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"S" is for Summers, Eliza Ann (1844-1900)

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for Summers, Eliza Ann (1844-1900). Educator. A native of Woodbury, Connecticut, in 1866 Summers volunteered her services to the American Missionary Society to teach emancipated slaves in South Carolina. In January 1867 she arrived at Hilton Head. She and another teacher were assigned to work in Mitchellville--a hamlet of numerous small wooden houses built for five hundred former slave families. Three churches were utilized as freedmen schools. Throughout the next six months the teachers conducted both day and evening schools for pupils of all ages. They maintained a Sunday school program as well. In June 1867 she resigned her position and returned to Connecticut. During her service in South Carolina, Eliza Ann Summers recorded her daily experiences in a diary that provide detailed descriptions of life among Hilton Head freedmen in 1867.

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.