Walter Edgar

"B" is for Batesburg-Leesville. [Lexington County; population 5,517]. Located in western Lexington County on “the Ridge” separating the Saluda and Edisto Rivers, the towns originated on Native American trading paths that became early roads. Leesville was incorporated in 1875 and Batesburg in 1877. Although separated by only a narrow strip of land, the two towns nevertheless developed distinct identities. Batesburg faced west and served as a market and distribution center for the Ridge farmers in Edgefield, Aiken, and Saluda Counties.

"A" is for Allston, Robert Francis Withers [1801-1864]. Legislator, Governor, rice planter. After attending West Point and working for the Topographical Service, Allston returned to Georgetown District to manage his family’s property. By the time of his death he had expanded his estate to more than 15,000 acres and 690 slaves. He represented Prince George Winyah Parish in the South Carolina Senate for twenty years from 1836 to 1856. Elected governor in 1856, he was a staunch advocate of higher education and served on the board of trustees of the South Carolina College.

Dr. William J. Cooper, Jr.
Louisiana State University

  (Originally broadcast 02/07/15) -In an encore from the 2015 series, Conversations on the Civil War, sponsored by the University of South Carolina’s College of Arts and Humanities, William Cooper talks with Walter Edgar about the life of Jefferson Davis, an American soldier and politician who became president of the Confederate States of America. 

"W" is for the West Committee. Created in 1966, at the urging of reformers in the General Assembly, the Committee to Make a Study of the South Carolina Constitution of 1895 was better known as the “West Committee” after its chairman—state senator and later governor, John C. West. It performed a major overhaul of the state’s fundamental political document and somewhat weakened legislative dominance of state government. Despite some sentiment that South Carolina should call a constitutional convention, the West Committee embarked upon three years of intensive study.

"T" is for Tillman, Benjamin Ryan [1847-1918]. U.S. Senator. Governor. During the 1880s Tillman presented himself as the advocate of “the farmers” against lawyers, politicians, merchants and “aristocrats” whom he blamed for farmers’ economic difficulties. As the champion of a proposed agricultural college and of the farmer's alliance—he won the Democratic nomination for governor in 1890. Tillman established the Dispensary, a state liquor monopoly, and backed a referendum for a constitutional convention.

"S" is for St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish. Located on a peninsula between the Cooper and Wando Rivers, St. Thomas and St. Denis were two of the ten original parishes created by the Church Act of 1706. It was colonial South Carolina's only parish within a parish. In 1706 the entire peninsula—with an English-speaking majority—was organized as St. Thomas Parish. But, in order to accommodate the French-speaking minority—the parish of St. Denis was established “in ye middle of it.” Both parishes became home to successful slaveholding planters.

"R" is for Redcliffe

Jul 26, 2016

"R" is for Redcliffe. Redcliffe, an antebellum mansion near Beech Island in western Aiken County, was the home place of governor James Henry Hammond and three generations of his descendants. Redcliffe was as an architectural and horticultural showplace as well as the center of domestic life for the Hammond family. Transitional Greek revival in style, the house also displays restrained Italianate elements, unusual for South Carolina. A spectacular center hall, 53 feet long and 20 feet wide dominates the interior. Much of the interior woodwork was crafted from local sycamore trees.

  "P" is for Patent Medicines. Like other English colonies, South Carolina dosed itself primarily with remedies from Great Britain, but there were some home-manufactured remedies. One, produced in Charleston, promised to cure everything from the flux and fevers to worms. After the Revolution the number of American-made nostrums increased, but most of them were produced in the North. Among the locally manufactured patent medicines were Pellagricide and Ez-X-Ba, manufactured in Spartanburg and promoted as a cure for pellagra. William F.

The Carolina Frontier

Feb 15, 2016
Early map of Virginia and the Carolinas
North Carolina State Archives

​In his book, Carolina in Crisis: Cherokees, Colonists, and Slaves in the American Southeast, 1756 - 1763, (2015, UNC Press) Dr. Daniel J. Tortora, assistant professor of history at Colby College, explores how the Anglo-Cherokee War reshaped the political and cultural landscape of the colonial South. Tortora joins Walter Edgar for a discussion of these events in one of a a series of public conversations, “Conversations on Colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina,” presented earlier this year by the University of South Carolina’s College of Arts and Sciences.

In their discussion, Dr. Tortora argues that the political and military success of the Cherokees led colonists to a greater fear of slave resistance and revolt and ultimately nurtured South Carolinians' rising interest in the movement for independence.

All Stations: Fri, Feb 19, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Feb 21, 4 pm


-Walter Edgar's Journal-   Greenville's downtown is widely recognized as one of the best in America. In Reimagining Greenville: Building the Best Downtown in America (The History Press, 2013), authors John Boyanoski and Mayor Knox White tell the story of the careful, deliberate efforts by city and community leaders who banded together to build something special from a decaying city center. Mayor White joins Walter Edgar to share some of this story.

- All Stations: Fri, Dec 26, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Dec 28, 4 pm -

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