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“G” is for Gist, William Henry (1807-1874)

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“G” is for Gist, William Henry (1807-1874). Governor. A native of Charleston, Gist attended South Carolina College, but was expelled due to his participation in the “mess hall rebellion,” a student protest against the prohibition of off-campus dining. He represented Union District in the state House of Representatives (1840-1843) and in the S.C. Senate (1844-1855). An ardent secessionist, Gist was elected governor in 1858. As sectional tensions reached their climax in 1860, he did his best to hasten the final push to secession. In November 1860 he summoned a special session of the legislature and asked that a special convention be called to respond to the election of Abraham Lincoln. Immediately following the completion of his term, William Henry Gist attended the meeting as a delegate from Union District and signed the Ordinance of Secession.

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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.