Walter Edgar

"C" is for Columbia

Jun 7, 2019
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Columbia (Richland County; 2010 population 130,493). Named for Christopher Columbus and created in 1786 as the nation’s first truly planned capital city, Columbia has a unique history. While now the setting for state, county, and municipal governments, it took shape in the wilderness near the geographic center of South Carolina. The original plan for the city was a grid two miles square containing 400 blocks. Most exceptional were the wide streets. In 1950, Columbia embraced the city-manager government.

"C" is for Colonoware

Jun 6, 2019
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Colonoware. On historic-period sites in South Carolina, archaeologists often find locally made, hand-built unglazed pottery that was fired in open hearths rather than kilns. Vessels and sherds of this ware may be found on the sites of Indian camps and villages, the city lots of Charleston and other towns, underwater near wharves and ferries, and on small farms and plantations. This broad class of pottery has been termed colonoware. This pottery is most closely associated with Native Americans and African Americans, but associations vary considerably.

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"C" is for Colonial Agents. South Carolina, like Britain’s other American colonies, had no elected representatives in Parliament to argue for its interests. The problem for the colony then was how to get Parliament to pay attention to its particular concerns. Parliament, too, desired an informed source on its distant settlement. The answer--beginning in 1712--was a permanent colonial agent, paid for by the colony’s Commons House of Assembly. He reported regularly to the Commons House on matters of interest to the colony.

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"C" is for Colleton County (1,056 square miles; 2010 population 38, 909). Colleton County was one of three original counties organized in Carolina in 1682. Lying south and west of Charleston between the Combahee and Stono Rivers this Colleton was somewhat larger than its modern counterpart. By the 1730s the county had been subdivided into three colonial parishes. The General Assembly created Colleton District in 1800 with Jacksonborough as the courthouse town. In 1817 Walterboro became the county seat.

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"C" is for Colleton, Sir John (1608-1666). Proprietor. Colleton was a soldier and courtier of King Charles I and spent more than, £40,000 of his own money to support the king during the English Civil War. Following the king’s trial and execution, Colleton and his family fled to the protection of relatives in Barbados. He returned to England in 1659 where he joined others in returning Charles II to the throne. For his loyalty and service, Colleton was knighted in 1661.

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"S" is for Smith, Ellison Durant (1864-1944). U.S. Senator. Smith represented Sumter County in the legislature from 1897-1901. After losing a bid for Congress, he began working with several agricultural organizations. In 1905, traveled the Southeast for the Southern Cotton Association--organizing growers and polishing his oratorical skills. In 1908 he stunned the political establishment by winning election to the United States Senate—where he remained for thirty-six years.

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"S" is for Smith, Benjamin (1717-1779). Merchant, politician, planter. A native Carolinian, Smith inherited a two thousand acre plantation at the age of eighteen. His real interest, however, was in trade. In 1735 he began a twenty-seven year mercantile career. By mid-century, his involvement in the lucrative slave and fur trades made him one of the wealthiest merchants in the colony. In 1746 St. Philip’s elected him to the Commons House where he served almost continuously until his death. Smith was an influential member and was Speaker of the House (1755-1763).

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"S" is for Smith, Arthur (1921-2014). Musician. Thanks to the widespread popularity of his instrumental hit “Guitar Boogie,” Arthur Smith became one of the better-known guitarists in country music. Like many other South Carolina musicians, he was a product of the textile mills. He started at Spartanburg’s WSPA, but in the 1940s transferred his radio base to WBT in Charlotte. Smith made his first recording of “Guitar Boogie” about 1945 with the Tennessee Ramblers.

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"S" is for Smith, Alice Ravenel Huger (1876-1958). Artist. Although largely self-taught, Smith emerged as the leading artist of the Charleston Renaissance. Through her writings and art she helped to disseminate the history and charm of her native lowcountry to a national audience. In 1917 she began the study of Japanese color wood-block prints. Synthesizing the methods of the Japanese with lowcountry imagery, Smith invented a visual language that would remain with her for the rest of her life.  By the late 1920s she had abandoned prints and concentrated on watercolor.

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"P" is for Purvis, Melvin Horace, Jr. (1903-1960). Federal agent. Purvis, a Timmonsville native, gained national fame during the 1930s as the nation’s “ace G-man,” credited with gunning down the notorious outlaws John Dillinger and Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd—.  After graduating from USC law school he joined the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation (later the FBI). In 1932, as senior agent in the bureau’s Chicago office, his team took down Dillinger. Three months later, Purvis led the team of federal agents that tracked down and killed Floyd.

