South Carolina from A to Z

All Stations: Mon-Fri, throughout the day

From Hilton Head to Caesars Head, and from the Lords Proprietors to Hootie and the Blowfish, historian Walter Edgar mines the riches of the South Carolina Encyclopedia to bring you South Carolina from A to Z. (A production of South Carolina Public Radio.)

“R” is for Robertson, Thomas James [1823-1897]. U.S. senator. After graduating from the South Carolina College, was a successful and prominent planter. During the Civil War, however, he sided with the Union and was said to have entertained General Sherman in his Columbia home. As a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1868, he advocated the punishment of former Confederates. In return for his loyalty to the Union and the Republican Party, he was bitterly denounced by most white Carolinians. In 1868 the General Assembly elected him to the U.S.

  “B” is for Blake Plateau. The Blake Plateau is a large, relatively shallow carbonate bank that lies two hundred miles off Charleston on the continental shelf. It runs from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, past South Carolina and eastern Florida, to just north of the Bahamas. The plateau began to form more than 200 million years ago as the North American Plate disengaged from the African Plate creating the Atlantic Ocean. The Blake Plateau’s structure clearly illustrates the process of the North American/African separation as well as the development of continental shelves generally.

  “L” is for the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Charleston Rail Road Company. This railroad represented the most ambitious dreams of the antebellum Charleston business community: a transportation connection to the markets of the Midwest that would return the city to national prominence. Chartered in 1835 to connect Charleston and Cincinnati, Louisville was added to gain the support of the Kentucky legislature. In 1837 the company began construction of a sixty-mile line from Branchville to Columbia—the only track it ever built.

  “G” is for Greener, Richard Theodore [1844-1922]. Teacher, diplomat. A native of Philadelphia, Greener was the first African American to earn an undergraduate degree from Harvard. After teaching in Washington and Philadelphia, in 1873 he accepted the professorship of mental and moral philosophy at the newly integrated University of South Carolina. He was also the university’s librarian. He gave the university’s commencement address in 1874. In 1877 he resigned his professorship and took a position in the US Treasury Department.

"P" is for Pinckney, Thomas [1750-1828]. Governor, diplomat, congressman, soldier. Pinckney was educated in England at Christ College, Oxford and at the Inns of Court, and in France at the Royal Military Academy. He returned to South Carolina in 1774 and in 1775, he joined the First South Carolina Continental Regiment. He saw active service until 1780 when was wounded and captured at the Battle of Camden. Pinckney was elected governor in 1787 and served two terms. He was the American Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain and later to Spain.

"P" is for Pinckney Island Wildlife Refuge. Pinckney Island Wildlife Refuge is in Beaufort County, between Skull Creek and Mackay Creek. The Refuge was established in 1975 and opened in 1985. It is comprised of four islands: Corn, Little Harry, Big Harry, and Pinckney. The largest island, Pinckney, is the only one open to the public. From 1736 to 1936 the refuge was owned by the family and descendants of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and was a cotton plantation. From 1937 until 1975, the island was managed as a game preserve.

"M" is for Medal of Honor Recipients

Sep 11, 2014

"M" is for Medal of Honor Recipients. Approved by Congress in 1862, the Medal of Honor is America's highest award for military valor. The first native son to receive the award was Ernest A. Garlington of Newberry for "distinguished gallantry" at the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1892. Eight South Carolinians were awarded the medal during World War I. During World War II, five Carolinians were awarded the medal. During the Korean War, three of the four men were presented the honor posthumously.

“H” is for Hipp, Francis Moffett [1911-1995]. Insurance executive.  After graduating from Furman, Hipp joined his father’s company, Liberty Life Insurance. The Greenville-based firm also owned radio stations in Columbia and Charleston. When Hipp’s father died in 1943, the company’s directors elected him president and chairman of the board. An energetic leader, Hipp expanded the company into the Southeast through its own agents and nationally through financial institutions.

"B" is for Blackwood, Ibra Charles

Sep 8, 2014

“B” is for Blackwood, Ibra Charles [1878-1936]. Governor. After graduating from Wofford, Blackwood read law and was admitted to the bar. He represented Spartanburg in the General Assembly and served as solicitor of the Seventh Judicial Circuit. He made an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1926, but was elected in 1930. He entered office with the Great Depression well underway in South Carolina. In 1932, he joined Senator James F. Byrnes in endorsing Franklin Roosevelt for the presidency.

  “C” is for the Charleston Riot [1876]. As the crucial local, state, and national elections of 1876 approached, tensions between the races in South Carolina reached a boiling point. In Charleston black Republicans were especially incensed by Democratic attempts to induce blacks to vote Democratic. On September 6th, after a Democratic rally, a group of Republicans pursued the participants. A white Democrat fired a pistol that instead of frightening his pursuers attracted an even larger crowd. The Democrats retreated and asked for protection from federal troops.

“W” is Winnsboro

Sep 3, 2014

  “W” is Winnsboro [Fairfield County, population 3,599]. Winnsboro, the seat of Fairfield County, lies in the Piedmont on a ridge between the Broad and Wateree Rivers. In 1768 John Winn began acquiring land that would become Winnsboro. During the Revolution, Lord Cornwallis and the British Army occupied the town. Incorporated in 1832, the town was named for Revolutionary War hero Richard Winn. The town became a religious and educational center—home to Mount Zion Academy, Furman Academy and Theological Institution, and Fairfield Institute. Cotton brought prosperity to the county.

“S” is for Sewees

Sep 2, 2014

  “S” is for Sewees. The Sewees were a Native American nation based along the Santee River and the Sea Islands. In 1670 it was the Sewees who showed the English colonists the best harbors. They helped the Carolinians against the Spanish and supplied the settlers with food when the colony ran short. The tribe was decimated by smallpox and by an ill-fated attempt to trade directly across the Atlantic with England. A fleet of canoes was swamped by a storm and many drowned; those that survived were picked up by an English slave ship and sold into slavery in the West Indies.

“R” is for Robertson, Benjamin Franklin, Jr. [1903-1943]. Journalist. Robertson was a well-respected and well-traveled journalist and war correspondent and the author of three books. In 1940 he was hired by PM, a newspaper, as its London correspondent during the Battle of Britain. In 1941 he published I Saw England, a well-received account of British resolve during the blitz. After another stint in London, he returned home and began work on Red Hills and Cotton: An Upcountry Memory. During 1942 Robertson covered the war from Libya, the Soviet Union, and India for PM.

“P” is for Pinckney, Maria Henrietta

Aug 25, 2014

  “P” is for Pinckney, Maria Henrietta [d. 1836]. Writer. The eldest daughter of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Sarah Middleton, Maria Pinckney is notable for writing a defense of nullification entitled The Quintessence of Long Speeches, Arranged as a Political Catechism.

  “M” is for Medical University of South Carolina. At the request of the Medical Society of South Carolina, the General Assembly established the Medical College of South Carolina. It opened in 1824 as a private institution. In the last two decades of the 19th century, programs in pharmacy and nursing began. The faculty voted to admit women medical students in 1895. In 1913 Dean Robert Wilson campaigned for state ownership of the Medical College, whereby the state would assume some financial responsibility for the school. State ownership was achieved in 1914.

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