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"B" is for Brown, Morris (1770-1849)

South Carolina From A to Z
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"B" is for Brown, Morris (1770-1849). Clergyman. Brown, a free mulatto, was born in Charleston. He received a license to preach as a Methodist lay preacher and organized an African congregation in Charleston. The parish became popular with slave and free persons of color—initially drawing 1,400 members. However, after white Methodist officials reduced the control that black Methodists could have over their own church, Brown led most of his congregation out of the denomination. In 1818 he became an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal or AME Church and his Charleston congregation grew to more than 3,000. After the Denmark Vesey plot, Brown fled to Philadelphia and his church was closed. In 1828 Morris Brown was elected the second bishop of the growing AME church and after the death of its founder, the church’s sole bishop.

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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.