"M" is for Miller, Thomas Ezekiel (1849-1938)

Jul 13, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

"M" is for Miller, Thomas Ezekiel (1849-1938). Political leader, college president. A native of Beaufort, Miller graduated from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Returning to South Carolina he opened a law practice in 1875. Miller served in the South Carolina House (1874-1880) and Senate (1880-1882). In 1888 he won a contested election to the U.S. House. In 1895 he represented Beaufort in the Constitutional Convention where he eloquently, but unsuccessfully fought the efforts to disenfranchise thousands of African Americans. Miller and the other black delegates refused to sign the completed constitution. In 1896, he guided legislation through the General Assembly creating the Colored Normal, Industrial, Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina (now South Carolina State University). Shortly thereafter Thomas Ezekiel Miller resigned from the House and was named the first president of the new institution.