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"B" is for the Bank of the State of South Carolina

South Carolina A to Z larger logo

"B" is for the Bank of the State of South Carolina. The General Assembly chartered the Bank of the State of South Carolina in 1812—giving it the power to circulate currency and to act as the fiscal agent of the state. The main branch was located in Charleston, but by 1860 there were branches in Abbeville, Camden, Columbia, and Georgetown; the bank also had business agents in global financial centers such as New York and Liverpool.

The bank flourished and provided loans on easy terms for commercial and agricultural interests—and, in the process, fostered the economic development of the state. During the 1850s, it underwrote the modernization and expansion of the state's railroad network. In 1865, most of the assets of the Bank of the State of South Carolina were invested in worthless Confederate securities and it was not re-chartered in 1866.

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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.