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“B” is for the Bank of the State of South Carolina

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“B” is for the Bank of the State of South Carolina. The General Assembly chartered the Bank of the State of South Carolina (BSSC) in December 1812. The bank had the power to circulate currency and act as the financial agent of the state. The BSSC—with branches in Charleston, Columbia, Georgetown, Camden and Abbeville—proved to be an effective financial arm of the state. During the 1850s, the BSSC helped to underwrite the modernization and expansion of the state’s transportation network by serving as the state’s agent in the purchase of hundreds of thousands of dollars in railroad stock. In 1865 its investments in Confederate currency and securities were worthless. In 1866 an attempt to recharter the Bank of the State of South Carolina was defeated and two years later the General Assembly ordered any remaining assets turned over to the state.

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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 B.A. 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.