© 2022 South Carolina Public Radio
Radio Website Header-Waves 6 3.0.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Alerts, watches, and warnings from the National Weather Service

“P” is for Patterson, John James (1830-1912). U.S.

South Carolina A to Z larger logo

“P” is for Patterson, John James (1830-1912). U.S. senator. A native of Pennsylvania, Patterson served in the U.S. Army during the Civil War. He moved to South Carolina in 1869 where he was involved in banking and railroad development. In that connection he was accuse of bribing legislators to pass laws favorable to his interests. In 1872 he was a candidate for the U.S. Senate and there were numerous allegations of his bribing legislators to vote for him. Patterson won election but was immediately arrested for bribery. However, he was never tried. From that time forward he carried the nickname “Honest John”—honest because if he promised a bribe, he always paid it. Serving in the Senate from 1873 to 1879, John James Patterson advocated stronger federal enforcement of Reconstruction measures and increased federal appropriations for the South.

Stay Connected
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.