"H" is for Hover Scare

May 22, 2020

Credit SC Public Radio

"H" is for Hover Scare (1887). Hiram E. Hover (often mis-spelled in the press as “Hoover”) formed the Co-operative Workers of America (CWA) in North Carolina. The goal of the CWA was to promote major labor reforms and establish cooperative stores. In South Carolina, Hoover addressed inter-racial crowds in Spartanburg, Greenville, and Walhalla. Other organizers, recruited by Hoover, founded CWA Branches or “Hoover Clubs” in Greenville proper, and in the rural areas of Greenville, Laurens and Spartanburg counties. Fearing an uprising by black sharecroppers and laborers that made up the membership of the CWA, whites in the upstate—with the tacit approval of state officials--formed vigilante groups. The leaders of the Hoover Clubs were rounded up and forced to abandon the CWA. South Carolina newspapers reported the events of 1887 as the “Hoover Scare.”