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“E” is for Elliott, Robert Brown (1842-1884)

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“E” is for Elliott, Robert Brown (1842-1884). Legislator, congressman. In 1867 Elliott moved from Boston to Charleston where he accepted a position as an associate editor of a Black-owned Republican newspaper, the South Carolina Leader. He entered the political spotlight as a member of the 1868 constitutional convention. Elliott won the first of two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the first full-blooded man of color elected to Congress. In Congress, Elliott employed his oratorical skills to condemn the Ku Klux Klan in South Carolina and to champion civil rights for African Americans. He resigned from Congress in 1874 and returned to the South Carolina General Assembly where he served as Speaker of the House from 1874 to 1876. Robert Brown Elliott’s political career ended following the controversial election of 1876.

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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.