South Carolina from A to Z

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From Hilton Head to Caesars Head, and from the Lords Proprietors to Hootie and the Blowfish, historian Walter Edgar mines the riches of the South Carolina Encyclopedia to bring you South Carolina from A to Z. (A production of South Carolina Public Radio.)

South Carolina from A to Z Archives (April 2011 to Sept 2014)

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"H" is for Huger, Isaac (1743-1797). Soldier. Huger began his military career as an officer in the South Carolina expedition against the Cherokees. With the onset of the Revolution he was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the South Carolina militia. Huger was promoted to colonel and later commanded the First and Fifth South Carolina Regiments. In 1779, he was promoted to brigadier general in the Continental army. He fought and was wounded at the Battle of Stono Ferry and commanded the South Carolina and Georgia militia at the siege of Savannah.

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"C" is for Coker, Elizabeth Boatwright (1909-1993). Writer. At Converse College, Coker was editor of the school’s literary magazine. Between 1950 and 1991, she published nine novels in the genre of the historical romance, allowing her to exploit her deep interest in all periods of the southern and South Carolina experience. Her first novel, Daughter of Strangers (1950), was a dramatic treatment of racial identity set in antebellum New Orleans and the South Carolina lowcountry. It remained on the New York Times best-seller list for six months.

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"C" is for Coker, David Robert (1870-1938). Businessman, plant breeder, philanthropist. Following his graduation from the University of South Carolina, Coker managed the J.L. Coker and Company. Illness led him to withdraw from the business and to focus on his first experiments with plant breeding. He saw a need not only for better seed to provide more productive crops but also for a change in the attitude from traditional to more modern methods of farming. This dual focus led to the subsequent development of the Coker’s Pedigreed Seed Company in 1913 with Coker as president.

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"C" is for Coker, Charles Westfield (1879-1931). Businessman, philanthropist, social reformer. At an early age, Coker became involved in his family’s various business enterprises. In 1899, when the Cokers organized the Southern Novelty Company in Hartsville, he became its first treasurer and chief salesman. In 1918 he became president of the company. It was Charles Coker who brought modern industrial and managerial practice to the family-controlled business, which changed its name to Sonoco Products Company.

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"C" is for Cofitachiqui. Cofitachiqui is the name of a sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Native American chiefdom as well as one of the principal towns of the chiefdom. The town of Cofitachiqui was located on the bank of the Wateree River below the fall line near present-day Camden. Spanish accounts, from De Soto’s 1540 expedition, refer to the “Lady of Cofitachiqui” as the local ruler. According to her the province had suffered a great pestilence and she ruled following the death of a male relative.

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"C" is for Cockfighting. Cockfighting is a blood sport that has existed in South Carolina from colonial times to the present—despite the fact that it was banned by the General Assembly in 1887 and carries a felony charge for participants and less severe penalties for spectators. Cockfighting remains popular in the state and the oldest continuously published magazine for cockers (as cockfighters style themselves), Grit and Steel, emanates from Gaffney. In a typical cockfight, long steel spikes are attached to the legs of the cocks.

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"C" is for Coastal Plain. The coastal plain is South Carolina’s largest land-form region, forming two-thirds of the state and encompassing approximately twenty thousand square miles. It includes the land from the Sandhills to the coast. South Carolina’s coastal plain is divided into three sections according to elevation and topography: upper, middle, and lower. The upper coastal plain is that section lying between the Sandhills and the Orangeburg Scarp.

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"C" is for Coastal Carolina University. Located in Horry County between Conway and Myrtle Beach, Coastal Carolina University is a public comprehensive liberal arts institution. Coastal opened in 1954 as Coastal Carolina Junior College, a branch of the College of Charleston. In 1958, the school became an independent institution. At that time a successful voter referendum in Horry County approved funding for the college, which become a regional campus of the University of South Carolina two years later. After a major fund-raising drive, in 1962 ground was broken for the present campus.

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"C" is for Clyburn, James E. (b. 1940). Congressman. A native of Sumter, Clyburn graduated from South Carolina State College. He has had an extensive public career. From 1971 to 1974, he served on Governor John West’s staff. In 1974, Governor West appointed him as South Carolina human affairs commissioner—a position he held for eighteen years under both Democratic and Republican governors. In 1992 Clyburn was elected to Congress from the newly reconfigured “majority minority” Sixth District. In 1998 he was elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

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"B" is for Brown, Lucy Hughes (1863-1911). Physician. A native of North Carolina, Brown completed her medical training at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. After practicing medicine in North Carolina, she moved to Charleston and became the first black female physician in the state. She contributed to the establishment of the Cannon Hospital and Training School for Nurses in 1897, which was later, renamed McClennan-Banks Hospital. At this hospital, she headed the department of nursing training.

