"S" is for South Carolina Land Commission

Jan 28, 2020

Credit SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Land Commission. The General Assembly established the South Carolina Land Commission in 1869. The commission’s goal was to purchase land for sale that would be sold to landless black Carolinians on favorable terms. The state thus embarked on a unique experiment, using its authority to assist freedmen in acquiring land. Perhaps as many as 1,400 African American families had been settled on commission lands by 1890. Most were unable to purchase their plots, but at least 960 received title to 45,000 acres. Whites acquired he remainder of the 73,000 acres. By 1890 the commission’s lands were largely sold and it went out of existence. Promised Land in Abbeville and Greenwood Counties is an example of an extant African American community organized around South Carolina Land Commission plots during Reconstruction.