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“C” is for Cardozo, Francis Lewis (1836-1903)

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“C” is for Cardozo, Francis Lewis (1836-1903). Clergyman, educator, politician. Cardozo was born in Charleston to a free Black woman. He studied at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and later at seminaries in Edinburgh and London—becoming an ordained Presbyterian minister. Cardozo returned to Charleston in 1865 as a missionary of the American Missionary Association. He became head of an AMA school that became Avery Institute. He became active in politics and was a delegate to the 1868 constitutional convention. In 1868 he was elected secretary of state, the first African American in the country elected to a statewide office. He was elected state treasurer in 1872 and re-elected in 1874 and 1876. Convicted of fraud in a questionable trial in 1877, Francis Lewis Cardozo was pardoned and left the state and settled in Washington, D.C.

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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.