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"Q" is for Quakers

South Carolina from A to Z logo

"Q" is for Quakers. The Society of Friends [more commonly known as Quakers] has had a fragmented history in South Carolina. Quakerism came to South Carolina in the 1670s with the founding of the Charleston Meeting---the organizational unit of the Society. Other Quaker communities were established near Camden and in what is now Newberry County. As a matter of belief, Quakers opposed violence and slavery. After 1800, with the spread of slavery into the backcountry, many Quakers left the state for slave-free Ohio. By 1822, only a small group remained in Charleston and it had disappeared by the Civil War. In 1967 a Meeting was established in Columbia and there are smaller groups scattered across the state. All Quakers in South Carolina practice the distinctive silent worship traditionally associated with the Society of Friends.

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.