston, born in Charleston, SC, in 1906, was an American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, arranger, and composer who played with some of the most renowned musicians of the Jazz Age, including Bix Beiderbecke, Red Nichols, Joe Venuti, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and the Dorsey brothers, Tommy and Jimmy. He arranged for Broadway and wrote songs, the most famous of which is “I’m Through with Love.”

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"H" is for Hootie and the Blowfish. Founded in 1986, Hootie and the Blowfish emerged as the most popular rock band on the USC college scene in the 1980s and early 1990s. Consisting of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Darius Rucker, lead guitarist Mark Bryan, drummer Jim Sonfeld, and bassist Dean Felber, the band suddenly grew into a national phenomenon with the release of their major label debut album, Cracked Rear View in 1994. The album became one of the best selling recordings in popular music history, selling more than fifteen million copies.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for Lynch, Kenneth Merrill, Sr. (1887-1974). Physician, educator. A native of Texas, Lynch moved to South Carolina in 1913 and became the first professor of pathology at the Medical College of South Carolina and the state’s first full-time pathologist. He is credited with discovering the first treatment for Granuloma inguinale, a venereal disease. In 1943 he became dean of the Medical College, a title the board of trustees changed to president in 1949.

"L" is for Lyman

May 10, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for Lyman (Spartanburg County; 2010 population 3,261). Lyman’s early history stemmed from the economic activity of the Groce family. The area was known as Groce or Groce’s Stop until the arrival of Pacific Mills. In 1923 Pacific Mills made the largest investment in Spartanburg County up till then. The company not only erected a mill but also built a model town: 375 houses, a community center, and a twelve-room school. Churches and a National Guard Armory came later. The town was renamed Lyman in honor of Arthur T. Lyman, president of Pacific Mills (1900-1915).

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for Lynch, Thomas, Sr. (ca. 1727-1776). Legislator, delegate to the Continental Congress. A prominent planter, Lynch was active in public affairs. He was a member of the Commons House of Assembly from 1752 until 1775. From an early date he opposed British encroachment on colonial autonomy. He was a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress (1765) and a member of the Non-Importation Association (1769). As one of South Carolina’s best-known and most ardent patriots, Lynch became a great favorite of the Sons of Liberty.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"H" is for Horry County (1,134 square miles, 2010 population, 270, 516). Horry is the largest and easternmost of South Carolina’s forty-six counties, forming a wedge between North Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean. Its geographical isolation led in the 1840s to its being referred to as the “Independent Republic of Horry.” Unsuited for either rice or cotton production, by 1860 it was the poorest county in the state. The introduction of bright leaf tobacco in the 1890s brought prosperity and linked the county’s economy to the tobacco market.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"H" is for Horry, Peter (ca. 1743-1815). Planter, soldier, legislator. In 1775 Peter Horry was commissioned a captain in the Second South Carolina Regiment. By 1780 he commanded the Fifth South Carolina, but when it was merged with another unit, he was discharged prior to the British occupation. In the summer of 1780 he returned to service—as one of Francis Marion’s most trusted and valuable officers. After the Revolution, Horry remained in the military service of the state.

Becky Stone as Harriet Tubman.
Courtesy of Greenville Chautauqua

The topic of this year’s History Alive festival presented by Greenville Chautauqua is “Courage.” Historical interpreters will appear in character under the Chautauqua tent bringing to life the stores of Alice Paul, Francis Marion, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, and Winston Churchill.

Greenville Chautauqua’s Caroline McIntyre joins Dr. Edgar along with historical interpreters Becky Stone (Harriet Tubman) and Leslie Goddard (Clara Barton and Alice Paul) to talk about his summer’s History Alive festival.

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