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“A” is for Allston, Robert Francis Withers (1801-1864)

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“A” is for Allston, Robert Francis Withers (1801-1864). Legislator, governor, rice planter. A native of Georgetown District, Allston attended the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), worked briefly for the Topographical Service, and elected Surveyor General of South Carolina. His political career began when he was elected by Prince George Winyah Parish to the S.C. House of Representatives. He later represented the parish in the S.C. Senate where he was staunch supporter of nullification. Allston served as president of the S.C. Senate (1850-1856), resigning upon his election as governor. A lifetime advocate of higher education, he served as a trustee of the South Carolina College (1840-1864). An accomplished agricultural innovator, Robert Francis Withers Allston published several well-regarded works on rice-planting, including Memoir of the Introduction and Planting of Rice in South-Carolina and Essay on Sea Island Crops.

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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.