"P" is for Purrysburg

May 24, 2019
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for Purrysburg (Jasper County). The town of Purrysburg, located on the Savannah River was named for its founder, Jean-Pierre Purry, a native of Switzerland. The Carolina township plan, initiated in 1731, encouraged the immigration of Protestant settlers—who, it was hoped would develop the lucrative production of silk, wine, and indigo. In 1732 and 1733, possibly three hundred French-Swiss and German –Swiss colonists—under Purry’s guidance— settled the 18,000 acres township promised by the colonial government.

"P" is for Punches

May 23, 2019
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for punches. Punches have been prominent at South Carolina social gatherings from the state’s beginnings. When Eliza Lucas Pinckney recorded her favorite receipts in 1756, she included one for the Duke of Norfolk Punch, made with twelve pounds of sugar, thirty oranges plus five and one-half quarts juice, thirty lemons pus three and one-half quarts of juice, and a gallon of rum. Punches were made to serve a crowd, and individual recipes were named for particular social clubs. There are recipes for punches designed to serve literally hundreds.

"P" is for PTL Club

May 22, 2019
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for PTL Club. Based first in Charlotte, North Carolina, and then in Fort Mill, South Carolina, the PTL Club was one of the most successful ventures in televangelism for much of the 1970s and 1980s. PTL stood for both “Praise the Lord” and “People That Love.” Jim Baaker and his wife Tammy Faye Baaker used the popular program as a springboard to develop a Pentecostally oriented resort, theme park, shopping mall, cable network, and entertainment center called Heritage USA in Fort Mill.

"P" is for Provincials

May 21, 2019
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for Provincials. During the Revolution, in addition to regular British soldiers and German mercenaries, British officials organized loyal Americans into conventional fighting units commonly referred to as provincials. A provincial soldier was a volunteer subject to the same control, benefits, and hardships of a British soldier.

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"P" is for Promised Land (Greenwood and Abbeville Counties; 2010 population 510). Located just off S.C. Highway 10 south of Greenwood, this rural African American community was created by freed slaves in the 1870s. The South Carolina Land Commission purchased the 2,742-acre Marshall plantation in 1869 and divided it into fifty lots of approximately fifty acres each—and then sold them to freed African Americans. The name derived from their “promise” to pay the commission for the land.

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"P" is for Progressive Movement. South Carolina progressives, like reformers throughout the United States, emerged primarily from the town-based middle class.  These progressives pushed for economic and social improvements in their state from roughly 1900 through the 1920s. Fundamentally, progressives deemed an educated population to be essential to all other reform efforts.  Moreover, they focused on strengthening the economy with improved agriculture by helping South Carolina diversify its agriculture and encourage scientific agricultural methods. During Richard I.

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"P" is for Progressive Democratic Party. Aware that many white Democrats in South Carolina opposed President Franklin Roosevelt’s reelection to a fourth term in 1944, African American activists sought to demonstrate their loyalty to the national party by mobilizing black support for the president. Within a few months, a statewide club movement (“Fourth Term for Roosevelt Democratic Clubs”) morphed into the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP). In 1944, the PDP nominated Osceola E. McKaine to run against Olin D. Johnson for the U.S. Senate.

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"P" is for prisons and penitentiaries. The first significant jail in South Carolina, a twelve-foot square designed to accommodate sixteen prisoners, was built in Charleston in 1769. Prior to the Civil War, fines and corporal punishment—rather than incarceration—were the most popular forms of punishment. In 1868, the state’s first penitentiary opened in Columbia. Later renamed the Central Correctional Institution (CCI), it became the state’s most notorious prison—and Cell Bock One was still in use when CCI closed in 1994.

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"P" is for Pringle, Robert (1702-1776). Merchant, planter, legislator, jurist. A native of Scotland, Pringle immigrated to South Carolina in 1725. Initially, he was a factor for London and New England merchants, but eventually went into business for himself. By 1750 he was one of the most prosperous merchants in Charleston. Pringle built two elegant town houses on Tradd Street that still stand. He served as the church warden for both St. Philip’s and St. Michael’s parishes.

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"P" is for Pringle, Elizabeth Waties Allston (1845-1921). Rice planter, author. Allston was born to wealth and privilege, but the Civil War destroyed the family’s wealth. Widowed, she successfully managed two plantations—Chicora Wood and White House--producing rice crops that paid taxes and mortgages. With the decline of rice prices in the 1890s, Pringle was desperate for funds. She convinced the editor of the New York Sun to buy weekly articles she wrote about being a female rice-plantation owner.

