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“G” is for Garden, Alexander (ca. 1685-1756)

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“G” is for Garden, Alexander (ca. 1685-1756). Clergyman. Garden was born in Scotland and became a priest in the Church of England. In 1719 he immigrated to South Carolina and became rector of St. Phillip’s Church in Charleston. In 1729 the Bishop of London named Garden the commissary to South Carolina, North Carolina, and the Bahamas. As commissary, he had the authority to discipline Anglican clergy in those colonies and to enforce morality laws. In 1740, George Whitefield, a controversial Church of England itinerant preacher, visited Charleston. Garden suspended Whitefield from the ministry of the Church of England in a contentious and public brouhaha. Garden supported the education of enslaved persons and founded a school to educate Black children. In 1749 Alexander Garden resigned as commissary and four years later as rector of St. Phillip’s.

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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.