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H” is for Hampton, Wade, III (1818-1902)

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“H” is for Hampton, Wade, III (1818-1902). Planter, soldier, governor, U.S. senator. A quintessential planter-aristocrat, Hampton was thought to be the wealthiest man in the antebellum South. In the 1850s he represented Richland District in the S.C. House and state Senate. During the Civil War he was a superb cavalry officer and in 1864 became commander of the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia. His attempts to revive his holdings ended in bankruptcy in 1868. He became a leader of the opposition to Republican rule in South Carolina and in 1876 –after a tumultuous and disputed election--became governor. In 1878 the General Assembly elected him to the U.S. Senate where he served until 1891. He then served for a time as commissioner of U.S. Railroads, but his political influence had come to an end.

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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.