Walter Edgar

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"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.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"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.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"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.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"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.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"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.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA), a powerful networking, information, and lobbying group for the state’s manufacturing industries began as an organization for cotton mill owners in 1902. The association hired its first lobbyist in the late 1920s and became a visible and powerful voice for the textile industry. After World War II--under the leadership of John K. Cauthen-- the organization guided state leaders in helping to transform South Carolina’s agricultural economy into a more diversified, industrial one.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Lunatic Asylum/State Hospital. The South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, located in Columbia, opened in 1828. It is the third-oldest state mental institution in the United States. The original building, named after its architect, Robert Mills, is the nation’s oldest surviving state mental hospital structure and a National Historical Landmark. In 1896 the asylum was renamed the South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane caring for large numbers of patients deemed chronic and incurable. In 1913 the state built a separate facility for black patients outside Columbia.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The origins of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) date back to 1947. Governor Strom Thurmond issued an executive order creating the organization with statewide authority. Thurmond’s actions came at the behest of sheriffs and police chiefs seeking a centralized agency fashioned after the FBI, whereby manpower, technical assistance, and expertise could be utilized. From its fledgling beginnings of fifteen employees, the agency has grown to more than 500 sworn and civilian employees.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Land Commission. The General Assembly established the South Carolina Land Commission in 1869. The commission’s goal was to purchase land for sale that would be sold to landless black Carolinians on favorable terms. The state thus embarked on a unique experiment, using its authority to assist freedmen in acquiring land. Perhaps as many as 1,400 African American families had been settled on commission lands by 1890. Most were unable to purchase their plots, but at least 960 received title to 45,000 acres. Whites acquired he remainder of the 73,000 acres.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Jockey Club. In 1758 a group of lowcountry gentlemen founded the South Carolina Jockey Club. By the early 1770s Race week became the most important time of the year for many South Carolinians. During the Revolutionary War, the club suspended activities. Although the club disbanded in 1788 and 1791, it was reestablished. At the turn of the nineteenth century, South Carolina Jockey Club ushered in what would be called the “golden age of racing.” The club’s annual races—usually held in January and February—served as the high point of the Charleston social season.

"Q" is for Quakers

Jan 17, 2020
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"Q" is for Quakers. Quakerism came to South Carolina in the 1670s and a Meeting of the Society of Friends was established in Charleston in 1682. Charleston Friends held ties to London and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings and remained separate from the other South Carolina Quaker settlements, which were affiliated with the North Carolina Yearly Meeting. A group of Irish Quakers settled along the Wateree River near Camden about 1750. Bush River was by far the largest and most influential of the Piedmont meetings.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for Pacific Mills. Pacific Mills began in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1850. The company moved south in 1915 by purchasing South Carolina-distressed mills. The new mills, collectively called Columbia Pacific Mills, consisted of Olympia, Granby, Richland, and Capital City Mills in Columbia. The Olympia Mill had the distinction of having the largest spinning room in the world in the 1920s, with 100,320 spindles. Pacific was the largest manufacturer of percale—a medium weight, plain-woven cotton printed fabric commonly used in bedsheets.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"O" is for Ocean Forest Hotel. Myrtle Beach’s magnificent Ocean Forest Hotel opened formally in February 1930. The hotel stood twenty-nine feet above sea level, with a ten-story wedding-cake tower flanked by two five-story wings. With its gardens, pools, and stables the property encompassed thirteen acres, the Ocean Forest was renowned as one of the world’s more exclusive hotels. Tuxedos and evening gowns were required for evening meals in the dining room. By the 1950s, though, times and lifestyles had changed.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"N" is for Nairne, Thomas (d. 1715). Indian agent. Nairne, a Scot, was in South Carolina by 1695. By the early 1700s Nairne led Indian raids against Spanish Florida. The Commons House, in 1707, established the Board of Indian Commissioners to regulate The Indian trade. The act created the office of Indian agent and Nairne was the colony’s first official one. He traveled across the Southeast dealing with tribes as far west as the Mississippi River. He lost his post in1708 because he arrested the governor’s son-in-law for illegal trading.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"M" is for Mabry, George Lawrence, Jr. (1917-1990). Soldier, Medal of Honor recipient. After graduating from Presbyterian College, Mabry entered the Army and was assigned to the Fourth Division. His first action under enemy fire was at Normandy on D-Day when he led his company into the first wave at Utah Beach. By the time he had fought his way across France he had earned promotion to battalion commander. In the fall of 1944 Mabry and his divisions took part in the bloody campaign to take the Huertegen Forest in western Germany.

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