"E" is for Earle, Joseph Haynsworth (1847 - 1897)

Mar 4, 2020

Credit SC Public Radio

"E" is for Earle, Joseph Haynsworth (1847 - 1897). U.S. senator. A native of Greenville, Earle was orphaned at five and was reared by an aunt in Sumter. In 1864 he enlisted in the Confederate army. After the war he attended Furman and was admitted to the bar. He opened a practice in Sumter in the mid-1870s. In 1878 he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives and in 1882 to the state senate. He was South Carolina Attorney General from 1886-1890. Although a staunch member of the Democratic Party’s Conservative faction, he was elected a circuit judge in 1894. In 1896 Earle defeated the unpopular Tillmanite candidate John Gary Evans for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in the state’s first direct primary. Joseph Haynsworth Earle’s victory was an initial step toward healing the extreme factionalism that had dominated state politics for a decade.