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“O” is for O’Neall, John Belton (1793-1863)

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“O” is for O’Neall, John Belton (1793-1863). Jurist, author, social reformer, entrepreneur. A native of Newberry, O’Neall graduated from the South Carolina College and read law. He was admitted to the bar in 1814. He represented Newberry District in the South Carolina House of Representatives, serving as Speaker. He was elected a state judge in 1828 and two years later to the court of appeals. From 1859-1863 he was chief justice of the state. He was a supporter of the temperance movement, serving as national president of the Sons of Temperance. O’Neall served as a trustee of Newberry Academy, Erskine College, Furman Institution, and South Carolina College. Among his publications was Biographical Sketches of the Bench and Bar of South Carolina. A versatile man of strong convictions, John Belton O’Neall remained a Unionist throughout his life.

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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.