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“A” is for Aiken, David Wyatt (1828-1887)

South Carolina A to Z larger logo

“A” is for Aiken, David Wyatt (1828-1887). Congressman, agricultural advocate. After graduating from the South Carolina College, Aiken began a life-long commitment to experimentation with farming methods and agrarian politics. He was involved with the South Carolina Agricultural Society and helped establish the State Fair in Columbia. In the 1870s as part owner of the agricultural journal, the Rural Carolinian, Aiken argued that farmers needed to throw off the crop-lien system and diversify away from cotton. He was active in the National Grange movement and helped establish it in the state. In 1877, he entered Congress as a representative of the Third District—a position he held until 1887. As a member of Congress, David Wyatt Aiken promoted a revenue tariff and fought for the inclusion of the secretary of agriculture in the cabinet.

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.