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“L” is for LeConte, John (1818-1891)

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“L” is for LeConte, John (1818-1891). Scientist, educator. A native of Georgia, LeConte was educated at the University of Georgia and the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Returning home, he served on the faculty of the University of Georgia until 1856 when he joined the faculty of the South Carolina College as professor of natural philosophy. His scientific studies attracted national attention. During the Civil War he supervised the Nitre and Mining Bureau for the Confederacy in upper South Carolina. Discouraged by the state of affairs in the state after the war in 1869, he became professor of physics at the newly-established University of California at Berkeley. He remained at the university for two decades, including service as president (1875-1881). John LeConte was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1878.

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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.