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"P" is for Prince William’s Parish. In 1754 the Commons House of Assembly created Prince William’s Parish. The parish was named for William Duke of Cumberland (the son of King George II) and encompassed the mainland region between the Combahee and Cossawhatchie Rivers, located in modern Beaufort and Jasper Counties. Previously, part of St. Helena’s Parish, the new parish was created because the increasingly prosperous rice planters in the region found travelling to Beaufort to be too difficult. The parish church was completed near William Bull’s Sheldon Plantation in 1753.

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"P" is for Prince George Winyah Parish. Comprising portions of modern Georgetown, Horry, Marion, and Dillon Counties, Prince George Winyah Parish was established in 1721—to accommodate European settlers who had taken up residence north of the Santee River after the Yamassee War. By the 1730s rice cultivation began to dominate the economy and the port of Georgetown had been founded. The perfection of tidal rice culture in the late eighteenth century transformed the Georgetown area and its environs into the principal rice-producing area in the United States.

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"P" is for Prince Frederick’s Parish. Established in 1734, Prince Frederick’s Parish stretched like an elongated triangle from the Santee River northward “to the utmost bounds of the Province—encompassing all or parts of modern Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, and Williamsburg Counties. Carved from Prince George Winyah Parish, Prince Frederick’s was given two seats in Assembly. The Black River Church fell within the bounds of the new parish and it became the parish church. Prior to the Civil War, a new, brick church was authorized near Plantersville.

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"P" is for Primus Plot (May-June 1720). The Primus Plot was South Carolina’s first alleged slave conspiracy. Rumors surfaced while the colony’s atmosphere was tense. A Waccamaw Indian attack had recently been repelled. After expelling the proprietary government in 1719, the colonists were awaiting an official response from England. Anxieties were further heightened by rumors that Spain would invade South Carolina and, in the process arm the colony’s slaves. In May 1720, a group of runaway slaves—led by a man named Primus—fled toward Florida.

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"P" is for Primitive Baptists. Primitive Baptists comprised one early nineteenth-century form of the “antimission” movement protesting the development of Baptist organizations in the South. Emanating from the Kehukee Association in North Carolina, this particular brand of protest in South Carolina was found most commonly in the upcountry. The Primitive or Old School Baptist churches, and the later loosely organized denomination by the same name, were strongly Calvinistic, especially emphasizing predestination.

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"P" is for Preston, William Campbell (1794-1860). U.S. Senator. A Virginian, Preston’s illness forced him to withdraw from Washington College. His parents sent him to the South Carolina College—from which he graduated in 1812. He then studied law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. After practicing law in Missouri and Virginia, he moved to South Carolina in 1824. Four years later Preston was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. In 1833, the legislature elected him to the U.S. Senate and he was re-elected in 1837.

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"P" is for Preservation Society of Charleston. Founded in 1920 as the Society for the Preservation of Old Dwellings, the Preservation Society of Charleston is the oldest community-based historic preservation organization in the country. In 1931 the society was instrumental in persuading the Charleston City Council to pass the nation’s first historic district zoning law. The law established a board of architectural review and designated a 138-acre “Old and Historic District.” The district has since been expanded to include more than 4,800 structures.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"P" is for Presbyterians. Presbyterianism is a movement within Christianity that traces its distinctive character to the Swiss Reformation and in particular to the theological and social thought of John Calvin. Presbyterianism in South Carolina presents a complex interaction of this distinctive religious tradition with the social and cultural lives of the state over centuries. By the time of the Revolution, the Presbyterian Church was the largest denomination in the colony.  While losing its numerical leadership to Methodists and Baptists, the denomination grew rapidly after the war.

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"P" is for Presbyterian College. A liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and located in Clinton, Presbyterian College was founded in 1880. Initially, the college was the means of furthering the education of youth in Thornwell orphanage. Originally known as Clinton College, the institution became the Presbyterian College of South Carolina in 1890 when oversight increased to include all presbyteries of the Synod of South Carolina.  In 1928, the Synod of Georgia joined in support of what was now called Presbyterian College.

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"C" is Cunningham, William (d. 1787). Soldier. At the outset of the Revolution, Cunningham sided with the Patriots, but changed sides and became a vicious Tory partisan. After British evacuation of Ninety Six in 1781, Cunningham assembled a band of three hundred strong and set out on an expedition that would become known as the “Bloody Scout.” At Cloud’s Creek, he ordered that no quarter be given to surrendering patriot forces.

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