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"D" is for Davis, James [1774-1838]

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"D" is for Davis, James [1774-1838]. Physician, planter, legislator. Davis trained as a physician under Dr. George Ross in Laurens District. He moved to Columbia in 1810, established a successful medical practice, and was active in civic affairs. In alliance with Samuel Farrow and William Crafts, he lobbied the legislature to establish a lunatic asylum in Columbia. After the General Assembly provided the funding, he served on the commission that oversaw the asylum's construction. He also sat on the board of trustees that brought it into operation after the construction was completed and served as its first physician from 1828 to 1835. He was often ill during his tenure as physician and sometimes was unable to attend to his duties. James Davis resigned from his position as physician to the South Carolina State Hospital in 1835.

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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.