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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"J" is for Jackson, Jesse Louis (b. 1941). Minister, civil and human rights activist. A Greenville native, Jackson was a star quarterback and student leader at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. In Greensboro he led a successful demonstration to end discrimination in downtown stores. In 1967 Dr. Martin Luther King put Jackson in charge of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago. Jackson successfully organized black Chicagoans to boycott companies and stores that had “heavy minority patronage” to secure better service and more jobs.

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"I" is for Indian Mounds. Dotting South Carolina’s streams and rivers are vestiges of her prehistoric past. These mounds offer fragmentary evidence of the cultures that thrived before the Europeans arrived. At least sixteen Woodland mounds and nineteen Mississippian mounds have been identified that are at least fifty percent intact. Another eleven known sites have been destroyed or are underwater. Woodland period mounds are located primarily along coastal rivers while Mississippian mounds are found on inland rivers near the fall line.

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"H" is for Hagler (d. 1763). Catawba chief. King Hagler is the best known of the Catawba chieftains. He rose to power in the 1750s. In 1751 he was a member of a peace delegation assembled by Governor James Glen to negotiate peace with the tribe’s long-time enemies, the Iroquois of New York. Under King Hagler, the Catawbas supported the British during the French and Indian War by sending soldiers to Virginia to fight with Colonel George Washington.

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"G" is for Gadsden, James (1788-1858). Soldier, railroad president, diplomat. A Charleston native, Gadsden joined the U.S. army after graduating from Yale. In 1823 he was appointed commissioner in charge of removing the Seminoles from Florida. He purchased land in Florida, but after five unsuccessful campaigns for Congress, he returned to Charleston in 1839. A promoter of the expansion of southern trade, he served as president of what would become the South Carolina Railroad from 1840-1850.

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"G" is for Gadsden, Christopher (1724-1805). Patriot, merchant. Born in Charleston, Gadsden was educated in England. In the 1740s he launched one of the most successful mercantile careers in the colony. Possessing financial independence and a civic spirit, he pursued public office. In 1757 he began his nearly thirty years’ service in the Commons House of Assembly. He became an outspoken defender of colonial rights and—after a public dispute with the royal governor in 1762—was transformed into a zealous American patriot.

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"F" is for Fairfield County (687 square miles; 2010 population 23,838). Fairfield County, lying in the lower Piedmont, is a geologically diverse region with topography ranging from level plains to hilly terrain. The county lies primarily between the Broad and Wateree Rivers north of Richland County. Originally part of the 1769 court district of Camden, the area became Fairfield District in 1800 and then Fairfield County in 1868. Mississippian mound builders were active in the region from 1300 to 1400 C.E. The first European settlers arrived in the 1740s.

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"E" is for Earle, Joseph Haynsworth (1847 - 1897). U.S. senator. A native of Greenville, Earle was orphaned at five and was reared by an aunt in Sumter. In 1864 he enlisted in the Confederate army. After the war he attended Furman and was admitted to the bar. He opened a practice in Sumter in the mid-1870s. In 1878 he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives and in 1882 to the state senate. He was South Carolina Attorney General from 1886-1890. Although a staunch member of the Democratic Party’s Conservative faction, he was elected a circuit judge in 1894.

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"D" is for Dabbs, Edith Mitchell (1906-1991). Author, churchwoman, community activist. Dabbs, a native of Dalzell, graduated from Coker College and then taught school for several years. Through the 1940s and 1950s she was active in the work of the United Church Women (an ecumenical Christian organization) and served as state president. Under her leadership the organization grew from half a dozen white women to an integrated annual gathering of more than two hundred. She also served on the national organization’s Public Relations Committee.

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"C" is for Caesar (ca. 1682-ca. 1754). Enslaved Person, medical practitioner. Caesar was an enslaved person who gained his freedom in 1750 in exchange for his revealing knowledge of cures for poison and rattlesnake bite.  Upon hearing of his cures, the Commons House began an investigation into their effectiveness. After having his remedies verified by physicians and other notables, the Commons House of Assembly granted him his freedom and awarded him an annual pension of £100 currency. In May 1750 the South-Carolina Gazette published Caesar’s cures and reprinted them in 1751.

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"M" is for Monck’s Corner (Berkeley County, 2010 population 7,755). The village of Monck’s Corner in St. John’s Berkeley Parish derived its name from Thomas Monck’s eighteenth century plantation. A small commercial community grew up near the plantation, located at a fork where the Charleston Road intersected with the Cherokee Path. During the siege of Charleston in 1780, it became a point of strategic importance and the scene of a major British victory. After the Revolution, the completion of the State Road and the Santee Canal caused the village to decline.

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"M" is for Molloy, Robert (1906-1977). Novelist, editor, critic. Malloy was born in Charleston, but at the age of twelve his family moved to Philadelphia. He began his literary career as a publisher’s reader, translator, and book reviewer. Eventually he became the literary editor of the New York Sun and began writing short stories that appeared in national magazines. In 1945 he published his first novel, Pride’s Way—an engaging social comedy of a large Charleston Catholic family.

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"M" is for Moïse, Penina (1787-1880). Educator, poet, hymn writer, activist. In 1819, Moïse published her first poem in Charleston. Her poems subsequently appeared in newspapers throughout the country and in national magazines such as Godey’s Ladies Book and the American Jewish Advocate. Demonstrating a cosmopolitan world-view, she addressed anti-Semitism, politics and history—and included her personal insights on society. Her poems contained romantic, sentimental, and classical themes, as well as emotional and non-denominational religious topics.

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"H" is for Hume, Sophia Wigington (ca. 1702-1774). Minister, writer. A native Charlestonian, Hume was reared an Anglican, but embraced the Quakerism of her grandparents in the 1740s. Re-examining her faith and her life of luxury she moved to London; embraced a life of simplicity; and joined the Society of Friends. She returned to Charleston in late 1747, convinced of the need to warn her neighbors and others of their erring ways. Hume spent the rest of her life inspiring others through her religious writings and dedication to the Quaker faith.

"H" is for Huguenots

Feb 24, 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.

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"F" is for Farmers’ Alliance.  Organized in Texas in the late 1870s, the National Farmers’ Alliance and Industrial Union, along with its counterpart the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance addressed the problems of debt and depressed commodity prices that confronted much of rural America. The first county Alliance in South Carolina appeared in 1887. By 1890 over one thousand suballiances existed in the state, which claimed more than 80,000 members, black and white. Attempts at various cooperative enterprises failed, so the Alliance turned to political action.

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