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"S" is for Sumter, Thomas (1734-1832)

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"S" is for Sumter, Thomas (1734-1832). Soldier, congressman, U.S. senator. A native Virginian, Sumter moved to South Carolina around 1764 and settled in St. John’s Berkeley Parish where he opened a country store. He later married a wealthy widow and moved to her plantation In St. Mark’s Parish. With the coming of the Revolution, he served in the army and rose to the rank of colonel. He retired in 1778, but with the British invasion in 1780 he was back in uniform as an upcountry partisan leader. Sumter’s exploits in the upper part of the state brought new energy to the patriot cause and earned him the nickname “Gamecock.” After the war he served eight terms in the General Assembly and five terms in Congress. In 1801, the General Assembly elected Thomas Sumter to the U.S. Senate.

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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.