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"B" is for Brown, James (1933-2006). Musician. Born in Barnwell County, Brown began his career in Augusta in the 1950s when he formed the Flames—the first of a series of backing bands that would contribute to the evolution of his trademark sound. His first hit came with the 1956 release of “Please, Please, Please.” A consummate showman, Brown gave his audiences the total experience of singing, dancing, and showbiz spectacle. His appearances recorded as Live at the Apollo are regarded as the peak of his live shows.

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"B" is for Brown, Edgar Allan (1888-1975). Legislator. At the age of sixteen Brown learned shorthand and became a stenographer. In 1910 he passed the state bar exam. He represented Barnwell County in the House of Representatives (1921-1926) and served one term as Speaker. Brown was elected to the South Carolina Senate in 1928 and remained there until his retirement in 1972. Politically, Brown was one of the most powerful men in state government. For thirty years (1942-1972) he was both president pro tempore of the Senate and chairman of the finance committee.

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"B" is for Broughton, Thomas (d.1737). Legislator, lieutenant governor. By the 1690s Broughton had immigrated to South Carolina from the West Indies. He quickly became involved in the Indian trade and used his connection as the son-in-law of Governor Nathaniel Johnson to advance his position. Broughton acquired four plantations, including Mulberry on the Cooper River where he built a massive, Jacobean-style brick mansion dubbed “Mulberry Castle.” He was first elected to the Commons House in 1696 and later served as its Speaker.

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"B" is for Bryan, Hugh (1699-1753). Planter, evangelist. Born of the colony’s southern frontier, Bryan was captured by Indians during the Yamassee War. After his release, he settled in St. Helena’s Parish where he became a leading rice planter, cattle raiser, and slaveholder. Bryan became an enthusiastic follower of the evangelist George Whitefield and, under his tutelage, began to apply religious writings of contemporary events. Bryan saw the Stono Rebellion, the 1749 Charleston fire, droughts, and outbreaks of epidemic diseases as God’s displeasure with South Carolina.

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"L" is for Lumpkin, Grace (ca. 1896-1980). Writer, social activist. A native of Georgia, Lumpkin’s family moved to Columbia in 1900. She earned a teacher’s certificate from Brenau College and then held various positions as a teacher, home demonstration agent, and social worker. In 1925 she moved to New York where she took a job with The World Tomorrow, a pacifist publication. After covering a Communist-led textile strike she went to work for a Soviet-affiliated trading company.

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"B" is for Burke, Aedanus (1743-1802). Jurist, congressman. A native of Ireland, Burke arrived in South Carolina in 1775 and served in the militia during the Revolution. In 1780 he was elected a judge of the Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions. He was captured at the fall of Charleston and spent sixteen months in captivity. In 1788, Burke was a leading opponent of the proposed U.S. Constitution, but on its ratification he pledged his support for the new government. He was elected as an anti-Federalist to the First Congress.

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"B" is for Bull, William, II (1710-1791). Lieutenant governor. Educated in England and the Netherlands, Bull was a member of the Commons House (1736-1749) and, on occasion, its speaker. In 1749 he was appointed to the Council and ten years later became lieutenant governor until his political career ended in 1775. During that period Bull was acting governor on five occasions—serving for a total of eight years. After refusing to sign the oath of allegiance to the revolutionary government, he was banished from the state and went into exile in England.

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"B" is for Bull, William (1683-1755). Planter, lieutenant governor. Bull had a long political career that began in the proprietary era and continued for thirty-five years after South Carolina became a royal colony. He served continuously on the Grand Council from 1719-1755 and he was lieutenant governor from 1738-1755. From 1737 until the arrival of Governor James Glen in 1743, Bull was acting governor. During that time he led provincial forces in suppressing the Stono Rebellion.

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"B" is for Bull, Stephen (d. 1800). Soldier, legislator. Descended from one of the first families of South Carolina, Stephen Bull was the nephew of Lieutenant Governor William Bull, Jr. Bull represented Prince William’s Parish in the Commons House of Assembly. On the eve of the American Revolution, he was a colonel commanding the Beaufort District militia regiment. Unlike most members of his family, he supported the American cause. In 1778 he was promoted to brigadier general and led his regiment on the ill-fated American campaign against British East Florida.

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"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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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