SC From A to Z

From Hilton Head to Caesars Head, and from the Lords Proprietors to Hootie and the Blowfish, historian Walter Edgar mines the riches of the South Carolina Encyclopedia to bring you South Carolina from A to Z.

South Carolina From A to Z
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“H” is for Hipp, Francis Moffett [1911-1995]. Insurance executive.  After graduating from Furman, Hipp joined his father’s company, Liberty Life Insurance. The Greenville-based firm also owned radio stations in Columbia and Charleston. When Hipp’s father died in 1943, the company’s directors elected him president and chairman of the board. An energetic leader, Hipp expanded the company into the Southeast through its own agents and nationally through financial institutions.

  "L" is for Longstreet, James Peter [1821-1904]. Soldier. Born in Edgefield District, Longstreet spent his formative years in Georgia and Alabama. After graduating from West Point, he had a successful army career, serving with distinction in the Mexican war and achieving the rank of major. In 1861, he resigned his US Army commission and joined the Confederate Army as a brigadier general. He distinguished himself as a superb military tactician and in 1862 Robert E. Lee made him his second in command.

"H" is for Huguenots

Jul 31, 2020
South Carolina From A to Z
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"H" is for Huguenots. Huguenots are French Calvinists. The French Reformed church was formally founded in 1559. Because of intense religious strife in France, Jean Ribaut sponsored the short-lived (1562-1563) Huguenot settlement at Charlesfort on Parris Island. The Edict of Nantes, guaranteeing religious freedom, was revoked in 1695 and individuals had the choice of renouncing their faith or fleeing France. The Huguenot migration to South Carolina is part of a larger diaspora, traditionally known as le Refuge—some 2,500 migrated to North America, about 500 to South Carolina.

"F" is for the Farmer's Alliance. Founded in the 1870s in Texas, the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union and its segregated counterpart the Colored Farmers' National Alliance addressed the issues of debt and depressed commodity prices that most rural Americans faced. The first county alliance in South Carolina was founded in Marion in 1887 and within a year there was a statewide alliance. 

South Carolina From A to Z
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"D" is for Dabbs, James McBride (1896-1970). Writer, teacher, theologian, civil rights leader. Dabbs, a Sumter County native, was a USC graduate.  After serving in World War I, he taught English at Carolina and then served as head of the English Department at Coker College. By the early 1930s he had earned a reputation as an essayist as his work appeared in the country’s leading journals. Among the themes he addressed were the distinctiveness of the South, the mixed blessings of industrialization, education, the African American presence and identity, and southern religion.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"C" is for Caesars Head State Park. Located in Greenville County near to the border with North Carolina, Caesars Head State Park was established in 1979. In 1996 the park became part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, which was also includes Jones Gap State Park and Wildcat Wayside. Formed more than 409 million years ago, Caesars Head rises 3,266 feet above sea level on the southern edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment. It is a granite gneiss formation protruding from the valley as a prominent monadnock.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"B" is for Babcock, James Woods (1856-1922). Psychiatrist, mental hospital superintendent. A native of Chester, Babcock was educated at Harvard and studied mental diseases in Europe. In 1891 he became superintendent of the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum in Columbia. He arrived eager to modernize and improve the institution, but insufficient state funding was a perennial problem. Part of the problem was Babcock’s personality. He did, however, get the legislature to change the institution’s name to South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane.

"B" is for Bragg, Laura [1881-1978]. Museum administrator, educator. A native of Massachusetts, Bragg earned a degree in library science. Her first professional positions were in Maine and at the New York City Library. In 1909 she was hired to be the librarian at the Charleston Museum where she soon was promoted to curator of books and public instruction. She used her position to cross both racial and class lines with her education program—the first in a southern museum.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"W" is for Wright, Jonathan Jasper (1840-1885). Attorney, legislator, jurist. Born in Pennsylvania, Wright read law with antislavery advocate Dr. William W. Pride. In 1864 Wright took a position with the American Missionary Association teaching black soldiers stationed on the Sea Islands. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1866, but returned to South Carolina the next year with the Freedman’s

South Carolina From A to Z
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    "B" is for Boykin Spaniel. The Boykin spaniel was originally bred in South Carolina before the 1920s. This amiable, small, dark brown retriever is a superb hunter and loving family pet. It was bred to provide an ideal hunting dog for hunting fowl in the Wateree River swamps. A sturdy, compact dog built for boat travel and capable of retrieving on land or water was required. Lemuel Whitaker “Whit” Boykin, a planter and sportsman from the Boykin community near Camden tested many dogs to answer these needs.

"J" is for Jackson, Joseph Jefferson Wofford [1888-1951]. Baseball Player. "Shoeless Joe" Jackson was reared in the mill villages of Pelzer and Greenville. He never attended school and could neither read nor write.  At thirteen he began to work full-time in the mill and also to play for the mill's baseball team.  In 1908 he turned pro and during the season landed in the majors with the Philadelphia Athletics.

"H" is for Hagood, Johnson [1829-1898]. Soldier, governor. A native of Barnwell District, he graduated with distinction from the Citadel in 1847 and then studied law. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he was elected colonel of the first South Carolina Regiment of Volunteers. Hagood saw action continuously from the reduction of Fort Sumter in April 1861 to the Battle of Bentonville in March 1865. His gallantry under fire led to his promotion to brigadier general. 

"G" is for the Gadsden Flag, a bright yellow banner with a gray, coiled rattlesnake at its center with the words "Don't Tread on Me" inscribed beneath. Although there had been similar flags since the French and Indian War, this particular flag can be traced to Christopher Gadsden, one of the state's delegates to the First Continental Congress. The rattlesnake in a variety of poses was used to reflect colonial anger and defiance.

"F" is for Florence County [800 square miles; population 125,761]. Created in 1888, Florence County lies between the Great Pee Dee and Lynches Rivers in the eastern part of the state. In the late antebellum period, three railroads intersected in the area and the town of Florence developed. With the creation of the county, the town became the county seat. Railroads and agriculture would be the economic mainstays of the county until well into the 20th century.

"F" is for Flat Nose

Jun 2, 2020

"F" is for Flat Nose. In the 1980s, Flat Nose, a Darlington County bulldog, attracted international attention because of his ability to climb pine trees. According to his owner Barney Odom, Flat Nose developed his tree-climbing ability as a puppy despite Odom's best efforts to stop him. After regional media gave the dog considerable attention, he and his owner were invited to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

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