reconstruction

The first black U.S. senator and first black House members were elected by Southern states during Reconstruction.
Library of Congress

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., has said, "Reconstruction is one of the most important and consequential chapters in American history. It is also among the most overlooked, misunderstood and misrepresented." 

The first black U.S. senator and first black House members were elected by Southern states during Reconstruction.
Library of Congress

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., has said, "Reconstruction is one of the most important and consequential chapters in American history. It is also among the most overlooked, misunderstood and misrepresented." Gates' new four-part television series for PBS, Reconstruction: America after the Civil War begins it run on April 9 on SCETV.

Richard T. Greener, circa 1900; by J. H. Cunningham. In The Colored American, February 24, 1900.
The Colored American, February 24, 1900 / Library of Congress/Chronicling America

Richard Theodore Greener (1844–1922) was a renowned black activist and scholar. The first black graduate of Harvard College, he became the first black faculty member at the University of South Carolina, during Reconstruction. He was even the first black US diplomat to a predominately-white country, serving in Vladivostok, Russia. A notable speaker and writer for racial equality, he also served as a dean of the Howard University School of Law and as the administrative head of the Ulysses S. Grant Monument Association. Yet he died in obscurity, his name barely remembered.

Former Slave Honored at James Island's Pinckney Park

Feb 27, 2018
Friends and family unveil marker honoring Simeon Pinckney on James Island.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

James Island's Pinckney Park, with its colorful playground, iconic oak tree  and tire swing, is less than a  year old.  But its history goes back 150 years.  That's when a former slave bought the property just outside of Charleston.   It's still  thick with palms and pines that back up to a tributary of Parrot Creek.  His  name was Simeon Pinckney. 

"Most of the stories  that my mother told of him was him straightening someone out for not doing the right thing," said Jerome Harris.  He is the great- great grandson of Simeon Pinckney. 

Dr. J. Brent Morris
USC Beaufort

Yes, Lord, I Know the Road: A Documentary History of African Americans in South Carolina, 1526 – 2008 (2017, USC Press) is the first comprehensive history of African Americans in the Palmetto State. From the first North American slave rebellion near the mouth of the Pee Dee River in the early sixteenth century to the 2008 state Democratic primary victory of Barack Obama, Dr. J.

The ruins of Mills House and nearby buildings, Charleston, South Carolina, at end of American Civil War. A shell-damaged carriage and the remains of a brick chimney are in the foreground.
George N. Barnard (1819 - 1902) / The National Archives

(Originally broadcast 03/24/17) - South Carolina in the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras (USC Press, 2016) is an anthology of the most enduring and important scholarly articles about the Civil War and Reconstruction era published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association.

"C" is for Chamberlain, Daniel Henry [1835-1907]. Governor. Chamberlain was an officer in the Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry, a black regiment. In 1866 he came to South Carolina to tend to the affairs of a deceased Yale College classmate. He entered politics in 1868 as a delegate from Berkeley County to the state constitutional convention. From 1868 to 1872 he was Attorney General. In 1871, he joined Democrats in organizing a taxpayers’ convention to press for government reform. In 1874 he was the Republican candidate for governor and won the general election.

Charleston, South Carolina, 1865. Broad street, looking east with the ruins of Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar.
Library of Congress; photographer unknown

South Carolina in the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras (USC Press, 2016) is an anthology of the most enduring and important scholarly articles about the Civil War and Reconstruction era published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association.

Charleston, South Carolina, 1865. Broad street, looking east with the ruins of Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar.
Library of Congress; photographer unknown

  (Originally broadcast 01/15/16) - National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis called the Reconstruction Era an “often-ignored or misunderstood period in our rich history” but one that bridges the nation’s Civil War and its civil rights movement. Now, the Park Service has begun chronicling the historic sites in South Carolina that tell the Reconstruction story.

Charleston, South Carolina, 1865. Broad street, looking east with the ruins of Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar.
Library of Congress; photographer unknown

  National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis called the Reconstruction Era an “often-ignored or misunderstood period in our rich history” but one that bridges the nation’s Civil War and its civil rights movement. Now, the Park Service has begun chronicling the historic sites in South Carolina that tell the Reconstruction story.