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“S” is for Seabrook, Whitemarsh Benjamin (1793-1855)

“S” is for Seabrook, Whitemarsh Benjamin (1793-1855). Governor. A native of Colleton County, Seabrook was a graduate of Princeton. In South Carolina he established himself as a cotton planter and a leading advocate of agricultural reform—encouraging planters to diversify their agricultural pursuits and adopt scientific farming techniques. After representing St. John’s Colleton Parish in the S.C. House and S.C. Senate, serving a term as lieutenant governor, Seabrook was elected governor in 1848. As a member of the most radical political factions in the state, he urged Carolinians to prepare for secession and the military defense of the state and its institutions. In 1850 he and other radicals canvassed the state to drum up popular support for secession but were thwarted when voters in 1851 supported cooperationists instead. Benjamin Whitemarsh Seabrook remained an ardent secessionist until his death.

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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.